Monday, September 8, 2014

In a Vase on Monday: Keeping it Simple

Please pardon the interruption for a brief weather report: We got rain this morning!!!  I awoke to the sound of water and immediately thought that something had gone wrong with our irrigation system.  We had a chance of rain predicted as fall-out from Hurricane Norbert off the coast of Mexico but such predictions seldom come to anything.  Well, this time, it wasn't a break in the sprinkler system but real, honest to goodness rain.

Rain chain outside the dining room window



My rain gauge says we received 1/4th of an inch (6.35 mm) but that was enough to fill my rain barrel.  (I clearly need more of those.)  It has stopped now but the skies are still gray so maybe we'll get more.

On to the topic of the morning: flowers.  I bought over a dozen Rudbeckia a few weeks ago, the majority of which were R. 'Cherry Brandy,' a variety I've successfully grown before.  When I saw that my New Zealand tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) had started to bloom, I decided they would make a perfect pairing in this week's vase.




Although I considered many foliage plants that could complement the two, including Persicaria 'Red Dragon,' Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star' (which I used last week), and Prostanthera ovalifolia (mint bush), I decided to make do with coleus (Solenostemon scuttelarioides).  I'd intended to leave the vase alone with just those 3 elements but, when trying to remember if the Leptospermum scoparium was 'Apple Blossom' (it's not), it occurred to me at the last moment to add my favorite Pentas to the mix.

Vase photographed from the back



Here are some close-up photos so you can appreciate each of these plants:

Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy'

Solenostemon scuttelarioides 'Fire Fingers Coleus'

The center of the Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl' flowers echo the color of the Rudbeckias and I love the woody seed pods 

The ever-useful Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom'



The vase was placed in the foyer.




Last week's vase held up well.  After pulling out the foliage, I put the remaining flowers in a smaller vase and stuck it in my home office so I can enjoy it for awhile yet.

When Eustoma 'Borealis Blue' is cut in bud, the flower buds open in a paler shade



Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the host of the "In a Vase on Monday" meme to see what she and other gardeners have put together this week.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

27 comments:

  1. I got rain, too! On tenth of an inch in six minutes. Almost got washed away! I just love it! Very noisy, too. It woke me up.

    I like very much the colors and simplicity of today's bouquet especially the 'Cherry Brandy'. It all goes together very well.

    The link to my blog on your website is not updating properly. I don't know how to fix. So here it is again: http://janestrong.blogspot.com/

    Jane Strong

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    1. Jane, I thought you must have shut your blog down. I just tried linking again via the URL you listed above but got the same message I've gotten the last few months: "this blog is open to invited readers only." Could there be a problem with your security settings? Check the permissions setting for blog readers - if it doesn't say "public" you're blocking access.

      I'm glad you got some rain too. It appears to have stopped here but I remain hopeful for a wet El Nino year.

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    2. Oh, gosh, Kris, a million thanks. I think you have solved the problem. I made the change to public readers. Please try it now.

      Mmmm .... still doesn't seem to be working correctly. Any other ideas?

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    3. OK. What I'm getting now from your right sidebar is is "Page doesn't exist." which is true. I took it down. There is a link called "Home" which seems to work. Can you access that much?

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    4. Jane, I can now see your recent posts. I re-loaded your blog URL and it's now working correctly, along the side-bar isn't yet reflecting the recent activity. That may happen with your next post - I've seen that timing glitch before.

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  2. I always find plants I would like to own when reading your blog Kris! this week it is the Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy', does it grow from seed do your think or is it reproduced by cuttings? I also like the Leptospermumand used to buy it for arangements when I lived in the UK, I don't think I'll find it here. The flowers from last week's vase still look beautiful, a lovely thing to have on your desk.

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    1. I know that seeds of 'Cherry Brandy' are available, Christina, although I haven't tried growing it from seed myself. I haven't seen any references to reproduction from cuttings but it's normally grown as an annual here even though I believe it's classified as a short-lived perennial. The Leptospermum hails from New Zeland/Australia so I suspect it wouldn't like your colder winters.

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    2. Thanks for that, yes I found that a British seed company actually bred this variety or so their web site claims. I'm definitely going to try to grow it it looks fabulous in your vase.

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  3. Kris what a great surprise to have rain...everything looks so refreshed. And the vase is lovely. I especially like the NZ Tea tree and the coleus teamed with the rudbeckia and a bit of pink from the pentas....really wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Donna! Waking up to the rain was indeed a wonderful surprise.

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  4. Great news on the rain! And the berry shades of your arrangement made me crave for some fruits!

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  5. It's great to be on a position to appreciate the rain when it comes - although I am amazed that it can have filled your rain barrel so quickly! You are right about keeping it simple, as the colours blend together perfectly. The rudbeckia are as gorgeous as always - I ignored a lovely one at a car boot sale at the w/e as they just don't seem to do well here, don't know why. Thanks as always for joining in.

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    1. A lot of water pours off our roofs - what hits the garage is funneled by gutters into the rain barrel, which I believe holds 60 gallons. I asked for a 2nd barrel last Christmas but Santa didn't come through - maybe this year he'll be more accommodating.

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  6. I know your excitement over the rain. I hope more is coming to you, and to me, too! It must be fun to watch the rain chain with its little waterfall. Your bouquet is lovely, as always, with perfect color and shape complements. I love those wooden seed pods!

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    1. The seed pods are very hard and remain on the stems long after the flowers have faded - I wonder how hard it is to get mature seeds to germinate?

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  7. Hooray for the rain! My garden loves real rain, over the dry summer the sprinkler just doesn't cut it. I don't know how you gardeners in California cope.

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    1. Last year, we got less than 3.5 inches of rain here, Alison. As I recall, it was said to be the lowest volume in 180+ years of record-keeping. Last week, an article in the Los Angeles Times claimed that there's a 50% chance we've entered a 30-year period of drought and a 80% chance we're in a 10-year drought. (I don't recall any explanation of how this was determined.) My hope is that all the dire predictions are wrong and that we get a wet El Nino event this year.

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  8. Glad you had some rain! I love the tea tree flowers and the seed heads too. The colours are lovely - such a pretty rudbeckia. And I thought they were only yellow and orange! I'm learning! ;-)

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    1. Those plant breeders are keeping us all on our toes, Cathy. Every time I turn around there's a new variety of Heuchera, a new color of Echinacea, etc.

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  9. Those tea tree blossoms are beautiful--I thought at first they might be Flowering Almond. I am a complete sucker for pink! I also love the Cherry Brandy Rucbeckia. They're gorgeous together! And the coleus and Pentas are perfect complements. Glad you enjoyed some rain! --Kimberley

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    1. The Leptospermum flowers are smaller than those on the almond but perfect. I love their dark red centers.

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  10. The flowers you've assembled work beautifully together. The Rudbeckia is a gorgeous color.

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    1. Thanks Susie! This particular Rudbeckia bloomed off and on for more than a year the last time I grew it here and I'm hopeful it will do as well this time, drought or not.

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  11. Lovely arrangements! The vases add so much to the personality of these collections. I really like the plumes of dried grass on the second arrangement.

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    1. Those grass plumes are going on their 2nd week in a vase, too. The original wine color has faded but they're still pretty.

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  12. You always use such gorgeous flowers in your arrangements. I love the Rudbeckia. The Leptospermum is fabulous and a perfect match for the lovely Pentas.

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