susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Dozens of Dozens of Daffodils

For me, daffodils are the sure sign of spring.  They are not subtle, but come on strong and take over the gardens.  I love it!

Neither deer or rabbits are interested in eating these bulbs or flowers.
I keep dividing the bulbs as they multiply generously.

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This bouquet lives in a Goddess Vase I made.
Of porcelain clay, fired in my hybrid wood-fueled kiln.


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Alluring Artichokes

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After our share of thistle hearts (in case you didn’t already know, artichokes are in the thistle family), I let the last few buds go to flower.
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This was not the only bee allowed a last fling before I cut the flowers.
If you get a chance to feel them, fresh artichoke flower tops are very soft.
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Copy of DSCN3475A dried artichoke flower from last year is on the left and a fresh cut flower on the right.  Not only the color of the new flower base (it is green), but its shape reveal the difference in age of the two.  As water evaporates, the bud will shrink and lose weight quite a bit.

These flowers are standing in a Goddess Vase that I made.
I love to play/work in the mud – clay and flowers both live in dirt.

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One of the coolest things about artichokes, is that the mother plant that yielded delicious eating chokes and pretty flowers for drying, makes baby plants before it dies.
There are two artichoke plants coming from the ground, in the photo above.  On the left side is new growth with the mother plant’s leaves turning  yellow on the right side.


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Late Summer Flowers in Vases

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I wanted to share a late summer flower arrangement.  The goddess vase holds a late season foxglove, many asters, some spikey heather flowers and a few autumn joy sedum blossoms.  Sweet peas are in the mini-vase in front.

It is interesting to me that all of the flowers in this display are in the pink to purple hues.  Save some California poppies, that is what is blooming at this time.


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Fuchsia

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This is a small specimen of what should grow much fuller as a perennial fuchsia shrub.  It gets the early morning sun, and is protected from some weather extremes being located next to the house foundation.  This is not the first one of these plants to get a home with me.  But this particular one has survived at least a couple of winters, so I’m thinking it could last even longer.  That is a garden goddess in the picture.

I was surprised when I learned that people like to ‘pop’ the flowers to bloom sooner.  Who thinks of these things?


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Shasta Daisies

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Shasta Daisies ring half of the flower garden area around my house.  Because the deer do not bother these flowers.  Usually deer-resistant plants are fuzzy, aromatic or gray-leaved, and Shasta Daisies have none of these features, so I have not figured out why the deer avoid them.  Another benefit to growing these daisies is they are drought-resistant.  Not quite like a cactus, but definitely do not need pampering.

I am including a photo of an arrangement of Shasta Daisies with accents of sprigs of lavender.  As the daisy flowers are coming into full bloom, the lavenders are starting to fade.  Thus a natural bouquet is so much a matter of timing. 

The flowers are standing in a Goddess Vase that I made.  Do you see the female figure in the pottery vase?  They are modeled on archaeological figurines that have been found throughout Southern and Eastern Europe, around Iberia to Scotland, and dated 20,000 to 30,000 years ago.  The original sculptures were usually small, with no head, just a torso.  They are often full-figured.  It is speculated the pregnant female body was being honored, as that ensured the future of humans.  This was long before the advent of agriculture, which emerged around 10,000 years ago.

Hyacinths with Garden Goddess

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Hyacinths with Garden Goddess

I love taking photos of hyacinths, as I get to inhale their fabulous aroma. Okay, to some people it is sort of a strong scent, but not for me.

For a number of years, I sold hyacinths with hand-thrown vases for forcing blooms. These were sold before Christmas, with pre-cooled bulbs, that were immediately ready to be set up for forced blooming in January (or so). Of course, I had to try this out at home before I could sell any. And, of course, there were extra bulbs most years for me to force myself. And, of course, I would plant in my yard the spent bulb from forcing. Needless to say, I now have a good number of hyacinth blooming in my yard. Most are white, with some blues and purples, as these are the best colors for forcing.

Do you see the garden goddess behind the blooms? I make and sell Goddess Vases, and one year I decided to make Garden Goddesses. They have a good size hole in the bottom of the vase through which Japanese Iris can emerge and bloom. Perhaps I’ll get a photo of those later in the season.