Monday, November 17, 2014

In a Vase on Monday: It was better in concept...

For a change, I went into the garden to cut flowers with a plan in mind for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme sponsored by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Maybe that was the problem.  Usually, while I might identify a focal point ahead of time, I otherwise approach the garden as a blank slate.  This time, I began cutting flowers of various kinds I'd identified in advance, only to find that they didn't combine well when I took them in and tried to create an arrangement.  I took out a vase to fill with rejects early on and ultimately ended up with 2 reject vases and one larger vase I'm not thrilled with.

The larger vase was constructed of flowers and foliage I hadn't even considered on my first pass through the garden.  It's a hodge-podge construction with an emphasis on pinkish-coral tones.

Front view

Back view



The vase includes:

  • Aloe flowers (noID, possibly Aloe 'Pink Blush')
  • Arbutus 'Marina' flower stems
  • Calibrachoa (noID)
  • Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' flower stem
  • Rose 'Pink Meidiland'
  • Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Honey Crisp Coleus'

The Aloe flowers pick up the deeper tones in the roses

The flowers of the Arbutus' Marina' trees look like miniature hot-air balloons and are loved by the hummingbirds

The flower buds of the succulent Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' have a coral blush but open with yellow petals

The centers of the 'Pink Meidiland' rose mimic the colors at the center of the Graptoveria flowers

Close-up of the variegated leaves of the coleus



Reject vase #1 contains Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl,' a couple of raggedy stems of Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy,' and Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Fire Fingers Coleus.'


Close-up of the small Leptospermum flowers



Reject vase #2, my favorite of the day due solely to its sweet perfume, contains Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum,' Lantana (noID), and Lonicera japonica, a weed that grows on the steep side of the back slope.


Close-up of Lonicera japonica, inherited with the house



The vases all found places to roost.

The larger vase sits in the front entryway

Reject vase #1 landed in the guest bathroom

Reject vase #1 sits next to my PC, where I can appreciate its scent



Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other contributors have rounded up now that the weather has turned cold in many areas.


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

32 comments:

  1. I like all three vases and I'm sure those of your reader who live further north will be very envious of such bounty in your garden. My favourite is the one with the Leptospermum flowers but maybe if I could smell the Lonicera I would like that even more. I do know what you mean though about preconceived ideas not always working.

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    1. I expect I'll be going back to my "blank slate" approach in the future, christina. The flowers on that Leptospermum are wonderful, although the stems are a little difficult to work with - the needle-like foliage is prickly and the fact that the flowers are spread all the way down the stem means you usually lose a lot of them in cleaning the portion of the stem sitting below the water line.

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  2. Thanks, Kris, I look forward to Monday mornings and seeing what kind of creative bouquets you come up with your foliage and flowers. I like the reject with the rudbeckia best. It has my favorite flowers colors in it. I see lantana in one bouquet. How do you keep it from drooping and shattering?

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    1. True to your expectations, Jane, the Lantana did droop fairly quickly. I don't think I've used Lantana in an arrangement before. If I try it again, I'll condition the stems with hot water to see if that makes a difference.

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  3. Kris, you are much too hard on yourself. You are too much of a perfectionist.

    I do find it funny, though, that you call the lonicera a "weed", while I just planted 10 or so honeysuckle "weed" cuttings this past week in my yard!

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    1. Ah, perhaps, although I try to avoid the trap that perfectionism can be. That particular honeysuckle is considered a weed here, although in the past it was used a lot in local landscaping due to its vigor. I love the look and smell of honeysuckle but this one is barely under control here. My "mow and blow" gardener hacks it back regularly, which has the unfortunate side effect of denying me most of the flowers but, if that wasn't done, it would probably strangle everything around it.

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  4. All three are lovely and I agree with Lady of LaMancha; you are much to hard on yourself. Your arrangements are especially lovely this time of year when up north things are frozen and our Solenostemons are either stored inside for the winter or brown and gone to coleus heaven.

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    1. Thanks, Peter. I'm sorry that the polar vortex - or, rather "polar plunge," which I guess is this year's term for an arctic blast - already has the PNW in its grip.

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  5. I think its lovely to have reject vases Kris as it means you have lots of plant choices to experiment and create with. Reject is much to harsh maybe experiments would be more accurate. I love your Arbutus' Marina its so pretty and looks gorgeous in the clear glass vase. And I'd be very happy to have any of your creations in my home as they are all lovely.

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    1. Thank you Julie. Yes, I really do need a more positive term to refer to my secondary efforts. "Experimental" is good - or impromptu, maybe?

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  6. Far too critical of your own creation Kris but I think all three arrangements are lovely, especially the two reject vases :)

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    1. I tend to like my small vase creations best myself - perhaps because they're usually simpler. I think I stuffed too much into the large vase trying to make it shine and the individual elements ended up getting lost.

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  7. Ill conceived? I think not. I'd be happy to have any one of these sitting around in my house.

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    1. Thanks Ricki. It may have been more to the point to say that they didn't meet my initial expectations.

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  8. I have to say I love all three...each different and wonderful...the first more modern and structural...the second a sweet sensation and the third a feast for the eyes with wonderful colors....I agree with everyone else that you are too hard on yourself....

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    1. Thanks Donna. In retrospect, I think each vase is a learning experience of sorts, if that's not too lofty a way to phrase it. The large vase had too many elements and I think the beauty of each got lost rather than enhanced. Next time, I'll keep the value of simplicity in mind.

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  9. All three are lovely, each in their own way. It looks like the guest bathroom vase is a wonderful compliment to the color story established in that room. I'd certainly feel warmly welcomed to see such care taken with an incidental arrangement. Bringing scent in from the garden is a lovely way to expand your enjoyment and I like that you have it close to your computer.

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    1. I am enjoying the scent of the honeysuckle as I type, Deb. The open blossoms have already begun to droop but, hopefully, the buds will replace them tomorrow and extend my enjoyment.

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  10. Each vase is delightful Kris. Arbutus' Marina' certainly has a nice flower.

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    1. The Arbutus flowers are unusual, Susie, and very pretty, although - as I learned with this exercise - not easy to arrange and prone to dropping their tiny blossoms.

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  11. Love the mini hot air balloons. You're too hard on yourself, I love the so called reject vases, especially #1!

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    1. I'll probably experiment with the "hot air balloons" again to see if cutting a longer stem helps in the arranging. I've got a lot of them right now - the only problem is that most are too high to reach without a ladder.

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  12. All three are fabulous! How wonderful to have a trio of such different looking arrangements to enjoy.

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    1. The cooler weather of fall sends the garden on a rebound, Loree, especially if you add a bit of rain.

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  13. I love all your vases, I always do. I particularly like the Leptospermum with the Rudbeckia in the lovely dark vase. It is interesting each week to see what flowers you will use, they are all so lovely and look so exotic. Particularly at this time of the year, for poor light- starved northerners.

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    1. Thanks Chloris. The days here seem all too short too but then you're significantly farther north so I expect your feel it much more keenly. I'd love to have even longer summer days, though.

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  14. There's something to love in all of them but my favourite is reject vase 1, although the reject bit is not suitable for such a beautful arrangement. The last bouquet is also very uplifting - you wouldn't think it's November, would you? But then you probably don't know a proper November ;)

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    1. No, we don't get a "proper" winter by most definitions, Annette. Instead of 4 seasons, we really have 2: a warm season, corresponding to spring and summer, and a cool season encompassing the rest of the year. It makes for a very different garden calendar!

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  15. my fav is reject #1, but they are all quite bona-fide!

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    1. Reject vase #1 seems to be the general favorite. What's funny is those flowers were my starting point, abandoned in large part due to the generally scruffy condition and short stems of the Rudbeckia.

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  16. Those Arbutus flowers are so sweet. I love the rose too.

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