About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bouquets for Friday June 27th

Each week one or two new flowers appears. This week I now have astilbes, clarkia, orange asclepias, and a few snapdragons.

Friday's bouquets each had 3 delphiniums. The color combinations were mostly blue-yellow and purple or lavender and orange.

My favorites were 3 bouquets with light blue delphiniums, bicolored snapdragon 'Opus Appleblossom', salmon pink clarkia, white astilbe and feverfew.

There were also a few blue-pink-white and pink-purple-green bouquets similar to these:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bouquets for Monday, June 23

About 3/4 of today's bouquets looked like these two:

The yellow daisy is actually a shasta daisy called 'Sonnenshein' (Sunshine). The airy purple flowers in the first bouquet are larkspur 'Blue Cloud' and the little pink daisies in the pink and blue bouquet are erigeron.

There were also several bouquets in a pink-purple-green color scheme. The pink Clear Springs delphiniums are usually a dusty rose or mauve color like the ones in the picture. I didn't like the color at first until I saw how good it could look with purple and green.

Lastly, there were also a few all pastel bouquets. This photograph makes it look like a bouquet with 2 big yellow eyes and a bright pink mouth. I've really got to get my friend Leslie to take some of these pictures to avoid gaffes like this.
When the bouquet is all pastel like this it looks kind of Easter-y, like a cotton candy confection.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why I love my job

I don't know how much it shows in this blog but I really do fuss over these bouquets, trying to make something beautiful out of whatever I have to work with each week. Flowers can have a special kind of impact on people that isn't like anything else, and if I am doing my job right, people will hopefully feel delight when they open the door and see their bouquet.

This morning I was happy to get a couple notes from customers when I was doing deliveries. One read, "Everything has been beautiful!" and another said "Ongoing thanks for your consistent deliveries of beautifully selected flowers. The peony plus other flowers - this past week's bouquet - are still lovely."

Have I got the greatest customers or what?

Bouquets for Friday June 19th

I got caught a little short of filler flowers today because most of the feverfew from last year didn't make it though the winter for some reason. I ended up resorting to commercial white chrysanthemums in most of the bouquets. All the main flowers were about the same as Monday - delphiniums, peonies, lilies, yarrow, leucanthemum, alchemilla, veronica and trollius. There was still a little sweet william and penstemon and most bouquets also contained hosta leaves and mint.

Color combinations for today were blue-yellow-white, apricot-purple, apricot-lavender, blue-pink-white and red-yellow-white. If you got flowers today, your bouquet probably looked something like ones of these:

All in all they were quite nice though I always feel a little guilty when I have to resort to using commercial flowers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bouquets for Monday June 16th

There were some nice color combinations in these flowers but the bouquets didn't look as full to me as they have the last couple times. Most of them contained a delphinium, a lily and two or three peonies so there were lots of big flowers but perhaps not as many smaller ones.

These are pretty much the same flowers as last Friday - peonies, delphinium, trollius, sweet william, veronica, mock orange, yarrow, and alchemilla. A few bouquets also contained some white phlox.

This next one actually looked a lot brigher than this. The colors are red, yellow, orange and white.

This one looked pretty cool because the white lily opens quite green and matches the alchemilla but contrasts with the pinks.

You can see the white Phlox maculata on the left in this yellow, blue and white bouquet.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bouquets for Friday June 13th

More new flowers to play with. A few delphiniums have started blooming, yarrow 'Moonshine', Penstemon 'Husker Red', alchemilla, and the first of the field grown (non-forced) lilies. In addition, a few of the bouquets contained mock orange, blue Veronica 'Sightseeing Mix', and peppermint foliage. Some of these I have not written about in detail - I knew this would happen once a lot of flowers started coming in. I will try to identify them in the photographs below.

The pinkish spike in the top center of this bouquet is Penstemon 'Husker Red'. In additon there are lots of peonies, sweet william. a lily and sprigs of alchemilla.

The second bouquet has a purple delphinium - it is 'Aurora Purple', field grown lily 'Salmon Classic', shasta daisies, orange trollius 'Golden Queen', white peonies, and white sweet william.

The last picture shows orange trollius with scarlet sweet william, yellow yarrow 'Moonshine', and a white lily. The spike is a stem of mock orange.

These all turned out pretty well. I know I've said that for the past few weeks but I really have been pretty happy with all the bouquets recently.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bouquets for Monday June 9th

I forgot to take pictures again which is a shame because these were quite nice. It is actually pretty hard for them not to be nice when the main flowers are peonies, lilies and dianthus. The colors go together easily and the forms all complement each other. In addition, many bouquets had baptisa, trollius, and a few still had iris and columbines. they looked quite similar to last Friday's but there were fewer columbines and iris and more dianthus.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bouquets for Friday June 6th

All of a sudden I have lots of flowers! Sweet william, peonies, baptisa, iris, forced lilies, and still a few columbine, trollius, shasta daisies and painted daisies. I used some stems of the ornamental grass Chasmanthium latifolium (Northern Sea Oats) as accents this week, too.

The peony in this first picture is 'Coral Charm' and the dianthus are 'Scarlet' and 'Newport Pink'. The colors of the dianthus don't really come through in this picture, but it looked really great. The lily is 'Black Out'.

I don't know the names of all my peonies but I do know that the big reddish pink one below is 'Mt. St. Helens'

I'm not a very good photographer and I don't know if I ever really do the bouquets justice. I think most of the time they look nicer than the pictures, which I guess is better than the other way around. I was able to put them together quickly which always usually means the flowers all naturally complement each other nicely.

Sweet William are blooming

The Sweet William have started blooming. Here are some pictures of the ones I have been growing. The first picture is of a double strain 'Super Duplex".

The next one is of 'Electron', a collection of eyed varieties.

Last is the dark maroon 'Nigrescens'

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baptisia australis (False Indigo)

Baptisia australis is just coming into bloom now, providing welcome blue spikes of color for bouquets. Baptisia are slow to establish and can get really large. The base of a mature plant can be a foot or more across and the foliage will be 4 feet tall and spread to 4 or 5 feet. Like most slow growing perennials (peonies, balloon flowers, gas plants), baptisias do not move well and need to be sited carefully. You also have to be patient and live with a huge gap in your perennial border until the plant catches up with the spot you've reserved for it. The one pictured below will actually get broader once the flowers fade and the foliage matures.

Baptisia flowers are bluish purple and appear on spikes that are 12-18 inches long. They are pea relatives and this shows in the individual flowers and the foliage. After flowering, the plants form pods on the spike which will turn black and brittle as they ripen. These pods are quite attractive and can also cut for bouquets. The seeds rattle inside the pods which is kind of fun.

I have never tried to start this plant from seed although they do self seed sometimes around mature plants. They are not difficult to find but are not available as small starter plants. They can probably be found at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market or mail ordered from a place like Bluestone Perennials.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bouquets for Monday June 2nd

It is hard to believe, but this is 7th week for the 2008 season. Aside from commercail chrysanthemums, this week's flowers included - clustered bellflowers, forced lilies, a few dianthus (Sweet William), painted daisies, shasta daisies, trollius, columbine, baptisa, and peonies. The color schemes are getting more varied as I have more flowers to work with. In addition to the apricot-purple, pink-purple, red-yellow bouquets that have been appearing for the past few weeks, I did a few blue(purple) and yellow and also a few with pastel pink and pale yellow. I'm posting pictures of these just because the color schemes are a bit different.