Monday, October 12, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Rose starts but doesn't finish

A week ago, it felt as though fall was finally getting its start in my area of Southern California but before the sigh of relief escaped my lips, the heat returned with a vengeance.  Temperatures soared, hovering just below 100F (37C) all weekend.  We're not expecting significantly cooler weather until mid-week.  Under the circumstances, I didn't spend a lot of time outside deliberating on flower selections for this week's "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  I clipped a peach-colored rose because it's the first time the shrub has bloomed in recent memory and I knew the flower wouldn't last long in the heat.  I snipped a range of other flowers in similar and complementary colors and made a bee-line for the relative comfort of the house.  The rose initially served as the vase's centerpiece but it looked out of place so I removed it.

Vase with the 'Medallion' rose on the left and without it on the right


Unfortunately, I can't say I'm any more satisfied with the second version of the vase than I was with the first but I didn't have the energy to plunge back into the heat to look for alternatives so I let the second version stand. 

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Leonotis leonurus, Abelia x grandiflora 'Confetti', Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', unripe berries of Nandina domestica, flowers of Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', and seedpods of Phlomis fruticosa

Perhaps the most interesting element of this week's vase are the seedpods of Auranticarpa rhombifolia (aka Diamond Leaf Pittosporum)


I returned the succulent vase created 4 weeks ago to the dining table and placed the new vase in the front entryway.

The heat forestalled my plan to plant out the cuttings used in this vase but I'm surprised how fresh they look given that they've had neither water nor soil to support them for 4 full weeks

I decided against scattering the dried Auranticarpa seedpods around the bottom of the vase, certain that my cat, Pipig, was likely to scatter them throughout the house

Although Pipig doesn't look like she's interested in any strenuous activity



Leftover flowers went into a small bud vase, which I placed next to my computer.  As I was preparing this post, I noticed that the tentacle-like stigmas on the Grevillea were moving.  At first, I thought maybe the air conditioner was blowing them about.  But the movements were irregular and uncoordinated.  Then, one by one at intervals, tiny beige blobs, each smaller than a grain of rice, landed on my desk.  They were squishy to the touch.  They didn't move and, in short order, they dried up.  But the Grevillea continued to twitch periodically.  It appears that this tiny creature, whatever it is, was parachuting from the flower to my desk, dying soon afterwards.  So, the Grevillea is no longer in this vase.



I put the rose in a tiny vase next to the kitchen sink.

The rose doesn't look as raggedy on its own


Lest you wonder, despite the heat there are still some pink Eustoma grandiflorum in bloom in the garden but I decided to make this a pink-free post.

Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other participating gardeners have put in their vases this week.


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

42 comments:

  1. Hi Kris, I think the single rose in the unusual vase looks stunning! I also have noticed that roses often command so much attention to them that it is best to display them by themselves. I also like your small vase with the Grevillea a lot. Too bad about the roommate of the Grevillea ;-)!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. In this case in particular I think the small vase was a better scale for the short-stemmed rose, Christina.

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  2. Isn't it odd to be aware that something just doesn't look 'right', without knowing exactly why? Perhaps the rose would have been better off with the berries but without the taller foliage? I am glad it still found a place in your home after being the first bloom picked from that bush! I wonder what creepy crawly your twitching grevillea was home to although I don't blame you for not giving it a chance to identify itself! Thanks for sharing your vases today and the thought processes involved. Hope a cooler autumn comes your way soon!

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    1. I think the scale of the rose against the taller foliage was off, Cathy. If I'd had something in a light color to back up the rose and give it the stature its stem couldn't provide, that might have made a difference. I did consider taking the whole thing apart to simplify and lighten the contents to balance the rose but the heat had made me too cranky to futz this time.

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  3. Beautiful despite being set back a bit by the heat!

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    1. When are these heatwaves going to end?!! We're getting cantankerous out here.

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  4. Kris I love the berries and seedpods in the first vase lovely in both versions....and the rose in that stunning small blue vase is quite lovely.

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    1. I think the Nandina and the Auranticarpa seedpods were the most interesting elements this week, Donna. If I'd started with them rather than the rose, it might have been a more effective arrangement.

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  5. Hi Kris, I think that rose looked fine and I wonder how the arrangement would look with the rose and Leonotis together. You chose some interesting materials for the vase. Sorry you're having such terrible heat. Hang in there and have a good week.

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    1. The Leonotis was in the original arrangement but tucked to the side as I didn't like it in combination with the pale-colored rose. I wish I'd had more (and taller) Leonotis but most of those flowers were already spent.

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  6. Sometimes when things don't look right together it's all to do with natural compatability. Plants that would grow in the same place (for example your succluents all look brilliant together) because they need the same growing conditions often share similar characteristics and tend to look great together either in the garden or in a vase. I agree with you... removing the rose worked! Gillian

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    1. Unfortunately, most of what I have left after this heat is bits and pieces that aren't compatible, Gillian.

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  7. Great, Kris, you have described the whole process that we all face when making the vases! You ended up with such a beautiful vase, love it!

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  8. Your pink eustoma are like my pink dahlia and anemone, they just go on and on but I'm certainly not complaining about having such dependable blooms. I think I need to give more thought to my vases, it is too easy to include everything one has picked but sometimes less is more. Your succulent vase is amazing!

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    1. I had the same thought this week, Sarah - too many elements makes a bit of a mess.

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  9. I like all your peachy and orangey flowers, Kris, even your peachy rose, but it does really shine on its own in the cute blue and silver vase. My favorite is the buggy Grevillea with its tubular tentacles and the matching peachy tubular flower on the other side. It's hard to imagine 100º continuing into October, I hope your weather cools off soon.

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    1. I'm trying to remind myself that these weather conditions aren't without precedent, Hannah. We viewed this house almost exactly 5 years ago during the height of another heatwave. But the heat does wear thin, especially when our first one this year arrived in March.

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  10. I love your vases of flowers. And I really love the photo of your cat. You see, I'm a cat-person.

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    1. Since I lost my older cat last year, Jeanette, Pipig has made herself the queen of this castle. I'd love to have another but I think Pipig would be deeply offended.

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  11. Love the colors in that rose, I'm so glad you gave it its own vase. Ew about the bugs. I enjoyed the shot of Pipig.

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    1. The bugs were a big surprise. I thought I was imagining it when I first saw the stigmas of the Grevillea moving. I have no idea what the little beasties are but I hope they don't cause the Grevillea any harm.

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  12. First of all, I want to say I loved the 1st vase with the rose :-) and the grasses to the right remind me a rooster tail, which makes this so appealing. I'm amazed at your succulent centerpiece - such rugged plants! Love your sweet kitty - she's adorable!
    I laughed at the tale of your Grevillea, creepy things -ick! and lastly, love the artistic silverware and cobalt glass vase that finally got the rose. Unusual and beautiful!

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    1. The blue and silver vase was a birthday gift from a close friend earlier this year, Eliza. It's proven to be very useful - the perfect vessel for a single stem.

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  13. Another vote for the rose in the original vase. But I do have a weakness for roses.

    Yes, when will this heat misery end?

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    1. I think heat tolerance is directly proportional to the frequency of occurrence. This has got to be the end of it.

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  14. Yuck. I was just considering cutting a branch from my Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream'...now you've got me reconsidering, although what are the chances we'd have the same critter? I'm glad you used all that cast off parts in other cases, I do the same and have had an odd little arrangement making me happy near the kitchen sink for weeks now.

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    1. I've cut Grevillea flowers before and never seen any sign of bugs so, hopefully, this was an anomaly. Maybe the heat is bringing out the bugs - we've had 2 ant invasions this week as well.

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  15. I wonder what those parachuting bugs were (caterpillars)? I assumed those succulents were planted in that container due to how good they look - 4 weeks without soil or water is pretty amazing.

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    1. I've never seen caterpillars that small, Amy. Clearly, they weren't adapted to a household environment - they dried up soon after landing on my desk.

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  16. I love the final design, Kris! I hadn't remembered seeing Leononitis from your garden before; it's been on my perhaps list for the yellow/orange border, but I'm not sure how I would position it. How big is it getting in your garden?
    Love the shot of Pipig - I'm sure that when well rested she might have enjoyed finding a few seedpods considerately left for her to play with ;-)
    Aren't single stem vases handy? Medallion can certainly hold the floor by itself, though I liked the first shot also! Hope your weather will cool off; we're back to the 100's later this week, and I'm ready to be done with it too, though at least it doesn't have that feel of midsummer scorch!!

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    1. The Leonotis came with the house and sits at the back of the backyard border, where it's largely invisible except when it's flaunting its fuzzy orange blooms. Mine is quite woody and my attempts to rejuvenate it by cutting it back hard have been only minimally successful. I've been thinking of adding more to give it more presence in the garden.

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  17. I would love to come and bask for a while in that heat. I think I must have been a lizard in a previous life. Despite the heat your pretty arrangement looks quite seasonal. The rose deserves a vase of its own, it is so pretty.

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    1. Well, lizards do love it here, Chloris! You can't walk 3 feet without having one skitter across your path.

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  18. The rose is so beautiful on its own - I think you made a wise choice, heat or no. That's funny about your buggy hitchhikers - if you hadn't been there to see them moving I suppose you'd just think some weird fat pollen had fallen.

    Pipig is absolutely a scene stealer. I can only imagine what liberties she'd take with scattered seed pods. "What lovely natural cat toys", she could be thinking as she dropped one into one of your shoes, "I hope they buy more!".

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    1. With Pipig, I'm not sure it's so much a matter or play as revenge. She thinks the attention that goes to these weekly floral arrangements should be directed to her. I can't tell you how many times I find a stem of this and a stem of that strewn about.

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  19. I really like the second version of your vase. It's so casual and autumnal.

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    1. I think that's why the rose bothered me a bit in version #1, Peter - the rose spoke of summer but the rest of the vase was all about fall. Now if Mother Nature would just follow the program and let autumn land here to stay awhile...

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  20. A "pink-free" post? I'm so sad. Not really. Your rose is gorgeous and your other vases too. I can't believe the heat you're getting so late in the season? The weather is all wonky anymore. I hope it cools down soon. I want to see all those renovations you wrote about in my comments. You're right. Fall is a great time for rethinking things and I'm doing lots of that too. Cheerio.

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    1. If you saw how many of my "In a Vase on Monday" posts were devoted to pink Eustoma, Grace, you might forgive the "pink-free" comment.

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  21. I can't decide which vase I like best - perhaps the one with the Leonotis as it is more autumny, and the rose looks lovely alone. I especially like those seedheads. Hope the heat subsides for you soon!

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    1. The heat has come down a notch today but the humidity has zoomed, Cathy. However, I'll forgive the humidity if it brings a little rain this afternoon - there's a slight chance in the forecast.

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