Monday, March 7, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Singing in the Rain

We got rain!  It's rained on and off since late Friday night.  The latest storm system arrived early this morning (with lots of lightning and thunder!) and the trailing edge is still moving through.  Although Northern California and the Pacific Northwest have received significant rain courtesy of El Niño, Southern California, which forecasters originally predicted would receive the lion's share of El Niño's bounty, is still running substantially below "normal" rain levels.   According to the little weather station attached to our roof, our total rain for the season to date (i.e. since October 1st) is 4.74 inches.  It's not much by comparison with many areas but we've had ourselves a good soak, which is much appreciated.

I took advantage of clear skies between storms Sunday afternoon and cut flowers for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  I meant to use the pink Freesia blooming in the back border but those blooms were in bad shape; however, I noticed that the pink Alstroemeria were starting to bloom and took off from there, selecting other flowers to complement those blooms.

Front view

Top view

Back view


I don't feel any of the flowers I used can claim the starring role in this arrangement.  It seems to be an ensemble cast.

Clockwise from upper left: noID Alstroemeria; Argyranthemum frutescens; Bulbine frutescens; Freesia in shades of dark pink, gold and yellow; Heuchera sanguinea 'Bressingham Hybrids'; and Pelargonium 'Katie'


After bemoaning the failure of my anemones to bloom in comments in response to a few IAVOM contributors, I noticed 3 small blue anemones in the backyard border.  Unwilling to risk the chance that they'd be pummeled by rain, I cut those too.

I used a tiny, 3-inch vase to suit the short stems

I included: Anemone coronaria, lavender and white Freesias, and 2 short stems of my new Osteospermum '4D Silver' (plus leatherleaf fern, Rumohra adiantiformis)


After 4 years of drought with no end in sight, most everyone here gets a little giddy when it rains.  Articles on rain, or the lack of it, appear in the Los Angeles Times every week and reports of rain are frequently the lead story on local TV news reports.   My own mood soars whenever rain is forecast (followed by a frenzy of activity in the garden).  If I could sing on key, you'd find me singing and dancing in my garden.  However, my singing voice leaves a lot to be desired so I'll pass the task to Gene Kelly, who did it best:



More rain is forecast for the end of the week.  It's not exactly a March Miracle but it'll do.  Meanwhile, my newest arrangements add color in the face of gray skies.

The sunny floral explosion sits in the front entry

My anemones and their companions sit on my desk


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other gardeners are featuring in their vases this week.


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

44 comments:

  1. What a cheerful arrangement your first vase is, Kris! Since I love blue and lavender colors my personal favorite is the second one,though. I really have to plant some freesia bulbs this year! They are just too pretty to not have them in the garden.
    Looks like this time you got more rain than we did. But right now very dark gray clouds are rolling in and I hear a little bit of thunder. So hopefully some more rain is coming down in San Diego as well.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Freesia should do very well for you, Christina. They're fall-planted bulbs so look for them in September. I hope the rain reached you in San Diego!

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  2. Yup! Got 1.10 inches so far. Just singin' in the rain, first movie I can remember seeing in a theatre. Can't get it out of my head this morning. Cheerful colorful arrangements. Happy Spring!

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    1. You got a better drenching than we did, Jane. Our total since Friday is 0.91 inches but it's drizzling a tiny bit now.

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  3. That's great news Kris, double yay for the arrival of rain!!!

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    1. If you'd told me 10 years ago that I could get this excited about rain, I'd have laughed.

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  4. Lovely combination of colours in both vases, Kris!Summertime?

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    1. No, that's what our spring looks like, Anca. These flowers would shrivel quickly in our summer temperatures.

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  5. The pink and yellow arrangement is very bright and cheerful! Glad to hear you got rain, and have the possibility of more.

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    1. Two of my rain barrels are full and the last, biggest one is almost there!

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  6. I still remember the thrill of the rainstorm that broke the drought we had in 1988. It was the summer we got married and is a strong memory. I love the purply arrangement — but then I love tiny vases.

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    1. Unfortunately, there isn't much chance the drought here will end this year. There were early hopes that the snow pack in Northern California, which is key to California's water supply, was going to exceed "normal" accumulation this year but it's already receded to below average levels.

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  7. What joy to have some rain!

    Your new Osteospermum is, interesting. Sort of ghostly?

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    1. Osteospermum '4D Silver' is presumably someone's improvement on '3D Silver', which was introduced a few years ago. It's marketing claim to fame is that, unlike most Osteospermum, the flower doesn't close in low light but it is more silvery than the original.

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  8. I am so happy to hear you have rain Kris - what a relief that must be for you all. Your vases are lovely as ever - the second vase would almost look a home in my garden but your pink vase reminds me that you are in California!

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    1. Each and every rainstorm now is an occasion for joy, Julie. Instead of "my cup runneth over," I say "my rain barrels runneth over"!

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  9. The new Osteospermum is quite gorgeous. Beautiful arrangements. Your colors are always so well-coordinated.

    We got only a little over half an inch, but the plants are happy, happy, happy.

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    1. The flowers of Osteospermum '4D Silver', as advertised, do stay open at night but the flowers' centers are also much darker than the older '3D Silver' version - almost navy blue, aging to silver.

      So far, since Friday, we've received 0.91 inches of rain but, after a dry afternoon, we're getting some more sprinkles again this evening so perhaps you will as well.

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  10. It's refreshing to see some pink in a vase again as pink is largely absent from spring bulbs colours - it's a bright vase, but in a soft way rather than the stronger colours of narcissi and tulips. Well done for your few anemones too! It is fascinating reading all the rain comments :)

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    1. Rain is a big, big deal here, Cathy. We're starved for it.

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  11. A remarkable ensemble and I love the cast. I think I like the blue version the best, but I am partial to blue flowers.
    I am from Atlanta and went through several droughts, this will pass, you just have to hang on and hopefully everyone gets a sip of rain every now and again. We are having the opposite problem here.

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    1. I want to believe the drought will pass but there are warnings that an 80-year drought is possible. Apparently, the tree rings show evidence that California has experienced prolonged drought before.

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  12. I'm so happy for you and all of SoCal, hopefully more is on the way.

    I love your ensemble cast, but honestly for me the Bulbine frutescens steals the show.

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    1. Aka snake flower or cat's tail, Bulbine is one tough plant but only winter hardy to 20-25F.

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  13. Enjoy your rain. Two great vases, but I especially love those anemones

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    1. The rain teased us with signs of a return visit this evening but it seems it's moved on, leaving us wondering if/when we might get some more.

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  14. Kris, I'm thrilled to see you anemones today and they are lovely with their chosen companions. The first vase is absolutely wonderful as well. I admire your rich colors and variety. Happy for your rain!

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    1. Thanks Susie! Finding those anemone blooms seemed almost as big a miracle as the rain.

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  15. I just love the pink Alstroemerias, Kris, and the buttery yellow Freesias really appeal to me too, so your pink vase looks wonderfully cheery to me, but I also like the muted appeal of the purples, and the 4D Silver really adds a nice touch! You have such a range of flowers to choose from, I'm happy you are getting some rain. It's supposed to rain every day for 10 days in a row here, but a lot of the time it is very spotty and not really a soaker. I'm getting out to cut massive amounts of weedy woody plants in between.

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    1. Ten days of rain in a row is difficult for me to even imagine, Hannah! When winter started, we expected El Nino to bring a deluge but, now, I'd be satisfied if we just reached average rainfall levels. Still, even with our trivial rain totals, we've also got weeds to battle.

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  16. Such a colorful and cheerful bouquet - and I love the purple one as well. I'm curious, are freesias perennial for you or do you have to plant them every year? I adore the scent of the yellow ones!

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    1. Freesias naturalize quite well here, Eliza. I stuck a few Freesia bulbs into a pot in late fall (which haven't yet bloomed) but all those I've shown in bloom thus far were planted 3 or more years ago.

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  17. Those beautiful vibrant colours would brighten anyones day! I love your pink and yellow arrangements.

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    1. I've been told that some people consider yellow and pink poor companions but they seem to pair well in my view.

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  18. Your explosion of color is spectacular, especially since we've had a lot of gray skies here recently! Thanks for the warm smile across the miles. The softer blue vase is sweet too!

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    1. Spring does seem to have arrived with an explosive boom here, Peter!

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  19. What lovely sunny colours, I love it. just what we need on a gloomy day. Thank you. Delighted for you to have some rain. Here I feel like grumbling and moaning in the rain and grey skies. Roll on spring.

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    1. The drought has made even the most trivial amount of rain a cause for celebration here. Our skies are blue again but more rain is expected at the end of the week and, perhaps, yet again the following week.

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  20. I was visiting family just north of you for a short time that weekend...Ventura County. It was wonderful to see the rain and cool temps and your garden shows its love...those are beautiful vases. I am hoping the next time we visit, I may be able to stay longer and even meet up with you to see your garden.

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    1. I hope you'll let me know next time you're in the area, Donna. I'd love to meet you in person!

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  21. The pinks and yellows are simply beautiful together, and look very spring-like. And that Osteospermum in your second vase is so pretty. You almost have a rainbow here, which fits with your rainy skies! :)
    .

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    1. We got a real rainbow yesterday after another storm came through, Cathy! The air is clear, my rain collection tanks are full and all is right in my garden.

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  22. Beautiful!! I especially like how bright the pink and yellow arrangement is. :o)

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    1. It fit the sunny conditions between rainstorms too.

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