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Freeze Warning

The view from my kitchen sink

Our first frosts are in the forecast.

As usual, the seasonal changes are inspiring me to create flower arrangements.

This time of year I seem to almost follow a formula when I head to the garden to collect materials.  I’ve documented my process below.

Recipe for an Autumn Flower Arrangement

  • Gather a variety of fall flowers. I scored asters, tea camellias, ‘Silver Dollar’ sasanqua camellias, a lingering sweet olive stem and some Chipola river daisies (Coreopsis integrifolia).  I allowed myself to pick one precious sweet lady’s tresses orchid (Spiranthes odorata).  I raided the prairie garden and snagged grass plumes from big bluestem, switch grass and purple top.
  • Add blossoms from plants that are blooming out of season. The dropping temperatures always stimulate unexpected plants to flower.  I gathered  blossoms from ‘Nastarana’ and ‘Archduke Charles’ roses and was delighted to find flowers on the Sekidera azalea.
  • Combine a pinch of fall fruit. Yesterday the garden yielded stems of rose hips and a fragrant stalk of sweet Annie.
  • Mix well with colorful fall foliage. The scarlet tinted huckleberries (Vaccinium elliottii) filled the bill.
  • Assemble in a vase and fill in with healthy evergreen twigs. I gathered one of my favorites Florida leucothoe (Agarista populifolia).
  • Add water and enjoy.

The results reminded me why I love to do floral design.  The vases hold a distillation of a moment in garden time.  My favorites look like a portion of an overgrown flower border where the wild plants mingle with the garden exotics.

I particularly enjoy the arrangements that I place over the kitchen sink.   I have plenty of time to carefully study them while I wash the dishes!


 


 

 

The Most Fun I Had All Day

Boona likes to help me collect flowers.

I am in the middle of a house renovation.  It’s exciting but exhausting.

My mind is always going lickety split from one idea or task to the next.  What color should I paint the bedroom?  How much money have we spent?  Did I pick the perfect faucet?

This evening, however, time was suspended.  I wandered around my six acres and just looked and gathered flowers.  I compiled them into a bucket along with stems of foliage and fruit.

I collected native grasses, sunflowers, black eyed Susans, ironweed, beautyberry, mountain mint, devil’s walking stick and Joe Pye weed.

I will assemble these into a wildflower arrangement for our Mississippi Native Plant Society Meeting tomorrow at USM in Hattiesburg.

Stop by and check it out if you’re in the area.


 

High Mileage Flora

I made this wildflower arrangement for the Mississippi Native Plant Society annual meeting.

The Mississippi Native Plant Society Annual Meeting was yesterday in Jackson.

As President, I coordinated the meeting.

Friday I wandered all around my garden collecting material to make a wildflower arrangement for the refreshment table.

The result is pictured here.  I counted 17 species in that vase.  Due to the season, I used a lot of foliage and fruit instead of just flowers.

Native grasses (big bluestem, switch grass, eastern gamma grass and wood oats) are prominently featured.

Other plants included in the arrangement are – southern magnolia, hearts a busting, hairy sunflower(Helianthus tomentosus), ladies tresses orchid, black eyed susan (Rudbeckia tomentosa), tickseed (Coreopsis integrifolia), goldenrod, mistflower, beardtongue, 2 species of asters, beautyberry and black snakeroot.

I was pleased that in spite of the drought, I was able to collect so many beautiful stems.

Early Saturday morning, I put the arrangement into a bucket (for stability) and loaded it into my car to make the 100 mile trek to Jackson.

If you’ve visited this blog before, you know that I regularly show pictures of the flower arrangements that I make for my bathroom.

This is definitely not your average bathroom flower arrangement.  It’s a behemoth!

Today I am displaying the arrangement on my bar.  There’s room for the behemoth there.  It looks pretty good considering that it has logged in about 200 miles.  That’s some high mileage flora!


 

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