The roadsides and fields around The Barns are filled with many wild flowers and grasses, lush with our abundant rains. When an emergency centerpiece was needed on Monday, I went out with my clippers. This chartreuse umbrel is wild parsnip (Pasticaca sativa) which looks like a flat headed Queen Anne’s Lace and blooms at the same time. In looking up the botanical name, I was surprised to see that the leaves are toxic. OY! I have been picking the flowers without gloves for years. You can see that they stand out way above the foliage so that’s perhaps how I’ve escaped any rash. Whew!
On the drive and next to the road but not a wild roadside plant is this striking shrub ‘Ninebark’ (Physocarpus opulifolius “Diabolo’ which I love for its dramatic colored foliage which stands out amidst all the farm greens.
Short stems of Physocarpus were placed close to the oasis to fill in and to link the rattan color to the design. A little late for this, I decided on adding the dock for more interest – as it should have been put in first.
Finally the long seed heads of dock were added to give the whole design additional height and enrich the color with the baskets. The second flat basket (which is an old kimono basket) adds more presence in relationship to the height.