Late season interest and color continues in my yard, and I was able to put together a nice floral arrangement yesterday. Beautyberry bushes (Callicarpa) are seldom seen in gardens in Oregon. I put one in a few years ago when I went to our local nursery in the fall, and I saw the amazing magenta-mulberry colored berries. I knew immediately that these would make a perfect accent in bouquets. Here is mine as it looks today. The berries come on when the leaves start changing. The rest of the year it doesn’t really do anything else spectacular. My beautyberry bush needs some fertilizer before next spring, as the berries should be larger (could also be due to the drought) and the foliage could also be healthier.
I decided to make the beautyberries the main feature in the arrangement. To highlight them, I added some white accents with Daphne. This is an everblooming variety. Daphne transatlantica “BLAFRA’ Eternal Fragrance. I have three of these compact shrubs. Daphnes are known to be one of our earliest spring blooming shrubs in Oregon, with the mesmerizing fragrance of freshly laundered clothes. (I think perhaps Tide and many other laundry detergents took their fragrance inspiration from Daphnes). The amazing thing about this ‘BLAFRA’ variety, is that it has been blooming on and off since March or April, with at least 4 cycles of blooms now. The fragrance is much more subdued than a traditional spring-only blooming daphne, but it’s still there. Here’s one of mine:
To bring out the purple of the berries against the green foliage, I used a matching purple vessel. I chose a small Scheurich brand planter that I had on hand. Scheurich is a German company that makes brilliantly colored planters for houseplants and orchids–and because they do not have drainage holes, you can also use the small ones for vases. I bought mine at Fred Meyer a few years ago.