Monday, May 11, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Crowding the Stage

In my area of Southern California, we're at the juncture between spring and summer.  It felt like summer 2 weeks ago but last week was blessedly cool and this week promises to be much the same.  There's even another chance of rain toward the end of the week.  Still, the unseasonable heat in March and again early this month sent many spring flowers into a speedy decline.  There were just a few Alstroemeria left in the garden so it seemed only right to select those for "In a Vase on Monday," the weekly feature hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  I'd never even featured my Aquilegia and they also appear on the way out, while the white Eustoma grandiflorum I planted last June is currently making a comeback.  Although there were many flowers clamoring for the spotlight this week, I did very little editing, squeezing everything together, hence the title of this post.


Back view

Here's what I included:
  • Alstroemeria (no ID)
  • Aquilegia hybrid 'Spring Magic'
  • Cerinthe major (also reaching burn-out)
  • Coriandrum savitum (rapidly going to seed)
  • Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo White' (new on the scene)
  • Hebe 'Wiri Blush'
  • Heuchera maxima
  • Limonium perezii
  • Pelargonium 'Oldbury Duet'
  • Pelargonium peltatum (no ID)

The last of the Alstroemeria, shown with a stem of the ever-blooming Pelargonium peltatum and the fading coriander

The navy blue and white Aquilegia 'Spring Magic' deserved more attention that it received this year

Tucking the white Eustoma grandiflorum I planted last June from 6-packs in spots around the edges of my Agapanthus, where they were partially screened from last summer's heat, paid off - the white form looks far better this spring than the blue forms

Hebe 'Wiri Blush' just produced another flush of flowers

Heuchera maxima, a California native, is making a slow start in my garden but it has produced a few stems of flowers


Last week's tall vase featuring Arthropodium cirratum and Solanum xanti lasted the entire week but I retired it when I created today's vase.  The second of last week's vases, featuring Agapanthus, still looks pretty good.  It has moved to the dining table while the new vase sits in the entryway.  As Arthropodium and Agapanthus are currently making a big show in the garden, I expect you'll see more of them in coming weeks.

Last week's vase, relocated

This week's vase in the entryway

Visit Cathy to see what she and other gardeners have created from materials they have on hand this week.


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

32 comments:

  1. Kris another beauty...with the deep pinks and those gorgeous purple Aquilegia and the big white bloom in the center...it stands out beautifully surrounded by the rich colors.

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    1. The vase made me think of Independence Day. Too early for that. Too early for summer temperatures too.

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  2. And so many of your things that are going over are just coming to the fore in our UK gardens - I wonder what you will be using next...?! Your vase looks so balanced in both shape and colour and how lovely to have one of last week's vases still looking so good. Are you not going to grow that lovely blue eustoma this year? Thanks for sharing, as always.

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    1. A few of the Eustoma 'Borealis Blue' over-wintered in my garden. Although the foliage turned pale, the plants are still producing buds but I'm trying to discover a treatment to improve the health of the foliage as I've yet to find any 'Borealis Blue' in the local garden centers. I did manage to find 'Borealis Yellow,' however.

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  3. Your Alstroemeria shows the difference in our gardens Kris, mine are showing green but no sign of any buds yet. It might be the tail end of your spring showers but it looks lovely to me.

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    1. Our early summer (which occurs when most everyone else is still celebrating spring) will probably give way to excessive heat by late June/early July, causing plants to shut down flower production. I'll be scrambling to find suitable floral material when that happens, Christina.

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  4. Kris your vase looks perfect in the entryway, full of rather richly colored exotic blooms. I just planted Alstroemeria this spring and thought it would last all summer. If heat gets it mine is done for also as this week the temperatures and humidity are way up. Didn't realize how long-lasting Agapanthus is.

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    1. It's the combination of heat and inadequate water that gets my Alstroemeria, Susie, so yours may last longer. The Alstroemeria I inherited with this garden is also a dormant variety that retreats in summer. There are evergreen varieties - I had one in my former garden but I haven't been able to find it. The evergreen variety produced the heaviest bloom in spring but continued to flower off and on all year.

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  5. I love the informal and spontaneous feel of your arrangements this week Kris!

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    1. I really did just plonk the lot in a vase this week.

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  6. How lovely, I like a crowded vase that provides a rich tapestry of shapes and colours. It is delightful Kris and all flowers that are yet to come in UK gardens. A lovely taste of summer.

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    1. We get a head start on most seasons, except winter of course.

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  7. So many beautiful colours in one vase, thanks Kris! Aquilegia is one of my favourite flowers, I have put them in my vase, too.

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    1. At least my Aquilegia follow the same schedule as those in other participants' gardens!

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  8. This vase certainly gives a nice sense of abundance! I just realized that I still think of Eustoma only as an annual... They are always gorgeous when I see them in your vases! Love the Hebe too, and the way it combines with the columbine flower :) My plants have been happy with the milder weather too, but it looks like that may be over for now... Still, I think it gave a few of them a chance to get a bit sturdier before summer.

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    1. I saw that your temperature hit 94F yesterday - yikes! Eustoma is a short-lived perennial here but the second year plants aren't as robust as the starts straight out of the nursery.

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  9. That last photo does it justice, Kris. It looks so welcoming! It is a real eye-opener for me every week, seeing what you grow. Gardening in your climate must be so incredibly different to here, and interesting to see you grow Aquilegia.... although ours are only just about to open!

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    1. Aquilegia doesn't grow with the abandon here it appears to display in European gardens, Cathy. I'm thankful just to have a couple of plants.

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  10. It was good to get another glimpse at last week's arrangement as a bonus. Now you have both cool and warm toned vases at play in your surroundings. The best of both color stories!

    Our native Eustoma (blue/Eustoma exaltatum ssp russellianum) are just gearing up for a June run. We are still getting regular rain this year - a rarity but a delightful rarity - and I'm interested to see if they put on a bigger and better show because of it. They are tough plants once established and I'm reminded I want to get more!

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    1. How lucky you are to have a native Eustoma, Deb! I hope you get a good show from them. After a pitiful rainy season and with our new water restrictions set to take effect in just a few weeks, we're delighted - as well as surprised - to be getting some unseasonably late rainstorms ourselves.

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  11. Lovely as always, Kris. (And your flowers are nice too!) :) Love the way the white Eustoma grandiflorum makes a statement in the middle of all of the vibrant colors. Wish I took the time to bring flowers inside but weeks seem to fly by and I'd end up with a bunch of dead sticks in green water (is there something moving in there?) and piles of brown petals needing to be cleaned up. One of these days...

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    1. There is a degree of effort in taking care of flowers you bring into the house, Peter. Frankly, when most of my bouquets start to get shabby to start littering the floor, I'm inclined to dump them into the compost heap; however, some surprise me by hanging on quite awhile.

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  12. Just when my mouth was agape looking at your photos of this week's vase, I scrolled down to last week's vase and was blown away. Somehow, I missed it the other day. I love agapanthus and have planted them numerous times, but they either don't come up or only come up once and not flower. Yours are divine!

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    1. This is the place to grow Agapanthus! A lot of Californians are inclined to dismiss the plant and the flowers as ordinary (I can't say I've ever seen them used in florists' arrangements here). They're frequently used as foundation plants and show up along roadways and in shopping centers because they need so little tending.

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  13. Your flowers are so gorgeous, Kris. I can hardly believe they're not from the florist! You commented on my blog about the pink Cal. poppy. Here is where I purchased the seed. I am very impressed with their stock. https://www.silverfallsseed.com/seed/Individual-Flower-Seed-Species/California-Poppy-Carmine.html

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    1. Thanks for the link, Grace! I put out a lot of California poppy seeds in unirrigated areas dependent on rain this year but, disappointedly, got very few flowers. Next year, I'll plant them where they'll actually get watered!

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  14. I never get tired of seeing agapanthus -- and since I can't grow it in my climate, I'm depending on you! -Jean

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    1. Well I'm up to that challenge, Jean. There are dozens of well-established clumps of Agapanthus here.

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  15. Plenty of room on the stage for all of these beauties to take their curtain calls.

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    1. The Eustoma and Pelgagonium peltatum will probably make return appearances, Ricki, but, as for the rest, they're has-beens.

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