In A Vase on Monday – Contrasts

wildflower arrangementI picked this little bouquet as I walked along our trail by the river, gathering a few pretty flowers I saw, ending with some chartreuse flowers of Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) from the garden.

It started with a stem of Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), an invasive wetland species here, that I pull whenever I see it on our land. Seeds often are washed downstream and germinate, so they show up occasionally.

Matching its pink color, I picked some native Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus), a stem of yellow Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata), and a cheerful bunch of Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) to finish.floral arrangementBelow is more eye-popping color from two arrangements I created for a talk I gave on herbs this week. Can you believe these are mostly edible?  floral arrangementI’ve teamed up with my yoga instructor to create a series of outdoor, socially-distanced workshops entitled ‘Yoga in the Garden.’ As you can see from the wet background, the weather was intermittent showers with mist in between, reminding me of UK weather. We were somewhat soggy by the end, but it was fun all the same. We haven’t met since March, so it was nice to see some of the other regulars. There will be two more workshops to come and hopefully, the weather will be better.


The Mason jar on the left was a hostess gift for the woman who shared her backyard for the class and the right held small, bunched ‘favors’ tied with raffia for the participants.

Bright red Beebalm (Monarda didyma) predominates, joined by yellow and orange Calendula (C. officinalis), purple Mealycup Sage (Salvia farinacea) and Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). White umbels of Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) and Dill (Anethum graveolens), Poppy seedheads (Papaver somniferum), along with sprigs of Spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) for greens. A bit of Lady’s Mantle was added as filler.

In A Vase on Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Click the link to see arrangements made by other gardeners around the world.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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92 Responses to In A Vase on Monday – Contrasts

  1. Joanne says:

    Beautiful arrangements as always, Eliza. 🙂
    Isn’t it a shame that some of the prettiest flowers can also be invasive? We have several species of invasive plants here in Australia as well.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Joanne. ❤
      I suspect anywhere there are humans there are invasive species. We can't seem to help ourselves. 😉 Have a good week ahead!

  2. tonytomeo says:

    I had to look up Rubus odoratus. I had not heard of that before.

  3. Anne says:

    All are very beautiful. Is there a chance you might share your herb talk here?

  4. Beautiful, I have Lady’s Mantle and pink today as well.

  5. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    Beautiful vases and arrangements Eliza and it sounds like you held a wonderful workshop! 🤗💜 xxx

  6. Irene says:

    Lovely contrasts. 😊

  7. Happy Monday, my dear Eliza! What a beautiful way to start my week! 🙂 xoxoxo

  8. Val Boyko says:

    Lovely arrangements Eliza. I’m so happy you have yoga in the garden 😀

  9. Christine King says:

    I am so jealous! You have enormous talent and I, unfortunately, am lacking. 😔

  10. I like your wildflower bouquet. I didn’t know you could eat bee balm. Is it the flowers that are edible?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you! The leaves and flowers are edible. The native Americans taught the colonists to use the leaves for tea. The individual flowers look wonderful in salad.

  11. Lovely arrangements, I like the way the first looks wild and that’s enhanced by the rustic-looking vase.

  12. Lovely as always. Yoga in the garden sounds wonderful. Hope the weather is better next time.

  13. Such lovely bouquets…you do have a talent to combine flowers in very attractive bouquets. (Suzanne)

  14. sandyjwhite says:

    Your arrangements never disappoint, Eliza!

  15. Jet Eliot says:

    A wonderful way to use an invasive, Eliza, and such a beautiful arrangement. Also liked the bee balm arrangements and the creative idea for outdoor workshops. Inspired post, thank you.

  16. Cathy says:

    Is the bigger purple flower the raspberry, Eliza? I couldn’t work it out. What a lovely informal collection you made for that first vase and how pretty too are those you made for the workshops too – the monarda makes a great focal point, doesn’t it? I am glad the workshop was a success, despite the weather

  17. Alice says:

    Such beautiful colors in your bouquet banquets.

  18. Jane Lurie says:

    All your arrangements are so thoughtfully arranged, Eliza. Love the complementary colors in the first and the vibrant reds in the last. Amazing that they are mostly edible- would certainly perk up a salad. 🙂 🌺

  19. jillslawit says:

    Beautiful arrangements. UK purple loosestrife is slightly different to yours, thinner, smaller flowers but extremely invasive.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Jill. It has taken over large swaths of wetlands here, and while beautiful in bloom, it displaces native species and the fauna that depends on them. Sad to see.

  20. As always, lovely arrangements, Eliza. You have quite the talent for combining shapes and colors.Regarding non-natives and invasives. At least picking them cuts down on seed distribution and as long as they are there we might as well appreciate and enjoy them. I am mostly photographing natives but won’t ignore a lovely non-native when the opportunity arises…like Oxeye Daisies. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Steve. As you know, most of the plants that now live here in our area came from elsewhere. The horse is out of the barn, and I doubt she is going back in. I make an effort where I can, like with garlic mustard and loosestrife, but I throw in the towel when it comes to bittersweet and knotweed. Too late!

      • We just had some garlic mustard show up by the compost bin next to the garden. It won’t last long. I understand it is pretty tasty but I won’t be trying it. There a conservation area here in Amherst with a lot of Japanese Knotweed and the town has apparently thrown in the towel as well.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Only young tender leaves, the first greens of spring, are worth eating. It gets pretty bitter after that. Every year I gather it off our land where I find it, scouring for weeks for the tiniest bloom. One seed head can yield 10K seeds, so I try to get before then. I fool myself thinking, ‘I’ve got it all’ but the following spring proves me wrong. 😦

      • We have the same problem with Wild or Prickly Lettuce-Lactuca serriola. If we don’t find it in time they are prolific like Garlic Mustard.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Yup. Fleabane is equally prolific, but at least it is native, beloved by goldfinches and is pretty to look at. I love it even if I yank hundreds of seedlings every spring. 🙂

  21. pbmgarden says:

    Eliza, I love all your flowers this week and am delighted to hear of your Yoga in the Garden. Makes me smile to imagine how much fun that must have been.

  22. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    All beautiful vases. Hope sun shines for your next workshop.

  23. Kathy says:

    I admire people who can create beauty with flowers. Unfortunately…it seems to be a skill or talent that one is born with.

  24. Kris P says:

    Both are lovely arrangements, Eliza. I love the color of the Lythrum – it’s too bad it’s invasive. Good for you and your friends for discovering a way to meet safely (for exercise yet!) during this pandemic.

  25. Loved all the arrangements and how wonderful you were finally able to get together and create this new series!🙂 I always try to go out walking early and have wandered past several yoga classes in the park lately.🙂

  26. The first bouquet is beautiful, and I LOVE the vase. The next ones are amazing especially since some of it is edible. Love the idea of combining gardening and yoga. 🙂

  27. Seems like using an alien invasive wildflower in a bouquet is a good way to go. If it were edible, people could eat it to reduce the numbers.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Too bad it isn’t edible. Apparently, they are experimenting with a European beetle that eats this plant, but I worry that even if they think it won’t eat any other plant, I doubt they have seen what it likes out in the real world. One problem begetting another. 😦

  28. Maria says:

    Great combinations all Eliza!

  29. Cathy says:

    Lovely! I should have enjoyed your talk on herbs Eliza. Is Queen Ann‘s Lace also edible? I still have much to learn but having immersed myself in the garden so much this year I think I am making progress. Wish we had someone giving talks near us… the nearest is a 90 minute drive from here. Wishing you better weather for the next meetings. 😃

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. QAL is edible, but one must be certain of its ID, as it also resembles poison hemlock. It is biennial, so flowers the 2nd year. First year plants are recommended for eating, as they get woody in the 2nd. Flowers/leaves can be put in salad, seeds and roots added to soups.
      I wish you did live closer, wouldn’t that be fun? My next talk is Friday on creating a pollinator garden. Ought to be fun as it is a cause I am passionate about!

  30. Chloris says:

    Both are lovely, I love your native flowers. The monarda in the second vase is partcicularly eye- catching. Yoga in the garden is a great idea.

  31. Jewels says:

    Ah SO gorgeous Eliza! ❤ I'm curious, how does bee balm do when cut, does it last very long? I have tons of it in my flower bed, but I've never thought to cut them for putting in a vase.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Julie. 🙂 Beebalm is a very long lasting cut flower, esp. if you cut them young with plenty of buds set to open. The petals can be put in salads, and you can make tea from the leaves.

      • Jewels says:

        Good to know, thanks! Have you tasted the tea from the leaves? That’s right up my alley. 🙂

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I don’t recall harvesting my own, but probably have had it. Monarda citriodora is commonly called Lemon Mint and is preferred over the others for tea. In general, herbs are best harvested just before they bloom when their oils are the strongest. For that reason, I cut my Lemon Balm down and let it regrow in order to keep that strong flavor.

  32. ladyfi says:

    How gorgeous! I really like the idea of those edible bouquets.

  33. Beautiful floral arrangements Eliza! Enjoyed seeing them!

  34. All beautiful, Eliza and the “edibles” are quite intriguing!

  35. cindydyer says:

    Lovely bouquets, lovely photos! I love the top color combination especially.

  36. bittster says:

    Yoga in the garden sounds great, not a bad idea to keep that one going for next year and beyond! The arrangements are beautiful, and the walk along the river sounds perfect. Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Frank. I just finished my talk on the second of the yoga garden series on creating a pollinator garden. It was great fun and well received. We can save the planet one garden at a time! 🙂

  37. Gorgeous … every flower, every arrangement … WOW!

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