Monday, January 27, 2014

Bits & Pieces Bouquet

Do you ever spend the day working in the garden only to find yourself at the day's end wondering what you accomplished?  Sunday was one of those days for me.  I cut back the dead undergrowth below a portion of the Ceanothus hedge, planted a few annuals, spread fertilizer and animal repellent, and generally tidied things up.  As the sun began to go down, I didn't feel as though I had a whole lot to show for my day's work.  So, before heading into the house, I cut flowers to make up a small bouquet, just to have something tangible to reflect the effort I'd expended.  I started with stems of a lemon yellow snapdragon which were starting to fade, then rummaged about for something to complement them.  Here's what I came up with:





It's composed of:

  • Antirrhinum majus, rocket variety
  • Cerinthe retorta
  • Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum'
  • Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' (better known as 'Little Grapes')

There's a very small touch of the lemon color in the flower of the Cerinthe that picks up the color of the snapdragon, which is also echoed in the cream-colored variegation of the Erysimum.  The flowers of the Gomphrena circle above like tiny satellites, emphasizing the purple edge of the Cerinthe's flowers.

I still haven't made up my mind as to whether or not I really like the Cerinthe retorta.  The foliage is interesting but the flowers don't impress me as much as those of Cerinthe major.






However, I love the Gomphrena, which has been blooming non-stop since I planted it in June.




Best wishes for a productive week in your garden!

14 comments:

  1. I tried Cerinthe retorta in my garden a couple of years ago, and I agree, I like C. major better. I have plenty of days where I feel like I've spent the time spinning my wheels. Right now though, I'm lucky if I can bear to be out there in the fog and cold for more than a couple of hours. I basically wait all morning for a bit of warmth, and then rush out to get something, anything, done, before my hands start to ache and I come back in. You're so lucky to actually have flowers to cut and bring in. They're beautiful.

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    1. If I were faced with your cold temperatures, Alison, I'd be spending most of my time inside too!

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  2. I love gophera! It is easy to grow and long-lasting in bouquets. I am not familiar with Cerinthe retorta. It seems they must be appreciated up close. However, they are quite unusual. I like them!

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    1. Even the foliage of the Cerinthe retorta is unusual, Deb. It's speckled with whitish dots and the larger leaves have a purplish spot at the tips.

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  3. We haven't tried Cerinthe before but have been thinking of growing some this year. Seeing your photos have reminded us why we ought to really!

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    1. It's certainly very different from anything else I've ever grown!

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  4. I always love your arrangements and am so inspired...though I wish we could have more flowering shrubs down here in South Florida, it seems it is way too hot for most types. I guess I will have to continue keeping our local florist's in business with more trips to their shops, lol.

    Best wishes,
    Sheri
    www.pompanobeachgardening.blogspot.com

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    1. When flowers are in short supply in my garden, Sheri, I've been known to buy a few and fill in with my own foliage.

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  5. A lovely flower arrangement, it brings a bit of summer into a gloomy day. Thank you. The gomphrena is lovely, I've never grown it but I will try it now.

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    1. All varieties of Gomphrena seem to be quite vigorous, Chloris.

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  6. Where can I buy the Gomphrena up here in Oregon? I wonder if Annie's Annuals grows it. I'm seriously in love. ... Your arrangement is beautiful.

    Sometimes when we don't feel like we're doing much in the garden, we're doing more for our state of mind by just being out there enjoying nature.

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    1. I saw the purple Gomphrena at only 1 of our local nurseries in SoCal last year, Grace, but Shirley at Rock-Oak-Deer commented earlier that it's been sold in Texas (as 'Little Grapes') so maybe it's slowly moving northward. Annie's DOES sell 2 varieties, including 1 G. decumbens - it's pink, not purple, but as I recall you like pink so perhaps that's a good source for you. Avant Gardens in MA sells the purple variety by mail order.

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  7. What a beautiful bouquet! How fun to still have enough blooms to have a bouquet! There are many days I come in and feel like I haven't accomplished much. Usually it's when I do a lot of little things all over the garden. I have finally decided to try working on only one area at a time so I can see more of my progress. It seems to help me mentally to see what I have accomplished outside at the end of the day.

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    1. Yes, I think you're right about that - focusing on one area at a time definitely leaves one with more of a sense of accomplishment. I keep saying I'm going to focus on redesigning one area at a time too but I no sooner make that promise to myself than I break it by running with some new idea that strikes my fancy...

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