Sometimes the summer garden is so overwhelmingly bounteous with all its flowers and squashes that all I want of it in the house is the most simple of bouquets (and herbs and zucchini for the kitchen, of course....). When there are such riches and diversity to choose from, I just want to quiet it all down, in the vase, anyway.
So here's the perfection of simplicity, a quiet yin bouquet of just one 'Annabelle' hydrangea head in the slimmest, matte white vase....what more could you possibly need?
But then soon enough I was inspired by the contrast of blue hydrangea and golden blooms on the ligularia, or maybe by the golden yellow pitcher, or the feathery fennel, to pull together an arrangement bursting with summer color and texture. Helenium, dahlias, the ligularia flowers on tall stems, the airy fennel to the right, helenium, crocosmia, and hydrangea - the quintessential ingredients in a sliding-toward-autumn garden.
Sometimes asymmetry works for bouquets as well as it does for haircuts, especially when you have so many big, starring-role flowers in the same bunch. Just be sure to use a heavy, grounded vase - this fat, rounded pitcher is perfect - so that the asymmetry doesn't look as if it might tip the bunch over.
The fennel arbitrates between the showboating ligularia and dahlias, softening both. It's wise to plant a clear, mid-range blue mophead hydrangea like this one (I grow it in a big pot) for the clarity of its shade makes every other color look better...