One of my favorite things about summer (since I'm a Seattle native and don't like heat, I look for other benefits....) is creating huge, English-style mixed bouquets from the garden. Nothing captures the essence of summer's bountiful garden like going outdoors early in the morning and clipping here and there (color, foliage, fragrance, large blooms, fluffy filler), then pulling it all together into an arrangement.
On the first weekend of every month, I have the pleasure of creating a bouquet for the art opening at Langley's Museo Gallery (July's show is the amazing Whidbey Island Glass Invitational, with pen and ink drawings by Seattle artist Joseph Pentheroudakis).
In winter, I have to break down and buy flowers, but this time of year even my little garden yields plenty - although in the bouquet shown below I admit the sunflowers are purchased. I needed a few big, bulky flowers to balance out the centerpiece delphinium, and couldn't bring myself to cut the lilies just coming into bloom.
The rest of the flowers - sweet peas for perfume, kale gone to flower, the plum-colored Clematis 'Polish Spirit', the first of the 'Annabelle' hydrangeas, the blue shrimp plant (Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens') and the silvery blue nettle in front (Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue') which I could hardly cut because it was bristling with bees...speaking of, check out the black "bees" in the center of each delphinium flower....are all from my garden, cut on Saturday morning....(my editors at the Seattle Times would never let me get away with a sentence like the one above!!...the pleasure and perils of blogging...)