Our weather has been so warm and sunny that I've almost forgotten that Halloween and the end of October are fast approaching. I decided it was time to get my seasonal decorations out. As is so often the case with my vases, the best spot for viewing is on the pair of Chinese wine tables that fill the wall at one end of our living room.
Yes, this grouping does include an actual vase.
I clipped a few stems of Royal fern (Osmunda regalis) which had turned this wonderful cinnamon color. Also in the vase is a dried flowerhead of Astilbe (back right), a Martagon lily seedpod next to the dark seed heads of Penstemon 'Dark Tower' (front left) and the big shaggy blob that was a Dahlia. I have been letting every Dahlia I cut for vases slowly dry up like this. It may be my favorite moment in the life cycle of those flowers.
The vase itself is one we've found many year ago at the UW Hospital gift shop. It was made by a young woman who changed careers midstream from nursing to ceramics. We have a few of her pieces and we've always hoped that decision proved to be the right one for her. This arrangement also includes this pumpkin-shaped gourd decorated with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations. We found this at the Cathedral Square Farmers Market in Milwaukee a few years ago. The other "pumpkin" is a bronze Japanese container that I visited in a consignment shop for a year before I finally bought it. It wasn't that expensive, I just felt like I really didn't need to add more things to my already full house. But eventually I couldn't resist it any longer and brought it home.
Going down the line are bits of rusty metal — souvenirs of a desert hike, a raku bowl by Wisconsin artist Karl Burgeon and a glass plate whose origins I've forgotten.
Potter Karl Borgeson is still producing beautiful work but it is quite different from this raku piece that I bought at the late Art Independent gallery in Lake Geneva. I love everything about it: the uneven edge like piecrust when you roll it out, the splashes of brilliant color, the bits of geomentric motif and the calligraphic brush work. A piece I treasure. This is my favorite kind of arrangement with a mix of color and especially texture, but bound together by shape. If you notice, everything is round.
To see what other gardeners have put in a vase today, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this meme that we all love so much. Cathy makes me look forward to Monday morning!