Monday, February 29, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Spring won't be denied

Despite our unseasonably warm weather this month, I've hung on to the notion that it's still winter.  While I know most gardeners long for spring, winter means rain here and I've been obsessed with rain of late.  But the truth is that spring arrived weeks ago here in coastal Southern California and it can no longer be denied as the bouquets prepared for today's "In a Vase on Monday" demonstrate.  Rain may still arrive, or it may not.  I'm no longer counting on it.

This weekend, as I was cleaning one of my most neglected garden areas, I discovered 2 flower stalks on one of my Cymbidiums.  One was already blooming and the top-heavy unsupported stalk was trailing on the ground.  I decided to cut it for use in this week's vase where it could be enjoyed.

Front view

Back view


I stuffed this vase with more flowers and foliage than I should have.  I'm blaming this on the fact that the garden presented me with too many options.  Yes, spring has most definitely arrived!

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Cymbidium Sussex Court 'Not Peace'*; Freesia; Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'; Laurus nobilis, shown with its bright green new foliage and its unopened flower clusters; and Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'.   *I'm unable to find any explanation for the name of that Cymbidium, although an on-line search substantiated that this is its correct name.


The Ceanothus hedge in the front garden is also coming into bloom and I was unable to ignore it either.  I don't think I've ever used the Ceanothus in a vase so I was inspired to see what I could do with it.

Front view

Top view


I'd planned to stick to blue and white with this arrangement but the centers of the white daisies prompted me to add another touch of yellow.

Top row: the noID Ceanothus
Bottom row: Argyrantemum frutescens, Freesia, and a bi-color Pericallis hybrid


With the garden in overdrive, I could easily have produced a few more vases but I restrained myself.

The orchid arrangement sits on the dining room table, where I hope the sunlight will prompt the last 2 buds to open

The blue/white/yellow arrangement that screams spring sits in the front entryway.  The toad that normally sits there has been temporarily replaced with blue bird salt-and-pepper shakers I inherited from my mother-in-law.


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


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

45 comments:

  1. Lovely arrangements as always, Kris! Your comment about finding Cymbidiums in bloom in one of your most neglected garden areas made me laugh.

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    1. Now why is that, Peter? I actually do abuse my poor Cymbidiums - they're shoved into a shady corner, seldom watered, and mostly in need of repotting.

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  2. Good morning, Kris! I love both of your arrangements very much! They definitively have a spring-ish vibe and that is wonderful. The cymbidium is a killer beauty and the combination with the Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' is perfect.
    The Ceanothus has a stunning blue color which is wonderfully matched by the Pericallis hybrid. I love the Freesias in both arrangement, too.
    I haven't given up on the rain at all, I simply can't. We do have some rain in the forecast for next Sunday. I so hope that it will come!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. I have fingers crossed that the rain will come through this weekend too, Christina. Unfortunately, even if it does, we can't count it as a real start of El Nino's former promise.

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  3. Holy cow, what an abundance you have! And (aaarrgh!!!) cymbidiums, too! So envious. :-)

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    1. Cymbidiums are the easiest orchids to grow here. They take an incredible amount of abuse but, luckily for us, they never get too cold.

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    2. I used to live in the 600 East Ocean Bldg. in Long Beach and I had a huge pot on our balcony. And my in-laws, who lived at the corner of Dupre/Cartier and Hawthorne had bunches. It's amazing how rugged they really are. :-)

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  4. Oh Kris these are fabulous! I adore those Cymbidiums, and that blue vase is glorious and shouts spring too! Hoping soon here to see spring...still a bit of winter going on this week.

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    1. I hope your weather woes in the NE will end soon, Donna!

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  5. Love it, especially the two C's, Ceonanthus and Cymbidiums, I have mystery orchids as well.

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    1. The name of that Cymbidium really is a mystery!

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  6. Like Peter, the orchid blooming in a neglected area had me smiling. It's such a pretty flower too. I love the blue and yellow arrangement.

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    1. The poor orchids really are corralled in a corner of the lot where they're generally forgotten and seldom even watered. Somehow, they still survive.

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  7. Love the exuberance of your arrangement this week Kris!

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    1. Thanks! I gave in an accepted that spring is here and I might as well go along with the flow!

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  8. What an intriguing centre the orchid has - almost unreal (like its name!! I think I like the back view even more than the front - the colours are perfect in that vase. But the same can be said of your second vase - both lovely, as always. Thanks for sharing

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    1. The back of the first arrangement does show your favorite "blobby bits" to maximum advantage, Cathy!

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  9. I don't know about spring, your vases look more like summer to me. I love how the one in the dining room picks up the colours of the runner on the table but my favourite is the blue of the Ceanothus, it is lovely with the yellow Freesias, hopefully mine will flower soon.

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    1. A lot of plants that are summer bloomers in colder climates are spring bloomers here, Christina. They shut down during our hot, dry summers.

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  10. Lovely flowers, in my region, most of them bloom in summer!And the way you have combined them is very creative, as usual.

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    1. Only the toughest plants can flower during our scorching summers, Anca, so many bloom their hearts out in spring when conditions are more favorable.

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  11. Oh my goodness, so many rich, lovely flowers. The blue Ceanothus is amazing and I would love to be able to grow Cymbidiums outdoors. Both arrangements are wonderful Kris. Sorry about the rain situation.

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    1. The rain situation is disappointing mainly because we were taken in by the hype about the force of El Nino and what it meant for SoCal in particular. It turns out that weather scientists didn't know as much about El Nino as they thought they did - and they certainly didn't account for the impact of he persistent high pressure system that has pushed most of the rain to the north.

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  12. What a beautiful selection you have made this week Kris - both vases are stunning and I was inspired by your use of ceanothus - I have never cut it either but will try it when it flowers in a month or two here. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for rain for you.

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    1. All good thoughts are appreciated when it comes to rain, Julie. There is a chance of rain late Saturday, into Sunday.

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  13. the yellow freesias bring that whole vase to life

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  14. I love the blue/yellow vase. It looks very cheery and spring like. I really hope we get more rain, even if it means a few less flowers!

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    1. The latest 10-day forecast is showing 2 upcoming storms here, one Saturday night through Monday and another on the following Thursday. Fingers are crossed that we both get wet!

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  15. Ah yes, as others have noted the idea that one could discover forgotten Cymbidiums in bloom just blows my mind. Lucky you! (And good for you for cutting it and brining inside where it, with its partners, looks very at home in your dining room)

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    1. The plants aren't tremendously attractive when not in bloom, hence the tendency to tuck them out of sight. But it is a delight to find flower stalks on them (unless that discovery occurs after the blooms have withered!).

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  16. Oh what an abundance of gorgeous blooms. Two stunning arrangements Kris. I love your orchid.
    I hope you get your rain and I hope we get some warm sun.I long to be outside.

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    1. Rain is currently predicted for Sunday here so hopefully we'll each have our versions of "good" weather for the weekend!

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  17. Beyond beautiful, Kris! You've really outdone yourself this week. I love them both, so pleasing to the eye. I'm envious that you have orchids growing in your garden! :)

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    1. It's true that Cymbidiums, as relatively hardy as they are here, wouldn't be too happy in your snowy clime, Eliza!

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  18. Apparently low humidity doesn't stop your Cymbidiums, does it?! I've blamed most of my orchid failures on that, but I've not tried Cymbidiums so I wonder... I love the way you've combined them with the Gomphrena! Love the Ceanothus too; there are so many different types, but so far I haven't found that any are recommended for low desert, sigh... Your arrangements certainly do shout "spring"! :) It's unmistakably spring here too; and looking toward summer, I'm trying to assess the fact that we had a much drier winter than the last two! But the garden is convinced that all is well at the moment!

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    1. The foliage on my Cymbidiums is less than perfect, Amy - they'd probably prefer more moisture than they've received this winter but keeping them in partial shade reduces the stress (if also possibly the number of flower spikes).

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  19. You may have to put up with a lot of hot weather, Kris, but the wealth of flowers you can grow is amazing! Your Cymbidiums look so wonderful in the vase with the matching color lines, as well as the other flowers, I'm always so impressed with your 'Itsy Bitsy' blooms, they add so much to the vase. And I love blue and yellow in a vase, blue is such a difficult flower color so it looks smashing with the blue in the vase. The little bluebirds are cute with it too!

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    1. 'Itsy Bitsy' is a perfect color match with the center of that Cymbidium, although I did have to hunt for stems that looked good enough to include in my vase. The rainstorms, few that there have been here, had tied those wispy stems into knots. The plant got a good pruning and I hope it will soon spring back (pun intended).

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  20. Those are great! The Ceanothus flowers look spectacular with yellow and in the blue vase.

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    1. I was pretty happy with the Ceanothus vase too.

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  21. The Cymbidium is quite a beauty! (I had never heard of it before either!) And the second vase is just the epitomy of spring! I love the vase you used for it too. Ceanothus is a favourite of mine, but I have never tried growing it as I know it wouldn't survive a cold winter... although this year it has been relatively mild and it would have been fine!

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    1. The name of that orchid is odd, isn't it!

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