Earlier this week, while helping my husband clean out his parents' home in preparation for its eventual sale, I came across a vase I gave my mother-in-law almost 20 years ago when she and my father-in-law moved into that house. They set up housekeeping from scratch following the loss of their former home, and most of their possessions, in a fire that swept through Malibu. The vase isn't at all unique or valuable but I decided to keep it as a relic of another difficult time.
As the vase is blue with touches of dark red, it thought it would be perfect for an Independence Day bouquet. The vase is tall so it needed relatively long-stemmed flowers, which restricted the choices of suitable flowers from my garden. As I still have scads of blue Agapanthus and white Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum), those were obvious selections for my red, white and blue arrangement. However, as I have no true red flowers in my garden, selecting the third element was more difficult. I ended up including Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' and cuttings of Bougainvillea and Cercis occidentalis.
Although there's just one stem of the Rudbeckia in the arrangement, I think it's the star of the composition, but then I'm in love with this flower, which has bloomed on and off for almost a year now in my front border.
The dark pink bracts of the Bougainvillea and the magenta seedpods of the Cercis pick up the strong color of the Rudbeckia, as well as the small burgundy touches in the vase. The Bougainvillea and Cercis show up more clearly in the rear view of the composition as shown below.
This bouquet is my contribution this week to the Garden Appreciation Society sponsored by Erin at The Impatient Gardener. However, as I have friends coming for dessert and drinks on the Fourth of July, I prepared 2 other smaller bouquets this week to decorate the house. The one below has been tucked into a shelf sitting below the mirror in our guest bathroom.
There are 3 stems of Shasta daisies, statice (Limonium perezii) and a sprig of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in the arrangement. The reflection of the flowers in the mirror makes it look larger than it really is.
I also put a medium sized vase on the table facing the front door. The arrangement in this one isn't red, white and blue but the stems of the Leucadendron made me think of fireworks. The red-toned foliage is complemented by 2 stems of Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Sun' and a few stems of Coreopsis grandiflora.
Enjoy the holiday, however you may be celebrating it. To see other gardeners' floral offerings, please visit Erin's site.