Life's Experiences and Previous Posts

I am sorry I didn't post anything on my blog this week.  It was one of those funny kind of weeks that we experience once in a while in life.  It was a bit of a see-saw.  On one side was the birthday of my husband and the celebration of Father's Day, which were loads of fun!  Sandwiched in between those two happy events was the funeral of a special woman from my childhood, my childhood piano teacher.  She was also the mom of the Maid of Honor at my wedding.  Come to think of it, this special lady played the piano at my wedding ceremony also.  She was one of those people who made sure she stayed in touch even when I moved away from home.  So, needless to say, not only was it a busy week for me but, an emotionally draining one, as well.

Therefore, I hope you don't mind but I am going to share some photos from a few previous posts.  I have only been blogging for a little over a year and some of my earlier posts were quite skimpy and not very many people viewed them so, why not share them again, right?  I hope you will bear with me and please enjoy.

Here are some of my window box designs from years past...

These photos were from my Art-in-Bloom night last year.

 I really want to host another one of these events.  It was so much fun!
My Country French Design
 Bouquet Design
 These were some gifts I was bringing to a garden club meeting.
 This was a basket of favors I made for a special bridal shower.
Finally a basket full of flowers!  I thought they looked quite lovely :)

I promise I will be working on new things in the upcoming days.  No celebrations on the horizon this week and I certainly hope that there won't be sad news arriving anytime soon either.

Happy Father's Day and First Day of Summer!

Veggie Flower Arrangement

I have been wanting to create a floral arrangement incorporating vegetables for a while now.  So, with the good weather and the wonderful availability of fresh vegetables, I decided to go for it.  I was further encouraged  to experiment this week because Market Basket was having a great sale on roses.  The price was $5.99 for a dozen.  Can't go wrong with that incentive!!

I'm showing you the final product because the "how-to photos" are not very pretty :)
I started by soaking a brick of oasis and placing it in a mixing bowl.  Next, I placed the bowl in my red colander.  The holes of the colander necessitated the use of the bowl.  (As if I had to say that!)

Here are my "ingredients"; a dozen red roses, 5 white snapdragons, a bag of black grapes, a bunch of radishes, parsley, carrots and Swiss chard.

I balanced two bunches of grapes on either side of the colander by tying them together with some plastic coated multi-purpose wire (purchased at the Christmas Tree Shop).  Isn't this a cool idea?  I discovered it in an old floral arranging book I borrowed from the library.   
Next, I draped the carrots over the top of the colander.  I tied the wire that held the carrots together to the wire of the grapes to make the carrots stay in place.
Then, I added a small bunch of parsley to hide more of the oasis.

Next came the Swiss chard.  I tucked the stalks of the chard under the wire of the grapes.  This exposed the red color of the stalks towards the front and left of the arrangement. The leaves of the Swiss chard filled in the back of the arrangement, adding more coverage to the oasis and a base for where the roses were going to go.
I placed a batch of radishes on top of the parsley and it was starting to come together.  From this point on I was engrossed in the floral arranging and forgot to take photos!!  It's an "in the moment" kind of thing!  Maybe it's OK to leave a little mystery to the whole process :)
However, you can see I gathered all the white snapdragons together on the left side of the arrangement...

and the red roses on the right side.  I ended up only needing 11 of the 12.  One was left to use separately in a little vase next to my kitchen sink.  A nice little bonus.

 I love these colors together!  I think the "black" grapes really pulled everything together.
 The red of the roses was just right for where I wanted to use the arrangement.  I was glad I had decided on red.  Market Basket had had cream roses with pink-tinged edges that were gorgeous but, they wouldn't have looked as nice with the vegetables I chose for this design.

 I added this picture because it showed the carrots.  For some reason, they didn't appear very often in the photos even though I think they add much to my design.

So, there you have it~~ my veggie flower arrangement.  This design works really well with summer approaching.  Much of our time is spent outside and everything is so organic.  This centerpiece just fits!!

As you can see, the colors of the vegetables and flowers coordinate perfectly with my outside patio deck.  (Of course, I planned it that way!)

I have to tell you--I loved working with veggies and flowers.  Fresh vegetables have such vibrant colors and as a designer, I found the textures of the flowers and veggies really fun to play with.

Maybe for your next BBQ or wine party you can give this a try!

Linking up with:

My Giverny

I shared this post last year, with a few additions, but I was just beginning my blogging experience and now realize I should have included more than three photos.  So, if you don't mind, I am going to share part of this post again with some additions and subtractions.
~This next paragraph was part of the narrative I included last year:

"This is my rendition of Monet's Giverny Garden.  When we moved into our current house over twenty years ago, these Siberian Irises were already planted in the island garden of our driveway.  I have had a love-hate relationship with them ever since.  When they are blooming, they are beautiful. I love the purple and the green.  It truly reminds me of a Monet painting.  However, after the blooming is done, they look pretty straggly and the nature of this plant is to multiply all over the place." 

The reason I decided to share a new edition of this post is because I look out my kitchen window every morning and see this lovely, lovely garden and I just had to share it again.

It seemed appropriate to share some info about Siberian Iris this year since I failed to do so last year.  They are relatively low maintenance plants.  However,

 I have found that they can be a bit invasive and may need thinning  out and moving to other parts of the garden, which, I have to admit... 
 can be a pain in the neck.  But, to that I say,

"Just look at them!"  They really do look like a Monet painting!  You can't beat that even if they do need some trimming up once in a while.

Anyway, Siberian Iris grows in full sun to part shade.  (I have yet to find a place in which they won't grow.)

The rhizomes (the root part of the plant) should be planted about 1" deep and they prefer humus-rich, acid and very moist soil.  Supposedly, Siberian Iris hardly ever need to be divided but, as I have said, this has not been my experience. Mine could be divided every few years, if I had the energy.  I am not sure if your experience would be the same.  I guess it all depends on your garden conditions.

Here is the iris planted with peonies and another yellow perennial that grows all over my yard also.  (I can't remember its name :/)  The color combinations usually look very nice.

So, as I have said, my relationship with Siberian Iris has been one of love-hate because, most likely, in a week all the flowers will be gone and only greenery will be left.  The greenery will flop over and start to brown creating a need for some quick thinking as to what to do to make the garden look nice again.  I have tried planting tall annuals within the stalks of the Siberian Iris and have had some success with that but not enough to make me happy.  This year I'm thinking of mixing in some hanging baskets on hooks to add some needed color in the garden later in the summer.  We'll see how that goes but, for now, I am going to enjoy my Giverny garden and not think of the future quite yet!

I hope you have enjoyed my Giverny garden also!

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