Monday, October 5, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: The Same but Different

I've heard many bloggers comment that they've felt the shift in the weather that fall brings but the change in seasons wasn't evident to me until Sunday when the daytime temperature plummeted, falling below 70F (21C) for the first time in months.  We even got a tiny bit of rain - 0.03 inches (0.8mm).  Although I haven't seen signs of many of our traditional fall bloomers yet, Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior', featured in a minor role in my "In a Vase on Monday" post 2 weeks ago, is coming on strong so it was time to give him his due.

I have 2 clumps of Plectranthus 'Zulu Warrior' in the garden, both grown from cuttings originally brought from my old garden



I considered a few additions to this vase, such as blue Eustoma grandiflorum and ivory Clematis terniflora, but in the end I let it stand with just 2 elements so that nothing stole attention from the 'Warrior' this time.

Plectranthus 'Zulu Warrior' (left) makes me think of Wisteria.  Polygala  fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly' (right) has a subtle presence that supports 'Zulu Warrior' but doesn't compete.


However, as you may have already guessed, I didn't stop at one vase.  There are too many pink Eustoma in the backyard border to ignore so I have yet another pink vase this week.



As the pink Eustoma can hold its own in a vase with just about anything, I had no compunction about throwing in other floral and foliage elements.

Top row: Eustoma grandiflorum 'Mariachi Pink' looking particularly rose-like; bottom, left to right: Angelonia 'Archangel Raspberry', Pelargonium reniforme, and Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star'


The first vase landed in the front entry.



The pink vase ended up on the dining room table, mainly because it blends well with the table runner that was already there.



The large succulent vase constructed 3 weeks ago was displaced and now sits on the stone wall in the dining area, part of a built-in barbecue that came with the house.  (Apparently, in-home barbecues were an "in" thing in the early 1950s when the house was built but, after almost 5 years in the house, we still haven't figured out what to do with the space.)

The water-less succulent vase is STILL doing relatively well, although I did have a minor battle with mealy bugs that showed up on the teal blue succulent


My sympathies to any of you on the east coast affected by the terrible floods.  I hope the system clears out quickly without further damage.

Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the host of "In a Vase on Monday," to see what other gardeners have put together this week.


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

53 comments:

  1. Sumptuous arrangements as always, and that succulent bowl has filled in very nicely!

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    1. I need to take the succulent arrangement apart and plant the cuttings in it soon before they lose their vigor - a project for next weekend perhaps.

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  2. I thought the plectranthus was wisteria. It is so graceful. The vase color is so good, but I wouldn't have thought of it at first.

    I guess fall reaches you last because you are so coastal. Last time we had a night near 50 was in May. See http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/climate/temp_graphs.php?wfo=lox.

    It is so wonderful to be able to walk outside and see what needs to be and then do it before the blasted heat arrives.

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    1. Umm .. link no longer works. Temporary only, I guess.

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    2. The NOAA charts can be depressing but the 3-month outlook for December-February still looks promising in terms of rain (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead03/off03_prcp.gif). At least today's temperature has been pleasant here but the prospect for the rest of the week is a steady warming trend climbing into the low 90s by Saturday. Weather Underground is showing another chance of rain next Tuesday, though!

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  3. I'm glad the temperature has fallen and you've had some rain too. I find it incredible that you garden and grow such beautiful flowers in your climate as well as creating lovely arrangements that grace your home.

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    1. I'm trying to celebrate my garden's achievements during this drought, Sarah, but I admit that, when I look back at what was blooming here in 2013, I feel a bit gloomy.

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  4. Hi Kris, I absolutely love your 'Zulu Warrior' vase! I think it was a good decision to let its beautiful flowers shine alone and just give him that Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly' as a support and no flowers that would compete.
    I just ripped out Plectranthus ciliatus 'Mona Lavender' in my garden, because it couldn't stand the heat and wonder if 'Zulu Worrior' would do better. I am certainly tempted to give this variety a try!
    Wishing you a great week!
    Christina

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    1. In our climate, Christina, just about every Plectranthus needs a good bit of shade and 'Zulu Warrior', despite the name, is no exception. My Plectranthus get some morning sun but are in shade during the hottest portion of the day.

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  5. So beautiful, a touch of elegance! Have a great week, Kris!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your glamorous vases and their beauty. I agree with you about the Plectranthus 'Zulu Warrior' ... very Wisteria like.

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  7. I only fall harder for that pink Eustoma every time you show it. What an amazing display it offers you during some of the toughest weeks of the year. Hats off to the pink vase!

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    1. I don't consider myself a pink enthusiast, Deb, but somehow I sure have a lot in that color (including, as of this weekend, a new pink Ceanothus). The blue Eustoma are coming back too but they don't hold a candle to the vigor of the pink varieties.

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  8. It's so nice to see fresh cut flowers that have come from gardeners gardens...we are down to a few hardy marigolds, and some cosmos...fall is creeping in steadily here.

    Lovely.

    Jen

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    1. I hope that fall will continue to creep in steadily here as well, Jen, but with temperatures forecast to soar back into the 90sF by Saturday, it may be that the blessedly cool temperatures of the past 2 days are only a teaser of a future seasonal change.

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  9. Kris, the Plectranthus 'Zulu Warrior' reminds me of wisteria also. It has a lovely form and color and the vase you chose for it is so beautiful. It's amazing how well the succulents are holding up. The pink arrangement looks perfect on the dining table.

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    1. I'm surprised by the succulent arrangement too, Susie. I'm half-tempted to leave it alone to see just how long those succulent cuttings can last without either water or soil but I'll probably take it apart and plant the pieces in the garden before the week is out.

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  10. What a great group of flowers. Your Plectranthus actually comes close to Toad Lilies in terms of how they fill a vase and the color. Something I'm not going to be growing here! Love the pink flowers on the table with the Indian table runner and the touch of pink in the painting on the back wall. Perfect location for that vase.

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    1. No, the Plectranthus would have to be a greenhouse plant in your climate, Linda!

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  11. That Eustoma six-pack sure gave you your money's worth. I wonder if your cutting so many for the vase made them produce more. What an energizer bunny of an annual!

    The Plectranthus looks great in a vase.

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    1. You're probably right that cutting them back regularly keeps the Eustoma going, although the pink form certainly seems more vigorous than the blue, which in turn is more vigorous than the yellow or white forms. Using smaller plants from 6-packs instead of starting with those in 4 or 6-inch pots also seems to have made a difference.

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  12. I'll have to wait till our next autumn to find out what Plectranthus come with this garden.
    The little one is stoep jacaranda. The tall shrubby one which reaches my shoulders after I hard pruned it ... who knows. Septemberbossie and the little Pelargonium are both blooming in my Cape Town garden now.

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    1. You probably have access to many forms of Plectranthus (and Polygala) than I've ever seen, Diana. I tried planting a tall species, Plectranthus ecklonii, but I've lost it twice. I blame poor placement in both cases and I may try it yet again once I've cleared the shaded area formerly occupied by lawn.

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  13. Three fantastic arrangements! 'Zulu Warrior' does indeed remind me of wisteria. I am glad your temps are beginning to drop some; it is about time!

    We also have a built-in barbecue. Ours is in the kitchen, in an elevated fireplace. Our house was built in 1951, so I guess our builder was on the cutting edge. We actually have built fires in that fireplace. It puts out a lot of heat and is handy when the power goes out. I have a country style kitchen, so I have an iron kettle that hangs over some wood, as though I am about to prepare supper there. (I never have.)

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    1. Our house was built in 1951 too, Deb, so both our builders must have had their fingers on the pulse of the trends of the day! Ours is on the back side of a stone wall dividing the living room from the dining room and kitchen. The living room fireplace on the other side of the wall. I'd like to close off the barbecue space with cabinet doors but I stuck some pillows in there as a temporary thing when we moved in and the cat took possession of the space as her hang-out (or one of them anyway).

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  14. Oh I love that first vase with the Plectranthus...really gorgeous. And then to see such a beautiful pink vase...loved the color of it. Hoping you get a bit more fall weather and rain soon.

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    1. Unfortunately, the temperatures are expected to zoom upward again starting tomorrow but there is a chance of rain for early next week. However, I've learned not to get too excited about forecasts that far out.

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  15. Hello Kris, I have not seen a Plectranthus before, I don't know if we can grow it here in the UK.
    It is beautiful, I can see the resemblance to Wisteria, which we can grow. I love the blue vase.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.

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    1. Plectranthus originated from sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and parts of Austrailia so it's fairly well-suited to southern California but it might not like your colder winters in the UK, Brian. It would probably have to be treated as a greenhouse plant there.

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  16. As always, beautiful arrangements! You are so good at doing this every Monday!

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    1. Thanks Peter! I'm glad to see that you've joined in.

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  17. It does indeed look like Wisteria. It makes for a lovely floaty effect. And your pink Eustomas are so pretty!

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    1. I love that Plectranthus. with the exception of about a one-month down period after it blooms when I cut it back, the plant looks good all year but it's wonderful when it blooms.

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  18. The Plectranthus is such a marvelous plant, it would be great to be able to grow it outdoors. It looks great in the dark vase with the leafy 'Petite Butterfly' flowers. The Eustoma vase is very elegant, too, and the smaller pink flowers in different shades really enhance the large flowers. It's great your weather is finally cooling down, Kris.

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    1. I meant to highlight the Pelargonium I included in the pink vase, Hannah. It's new to me and adds a light touch to the heavier volume provided by the Eustoma.

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  19. As usual you make your special flowers 'star' . Both arrangements are perfect for their positions. The small flowered geranium is particularly effective.

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    1. Yes, I should have highlighted that Pelargonium, Noelle. It's a relatively recent find and I love it. The velvety foliage is nice too.

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  20. The Eustoma is gorgeous! Is it by any chance related to Lisianthus? The two look very similar to each other. I think your table runner is gorgeous, too--can you tell I'm an unabashed lover of pink?

    I Googled the Plectranthus and discovered it is also called Swedish Ivy, which my mother grew in large quantities as a houseplant all through the 70s! She was always giving cuttings to friends. It never bloomed indoors, though. It seems much less common as a houseplant these days. Very pretty in your pretty blue vase, and fun to see it growing happily outdoors!

    And I think you found the perfect place for your bowl of succulents! ----- Kimberley

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    1. Lisianthus and Eustoma grandiflorum are one in the same, Kimberly. In fact, the plant is usually sold under the Lisianthus name, although it's now classified as Eustoma. I often show both names but I neglected to do so in this post. I used to grow Swedish ivy Plectranthus as a houseplant myself. The species I featured has less succulent foliage but an herbal scent like the one you reference.

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  21. Wow, Kris, these are stunning! The Plectranthus does echo wisteria and I'm glad you kept the vase simple as not to hide its glory. The pink confection is so lovely and I must comment on your gleaming white kitchen, however do you manage to keep it so sparkling clean? You have a gift! ;-)

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    1. Oh, that white tile and grout is a pain, Eliza! Thank goodness that cleaners with bleach now come in spray bottles. I'm trying to convince my husband that we "need" solid surface kitchen countertops.

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  22. Love the simplicity of the Plectranthus and Polygala, especially in that vase, which seems so perfect for them! Am off to look up Plectranthus for zone 12... ;-) I have to laugh about your built-in BBQ; sometimes those built-ins aren't so handy for later homeowners, are they?

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    1. I really can't see that attraction of a barbecue pit inside the house. As much as I like barbecue, I wouldn't want to have the smell lingering about, embedded in all the soft furnishings!

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  23. such pretty vases! The pink Eustoma does remind me of a rose and is my favourite, looking stunning against the table runner.

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    1. Thanks Ann! I was too lazy to change out the table runner so I had to find coordinating flowers.

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  24. It never ceases to amaze me how just 2 or 3 different blooms can look wonderful in a vase, just as they do in both your vases - why did it take most of us so long to realise this?!

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    1. In the height of the garden season, I think it's just too tempting to cut everything in sight to show it off, Cathy. As the season winds down and the choices of plant materials dwindle, restraint is easier to exercise.

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  25. You are the flower arranging queen! Plectranthus really does look like Wisteria. And Lilac too. And the Eustoma is so gorgeous! Love, love, love!

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    1. That pink Eustoma (Lisianthus) is right up your alley, Grace!

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  26. Your plant choices and vases are both beautiful Kris, they are so perfectly formed, flowers are starting to look quite tatty over here. The pink Eustoma is stunning, I could imagine being a pollinator and making home in one of those!

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    1. Oh, a good portion of my garden is also tatty, Julie. Quite a few plants didn't make it through summer at all.

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