In A Vase On Monday – Summer Sweet

Summer Sweet (Clethra alnifolia) lives up to its name by filling the air with its sweet perfume. A small shrub native to eastern US, it will flower in sun or light shade, growing 3-6′ tall and 4-8′ wide. Mine hovers around 4-5′ tall in a 6-8′ oval and is covered with racemes of pink-tipped buds opening to white blooms attracting pollinators.

To the vase, I added white and pink phlox (P. paniculata), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), the grass-like flowers of Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata) and a few blades of Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’).


Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.


About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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72 Responses to In A Vase On Monday – Summer Sweet

  1. Beautiful arrangements!

  2. Mr. Militant Negro says:

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  3. Your arrangement looks so sweet and summery!

  4. Cathy says:

    Lovely with all thise coneflowers! I like the sound of that Clethra too Eliza, and looked it up. Although it apparently likes damp soil I might try and grow one for those beautiful scented flowers. Have a great week! 🙂

  5. Seeing a summer lightness here and I admire the frothy looking summer sweet. Thanks Eliza, feeling despondent this Monday morning so your post comes just at a time when there’s a need to draw on nature’s beauty.

  6. jenanita01 says:

    I really look forward to the regular treat of your lovely flowers. Sets the week off to a good start!

  7. Christina says:

    Opulent and elegant at the same time. It makes a lovely shape. Clethra alnifolia is new to me, it’s lovely.

  8. Sally says:

    Hi Eliza, That arrangement could have come from my grandmothers garden… lovely and old fashioned. I love grasses in arrangements….they add height and texture…..thank you for sharing!

  9. Beautiful. 🙂 My phlox is putting on quite a show right now.

  10. Laurie Graves says:

    Sweet summer is waning. A lovely tribute.

  11. Perfectly balanced in shape, colour and tone.

  12. Sweet indeed! I wonder, do you leave this outside? If so do insects and hummingbirds visit it?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Sometimes I leave them outside, but this one smells so good I brought it in. It fills the whole room up with scent. I think I have so much in the gardens, the critters don’t bother with things on the deck, although the hangers off the deck get plenty of visitors.

  13. There is something really delicate about this. Another beautiful vase!

  14. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Summer’s floral bounty in a vase! So many bodacious beauties. I admire your skill and rounding up all of these stars and making them work so well together in an ensemble cast!

  15. Kris P says:

    That Clethra is beautiful! It’s all the more delightful that it’s scented too. As it’s not remotely suited to my area, its been added to the long list of plants that make up the garden that exists only in my dreams.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Kris. It is one of few late summer shrubs that bloom and so sweetly! The hybrids have addressed its tendancy to sprawl. It is easy to dig and share, which is something I’d do if you lived down the road. 😉

  16. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    That looks like a big bunch of summer to me!

  17. AlisonC says:

    Summer sweet sound like a lovely shrub and very accommodating. I love your overflowing vase.

  18. Summer bounty, I feel there is a picnic lurking in the background. Especially love the Coneflowers, Clethra is an amazing native, another favorite from my former garden.

  19. Alice Pratt says:

    Beautiful! Especially because it attracts pollnators….I’ve been so interested in them, this year.

  20. That pink on the summer sweet is very fetching! A lovely soft arrangement and I like the haze that the plume poppy spurs add.

  21. Val Boyko says:

    Sweet indeed! Lovely choices Eliza 💛

  22. Noelle says:

    So full of beautiful summery blooms…..

  23. pbmgarden says:

    Lush and lovely Eliza.

  24. Robin says:

    I love your arrangements, Eliza. Every single one has been stunning, and sometimes it seems that each one is better than the last. This particular one, if it could sing, would be a song of summer. 🙂

  25. Cathy says:

    Oh those echinacea are such stars in your vase, Eliza, and sadly something that I struggle to grow here…

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. You might get too much rain for echinacea, a plant from our hot, midwestern prairies. Perhaps add more sand to their soil for better drainage and give them your sunniest spot?

      • Cathy says:

        They supposedly prefer not to have competition – unlikely in my crowded borders, but I shall consider adding extra drainage when/if I try agin!!

  26. Beautiful arrangement and I loved the individual photo of the summer sweet.🙂

  27. Kathy Sturr says:

    Delicious Eliza!!! I have a new rekindling for Purple Coneflower as of late.

  28. in says:

    A lovely mix!

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