Monday, January 5, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Peppermint Packs a Punch

I really hadn't a clue what to cut for a vase this week.  We've had a cold snap, with nighttime temperatures closing in near freezing but never quite reaching that point.  But that's cold for us!  While I had no damage here, there were no new flowers bursting forth demanding their moment of glory in a vase either.  I clipped a flower here and a flower there but nothing clicked.  I briefly thought of just stuffing what I had in a vase and calling it done but then I though of the Euryops 'Sonnenchein' tucked down in the area I call my glen.  On the way to clip a few stems, I passed the Pelargonium tomentosum, also known as peppermint geranium, which I'd previously thought of using in one of my Monday-morning vases but hadn't.  Those additions changed a sad arrangement into this:



Very cheerful, don't you think?  Here's what I included:

  • Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Horizon
  • Anemone coronaria 'Mona Lisa Deep Blue'
  • Aster x frikartii 'Monch'
  • Euryops 'Sonnenschein'
  • Lavandula multifida (aka fernleaf lavender)
  • Leucanthemum x superbum, ruffled variety
  • Pelargonium tomentosum


The Ageratum looks much better than it did when I planted it last April

The Anemones also like the colder weather

I bought a second Aster in November and wish I'd picked up a third

The Euryops flowered with a flourish within 2 weeks of our early December rainstorms

The ruffled Leucanthemum, a gift form a friend more than 3 years ago, are slowly making an appearance

The peppermint geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum) can hold its own in a vase


The arrangement captured Pipig's interest for a nanosecond, albeit not long enough for me to catch a photo of her inspection.  She was quickly diverted by something outside I could neither see nor hear.



With thanks again to Julie at Gardening Jules for the new moniker, I also have an "experimental vase" this week:

Senecio cineraria and Pelargonium peltatum (aka ivy geranium)


(Julie, I finally looked into how to shrink the size of the photos used in my posts so let me know if this post loads more easily for you.)

These are my contributions this week to Cathy's challenge to construct a vase from materials in one's own garden.  Visit her at Rambling in the Garden to discover what she's found and what other contributors have to offer.  Although we complained mightily about the cold here in Southern California, it has been a lot colder in other bloggers' gardens so some participants are pushing the limits to come up with creative options (if the ground around them isn't covered by snow).  As for us, daytime temperatures are expected to get back up close to 80F (26C) by mid-week.


 All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


30 comments:

  1. I love all of your bouquets but as a big fan of purple I really love this one. The fuzzy geranium leaves are the perfect touch.

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    1. I do love Anemones, especially the deep blue and purple ones. I cheated the season a bit this year - while I have a variety of Anemones planted as tubers in years past that are slowly coming up, I hurried things along this year by buying 5 new plants in early December.

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  2. Kris I love all the purple hues and yellow accents, but that peppermint geranium foliage is stunning especially in the light....a gorgeous vase and how lovely to see all these flowers.

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    1. The peppermint geranium (Pelagonium tomentosum) is reliable here, Donna. It suffers a little during the summer, especially if it gets too much sun, put it's generally happy the rest of the year. The biggest problem is that you need to keep an eye on it so it doesn't swamp nearby plants.

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  3. Kris, this is lovely. Have never seen a ruffled Leucanthemum and I like it a lot. The anemone is a real star. Does the peppermint geranium smell minty?

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    1. The peppermint geranium leaves do smell of mint when you rub the leaves, Susie, but the odor isn't strong enough to waft through a room.

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  4. I was thinking of peppermint sticks - silly me! I love those blues too, and as you say the foliage was the ideal finishing touch. I was surprised how much difference the penstemon foliage made to mine - I knew it needed something! What an amazing difference in temperatures you have had - how well do your plants cope with this? Re your photos - does Blogspot have a 'help' section you can consult? In WordPress you can import them as thumbnail/medium/large but then you can just drag it to increase or decrease them further. Hope you get it sorted.

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    1. I think some plants do have problems when our temperatures jump 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) overnight, as they have today, Cathy. The worst damage I've seen was caused by the dramatic early heat waves we had last May, when our temperatures soared into the 100 degree range (near 38C) and stayed there for a good week twice - our spring blooms never really recovered. The shorter-term fluctuations have less impact.

      Re my photos, I can scale the visual size of the photos when I add them to my Blogspot blog but I can't control the file size (KB/MB) using those tools. I discovered that I can do so with a photo program I have on my PC but it's time-consuming and, apparently, it didn't help Julie at Gardening Jules, who says the loading problem is on her end. I was concerned because I'd received a couple of other comments also referencing delays in the time it takes for my posts to load.

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  5. The only other thing that distracts from your fab arrangements is Pipig!

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    1. At least she didn't knock the arrangement to the floor (or eat it)!

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  6. Kris, this is a beautiful colour combination and the textures and shapes all work beautifully too. I love your experimental vase as well. I cannot see the photos on my laptop and have used an old small iPad to look at the photos and then switch back to my laptop to comment. The problem is our end, we live in a rural village with an internet speed of less than 1. We are going to move!

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    1. What a pain, Julie! I'd hoped that decreasing the KB/MB size of the photos might help.

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  7. Dear Kris, this is another stunning flower arrangement that you have come up with! I am usually not a big fan of clear yellow, but I love it when its used with blue and white as you did. The anemone is so stunning. This dark midnight blue with the even darker stamens just takes my breath away. I also find the ruffled variety of leucanthemum that you are using so charming. This is a plant I would love to see growing in my own garden as well. Thanks for sharing! Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Local growers seem to make that ruffled Leucanthemum available on a periodic basis, Christina. Unfortunately, mine came without a label identifying the cultivar/variety so I can't share that. It seems I have seen them in some of the garden catalogs on occasion too.

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  8. Oh how bright, and happy, and summery! It's a gorgeous arrangement, and such a nice sight for eyes tired of cold, cloudy, gray skies! The blue and yellow is so fresh looking! Thanks for sharing this with us all! -- Kimberley

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    1. It does have a summery look, although the Anemones and Leucanthemum seem to be at their best here in late winter/early spring. Spring here starts very early - February/March!

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  9. Love the experimental vase, a lot! Simple and great texture!

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    1. I liked that one too. I was glad to find a way to use the Senecio, now apparently reclassified as Jacobaea maritima.

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  10. I love that your vases don't ever seem stuck in one season, all the colours speak of spring not winter, your winter climate is enviable, I wouldn't like the summer climate any more than I do mine here in Italy. The Anemone has a wonderful rich colour as they always do, I can't wait for mine to flower. Ref. the images, living as I do with internet supplied by a satellite dish rather than a cable I always have to make my images smaller before uploading them, I hope it doesn't make them so small they aren't clear. Using large files means that your posts do take longer than some others to download but not impossibly so. hope you sort something out that works for you and all your readers.

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    1. I have a tool that works to reduce the file size of the images. I'm still experimenting with file size vs clarity.

      I hope you're feeling better today Christina!

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  11. I love this arrangement. It is my favourite colour combination. What an amazing variety of flowers you have in bloom. Aster frikartii ' Monch' blooms in September here. I am surprised to see it in January. And what a delight to see an Anemone. Beautiful!

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    1. The different bloom times may be attributable to the differences in our prevailing temperatures. The Aster blooms off and on here during the cooler months - June through October is warm to hot here so no flowers. Anemones also prefer the cooler portion of the season.

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  12. I am a complete patsy for an anemone and this one is an especially lovely color. We are getting several days of a slightly overdue hard freeze in Central Texas so your blooms are an especially welcome sight. I've got holiday remnants blooming indoors but they are all white and if I want any color, I'm going to have to slip into the greenhouse and see if any of the protected plants are up to something fun. Happy January!

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    1. I hope you enjoy your visit to the greenhouse Deb! I love greenhouses (even though its arguable that they're unnecessary here.)

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  13. Isn't that anemone just gorgeous?! I like the geranium foliage for structure and the lovely cheerful sunny colours of the asters and the euryops. The extra vase is lovely too! Happy New Year Kris!

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    1. Now that the Anemone is blooming, I can't decide whether it or the Eustoma I've featured off and on are more gorgeous. Luckily, there's room for both in my garden.

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    1. Thanks Tammy! It fits our suddenly summer-like weather.

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  15. I love the selection of flowers - not to mention how you combined them. All those blended blue tones work together so well. And the experimental vase is terrific - and very mod ;-)

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    1. Re that second vase, it's a clear demonstration that simple can be wonderful!

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