Monday, May 12, 2014

In a Vase on Monday: Before and After

After one week of cooler weather, temperatures are climbing once again in southern California and the Santa Ana winds are blowing.  The winds, called "devil winds" during California's Spanish colonial period, are the source of as many problems as the heat, increasing the danger of wildfires and drying up soil, plants, and the gardener's skin.  The Santa Anas have a place in popular mythology too.  They featured prominently in Raymond Chandler's 1938 story, "Red Wind," in which Chandler described the hot, dry winds as those "that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch."

This is a long-winded (no pun intended) way to explain how I chose the centerpiece for the bouquet I put together in connection with Cathy's weekly meme at Rambling in the Garden.  I don't have many hybrid tea or floribunda roses so I use them sparingly as cut flowers, if at all.  But, when the Santa Anas blow, these flowers can shrivel or blow to pieces overnight so, facing that prospect, I cut 2 stems of my lavender rose, consisting of 2 full-blown blooms and 4 buds, for today's vase.

This was my first pass at constructing my bouquet.

Vase, sitting in my kitchen window with a cookie jar pig I use as a tea caddy



I'm uncertain as to the name of the rose, which came with the house.  The best guess is 'Angel Face,' although the blooms are much bigger than those of the 'Angel Face' I grew in my former garden.  However, like that rose, the flowers are extremely fragrant.

I accented the roses with Pentas, ornamental oregano, Gaura, and stems from one of my favorite variegated foliage plants.

Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossum'

Origanum 'Monterey Bay'

Gaura lindheimeri 'Snow Fountain'

Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-Star'



The arrangement was fine but I thought it needed something else with volume to fill the space between the roses and the wispy Gaura.  I went hunting in my garden for the white form of Centranthus ruber which, along with the pink varieties, is a virtual weed here.  Unfortunately, the big white blooms had been wiped out by the last heatwave.  I found only smaller sprays of white Centranthus.  Even the pink varieties, on their second bloom cycle, were relatively small.  I added some of both to the bouquet anyway.  Here's the "after" photo:

Vase after the addition of Centranthus ruber



The addition of the Centranthus did help fill out the arrangement from the back.




Although all my photos were once again taken in the kitchen, the bouquet sits in my home office, where I can enjoy the fragrance.  (Taking a good picture in my home office appears to be impossible.)

This is my contribution to Cathy's meme.  Please visit her at Rambling in the Garden to see what she's cooked up this week and to find links to the creations of other participating gardeners.


22 comments:

  1. I quickly fell in love with the colors of this bouquet! Quite wonderful especially the pentas and the biglongword 'Tri-Star'. And, yeah, the pretty white centranthus is gone -- I didn't know it was heat that caused it -- the red is holding up well and the pink is yet to bloom. Gosh, can you believe another heat wave?

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    1. One week on and one week off - I hope this doesn't become the regular pattern through what remains of our spring here, Jane. The heat in July and August is tiresome enough - still, I guess we're lucky we don't have tornadoes and golf-ball sized hail.

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  2. The system has just gobbled up my comment - which was making favourable comments akin to Jane's and asking about the wind. Grrrrr!! Where do all these stray comments end up, I wonder?!! Well done for saving these roses as they make a great focal point for this pretty vase, and thanks for joining in

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    1. Does anyone read the stray comments that disappear into the blogosphere, I wonder? A software update had me chasing disappearing comments a couple of weeks ago, Cathy - it took me a day to figure out what had been turned on and how to turn it off.

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  3. All I can say about the weather is blankety-blankety blank! Stuck in the house again.

    Pretty bouquet--I'm totally hopeless when it comes to arrangements.

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    1. I was stuck inside today as well, although I can't entirely blame the weather for that. However, I'm very annoyed that we're apparently stuck with this pattern at least through Friday. Back to early morning and evening gardening, I guess. Stay cool!

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  4. Wow what a beautiful bouquet!
    best regards
    Mariana

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  5. Another pretty bunch Kris, superb combinations as always!

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  6. I love the colours of your bouquet this week and the centranthus does look very good as a filler. I had no idea about the winds in California - I have always imagined it to be a perfect climate.

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    1. I think the credit for perceptions of the California climate probably belong to a PR firm somewhere, Julie. The Santa Ana winds have always presented issues here but the frequency of both the heat spells and the high winds have increased in recent years while our rainfall is down to record lows.

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  7. Your bouquet is lovely Kris. Perfectly beautiful roses and the companion flowers are striking, especially the Pentas. I had not heard of Origanum 'Monterey Bay' before. Very pretty.

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    1. The Origanum was sold as a new variety, Susie. It's named after the growers, Monterey Bay Nursery. I love it but I didn't do a particularly good job of placing it in my garden - still, this isn't the weather to try moving it.

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  8. Beautiful! I liked the look next to the pig! I think the Centranthus added just the right finishing touch.

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    1. Yes, I thought the bouquet looked nice there next to the pig too. I was worried that the Centranthus might fall apart in the vase but that doesn't look like a problem (not yet, anyway).

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  9. WOW! that is really beautiful!

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  10. I was complaining today about our east wind that kicked up again with a sunny dry day. Thank you for the reminder it could be much worse. Good on you for rescuing the flowers and brining them to where you could enjoy them.

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    1. Climate change is affecting all of us, albeit in different ways, Loree. The changes seem more obvious this year - I've accepted that it's got to drive a change in what I plant and how I garden.

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  11. Those winds! I bet they're really disturbing. I pray they die back and don't cause any serious damage to plants or people. Your bouquet is exquisite. I love the colors and the form. I wonder if the rose could be 'Rhapsody in Blue.' I posted a photo of mine last week. Very fragrant but unlike 'Angel Face' the foliage is disease resistant. Great post.

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    1. I went back and looked at 'Rhapsody in Blue' in your post. Color is always hard to judge in photos but 'Rhapsody' looks deeper and more consistent in color than my 'Angel Face' facsimile. I'll have to look for 'Rhapsody' in the nursery to make another comparison - I wouldn't mind having another rose in that color family. Thanks Grace!

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