Monday, December 12, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Oops, I did it again

Regular readers probably won't believe me when I state that I rarely plan on preparing more than one arrangement for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  When I step out into my garden to look for material, I feel lucky if I have just one idea as to what to pick as a floral focus.  On Sunday, when I ventured out following a storm that brought us just 0.04/inch of rain overnight, I headed straight for an orchid stem I'd discovered in a corner of the property the day before when I was cleaning up after the tree trimmers we'd had on-site that morning.  The unusual color combination in the orchid had me combing the rest of the garden looking for burgundy accents.

This is the second flush of flowers on the noID Oncidium orchid I picked up at an orchid show hosted by my local botanic garden in September

The acid yellow foliage of Duranta erecta provided a nice echo of the orchid's yellow color

The yellow and burgundy color echoes show up best in this top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: noID Oncidium; shiny Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey'; yellow/green Duranta erecta NOT 'Gold Mound'; Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun', included to fill in some empty space upfront; Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', which is beginning to take on its beautiful red winter color; and Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'.  The yellow in the Gaillardia bothered me here but I didn't have a good substitute.


As I was rounding the opposite end of our property, I noticed that the first bud of Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection' had bloomed.  More rain is expected on Thursday and the Camellia blooms don't like rain so I decided to clip that flower to enjoy it in the house.  One thing led to another and soon I had more than enough material for a second vase.  Oops!

Second vase featuring one flower of Camellia williamsii 'Taylor's Perfection' front and center.  This Camellia is a hybrid of C. japonica and C. saluenensis.

Back view: I picked the snapdragons after discovering 2 plants infected with rust.  The rust is particularly frustrating as I've been careful to avoid overhead watering and have given the plants ample space to ensure air flow around the foliage; however, 2 rainy weekends and the return of fog associated with the marine layer probably tipped the scales.

Top view, showing off the variegated leaves of Pelargonium peltatum 'Crocodile', a gift from Denise of "A Growing Obsession" last year.  I'm more excited about the Pelargonium leaves than any other elements of this vase.

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Camellia williamsii 'Taylor's Perfection', noID Camellia sasanqua, noID orange/pink Antirrhinum majus, Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre', and Pelargonium peltatum 'Crocodile'.  Also included, but not highlighted, are stems of variegated Correa 'Wyn's Wonder'.  Correa flowers often "hide" mid-stem, making them harder to show off in arrangements.


Spending time outside collecting plant material was particularly enjoyable as the air was cool and fresh.  We played peek-a-boo with rain clouds all day but received no further precipitation; however, I remain hopeful that we'll get another good soaking later this week.  At present, our seasonal rainfall total (since October 1st) stands at a paltry 1.72 inches.



This week's vases are in place.

With Christmas decorations popping up throughout the house, vase space is becoming harder to come by


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


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

26 comments:

  1. Orchid blooms and Leucadendrons, they look great together...who knew?

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    1. You ought to give orchids another look, Loree. They're not all boring Cymbidiums (not that I don't like those too). This Oncidium looks to me as though it's comprised of laughing faces. There are others that look like (colorful) insects.

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  2. You just can't help yourself. The first vase radiates the warmth of summer and the pink one is full of spring's promise. You live in a magical climate.

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    1. No, you're right - once I'm in my garden with license to clip, I can't help myself, Peter.

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  3. It made me smile that you could just 'discover' this orchid blooming!! It makes for an effective vase with the acid green foliage but the camellias and snapdragons are a real winner in my eyes - what an excellent combination! What would your average annual rainfall be, Kris?

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    1. Well, orchids aren't particularly attractive as plants, at least in my view. Their principal value is in their exotic flowers so I tuck them out of sight until they bloom - the only problem with that is that I sometimes miss the blooms entirely.

      I'm not sure how to calibrate "average" rainfall here anymore, Cathy. The old "normal" was just under 15 inches/year but last year we got just under 6 inches in total in this location. The drought's no joke.

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    2. Yes, so when your 'norm' is a mere 15" only getting 6" makes a huge difference Do you have restrictions on using water in the garden?

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    3. Mandatory restrictions were set statewide in the middle of 2015, although they varied by area. My area was required to reduce water use by 36% vis-a-vis 2013 usage level. As we'd already dramatically reduced our water use under the voluntary request in 2014 and we'd taken out all our lawn, a known water hog, we were successful in staying well below that limit; however, the garden did feel the impact. The restrictions were reduced to 10% savings in October of this year when water resources in the northern part of the state improved but adjustments are possible. How well we do during our winter rainy season is key.

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  4. Crocodile, not the first name I'd choose for a pelargonium ;~))

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    1. It's not a friendly name to attach to a plant, is it? Yet, it's somewhat descriptive of the unusual pattern of the leaf variegation. And a name like that is sure to garner interest here, where we don't have real crocodiles anywhere except in zoos.

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  5. Wow, both are gorgeous I think the orchid wins today. It is kind of a mind bender to think of Camellias and Orchids blooming at the same time. Of course, no Camellias here but the orchids bloom in July in my trees. They are cattleyas

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    1. A number of orchids seem to bloom here in response to the winter rains. In my experience, Oncidiums have fairly frequent blooms cycles.

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  6. Ooh, that pink vase is gorgeous! Love the camellias with the snapdragons. Makes me think of spring! ;-)

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    1. Fall is often referred to here as our "second spring" so maybe it's appropriate that the flowers impart that feeling, Cathy.

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  7. Your arrangements are always lovely, Kris, whether there are 1, 2 or 3!
    That orchid is lovely and the duranta compliments it well. Love the pink combo as well.
    At this point, my only arrangement is evergreens with a few store bought blooms. I have to have something in bloom to look at so I won't get too envious of other IAVOMs!

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    1. California's climate does offer some advantages, Eliza - year-round gardening being one of them, although the lack of rain has put a damper on that (pun intended).

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  8. The orchid is lovely and I'm also thrilled to see your camellia bloomed Kris. You always find fabulous materials for your vases.

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    1. Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection' is a little early to bloom this year, Susie, but that's probably a good thing - last year, winter heatwaves caused many of the buds to shrivel prior to opening.

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  9. I love the colors in the vase with that orchid. You matched it perfectly. You are so talented at putting these arrangements together.

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    1. Thanks Alison! I work at it some - it usually takes me at least 2 rounds of my garden to finalize my selections.

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  10. I love the gaillardia ,can't beat the colors. Yes ,the pelargonium leaves are very interesting/ unusual and cool .

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    1. 'Arizona Sun' and 'Goblin' (I have trouble distinguishing the 2) are the most reliable and long-blooming Gaillardias in my garden. The Pelargonium's leaves are much more interesting than its flowers, which are an almost florescent pink.

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  11. The pelargonium foliage is exciting :) We're always glad to see more than one vase! I'm trying a Phaelenopsis indoors again, but I think the low humidity is hard on orchids here. Love your Oncidium!

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    1. Orchids of all types do seem to want a degree of humidity. I usually mistreat mine terribly, although I did repot and even fertilize all of them a couple of months ago.

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  12. They are both great, as usual. I wish I had the patience for orchids--they seem to need patience.

    100% chance of rain Thursday night--wheeeeee! Pineapple Express is bringing some fruit!

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    1. The thing with orchids is you have to get used to ignoring them. The plants aren't particularly attractive on average so I tuck them in a corner and haul them out (or clip the stems) when they're in bloom. the only problem with that strategy is that you sometimes miss the blooms entirely :(

      I see Weather Underground has upgraded us to a 100% chance of rain tonight too! If only I didn't have to go out and drive in it tonight I'd be blissful...

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