Monday, December 7, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: Faux orchids and blobby things

No, I didn't create a vase using silk or plastic flowers.  The "faux orchids" of the title refer to the flowers of Bauhinia x blakeana, also known as the Hong Kong orchid tree.  Despite a warm blast from Santa Ana winds this past weekend, the tree is currently blanketed in flowers.



Although they don't usually last long in a vase, I decided to make use of the orchid-like flowers this week.  The "blobby things" refer to the apt name Cathy, the hostess of "In a Vase on Monday," gave to Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' when I used these odd flowers in a vase last month.

Front view

Back view


Here's a closer look at the individual elements:

Top row: Flowers of Bauhinia x blakeana
Bottom row: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' (aka "blobby things"), Leucadendron 'Pisa', and Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Lava Rose'


Hopefully, the Bauhinia flowers will last at least a few days.  I cut longer stems this time and cut into the woody bases to improve water uptake.  The vase currently sits in the front entryway.



Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other gardeners are featuring this week.  As winter cold takes hold in many areas (but not here, where temperatures are hovering just below 80F/26C), participants are getting very creative about finding materials for their arrangements.


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

34 comments:

  1. Kris what a tree to have growing as it produces some of the most gorgeous flowers...and perfect for your vase this week...especially love the 'Itsy Bitsy' again as it adds so much to the vase!!

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    1. It's a lovely tree. It seems to have 2 bloom seasons. The flowers are more prolific when the temperatures are cooler.

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  2. Wow, I love that tree! The colour and the shapes of its flowers are stunning! They look great in your vase, Kris!

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    1. Thanks Anca. I hope the flowers have a longer vase life this go-round.

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  3. Dear Kris, lovely vase you created today! The Hong Kong Orchid Tree flowers are just so beautiful. I have thought about adding this tree to our garden for quite a while now and maybe your post makes it clear that it is a must have. I also like the combination with the very delicate Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' blooms. Just perfect! I am curious how long the Hong Kong Orchid Tree blooms will last in the vase. Would you let us know?
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. It's a nice tree and handles the heat well, although it seems to bloom more heavily when the temperatures are cooler. Even the leaves, which fold in half at night are interesting. I'll report on the vase-life of the flowers next week - so far, so good.

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  4. Love those blooms and especially how well the itsy bitsy works. It looks like "Little Grapes" which will soon bloom and I look forward to finding a way to use them similarly.

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    1. I'm virtually certain that Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' and 'Little Grapes' are one in the same plant, Shirley. I looked into it once before and found it'd gone through a series of name changes. I've also seen it sold as 'Airy Bachelor Buttons'.

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  5. I would love to be able to grow that tree in my garden. And I had to laugh at the "blobby things." A very appropriate description for those Gomphrena.

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    1. That Gomphrena seems relatively unique in how it grows and flowers, Evan. I've become very fond of it.

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  6. Gorgeous as always! Bauhinia is new to me and really a stunning tree. Love those flowers.

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    1. I'm not sure I can think of a tree with splashier blooms.

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  7. The Bauhinia blossoms are so pretty, I like the lighter veins, Kris. The Gomphrena are a perfect accompaniment. You may suffer in the summertime heat but now the rest of us are freezing. Brrrr. And you have beautiful flowers for consolation.

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    1. I'd gladly trade a little of our warmth for some of your rain, Hannah!

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  8. That is just lovely! Even if it only lasts a day or two what a vision, you used each of those elements so well...it's going down as a fav in my book.

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    1. It looked great for a day but it appears that 2 days is its limit, unfortunately.

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  9. Very pretty, Kris! And I really love the gomphrena, it adds whimsy to the vase.

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    1. This Gomphrena is an odd plant but I've come to love it. It's a good filler in the garden.

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  10. Faux orchids... you had me worried for about five seconds, Kris! But not much longer - what a beautiful vaseful! The Bauhinia is so pretty in its own right, and I love the blobby things ;-) Like Christina, I'm curious how well the Bauhinia will last in a vase; but it's splendid even if it only holds for a day or two!

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    1. It's looking like 2 days is the limit on the open Bauhinia flowers and the buds show no inclination to bloom. The Gomphrena should carry on, however.

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  11. Beautiful Kris; a lovely colour, one of my favourites.

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    1. I don't have much that magenta color in my garden, Christina, but I wouldn't be without the Bauhinia or the Gomphrena.

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  12. Nice!
    Like the small red one!
    Mariana

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    1. That Gomphrena is a wonderful plant, Mariana, although I don't expect it would be happy in Sweden.

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  13. I love your exhuberant arrangement, such lovely flowers: colour and form perfect.

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  14. Oh my goodness, your vase is just gorgeous Kris. I've never heard of Hong Kong orchid tree but wow, I'd like one. Also like those "blobby things" too! I tried Gomphrena this year but without much luck.

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    1. All the Gomphrenas seem to like it hot and dry so this is one case in which your climate is less hospitable than mine, Susie.

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  15. You know I love those blobby things..

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    1. They'd probably grow just fine in Australia, Amy!

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  16. I am not familiar with any of the elements in your vase, but I love them all. The expression 'bobby things' will stay with me for a long time ....!

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    1. You can thank Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) for that descriptive name, Ann.

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  17. They really are beautiful flowers! How wonderful to have a tree full of them! I love the colour coordinated 'blobby' Gomphrena with them too. :)

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    1. The tree is really wonderful but I should probably leave the flowers where they grow, Cathy - they lasted just 2 days in my vase despite my extra effort to promote water uptake by the woody stems.

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