Monday, July 25, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: More about foliage than flowers

My Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is at its summer peak now and I wanted to celebrate that by using the foliage in an arrangement for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Photos of my largest Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' - in the right light the leaves look like stained glass


I'd originally thought I'd use Grevillea 'Superb' as the floral accompaniment but, although there are lots of buds and fading blooms on those shrubs, there wasn't anything at peak bloom and, as those flowers don't develop much once cut, I decided to look elsewhere for floral color.  What I came up with is more about foliage than flowers.

Front view highlighting Leucadendron and Leptospermum foliage

Back view highlighting Phylica foliage

The top view emphasizes the difference in textures among the foliage elements

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder', Achillea millefolium 'Appleblossom', Coreopsis 'Desert Coral', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Phylica pubescens, and Russelia equisetiformis 'Flamingo Park'


The heat was on over the past week and the pink blooms of Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) are starting to fade but there's still plenty to cut.  I was able to find a couple of "new" elements to change up the composition.

Front view

A lopsided back view

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Eustoma grandiflorum, Grevillea 'Pink Midget', Abelia x grandiflora (recycled from one of last week's vases) and Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'


As I was tidying up the garden, I cut more of the flopping Eustoma and, while cutting back some of the bedraggled Agapanthus, mistakenly cut one of the fresher Agapanthus stems as well.  So, I created a third vase including both elements.  I used Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink' to integrate the colors of the Eustoma and Agapanthus.

Front view: I've previously said that I can't tell the difference between the 'Echo Pink' and 'Mariachi Pink' cultivars of Eustoma grandiflorum but the 2 stems here, cut from different plants, do show some differences

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Eustoma grandiflorum, noID Agapanthus, Coleonema album, and Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink'


All three vases found their places, usurping the spent vases created last week.  We had an extended power outage at the peak of our recent heatwave and all of last week's blooms felt the effect of an afternoon without air conditioning.

The first vase sits in the front entry

The second sits on the mantle in the master bedroom (but for how long?)

And the third sits on the dining room table


Visit Cathy to see what she and other gardeners have included in their vases this week.


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

35 comments:

  1. I was a little shocked to see phyllica cut for vases, and then remembered Bay Area designer David Feix recommends pinching it back zealously to get a full bushy shape. So many great shrubs in your garden, Kris. Nice of you to refresh the vases so often for kitty ;)

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    1. The Phylica in the pot is nice and bushy, while the 2 I planted in the ground dropped dead during our first nasty heatwave. Hopefully, I can find more this fall. As for Pipig, she doesn't usually go after vases unless they seem to be receiving more attention than she is so I'm careful to lavish her with attention when she's anywhere close to cut flowers.

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  2. You have some of the most unusual and colorful foliage perfect for a vase...that first vase is fabulous. But you know I love those pink Eustoma...they remind me of roses every time I see them!

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    1. Even I think of roses whenever I look at those pink Eustoma, Donna. It's a lucky thing I have a substitute for roses as mine aren't doing well on their low water diet.

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  3. The Agapanthus is such a lovely color and sets off the pink Eustoma so well. The mostly foliage arrangement is amazing. You have some stand-out specimens. I don't see how you can keep 'Appleblossom' blooming in such hot weather. Mine has shriveled and turned brown. The Coreopsis looks nice with the other colors in the vase.

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    1. Achillea 'Appleblossom' isn't anywhere near as robust as 'Moonshine' but at least I'm getting some floral color from it this year. Last year, it didn't do much. Maybe it likes the heat?

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  4. Yes, I am with Donna and you can't go wrong with eustoma for me! I like the little one you have used in the bedroom best, although the agapanthus works well with them too. Thnaks for sharing. How's your blue eustoma doing?

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    1. I've seen just 4 blue Eustoma blooms this year, Cathy - 3 on the spring-planted plugs and one tiny bloom on a one of last year's plants. Either the pink cultivars are a lot tougher or the others want more sun than they're getting on the other side of the garden.

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    1. Thanks Sandra! I thought I'd be down to succulents by now but I've been saved by the Eustoma.

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  6. Yes, I agree with Susie: that combination of the special blue Agapanthus and the delicate 'almost pinks' of the Lysiantus, is so lovely. One doesn't need any other flowers if you can grow those. I wish I could.

    I am still reeling from the bad news in your previous post: those fires must be so frightening to the entire vicinity.
    That makes the delicate flowers you show today even more important as a contrast to the harshness of your climate.

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    1. Sadly, the fires here have become a fact of life but they're no less devastating for that fact. Ten thousand homes have been evacuated in the line of the Sand Fire. We're about 60 miles south of the fire and not in its path but it's a reminder of how quickly fire can take over a community. I feel for the residents of Santa Clarita. My in-laws lost their dream home in Malibu to fire years ago and I remember how awful that experience was for all of us.

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  7. Ahh to be able to grow Leucadendron like that! Beautiful arrangements as always!

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    1. I LOVE that 'Wilson's Wonder' Leucadendron!

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  8. All three vases are perfect but my favourite this week is with the accidentally cut Agapanthus also a star and surprising with the Estoma. BTW one of mine is actually flowering!

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  9. Your 'Wilson' is indeed a wonder. It looks great!

    Two very different moods created by those color combinations. One is restrained and elegant, the other much sweeter.

    That afternoon without A/C must have been un-fun.

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    1. The power problems here are truly ridiculous. I'm beginning to wish we'd sprung for the big guns in terms of a generator as the one we got only powers a portion of the house and that doesn't include the AC...

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  10. I'm loving your subtle color combinations :) The addition of the Cuphea to tie together the Lisianthus and Agapanthus was wonderful...!

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    1. That Agapanthus/Eustoma combination was pure serendipity. If I hadn't cut the Agapanthus by accident and plunked it in my bucket with the Eustoma, I don't think I'd have considered a match-up. It helps that the flowers of both are pastels.

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  11. Absolutely beautiful, Kris. I love the way you work with color. The coreopsis and leucadendron, etc. are a great combo, as are the pink eustoma and agapanthus. I LOVE the photo of Pipig on the mantle - a perfect picture!

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    1. Yes, Pipig was very good to hold the pose while I went to get my camera. She's also indulged me by leaving the vase along, at least thus far.

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  12. As always, your arrangements look beautiful. And this is a great lesson for me in how to think more creatively about foliage when I'm gathering flowers for the house. -Jean

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    1. I've seen some beautiful arrangements among "IaVoM" participants constructed mainly, if not wholly, from foliage, Jean. I suppose the vases I constructed from succulent cuttings last summer also fall in that category.

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  13. Gorgeous vases. I am always so envious of your eustomas and leucadendrons and the Itsy Bitsy thingies are lovely too and new to me. I have 23 agapanthus babies coming along so next year I will be able to fill vases with their lovely blooms.

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    1. Gardeners in the UK seem to appreciate Agapanthus much more than gardeners here do. I've come to love them since moving here - the foliage is evergreen (although some of mine was scarred by heat this year); the flowers are long-lasting, prolific and lovely; and the plants are even fairly drought tolerant.

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  14. Beautiful Bouquets !! Nice to be able to indulge yourself with a weekly bouquet.
    Got a beautiful vase from my brother for my birthday and I try to have flowers all the time, otherwise I'm bad at picking flowers from the garden.
    Mariana

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    1. In the past, I rarely picked flowers from my garden either, Mariana, but it can become a habit.

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  15. All your vases are once again not only beautiful, but fascinating for me as central European gardener! It must be quite different gardening in your part of the world judging from the flowers you grow, which are often sold as summer fillers and patio plants here. I have never seen a pink Cuphea before - and with those romantic blues and pinks how gorgeous! The Leucadendron foliage really is pretty, and I also like the varied textures in that first vase.

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    1. That pink Cuphea is one of the most durable shrubs in my garden, Cathy. I have 9 of them!

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  16. Pretty as ever! With foliage so beautiful, who needs flowers?

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  17. Fabulous vases as always Kris full of mainly unknown plants to me. It looks as if your cat may not be able to cope with the competition on the mantlepiece for long :)

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    1. The trick is to never pay any attention to the flowers in the cat's presence. If you do, the vase is done for as she won't tolerate divided attention.

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