Monday, September 7, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Back in the Pink (Again)

The pink Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus), still going strong in the back garden, was the obvious choice for my vase this week but when I went out to make my selections for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, I was determined to look further afield.  Then, I saw this:



And this:

I'd already planned to redesign this area as another succulent garden but hadn't planned to tackle it just yet...


I could show you a lot more photos of this sort but there's little point.  After a relatively long (and peaceful) break, the raccoons, a whole family of them by my guess, had a party in my garden, conducting an industrious scavenger hunt for grubs.  Only a few areas were left untouched.  I've cleaned up some of the mess but not all.  This was especially frustrating as I'd spent most of the previous 2 days on garden clean-up and replacement of some of the plants I lost to the heat and dry conditions this summer.  Discovery of the raccoons' activity knocked the wind out of my sails.  This is a long-winded way of saying, I gave up the idea of scavenging for flowers and fell back on the Eustoma as the centerpiece for this week's vase.

Front view

Back view


Salvia lanceolata (aka Rocky Mountain Sage) adds a hint of the coming autumn to the arrangement, which includes:

Clockwise from the left, Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo Pink', Salvia lanceolata, Russelia equisetiformis, and Zinnia.  (Included but not highlighted: Tanacetum parthenium and Leucanthemum x superbum)


The arrangement is sitting in the front entryway.

The cheerful arrangement takes some of the sting out of the morning's unpleasant surprises


Last week's arrangement remains on the dining room table, virtually unchanged.

Just the dormant Aeoniums are showing signs of decline


For more floral and foliage arrangements, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  I'm headed outside to do more clean-up.  For those of you in the US, happy Labor Day (and may the raccoons steer clear of your garden)!




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

39 comments:

  1. Those rotten racoons. They can be so destructive. Sorry you have to deal with their marauding ways. Love your vase for this week. It is gorgeous from both sides. Last weeks is quite nice too. You will have all sorts of succulent starts now.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. The raccoons have been regular visitors here but I'd entertained the vague hope, now crushed, that they'd moved on to greener pastures.

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  2. Your arrangement is beautiful and I'll bet last week's will be pristine for quite some time! Damned raccoons! We have them too but they usually only bother the water pots and have eaten the koi before the electric fence was up or if I forgot to turn it back on after cleaning the pond. Sorry that they're so destructive in your garden. Perhaps you could humanely trap and relocate them or have them for dinner.

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    1. The local animal control service won't relocate raccoons - or even coyotes (unless they attack a person). They're endemic here.

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  3. Raccoon's are jerks. We had a storm tear a thick branch off my tithonia and I smashed several surrounding plants so I cut as many flowers as were salvageable and brought them. I stuffed them in a vase and called it a day but did think about your beautiful arrangements. Today's beauty is no less lovely than the others. :o)

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    1. Cathy, the host of "In a Vase" thoroughly supports "plonking" plants into vases - you should post a photo of yours, Tammy.

      Raccoons do seem to behave like teenagers experimenting with controlled substances. I suspect that mom raccoon was using my garden to teach her offspring how to forage.

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  4. Dear Kris, so sorry about the damage that the raccoons did in your garden! I know from their visits in my own garden how much destruction they can cause in just one night.
    Again, I love your arrangement for this Monday. The different hues of pink Eustomas are so pretty and I think the Salvia lanceolata complements them perfectly. This salvia is new to me and I really like it.
    Hope the raccoon rascals show some mercy and leave you alone from now on!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. That Salvia is relatively new to me too, Christina. I picked it up at the local botanic garden's last plant sale because I liked its silver foliage. The flowers initially struck me as odd but they've grown on me.

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  5. I love that shade of pink, beautiful vase, Kris!

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    1. Thanks Anca. It's a nice soft pink, isn't it?

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  6. Oh Kris I am sorry to see the raccoons are back. here in many communities they live trap them and move them to wild areas because they carry rabies many times. But your vase is still quite lovely...the subtle pinks and darker red-pink foliage and flowers are perfect. MAmazing to see last week's vase so perfect still.

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    1. Animal control here doesn't support trapping and relocation as the raccoons are long-term residents. I put out a non-toxic (but obnoxious) repellent - that may at least put them off for awhile.

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  7. You made another beautiful vase despite it all. But...I sure hope you can get past the raccoon issue, somehow. It would really make me mad to come out and see that kind of damage day after day.

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    1. The extent of the damage makes me believe it wasn't just 1 animal. I'm half-tempted to stay up and keep watch but they're gutsy creatures and I suspect that, even if I run them off, they'll be back. I'm hoping that, when my garden is more filled in, they'll seek more open turf.

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  8. Your Eustoma is lovely as usual, you are making me want to grow some but I don't know if it will grow here. I admire your front and back views so much, the glorious billowing pinks vs the rich reds. It's sad about the raccoons, they would strip my grape vines and ate all my fish from my pond. I hope they didn't harm your new plants. We did trap one in a large havahart trop. I was trying to think what fruit I liked best in S. Cal, that I can't grow now, I would say all the citrus trees, especially my giant blood orange, the fruit was magically sweet and fragrant. Lemons and tangerines would be nice too. I also had a great fig tree but they do grow up here, but I have lost some from cold.

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    1. We do have several citrus trees, Hannah, and we enjoy them. I have 2 guava trees (which the raccoons and squirrels are welcome to but don't seem to like) and 2 persimmon trees, the fruit of which I haven't developed a taste for. As in your case, our grapes are mostly consumed by the critters.

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  9. Kris, I'm really sorry. What a discouraging turn of events, especially after recently replanting. Well your flower arrangement is spectacular with that lovely pink shade of Eustoma. And I still adore the centerpiece from last week.

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    1. Thanks Susie. The Eustoma does beautifully in a vase and I'm gratified to have it "on call."

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  10. I feel your frustration, you know I'm dealing with similar masked marauders in my own garden. It's hard to stay upbeat. I've got similar footprints on my fence, and destruction throughout my beds. Sigh. Your Eustoma-heavy bouquet is beautiful!

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    1. I know you sympathize, Alison. Didn't I recently comment on your blog (a trifle smugly perhaps?) that I hadn't had many problems with the raccoons of late? As feared, I jinxed myself.

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  11. Too bad about the racoons! I haven't seen any since moving out here; perhaps our local bobcats keep the population down; I don't know. But they are pests! They never did much damage in my earlier garden, maybe because there was always plenty of bird food next door and plenty of mulberries in the neighborhood. But they are gutsy; I had one try to stand me off one evening :P
    Your Eustoma is lovely; those flowers are incredibly beautiful every time! And I notice your white Russelia; I hadn't seen that color before. I'll have to keep a look out for it. Love the stems of Salvia lanceolata too - the dusky tones harmonize nicely :)

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    1. We have coyotes in the immediate area, Amy, but even they seem to give the raccoons a wide berth...

      I have both a coral and a cream/yellow Russelia but neither is as vigorous as yours. However, I've been dousing the cream-colored one, which is in a pot, with gray water from the kitchen on a regular basis and it's blooming better than it has all year.

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  12. Those raccoons!!! I know how I feel when I see the tunnels dug by the moles that are a constant problem here but their damage is much less visible than that of the raccoons, I do feel it is so disheartening when our hard work is sabotaged. But they did leave some lovely flowers for your vase this week which may be a repeat of flowers used but not of design, it's lovely.

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    1. I'm trying to be philosophical about the periodic raccoon rampages, Christina, but some days it's hard.

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  13. Raccoons look like they do as much damage as our native badgers. In a very dry summer my garden is susceptible as they move out of the woods in search of earthworms so you have my heartfelt sympathy. I was thinking about how well the anemones have done this year and I think it must be due to the very cool (and dry) summer we have had in the UK this year. I always enjoy seeing your very fresh and pretty arrangements and please do keep us posted on the staying power of the succulent arrangement.

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    1. Our spring was dry but definitely not cool, Sarah. Hopefully, the promised El Nino will temper the heat next spring and we'll be able to enjoy the anemones a bit longer.

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  14. Raccoons are simply too smart. Like squirrels, they have so much more time and energy to devote towards foiling our deterrents than we do to devising them. You are probably correct in thinking it was not a solo animal visiting - more likely a mother with young ones. An empty house one street over housed a thriving family of raccoons for years. When it was finally demolished for a rebuild the raccoons moved on, but they still come back to visit, just less often. It is my impression they develop regular "routes". They eat everything available in one area then move on and allow it to recover before a return series of raids.

    As to chasing them away, you'd probably have to stay out there all night for several nights running, or as soon as you retreated, they'd come back to finish what they'd started.

    Wait! The flowers! Your vase is lovely, fortunately the flowers don't know you "settled" for them and are just as lovely as ever. Those colors look so lovely in your home..and that Salvia lanceolata - whoa Nellie!

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    1. I need to check my prior posts and see if I can detect a pattern in the raccoons' midnight raids, Deb. I recall that their visits to my former garden followed a fairly regular pattern, with momma raccoon bringing her squadron of reprobates when the neighbor's orange tree had ripe fruit; however, I haven't been able to identify any obvious event markers here. I turned a hose on them once in my former garden (trying to protect a neighbor's outdoor cats) but it had no effect so I do know how determined they can be. I found evidence of another visit this morning but at least no damage on the scale of the visit mentioned in this post.

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  15. A beautiful vase Kris, but oh so sorry the raccoons did so much mischief. Thank goodness we don't have them to contend with here... slugs and snails and a few mice are the main problem here! I hope they move on to the next party venue quickly!

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    1. If the raccoons have one virtue, Cathy, it's that they make quick work of snails and slugs - I have very few of either because, next to grubs, they seem to be the raccoons' favorite food.

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  16. Likewise about the racoons, Kris, what a nightmare they must be :( At least it meant we could see more of your lovely eustoma though!! I was looking out for eustoma seeds on the internet last week and there seems to be a shorter and a taller type - I guess yours must be taller if they are 'grandiflorum'? Thanks for sharing

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    1. All the Eustoma grown and sold in the garden centers here appear to be grandiflorum but I think the species name reflects the size of the flowers rather than the height of the plants. I have 3 cultivar series - Borealis', 'Echo' and 'Mariachi'. I picked up 'Mariachi Pink' because the stems were supposed to be taller, which was indeed the case during the first flush of bloom, but the 'Echo Pink,' planted from 6-pack starts seem to have caught up in height during their second flush of bloom. The single-flowered forms appear to stay shorter, although I can't say I've had a lot of experience with them.

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  17. How about one of those animal traps they use in Africa. Raccoon steps in net trap and the next moment finds itself swinging from the nearest tree.

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    1. But what would I do with the nasty-tempered creature once I had him swinging in the tree, Jessica? Are you sure you can't use one (or possibly an entire family) to deal with your snail and slug problem?

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  18. I am also happy that we don't have the racoon problem here! Eustoma is new to me and such a beautiful flower and looks stunning with the other flowers you have chosen.

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    1. Thanks Ann! I was pleased with this mix in the vase too.

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  19. Your vase takes on a different personality when you show the back side. I would have to place it on a table where there could be a 360 degree view...or else turn it around every day or so. Critters entertain and irritate in almost equal measure around here. It's the deer that are in ascendence right now.

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    1. I have mixed feeling about the raccoons. They're beautiful animals and I accept their need to feed themselves but I do wish they'd exercise some restraint - and move on. (They're visiting nightly now.) I admit to having a romantic view of deer in the garden. I expect I'd feel a lot differently about them if they ever showed up here as I've heard how destructive they can be.

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  20. It's like you're gardening on the raccoons' ancestral grounds, the way they go at your garden! Would a motion sensor that turned a light on scare the nocturnal brigands away? I've been away all week so missed this heat wave, but believe it or not it was 100 up in San Francisco too, unheard-of high temps for that city.

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