Monday, January 25, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Going tiny

Pansies are the first flower I fell in love with as a child and although the conditions in Southern California aren't optimal for growing them, I inevitably cave in and buy some every year.  This year I at least held off until the summer-like temperatures that persisted through November finally gave way.  I planted plugs of a few varieties in December and, with regular rainwater, courtesy of my rain collection tanks, they're doing well so they were a natural choice for this week's "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in a Garden.  Their short stems necessitated use of tiny vases.   Of course, going tiny, I couldn't stop at just one vase.

I created 3 coordinated, but not identical, vases 

The vases contain different foliage but the same 3 floral elements:

Viola x wittrockiana was used in all 3 vases - most are from a mix called 'Pandora's Box' but the third vase also includes a cream-colored viola.  In addition, each vase includes Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' and flowers of a noID Narcissus growing in several areas of my backyard garden.


Here's a closer look at the individual vases, each of which manages to project a slightly different personality.

In addition to Violas, Narcissus and Gomphrena, this vase includes Pseuderanthemum atropupureum 'Texas Tri-star' and Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'

The extra elements in the green vase are leatherleaf fern (Rumorha adiantiformis) and Abelia 'Confetti'

The only divergent element in the yellow vase is Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum'


I couldn't find a good place to arrange all 3 vases as a group so they ended up in different spots.

The dining room table

The mantle in the master bedroom

And the desk in my home office


Last week's arrangement held up amazingly well, although the flowers of Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' are now starting the fall apart.  There are still lots of flowers on the shrub but I couldn't bear to cut any more.

Gratuitous photo of my beautiful Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' in the front garden


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to find what she and other gardeners have managed to put together from materials in their gardens this week.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

43 comments:

  1. They might not be easy, but you've done an impressive job with your pansies!

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    1. The weather has helped this year - instead of the 80+F temperatures we've had some winters here, it's been much cooler and we haven't had many of our drying Santa Ana winds.

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  2. I absolutely love tiny vases with small flowers and these are so special Kris especially with my favorite pansy and the tiny daffs! I am seeing spring there with these flowers now!

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    1. Even here where spring comes early, we're not quite there yet, Donna. It's just that our version of winter comes with flowers :)

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  3. First reaction: How pretty! Second reaction: How charming! Crazy weather. My violas are doing than ever, too. Don't the vases smell good with the violas and the narcissus? Love the colorings of the "gratuitous"grevillea.

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    1. I like the smell of the Narcissus, at least in small doses, but my husband does not. Fortunately, limiting the vases to a few stems seems to have kept the fragrance under his radar.

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    2. My husband doesn't like the smell of narcissus either! lol They look very sweet with those violas. And the Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' looks just heavenly.

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  4. I love arrangements like these - so delicate and pretty. And as for your Grevillea - what a fabulous plant that is. I've only seen it in pillar box red before but the colour combination here is stunning. How do plant breeders do this!

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    1. Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' has become my favorite (and I have a LOT of Grevilleas), not only for the color of its flowers but also for their large size.

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  5. Pandora's Box! What a great name for a mix of pansy seeds and what pretty colours! I like these a lot more than the big brash bright pansies. As always you have sourced just the right material to accompany your main blooms and subtly matched the blooms with the colour of the vase too. All very lovely Kris - thanks for sharing

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    1. I seem to have fallen under the spell of the smaller violas over the past couple of years myself, Cathy. Almost all those I bought this year fall into that category.

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  6. Going tiny has been a success! Have a great week, Kris!

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  7. Tiny is beautiful Kris; btw, your comments both appeared in my in box; I review all comments before they are posted so maybe that's why you couldn't see your comment. Love how you've created different vases around one theme, I did a similar thing this week.

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    1. I'm sorry to overload you with comments, Christina! I didn't recall that you had a moderation function in place and didn't see notice to that effect.

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  8. Dear Kris, I love all three of your pansy vases, but the one with the leatherleaf fern is my favorite one. The colored glass vases go so well with the pansies and really enhance their beauty.
    Seeing your post makes me happy and a little sad at the same time. Happy, because I really enjoy your vases and a little sad, because this year I didn't buy any pansies for the first time since I live in California. I thought that with our drought I wouldn't have enough water for them to keep them or as a matter of fact any other annuals going. Maybe next year again, depending if El Nino shows up or not...
    Wishing you a lovely week!
    Christina

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    1. The water needs of pansies have been an issue for me for the past couple of years too. Christina, but with 475 gallons of collected rainwater in my tanks, I figured I could splurge on some pansies. Look into a rain barrel - it's utterly amazing how much water you can collect from what fall on your roof and it does reduce watering guilt!

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  9. Lovely Amethyst and Spring Green Series. I think Pansies are my first love as well, my mother used to make me take bouquets to my teachers in first grade. I love your Grevilleas! I would leave them wherever they lasted the longest - fabulous.

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    1. The Grevilleas definitely do better left on the shrub - they develop greater size and the color modulates as the bloom ages, which doesn't happen once the flowers are cut.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the vases, Sandra!

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  11. Pansies bring a rich color and happy faces to any arrangement. These are great vases and you found perfect settings to enjoy them all week.

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    1. Pansies do seem to have almost universal appeal, Susie!

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  12. That 'Itsy Bitsy' gomphrena is so cute! I'd have to put a snowball in a vase for my contribution this week! Love your arrangements, as usual. :o)

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    1. Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) encourages thinking outside the box, Tammy - she and a lot of the other contributors would probably appreciate seeing a snowball sitting in a vase! Maybe you could do a time lapse of the melt.

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  13. I love the pansies. You present yet more beautiful arrangements. Pansies always have such a wonderful combination of colors, all from nature. I used to plant pansies, but after several so-called "winters" of endless heat waves, well, you know...

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    1. Exactly! Pansies became a source of frustration and disappointment with the winters we've had in recent years. I thought El Nino might make a difference this year but, even though the rains have been largely a no-show here thus far, the cooler temperatures have helped a lot.

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  14. So cute! And amazing that you have so many tiny vases that match your pansies. They are wonderful flowers.

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    1. I do seem to have accumulated a lot of tiny vases...

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  15. The Pseuderanthemum atropupureum 'Texas Tri-star' sole the show for me and sent me off to learn more, which it turns out is very hard to do and I ended coming back around to photos of yours. Seems you've cornered the market! Oh and it would be just fine with me if you ended every single post with a gratuitous shot of G. 'Peaches and Cream'...

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    1. I was surprised by the very same photos when I most recently did a search on 'Texas Tri-star.' The plants show up in local nurseries on a haphazard basis. I've also found them labeled, apparently mistakenly, as Strobilanthes. They do appear to have more in common with plants like P. 'Black Varnish' that S. dyerianus.

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  16. I agree with Loree about the Grevillea picture ;-) I love your simple white Violas though I'm usually looking for the mixed colors when I buy - something to keep in mind. In any case, all three vases are wonderful with the little variations from one to the next...

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    1. I usually go for more colorful violas too, Amy, but I had just the right spot for a mass of this cream-colored variety.

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  17. That is a wonderful way to display small flowers Kris. And having three vases to dot around the house must be quite satisfying too! :)

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    1. The only problem is keeping track of the water levels in them when they're not each front and center, Cathy - the tiny vases seem to need daily refills.

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  18. Pansies are so cute with their little "faces" blooming through most of the year here. Your three vases are very cool. Love the way the foliage changes the mood of each of the vases. They work together very well but are equally splendid on their own.

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    1. At best, I've gotten pansies to hang on into June, Peter. The heat and dry winds tend to knock them out early, even when they're kept watered.

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  19. Fine bouquets of spring feeling!
    Best regards
    Mariana

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    1. It's a mark of the difference in our climates that pansies are thought of as winter flowers here, Mariana.

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  20. Your vases are so vibrant, having to live in such a hot climate surely has it's winter perks, Kris! I'm glad you showed your beautiful Grevillea blooms, I wouldn't want to cut them either. The vases look great together, but separately they are magnificent, the burgundy picking up color in the table runner, and an iridescent glow too, and the pansies and Texas Tri-star matching so well. The green vase is so elegant, and you get so much use out of your cute 'Itsy Bitsy'! The yellow vase matches perfectly with the window strip, and I love the variegated foliage!

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    1. I think I have a lifetime supply of Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' so you'll probably see it again (and again), Hannah!

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  21. I adore pansies, old-fashioned and romantic, what's not to love? :-)

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    1. It's hard to find anyone who doesn't like pansies but there must be some contrarians out there, Eliza.

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