Archive for the ‘Yard bouquets’ Category

I intended this post to be about creating a yard bouquet from the gorgeous peonies blooming in our garden. I clipped some peonies, arranged them in a vase, put them in the kitchen window and took their photo.

I knew I’d written a post last year about our peonies. So I just had a look at the post and am dismayed at myself. Though last year’s post was really about the process of planting our five peonies, I did clip a flower.

And then I brought it inside.

Put it in a vase.

Placed it in the kitchen window.

And took its photo.

Last year's peony. It's even in the same vase.

Though it’s disappointing that I essentially made the exact same bouquet last year, the thing that really threw me into the pit of predictability was that I took a look at the date on last year’s post: May 5, 2010. For those not paying attention to the calendar, that is exactly one year ago today.

So in an effort to spice up life a bit, here’s a photo of my yard bouquet of peonies in a brand new place — our small writing table.

Here’s another sorry tale, which also points to my poor memory and adds a hefty dose of my failure to lead an organized existence. Earlier this week I made a fantastic acorn squash soup with a pan-fried sage garnish. I used a little bit of this and a little bit of that and the result was a whole lot of yum. I took a bunch of photos of the soup and quickly wrote out the recipe, certain that I’d share it on this blog.

Then I lost the recipe. I have absolutely no idea where I put it. I tried blaming Mark, but he doesn’t even remember seeing it, let alone moving it or throwing it out. It’s just plain gone.

Such a nice soup. Too bad it, unlike, say, my peony bouquets, can never be replicated.


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I’m not sure it’s fair to call this a yard bouquet. For one thing, I’ve already made a yard bouquet of bearded irises. For another, I didn’t clip these flowers for myself. I gave them to our friends Jenni and Joe who were kind enough to have us over to celebrate Easter. It turns out that yard bouquets also make fabulous hostess gifts; who doesn’t appreciate fresh-cut flowers?

Have you clipped any spring flowers lately?

You can check out the other assortment of flowers cut from our garden by clicking on the “Yard Bouquets” link below.

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It’s getting to be my favorite time of year here in North Carolina. Winter is giving up its wrath and spring brings a new array of flowers just about every day. Forsythia lead the coming of spring in our area. When they (and the hellebores) bloom, I know winter can’t do much more harm. Though all my neighbors grow gorgeous forsythia bushes, ours is nothing more than some scraggly branches.  Several years ago I made the mistake of planting it in too much shade, but it manages to put forth a few flowers each spring nonetheless. This spring I thought I’d enjoy the branches more inside than out, so I cut a few.

And as a bonus bouquet, Charlie clipped us some daffodils and put them in my always-makes-me-smile glug glug jug.

If you want to see my 22 other free bouquets, click on the “Yard Bouquets” link below.

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It’s slim pickings for yard bouquets in the middle of winter. But I have to hand it to our Aucuba japonica, it has bright, attractive foliage all four seasons. This Aucuba japonica is one tough plant. It survives endless nibbles by deer and our long hot summers (it does prefer the shade though).

I even transplanted a little volunteer Aucuba japonica last March and I’m happy to report it’s growing strong in its new location.

So for this mid-winter yard bouquet, I just clipped some of the Aucuba’s leaves and brought them inside. I figured they’d provide a nice pop of color. I also put them in a lovely new vase my sister bought me (which is actually one of two new vases she gave me; you can check out the other one here).

And don’t the Aucuba clippings look nice against our new backsplash and countertop? Weeee!

Wanna see my other 21 free bouquets I clipped from my yard? Just click on the “Yard bouquets” link below.

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For Christmas, my sister gave me a gorgeous bud vase because she wanted me to have more options of vases to hold my yard bouquets. I inaugurated the vase with some nandina from the front yard. Nandina unwatched can be annoyingly invasive, but I do love it in the winter when it sprouts festive red berries amidst its delicate leaves.

You can check out my previous 20 free bouquets that I picked from our garden by clicking on the “Yard Bouquets” link below.

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Here in North Carolina, lantana is often sold as an annual but there is at least one variety, called Miss Huff, that survives our winters and comes back year after year. We have two of these ‘Miss Huff’ lantana outside our front door. Lantana is a great bloomer, starting in early summer and continuing, on and off, until frost.

I took lots of photos of our lantana in early August when I first intended to use its flowers as a yard bouquet.

I didn’t choose lantana as a yard bouquet this summer though because when I went out to clip some flowers, I found this:

And this:

In fact, there were about half a dozen butterflies on the lantana and they were very busy with the flowers. Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to cut some flowers when the butterflies were enjoying them so much. Instead, I just went back inside and thought I’d try to figure out what kind of butterfly was in our front yard. I did a little search to see if I could identify the butterflies. I think they’re Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (which you can read about here and see if you agree with my assessment).

The butterflies departed weeks and weeks ago, but the lantana continues to bloom so I figured it was about time to clip some of the flowers before a frost comes and they’re gone until next summer.

I’ve created a lot of yard bouquets this year, but this lantana is certainly one of my favorites. I think my fondness for it has something to do with Charlie’s love of the color orange. I have a new appreciation for the color and now I often look for ways to incorporate orange into the house. The different colors of the lantana play off perfectly with Charlie’s orange mug and the whole thing just seems happy.

You can check out my 19 other free bouquets of flowers I’ve clipped from my yard by clicking on the Yard Bouquets link below.

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A couple of years ago, our dear friend Fred gave us this chrysanthemum.

We don’t have a lot of fall blooming plants, so the pale salmon-colored flowers are a very welcome addition. And they make for a pretty little bouquet to bring inside. Here they are kindly deflecting attention away from my dusty desk.

I actually clipped these mums for the yard bouquet a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to identify their variety before I posted them. Then I never got around to figuring out how to identify them. Fortunately for my lazy and procrastinating ways, I regularly read Swarthmore College’s Scott Arboretum blog, and just last week they profiled Chrysanthemum x ‘Single Apricot Korean’ and the picture they posted looks an awful lot like my formerly unidentified mum (although their chrysanthemum appears much more impressive than mine). Thanks, Scott Arboretum!

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