Floral Friday: Countdown to Spring!

Today, I'll admit--I cursed Floral Friday. Just a bit. I've been battling a cold this week and haven't accomplished anything that I planned. (Oh, the posts I wanted to share with you! The seedling babies I wanted to show off! The sprouting peas!) Instead, I've been lazing around, bundled in a blanket and working hard to keep my eyes open. I blame Peter and the deliciousness we shared last weekend:

I knew he wasn't feeling great, but in my sugar-induced mania, I forgot that sharing dessert with him probably wasn't wise.

And now our girl has it, too. She's home today, trying to rally for her regional horse show tomorrow, while also talking incessantly about her need for a Corgi for her birthday.

Seriously. As if two dogs, two cats (I remain hopeful that Romeo will return), two guinea pigs, a tank full of fish, and eight chickens aren't enough to amuse her. Typically, it's non-stop horse buying chatter, but another dog? No. I'm not even going to listen.

So, my pounding head and I escaped the girl's obsessive dog Googling and went to the garden for peace and flowers.

It's amazing how 15 minutes of quiet in the garden cured my headache.

Today, I can almost believe that spring is near. Our garden is a riot of blooms and buds. Of course, the weather is still temperamental--77 degrees on Tuesday, then down to 30 last night. South Carolina weather likes to keep us on our toes. (To run the greenhouse heater or not? To cover tender perennials peeking out of the ground, or risk frost? Those are the questions I ponder each night.)

Today, though, is gorgeous, filled with sun and blooms. So, let's get to it, shall we?

The hellebores continue to amaze, sending out new flowers and producing new babies all over the garden.

I can't wait to transplant and share some of the seedlings when they've matured a bit.

I snipped several varieties to add to the bouquet.

Our camellias are heavy with blooms, which I almost missed. For some reason, we planted them on the south side of the house, and I usually don't take that path to the greenhouse. Yesterday, though, I wandered along the forest path, looking to see if there are any signs of morels. I didn't find any morels (it's also a bit early), but I did find dozens of creamy, blushing blooms.


I thought about adding some pieris japonica, but I decided to wait for next week's bouquet. Instead, I looked for some trailing vines. I usually like to use variegated potato vines, but the winter left them looking pretty shabby. I hope they'll recuperate. Of course, though, the nasty English ivy wasn't harmed at all by the below freezing temperatures. (Darn it.) We plan to pull it all out along the driveway and design a new bed...IF we can ever remove all of that intruder.

It will be quite the task, but it's time to kick its invasive butt out of the garden.

Armed with my clippings, I decided to use a white pitcher (which you can barely see in the photos).

Camellias always remind me of southern elegance. In fact, they're known as "the flower of graciousness." The camellias add height to the arrangement. If you use camellias in bouquets, be gentle. If the blooms are older, they easily bruise and can fall off the stems, scattering petals like a 4-year-old flower girl. Try to select blooms that have just opened. Also, with the woody stem, make a sharp diagonal cut to increase the water uptake of the branch.

Hellebores' drooping heads lean against the camellia branches. I supported a few blooms so that their pretty faces would show.

While the camellias may represent graciousness, hellebores' meaning is "scandal." Poor things. The way they hang their heads, you can almost feel their shame. How kind of the gracious camellias to support them.

Finally, I selected three pieces of ivy, inserting them into the arrangement on the left, allowing them to drape across the front of the container to the right.

I'm not sure about the ivy. I left it in for the photo, but it might disappear in a bit if it annoys me too much.

A couple things about Floral Friday: it's become apparent to me that there's nowhere decent to photograph bouquets inside.

The lighting in our house stinks.

I tried to take the bouquet outside to shoot, but the arrangement disappears against the background.

I'm going to keep working on this. Hopefully, I'll find a solution to share next week!

So, it's time! What will you gather this week from your garden? Please post your creations on the Garden Delights Facebook page, and I'll share your bouquets! (We're still in cheat mode for you northern friends. If you can find something in your garden, fabulous! If not, treat yourself to flowers from the store. You deserve them!)

Happy Floral Friday, friends! Wishing you a lovely weekend!