A half century birthday calls for a serious bouquet – and notice the handle wrapped in a hosta leaf.  Except for the peonies which were chilling in the fridge, here’s what’s I picked for the birthday bouquet – yellow foxglove, foxtail lily, bellflowers, yarrow, heliopsis, and hosta.    My talented sister Deb arranged them; she first arranged them in a plastic florist bucket which we then set  inside the metal bucket.

Happy 50th Shelly!

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It’s a mystery.   For years I’ve tried to grow this clustered bell flower for cutting, and regardless of where I moved it or what care I showered upon it, as far as a cut flower – it was a failure for me.  Then a few summers ago as I was strolling through a friends garden, I halted in amazement as I stood before an enormous bunch of purple clustered bell flowers.  The funny thing was, she didn’t even know what they were, just ‘some plant’ she got as a gift from her kids.  I begged a few starts from her, and this summer they are just as stunning in my own cut flower gardens.  A few years ago I wouldn’t have recommended this plant, but as the photos show, you can grow some stunning clustered bell flower for cutting – some as large as the palm of your hand!

Growing information:

Hardiness – zone 3 – 8

Height – 20 inches

Bloom time – early summer

Light requirements – Full sun to part sun

July 16th, 2010

Flower prep the day before the wedding – sister Deb made six hand held  bouquets,  40 or so tabletop mason jar arrangements, two pulpit arrangements and the flower girls basket – all with flowers from my garden except for a few dozen roses that we ordered.  We used hundreds of peonies that had been sleeping in my fridge since May and June!

Florist designer - sister Deb

sorting peonies for the wedding

Scott and Becca’s wedding – July 17th, 201o

Storm watching before the wedding

Scott and Becca's rainbow

Funnel cloud over the church after the wedding

Becca's bridal bouqet

Handheld bouqets all in a row

mason jar arrangement

Made with love

Family pictures to follow soon!

Mid summer bouquet

July 8, 2010

Mid summer brings a burst a colorful perennials and annuals:  purple liatris (gay feather), pink echinacea (coneflower), purple and white scabiosa (pincushion flower), solidago (goldenrod), pink clary sage, phlox, rudbeckia ‘Indian Summer’, blue delphinium, poppy seed pods, variegated grass, and hosta leaves.

Fresh bouquet ~ 6-28-10

June 29, 2010

Delphinium, white phlox, asiatic lily, drumstick allium, baptisia pods, pink bachelor button, peony and hosta.

Fresh bouquet 6-7-10

June 15, 2010

Huge peonies became the focal of this arrangement; they are accompanied by Salvia ‘Carradonna’, Salvia plumosa, false Queen Anne’s lace (ammi majus), ‘Husker’s Red’ penstemon, Buplureum, Goat’s beard, and hosta.

Fresh bouquet 6-5-10

June 10, 2010

Peonies, ‘Carradonna’ salvia, bellflower,  goat’s beard, lady’s mantle, and hosta.