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Build a Bouquet

In the dog days of summer, walking through the garden is certainly preferable to working in it.

If you’re like me, you love drifting through gardens early in the morning, picking bits of this and that, assembling little bouquets. Even when I am sure that there is nothing to pick, I magically find a few items that look marvelous together, at least to my besotted eye.

Flower Picking

This morning, for example, I clipped some white daisies, some white astilbe, and white hydrangea. The pure white theme just emerged in my hand. Last week it was pink spirea and pink monarda that sat in my hand happily with some long grey felted spires of lamb’s ears.

I like to pick the spires of lamb’s ears for bouquets as it saves a lot of dead-heading of those plants later. They are also useful, I find, because their thick stalks placed on the outside of a bunch of flowers seem to help prop up the flowers with more fragile stems.

Soon, I look forward to picking branches of the red berries that are forming on my viburnum bushes and pounding their woody stems so that they last longer in a vase. A few big hosta leaves around the edge of a bouquet set off the berries, as do the fat bronze leaves of ligularia.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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