Vitex is blooming in the front garden. Those in shade in the Upper Garden are slower bloomers. It seemed like a great idea to judiciously prune the tree and use the long branches for a really big bouquet.
This week on his blog, Matthew Mateus wondered about using Kniphofia as a cut flower. I thought to try it, using one good one and two that have fading florets, which I mostly snipped off leaving the forming seed pods. Old blooms of Kniphofia tend to curl stems into interesting shapes.
There is plenty of Oakleaf Hydrangea in that stage where the creamy white panicles of bloom have turned to pink and tan.
Echinacea blooms have those gold centers that complement Kniphofia. I cut some stems of drying bracts of red Shrimp Plant, leaving fresher blooms for hummingbirds to nectar.
For a container, I used a gold glass canister from the 70s that lost its lid. It is heavier than any vase I own.
I put all this together in the greenhouse. Ike the Cat helped.
What Ike failed to tell me was how my nose and eyes were going to itch from the resinous scent of Vitex. I brought the bouquet in the house and by the time I finished my pictures, it was on the way back outside.
I pulled out all the Vitex, put them in the prunings trug and reassembled the other flowers: Hydrangea quercifolia, Kniphofia, Echinacea, Shrimp Plant. A pale green ceramic ginger jar could have been a better choice when I removed the Vitex.