Monday, May 26, 2014

In a Vase on Monday: A Lopsided Arrangement

The flowers on 3 of my Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' were past their prime.  The bulk of the lower petals had dropped off, leaving just the tops of the tall bloom stalks intact.  They needed to be cut back but the flower tips were still pretty so into a vase they went.  The color of the flowers is relatively unusual so I had to scour the garden for the right accents.




I selected 3 stems of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' as the foliage accent and several stems of Argyranthemum frutescens 'Madeira Red' as a floral accent.  While the colors blended well, the combination of all those the red tones made the arrangement feel heavy, almost leaden.  So, I moved the Argyranthemum to the back of the arrangement and tucked in Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin' and Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum' up front to brighten things a bit.

Close up showing Argyranthemum 'Madeira Red' and the stems of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief'

Close up of Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin' and golden feverfew



There's been something of a Digiplexis backlash here.  Declared the "it" plant last year, within months it went from being hard to find to everywhere you look.  Despite its overexposure, I have to say I like it a lot.  The orange and pink of the flowers is undeniably pretty and it has proven heat-hardy in my garden thus far.  Even when our temperatures hit record highs here, both flowers and foliage remained in great condition.  I think I probably should have cut the central flower spikes back sooner to promote earlier side growth but that's a lesson I can act on next year.

Close up photo of Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame'




While I like the color combinations in this bouquet, the heavy stems of the Leucadendron created a lopsided display.  In retrospect, I think a more delicate foliage accent, like Abelia, would have been a better choice.  I futzed with it for a while, then decided to let it be.  This asymmetrical arrangement is my contribution to Cathy's meme at Rambling in the Garden, which celebrates flowers cut from materials on hand in one's own backyard (or front yard, as the case may be).  Click here to see Cathy's floral concoction this week and to find links to other gardeners' floral creations.

27 comments:

  1. That's my favourite yet! Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' is incredible!

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    1. That Leucadendron took a little while to hit its stride, Louis, but it's looking good this year.

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  2. It's great learning from our vases, isn't it? I jiggled the contents of mine around a little till I was happier with the blend, and have since decided to keep it simple and use less foliage next week. You had some amazing colours to work with this week - but making it a challenge to get the right combinations. I see what you mean about the leaves, but the colour combination is brilliant. Thanks for sharing again.

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    1. It's definitely a learning experience, Cathy. I crammed too much into this week's vase. I'll shoot for an airier look next time.

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  3. Lovely. Your plant materials all seem so exotic and interesting with their bold textures and colors. Susie

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    1. Thanks, Susie. Southern California does bold well :)

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  4. I have yet to see an Illumination Flame looking good here so it's great to see yours looking so good with it hot and bright colours!

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    1. I guess the Digiplexis likes Southern California - it didn't even have a problem with our recent heatwaves. I'm looking forward to the introduction of more colors.

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  5. Who wants perfection? I like that Leucodendron! I am not familiar with it, but "Chief' is gorgeous. I am off to do some research on it!

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    1. Leucadendron do very well here, Deb. I have 4 (or more) now and, if I have any sense, I'd probably get more to fill in for the plants less well adapted to this climate.

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  6. I like the bouquet just as it is. It's so cool that you found orange and pink to mix in with it since it's such a challenge to find just the right ones in your garden each Monday.

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    1. Thanks, Shirley. That Anagallis was the touch I needed to offset the more somber red tones and pick up the orange color in the interior of the Digiplexis petals.

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  7. That's a great bouquet. I cut my main IF stem off as well, but just threw mine in the compost. You did better.

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    1. The Digiplexis make pretty good cut flowers, Hoover Boo - they do better in the vase than the more common Digitalis purpurea.

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  8. Well done Kris..very festive and cheery and nicely balanced.

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  9. Beautifully done as always Kris! What a nice way to start the week!

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    1. I'm surprised each week when I find flowers to make into a bouquet, Peter, although the dog days of summer may present a more significant challenge.

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  10. I love the orange ans hot pink colour combination which sounds wierd but looks fantastic. Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' is something I should look for. My back border is quite orange in summer, some hot pinks would make it zing! Great ideas this week Kris.

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    1. Thanks, Christina. Given that the Digiplexis was named plant of the year at Chelsea in 2012, I'm surprised it doesn't seem as readily available in Europe as it is here.

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  11. what a beautiful bouquet and colors!
    best regards
    Mariana

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  12. I love hot pink with orange, so your vase is a real winner with me, and I like the a-symmetrical display too. Gorgeous.

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    1. That pink-orange combination has grown on me too, Janet. Thanks for visiting!

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  13. Absolutely gorgeous colours. Not only can you grow that fantastic Leucodendron ( impossible here) but you have enough to pick. And the Anagallis which I thought was the tiny Scarlet Pimpernel is beautiful too. I always enjoy seeing your lovely arrangements with such unusual flowers.

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