Week 22 // Slow Flowers Challenge
June 6th, 2015
This week I couldn’t take my eyes off the gorgeous flower stalks of two bear’s breech plants ( Acanthus mollis) growing between our back porch and the pond in a shady area.
This perennial typically belongs at the back of the border where the large glossy foliage can offset smaller and more delicate companions. Deeply lobed, the acanthus leaf is a classical form in art and architecture. I’ve actually used the leaves in winter floral arrangements before. In my Zone 8b garden, the leaves are basically evergreen and winter hardy.
The blooms are also arresting. They are tall and pointed with an overall spiny form and purplish-green bracts. I will say this: They don’t LOVE being cut and plunked in a vase.
The five stalks I cut and used in this bouquet had mixed performance from between one to three days. So if you have bear’s breech in your perennial border, consider it a day-of cut flower.
Here is the recipe::
- Garden mint, grown by Ojeda Farms in Ethel, Washington
- Honeywort (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’), grown by Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington
- Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis), Jello Mold Farm
- ‘April in Paris’ Sweet Peas, Jello Mold Farm
- Bear’s breech (Acanthus mollis) flowers, from my garden
And on its own, the foliage of Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) is also fantastic. Long after the beautiful flowers fade, you can keep cutting the leaves for arranging: