Monday, May 16, 2016

In a Vase on Monday, the power of Peonies

Yesterday was Garden Bloggers Bloomday, I didn't post (busy weekend, extra busy Sunday) but thought I'd make up for it today. Instead I've got some amazing Peonies that simply I have to share, after all it's time for In a Vase on Monday. So...my Bloomday coverage is put off another day, post to follow tomorrow. In the mean time...

Peony Power! My friend, cohort and "neighbor" (less than a mile away, that counts...right?) Patricia put out the 911, she was leaving town and her Peonies were in overdrive. Anyone want to come collect a bouquet? You don't have to ask me twice...

I've only got one (inherited) Peony in my garden and this year it's only got one bloom, I think it's being shaded out by the plants growing all around.

So I was very happy to take a few voluptuous blossoms home and put them in a vase...

I ended up with three separate arrangements, all with foliage from my Cotinus ‘Royal Purple' to compliment the flowers.

And in case you were wondering, no ants. Not a single one.

The small pink bouquet on the dining table leads to the overblown pair on the mantle.

This is my favorite. Look at those flowers!

It was pure coincidence there were other pops of yellow already on the mantle, like these Craspedia globosa (Billy Buttons) which I've had forever.

Joining the fried egg (NOID) Peonies are both foliage and flower from the Cotinus ‘Royal Purple', here's the flower...

And a few stems of Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' – I wanted another floral element but not one that over powered.

After all, these should be the star.

Oh and there are also a few stems of a Clematis montana.

The third vase was as close to a black and white theme as I've done.

White Peonies with the dark Cotinus foliage.

I think they're all rather dreamy.

And I have to admit I've spent quite a bit of time just staring at them.

You may have noticed it's not just vases and flowers on the mantle...

Some of my husbands recent artwork is also displayed. These figures are based on old filament bulbs, via a display at the Huntington (believe it or not the Huntington is not just about the plants).

This is a commissioned piece, part Bible story and part bear in our backyard.

This is not a "feel good" piece, blood has been shed.

This is one of my favorite sculptures of his, from a show years ago, before we moved to Portland.

But back to the flowers...I picked up this tiny used book at Powell's a few weeks ago. Published in 1966 the book itself has seen better days, but I found it charming – and a little odd.

A bit grandiose, but stylish. Based on what? Who knows, but it seems to take itself very seriously.

Behold the Peony. Shame shame...

So in case you're happening by for the first time...In a Vase on Monday is a Garden Blogger's meme. We're encouraged to take cuttings from our gardens (or, as in this case ones from our own gardens and those of a friend) and put them into a vase. Take photos put together a blog post and share a link on the blog Rambling in the Garden, where Cathy started it all. Then, if you're so inspired, you can click through to see what other gardeners have created, it really is great fun. Finally...thank you Patricia for the Peonies, they've been such a treat!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

40 comments:

  1. Those look great. I am about to get my first peonies for the front but have been waiting a bit so that I can select one that will go with the other plants and has good foliage as well as a good flower.

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    1. Glad to hear you're taking the plunge, there are so many beautiful choices.

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  2. A feast of a post. Love the quirky sculptures.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sandra!

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  3. Loree how lovely to see peonies and no ants. The use of the Cotinus in each vase is a perfect contrast and looks great against the greens of the vases. Your husband is quite an artist too. I adore the stories behind flowers so this book is a wonderful find and one I would love. I'll have to see if I can find a used copy.

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    1. When I first looked online for the book I was astonished at the prices, but eventually found a cheap (one cent!) copy: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-flowers-remembrancer-persons-sensibility/dp/0828900477/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463498929&sr=8-2&keywords=secrets+of+flowers+A.S.+Kull

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  4. Peonies are so great in a vase -- so substantial! Many of them have good fragrance too -- do yours?

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    1. The ones in the house, from Patricia, are very lightly scented. As in you have to stick your nose in there to get it. The one in my garden, with the single flower, is VERY strong. In the past when I've brought them in the whole house has been scented.

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  5. Peonies, such showy and huge blooms. Gives more punch than roses usually!

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    1. And the foliage is nicer too!

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  6. My envy knows no bounds - you have peonies! It was good of Patricia to allow you loose in her garden with secateurs. You made good use of them. Much as I love yellow, the vase of white peonies is my favorite - the dark foliage of the Cotinus cuts the sugary froth of the flowers in just the right way. Andrew's creations make an arresting counterpoint. And that book is a great find, bizarre as it is. I've always wondered at the odd connections the Victorians applied to flowers - one day I may attempt a modern revision.

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    1. Isn't envy a funny thing? You covet the Peonies and I covet your ability to grow Proteas.

      What is this book idea you hint at??? Are you serious? That would be wonderful Kris...do it!

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  7. Oh that is foraging-and-a-half!! Those are stupendous peonies displayed beautifully and shown in great photos - you have excelled yourself, and shown us your husband's talents too. And nice to know that you won't be going mad, at least not this week... ;)

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    1. Yes, no promises for next week! Thanks for the kind words Cathy.

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  8. Be still my heart! Peonies are my favorite. Curse you, stupid not-good-for-peonies Zone 9!! Just kidding. I'd probably kill them and then feel terrible anyway. I am enjoying yours vicariously.

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    1. Patricia's kindness is stretching far and wide!

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  9. Always nice to get a peek into Andrew's world, and what riches of peonies -- I avert my eyes when they're for sale as cut flowers since they're so pricey. So funny about those old-fashioned, moralizing books -- I seem to make myself feel guilty just fine even without reading them!

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    1. I'm trying to think of when the last time I saw them as cut flowers, surely they must be all over the stores here and I just miss them in favor of the more exotic?

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  10. Oh, what a wonderful meme -- I'll have to check that one out! And, for me, peonies would be a certain cure for insanity, whether worn or in a vase. You lucky girl to have a friend like this, and what great displays you've created! P.S. I love your husband's art pieces.

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    1. You really should check it out Helen, it's great fun. Of course the Peony riches had me thinking back to last June in your fine city...

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  11. Luscious as only Peonies can be. Love the Cotinus foliage with them. It's possible the white with yellow interior is Krinkled White.

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    1. Oh yes...that looks like a match, definitely! Thank you Linda I will pass that along.

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  12. Beautiful arrangements, those Peonies are gorgeous, I've give up trying to use Cotinus foliage in arrangements, the cut stems and foliage never seem to orient themselves the way I'd prefer. The whole table auto is very nice.

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    1. Yes the Cotinus definitely has a mind of its own. In this case it didn't help that I snipped lower (too long) branches that had been laying on the ground.

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  13. I'm assuming, since you said nothing about your sight, that there were no woodpeckers in Patricia's yard to peck your eyes out for cutting peonies. Your arrangements are lovely and it's always a treat to see Andrew's work! Great score on the book! Oh, to have enough space to grow rows of peonies in a cutting garden...

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    1. Not a single woodpecker! What's up with that?

      My new dream is to take over part of the neighbors back yard (because we buy the house and rent it out) and have a proper cutting garden (and greenhouse, and compost, and plant maintenance facility - aka pot ghetto) there. Ha! If dreams were horses...

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    2. So I'm not the only one dreaming of buying the house next door and expanding my garden? Of course my dream doesn't include renting, but razing...I accidentally ran across my lot dimensions today: 50 x 112.

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  14. Oh, shame on you, peonies. No wonder I love them so much! My early peonies are done and later ones are just opening. Hooray. You've really outdone yourself with these arrangements. stunning. Andrews art? Fabulous and whimsical. I love the bears, but I guess as a bald man, I've always been partial to the justice in the story....
    ;)
    Go up, thou bald head!

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    1. When I first read this comment last night I was thrilled, someone got what Andrew's piece was about! Rarely does that happen. He enjoyed it too...and you're now held in high(er) esteem.

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    2. The two of you are quite a talented pair: it's quite unfair, actually!
      cheers

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  15. Peonies are unknown to me as a Texas gardener, but they are beautiful indeed in your arrangements. I'm loving your changing mantle displays, especially with your husband's art mixed in.

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    1. But not entirely unknown after last year's Fling right? (when we all overdosed on them). I was thrilled he started adding things, and of course delighted they coordinated so well.

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  16. That third base is beautiful! Like others,I'll never get a peony go grow, so I'll enjoy them in your vases!

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    1. They certainly take up less space that way!

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  17. I love Peonies. My mother's neighbor (in Houston, Texas) has some and they look amazing about once a year but when they do it's worth it. Not the ideal climate for them, but again, when they are doing their thing they are wonderful!! Beautiful arrangements- love the displays!!

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    1. At least Peony foliage is attractive, so they aren't a complete waste when not in bloom.

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  18. PS If you enjoy artwork, Nancy Depew paints some of the most stunning, large-scale peony paintings I've ever seen:
    http://www.depewstudio.com/still%20life/stilllife_th.html
    I'd love to have one, but I guess I'll settle for real peonies for now. Cheers

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    1. Oh thank you! I'm off to have a look...

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  19. You did those Peonies proud. They look fantastic in your arrangement. I'm so happy you got some. Still a lot out there--we're just home late last night. So the call is still out if anyone wants to get a few before the weather gods take them away. Absolutely gorgeous. And with Andrew's intricate fascinating art, grooviness personified.

    p.s. I left some a few peonies a vase before we left. Two miracles. They still look fantastic a week later, AND Mister Kitty did not knock them over!

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  20. Great gift from Tricia...to all of us...through you. Thanks to you both.

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