Monday, November 23, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Camellias at last

Despite another spike in our daytime temperatures and Santa Ana winds that made the air so dry I've felt as though I was undergoing mummification, the blooms on my Camellia sasanqua were finally plentiful enough to cut for this week's vase, which is fortunate as there was little else to be had in terms of flowers.  I kept the arrangement simple again this week.

Front view

Back view, which this week I like as much or more than the front view


I used just three plants - or 4 if you count the fact that there are two forms of Camellia sasanqua, both of which I inherited with the house and neither of which I can identify.

Left to right: NoID Camellia sasanqua, Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' and Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Lava Rose' (formerly classified as Solenostemon scutellarioides aka coleus)


If your eyes are sharp, you may have noticed that some ants hitchhiked in with the Camellias.  This is common but, more often than not, I notice them before arranging the flowers.  This time I didn't see them until I looked at my photos, by which time most had taken cover elsewhere.  The vase sits on the dining table so, unfortunately, I expect they'll show up for breakfast one morning this week.



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


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

37 comments:

  1. Those camellias were worth the wait and look perfect with the coleus and abelia....this one took my breath away Kris as the camellias took center stage.

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    1. I was pleased to find that our exceptionally warm temperatures and those devilish Santa Ana winds didn't entirely knock out the Camellias, Donna.

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  2. I like it. Wintry. Coleus was a brilliant addition. I'm a mummy, too, shrinking and shriveling up.

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    1. I thought the weather was supposed to turn today but it was still unseasonably warm (although it stayed just below 80F) and still dry, dry, dry - my weather meter recorded 2% humidity at mid-day.

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    2. Omigosh, that is horrible and you so near the coast! The offshore flow must be pulling the water out of all of us and our plant buddies.

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  3. The camellias are lovely and make for a really elegant arrangement. I always quarantine my peonies in the kitchen on newspaper otherwise I receive complaints that ants are overrunning the house!

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    1. I was surprised to find that the ants like Camellias too but, in my garden, they're everywhere so I shouldn't have been surprised, Sarah.

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  4. Camellias are camellias! Beautiful, thanks for sharing such wonders, Kris!

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  5. Bright and beautiful camellias, Kris. I like the abelia as a filler. I didn't realize that coleus has been reclassified by the nomenclature trolls. Yet another thing I must change in my mental Rolodex (which tells you how long ago I learned my plant names ;-) )! Plectranthus makes sense, as it has got to one of the easiest plants to root from cuttings.

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    1. As I started to type "Solenostemon scutellarioides," Eliza, I had this niggling recollection that the name had changed so I checked. I have a hard time keeping up with the name changes - it seems they're occurring with greater frequency.

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  6. Dear Kris, simply love both of your varieties of Camellia sasanqua! They make such a statement in your vase. I wish, I would have one of those early flowering camellia varieties growing in my garden. Maybe I get a small one and grow it in a container for a while until I find a spot for it in the garden. But back to your camellia flowers. Did they make it through the Santa Ana winds and the dry heat without their blooms getting damaged? The ones that you picked for your vase just look picture perfect.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. The Camellia sasanqua here were planted in a mostly shaded area under the roof overhang right next to the house, Christina. That offers them a good deal of protection from both the heat and the wind but the flowers still wither relatively quickly.

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  7. A lovely arrangement I do like the Coleus which adds a different foliage colour.
    I must try to grow some next year.

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    1. Coleus is incredibly useful, Brian. I don't know why I don't grow more varieties as it's relatively hardy here.

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  8. We are seeing more and more camellias in our Monday vases recently - these pink ones look stunning and especially now the winter is getting colder their brightness stands out. The coleus is great with them - but so is the abelia. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I think the Abelia was my favorite feature this week, Cathy. Most of the flowers are gone but event the bracts are a pretty color.

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  9. Your Camellias are lovely, more petals than most sasanquas I've seen, or do regular Camellias bloom in the fall there? The Plectranthus - Coleus practically looks like a flower itself, lovely with the green edging. I started one from a cutting so hope it makes it through the winter under lights. All the flowers make such a lovely full vase, Kris.

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    1. Oops, I see they are sasanquas. My Yuletide that doesn't bloom is a hybrid of sasanqua and japonica.

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    2. I didn't know 'Yuletide' is a hybrid. I have one hybrid Camellia, 'Taylor's Perfection', which is part C. japonica and part C. williamsii, and although it occasionally blooms in late November or early December, it shows no signs of imminent bloom as yet. It hardly bloomed at all last year but this year it's at least covered with buds.

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    3. I tried to look for where I read that, but I found one place that said it was a C. vernalis hybrid, so I guess I had it wrong. http://apps.caes.uga.edu/gafaces/index.cfm?public=viewStory&pk_id=4963

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  10. Lovely arrangement Kris. Nice to have inherited such attractive pink camellias. Your coleus was an inspired addition to the vase.

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    1. The coleus are included in 2 mixed pots by the front door. I've hardly used the plants at all this year, Susie, and as I'm about to change out the pots for our "cool season" (which given our temperatures may be a bit premature), I thought I should at least tuck them into a vase first.

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  11. How cool is that? You brought in both flowers and some new pets! I love camellias and your combination of the bright pink with the dark coleus leaves is wonderful.

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    1. A few hitchhiking ants is at least preferable to the army invasions we faced during the summer months, Peter.

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  12. Sigh...your Camellias are so gorgeous you've almost got me wishing I had planted one of the dark bloomers somewhere in my garden. Nice work Kris!

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    1. I can't claim much credit for those Camellias, Loree. Luckily, one of the prior owners of our property planted them in a protected spot, where they probably got lots of water to get established.

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  13. Ants can be a real problem; there are spots in the garden where, in summer, I have to remember not to stop to admire a flower otherwise I am eaten from the toes up! Love the Camellias, I really must get some; if they'll grow in your hot climate I must be able to keep them alive. The flowers you've put together work really well together.

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    1. We have zillions and zillions of ants too, Christina. I can't tell you how often I find a few that have hitchhiked into the house on my person. (It gives me the creeps to think about it so I generally don't.) They trouble us most in the height of summer, when it's especially dry, at which point they mount invasions, usually headed straight to the cat's food bowl.

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  14. Those Camellias are such a gorgeous colour, and I love the combination with Coleus! The back of the vase does look really good too. Didn't spot any ants... I always have that problem with peonies, which the ants love.

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    1. Unfortunately, I seem to find ants on virtually everything that comes out of the garden, Cathy.

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  15. Lovely arrangement, love the front and back views...two arrangements, one vase. Very Clever.

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    1. It's a good thing the arrangement has a 2-sided aspect, Noelle, as the side showing off the Camellias is quickly withering away.

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  16. Ah, camellias... They're just lovely, Kris, though like you I find the back view with the coleus to be very attractive too. It says a lot for C. sasanqua that it's blooming well despite your weather; I didn't realize it was that resilient! Camellias are occasionally available here, but I've steered clear assuming they would suffer serious damage in our hot summer winds, not to mention trouble with alkaline soil... Do you feel the sasanquas are tougher than the japonicas?

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    1. I feel Camellia sasanqua is generally tougher than C. japonica, although I have only one of the latter in this garden (and even it's a C. japonica hybrid). The C. sasanqua were planted by a prior owner, quite some time ago by appearances, in an area in which they're well-protected from both sun and wind. The soil must have been well-amended at the time of planting as I haven't even provided an acid fertilizer and they're doing fine.

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  17. Simple is good. It allows the camellias to be really steal the show, too.

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    1. They held the stage for only a brief period, Amy - even inside, they withered relatively quickly. The vase is now flower-less.

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