Monday, February 16, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Supportive Players

In preparing my Bloom Day post, I discovered that the Cymbidium I'd been watching had finally bloomed, producing 4 flower spikes.  In the past, I've moved pots of blooming orchids from the veritable wasteland near the street where they're kept up near the house but this time I decided to cut some of the spikes for the vase prepared in connection with the weekly exercise hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  I clipped 3 spikes before I could think better of this plan, which I may have done as the question that almost immediately presented itself was: what can hold its own with orchids?  Most of the flowers I considered, including yellow Freesias, succulent Bulbine, and fragrant Jasminum polyanthum, were immediately dismissed on the argument that they'd compete with, rather than support, the orchid flowers.  I ended up with a very simple arrangement using just 3 elements.

In addition to the Cymbidium spikes (no ID), I used  Coleonema album and Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl.'

Close-up of Cymbidium flowers - there are a total of 12 flowers on the 3 spikes

Unlike the pink-flowered Coleonema pulchellum I frequently use, which blooms most of the year, C. album blooms only in spring

The pink petals and burgundy centers of the Leptospermum flowers echo the colors of the orchid

The orchid had belonged to my mother-in-law, although her plant was originally a division of one of mine, now long gone.  The vase I used was a gift from my own mother, purchased on her one and only trip to Finland, her parents' homeland.  The arrangement sits on our dining room table, where I can appreciate the contributions of both women, both now also gone.

For more vases assembled from materials collected close to home, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

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


  1. This is a lovely arrangement, Kris. The elements fit so well together. Nicely done!

  2. I love this vase....both the actual vase and the flowers that blend beautifully...those orchids are magnificent as are the Leptospermum. Your vases certainly lift my spirits and the colors are stunning. Thanks Kris!

  3. Absolutely stunning Kris. The colours and texture are wonderful together.

  4. I echo Chloris' comment absolutely stunning Kris. Your choice of accompanying material is perfect.

  5. Another beautiful arrangement Kris, just love the shades of pink of the orchids!

  6. Wow! That shade of pink - like raspberry mousse- is beautiful and the leptospermum has a great supporting role. I don't think any Monday vases have had orchids in before - how long will they last in water, do you know? It will be a real feast for your eyes - lucky you! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I don't know how long they'll last in a vase, Cathy. While I know I've cut single Cymbidium flowers on a few occasions, I don't think I've ever cut long spikes like these. We'll see. They do use the flowers in corsages so that's a hopeful sign of their durability.

  7. Simply beautiful! What a tribute to both of the special mothers in your life. WG

  8. I love the simplicity of the combination, Kris! It really does the job of allowing the Cymbidiums to stand out, but the leptospermum and coleonema don't lose anything either... Super :)

  9. A lovely arrangement agin Kris. I really like the Cymbidium flowers. They look as if they might be welcoming to bees, with their soft velvety middles!

  10. What exuberance the orchid blooms bring to that vase. I've only seen Cymbidium displayed solo and applaud your careful choice of supportive players here. You've created a lovely dance between the two types of flowering branches. What a good eye you have and what a sweet way to honor the women you mention.

  11. I love this as we usually see orchids in vases all by themselves. Your supporting players work very well. Equally wonderful is the story of flowers and vase that make the whole arrangement even more special.


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