Monday, November 3, 2014

In a Vase on Monday: The Eustoma Makes a Comeback

When the nighttime temperatures began to cool, I was delighted to notice signs that my Eustoma grandiflorum was preparing to make a comeback.  The white form, planted from a 6-pack, never really got off the ground before the heat struck, causing blooms to shrivel before they were ready to open.  The blue forms, E. 'Borealis Blue' and E. 'Echo Blue,' got an earlier start so I was able to savor their blooms for several weeks before they too hunkered down to wait out the hot weather.  I tucked an unopened bud of E. 'Echo White' in last week's vase.  This week's vase, prepared in connection with the meme "In a Vase on Monday," hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, contains both white and blue forms of the beautiful double-flowered varieties.


I think this one is 'Borealis Blue' but its flowers and those of 'Echo Blue' look more alike now than they did earlier in the season



With one exception, everything I've included in this week's arrangement has appeared in one or another of my earlier arrangements.  The exception is Barleria obtusa, also known as Bush Violet.  I vaguely remember growing this plant in my former garden but I haven't seen it in years.  I came across it at the local botanic garden's fall plant sale the weekend before this past one and scooped up 2 pots.  The plant sale had been dramatically scaled back in comparison to prior years' events but finding this plant made the visit worthwhile.

Barleria obtusa is a drought tolerant evergreen shrub from the Acanthus family that blooms in fall through winter



In addition to the Eustoma grandiflorum and Barleria obtusa, here's what I included in my vase:

  • Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink,' scheduled to be pruned back hard later this fall
  • Lobularia maritima (aka Sweet Alyssum), a self-seeder enjoying its own comeback
  • Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom,' which recently began another flush of bloom
  • Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior,' which is just about to end its annual bloom cycle
  • Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star,' also on the pruning "to do" list
  • Tanacetum parthenium, represented by the last fresh stem left in my garden


The Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' in the front yard gets a temporary reprieve on pruning until my other plants recover from their shearing - I can't leave the hummingbirds without their favorite food source

Plectranthus 'Zulu Warrior' is shown here with Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom'

Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-Star' flowers sporadically but its real beauty is in its foliage



This vase is sitting on the dining room table where I can enjoy it while eating my breakfast.

Although I do need to find a more autumnal table runner



Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see her vase this week, which marks the 52nd week she has hosted this meme featuring flowers collected from her garden in the United Kingdom.  In addition to her vase, you'll find links to the creations of other participants in this popular weekly event.


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

30 comments:

  1. The arrangement looks more springlike than autumn which is a cheer to see :)

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    1. Fall in southern California is often described as a "second spring." You might be surprised to see how much color there is in the local nurseries right now.

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  2. That blue vase is perfect! Stuff here I've never heard of before. You do find wonders. I've noticed my garden flowers are mostly purple now, too. Why is that?

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    1. Now that you mention it, Jane, I've come home with a surprising number of purple-flowered plants of late myself. In addition to the Barleria, this includes a Salvia 'Amistad' and Solanum xanti.

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  3. I am captivated by Eustoma grandiflorum; I used to see it often in florists in the UK but don't think I have ever seen it here, I would love a couple of plants for the cuttings bed so I must look harder for plants to buy. A lovely combination again in your vase Kris.

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    1. I'm in love with these plants, Christina, particularly the double-flowered varieties. Next year, I'm getting more!

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous. I discovered incidental to our drought and the move towards using native perennial plants here that very few of them lend themselves to use as a cut stem. Most of them have small blooms, rarely in great profusion. The caution of the plants in terms of expending energy and risking the annihilation of their seed stock by going full out in any particular time span is a reflection of the unpredictability of our weather I suppose.

    Which is a really long way for me to say - wow. Those cut flowers are breathtaking.

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    1. For the record, Deb, the Barleria, a South African native, hasn't held up well in the vase but the fragile looking flowers of the Plectranthus, another South African import, have. The Eustoma, an annual native to the southern US, Mexico and parts of South America, trumps most every cut flower I've tried - it can hold on almost 2 weeks in a vase.

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  5. Kris I want to come and just sit in your garden with all its amazing foliage and flowers. Plants I never see and am just smitten with. That bush violet has me wanting one, although I now it would never survive here. Another stunning vase with so much lovely color...

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    1. I hope the Bush Violet lives up to my recollections of it, Donna. I think it's better in the garden than as a cut flower, though.

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  6. Such glorious colours, I always enjoy your vases as you usually use plants I have never even heard of, let alone grown. The Eustoma make a beautiful picture, I adore the blue forms in particular.

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    1. The Eustoma really looks like a blue rose, doesn't it? I'm in love with the plant.

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  7. What intense colors! As beautiful a bouquet as you always seem to do.

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    1. Thanks Linda! The Eustoma carry the arrangement in this case.

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  8. Amazing blues, and so many flowers I have never seen before! Just beautiful. I'm off to Rambling in the Garden to take a look-see.

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    1. I expect you'll enjoy your visit to Cathy's collection of floral arrangements!

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  9. Eustoma are so pretty! My neighbor, who had a full, English-style garden used to grow them. I think we treat them as an annual around here although, technically, they might overwinter. Are they fully perennial for you?

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    1. I have over-wintered the Eustoma, Emily, but the blooms just don't have the zip of the first year on the second go-round. I expect I'll treat them as an annual. They haven't self-sown - for me anyway - more's the pity.

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  10. Beautiful arrangement - stunning colours and I can't think of anything more cheering to greet you at the breakfast table.Your Eustoma grandiflorum flowers are lovely - the blues are amazing.

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    1. The blue form of the Eustoma is the most dramatic, Elizabeth, but the more delicate white, pink and yellow forms are also pretty in their own way. There are picotee forms too, although I haven't grown them - I must remedy that!

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  11. I love Eustoma. I keep meaning to grow it. One of these years I'll get my act together and start the seed on time, or find some plants at a garden center.

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    1. Given my affection for the Eustoma, I should probably try growing them from seed too, Evan. I'm not as adept at growing from seed as you are, though.

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  12. The Eustoma are superb - what rich colours. But as well as being beautiful, yours is a real botanist's vase, isn't it? So many things in it that I have not (or barely) heard of. I'd long to grow Barteria obtuse, but two words 'evergreen' and winter-flowering' say it's not for me. Still, I can enjoy the flowers secondhand on your blog! Thanks for the vase on a wet November afternoon!

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    1. We seldom get frost, much less the cold and snow that you get, Cathy, so what grows here is very different. I wouldn't mind getting some of the rain you get, however. Thanks for visiting!

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  13. You always have such fabulous flowers in your vases. I love the Eustoma but everything is so pretty. Lovely, lovely colours.

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    1. Thanks Chloris! Using the Eustoma in another vase is a little like watching a re-run on television but the plant made the effort to come back so I thought it deserved recognition for it.

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  14. A beautiful arrangement again, making a lovely bold statement with all that blue! And I do like the vase with blue streaks running through it - it goes nicely with the Eustoma. Very pretty Kris!

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    1. I can't remember where I got that vase, Cathy, but it came in useful this year with all the blue colors in my garden.

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  15. As always, you've created a beautiful arrangement. Your eustomas are glorious and I definitely will grow them next year! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  16. I wish I could grow Eustoma and Barleria here. They are gorgeous!

    You have a real knack for creating bouquets.

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