Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not the Brighest Notion for a Bouquet I ever Had.

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.


  1. It may not have been a friendly presence in the house, but it certainly was beautiful -- both with and without the vitex. I'm hoping to have flowers to cut and bring in for bouquets in the next week or so. -Jean

  2. What a shame the scent of the Vitex annoyed you so much. It looked spectacular in the bouquet. I have to say though, the bouquet without the Vitex looks lovely too.

  3. The orange thing, is that the shrimp plant?

  4. The orange thing is Knophofia, commonly called Red Hot Poker. Shrimp Plant is best seen square in the middlelittle bracts that could be thought of as shrimps if you squint.

    Thanks, Jean and Bernie. It was an exercise in seeing what works. I had never been that close with Vitex in an enclosed space. The really interesting part was that He-who-mows never noticed a strange scent. He's usually the one who reacts to smells.

  5. I think your finished bouquet is just beautiful! It looks nice and full!

  6. I'm so sorry the vitex became a bother because it really was beautiful in there. But it's also beautiful without it. Love those hydrangeas!

  7. I think I'm going back to single stems in a bud vase. That's what works for me. Well, maybe a sheaf of Hydrangea branches in a ginger jar vase once in a while.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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