Monday, January 11, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Red!

I avoided using red flowers and foliage in my former garden.  That garden was tiny and red seemed to overwhelm it.  Yet red, in measured doses, has a prominent role in my current garden, especially when it comes to foliage color.  I still have relatively few red-flowering plants but there are some.  Perhaps the flashiest of these is Calliandra haematocephala, popularly known here as pink powder puff.  I inherited 4 of these plants with the house, all grown as hedges along pathways and against the house.  They're generally sheared to keep them within bounds so they don't bloom as heavily as I'd like but the one grown alongside the garage blooms reliably at this time of year.  I've previously used it in vases with Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola' but the blooms on those shrubs are tardy this year so I had to look further afield for companions.  Foliage plants came to the rescue.



Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' was a natural choice for foliage.  It's copper color has reddened dramatically since the temperatures dropped and I admire the plant daily as I go in and out the front door.

L. 'Copper Glow' in the bed along the front pathway


There's a second L. 'Copper Glow' on the other side of the pathway but for reasons that elude me it isn't nearly as red.  However, the Coprosma repens 'Fire Burst' planted below it provided my second foliage choice.  I added a few stems of Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl' whose flowers have dark burgundy centers to lighten up the arrangement a bit.  Here's a closer look at the individual elements:

You can see why Calliandra haematocephala (top row) is referred to as a "powder puff," although the color is more ruby-red than pink in my view.  The tight buds, shown above the blooms, start out brown in color.  In the second row, from the left, are: Coprosma 'Fire Burst', also reddened by exposure to cooler temperatures; the graceful stems of Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'; and the tiny blooms of Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl'.

The vase replaced last week's arrangement in the front entry.  Other than the Nandina foliage, last week's vase held up well.  I don't recall that the Calliandra blooms last very long but time will tell.



Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the host of the popular "In a Vase on Monday" meme, to discover what other gardeners have found to include in their vases this week.


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

32 comments:

  1. A lovely red vase Kris....especially fun with the Calliandra which I see all around CA and AZ. Love the Pink Pearls flowers too!

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    1. I wish I got more blooms on the Calliandra. The shrub isn't meant to be used as a hedge.

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  2. It's happy, warm, and beautifully put together! Love that Calliandra haematocephala and am always glad to see it in your arrangements!

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    1. It's a beautiful plant, even if the flowers only rarely make an appearance here.

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  3. Wow this is exhuberant..superb flowers and lovely arrangement.

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  4. As usual, your vase is so creative, Kris! I like that pink powder puff, it is amazing! I wonder if it grows in my area, I will do some research on that.

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    1. There are 200 species of Calliandra, Anca, so one may work for you, although they tend to come from warm climates.

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  5. Lovely arrangement, and so inviting to touch too!

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  6. You have done well in finding the pink and red stems and leaves to accompany your tactile powder puffs - the overall effect is most pleasing to the eye. Great job Kris!

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    1. It surprised me how much red has crept into my garden, Cathy - the principal problem was narrowing down the options.

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  7. Looks great, I had the same feelings about hot colors when I lived further north, but now I am all for them. The Powderpuffs are blooming here as well and I have a lot of (gasp) orange in the garden!

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    1. I've got quite a bit of orange myself, Shrub Queen!

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  8. This is a great arrangement Kris. You've combined so many interesting reds and varying textures. Your Calliandra reminds me of a mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)--used to love playing with them. Your Calliandra thought has those wonderful berry-like buds.

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    1. Calliandra is in the Mimosaceae family, Susie. I have an Albizia julibrissin too but I'm not as fond of it - the flowers are pretty but it's a major litter producer and rampant self-seeder in my garden. I swear it's bent on world domination.

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  9. Ooh, gorgeous vase, Kris! Like an exotic bird or a ballet dancer with a fluffy tutu! It's marvelous!

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    1. It's funny, Eliza, but I almost made a comment about the tutu when I wrote the post myself.

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  10. The powder puffs are so cute! This is a great vase.

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    1. Thanks Renee. I expect that one of the Calliandra species, if not this one, would work in your climate too.

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  11. Love the red blooms in that vase. YOU are the garden shoes winner! If you'll email me at diana c kirby at g mail dot com, I will ship them to you! Have a great week.

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    1. Yay! I sent you an e-mail. Thanks Diana!!!

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  12. What a fun vase this week, Kris! I love the combination of red foliage with the red Calliandra puffs - just wonderful :) The buds are fascinating; I've just planted a C. californica, but it's too small to do much blooming yet, so I hadn't seen flower buds...

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    1. I hope the C. californica does well for you, Amy. I'll be interested to see if it produces the same kind of buds (when it's mature enough to bloom).

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  13. So elegant, Kris! The Calliandra makes me think of pouffy ballet tutus. I like the leaves with the red edges with it.

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    1. Eliza (comment above) agrees with you on the tutu description, Hannah. All the stems were very short (because they're trimmed back so often to keep the foliage from blocking the pathway) so the powder puffs ended up sitting at the base of the arrangement.

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  14. On how gorgeous! I particularly envy you being able to grow those lovely Powder Puffs. I have seen it in Martinique where it is called Pompon de Marin. And I love the Leptospermum too, what a lovely colour combination.

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    1. Pompon de Marin sounded so much fancier, Chloris, until I Googled a translation and realized it refers to the pom-pom on top of the berets worn by French sailors.

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  15. I love your bright red Monday vase! The powder puffs are so cool.

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    1. The foliage is very nice too, Alison, but it folds up in low light so it isn't impressive in a vase.

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  16. The powder puffs are such a lovely fun element. They'd be perfect for a party table decoration. I should love to grow some of those one day! :) Love the overall effect with pinky reds and green.

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    1. They would be fun in a table decoration, especially if you could get longer stems. A friend planted this shrub along his driveway and let it grow naturally - it produced many more flowers on much longer stems but his car can no longer go up the driveway.

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