Making arrangements

I don’t think I have been nearly noisy enough about the cutting garden this year. It is so knock-your-socks-off bloomerific. I’m also not sure I’ve mentioned just how fun it is to pick flowers from it every week and to see the fabulously artful arrangements our volunteer arrangers design with the pickings. Even if we select the some of the same flowers from one week to the next, the arrangements come out wildly different from each other. Even the two arrangements we ask each volunteer to make — one for the entrance table, the other for the living room — are usually wildly different. Like this week’s pair made by superstar Blakely Szosz (who taught a class here on arranging a few years ago). They all have their own personalities. They’re like fingerprints. Snowflakes, even. But way more colorful.

There’s so much in bloom in the cutting garden, and such great foliage too, that it’s often hard to stop picking – the list of stems I put out on the entrance table is so long some weeks I worry that it won’t fit on one page. Here’s this week’s list (followed by a few closeups):

Agastache foeniculum | Anise hyssop (blue flower spikes)

Amaranthus caudatus ‘Dreadlocks’ | Love-lies-bleeding (ropy pink tassels)

Boltonia asteroides ‘Nally’s Lime Dots’ | (green petalless flower sprays)

Caryopteris divaricata ‘Snow Fairy’ | Bluebeard (variegated foliage)

Celosia argentea cristata ‘Bombay Dark Red’ | Cockscomb

Cuphea ‘David Verity’ | Cigar flower (small red tubular flowers)

Dahlia | (bright flowers, several varieties)

Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ | Globe amaranth (hot pink tufts)

Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata’ | Pineapple mint (variegated foliage)

Peony (foliage)

Pennisetum setaceum | Fountain grass (pinkish plumes)

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ | Purple fountain grass (burgundy plumes)

Pycnanthemum verticillatum | Mountain mint (small gray-green flowers)

Silphium perfoliatum var. connatum | Virginia cup plant (tall stems with green seedheads)

I rarely pick flowers from my own garden to bring inside but every week, when I’m picking from Blithewold’s cutting garden, and jealously eyeing the arrangements, I wonder why the heck don’t I? Do you? How often? What are your favorites to cut right now?