A study in figuring it out
My Mom brought over another vase full of fresh picks from her garden early this week (a regular thing this time of year) and amongst the collection of black eyed Susans, zinnias, and dahlias were the most striking blue blooms I've ever seen. I asked her what they were, and for the first time maybe ever, she didn't know! They were wild, and she thought that maybe they were catnip? Whatever they were, they were as pungent as they were pretty.
Intrigued, I sent a photo to my favorite florist friend, Amanda, and asked her if she knew. Low and behold—she didn't either! So she consulted with her master gardener Mom, who came up with the winner: Black and Blue Salvia!
I did a little research about this plant, and it turns out it's particularly attractive to hummingbirds! (Apparently they don't mind the stink.) Here's a great link that gets into a lot more detail if you're interested (and a nerd, like me).
Unfortunately, we've had a lot of gloomy weather over the past two days since I finished this piece, and the absurd vibrancy of the blue I used made it hard to photograph the final product. So I didn't get as many photos as I'd hoped before the model wilted away. But I think I did a nice job capturing the look, and I lucked out by having a lightweight German crepe that perfectly matched the blue! (I used Delft Blue from Castle in the Air if you're interested.)
These stems—though seemingly simple—were more time-consuming (and a little more frustrating) than I'd hoped they would be—but that's exactly why I do these studies. Now I know!