Monday, May 16, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: More Renga Lilies

Collecting photos for my May Bloom Day post gave me an inventory of what's currently flowering in my garden and brought some choices I might otherwise have missed to the forefront when it came time to chose flowers for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  I wasn't thinking of another vase featuring Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lily) when I stepped into the garden with my clippers in hand - I was thinking about what I could do with the silvery cones of Leucadendron 'Pisa' and Melaleuca thymifolia, a plant in the back border I'd largely forgotten before my backyard photo safari.  As it turned out, the Renga Lilies made a nice companion for the other two plants.

Front view

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase includes: the unusual flowers of Melaleuca thymifolia, which look like a complicated crochet construction to me; stems of the peppermint willow trees (Agonis flexuosa) with their white flowers arranged like peppercorns along their length; more Arthropodium cirratum; the silvery cones of Leucadendron 'Pisa'; and foliage and immature berries of what I think is English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus


In retrospect, I should have thinned the foliage of the English laurel to give the arrangement a more airy feel and trimmed the flowering stems of the Agonis flexuosa a bit more to make the arrangement symmetrical but, by the time I reached that determination, I was done with fussing.

But 'Pisa' wasn't the only Leucadendron I was thinking of when I stepped into the garden.  I was also wondering what I could do with the flower-like bracts of Leucadendron 'Blush'.  With the selection of a few suitable companions, I had a second vase.  (I know you're surprised.)

Front view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, this vase contains: Leucadendron 'Blush', Alstroemeria 'Claire', Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl', and Achillea 'Moonshine'

I was hesitant about using the Euphorbia in this arrangement because of the hassle of dealing with the sap.  In retrospect, I should have used disposable gloves when stripping the stems of their leaves as the sap dripped from every leaf juncture.  It didn't cause me any skin irritation but I had a devil of a time cleaning the sticky stuff from my hands.  I seared the entire length of the stripped stems, which limited the seepage but I did have to change the milky water in the vase when the arrangement was complete.

The first vase was too large for any place other than the dining room table.



The second vase landed in the front entry.



All three of last week's vases actually held up well but the two that included cilantro flowers were both heavy drinkers and litterers so I tossed them out when this week's vases were ready for placement.  The third of last week's arrangements was virtually unchanged but I tucked in a stem from one of my March purchases, Phylica pubescens, to change it up a bit.

Phylica pubescens (aka Featherhead) is my latest plant crush but, until it bulks up (or I buy more, which is entirely possible), you probably won't see much of it in my vases


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to discover what she and other gardeners have put together this week.


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

30 comments:

  1. Kris I love the dramatic differences between the vases. The yellow and red are fiery and wonderful. I had not used yarrow before in a vase. And oh the lovely airy and purply pink of the first vase...it is equally perfect.

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    1. I have yarrow up to my eyeballs at the moment, Donna - it's crying out to be used. You can expect to see more in future weeks...

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  2. I'm running out of things to say about your arrangements but I do like to say something. Spectacular as ever.

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  3. Your first vase looks like an exotic confection from a very up market florist! Those lilies are incredible.

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    1. I do love those lilies, even if they are hard to highlight effectively in a vase. Anything that blooms in dry shade is a treasure, in my opinion.

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  4. I love the way the first arrangement follows through the colour scheme of its vase, perfect match!

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    1. I need more vases so I can do a better job with all my pairings!

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  5. I like your use of those marvelous cones and berries. Melaleuca thymifolia does look crocheted--amazing.

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    1. The Melaleuca tends to get blown nearly flat by the wind that seems to plague us daily these days and, as a result, I usually overlook the plant entirely. I was surprised to find it in bloom so I felt compelled to use a stem this week - the flowers are unlike any others I've seen in terms of their complexity.

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  6. Wonderful, those lilies are fabulous. Melalueca is a bad word here, but I see why people like them. Those cones are really neat, thought they were a ginger at first. I had English Laurel for years, they got huge, I was happy when we moved I didn't have to cope with them anymore.

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    1. Melaleuca trees get a lot of criticism here too, even though they're used extensively by landscapers. This Melaleuca is very different. It's a wispy shrub less than 2 feet tall and bears no obvious relationship to the trees in the genus.

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  7. That Melaleuca looks most intriguing - but why does Amy say it is a bad word where she is from? Your first vase looks reallly elegant with the willow leaves and the two vases show how different contrasting varieties of a plant can be. Thnaks for sharing Kris

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    1. I'm speculating that Amy's concern is more with Melaleuca trees than the small shrub from which I cut that flower stem, Cathy. The trees have been known to be brittle and troublesome here to but my M. thymifolia is a very different plant.

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  8. Your first vase is very elegant with outspread 'arms' as if it is ready to take a well-deserved bow. Love the A. 'Moonshine' with the yellow-throated white alstromeria - they're a great combo, the red accent is a nice touch. 'Featherhead' looks like a Muppets creation!

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    1. Featherhead is an unusual plant and its foliage really does feel like feathers to the touch. Its drought tolerance is a bonus! I picked up 2 more while I was out yesterday.

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  9. I like your front and back views of the first vase, the front being more colorful with the cute purple "crocheted" flowers and lilies, but I like the back side even more with the marvelous silvery cones of the Leucadendron and the Laurel green balls and long weeping leaves of the peppermint willow. I like the two yellows of the second vase, with the fiery flames of the Leucadendron 'Blush' and the complex Euphorbia blooms. You have an amazing variety of flowers blooming, Kris!

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    1. It's an embarrassment of riches at the moment, Hannah!

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  10. Beautiful arrangements, Kris! Have a great week!

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  11. That Melaleuca is very unique... Just as your vases are. And featherhead... *swoon*... I wonder if it would like the desert?

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    1. Featherhead originates from the area of Cape Town, South Africa and reportedly likes sun and is drought tolerant so it might work for you, Renee. San Marcos Growers claims it can survive lows of 20-25F.

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  12. More of your gorgeous Renga lilies, I love them. I can see why you have fallen for that fabulous Phylica, wow! I am nervous about handling Euphorbia. My daughter cut it back in her garden and washed her hands. Even so she was in serious trouble later when she rubbed her eyes. She had to go to hospital for treatment and even then she couldn' t seee properly for 3 days.

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    1. Yikes! Fortunately, I was careful not to touch my face after handing the Euphorbia. The amount of seepage from the leaf-stem interface was surprising.

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  13. The cones in your first vase are quite fascinating, but the Featherhead in the last vase 'tickled' me most today. What a lovely flower! I see something new every week in your vases Kris! :)

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    1. Featherhead's foliage and flower dp feel exactly like feathers, Cathy. It's a unique plant.

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  14. Love the way the Renga lilies combine with the Melaleuca blooms - a perfect pairing! And the range of texture in the second vase (which also reminds me that I still need to get some yarrow into the garden). I am now, not surprisingly, doing an extended search on Phylica pubescens... ;-) I see on Annie's Annuals it needs well-drained sandy soil - ouch! The place I would love to put it is tight clay!

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    1. You could always plant the Phylica in a pot, Amy. My first specimen is in a large pot - as was the original specimen I spied 3 years ago at a nursery up north.

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