Monday, July 18, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: I've got the blues...

It's very hard not to feel blue now.  I hesitate every morning before I turn on the news and, on more mornings than I can now count, I wish afterwards that I hadn't.  But our world of 24/7 newscasts and social media outlets doesn't permit us to hide from current events and I suppose it's pointless to aim for that.  Still, I find comfort in friends, family and people like yourselves that nourish the earth and look for the beauty it can provide.

The unnamed blue Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) I planted from plugs in April produced 2 flowering stems, which I cut this week in the hope that the plants will respond by branching out.  I meant to make them the centerpiece of my arrangement for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, but I think the Agapanthus I added to fill out the arrangement assumed the starring role when the vase came together.

The Agapanthus managed to jostle the Eustoma over to the side

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase includes: noID Eustoma grandiflorum, Abelia 'Confetti' with the wispy stems of Coleonema album, noID Agapanthus, Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers' with Catananche caerulea, Lavandula angustifolia, and a ruffled form of Leucanthemum x superbum


Eustoma flowers last a long time in both the garden and a vase but, with the pink forms all blooming at once, I can't expect them to hold out indefinitely so I cut some of those too.  As I've mentioned before, the stems and foliage of these plants, especially those that have been in the ground a year or more have a succulent quality.

This photo is my poor attempt to show you how thick and succulent the stems and leaves of these plants are


Individual stems often have more than a dozen flowers and, even though I've propped them up, they tend to topple when buffeted by wind or weighed down by spray from the overhead irrigation system.  I "rescued" several stems I found with their heads in the dirt for my second vase.  I'm running out of options to complement them so I'm afraid my arrangements are taking on a repetitious quality.

Front view

A remarkably similar back view

Top view

While I cut some Centranthus ruber that recently reappeared in my garden (it's a virtual weed here), the vase seemed too busy to me so I reduced it to 3 elements: Abelia x grandiflora, pink Eustoma grandiflorum (this could be either 'Echo Pink' or 'Mariachi Pink' as they look identical to me), and the foliage and berries of Prunus laurocerasus


The blue arrangement sits in the front entry.



The pink one sits on the dining table.



And the stems I removed from the second arrangement when it got too crowded went into a miniature version of that arrangement, which landed in the bedroom.



I couldn't bring myself to cut the green Eustoma flowers that opened up last week as I still have just one stem of these.  Perhaps, if and when more appear, I'll find the strength to sacrifice some of these.

Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other participating gardeners have come up with this week.


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

30 comments:

  1. If one has the blues, this is the way to go - :) Eustoma is truly a winner for your climate and I love the agapanthus, too.

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    1. I'm pleased that I still have a few fresh Agapanthus left to use in a vase. I cut down nearly 200 bedraggled stems last week.

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    1. I love blue but, other than the Agapanthus, I have surprisingly little floral color in that hue. I really must remedy that.

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  3. That pink vase is stunning in form and oh that blue vase is gorgeous especially from above....I would give just about anything for agapanthus to grow in my garden! Swoon!

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    1. It always surprises me how many blog readers love that Agapanthus. People here tend to dismiss the plant as ordinary because it's used everywhere.

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  4. I agree the Agapanthus stole the show. But I think they always do. Love the way the pink flowers look like roses. I am glancing at headlines but not reading details these days. I can't do anything about things happening far away but I am trying to figure out what to do in my community which is the one place where we might be able to make a difference.

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    1. It's a good thing I have those Eustoma to fill in for roses as I have precious few of the latter!

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  5. Love that blue vase! I did not know Lisianthus was available in blue.I wonder if Bromeliads like my humidity and the Lisianthus like your not so much humidity?
    I agree about the news, living at ground zero for toxic algae is overunnning everything. Bah.

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    1. It's been more humid here in summer the past few years but I expect you've still got us beat by a long shot! I had a nice collection of blue Lisianthus in prior years but it doesn't seem to hold on from one year into the next like the pink varieties do.

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  6. I especially love the blue one too - and I daresay there are very few bloggers who would get fed up with having too many eustoma blooms!! :) The prunus berries are a great addition - I shall ahve to look out for berries more often for my own vases

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    1. I just happened to look up and saw those Prunus berries and thought aha! I have no idea what to use to change up a vase with those pink Eustoma next time.

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  7. Crazy times all over the world isn't it? Your arrangements are a source of good cheer though :)

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    1. I wish everyone thought of the future in the positive terms gardeners do.

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  8. These two gorgeous vases should dispel the blues Kris. It was interesting for me to see how Eustoma looks in the ground - I was expecting it to be a shrub, like roses! I especially like the combination of the pink one and the cherries. :)

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    1. The Eustoma, generally sold as an annual even here, is a short-lived perennial in our climate but the foliage feels and looks very much like a succulent.

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  9. I love your vases Kris! Especially your Lisanthus’ since I tried for the first time this year to grow Lisanthus – and failed spectacularly. I bought 3 types of seed and none germinated. Next year I think I will try to get plug plants too.
    It really is depressing sometimes to put on the news – sometimes I just leave the TV off for a day or two, I just don’t need to know everything all the time. I would rather be outside, enjoying my garden.

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    1. My husband likes to watch the evening news while we have dinner but tonight even he didn't have the stomach for that. We probably would be better off (or at least more cheerful!) if we took a break from the TV for awhile.

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  10. Those lisianthus flowers are stars. I cannot believe one just grows those in ordinary soil. They look so fragile and exotic and fresh. Maybe I will try them in a greenhouse. Do they have a nice scent? In a way they remind me of freesias and I managed to grow those one summer.
    The blue arrangement is just out of this world. Lovely, lovely.

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    1. Sadly, the Lisianthus have no scent. I'd heard that they were native to Texas but I just looked into their background and discovered that they're found throughout the warm regions of the southern US, Mexico, the Carribean and northern sections of South America. I expect they'd do well in a greenhouse. Neither I nor anyone I know has been successful germinating the plants from seed. I grow mine from plugs.

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  11. I liked both your arrangements, however the blue one with the Agapanthus is my favourite. Since I like succulents many thanks for showing the plant as well as the blooms of your Eustoma. It lead me to looking up this plant. I have seen the blooms for sale but not for planting out. I am not sure that it could be grown in the UK..however I think this sums you and your plant up: Lisianthus/Eustoma is said to be a flower representing the characteristics of charisma and congeniality.

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    1. Thanks Noelle! Like true succulents, I think the Eustoma would have to be over-wintered inside or in a greenhouse in your climate. I don't think they can withstand frost. We're frost/freeze free here.

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  12. Seeing the Eustoma stems gives me hope that it might grow well here if the plants can just get a bit bigger. The blue arrangement is gorgeous, it is amazing to have so many blue flowers. The pink vases are lovely too, just keep showing them, I'm nowhere near fed up of the pink Eustoma!

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    1. I still have a good many pink Eustoma in prime shape but another heatwave is poised to arrive tomorrow so it remains to be seen whether they'll be in condition to show off next Monday. Good luck with your own crop of Eustoma, Christina!

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  13. Things of such beauty as Eustoma deserve many encores! The news lately is disheartening.

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    1. Ah, but to find the Eustoma a varied mix of supporting players - that's the rub!

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  14. Really admire your blue flowers Kris--the best way to feel blue.

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    1. Blue color has a tranquilizing effect on me. I clearly need more of it!

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  15. The blue Eustomas are lovely with their curvy petals, true the Agapanthus have a lovely airy quality. I tried to grow some here but didn't get any blooms before they disappeared. The Duranta flowers are so colorful and decorative with the lighter edges. The pink Eustomas are even brighter than the blue, I could not tire of cutting them, gorgeous as usual. The plant is very interesting, not what I imagined. Perhaps if the people in the news grew flowers it would give them a more peaceful outlook on the world.

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    1. I feel the same way, Hannah. If everyone had a garden plot to focus them on the world's beauty, its future and the fragility of the environment, the world would be a better place.

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