In celebration of our mild November, Arthur finally put on a show.
I snuck around the back, where no one goes, and found a truss to cut. While it looks great on the plant, the way the stems of leaves stick out at right angles to the stem is impossible to work with in a vase.
Enter my slate slab vase, shown here from the side so you can see the part that contains water. It has a pin frog integrated into it. When using this vase, it is imperative to keep an eye on the water level, topping it off almost daily. After using, I usually fill it with bleach for at least an hour because it is difficult to remove all plant detritus.
After cutting all of the leaves away from the flower stem, I trimmed them down and slipped them in at an angle to cover the opening.
The flower stem is stocky, making it perfect for pushing onto the pins of the frog. Woody stems like to be cut into vertically, as shown, in order to take up more water.
My spot for displaying is an ancient wood trunk that came across the plains in a covered wagon. My point being that this would be a one-sided bouquet. I wanted to create a dark background, the better to show off the yellow flower trusses so I trimmed a few more leaf stems and arranged them behind.
The fetching stone bird is an early birthday gift from a friend (lucky me)…
as is the fanciful feeder, making a stop as part of this vignette before fulfilling its destiny.
Now be sure to visit Rambling in the Garden for more vases this Monday.
I adore Mahonia and wish I had more. I like the way you’ve framed the flowers with branches…very effective.
If you read Danger Garden, you will see more Mahonias than I knew existed.
It’s beautiful and the vase sets it off to perfection. I just planted my first Mahonia (‘Charity’) and look forward to having some of those beautiful flowers of my own to admire next year. Best wishes on your birthday!
‘Charity’ and ‘Arthur Menzies’, as far as I can tell, are impossible to tell apart. If anything, I think the blooms on ‘Charity’ are even more dramatic.
Sweet! So pretty. And when is the birthday, young lady?
Thanks, T. All will be revealed when I see you.
This is beautiful Ricki, and of course you’ve got me thinking about that stem (trunk? branch?) at the back of my plant that nobody ever sees…
(And thanks for the “plug”)
Those hidden treasures are ripe for the picking.
I think your vase is really lovely Ricki. Unusual and stylish and made of a natural material too. Love the way you have added the leaves. Your Mahonia has such pretty flowers. Ours will wait until spring now but I look forward to that honey scent they emit.
Mahonia, “Oregon Grape”, is our state flower and the governor’s mansion is called Mahonia Hall. Pretty sure it refers to the native one, but there are many many varieties that are showier.
Hi Ricki. I think your vase is really lovely. Unusual and stylish and made of a natural material too. Love the way you have added the leaves. Your Mahonia has such pretty flowers. Ours will wait until spring now but I look forward to that honey scent they emit.
Pretty sure you must have gotten that pesky message telling you your comment was rejected. All messages seem to come through anyway so you can disregard it in future…at least until (and if) I can figure out how to fix it.
Thanks Ricki! Yes, I got a very long error message in a complicated ‘language’!
Someone sent me a copy of the message but I have yet to determine what triggers it.
I love Mahonias, I wish they grew better for me here. Thank you for explaining your clever slate container; that’s a treasure too.
The slate container is a favorite and just right for certain circumstances.
Wow, you have done a good job of taming those branches to make an effective frame for the flowers. I remember Oregon Grape which grows wild around Vancouver. It has lovely purple berries I think, but I don’t remember the flower.
The native Oregon Grape has a less showy flower that could easily escape your attention.
Thanks for showing us the nitty gritty of how you did this rickii – it looks so effective…and for me I prefer to see mahonia like this rather than the shrub itself! Have a good birthday, whenever it is – mine is coming up too and I wonder if we might share a day…?
The third? Wouldn’t that be a hoot?
Your slate slab vase is a perfect solution for using a whole truss of Mahonia. Your treatment, the whole vignette really, is visually stunning.
You lead the way, with Cathy, in thinking beyond the vase to its immediate surroundings and props.
Really lovely use of Arthur Menzies, Ricki. “Dark background,” perfect. Love that vase! Where did you get it?
That vase has been around for so long that I forget where it came from but I did see something similar by a local artist at the Wild Arts show.
You worked your magic. The cutting of the stems, the vase, the location–everything works … gracefully. Very nice.
Kind words from one who knows her stuff…thanks.
I do love this. Makes quite a statement.
Gorgeous, Rickii! Thank you for the ‘how to’ on using the slab vase, too. Your Mahonia is simply stunning. Yes, a good year for it, but those flowers are cosmic. I’ll watch for ‘Arthur.’
Yes, lucky you, on all counts 😉
If you can’t find ‘Arthur’, ‘Charity’ is close to identical and easier to locate.
I wish mahonia grew well here, but we can get cold winters that ravage them. Your arrangement highlights their beauty. I love the charming bird feeder!
The Mahonias are very hardy here but this one often gets its flowers nipped in the bud if we have an early blast of cold weather.