Monday, May 23, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Recycled Materials

Most of the Agapanthus flowers in my garden are opening one by one, clump by clump but one particular clump in the front garden produced a bounty of beautiful blue blooms last week, making it hard to ignore when it came time to select plants for inclusion in this week's vase.  Some of the stems I cut last week were still in fine shape so, rather than toss everything out, I recycled them.

Front view of the vase with the newly cut Agapanthus stems and the recycled Leucadendron 'Pisa' cones

Back view

Top view


I toyed with the idea of including more yellow in the arrangement but in the end decided that sticking with blue and white was more effective, especially given my selection of the dark blue vase.  Here's what went into the final mix:

Clockwise from the upper left: Agapanthus (noID), Lathyrus odoratus, Leucadendron 'Pisa', ruffled form of Leucanthemum x superbum, Myoporum parvifolium, and Tanacetum niveum


Actually, all last week's vases stood the test of time.  Only the Euphorbia used in the second vase began dropping significant litter by the end of the week.  While I tossed the contents of that vase, I held onto the vase I created 2 weeks ago.  Only the stems of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' were drooping.  I removed those, cleaned up the remaining plants a little, gave their stems a fresh cut, added fresh water and voilà, the vase should be good for another week.

Vase containing flowers of Aeonium 'Kiwi', stems of Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', and a single stem of Phylica pubescens (added last week)


With the older vase in the front entry, the new vase with the recycled Leucadendron stems landed on the dining room table.

I added the bluebird salt and pepper shakers inherited from my mother-in-law as a simple accent


Visit Cathy, the host of "In a Vase on Monday," at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other gardeners have cobbled together with makings from their gardens this week.


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

31 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I really like the blue and white look.

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  2. I just love Agapanthus and cannot grow it so seeing it in your vase just made my day Kris....beautiful flowers all around!

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    1. Your garden is just getting started for the year, Donna - I know it holds a lot that will make me envious as it moves into hyper-drive.

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  3. and the russet chests on the birds round the colours off.

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  4. Wow, I love blue flowers and your vase is outstanding. I have some Agapanthus, but it is just sitting there taking up space and bloomed once, I was going to hit it with some fertilizer and hope for the best...

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    1. I'd have thought that Agapanthus would do as well in your climate as mine. Maybe it doesn't like your humidity. Here, it's blooming in shopping centers, gas stations, everywhere - it's so ubiquitous that people tend to overlook its beauty.

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  5. The blue flowers and blue vase are especially wonderful Kris. I envy you the Agapanthus. I bought 2 on close-out last fall and one made it through the winter. It is growing ever so slowly so may not flower. Have never grown them before. It's nice that so many of your flowers are not only beautiful, but also last well cut.

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    1. There really are legions of the flowers here in early summer, Susie. But they're everywhere (shopping malls, street dividers, etc.) so sometimes people can't really see them.

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  6. Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it. Agapanthus don't get the credit they deserve as cut flowers.

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  7. I love the strong blue on blue...very nice. And I've often wondered how many people recycle their vase contents. Nothing ever gets tossed from mine, just moved to smaller and smaller vases!

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    1. I've gotten a bit more ruthless about tossing vase contents out since I began participating in this weekly meme but I can't bring myself to do that with some things - like those Leucadendron cones. Admittedly, there are plenty more just outside the back door but it hurts me a little to cut them.

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  8. I like the way you have used the term 'cobbling together' for our vases, because that's what most of us do - with varying degrees of thought though! It's intersting what you say about the recycling too as I also tend to hang onto the best bits of my vases for as long as possible. I especially love the first vase with the agapanthus and Leucanthemum and those cones - and the blue vase they are in too. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Cobbling together what I find in the garden is certainly how I'd describe my process. I look at the arrangements created by florists and can only sigh.

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    1. That vase is one of my favorites, picked up at a craft fair when I was in college from some itinerant glassblower for a ridiculously low price (in today's terms, if not necessarily in terms of my college-age pocketbook).

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  10. Fabulous Agapanthus, do you have to water them a lot in August and September to have flowers? I'm also surprised you have Sweet peas, they just die in the heat here.

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    1. The Agapanthus get the same amount of water as the rest of my relatively drought tolerant garden, Christina - less during our cool season and somewhat more during the miserable hot, rainless months. Sweet peas can be dicey here as a heatwave will indeed wipe them out. They're best planted outside in the fall for late winter/early spring blooms but I've had good crops wiped out by heat as early as March. This year the raccoons took out 2 separate batches of fall/winter sown seeds so I bought some plugs from the garden center when they became available in March. While we had unseasonable heat in February and early March, we've been on the cool side since so I'm actually getting some enjoyment out of my small crop this year.

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  11. Your purple vase has such a cooling effect, Kris, with the lovely Agapanthus and Lathyrus, and the icy silvery Leucadendron cones. The frosty-looking Leucanthemum flowers and other white flowers add more icy color, and the Myoporum foliage flows and cascades. You grow such an interesting variety of flowers, and the older vase really held up well. My roses aren't so good at that, though I do enjoy them in the garden when they are blooming. I even tried to grow Agapanthus up here, but it didn't bloom in its short life. But all the hardy geraniums are making me happy looking like bouquets in the garden now. You seem to be having pretty cool weather now, we are too.

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    1. I love hardy geraniums but they don't like it here nearly as much as they did in my old garden just 15 miles to the north, Hannah. After a very hot February, we're enjoying unusually comfortable weather now. (I just knocked wood for its continuation.) Given this fact, I'm actually a little surprised the Agapanthus and Leucanthemum are already blooming. However, the daylilies are off to a slow start so temperature seems more important to some than others.

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  12. Although you may have done some recycling Kris everything looks as fresh as a daisy. The lathyrus is a most striking colour. Do you know its name? Those sweet little bluebirds are the perfect finishing touch.

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    1. After the neighborhood raccoons knocked out two batches of sweet pea seedlings, I gave up on them until the local garden center offered plugs sometime in March. I think they were just labeled as a "mix" without any cultivar names.

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  13. I love the blues you put together with the touch of white daisy to add light. The bluebirds are a sweet accent. I love them! One of the beauties of your climate is that many of your flowers are long lasting. I'd be recycling them, too. Even here, I sort, refresh and consolidate vases all the time, picking out the still good from the passed to make new combinations. Why waste beauty? ;-)

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    1. I've been doing more to condition and prepare the cut flowers recently so that may be a factor in their longevity. We'll have to see how long I can maintain that discipline! None of my arrangements with flowers last as long as those I've created using succulents, though.

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  14. Beautiful! I love Agapanthus and have planted some up in a pot, hoping they will flower for me this summer. I will have to find a cosy spot for them in the winter, but they won't need much space as I believe they have to be cut back. Your Leucadendron is such an eyecatcher and the blue sweet peas are a lovely accompaniment too.

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    1. I hope the Agapanthus perform well for you, Cathy. I'm lucky I don't have to haul all mine under cover in winter! I cut back their flower stalks in mid-to-late summer but I don't touch the foliage. The older foliage experiences some die-back and the plants require a bit of clean-up in late winter/early spring but the clumps are evergreen here, which is one of the reasons they're so commonly used in landscaping.

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  15. The blue and white arrangement makes such a clean and handsome statement! Love both of your vases.

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  16. Beautiful flowers, vase and home. I see this meme elsewhere...not sure about joining. Enjoy the weekend.

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