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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, August 28, 2017

In A Vase On Monday

Many thanks to the creative and dedicated Cathy at Rambling in the Garden  for hosting In A Vase On Monday!  Be sure to use the link above to visit her blog and see what others have expertly arranged or unceremoniously plunked into a container to enjoy this week.

Can it be the last Monday of August already?  The last few weeks have been busy with getting ready for the beginning of school and the start of the choir year.  It's funny, I've done both for over thirty years and I still worry that on the first day, I won't know what to do.  It's a bit like planting a garden. Each September a new group of seeds arrives and the gardener's job is to create an appropriate environment, provide consistent attention and care, and stand back and admire what each is capable of becoming.

On Sunday, the decision was finally made to severely cut back an Arctostaphylos in the parking strip that had stubbornly decided to fall over and grow sideways. While it looked lovely, it was beginning to take up the better part of a parking space on the street.  I'd tied, propped, begged, and cajoled it to grow in the opposite direction but to no avail.  The main trunk and several branches simply had to be cut. There is still a bit of it left and hopefully it'll grow up rather than out.  It seemed fitting that a few small bits would make their way into a vase.

Joining the Manzanita are some seed pods of Lunaria annua, sometimes called Money Plant and a few Japanese Anemones.




Joining the vase, which came from a neighbor's estate sale, is a bit of amethyst, a favorite stone of my grandmother, which is supposed to rid one's home of negative energy, help with grief and loss, and bring stability and inner strength.

Also on the table are fallen petals from the anemones, and the "money" part of Lunaria annua that is rubbed away along with the seeds to enjoy the shiny bits used in arrangements. These will soon be blown away by the wind to sprout where they will.   Greens, flowers, seeds, an entire summer's work.  Things past/things yet to be.
The end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new academic year.  
(When the arrangement doesn't really go together, give it some other kind of meaning, right?)

29 comments:

  1. Your lovely arrangement certainly nods towards the coming autumnal season. Anemones are lovely flowers.

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    1. I must plant more blooming things for late summer as my garden has little in the way of blooms suitable for a vase right now.

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  2. Oh my, very autumnal thoughts. The vase is lovely but I am still trying to think summer ever though it is rather gray and cool here.

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  3. Your lovely vase, and commentary, definitely coincides with your back to school reality. Whereas I'm still over here in "endless summer" land...

    Hope your Manzanita behaves and good luck on the year ahead, not that you need it.

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    1. Summer; it ain't over 'til it's over! On the first of October, it'll be time to enjoy that fall thing.

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  4. I think everything in this arrangement goes very well together. I like the cool color scheme especially when the weather is still too hot (for me). Have a wonderful academic year... is it starting Friday?

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    1. I've been back doing classes and prep stuff for the last couple of weeks but our first official day of school is September 6.

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  5. A lovely vase but too bad it had to happen with cutting back a plant that decides to grow its own way....happens to me too! Gorgeous blue vase and crystals

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    1. I saved the biggest branch as the dead wood is so pretty and smooth. The smaller bits in the vase will go to the yard waste bin.

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  6. Lovely bouquet, Peter. Anemones are so pretty and your amethyst suits well to your vase!
    I knew about amethyst 'property', some people believe and some don't. However I have before had a ring with amethyst.
    Have a nice day!

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    1. I'm not sure about the properties of specific rocks and crystals but have always liked collecting interesting rocks so perhaps they've been working for me all this time.

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  7. The anemones are lovely, even if their petals don't want to stay put. I hope the manzanita straightens up and grows right. Best wishes with the start of school (and choir) - I've zero doubts that another brilliant year awaits you!

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    1. I hope so too as the pollinators really love the late winter blooms. Each school/choir year brings unexpected joys and challenges, just like each gardening season.

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  8. What a grand vase. Wasn't really familiar with Manzanita so just looked it up. Looks like they grow which ever way they want to--very lovely arrangement.

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    1. Yes, they do seem to have a mind of their own!

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  9. Beautiful vase and sentiments. I think we all need some amethyst in our homes!

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    1. In reading about amethyst, it seems like a very popular crystal and one that people are drawn to. It always reminds me of my grandmother as it was her birthstone.

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  10. All I know is that your students are lucky to have such a creative teacher. If you didn't care you wouldn't worry a bit about all the nurturing of those growing human beings. Your vase is screaming autumn in a beautiful way.Happy IAVOM and good luck this school year.

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    1. It's going to be a wonderful school year! I've met some of my kids already and have a few returning. The fun part is seeing how we knit together as a school family, watching how the kids learn to care for each other.

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  11. Very pretty, Peter - I love the cobalt blue vase, too. I like your comparing incoming students to tending a new garden. I expect that makes you a wonderful teacher, because you sure know how to garden!

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    1. My classroom is as messy and fun as my garden.

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  12. I used John Denver's recording of "the Garden Song" as an anology in an education workshop once. It fits.
    Peter, when you retire, summer doesn't end until the calendar says it does, about Sept 20. And yet, I still get that melancholy feeling that summer is ending around Labor Day.

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    1. Retirement used to seem like some far distant thing but suddenly, I'm one of the small group of older staff members at my school and retirement in three to six years seems very near. Someday, I'll know what it's like to be a butterfly but for now I'm happy being a caterpillar. While it's still summer, once September rolls around, the reality that the season won't last forever begins to sink in.

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  13. I hope your Manzanita decides to straighten and fly right. I have one propped up in my front bed too. Summer is much too short, it seems like only a short time ago that your school year was ending and you were frantically getting ready for your garden open.

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    1. Summer vacation always seems to go by very quickly. Of course, it seems like school years speed by at an ever faster pace as well.

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  14. This is so beautiful seen. I am a professional gardener and works on garden sheds in new Zealand.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.