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Do you ever wish you had flowers to give to a friend or to decorate your table?

Instead of heading to the store for a generic bouquet, how about creating a lovely bouquet straight from your garden?

Now before you say that you don’t have any flowers suitable for a bouquet, think again.  

Here are several bouquets from my garden and a few that my mother put together from her own garden….

gold lantana(Lantana 'New Gold Mound'), orange jubilee(Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage(Leucophyllum frutescens)

Isn’t this a lovely arrangement?

Believe it or not, the flowers in these vases all came from plants that many of you probably have in your own garden.

My mother created this arrangement using gold lantana (Lantana ‘New Gold Mound’), orange jubilee (Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) flowers.  As you can see, it is beautiful, didn’t cost her anything and took minutes to create.

 Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) , Goodding's verbena (Glandularia gooddingii)

This is a bouquet that I created using flowers from my late winter garden. Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) coupled with Goodding’s verbena (Glandularia gooddingii) are a vision of pinks and purples.

purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

I used a small pitcher to put cuttings of purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

 white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)flowers.

This antique milk of magnesia glass jar makes the perfect vase for sweet white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) flowers.

create a bouquet

Flowers aren’t the only thing from the garden that you can use to create a bouquet with.

A mason jar filled with cut branches from a kumquat tree looks lovely on this table in winter.

create a bouquet

Maybe your winter garden has no flowers.  Well, don’t let that stop you. A small vase filled with seedpods and dried leaves from a Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) looks great on my mother’s diningroom table.

create a bouquet

Perhaps you’ve never thought that petunias could look be used in a vase. But, if you use a small, shallow bowl, they can add a beautiful spot of color on your table.

create a bouquet

Of course, roses always make a lovely bouquet.

Bouquets created from items in your garden are a great way to add a personal touch of beauty to your space.

So, are you inspired to create your own unique garden bouquet? Step outside in your garden and take a new look at your plants – you’ll probably be surprised at how many would look nice in a vase.

**How about you?  What plants would you use to create a bouquet with?

I just love Mondays….

But, I must admit that my love for Mondays is rather new.  I didn’t always enjoy sitting in traffic, headed for my office in downtown Phoenix, where I worked as a landscape designer.  (I did enjoy my beautiful office that overlooked the city from the 14th floor).

Fast forward to 5 years later, and I find Mondays refreshing.  For one, the kids are back in school after a hectic weekend, trying to get their projects finished on time.  I also love that Monday is a fresh start.  I rarely have time to garden on the weekends, so Mondays is a wonderful time to step outside and see what is flowering, smell the subtle fragrance of my desert trees and most importantly – see what has developed in my vegetable garden.

Fall vegetable garden

Two weeks ago, I planted my fall vegetable garden – on a Monday.  It all started with a visit to our local Home Depot, where I picked up bagged compost, aged steer manure, bone meal and blood meal.

Earlier, we had ripped out what was left of our summer vegetable garden, leaving only our basil and oregano plants behind.  Since I had removed the shade cloth from the garden, I put in two plastic chairs to protect the basil and oregano from the sun.

We added a 3 inch layer of compost and 3 inches of aged steer manure.  Then I sprinkled both blood and bone meal on top.  We then lightly raked the layers together and then waited a week before planting our vegetable seeds.

Fall vegetable garden

Fall vegetable garden

We placed stepping stones through the middle so that we will have easy access to our vegetables.

Fall vegetable garden

I buy my seeds from different sources.  I have Burpee, some from Botanical Interesta, but I usually buy mine at the local Big Box store.

We decided to plant cucumbers, carrots, green onions, spinach, leaf lettuce and cauliflower.

I let each of the kids pick out what kind of seed they wanted to plant.

Fall vegetable garden

Decisions, decisions….

Planting Vegetable Seed

Planting Vegetable Seed

Gracie loves carrots, so that is what she picked to plant.

My son, Kai, planted the green onions and my daughter, Ruthie, planted the lettuce.

I finished up planting the rest of the seeds, using my top secret vegetable garden tool. 

I will share my special tool with you soon 🙂

Fall vegetable garden

Fall vegetable garden

 I had planted the sweet corn a few weeks ago, since they need to be in the ground by the end of August for best results.

So, do you know what you will be doing today?

I will be stepping out in to my vegetable garden, seeing what seedlings have started to sprout.

Stay tuned for how to plant garlic and learn about my ‘secret’ gardening tool.

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I hope you all had a great weekend and are off to a good start for the week.

**THERE ARE 2 DAYS LEFT TO ENTER YOUR MONTHLY GARDEN BOUQUET FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER.**

Please email me a photo of your bouquet, or leave me a link to your blog post with you bouquet in the comments section of this post.  I will then feature your bouquet and a link back to your blog.

I hope you decide to take the time to send me your bouquet.  I do enjoy seeing the beautiful flowers from your garden 🙂

Time To Plant Vegetables Already?

This weekend has been an extreme roller-coaster of highs and lows.  

Mostly lows though…..

You know what makes a person feel better though?  A beautiful bouquet.  I would like to showcase two bouquets that were submitted for August’s Monthly Garden Bouquet.


I can’t wait to share them with you.

Beautiful Bouquet

Isn’t it lovely?

This bouquet was created by Marguerite who lives in Prince Edward Island.  She has a great blog called Canoe Corner.

She created her bouquet using flowers from her own garden.  She included one of my favorite flowers, Peonies, which unfortunately do not grow where I live.

The next bouquet is from David who lives and gardens in Texas.

Beautiful Bouquet

David has been a faithful contributor to the Monthly Garden Bouquet.  He always creates a monthly bouquet from his garden for his wife.

This one he named “Welcome Home” bouquet after she began working full-time.  

He made it out of Blue Daze, Serena Purple Angelonia, Yellow Musseanda, Luteola and Bergarten Sage.

David is a wonderful blogger and you can read more about his garden on his blog, Tropical Texana.

So, if you would like for your bouquet to be included next month, all you need to do is to send me a photo via email (link on my sidebar), or you can send me a link to your blog page.  You can also post on my facebook page if you like.

I will post it on the 20th of next month.

The only guideline is to create a bouquet using plants from your garden.

I can’t wait to see what you create 🙂

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The past few days have been emotionally exhausting.

My father-in-law, who is suffering from ALS, was taken to the hospital with pneumonia.

We have spent the past three days there with him and other family.  Yesterday, his breathing became even more labored and he is becoming increasingly dependent on a machine that assists his breathing (not a ventilator though).

It is hard to see him suffer so much from this disease.  He can no longer communicate beyond nodding “yes” or “no”.  Using his hands is no longer possible and he is almost completely wheelchair bound.

Today his lungs began to collapse due to his disease, but for now, the breathing machine is helping to keep them open.  

In the midst of all of this was a very joyful time.  You see, my daughter had a 4-D ultrasound where we could actually see the features of our new granddaughter’s face.  Even though she is not due for 10 more weeks, it was so wonderful to gaze upon her precious little face.

granddaughter's face

It was disconcerting to go from such sadness, to joy and back to sadness in a period of 2 hours as we left the hospital to go to the ultrasound and then back to the hospital.

We did bring the photos of the ultrasound to my father-in-law so that he could see his first great-grandchild.  He has been so excited about her.  We only hope that he will survive long enough to see her in person.

For now, we are living in a period of uncertainty.  No one knows how long he will live.  Will we get a call tonight?  Or, will it be a few more months?  No one knows.

What we do know is that there will be a precious little baby born in about 10 weeks.  It is that certainty and joy that is helping us through this difficult time 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful week….

It seems just like I was creating a bouquet for the month of April.  Where has the time gone?

My garden is in full bloom, but all I seem to see when I look outside is some plants in need of a bit of pruning 😉

I have had some exciting events occur in my garden, which I cannot wait to share with you next week.  

Some of you wondered how my daughter, Gracie, was doing after having 6 teeth pulled last week and she is doing much better.  She was able to eat a Rice Krispy treat last Monday, but told me that she it was too hard to eat salad – I don’t think so……

Okay, so back to my Monthly Garden Bouquet.  You know, some months it is difficult to come up with a bouquet.  In winter there are much fewer flowering plants to choose from.  So, I really appreciate the warmer months when it  only takes me about 10 minutes to put together a pretty bouquet.

So, I picked out two different flowers, one from a shrub and the other from a groundcover.  I had the perfect container and was ready to take my photo when, my dog, Tobey, decided to get a closer look at my bouquet….

Creating a bouquet

So once I got Tobey out of the way, I was able to take this picture of my bouquet.

Creating a bouquet

Creating a bouquet

I love using mason jars for flower arrangements.  I recently purchased a special lid that has a wire grid that separates and holds up each individual stem.  I love it.

The flowers that I chose were yellow flowers from my Arizona Yellow Bells shrubs (Tecoma stans stans).  I love the bright green foliage and the flowers are present from April to November in my zone 9a garden.

**You know what?  Many people overlook the fact that many flowering shrubs can be used to make great bouquets.

The  purple flowers are from my Trailing Purple Lantana (Lantana montevidensis), which add gorgeous purple to my garden for 9 months each year.

Okay, so maybe some of you are wondering about this Monthly Garden Bouquet.  Well, here are the details below…..

If you would like to participate in this month’s MGB, here are the guidelines:

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it!

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.  

Spring seems to be rushing by so quickly.  It seems it was just yesterday when I was protecting some of my more tender plants from frost.

Well, it is time for this month’s monthly bouquet.  I had no problem figuring out what flowers I would use…

'Abraham Darby' rose

My daughter’s ‘Abraham Darby’ rose is just covered in beautiful blooms.

I only wish that you could smell their incredible fragrance through the computer 😉

Okay, so maybe some of you are wondering about this Monthly Garden Bouquet.  Well, here are the details below…..

If you would like to participate in this month’s MGB, here are the guidelines:

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it!

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.  

First of all, I would like to apologize for not coordinating a Monthly Garden Bouquet for February.  I wish that I had a great excuse for not doing one such as maybe not having any flowers in my garden.  But, that would not be true.

The reality was that I was just awfully busy last month and I did feel a bit guilty about it.  So, even though I am still recovering from pneumonia, I drug myself outside, (in my pajamas I might add), to find flowers to cut.


It really wasn’t hard to venture outside.  A clear blue sky and temperatures in the 70’s…..it was so beautiful.

Here is what I came up with…..

Bouquet for February

The blue flowers are Bachelor’s Button, which I have growing as a companion plant in my vegetable garden to help attract pollinators.  This is the first year that I have grown them and I just love their vibrant blue color.

The yellow flowers are from my Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata) perennials that I have dotting my front garden.  They survive on rainfall alone and are flowering off and on all year.  I do give them a ‘haircut’ three times a year to help them look their best.

Lastly, are some pink flowers from my potted Dianthus, which have done so well throughout the entire winter in my front entry.

I ventured outside in my PJ’s because I was sure that I would only take 2 minutes and no one would see me.  But no….. my wonderful neighbor saw me and I spent a delightful 1/2 hour talking with her in my front garden in my pajamas 😉

**I would like to thank you all so much for your kind comments and well wishes for my recuperation from this awful pneumonia.  I have a lot of medicine to take and am feeling much better.  I am just feeling tired and weak now, which is hard when I see the spring pruning that needs to be done in my garden.  Thankfully, my husband is more then willing to help out.

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Okay, so maybe some of you are wondering about this Monthly Garden Bouquet.  Well, here are the details below…..

If you would like to participate in this month’s MGB, here are the guidelines:

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it!

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.

**Please stop by and read my latest blog post about “Welcome Residents in the Vegetable Garden” on Birds & Blooms.  Your support means a lot to me and the editors 🙂

Okay, so how are you all doing in getting ready for the holidays?  Are you sipping apple cider in front of your Christmas tree and enjoying seeing all of the gifts you bought, already wrapped and ready for Christmas morning?

OR are still shopping and trying to find the perfect gift for that person who always seem to be so hard to buy for?  For me, my mother-in-law – who I love dearly by the way, is very hard to buy anything for.  But this year I do have a perfect gift – I made her a ………  (I had better not say.  She does not normally read my blog too often, but I don’t want to take any chances).

This year, I am done shopping –  as in finished and everything is wrapped.  Well…..all except for the two gifts that are in the mail and I hope get here before Christmas.  AND I have more baking to do this week.

But, I did not forget this month’s Garden Bouquet.  Okay, I almost did until I looked at the calendar this morning.  So after church, I took my clippers and went searching for flowers out in my front garden.

Even with our relatively mild winters, it is not always easy to find December flowers, but I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised to find more then a few.

Christmas Garden Bouquet

I filled my Polish pottery jug with a combination of flowers from my Cascalote tree which is in full bloom right now.  In the front are the pretty daisy-like flowers from my Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata).  

In the middle are the dainty, purple flowers of my Trailing Purple Lantana (Lantana montevidensis).  Now normally my Lantana is somewhat brown and crispy due to being affected by our occasional freezing temperatures.  But this year, I covered them and I am really glad I did because they look great out in the garden with not much else in bloom.

I had a bit of trouble figuring out where to take a picture of my bouquet because there is a lot of brown in my garden (as in my dormant bermuda grass lawn).  But there is an area in the garden with is absolutely beautiful and green….my vegetable garden.

Christmas Garden Bouquet

I think it made a great backdrop, don’t you?  

I can see my carrot tops, spinach as well as my companion plants – the nasturtiums and marigolds which have done a great job at repelling bad bugs away.

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Now for my delicious treat……

I love to bake and I do keep it simple but delicious.  I do get quite a few requests for my recipes and thought that I would share some with you from time to time.

pumpkin bread.

Yesterday my daughter, Gracie and I made pumpkin bread.  

If you would like to see the fruits of our labors and get the recipe, please click here.

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Okay, now back to December’s Monthly Garden Bouquet.  I realize that it can be a bit challenging to do during the winter months, but that is where creativity comes in.

Maybe you have some dried seedheads, which would make a beautiful bouquet.  

Or maybe you have some beautiful poinsettias or amaryllis.

I also think that a bouquet of evergreen foliage is beautiful.

If you would like to participate in this month’s MGB, here are the guidelines:

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂 

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂 

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it! 

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.

Wow….it is hard to believe that it is time for November’s Monthly Garden Bouquet.  I remember last month’s bouquet like it was yesterday.  What is it about the holidays that seems to speed up our perception of time?

I am busy getting ready for Thanksgiving since it will be held at my house.  We typically alternate celebrating Thanksgiving each year – one year with my family in California and the alternating years here at home with my husband’s family.  We were due to celebrate in California this year at my sister’s house, but due to unforseen circumstances, we are celebrating it here which is fine with me – I like an excuse to cook and bake.  What I don’t like is having to clean before and after 😉

With Thanksgiving in mind, my bouquet this month is a centerpiece for the table.  I must admit right now that this bouquet was NOT created by me or even made up of flowers from my garden.  This bouquet graced the table of the breakfast table at our Bed & Breakfast where we stayed in Amish Country in Lancaster, PA.

Beautiful Centerpiece

Beautiful Centerpiece

The gardens surrounding the house were just beautiful and these were the last Dahlias of the season.  I love how they are displayed in a shallow container because it shows the detail and beauty of each individual flower.

Notice the saying in front?  

I am sure we can all think of something we are thankful for, whether it be family, friends, a job, your health or a roof over your head.  It is easy to focus on what we don’t have or what is wrong in our lives – I know that I certainly am guilty of those feelings from time to time. 

But I do have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving 🙂

**Okay, about this month’s MGB.  Some of you in colder climates may think you have nothing in your garden to display for November’s Monthly Garden Bouquet.  But, if you think outside of the box, you might be surprised at what you may find.

Beautiful Centerpiece

For those of you who are fortunate enough to have some autumn leaves left – how about creating a bouquet using fall foliage and seed pods?

Back in February, my blogger friend, Balisha, created this bouquet from her Illinois garden.  

A Beautiful Centerpiece for November's MGB

As you can see, you do not have to have a garden full of colorful flowers to create a bouquet.  I love the shape and textures of Balisha’s bouquet.

If you would like to participate in this month’s MGB, here are the guidelines:

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂 

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂 

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it! 

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.

Spring’s First Monthly Garden Bouquet…

The leaves are beginning to turn and air is finally becoming cool and crisp.  I always look forward to fall as it is my favorite time of year, full of holidays.

My entry for this month’s Monthly Garden Bouquet (MGB) consists of a simple, but beautiful bouquet of some of my favorite flowers.

Now, as I ventured out into my garden to cut the blooms, the rain that had been falling had stopped.  But wouldn’t you know it…..after I made the trek to my side garden, the heavens opened up and I was caught in a torrential downpour.  

I didn’t want to be a ‘sissy’ and decided to cut the blooms as quickly as I could and then run inside.  Well you guessed it….I was completely soaked when I came inside.  But, I was successful and had a bunch of blooms from my single plant.

After drying my hair, I placed the blooms in my vase….

Monthly Garden Bouquet

I realize that I could have put maybe one or two more flowers, but I was NOT going out to venture out into the rain again because first, my hair was finally dry and second, there was lightning and I am paranoid about getting struck by lightning.

I got out my trusty SLR camera and started clicking away.  When I went to download them onto my computer….my camera started to have issues and my photos were lost.  So I had to resort to my small Sony Cybershot camera.  Under the circumstances, I think it did a pretty good job.

Monthly Garden Bouquet

The beautiful flowers of the Red Bird-of-Paradise also known as Royal Poinciana (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), do not need any other types of flowers or fillers.  They are so striking on their own.  

Newcomers to our area often comment on the beautiful shrubs and their bright summer flowers.  I have two by my kitchen window and I love viewing their blooms close up and the hummingbirds who come to drink their nectar.

If you would like to participate in this month’s Monthly Garden Bouquet (and I hope you do), here are the guidelines.

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂 

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.  **You can also create an autumn bouquet with fall colored foliage.**

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂 

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it! 

Have a great week!

Spring’s First Monthly Garden Bouquet…

I must admit, that I particularly enjoyed creating this month’s Monthly Garden Bouquet.  In fact, it is the simplest one that I have put together.  It mirrors how I feel today……the bright colors of the flowers just make me want to celebrate.  

Monthly Garden Bouquet

Patriot Lantana ‘Desert Sunset’

Without a doubt, one of my favorite shrubs is my Patriot Lantana ‘Desert Sunset’.  What I love most, is the variety of colors that are produced in a single cluster of flowers.  The second reason that I enjoy this plant so much, is that it is extremely low-maintenance……I just prune it back to about 2 feet in early March, make sure it is connected to our irrigation system and that is it.  No fertilizer, no deadheading…..nothing else is needed.  Don’t you wish more plants could be like this one?

Patriot Lantana

Patriot Lantana ‘Desert Sunset’

Right now, butterflies are hovering above the brightly colored flowers in my garden.  I have three of these Lantana in my front garden.  About 7 years ago, I planted them around golf courses inside of planters.  At the time, I was able to obtain them in 4″ pots, which made them inexpensive and easy to transplant into the larger containers.  After the summer was over, it was time to remove the Lantana and replace them with winter flowering annuals.  Although the Lantana would easily survive outdoors in our winters, they would suffer frost damage and everything around the golf courses had to look perfect year-round.

I could not throw away these beautiful plants, so I planted them in protected landscape areas around the golf courses, gave some away to the landscape crew and came home with 3.  Free plants and 7 years of low-maintenance beauty…..life in the garden cannot get much better, can it?

When I look closely, I love seeing the little buds begin to open…..

Patriot Lantana

 Now this is really cool…….look at the mature flower in the center and  you will notice the yellow florets are in the middle.  The new flower on the right has new yellow florets on the outside.  Guess what happens?  As the first yellow florets on the outside of the flower age, they turn orange and then pink.  How cool is that?

Patriot Lantana

Now, I do not have to go far to find a reason to celebrate today.  You may remember my mentioning my brother and sister-in-law were expecting……well on our way home from church yesterday, I received a text from my brother….they were at the hospital and the babies were on their way.  She had been scheduled for a c-section this Thursday, so we were a little thrown off….we could hardly get to the hospital fast enough.

You know that look that new fathers get?  Well, I was thrilled to see that expression on my brother’s face as he announced the birth of his twin boys.  They are absolutely adorable and I was in heaven holding the youngest one.

Okay, thank you for bearing with me and listening to my wonderful news.  I am getting ready to go to the hospital to visit.  But before I go, I would love to have you submit your Monthly Garden Bouquet.

If you would like to participate in this month’s Monthly Garden Bouquet (and I hope you do), here are the guidelines.

1. MGB begins on the 21st of each month and runs until the end of each month. Bouquets can be submitted during this time (or even later 🙂

2. Create your own garden bouquet as fancy or simple as you like.

3. I would appreciate it if you would provide a link back to my post inside of your MGB post, but it is not required 🙂

4. Add your link to Mr. Linky below and that’s it!

It can be as simple or fancy as you like.  Each month, I cannot wait to see what you all come up with.

******I promise to post Part 2 of Curing the Garden Blahs in a couple of days.******

Have a great week!  

Monthly Garden Bouquet – October