I set out today to create a Halloween themed vase which would complement the display on top of our piano.  I wanted to use black Rudbeckia seed pods from the rock garden, and assumed I would add some orange marigolds or zinnias, since we still have not had a killing frost!  As I walked through the Terrace Garden, however, my eyes fell on a broken-off stem of a ‘Mountain Fire’ bush (Pieris Japonica), and I decided I must use that, in spite of the salmon-pink hue of the flower buds it has already set for next year’s Lily of the Valley like blossoms.015

While collecting the Rudbeckia seed heads,  I spotted several stems of black, berry-like fern seeds, and knew a few of those would be perfect for this arrangement!  I combined these elements with the now twice recycled Miscanthus plumes.  I had thought that by now these feathery, fluffy flowers would have shed all over the furniture, but they are holding themselves together remarkably well!026Despite the lack of bright orange, this arrangements fits into the Halloween decor quite nicely!007I had some leftover seed pods, so I combined them with some more recycled Miscanthus and did pick two very mature orange zinnias (‘Fruit Smoothie’ mix) for a second vase, on display in another room.018I think the plump brown center cones of the zinnias nicely reflect the Rudbeckia seed heads, and the wide open flowers convey a late-in-the-season feel.032Last week’s rustic mixed bouquet held up well for the most part.  The sunflowers and cosmos wilted after four or five days.  I simply snipped those blooms off with scissors once they lost their attractiveness, rather than try to pull the whole stem out and disrupt the rest of the arrangement.  This morning I did deconstruct the whole vase, trimming the stems of the flowers that still look good (most of the zinnias, the cleome buds, and more than half of the marigolds), and plunking them all back into the same jar, filled with fresh water.  006I think there are several more days of life left in this vase jelly jar!

Thanks as always go out to Cathy of Rambling in the Garden for faithfully hosting this weekly party of gardeners and their vases!  Happy Halloween!030