I see so many floral arrangements in print and online where the designer notes that many of the flowers or pods or branches used in the bouquet were "foraged." Living in a state with a lot of agriculture, "forage" is most commonly used here as a noun meaning food for livestock. If someone is "foraging" then they are typically looking for food. But all these hip young bloggers and floristas mean they found the material for their creations in the wild. I am always curious about where they actually go looking since it is illegal to remove natural material from public parks or gardens and the same goes for private property.
On the other hand, I did a little urban foraging over the weekend when I was at a bookstore in a mini-mall that's lost its main tenant. As a result the parking lot is almost entirely empty and the plantings are a mass of weeds and wildlings. Things were suffering from reflected heat and lack of attention. Since it was a public parking lot but unattended and barely used, I decided it was ripe for the kind of foraging I keep reading about. So I cut a bunch of goldenrod and asters, brought them home and put them in my largest wood fired stoneware pitcher.
From my garden I cut flowering stems of an assertive pond plant — Penthorum seloides aka star fruit — that currently needs some stern attention before it takes over. Though commonly known as "star fruit," I've seen its branches described as "upside down turkey's feet" which seems pretty accurate to me.
The third member of this trio has foliage from Aralia cordata 'Sun King' which is begin to turn yellow with a stem of pods from the same plant, along with a stem of Goldenrod that is past its prime.
All three pitchers are by local potter Mark Skudlarek of Cambridge Woodfired Pottery. The two smaller ones were bought as a pair that we thought would complement the big pitcher. The next three images are closeups of the patterns on each pitcher.
When I pulled out these three pitchers from our basement pottery stash, I decided to change the entire table top. The fabric is African mud cloth, if I remember correctly. And the lamp is Japanese. American art and craft paired with African and Asian items is pretty much the design motif everywhere in our house.
To see what other gardeners have put in a vase this Monday, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She is the host of the long-running meme that has become the favorite way to start the week for many of us gardeners around the world.