Late Summer Bouquet
I don’t know why, but I have this thing where I think I can't cut any of the flowers in my garden and stick them in a vase, even though I really do have plenty of flowers and cutting a few wouldn't create a glaring bald patch in the garden. Maybe it goes back to some admonishment from my childhood about not cutting flowers. But surely I can give myself permission to cut flowers from of my own garden!
OK. Permission granted.
The first thing I went out and cut were some roses. In fact, really, I’m doing them a favor. If they stay out on the rose bush, they’re toast within a few hours of opening. All brown and crispy. Infinitely better to cut them and get them out of the searing rays of the Sun.
The hydrangeas crisp up, too, and then I miss out on the interesting metamorphosis from pinky blue/bluey pink to greeny dusky pink. It’s really quite interesting to witness, but the effect is ruined if the bloom is scorched around the edges.
The thing about waiting until late summer to start making bouquets is that the choice is a bit limited—my garden is at its peak in late June/early July. However, thanks to LeLo—who gave me some seedlings a few months ago—I have some lovely late blooming four o’clocks that not only bloom late in the season, but late in the evening, despite their name. They bloom around eight o'clock; I guess they like to be fashionably late. They’re the small fuschia flowers near the top of the bouquet, by the way. Four o’clocks were one of my mom’s favorite flowers, so it’s nice to have them for that reason, too.
Note the hop boa I've draped around a couple of the hydrangeas and pink roses. The hop looks fantastic this year. It has arranged itself in a very handsome cascade over the garden arch and has even seen fit to cover up the wretched, scrawny, and awful ‘Nancy Reagan’ rose bush. Thanks!
The hop cones are huge and unblemished—unlike two years ago when the vine was ravaged by aphids and unlike last year when I made a gross miscalculation regarding how much water the plant needed and no flowers or cones formed at all. Of course, yet another reason to like the hop plant is that hops are the key ingredient in my favorite beverage—India Pale Ale (although my plant is an ornamental variety, so it would probably yield indifferent and/or insipid beer).