Monday, December 8, 2014

In a Vase on Monday: A little of this and a little of that

There's quite a bit in bloom right now during Southern California's "second spring" but it still wasn't easy to put together a bouquet this week.  Much of what's available doesn't combine well and most of the floral material has short stems, limiting what can be done with it.  So this week's vase has a little of this and a little of that.



The color scheme was set by the fluffy bloom of Calliandra haematocephala, also known as Pink Powder Puff.  I have several of these evergreen shrubs espaliered against walls.  They're sheared frequently to keep them from sprawling into walkways as they're prone to do, which means that I seldom get flowers so I was pleased to find this one.

How long the Calliandra flower will last in a vase is an open question


In addition to the Calliandra, the vase contains:
  • Alstroemeria (no ID)
  • Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'
  • Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink'
  • Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'
  • Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'

The Alstroemeria stem was discovered by accident, hidden below the Cuphea

This Cuphea blooms all year - at least until I hack it back

The feathery plumes of the Pennisetum were beaten down by last week's rain but they recovered quickly

This Rudbeckia was a deeper red than most of the 'Cherry Brandy' in my front border



I picked a few flowers in a very different color range as well.  These ended up in one of my tiny vases.

This vase contains 2 varieties of Gaillardia, 'Goblin' and 'Peach Mesa,' as well as stems of Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' and Bougainvillea




Finding spots for this week's vases proved to be a challenge.  The vase I featured 2 weeks ago with Toyon berries and Gomphrena is still sitting on the dining room table, looking very much like it did in last week's follow-up photo.  And last week's vase containing the blue and white Eustoma is still sitting in the entryway, minus the yellow roses and the Prostanthera foliage.




So the first of this week's vases ended up on the fireplace mantle in the master bedroom and the tiny vase landed on a side table in the living room.





This week's vases were prepared as my contribution to Cathy's weekly meme at Rambling in the Garden.  Visit her blog to see what she has put together this week and what other gardeners have to offer.  As winter descends in many areas, gardeners are finding it more challenging to assemble vases but you can trust that quite a few have risen to the challenge.


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

30 comments:

  1. I have to laugh at myself because every time I read a post of yours I have to look up plant varieties because most of them I have never seen before. It reminds me of my college days, reading Don Quijote with a dictionary by my side, looking up every other word.
    I love, love, love that pennisetum rubrum - that is definitely going on the online shopping list. I also love the color of the rudbeckia - are those easy to grow from seed?

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    1. I look up a lot of what I see in blogdom myself, Karen - much of what grows in the UK and even large portions of the US isn't suited to my Mediterranean climate so they're "exotics" to me. I haven't tried growing the Rudbeckia from seed so I can't advise you, although my recollection of instructions I saw on a seed packet once is that patience is required.

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  2. Hi Kris, I am writing this hoping it gets through to you, the slow internet speed at home, means I cannot always see the photographs on blogspot blogs and lately wordpress has been telling me I cannot comment on blogspot posts as I do not own the identity. I tried and tried to ask about your post where you showed earth being dug up by something? to find myself in a constant loop.In the meantime when I can see your photos, they are wonderful and I always enjoy your text!

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    1. I'm sorry for the difficulty in posting comments, Julie, and I appreciate your perseverance. If you're referring to my wide shots post (which has a lot of photos and no doubt takes eons to load), my complaint concerned raccoons, which are the bane of my gardening life. I no sooner plant something than they dig it up, often destroying the plant in the process. I've tried all sorts of things to thwart them, including placing tomato cages over the new plantings as protection, using animal repellent granules, and, most recently, soaking rag strips in ammonia and tying them near places they dig. Most of these have no more than a temporary impact.

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  3. Having been able to publish one comment today on your blog, I am chancing my arm as the internet here is now allowing me a glimpse of your vases. They are lovely Kris, and for once I grow one of your plants, the Gaillardia 'Goblin', which does really well for me and flowers all summer long. The Calliandra flower is a showstopper!

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    1. I'm glad you got the page to load, Julie. Gaillardia is a good performer for me too and, in fact, I'm planning to add more in some of the bare area in the front yard.

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  4. Kris how very lucky to have a second spring with flowers...I love the Pink Powder Puff and it is a perfect main attraction for the vase....lot of color and texture. And the second vase is summery to me. I also can't believe your purple vase is still blooming.

    Well I know I can see lovely blooms in a vase from you!! it will keep me going through winter.

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    1. Thanks Donna. Those Eustoma continue to amaze me too.

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  5. Beautiful arrangements as always, my talented friend! The pink powder puff is new to me & it's way cool. One more reason to move south!

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    1. The Calliandra is wonderful and, left unpruned, blooms quite heavily but it flops about and needs a lot of room. Why the prior owner installed it all over the property along pathways where it must be pruned within an inch of its life, I can't explain.

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  6. A little bit here and there but you still came up with well coordinated bouquets, fabulous!

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    1. Thanks! Each week is indeed a challenge.

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  7. I was genuinely surprised when I scrolled down and saw the pink powder puff. I just wasn't prepared for that. Hehe. All your arrangements are lovely, but I especially like the smaller one and last week's Eustoma arrangement. I just have a preference for those colors.

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    1. Eustoma has emerged as one of my favorite cut flowers, Evan. Next year, I'm planting more, especially of that double-flowered blue variety.

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  8. Beautiful as ever Kris. The Calliandra is fabulous. I saw it growing in Martinique and tried to grow some from seed. They germinated but then died before they got very big. Have you tried it from seed?

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    1. No, I haven't tried propagating it by any method, Chloris. My track record with seed isn't especially good, partly due to a lack of patience and attention. I generally rely on seed that can be directly sown into the ground but I've even been foiled there this year as my arch nemesis, the resident raccoon, dug through almost all the areas I seeded.

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  9. I am fascinated to see what people have in their gardens in different climates and about the different growing conditions they experience, and thank you for telling us about how your previous vases have lasted, something I usually forget to do. I particularly like the pennisetum in your first vase - to me almost more of a star than the Calliandra - but your little green vase is gorgeous with a great combination of material. Thanks for sharing, Kris

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    1. I can't say that most of my vases last so long - the last 2 were unusual in that aspect, Cathy. At the same time, space is more of an issue at this time of year as the holiday decorations come out.

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  10. Oh isn't that pink powder puff amazing! And the feathery Pennisetum on the other side of the vase balances the fluffy effect nicely. Love it! Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy is also very lovely. Such a rich burgundy colour.

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    1. I didn't think about the fluffy counterpoint but I guess it does make a nice balance.

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  11. Your arrangements are beautiful. I love that Calliandra and the color of the rudbeckia is really nice.

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    1. Thanks Susie. I love that Rudbeckia but I'm getting more coffee colors than brandy out of them this go round.

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  12. I understand completely the concept of a second spring, it happens here too but usually in September which is the month the rains usually return. I am still in love with Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' and have found it is available as seed, you have reminded me I should order some. Lovely to see all your recent vases still looking so good too. You seem to have masses of material to choose from. I love the balance you created in this asymmetric arrangement.

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    1. Not quite masses of material, Christina, but there's a lot more in bloom or about to bloom now than at the height of summer.

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  13. As lovely as your larger arrangements have been, I have to admit a soft spot for a small vase tucked into its own spot with perhaps a quieter offering of otherwise easily overlooked blooms. Running out of space to display your floral arrangements is a wonderful problem to have!

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    1. Maybe the cooler, damper weather is partly responsible for the longevity of the vase material, Deb. When it was hot and dry, everything withered quickly (including me).

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  14. I always look forward to your Monday vase of flowers. Especially on this rather grey day. Thank you.

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    1. Pretty flower but not one that enjoys ending its days in a vase - it lasted only 2 days.

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