From Our Fall Rose Garden


Yesterday (October 28, 2014), I had the pleasure of making two large, matching bouquets for a birthday event. The roses were just beginning to bloom in their last (fourth) cycle, and amazingly, a few hydrangeas had regrouped and were blooming fresh and blue. 





My 74" x 36" island counter is just the right length for working simultaneously on two bouquets. A good idea if you want them to match each other. I first added long stems of my favorite mint pelargonium (this will be gone after the first frost). Then came the hydrangeas making a nice poufy nest for long and lovely stems of mostly pink roses.








Hermosa, Pink Gruss an Aachen, Renae and Poulsen's Pearl are some of the roses included, two fabulous stems of Mrs. Oakley Fisher in bud, and long stems of Honor also made up the mix.




When the party was over, the roses were recycled for another designer, and I brought home the hydrangeas. Hmm– – – we'll see– – – there are many more rose stories out in the garden before winter comes. 



Pastel and White Naked Lady Bouquet


Off in a corner, under a large shrub rose I noticed miracle of miracles– my Amaryllis Belladonna, otherwise known as White Naked Lady, was in bloom!



Thoughts of using this aqua container with pastel roses had been on my mind when serendipity kicked in, "Why not pick that exquisite creature?" Yes, I picked my one and only amaryllis stalk and began the bouquet in a very windy garden, and then finished it on the kitchen counter.





My friend Mary and I admired a whole row of these amaryllis in Barbara Worl's garden, and then one day a heavy package came in the mail. Inside were two of the huge bulbs! One for me and one for Mary. It's been in my garden for three years and has not yet multiplied. However, I'm exceptionally happy that it blooms! It's so odd how fresh leaves appear and then die, and then suddenly months later the flower stalk appears. I think I missed it altogether last year. Thank you so much Barbara! I'm especially happy to show it off here. And it is extremely fragrant!



You can actually buy White Amaryllis Belladonna bulbs on Amazon.



The three pale yellow roses you see in the bouquet are Windrush. I've had this rose for a number of years without really apprecitating it. Now I'm in love. Poulsen's Pearl, Escapade, Perl d'Or, Paul Bocuse (the most long lasting cut rose I know, but I wish it was a bigger shrub), and Duchesse de Brabant also make an appearance.


One aspect of serendipity to bear in mind is that you have to be looking for something in order to find something else.

~Lawrence Block




Rose Rewards

It was the tail end of our roses' second bloom cycle and everything in the front garden beds needed cleaning up.


I went out to deadhead, prune, cut back, and pull out.



Snowbird looked so beautiful.



I thought why not fill a bucket with all the stems that don't need deadheading, and in the mix add other complementary plant material.



Photo ideas started coming. After I'd done lots of pruning and filled two buckets, one from the white bed and another from the pink, I went inside with my muses. For the shot below, I simply lifted what was in the porcelain bucket, shortened a few stems, and placed them intact in another container. 



Now for the pink roses, they were even more inspiring. This is the Tea rose, Maman Cochet.








The ceramic vessel with morning glories is by my artist husband, Leroy Parker.

The rewards of my garden never cease to amaze me! Out the door at 6:30 a.m. to deadhad and back in the house a couple hours later reaping the bounty for a blog post, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, and pure fun.

The delicate greenery in the pink arrangements is indigofera, which is invasive, but oh well. As a matter of fact, these cuttings are from seedlings that appeared after the mother plant had been removed for two years. I was happy to have them. There is another variety, with larger blooms, that is not invasive. It shows up better in the pictures with the white background.

By the way, the clustered, small white roses are Little White PetPoulsen's Pearl, Evelyn, and Climbing Pinkie also make an appearance.



I've said this many times and I'm happy to say it again. An empty French style flower bucket, filled with water, can be a wonderful inspiration as one stem after another is added while havesting. It can be a no-stress excercise in arranging possibilities as you relate one stem to the next in hopefully new and ever harmonious ways.



I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.

~Jonas Salk