Monday, June 13, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Flowers shining in the gloom

Note:
As I had plans that would take me away from home all day Sunday, I cut and arranged my vases and prepared the post below on Saturday.  The news reports from Orlando, Florida on Sunday created a sense of desolation that had nothing at all to do with the gray skies that originally inspired the choice of today's title.  I considered scrapping this post altogether but decided to publish it in its original form - hatred and brutality can't be allowed to overshadow the light and beauty offered by those with open hearts.  My thoughts are with the victims of the Orlando attack and their families and friends.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, we've been enjoying a healthy dose of June Gloom courtesy of the marine layer.  On a few occasions, we've been socked in until late afternoon with the sun making only the briefest appearance before the clouds and fog move back into place.  Our Saturday morning drizzle was heavy enough to register on my rain meter, although not enough to warrant turning off the irrigation.  I credit the cool temperatures and humid conditions for extending the lives of some of my spring blooms and decided to take advantage of the bounty I still have for this week's "In a Vase on Monday" post, hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.

Achillea 'Moonshine' still rules my backyard borders and was in need of some cutting back so that was the starting point for my first vase.

Front view

Back view, looking substantially similar to the front view

The best top view I could get standing on my toes


As you can see I stuck to a very narrow color palette with this vase.

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: a ruffled form of Leucanthemum x superbum, Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Jacobaea maritima and Achillea 'Moonshine', and Tanacetum niveum


I cut sweet peas for my second vase.  That may not seem unusual to those of you in cooler climates but, most years, my sweet peas are long gone by June.  This year they got a slow start (courtesy of the raccoons who twice "thinned" my seedlings) but the cooler-than-usual May/June temperatures have thankfully prevented them from frying to a crisp as they usually do in spring.



Most of the sweet peas growing in the raised bed in my vegetable garden are actually blue and most of the sweet peas I cut were blue but, as I put this vase together, I decided I liked the look of it with just the delicate pink and white blooms so the blue sweet peas went into a bouquet to take to a friend.  (I took no photo of that one but, if the sweet peas hold out another week, perhaps I'll replicate the arrangement next week.)  This vase included just three ingredients:

From the left: Abelia x grandiflora (possibly 'Edward Goucher'), Lathyrus odoratus, and Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Magic'


Last week's vase with the lilies is still hanging on so I've left it on our dining room table for now and consigned the yellow and white creation to the front entry where it offers a sunny greeting even in the face of gray skies.



The sweet pea vase sits on the mantle in the master bedroom.



To view more vases, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

40 comments:

  1. Both the sunny yellow (perfect for a gray day) and the pretty, feminine pink vases are so lovely. I'm always amazed at the diversity of plants you have in your garden. A fun palette to work with, I imagine.

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    1. I'm afraid I overdo on flowers and under-utilize foliage, Eliza. Some day I'll achieve the right balance.

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  2. Hi Kris, I really like both of your arrangement a lot! I guess, I love the restrained color palate, since bold bouquets often overwhelm my senses and I feel uncomfortable with them after a while because I feel overstimulated. Lucky you that you still have Sweet Peas!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. One year the sweet peas were gone in March. Early May is most commonly the end. They're showing the first signs of powdery mildew now, which means their decline is on the horizon.

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  3. Kris, these arrangements are beautiful. I like that ruffly daisy with the achillea. And those sweet peas are just a treat.

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    1. A friend bought me 6 of those ruffled Shasta daisies after my mother died 3 years ago and I've divided them since. I love them.

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  4. Hiya Kris,
    What a clean and tidy home - couldn't help having a little look at the surroundings. Such a great kitchen.
    had to tear myself away from your previous post with those great scenes. So different from what we have around here.
    Two lovely bouquets, one lush and jolly and one elegant.
    yes, the news doesn't bear thinking about. We need to concentrate on what is good and flowers are good in tines like these.
    joanna

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    1. thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment Joanna. The 24/7 news cycle makes it hard to ignore recent events. If only we could manage a constructive response to the event as a country, it wouldn't be as bad.

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  5. Both vases are so beautiful!You must be very happy to have so many flowers in your garden!

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    1. There's certainly no shortage of flowers yet, Anca, but that will change as the temperature soars.

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  6. I like all the vases! but most of all the Sweet Peas - could never grow those and I admire yours.

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    1. I didn't have an easy time at all with the sweet peas this year, Amy. The raccoons had me throwing up my hands (twice!) when they dug through the seedlings as they emerged. I finally gave up and used plugs, which was the ticket this go-round.

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  7. You have inspired me Kris, if you can grow sweet peas is your hot dry conditions I really don't have any excuse for not trying to grow them again. Lovely bright vases for as you say a very sad day.

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    1. You should definitely try growing sweet peas, Christina! I have no particular skills with seeds but, prior to this year when the raccoons intervened, I've been successful in growing them from seed. Here, we can direct sow the seed outside as early as September but I imagine you'd have to wait until the danger of frost is over or start them in your greenhouse.

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  8. That first arrangement really is sunshine in a vase! I love the simple colour palette and the view from above is stunning. One of my favourites of your creations Kris. Lovely!

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    1. It is a very happy and sunny arrangement, Cathy. I think that's what bothered me after news of the shootings reached me on Sunday - it seemed out of sync with the circumstances.

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  9. Well I for one am thrilled with these vases even though they mean a bit of gloom with your weather...June has been cold, wet and gray here extending spring for a while longer....but the flowers love it....well some do! I adore both but love the white and yellow best.

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    1. We can't expect any real rain again until October or thereabouts but the cool temperatures and high humidity do help the plants get by on their meager ration of irrigated water, Donna. My rain barrels actually recovered a tiny bit of water on Saturday for use in the garden too.

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  10. I am so glad that you went ahead and posted your lovely vases Kris. The news from Orlando is so shocking and casts a shadow over us all but your flowers are so beautiful and help to lift the spirits. Your long lasting sweet peas must be some compensation for the gloomy weather - my outdoor ones are only just starting to bloom in our cooler UK temperatures!

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    1. If my original sweet pea seedlings had survived the raccoons' onslaught, I could've had flowers as early as January or February, Julie. As it turned out, we had an extended heatwave in February and early March this year, which might well have signaled an early end to the sweet peas if the raccoons hadn't beaten the weather to it. Perhaps I should thank the raccoons for intervening!

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  11. Oooh, flowers in the bedroom. I used to do that at our former house but this bedroom doesn't have quite the right spot for display. It's so nice to have a special bouquet there!

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    1. I'm not sure my husband appreciates the flowers in the bedroom, Linda, but I do!

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  12. Such horrific events are becoming too frequent! (Orlando, not your arrangements which are both very nice and cheerful.)

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    1. Thanks for making that distinction, Peter! I'm becoming more and more incensed on the topic of mass shootings but stopped myself short of a full-blown rant - it doesn't seem appropriate to the forum but, who knows, you may see me on a picket line someday.

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  13. Yes, the resticted palette works so well in both cases - both elegant and stylish, and you couldn't have chosen better companions for the achillea. You must be thrilled to still have some sweet peas - is it worth just making slightly later sowings, or will the racoons be tempted regardless of the timing? Thanks for sharing

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    1. The raccoons are year-round visitors so I'm not sure the timing of my seed sowing much matters. In addition to planting plugs rather than seeds on my third go-round, I laid down chicken wire, which helped limit (although not stop) their rummaging. My neighbor built a full-blown protection system for her sweet peas so I may enlist my husband's help with something similar next year.

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  14. The events in Orlando have shaken the world. But your first arrangement is lovely and sunny. I love the pink sweet peas, such a pretty,femimine arrangement. My sweet peas were all eaten, but not by anything as exotic as racoons. Just boring all slugs.

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    1. Well, slugs are one thing I don't have to worry much about, Chloris. The single thing the raccoons are good for is eating snails and slugs. It's just unfortunate that I can't trust the creatures to be dainty about their foraging.

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  15. Beautiful arrangement, and a dose of cheer contrasting with such an awful event.

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    1. I'm glad to know that commentators found the sunny bouquet brightened an otherwise somber day.

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  16. Two lovely vases Kris - I adore 'Moonshine', so even reading its name brought a smile to my face, and I was not disappointed. Is the leucanthemum in the first vase a cultivar? It's much fancier than I would expect. Your foliage choices are always so complimentary. Wish I could learn the trick (note to self ... more foliage in the garden!) What a tragedy in Orlando - but it does not help anyone if we withhold/stop exclaiming at the many beautiful things there are in our world. Your vases can be a kind of memorial and statement.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Cathy. As to the Leucanthemum, the plants came without any information as to the cultivar. I tried an on-line photo search and came up with a whole lot of my own photos! However, I did find 'Aglaia' listed a few times and one grower offers a couple of cultivars that look close to the same, 'Victorian Secret' and 'Paladin'.

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  17. Yes a most sad day indeed Kris. Sometimes in such dark moments carrying on with our normal routines provides great comfort. Both vases are most pleasing to the eye. I imagine that you must be especially delighted with those sweet peas. I've always thought that California was permanently sunny so I was fascinated to read about your 'June Gloom'. Hope that the yellow globe in the sky returns soon.

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    1. The gloom has cleared earlier the past 2 days and a heatwave is predicted for the weekend so it seems that we're going to get plenty of sun soon, Anna. Personally, I wouldn't mind if the morning gloom held on for another month or more - I've come to appreciate the protection the marine layer provides us from the heat, which at its worst makes gardening unbearable.

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  18. Beautiful arrangements. The really fringe-y Leucanthemums are choice.

    One additional reason (of many) to be thrilled about the M-G/J-G is that the sweet peas have survived so long. Mine were really late too.

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    1. If the raccoons hadn't gotten the sweet pea seedlings, I suspect that February heatwave we had would've done them in anyway. Timing is everything - it's just too bad the climate has become so damn unpredictable.

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  19. Love the sunshine in your first vase and the delicate touch you used in the second one. I don't know why I only seem to think of In a Vase on Monday once it's already Tuesday! Beautiful flowers.

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    1. There are plenty of participants who post vases on Tuesday, Diana. Join in!

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  20. I'm always impressed with your flower arrangements. -Jean

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