Some gardeners feel summer has really (finally) arrived when the first ear of corn ripens, or they harvest their first tomato fresh from the vine.....for me it's all about lilies and hydrangeas.
I never feel summer has truly settled in until lily buds unfurl and hydrangea heads color up....so this bouquet is all about early July bounty, warm weather and long twilights.
It doesn't have a starring flower; the achillea, Peruvian lilies, still-opening violet hydrangea and the first of the Helenium autumnale are all similar in size. Without a standout bloom, the interest comes from the variety of colors and textures, including the surprise of a fluffy smokebush bloom that is very cool seen close up in a vase. And the curiosity of the little purple Clematis 'Roguchi' flower with its snaky black stems.
As small as the clematis bell-flowers are, they make the bouquet with their unusual shape and the intensity of their dark, rich blue. It's almost as if all the rest of the leaves and flowers came together to show off the intricacy of the clematis blooms. These are all especially long-lasting flowers that hold up well in an arrangement for nearly a week if you replenish with fresh water every day or two.