A Fresh Mantle for Spring

This weekend I spent about three hours out in the garden, pruning dead stalks and pulling weeds. I pruned a few other plants that have gotten a little out of control, and decided to use the trimmings to add some fresh greenery to the mantle.

Spring Mantle with Fresh Greens

Spring Mantle with Fresh Greens

I love how tall the greens on the left are! I didn’t trim them down at all as I like how “out of control” they look. Those big long leafy stems are from a plant that can be difficult to find in most nurseries because they are difficult to propogate and slow to grow– they are Poet’s Laurel. I am lucky enough to have two of these plants in my yard.

Poet's Laurel - Danae Racemosa

Poet’s Laurel – Danae Racemosa

This plant is near the end of the driveway, just behind a Japanese Maple. The center has been propped up with some wire fencing– probably to give it a little height. I think I read that you can prune them way back, but for right now I just cut off a few scraggly pieces.

The other plant is on the side yard, and this picture shows it as compared to Nandina (just behind it with the red berries).

Poet's Laurel vs. Nandina

Poet’s Laurel vs. Nandina

At first, I thought it was Nandina – very similar in color and the shape of the leaves. However, they had lighter colored orange berries in late fall, and not as many of them, as Nandina has of it’s berries. So I started hunting on the internet to try to find it. I started looking at Bamboo, because it also sort-of reminded me of that. Eventually I got away from that, and back to Nandina and found it quickly. (All told it took me about half an hour to track it down). I also read that many florists/floral arrangers love this plant- given the drama, I can see why!

Detail Poet's Laurel

Detail of Poet’s Laurel

The other plant I used in my arrangements is this beauty, called Rainbow Leucothoe:

Rainbow Leuthocoe in Front

Rainbow Leucothoe in Front

I have three of these beauties- one in the front yard, one in the back, and one going up the path in the back.

Rainbow Leucothoe down path

Rainbow Leucothoe down path

I think this is a subtly elegant plant with a pretty detail:

Detail of Rainbow Leucothoe

Detail of Rainbow Leucothoe

I love that pink! I think I’m going to have so many options throughout the seasons here- to have pretty, fresh arrangements whenever I want one!

Back to the mantle- some details:

Art Nouveau Vase with Poets Laurel

Art Nouveau Vase with Poets Laurel

I inherited this vase from my grandmother, but I’m not really sure about the story behind it. It definitely has an early 20th century look to it though. The gold box to the left of the vase I made here. The bowl to the right was made by my ceramics professor at J. Sargent Reynolds community college. Unfortunately I don’t remember his name, but I do know he was a VCU graduate. I got this bowl as my fellow classmates voted me most something (eek I don’t remember that either!).

Rainbow Leucothoe in Milk Glass Vase

Rainbow Leucothoe in Milk Glass Vase

This beautiful white vase was a gift from my Aunt. I love it and I think it is so pretty. The green pitcher came from my other grandmother, who kept an easy-care plant in it for as long as I can remember. And the two little votives are something I picked up at Michael’s a year or so ago.

Mmm, fresh, airy, and light ready for spring!

Heres Looking at You Mantle

Here’s Looking at You Mantle

 

Linking up to these parties:  Cupcakes and Crinoline, Remodelaholic