Monday, November 28, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Sunshine and Showers

We got MORE rain!  Maybe Mother Nature heard those of you in rainier climes who wished you could send your excess rain to the drought-stricken areas of California.  While I've no illusions that our drought is over, getting rain 2 weekends in a row is an extraordinary blessing and much appreciated.  My garden is thoroughly soaked; the irrigation system will be off for at least another week; and all 3 of my rain barrels are full, giving me 475 gallons of rainwater in reserve.  Even my car got scrubbed clean.  Yay!

The second of two weekend storms crept through Sunday morning, finishing up before noon here.  I strolled the garden and decided that it's time to cut back the massive gold Duranta erecta in the front garden.  I clipped a few stems as the starting point for this week's "In a Vase on Monday."

Sold as Duranta erecta 'Gold Mound', which is described as a shrub 2 feet tall and wide, this nearly 6 foot specimen was clearly mislabeled


I wasn't sure what to pair with the acid yellow foliage of the Duranta and clipped a number of plants before settling on a direction.

Front view: In retrospect, I probably should have clipped the Phylica in front a little shorter and let the Duranta in the back stand taller

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: feathery Phylica pubescens, Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', red-stemmed Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Duranta erecta 'Not Gold Mound', and Tagetes lemmonii.   My husband is already complaining about the scent of the Tagetes but I like it.


The extra stems I clipped on my first round through the garden went into a second vase.  I pulled the vase out of the back of my cupboard, where it had been all but forgotten.  I bought it on-line earlier this year or maybe last year, thinking it would work well for succulent arrangements, but I don't think I've used it for those or anything yet.

The vase has an angular geometric shape and a pale green matte finish


It was just the right size to contain the cuttings I had left.

Front view of the leftovers

Back view featuring the graceful foliage of the dwarf peppermint willow

From left to right, the vase contains: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', and the berries of Heteromeles arbutifolia (aka Toyon and California Holly)


The sun came out in the afternoon.  The vases found their spots.  And, in the hour before dusk, the clouds moved and revealed snow in the mountains.  All in all, it was a great weekend.

The air was scrubbed clean by the rain and the wind

The first vase sits on the dining room table and the second in the entryway

And snow was visible on the mountains to the east


For more vases, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

36 comments:

  1. Oh, you got to the see the snow. Lucky you. I must live too close.

    About the Duranta, not mislabeled, mine is the same. Just poor description for our area.

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    1. The view of the snow was brief, Jane. The mountains have been cloaked in clouds and haze all day today. Re the Duranta, some of mine have stayed small - this is the only one that blasted skyward. Maybe it just really likes that spot.

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  2. Hi Kris, I am sooo... happy about the rain as well!
    Now to your vases, both are very lovely. The first one has a distinct autumn look, whereas the second one evokes more "Christmassy" feelings in me. They reflect perfectly where we are at this time of the year.
    I really like your new, almost forgotten light green vase. It certainly has a cool shape!
    Wishing you a wonderful week!
    Christina

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    1. I thought of you when I heard that the rain was expected to stretch all the way down to San Diego, Christina. I'm glad to hear the rain fulfilled its promise.

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  3. Such beautiful colors and textures in that first vase Kris. Very nice. I also like the arrangement with the berries. The angular vase was quite a find.

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    1. I like the shape of that vase a lot, Susie, although it was more awkward than expected to arrange materials in it. The opening at the top has a triangular shape.

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  4. Those views beyond your garden are amazing - those mountains...! For us to have full rain butts always seems like a good precaution but for much of the year the water is not needed, and when it is they are soon emptied, despite the number we have! And I only use rainwater in the stream and other water features so if it's hot they need topping up regularly. The foliage in your first vase is so fresh looking and the tagetes lifts it even further, and the geometric second vase is such an intriguing shape and does indeed have a Christmassy look about it

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    1. The rainwater disappears remarkably fast here too, Cathy, and unfortunately most of our rain is restricted to the winter months. If we had the room for it, I'd be pestering my husband to install a giant cistern to capture and store more of it - and a pump to retrieve it more easily!

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  5. Your garden must be sighing with relief to have rain and the snow-topped mountains are simply majestic above the cityscape. Two very different vases but both so fresh. I really like the minty green vase which seems to me to have an Art Deco feel. It offers a perfect foil for the red berries.

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    1. My garden does seem very happy at the moment but perhaps I'm just projecting my own feelings of relief at getting some real rain for a change.

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  6. Yay! rain. We have the durantas here. They usually prune the daylights out of them.I totally love that last arrangement and the white vase, it is perfect. I agree with your husband about the smell of the marigolds.

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    1. It's funny but, while I don't care for the smell of the short, bedding-type marigolds, I do like the smell of the Copper Canyon Daisy. Noses can be so particular!

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed your rain, I imagine you appreciate it very much. We, on the other hand, celebrate if we have two weekends without rain! Your colours are vibrant and cheerful and that vase is a very interesting shape. Wonderful views too.

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    1. Yes, I'm sure frequent rain and gray skies can get tedious, even if I can't say I've had that experience. If only Mother Nature could be more measured with her delivery!

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  8. Love the new vase, the RAIN and the snowy mountains.

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    1. Thanks Diana! I hope you're getting some breaks in your drought too.

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  9. Both vases have so much wonderful energy. I can't decide which one I like best.

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  10. So glad you had another soaking and full rain barrels! It does seem to have cleaned the air a bit, too. I love your foliage combinations, you always have a great eye for color.
    It is so annoying when plants are mislabeled. Like your Duranta, I have a thread-leaf cypress that was labeled 3' x 3' and it is pushing 12' and it is in the front bed, too. Sigh.

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    1. Duranta 'Gold Mound' was very popular when it came onto the market here years ago and I suspect the growers pushed whatever product they had available in response to the demand. Most of those I planted way back then grew to the expected size. If there's a way to detect the difference between varieties in a 4-inch pot (beyond the label), I haven't discerned it. Mine also went into what was the front of a border at the time of planting but, luckily, when the lawn came out and the border expanded, the size wasn't quite as off-putting. It's still growing, however...

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  11. Hooray for the rain! We sent it. Not really, but all of us here in the PNW are going to take credit.

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    1. Loree also assumed credit, Alison! Yesterday, my husband commented that if rain makes me this happy, maybe we SHOULD move to Seattle.

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  12. Fine bouquets, but the photo of snow on the mountains is the best. Wasn't the rain simply wonderful?

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    1. Each breath of clear air is glorious! The garden is happy and so is the gardener.

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  13. I'm so happy for you! To your husband's comment I wonder if you will ever get sick of it? Is that possible? I guess Portland had a full day of major downpours on Thanksgiving but we luckily missed it all being up in Eastern Washington.

    I love both of your vases, how amazing that your Phylica pubescens is large enough to cut from, I'm jealous all over again.

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    1. Too much of anything gets tedious I expect. I recall we had one winter where it rained almost every day for a month - it was sometime during the El Nino years in the 1990s. My mother complained about it endlessly but it didn't bother me.

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  14. So glad that rain I sent you arrived safely, and thanks for sending the sunshine our way! ;-) What a great view of those mountains. Our hills were covered in frost the last couple of days as the clear skies have meant colder nights. I don't remember seeing the Phylica before, and think it is quite fetching. Your second vase is lovely and festive with those berries, and I like that angular vase too. Have a good week Kris!

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    1. Thank you for the rain, Cathy! Please feel free to direct any additional excess our way! The Phylica is one of my newest plant crushes. I planted one in a large pot in early spring - it's gotten pretty big but I'm still hesitant to cut much from it.

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  15. I'm so happy about the rain. Do you usually have to run your irrigation all year? Your vases are always so different from everyone else; your climate may be difficult but it does allow you to grow plants most of us only see in florists or heated glass houses in Botanic Gardens. Love the shape of the new vase.

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    1. The irrigation is set to run automatically 2 days per week all year but we switch it off when we've had rain. When we first moved here, it was off most of the winter but that hasn't been true as the drought worsened. I adjust the length of time each circuit runs with the seasons. The frequency of unseasonal heatwaves has complicated things some but, if I need to supplement the irrigation, I usually water by hand.

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  16. I always enjoy your ever changing view. Both arrangements are lovely, your angular vase looks wonderful with the berry arrangement.

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    1. Seeing the snow is a treat. I wish we had a clearer view of the mountains - with the perpetual haze to the east, you wouldn't even know the mountains were there most days.

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  17. I think the combination of Duranta and Tagetes is wonderful! I still feel very awkward when it comes to working with a variety of yellows, and many of the desert yellows are very uninhibited... ;-) Also love the berries against the pale green vase. A very nice twosome! It's been fabulous getting the rain. It must have been quite a big system as we got full measure here too... finally!!

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    1. I'm glad you got a good soaking too, Amy!

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