Dreaming of Dahlias...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017



Pink Dahlia- www.gildedbloom.com

It is almost dahlia season and the garden is filled with budding plants.  Dahlias are my favorite late summer flower and every year I add a new variety or two just to watch them bloom and enjoy their beauty in the hot August sun.  They are one of the few flowers that happily endure our warm summer temperatures as long as they have a bit of shade.  Also a stunning cut flower, they are beautiful in arrangements.  

Pink Dahlia- www.gildedbloom.com

These soft pink dahlias are from last summer, as I'm still awaiting this year's blooms.  Looking back at the arrangements I created is a way for me to begin planning the designs I will do when the new flowers appear.    

This post features Lavender Perfection dinnerplate dahlias with hydrangeas and roses.  

Summer Dahlia Arrangement- www.gildedbloom.com 

The burnt red dahlias in this early autumn floral capture the spirit of the garden as the seasons start to change.  

Fall Dahlia Arrangement- www.gildedbloom.com

I always look forward to using dahlias in centerpieces near the end of summer as in this table design

Wine and Mulberry Dahlia Table- www.gildedbloom.com

But for now, I'll just dream of dahlias...
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Four Favorite Summer Hydrangeas

Monday, June 19, 2017




Hydrangeas provide spectacular summer blooms and now there are many new and unique varieties available.  Here are just a few of my favorites which have been added to the garden over the last year or two.

This blue and white bi-color hydrangea bloomed early this summer and is continuing to produce lovely and dramatic flowers.  The unusual two-tone petals make the blooms appear patterned.



The pastel colors that fuse together in the antique hydrangea called "Magic Carousel" are subtle and varied.  The light green petals, tinged with pink, lavender, and blue provide a touch of powdery color and texture to the shade garden.



Below, the "Pistachio Hydrangea" is shown with its lime and scarlet florets.   This is a very vibrant variety and grows on a hearty bush.



My absolute favorite of all is this "Angel's Parasol Hydrangea".  Its soft lavender petals are tear-shaped and grow into a gorgeous saucer-like bloom.



These are just a few enchanting hydrangeas to consider and there are so many more variations available to grow and enjoy!  To learn more about these stunning summer flowers, be sure to read the outstanding article about hydrangeas in the new summer issue of Garden Design magazine.   It discusses types of hydrangeas, colors, varieties and how hydrangeas can enhance landscape design and floral arrangements.



If you'd like to subscribe, friends of The Gilded Bloom will get the first issue free!  There are no ads in Garden Design and each issue is filled with gorgeous gardens, informative text and stunning photography.  To subscribe go to www.gardendesign.com/gildedbloom or call (855) 624-5110 Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm PST.  Be sure to mention The Gilded Bloom to get your free issue!
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Disclosure:  This post contains an affiliate link which means that if you choose to subscribe through the link provided The Gilded Bloom will receive compensation.

Early Summer Roses

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Coral Roses- Early Summer Roses- www.gildedbloom.com

Roses add a touch of classic beauty to the early summer garden with their lovely colors and sweet scent.  In May ours begin blooming as the air becomes warmer and the sunlight lasts into evening.  Shades of orange, red and yellow fill the patio garden and welcome the beginning of a new season.

Yellow Roses - Early Summer Roses- www.gildedbloom.com

We have tree roses in pots, like this vibrant variety which blooms yellow in May then fades to a softer orange tone as the summer progresses.  Others are planted in the garden and create a show of climbing color like those shown below.

Blaze Roses- Early Summer Roses- www.gildedbloom.com

These "Blaze" roses are covering the fences now and blooming profusely in the sun.  They are very lightly scented and produce a multitude of blooms per plant.

 Iceberg Roses- Early Summer Roses- www.gildedbloom.com

The "Iceberg" roses are also blooming now and their bright white flowers catch the light, making the landscape glow on summer evenings. They are also lovely in arrangements with just a few sprigs of white azalea blossoms.

Early Summer Roses- www.gildedbloom.com

Sometimes a single rose in a simple pottery vase is more perfect than any large bouquet could ever be.  This delicate, subtly scented rose is stunning on its own without the distraction of other flowers...
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A Luncheon in the Garden

Monday, May 8, 2017


A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

May is a lovely month to be outdoors and what better way to celebrate the beauty of late spring than with a luncheon in the garden...

A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

A centerpiece that features home grown flowers is simple to create and ties the table design to the surroundings.  Here I used a plaster pedestal container and inserted a glass vase filled with water to hold the flowers.  Snipping and clipping from the trees and bushes, I began to fill the vase with greenery and then worked in a market bouquet of lilies.  Flowers like azaleas, roses, trumpet vine and purple clematis were added to provide more color and texture.  There is so much in bloom during May!

A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

I have been waiting for a proper occasion to use these lovely vintage china plates given to me by a dear friend.  Painted with dainty purple violets, they complement the many shades of lavender in the garden.  They are edged with gold so I paired them with gold rimmed glass salad plates and simple white dinner plates.  The gold napkin rings are accented with sprigs of purple campanula.

A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

A vintage lace cloth covers the table and green silk fabric is used as a runner. The placemats provide a pop of purple to match the plates and the amethyst glass goblets.

A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

Pillows on the outdoor chairs make dining on the patio more comfortable and colorful. 

Birds- A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

We have so many birds in the garden that these two on the table must feel quite at home!

A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

This vintage vase has flowers tucked in for an accent.

A Luncheon in the Garden- www.gildedbloom.com

The table is now ready for a relaxing outdoor get together!
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On My Bookshelf: Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden + Floret Daffodils in Bloom

Thursday, April 13, 2017



Oh what a busy spring it has been so far...  In addition to seeding and weeding I've also been reading!  The new book by Erin Benzakein of Floret Farm is the latest to capture my attention and I am learning so much from its pages.  It includes detailed directions for growing, harvesting and arranging  seasonal flowers and features many interesting and unique floral varieties to inspire readers to plant and tend a gorgeous cutting garden throughout the year.

Last October I was enthralled with all the stunning floral beauty I saw on Erin's Instagram feed, and I ordered some daffodil bulbs from Floret for our entry garden and to fill in a few pots on the back patio.  I wasn't sure if they would grow up to be as spectacular as those shown online since I planted most in containers, but I have been happily surprised to find them healthy and beautiful in the spring garden.

Below are a few photos of the flowers which have been blooming in succession since late February.  It has been exciting and fun to see these unique varieties flourish!

Sir Winston Churchill Daffodils- www.gildedbloom.com

Here is the first daffodil to bloom, "Sir Winston Churchill".  These are small flowers with several blossoms per stem and a rich, sweet scent.

Pink Charm Daffodils- www.gildedbloom.com

The "Pink Charm" daffodils grew tall and dense with greenery in these ceramic pots.  Isn't the color amazing?

Pink Charm Daffodils- www.gildedbloom.com

I like to keep flowers growing in a bowl on our patio table during the rainy season.  It is usually too cold to eat outside but we see them from the kitchen window so it's worth it!

Flower Drift Daffodils- www.gildedbloom.com

These are "Flower Drift" daffodils.  They have a pretty yellow and orange center.

Flower Drift Daffodils- www.gildedbloom.com

Blooming this week is the "Deinashaugh" daffodil.  It is a beautiful soft peach color with multilayered, fringed petals.  Isn't it exquisite?

Deinashaugh Daffodil- www.gildedbloom.com

I'm still awaiting the last of the daffodils, which are budding and about to open.  Hopefully, by Easter they will bloom and I will post them on Instagram.

Branches and Blooms: Star Magnolia

Friday, March 17, 2017


Blooms and Branches:  Star Magnolia - www.gildedbloom.com

Star Magnolia is among the most dazzling of trees in our early spring garden. Its skeleton of branches features a profusion of stunning white flowers that brings the landscape to life. These double blossoms are also beautiful as cut flowers and can be used to add a seasonal touch to arrangements.

Blooms and Branches:  Star Magnolia - www.gildedbloom.com

Originating in Japan, the star magnolia (magnolia stellata) is a shrub or small tree that flowers on bare branches before its leaves appear.  Blossoms range from light pink to white depending on the weather and are easy to bloom in vases by cutting budding branches and placing them in fresh water near a window.  

Blooms and Branches:  Star Magnolia Arrangement - www.gildedbloom.com

Since the branches of this magnolia are distinct, swirling and curling in all directions, they create a dramatic display on their own when placed in a pedestal vase like the one shown above.  This simple arrangement also highlights the different stages of bloom, showing the buds as they open and the blossoms as they whiten with age.

Blooms and Branches:  Star Magnolia - www.gildedbloom.com

The velvety texture of the petals are an outstanding feature of this flower and add to the overall character of the plant.  Near the end of the bloom cycle, green leaves begin to grow under the flowers providing a new layer of color.

Blooms and Branches:  Star Magnolia Arrangement - www.gildedbloom.com

When flowers are in full bloom they are lovely in bud vases and can be displayed on a table or nightstand for an elegant accent.  However, if the flowers are cut from the tree when fully open they will only last about a day and the blooms are extremely fragile.  

Magnolias are just one of many beautiful flowering branches that can be grown in the spring and then styled for indoor display.  To learn more about flowering branches, see the 26-page feature article about them in the new Spring 2017 issue of Garden Design magazine.  You will find tips for growing, harvesting and arranging these lovely gifts of spring.

If you'd like to subscribe, friends of The Gilded Bloom will get the first issue free!  There are no ads in Garden Design and each issue is filled with gorgeous gardens, informative text and outstanding photography.  To subscribe go to www.gardendesign.com/gildedbloom or call (855) 624-5110 Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm PST.  Be sure to mention The Gilded Bloom to get your free issue!

Garden Design Magazine- Spring 2017
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Disclosure:  This post contains an affiliate link which means that if you choose to subscribe through the link provided The Gilded Bloom will receive compensation.


Flowering Plum Trees

Friday, March 3, 2017


Plum Blossoms- www.gildedbloom.com

It is that beautiful time of year again when the trees are starting to bloom and fill the air with the sweet scent of spring.  I like to walk in the mornings and take in the beauty of the season.  

Flowering Plum Trees- www.gildedbloom.com

Last week I brought my camera along and found this flowering plum tree to photograph.  The blossoms are a very subtle pink and catch the light beautifully.  Later this tree will grow dark purple leaves that are lovely until the fall.  

Flowering Plum Trees- www.gildedbloom.com

After coveting these branches (which would look gorgeous massed in a big vase in our living room) I'm seriously considering planting a flowering plum tree like this one in the backyard.  They are so pretty throughout the year...

Flowering Plum Trees- www.gildedbloom.com

Flowering Plum Trees- www.gildedbloom.com

But until then I'll be enjoying the landscape on my morning walks.  Also...

Darling Ducks- www.gildedbloom.com

These adorable little ducks are often my companions during these a.m. strolls.  They are visitors to our neighborhood this time of year and are usually found in pairs sleeping on lawns or waddling down the street on rainy days.  Although they don't like to pose, I managed to snap a picture of them just for you.

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