Monday, November 9, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: A Bouquet for Cathy

Cathy of Rambling in the Garden celebrates the second anniversary of her popular "In a Vase on Monday" feature with today's post.  While I prepared vases in connection with a couple of other blogger's memes in the past, I never did so consistently until I joined in with Cathy's merry band at the end of March last year.  By my count, I've participated for 85 weeks without a break.

Cathy's own dedication to the meme has been the driving force behind my participation.  She always brings enthusiasm to the process.  And, rain or shine, in town or on holiday, her posts appear like clockwork.  She encourages participation on whatever level works for each blogger and she supports everyone with appreciative comments.  So, Cathy, my vase this week is dedicated to you.

Front view

Back view

Top view


After the hottest October on record here, as well as two bouts with Santa Ana winds (also known as "devil winds"), flowers are in relatively short supply in my garden this week.  My Senna bicapsularis, one of the mainstays of my fall garden, is already fading but I took advantage of the fact that there was still enough to cut.  However, the Senna came with two surprises:

As I was preparing a Senna stem for my vase, I discovered a bright yellow caterpillar chomping away, accompanied by several ants.  The ants got washed away but I took pains to move the caterpillar back to the shrub where it can continue to pursue its life goal.  The Senna is a host plant for the sulphur butterfly, Phoebis sennae.

The second surprise was the fasciated (flattened) stem I found on the Senna.  Fasciation (aka cresting) can be caused by genetic abnormalities or bacteria.  If I'd had more time, I would have tried to create an arrangement around this stem.


Here's a closer look at what was included in this week's vase:

Clockwise from upper left: Eustoma grandiflorum 'Borealis Yellow', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', the inedible berries of Pyrus calleryana (aka ornamental pear), and Senna bicapsularis (aka Winter Senna)


Visit Cathy to see how she's celebrating her meme anniversary and to find the intriguing contributions of a diverse group of bloggers from different parts of the world.  Their ingenuity, enthusiasm, and the beauty of their creations is a large part of the draw of this meme.

This week's vase on the dining table


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

28 comments:

  1. Dear Kris, how nice of you to dedicate your vase today to Cathy for her second blog anniversary! It is a very pretty arrangement. Love the muted yellow colors together with the bronze ones. Your bouquet has a nice autumn feel to it, but you kept it on the light and cheerful side, which I really appreciate. Looking already forward to your next creation!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. At the moment, I have no idea what the next arrangement will consist of, Christina. Flowers really are in short supply, although the roses are continuing to put out the odd bloom here and there after a spring-summer hiatus. Most of my usual fall bloomers have either tuckered out early or failed to make a showing yet. Of necessity, foliage or succulents may dominate the next creation.

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  2. Congratulations on your 85 weeks of posting vases. That's a terrific accomplishment. I like the soft yellow of the Senna and that stem would make an interesting element in a floral design.

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    1. I almost pulled that fasciated stem out of the trash, Susie. If I'd more flowers to play with, I'm sure I'd have come up with something. I didn't see any other such stems on the shrub but perhaps I need to conduct a more thorough check.

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  3. A lovely vase to dedicate to dear Cathy. I was trying to puzzle out what the gorgeous pale yellow flower is. Senna, who would have thought it? I love it, I suppose it is tender, what a pity. I would love to grow it.

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    1. I've found the shrub classified as both a Cassia and a Senna, Chloris, but Senna appears to be the preferred classification. It hails from the northern portions of South America so I suspect it may be tender, although one source claims it's hardy in USDA zone, which I believe includes Portland, Oregon so it might also survive in the more temperate areas of the UK. It gets tall (taller than I anticipated in any case) so it probably wouldn't work well in a greenhouse. I'm hoping to find another of these plants somewhere this fall.

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  4. How nice to dedicate your vase to Cathy, she is such an inspiring person! As usual, your vase is very creative, I like the combination of colours.

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    1. Thanks Anca! I like the soft yellow and bronze color combination myself.

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  5. Hi Kris, love your vase as well and kudos for doing something nice with the Bradford Pear!

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    1. You know, I've never used those berries in a vase before but they're perfect. I'm definitely on the look-out for other ways to use them.

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  6. What a beautiful vase and I fully support your sentiments about Cathy! It is hard to imagine that you are still in a heat wave, although our November temperatures are surprisingly high for the UK. You managed to find a great selection even if there are not as many options available in your garden right now.

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    1. At least our nights have turned consistently cool, Julie. That's a huge relief as it's hard to sleep when the temperature remains above 80F (26C) past midnight!

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  7. I really am touched, Kris, by your kind gesture and words...and pleased to read that my diligence has been the driving force behind your participation. I started the meme to get myself into the habit of picking flowers from my garden and it has been good to see so many others come on board too. Your soft yellows drew such a range of material together - with still more eustoma! Your fasciated senna and yellow caterpillar are both so intriguing to see too - thanks for sharing, and for the bouquet :)

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    1. I used to pick flowers for my former house, as well as my office at work, on a regular basis, Cathy, but fell out of the practice after moving to our current house, even through my garden here is much bigger. Thanks for giving me the boot in the behind I needed to get back in the game.

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  8. You came up with such a large gorgeous arrangement despite your bad weather, Kris. I hope your landscaping redo is coming along. I hope the fall will start treating you better. I like the arching colorful Leptospermum, and the rounded little leaves of the Cassia are so cute. The fasciated branch is fascinating, like a work of art.

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    1. The landscaping projects are still nearly all-consuming, Hannah, but we're making progress. We have another leg of the backyard pathway done and have finally started work on the front areas as well.

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  9. This arrangement is simple and effective! Cathy is an inspiration, isn't she? Eighty-four weeks without missing one is pretty amazing! I've only got a few more bulbs to get into the ground and then it's mostly focusing on the holidays. Guess I'll get the beds re done in the spring as it's too wet out now to be digging too much.

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    1. I've enjoyed the "IAVOM" meme and I'm glad to find you participating, Peter. I needed Cathy's push to get me back into the habit of cutting flowers for the house.

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  10. 85 weeks!? That's pretty incredible Kris, and this weeks vase is a stunner, nice work! So what did you do with the fasciated Senna stem?

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    1. With great reluctance, I threw the fasciated stem away. I even pulled open the trash and considered pulling the stem back out an hour later but the press of my various projects stopped me from dithering.

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  11. A lovely light arrangement for autumn, which I imagine isn't really a season where you are, maybe, like here, it is a gentler version of spring. Those pale yellows are beautiful. I have sourced some eustoma seeds so I very much hope they will grow as well for me as they do for you.

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    1. Yes, autumn is our second spring here, Christina. I'd usually be deeply involved in planting at this stage but the backyard project has directed my energies elsewhere this far. Good luck with the Eustoma seeds! I'm lucky to be able to grow the plants from plugs as I had no luck with the seeds the one time I tried them.

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  12. The caterpillar and the stem really are a nice surprise. And the Senna has beautiful flowers too. I have never seen a Senna in flower and would love to try growing one some day. :)

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    1. The Senna is spectacular when it's in bloom, Cathy, and its role in supporting the sulphur butterflies is a big plus.

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  13. Another beauty Kris...I usually find ants or slugs ....I would have moved the caterpillar to the garden too. And that flattened stem of the Senna was gorgeous and interesting.....I enjoy seeing your vases as they are beautiful and creative from all views....as this one is!

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    1. Thanks Donna. I'll have to see if I can find any more of those stems on the Senna next week.

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  14. Cool crested senna stem (that was a mouthful). I like the long leptospermum branches going out to the side. 85 weeks without a break is very commendable!

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