In a Vase on Monday: Sweet Gardenias

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018

The guest room smells amazing today thanks to the small vase of gardenias clipped for today’s In a Vase on Monday post.

Frostproof gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides)

I’ve written before about the drought that claimed quite a few of my plants and shrubs in 2016-17. I dragged my feet about replanting shrubs in the largest front bed, but I finally got the job done this year. I opted for a frostproof variety of gardenias, which are full sun and drought tolerant. The bushes started flowering last week, and they smell ever so nice. Gardenias have a heavy, sweet scent, but it’s not overpowering.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
A gardenia in bloom. Ahhhh, breathe it in.

Colorwheel, aka Stokes’ Aster (Stokesia laevis)

The colorwheel bloom in last week’s post got a couple of comments, so this time I’m including a photo of new versus old blooms. The palest bloom opened most recently; the others have darkened with age.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Colorwheel, aka Stoke’s aster, blooms deepen in color with age.

“Hot Lips” sage (Salvia x jamensis) 

The small white flowers tipped in red are “Hot Lips” sage or saliva. A couple of varieties of perennial salvia are shown in the photo below. I’ve caught a glimpse of a ruby throated hummingbird a few times this spring—apparently they love salvia!

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Salvia = hummingbird magnet

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. It’s helped me connect to other garden bloggers and makes blogging much more enjoyable. Be sure to visit her blog and the comments section to see what she and other gardeners around the world have put in a vase on Monday.

 

In a Vase on Monday: Kangaroo Colorwheel

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018

Last week, I noticed a few garden bloggers chose fun animal vases for In a Vase on Monday. This week, I follow suit.

Kangaroo Vase

This vintage Fitz & Floyd piece is actually a toothbrush holder. As a vase, the holes meant for toothbrush handles function like a flower frog, helping stems stay in place. This is not the first time this estate-sale find has appeared on my blog, but it is its first appearance since I began posting for IAVOM, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Colorwheel, aka Stokes’ Aster (Stokesia laevis)

The pastel, almost white bloom by the kangaroo face is the very first offering from my Stoke’s Aster this season. This perennial, full-sun plant is native to the Southeastern United States. It earns the nickname Colorwheel from the changing color of its blooms, which begin as the palest pink-purple and age to a deep mauve.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
An overhead view offers a closer look at the Stoke’s Aster bloom (bottom left).

Rounding out the colorwheel: repeat bloomers

The rest of the blooms in this vase have already appeared in various posts this year, and you will probably continue to see them in my vases through the summer.

  • The spindly brown stems bearing tiny white flowers are heuchera ‘Mocha’ also known as coral bells.
  • The clusters of small purple flowers are lavender (Lavandula angustiflolia).
  • With a truly ice-like shimmer, the neon violet flowers are ice plant (Delosperma cooperi).
  • The violet, cone-shaped clusters are butterfly bush (Buddleja), and speaking of …

The butterfly bush below our kitchen window went from one single bloom last week to full-blast flowering this week. Bring on the butterflies!

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Butterfly bush

More animal vases

Last week, posts from these bloggers inspired my kangaroo creation.

  • Wild Daffodil, hailing from the other side of the Atlantic on England’s south coast, featured zebra and giraffe vases.
  • In Florida, the Shrub Queen arranged native wildflowers in a cow vase and introduced us to a sweet real-life pup.
  • Bonney Lassie, of Washington state, has a fish vase that I adore.

More In a Vase on Monday

Visit Rambling in the Garden to see what Cathy and gardeners around the world have put in a vase this Monday. Thank you for stopping by!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Welcome May

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Red hot poker (yellow flower), butterfly bush, ice plant and Carolina snailseed

This week, vibrant new blooms join the spring party and the Carolina snailseed is being super clingy.

Today’s post is part of “In a Vase on Monday,” a weekly meme hosted by Cathy on her blog Rambling in the Garden. Give her a visit to see what she and other gardeners around the world have put in a vase today. But first, here’s what’s in my vase on Monday, May 7, 2018, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria ‘Grandiflora’)

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Red hot poker

Also known as torch lily, this perennial is another purchase from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens fall plant sale in 2017. This is its first (and only) bloom, so I hope more blooms are on the way. It’s a native of Southern Africa, and from what I read, its blooms are often bi-colored in combinations of yellow, orange and red. I’m not sure if my plant will offer only yellow blooms, or it’s going to surprise me.

Butterfly bush (Buddleja)

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Butterfly bush

We planted a butterfly bush under our kitchen window last year. True to its name, it attracts lots of butterflies. It’s covered in green buds this week, which will soon turn into dark violet-purple blooms. Although not fully bloomed, this one was far enough along to demonstrate its color.

Ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Ice plant

I also featured this succulent ground cover in my IAVOM post on April 23.  It’s really doing well this year, so you will probably see it in my arrangements throughout the summer. Look how the petals shimmer in the sun.

Carolina snailseed (Cocculus carolinus)

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Carolina snailseed

When looking for vase ideas today, I was taken by how these young shoots of Carolina snailseed twisted together to achieve verticality. It reminds me of Jack and the Bean Stalk.

Thanks for dropping by my blog today, and don’t forget to visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for more IAVOM posts.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the Carolina snailseed as English ivy (Hedera).

 

In a Vase on Monday: Sense and Sensibility

 

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Purple bearded iris, dalmatian bellflower, autumn sage, lavender, ice plant and thyme arranged in a Waterford posey vase.

I began this post with the most sensical intentions. Then my sensibilities took over.

It’s been a while since I’ve read Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (or watched Emma Thompson’s movie adaptation), but my takeaway from the story is that we need to embrace a balance of both qualities in our lives. I relearned that lesson this week.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted each week by Cathy on her blog Rambling in the Garden. I missed it last week, and I was determined to be “sensical” and work ahead so my post would be ready first thing this Monday. However, I got distracted by my sensibilities. It was warm and sunny. The birds were singing, and the breeze was rustling in the trees. I decided to do my arranging outside.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, 2018
Dappled shade on the patio gets me every time.

Just when I was about happy with my arrangement, the breeze shifted all the stems. I moved inside. Once again, I had everything photo-ready, and I made a snap decision to go outside for more bellflowers. I was outside no more than 30 seconds when I heard the crash inside. So much for being sensical.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Chester the Tailless Wonder is quite possibly an evil genius, but we love him.

One of our cats, Chester, had taken down the small table I use when photographing flower arrangements. The vase was in pieces on the floor. The irony was not lost on me that just two weeks ago I wrote about exercising caution when it comes to cats and plants. I suppose I had it coming.

I cleaned up the broken pieces of pottery, salvaged the flowers from floor and started again. Without further ado, here’s what’s in a vase on Monday April 22, 2018.

Purple Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)

I thought my purple irises were not coming up this year, but it turns out they were just on a different timetable than the white irises. Snipping the stems released an aroma like slicing green onion tops for a salad.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Purple bearded iris–don’t miss the ladybug!

Autumn sage (Salvia greggii)

The leaves of this evergreen herbaceous perennial offer a heavenly, lightly sweet scent year round. It’s just beginning to flower and will continue through the year until first freeze. I purchased mine last year at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens fall plant sale. 

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
autumn sage

Dalmatian Bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana)

I planted bellflower last fall as a perennial ground cover in a terraced area of the backyard, where it gets part shade. It’s just now beginning to take off, and I love its tiny blue-violet blooms.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Dalmatian bellflower

Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, hardy ice plant is a succulent ground cover that can take the sun on full blast in the front yard. The blooms shimmer in the sun, giving the plant an “icy” look. This is another Birmingham Botanical Gardens plant sale purchase.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Ice plant flower

Lavender (Lavandula angustiflolia)

I planted lavender in my sunny front yard last year, and it has done well. I’ve divided it successfully and now have two plants.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Lavender

English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme and I have a checkered past. I’ve killed it as a houseplant on several occasions. Most recently I killed lemon thyme in an outdoor pot (I’m not sure why but most likely because I left it out to overwinter). Elfin thyme looked terrific between the patio stones, but the environment was ultimately too harsh in the summer, even with lots of shade. I have, however, had success with regular garden thyme outside year round. It might not be the obvious choice for a flower arrangement, but I like effect of tucking in a couple of wild, graceful sprigs.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Garden thyme, also known as English thyme

Vase

The vase that survived this post is a Waterford posey vase (a gift from my parents on some birthday past).

Thank you for stopping by. To see what other gardeners around the world have put in a vase on Monday, please visit Cathy’s IAVOM post and don’t miss the comments below it.

Correction: The original version of this post misidentified the autumn sage (aka salvia) as “Hot Lips” sage. I have both varieties in the same bed, and I mixed them up temporarily.

 

In a Vase on Monday: Foxglove, Rosemary and Heuchera

IMG_5292 2

Manny (“Best Kitty Ever”) photobombed this week’s In a Vase on Monday post.

Don’t worry, I took the vase way before he had a chance to eat anything and make himself sick. In our house, the arrangements travel with me so they are always in my sight, or I close them up in the guest room where the cats can’t get to them. [Update: A vet friend reached out to me to let me know foxglove is cardio toxic for kitties. To reiterate, Manny nosed in during the photo shoot, but he was NOT allowed to chew on the plants. Please be always careful with your fur babies and what plants you allow them around.]

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Camelot lavender foxglove, rosemary and heuchera ‘Mocha’ (coral bells)

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Cathy on her blog Rambling in the Garden.  Give her a visit to see what she and other gardeners around the world have put in a vase today. But first, here’s what’s in my vase on Monday, April 9, 2018:

Camelot Lavender Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea): This is my first time planting foxglove. When the creamy white blooms first started coming in, I did not believe the color would be purple, as advertised. But as you can see in the lower blooms, the purple develops after the blooms open.

IMG_5289
Close-up of Camelot Lavender Foxglove

Rosemary: A long stem of rosemary is sturdy enough to stand upright alongside the foxglove. I have a couple of rosemary bushes. They are reliable providers of greenery all year long, and I love running my hand over them to release their smell.

Heuchera ‘Mocha’: Also known as coral bells, heuchera is primarily grown for its beautiful foliage. Its blooms are not much to talk about. However, both the foliage and the flower stems contribute to this arrangement. The broad, dark leaves provide an anchor that calls attention to the fully open foxglove blooms at the bottom. The  spindly burgundy flower stems, which match the height of the rosemary and foxglove, bring in complementary color and texture.

Repurposed glass Evian bottle (vase): I drink tap water most of the time, and I can’t remember the exact occasion when I drank Evian. But the bottle was definitely worth saving as a vase.

IMG_5291
Overhead view

I will close with one last picture of sweet Manny getting a good whiff (before he was removed for his own safety)!

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Manny loves to take in outdoor smells, but I whisked this vase away before he could start eating the flowers. Foxglove is toxic for cats, so always watch your fur babies around plants.

In a Vase on Monday: Pretty in Pink

(c) Terri Robertson, tssoutherngarden.com, April 2, 2018
Loropetalum (foliage), George Taber azaleas, tulip Menton and oxalis

The blooms in today’s post remind me of the prom dress Andie creates in the 1980s movie “Pretty in Pink.”

Is that movie a classic anywhere other than the United States? I don’t even like the final dress creation in the movie, but this bouquet has the same pink-on-pink-on-pink quality (in a good way, I hope).

Here are the components of this week’s “In a Vase on Monday”:

1. Tulip Menton

My last tulip of the season is a pretty one. When I started this post, all I knew was I wanted to make the most of this bright peachy-pink bloom.

2. George Taber azaleas

The azaleas, which were beginning to flower two weeks ago, are now in full bloom. The white azaleas are just as lovely and fluffy, but I decided to stick with a pink theme for this vase.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden

3. Oxalis

The tiny hot pink blooms tucked into the center of the arrangement are oxalis. Some people consider oxalis a weed, but I have come to like it growing here and there throughout the garden beds. The photo below shows oxalis flowers after they’ve closed for the evening.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden

4. Loropetalum

We planted loropetalum bushes along our chain-link fence for privacy last year. A friend suggested them as a fast-growing, drought-tolerant classic. In a couple of years, I think we’ll have good fence coverage. Its maroon foliage turned out to be a good complement to this week’s blooms.

5. Repurposed gin bottle (vase)

I love a good gin-and-tonic. The Botanist is one of my favorite gins, and the bottle makes a pretty vase.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. It’s helped me connect to other garden bloggers and makes blogging much more enjoyable. Be sure to visit her blog and the comments section to see what she and other gardeners around the world have put in a vase on Monday.

In a Vase on Monday: Wisteria and Irises

IMG_5180
White irises and wisteria in a vintage vase

The plants in this week’s vase came with the house. Both are lovely. One is welcome; the other, invasive.

1. Wisteria

Unfortunately, most of the wisteria growing wild around the Southeastern U.S. is the incredibly invasive Japanese or Chinese variety. There is an American variety that is native to the Southeastern wetlands, which is considered non-invasive though still very robust, but that’s not what you see here. I have cut back some of the wisteria on our property, but it’s going to be a long road to get rid of it for good. As I put this arrangement together, the blooms filled the house with a lovely scent, as if to say, “See, I’m not so bad.”

2. White Irises

In past years, one purple bearded iris (with no white irises) has bloomed in the very same spot in my yard, but this year I have a nice crop of all-white irises. From what I’ve read, this is most likely the result of different types of irises choking each other out. Learning how to care for irises is not high on my very long garden to-do list, but perhaps I will one day. In the meantime, I enjoy what I get.

3. Vintage Vase (unmarked)

The vintage yellow vase is a family piece inherited from my aunt. (Yes, everything in this arrangement is a hand-me-down in some form or fashion!) I did not remember the raised iris design on the vase when I decided to use it, so that is a lucky coincidence.

4. Foliage

The leaves come from tulips whose blooms have faded.

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for starting the IAVOM meme. It’s helped me connect to other garden bloggers and makes blogging much more enjoyable. Be sure to visit her blog and read the comments below her post to get a peek at what gardeners around the world have put in a vase on Monday.