Peachy keen

Bouquet from KamillaThe gorgeous peach flowers of this bouquet at Kamilla’s Florist, Millerton NY caught my eye last spring. Fast forward to a pave design of peach roses and overlapped dusty miller leaves by a British florist, a quest to design in this scheme was born.

Susan DetjensInterestingly, in “Friendship and Flowers” (see Archives, June 2014) a simple design featured this lovely color scheme. Lady S’s exquisite tree peonies were slipped into a constructed container (how-to, see “Barking up the … vase” Archives, Jan 2014).

Luscious peach garden rosesTo expand the idea in other designs, these luscious peach garden roses fit the flower scheme but sadly not the flower bill as they were fairly expensive.

Susan Detjens“Less is More” shines in the peach rose in one of the balloon vases learned in Charleston last November (“Charleston Works It” Nov 2013 and for how-to “Plastered” Feb 2014, Archives).

Susan DetjensA silver metallic tray ( contains a line design of peach dahlias, gray eucalyptus and dusty miller, set in a bed of pearly gray stone.

Susan DetjensThis handsome gray ceramic container from Japan is a favorite. It has personality without overwhelming. Peach roses and dusty miller create a kind of random line/mass design. Dusty miller once was known botanically as Senecio cineraria but is now Jacobea maritima. I don’t know how the hard working horticuture judges keep up with all the name changes!

Susan DetjensThis faux-birch container was found at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Worcester MA several years ago. The Tower Hill shop often has charming containers for sale. A more cut-leaf, shorter stem version of dusty miller is one of three kinds of plant material in this modern mass design. Between it and the roses are peach Alstromeria.

Susan DetjensA strikingly useful ceramic container made to look like stone is perfect for this horizontal layered design. Peach roses are the focal point of an assemblage of fresh and dried silver foliage, berries and leaves: Brunia (berries), Eucalyptus, Mitsumata branches (painted silver) dusty miller, dried Calathea leaves (also painted.

Susan DetjensThis pair of attractively textured containers have been waiting for almost 3 years to be used in a design. Only about 3” in diameter, they lend themselves to a synergistic type of connected design – sometimes called a Bridge Design for obvious reasons. Silver aluminum wires ( connect two similar designs of peach roses and Alstromeria. I think this peach and gray scheme makes elegant early autumn designs — not yet screaming pumpkin!  What schemes are you dreaming of?



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“Garden to Palette”

Symphony of red flowers“Garden to Palette” was the theme of the Garden Club of Dublin’s flower show last week. The theme was inspired by The Dublin Art Colony, founded in 1888 by Abbott Thayer to share appreciation of the inspirational quality of Mt Monadnock.

Dublin School, Dublin NHThe Dublin School, founded in 1935, was the setting of the flower show. Divisions were spread among the attractive school buildings.

 Best in Show HorticultureBest in Show in Horticulture went to this mouth-watering collection of vegetables from the Noanett Garden Club. Yum.

Dahlias on ShowFlowers were grown and shown too. Here is a luscious display of late season dahlias. These New Hampshire growers must have been constantly looking at the weather, worrying about an early frost before the show.

The Grenvile Clark House by Richard MerymanBest In Show and Munger AwardRichard Meryman’s painting, “ The Grenvile Clark House”, was the inspiration for “Structure“.  Best in Show and the GCA Dorothy Vietor Munger Award went to The Editor and her partner for this showstopping design in vibrant reds. The detailed photo opening this post shows the tones of Gerbera, Rosa, Amaranthus, Hypericum, Leucadendron and, hanging by a thread, ivy and bladder plants. Structure was achieved by tall vases filled with colored water.

Red, white and blueSecond place went to this striking mass arrangement in reds, blues and white. Placed in three containers, this design echoed the colors of the painting. The whole class received a Judges’ Commendation for the varied responses to the painting “from traditional to contemporary”.

Novice Class First placeJoseph Linden Smith’s “Two Egyptians” is just visible in this photograph of the first place design in the Novice class called “Form”. This handsome vertical arrangement features a wonderful variety of textures from calla lilies, orchids, eucalyptus and kiwi vines.

Dreamscape #1-4 PollockDreamscape”, a series of four small encaustic paintings by Jesse Pollock, was a charming class which required designs not larger than 8” to complement the small size of the art.

First place & Novice AwardThe winner of the class (and the GCA Sandra Baylor Novice Award) used a shallow square box, tilted towards the backboard, with a wonderfully shaded and textural design that beautifully captured the essence of these misty paintings. Her “Dreamscape” was #2, upper right.

Second place milkweed pod mistsEmerging milkweed pods hover over and around this design of great variety of plant material, all in excellent scale, earning this exhibitor second in the class.

Wild Man and the MountainThe most seriously challenging art for designers was “Wild Man and the Mountain” by Janet Bleicken, offered in Class 6 “Dimension” open only to ZI Judges. This layered acrylic painting at 60” wide was the largest art in the show.

First with RulerThe blue ribbon winner cleverly used the graphics and agitated line of the folding ruler to echo the energetic strokes of the painting. It didn’t hurt that it was also a play on the class title.

 Second Judges classA traditional mass arrangement in the same color harmony as the painting was achieved by the use of foxtail grass, lisianthus, dahlias, hydrangeas, Cimicifuga, Nigella, and luscious chocolate cosmos.

Mt MonadnockAnother Meryman painting, echoing Abbott Thayer, “Mt. Monadnock” was the centerpiece of the class called “Light”.

First place "Light"Second place "Light"First and second place winners captured the intense white of the snowy landscape.

 Dublin School ChapelThank you to the GC of Dublin, to the indefatigable flower show chairmen, and to GCA Zone I for this pleasure and privilege. Congratulations on a delightful flower show. It was great fun!!



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Birds of a Feather

Birds of a FeatherA gift of these charming papier-mache birds inspired a desire to create a centerpiece with them for a summer dinner.  Some came from the MFA in Boston and some from Paper Trail in Rhinebeck NY.

 BW red houseThese birds were on my mind when I visited Bunny Williams’ garden in Falls Village CT. In a wooded field, she has created a delightful village of birdhouses, ranged around a large circular walking path. All the “village” houses were on wooden posts, high off the ground.

Birdhouse with porchesPorches for the birdsI wonder how the birds feel about these intriguing houses? They seem to be miniature or model houses first, and bird houses second. Here the entry is in the front façade windows, top.

Purple Martin CondoThis stylish condo looks like it might be a home for purple martins, who are the largest members of the swallow family. Sadly for this modern abode, purple martins prefer their housing rather isolated from buildings and tall trees.

Columns and julepsDo goldfinches like Greek Revival Houses? Can you imagine a little golden family on the front porch, twittering away?

Carpenter Gothic BirdhouseA Carpenter Gothic cottage is for rent with its own giant weathervane, so each bird knows which way the wind is blowing.

Birdhouse Village BandstandWhat’s a village without a bandstand?

Outer Banks birdhouse villageIn North Carolina’s Outer Banks, The Bride spotted this in the marches on what might be a disused telephone pole. It’s a village of churches with Quanset hut housing between them!

Book of Gardening Bird HouseOrigins of Gardening birdhouseHands Down – my favorite birdhouse is the one I was so generously given when I finished my term as MGC president…. “The Origins of Gardening”.

 Audubon facadeTrowel for a Landing placeThis charming masterpieces is like the living room that no one uses – just for enjoyment and admiration – no “For Rent” on this one, just sitting on a table on the porch in summer is as outside as it travels. It was beautifully created from a birdhouse, a book, beautiful color pages and a small trowel as the landing place by Wild Wings: “Literary Lodgings” in White Oak PA. Thanks again, MGC!


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