Monday, December 5, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Taking cues from a snapdragon

The orange snapdragons in my small cutting garden provided the starting point for this week's vase.  After a couple of good rains, the flowers are coming on well, although their stems are still relatively short.  I clipped 4 stems and then wandered about seeking companions.  Two Iceland poppies in the same area were shedding their bud covers so I clipped those too.  From that point, it wasn't hard to select foliage and floral accents.

With their saturated color, the poppies steal the show

Back view: The arrangement contains many of the same materials as I've used the last couple of weeks, albeit in a different combination and with the new element of the snapdragons

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: noID Antirrhinum majus, Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Grevillea 'Superb' (an almost prefect match in color with the snapdragons), Papaver nudicaule, and Tagetes lemmonii.  Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' was also included, although not highlighted here.


I usually carry around a jar containing my cuttings while assembling an arrangement - it cuts down on the number of poor matches I make.  But, when I trooped down the back slope to water my lemon tree, I saw pink Centranthus in bloom in the middle of a pathway and, thinking that it might pick up the pink tones in the snapdragon, I snapped off a few stems to take back to the kitchen.  As soon as I placed the Centranthus flower next to the snapdragon, I knew they'd make poor companions as the undertones in the pink Centranthus are blue while the undertones in the snapdragon are yellow.  So 4 Centranthus stems prompted the creation of a second vase.  Surprise! 😉

The last of the pink Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) is looking a little ragged but I thought it deserved a farewell bow so it went into this arrangement

In this case, I think I managed to make the back of the arrangement look remarkably similar to the front

Top view

Clockwise from the left, this vase contains: Eustoma grandiflorum, Centranthus ruber (virtually a weed here), Argyranthemum frutescens, and Hebe 'Purple Shamrock' (which I think is the real star of this arrangement)


For at least a couple of days, our daytime temperatures are expected to be unusually cold, which means below 60F (15C) here, but I understand that an arctic blast is expected to affect much of the USA this week.  Wherever you are, I hope you stay warm and safe!

To see more "In a Vase on Monday" creations, visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Here are my vases in their places.



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

34 comments:

  1. I didn't know there was a pink Centranthus. I used to have a red one that I grew from seed. I was thinking I might start some more this winter. Yours certainly is bright!

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    1. I have a little of the red Centranthus, some white and a whole lot of the mauve-ish pink. The white is my personal favorite but it doesn't seem nearly as vigorous and my attempts to spread it around have been relatively fruitless thus far.

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  2. Your garden keeps producing such colorful blooms even in the winter and you combine them beautifully!

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    1. There's not a lot of difference between fall and winter here, Peter - except that winter is supposed to bring rain :(

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  3. Oh Kris, you are making all the gardeners in the frozen north feel very envious of all your colour and so much choice of bloom, as we try to confect arrangements from berries, seedheads, twigs and withered flowers. Both of your vases are so beautiful and all that colour! I wish I could have a little stroll round your garden.

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    1. Anytime you're in coastal southern California just stop by!

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  4. Lovely and I am going to miss the Lisianthus if it's season is ending. The poppies look wonderful as well and I want some Hebe in my garden.

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    1. The Hebes have been a mixed bag here but some, like this 'Purple Shamrock' (a dwarf variety) and 'Wiri Blush', have done very well.

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  5. Your second vase in particuar is beautiful - the shade of the lisianthus is brought out beautifully by the others. It will indeed be a shame if that is the last of them for this year!

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    1. There are a couple of pale yellow Eustoma and one or 2 stems of the pink variety left but they're not really vase-worthy. If you look closely at an enlargement of the ones featured in today's post, you may notice some brown on the petals - they're on the way out.

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  6. Eustoma into December?!? It adores your garden, doesn't it? I love all the pinks!

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    1. Even I think the Eustomas are remarkable this year but perhaps it's just that the weather remained warm into November. I did a quick scan of my prior posts on the flowers and this seems to be the latest mention, although I was surprised to see that the blue variety showed up in a post on December 1, 2014. If my short history in growing them is to be credited, they're not likely to reappear until mid-May at the earliest.

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  7. Yours has got to be one of the most floriferous gardens I know! You just keep filling and filling and filling weekly vases, can you imagine ever "running out"?

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    1. The toughest period in my garden isn't winter but late summer when so much is fried and water-starved. That's usually when the succulents get clipped to go into a vase but this year the Eustoma just kept on giving and saw me through.

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  8. As we've all come to expect both your creations are lovely; I am drawn to the pink arrangement, maybe because it seems so summery when it is now winter here.

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    1. I've been a little surprised at just how much pink I have in the garden at the moment, Christina. Of course, winter here is just a concept.

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  9. Both are beautiful, Kris, the pink one fit for a bride! The colour of those poppies is just stunning. What a contrast to my leafy vase ;) Have a good week, Annette

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    1. Southern California has its perks, Annette. If only we also got some rain...

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  10. Nice choices for the snapdragons Kris. The poppies are lovely. I adore the Centranthus vase too.

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    1. Centranthus tends to be messy in a vase but I conditioned the stems this time so we'll see if that helps.

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  11. Both vases are very beautiful. The icelandic poppies add such an amazing blast of hot summery colour. I love the pink vase and that hebe has such perfect tips for the flowers. Excellent choices.

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    1. I've fallen hard for that Hebe, which I originally picked up on a whim.

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  12. Your vibrant colours set off the poppies beautifully, I love their silky petals. The soft colours in the second are beautifully restful. I am envious of the lisianthus. So lovely.
    I don't think you can beat a compost heap built of pallets, and I've tried various ways. Very easy too, they are just tied together in the corners. I wonder if the tumblers are more of an expensive toy than a real workhorse.

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    1. I think you're right about the compost tumbler. The ads on-line make it sound as if it can produce finished compost in record time but that hasn't proven true for me. The metal is slowly disintegrating so perhaps I'll put pallets in its place when it falls apart, although how to dispose of something that big is a quandary...

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  13. I really adore that pink Centranthus with the mauve tinge to it! Mine are all red or reddish pink. It makes a gorgeous match to your other pink flowers. Also lovely to see poppies again - such a pretty colour. An 'arctic blast' doesn't sound very nice. Hope you can stay warm!

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    1. We should be fine here in southern California, just a little colder than usual. It's the midwest and the east that may be hit hard.

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  14. Both arrangements are eye-catching, esp. the poppy one, which you've softened with grevillea and snaps. I do love the lisianthus and will miss it. While we can grow it here in the summer, it never looks as good as yours.

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    1. I'm going to miss the Lisianthus too, Eliza. I was disappointed when I looked back at my blog history and found no evidence of them between December and May.

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  15. I used to like the Centranthus but it is such a thug here, that I now pull them as soon as they emerge. They are happy to smother EVERYthing in their path.

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    1. Centranthus is a thug here too, Diana, although thus far its confined itself to my north-side dry garden and the back slope, both areas that offer little else in the way of floral color. I wish I could get the while form to spread more, as it's my favorite and seemingly less intent on conquering everything in its path.

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  16. Just a note to admire that combination of Iceland poppies and Tagetes :) (For some reason my phone wouldn't type when I tried to comment earlier.) And the poppies themselves are so gorgeous!

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    1. I read that cutting the poppies just as they break through their bud casing is key. These look especially good to me too.

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