It’s a special day in the gardening blogoverse – Cathy, who writes Rambling in the Garden from her home and garden in the West Midlands of England (which, if my Wiki map-reading skills are accurate, is in about the middle of that country…with Birmingham as its largest city), is celebrating the eighth anniversary of her weekly theme – In a Vase on Monday. Many congrats Cathy! I’ve learned loads about flowers new to me by reading both your posts plus those of other weekly contributors.
Every garden is different, of course, not least because of geography, and what grows well in England (or Florida, or California, or Bavaria…) may be totally unsuitable for my Canadian garden (although Bavarian gardens do grow many similar things!). I’ve learned, by trial and error but most often by reading and seeing the beautiful cut flower arrangements of others who participate, a tiny bit about flower arranging. None of that helped me, however, when I tried to put something together to answer the call of Cathy’s eighth anniversary challenge: a vase of dried…not necessarily flowers, but dried cuttings from the garden.
I’ve discovered that Eucalyptus, despite web pages saying how easy it is to dry, doesn’t actually look that great after hanging upside down in a dark closet for a number of weeks. The individual leaves get curly, the twig tips get curly; all in all the branches are just… ugh. It’s me, I know. I’ve done something wrong…
I’ve also discovered that the on-line instructions to dry straw-flowers are very accurate when they say ‘cut when they have just started to open…’ Most of my cut straw-flowers, after again hanging upside down in a dark closet, continued to open, often to the point of going to seed. In the dark. In a closet. While hanging upside down.
I did have success with Nigella (thank you Eliza) after cutting the flower stalks at the right time, and hanging them upside down on the back porch (in full light). These remain my favourite flower seed heads of all time.
Without further ado, here is my contribution to this week’s challenge. (But first let me just say how tricky it is to arrange dried flower stems in a vase – the stalks are stiff and knobby from leaf nodes – making them tricky to move around in the container. I need a lot more practice at this!)