Monday, July 6, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Fireworks & More

I got an early start on this week's vase, or I should say vases.  I had guests coming over to watch the Independence Day fireworks on Saturday night so I put 3 vases together as decoration early that day.  The first vase, for the front entryway, is the most vibrant.



I started with the last Digiplexis stem in bloom in the backyard border and selected other flowers that played off the colors in that stem.

Clockwise from top left: Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame'; Gaillardia x grandiflora with Zauschneria garettii; Grevillea 'Superb' with G. 'Ned Kelly'; and Zinnia 'Cut & Come Again' (Not highlighted: foliage accents Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' and Abelia 'Kaleidoscope')

The completed vase sat opposite the front door, waiting to greet our guests


The second arrangement was intended for the dining table and the flowers were selected to play off the table runner and the dark tones of the glass vase.

This vase was purchased for a song during my undergraduate days from local glassblowers who sold their wares at student craft fairs

Clockwise from top left, the vase contains: Agapanthus and Jacobeaus maritima; Solanum xanti; Salvia 'Amistad'; and Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo Blue' (Not highlighted: Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', used as a foliage accent)

In retrospect, I think white accents would have been preferable to the yellow flowers of the Jacobaeus


The third vase was intended to dress up the dessert and drink table on the back patio.  There's very little in the way of true red color in my garden so my holiday centerpiece was pink, white and blue rather than red, white and blue.  I started with the pink lily, grown from a gift received with a bulb order several years ago.  As it's undistinguished in form and has no scent, I had no compunction whatsoever about cutting it.


Clockwise from left, the vase contains: Eustoma 'Borealis Blue'; Eustoma 'Mariachi Pink'; the no ID pink lily; Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink'; and Trachelium caeruleum (Not highlighted: foliage accents Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' and Abelia 'Confetti', a carryover from one of last week's vases)


After weeks of hot, sticky weather, July 4th suddenly turned cool and windy.  We moved inside for dessert and drinks before heading outside later for a closer view of the fireworks, donning jackets.  "Cool" by southern California standards meant 61F (16C), which may make some of you laugh but we don't consider that shorts and t-shirts weather.

The side-lined pink, white and blue vase was relegated to my home office the next day, where it attracted the attention of the furry household resident.

The vase in backed by a quilted hanging made for me by a friend as a birthday present a few years ago


Despite local restrictions banning fireworks in residential areas due to the heightened risk of fires under our current drought conditions, LOTS of firework displays could be seen from our backyard.  As well as the authorized public park displays, many people risked fines and fires by setting fireworks off in their backyards.  As in prior years, dozens of displays were visible, some as far away as Long Beach, Fountain Valley, and eastern Los Angeles County.  Unfortunately, I have neither the camera equipment nor the photographic skill to effectively capture these, although I managed a few shots that may at least be recognizable as fireworks.



For more floral displays, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she's put in a vase this week and to find links to the contributions of other participating gardeners.


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

31 comments:

  1. Fireworks in vases you have created there, and much safer too! Your Fourth of July celebrations must have been wonderful :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frankly, I don't get why so many people feel compelled to buy their own fireworks, risking their children's safety and their neighbors' homes, when there are so many flashier public displays they can attend free of charge. Fireworks have been blamed for 3 fires up north so far this year.

      Delete
  2. Fabulous vases Kris....I love the fireworks in the first...gaillardia is a favorite native flower that is growing happily here and will find its way into a vase soon....and oh the next two are equally elegant and I love the actual vase in the second arrangement...beautiful blue. 61 is a perfect morning temp that I love in summer but cool for daytime even here in summer. Looks like you had a fabulous 4th!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The afternoon was comfortably warm but moist, chilly air moved in well before sunset and the winds whipped up, making it feel cooler still. All of a sudden we seem to have swung back into a "June gloom" pattern. The weather has definitely become less predictable, not that I have any problem with a cooler than normal July.

      Delete
  3. Kris, you garden is an endless supply of magical beauty. Each vase is delightful. Digiplexis certainly stands out. I like all the choices you made for companions too. 61F would seem chilly to me too. Our fourth was pleasant--the air was so crisp early in the morning it made me wistful thinking of fall. Summer seems to speed up from here on out...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your 4th sounds wonderful, Susie. Summer usually drags out here, sometimes well into late October. This year, with sizzling heatwaves in March, it seemed to get a premature start, only to reverse itself with a return to spring-like conditions from May into early June. Then we had tropical heat and thunderstorms (unusual here) but, this week, we've returned to a cooler pattern again. Definitely weird.

      Delete
  4. Beautiful flowers and I love that glass vase too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of my favorite vases but I think it looks best with moody blue and white flowers, which seem to be in relatively short supply except during Agapanthus season.

      Delete
  5. All 3 vases are so beautiful, Kris! I like the combination of colours and the way you have presented each type of flower. Thank you so much for sharing these great photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anca. Late spring and early summer are the best time for cutting flowers in my garden - as the summer wears on, flowers will be harder to come by.

      Delete
  6. Definitely a fireworks theme, particularly with the first vase. Gaillardia seems to be quite short-lived here which is a shame as it really makes a statement. I have checked to see whether eustoma (lisianthus) will grow in the UK and it can indeed be grown from seed or plug plants so I really must seek it out as I have always admired yours. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be interested to see how the Eustoma do for you, Cathy. Although they're not really drought tolerant, they don't seem as thirsty as many of the flowers sold as annuals here are. For now at least, I hope they'll remain a regular feature of my garden.

      Delete
  7. Your garden has so much beautiful color in it, Kris! I love the combination of digiplexis and Gaillardia, and that handblown vase - what a special find :) I didn't think of Zauschneria being useful as a cut flower, but it looks great in the vase! I started looking for a source for Solanum xantii and found instead S. umbelliferum on Annie's Annuals. It looks good too, but S. xantii seems a little harder to locate for mailorder...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This Zauschneria (which I gather has been reclassified as Epilobium) is new to me and this is the first time I've tried cutting it - it remains to be seen how well it holds up as a cut flower. I've only seen Solanum xanti in a few nurseries thus far but, with California's drought continuing, natives like this may become more commonly available. In the meantime, I hope S. umbelliferum works for you.

      Delete
  8. Gorgeous flowers in beautiful arrangements. 16C is definitely cold in by books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad that putting on jackets doesn't make us look like wimps, Bec!

      Delete
  9. 61F sounds heavenly. I would probably be wearing jeans and a long-sleeve shirt at that temperature. The first two arrangements are my favorites. I like the simpler color palette in both, and the use of hot colors in one and cool in the other. But all three are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I needed a jean jacket too - and was still shivering after half an hour.

      Delete
  10. 61!?! It was 95 here, still scorching at fireworks time and that wasn't just because of the fire up the street (seriously - but it was under control in no time). I hope your guests were appropriately impressed with your arrangements!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather is decidedly weird here. Since the 4th, we've been socked in with fog every morning and it doesn't clear up until after 1pm, which also keeps our daytime temps down (not that I'm complaining). I'm glad your neighborhood fire wasn't worse.

      Delete
  11. Your vases are stunning. I love the Eustoma, I'll have to investigate as to whether I can get it over here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eustoma is a great flower for cutting, Gina. I hope you can locate a local source for the plants.

      Delete
  12. That sounds a wonderful celebration Kris. Interesting that the weather cooled just after I left and is very hot here now! Your vases are all beautiful; fresh flowers are such a wonderful way of welcoming guests. Sorry I couldn't comment on your posts while I was away, but blogspot doesn't allow for comments from an iPad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather here is becoming more and more unpredictable, Christina. Scorching hot in March. Cool in May. Tropical in June. And now downright cold in July! I'm sorry you didn't get better weather during your visit.

      Delete
  13. 3 beautiful vases, great selections.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 61 sounds lovely. I beg to differ - the yellow accent flowers work so perfectly with the table runner. White flowers would have been too predictable perhaps?

    It is interesting how people persist in setting off fireworks despite all the risks and potential legal repercussions. When I was growing up there was always at least one family on every block who would put on some sort of a mini-display of pyrotechnics, but that was before smaller municipalities were doing their own shows routinely. Slowly private displays became less acceptable but many people still feel it isn't a "real" Fourth if they don't explode something. America!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that someone's child needs to lose an eye or fingers or their house needs to catch fire before the message gets through. I'm not sure what it says about our cultural psyche that we can't learn from the mistakes of others.

      Delete
  15. Beautiful colors of your beautiful bouquets.
    Have a nice day
    Mariana

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great arrangements as usual, Kris! Great shots of the fireworks as well. A jacket at 61 hmmm. We've been having very warm weather (for us.) Starting to get used to it and evenings in the sixties are starting to feel cool and refreshing.

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.