Monday, January 2, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: New Year's Surprise

So I ventured into the garden on a very cold New Year's morning (below 50F!) to look for flowers and foliage to fill a vase.  And what did I find but 2 stems of pink Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) in bloom!  I thought I'd seen the last of these flowers for several months but perhaps the extraordinary amount of rain we received in December gave my plants an extra boost.  As this was a chance to pair Eustoma with Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl', plants that generally don't bloom at the same time, I couldn't resist cutting them.

The Lisianthus flowers were smaller than those cut during their peak bloom period and a little bedraggled but still pretty

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the top left, the vase contains: Eustoma grandiflorum, Argyranthemum frutescens, Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Persicaria capitata, Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star', and Violas


I also tweaked a vase I created just before guests arrived late Friday afternoon.  I'd thrown it together and, sitting on our dining room table, it bugged me when I breakfasted with it.  So Sunday afternoon, I removed some of the original stems and added others, creating an airier arrangement, which pleased me more.

Stems of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' were removed and a couple more stems of Tagetes lemmonii were added

The top photo is a close up of the Tagetes lemmonii (aka Copper Canyon Daisy).  From the bottom, left to right, the other plants are: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' and berries of Nandina domestica.


The 2 vases clash horribly with one another but, fortunately, they're not placed close enough for this to be bothersome in situ.

The pink arrangement sits in the front entry, recently cleared of Christmas decorations

The reconfigured vase was returned to the dining room table


For more of this week's contributions to "In a Vase on Monday," visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  If you'd like to see a montage of my favorite 2016 creations for "IaVoM," check out the collages I included in my year-end retrospective, which you can find here.

I hope you enjoyed a glorious New Year's holiday.  It was wonderfully quiet here - almost too quiet.  Perhaps our neighbors imbibed more than my husband and I did on New Year's Eve but I didn't even see children out and about.  It felt a little like an episode of Twilight Zone, where humans have disappeared while everything else seems to be in place.  And then, there were the birds, which I found sitting silent and virtually motionless in the bare branches of the mimosa tree just outside my home office window.

Alfred Hitchcock never directed an episode of Twilight Zone, did he?


The preceding afternoon, I had multiple visits by this guy too...




All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

42 comments:

  1. Oh you know how much I adore your lisianthus - so what a lovely surprise it was for me too! The shades of pink vase is absolutely lovely but your bright one works well too, and whatever you removed certainly wasn't needed. Thanks for sharing them - and your photos of the silent bird life too

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    1. It's hard to believe there will be any more Lisianthus before May or June but obviously I'm not as good at making predictions in this regard as I thought.

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  2. Perhaps the little birds were motionless because they were trying to fool the big one into thinking they weren't there.

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    1. The small birds seem to stealthily - and silently - disappear whenever a hawk, or for that matter a crow or a scrub jay, appear. They have a sixth sense, I think.

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  3. Happy New Year, the vase is the epitome of Pretty in Pink and I love your Lisianthus collage celebration! Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Amelia! Happy new year to you too!

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  4. Ooh chilly! I'm drinking in your vases while poring over seed catalogues...

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    1. I should improve my skills in growing from seed and do more of that, Alison. Perhaps I should make that a new year's resolution.

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  5. I love how you always do two vases that are dramatically different from each other. And you've got my favorite frog in there, too. I had to laugh that your 2nd vase bother you when you were sitting at the table with it. We gardeners always notice problems that no one else can see!

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    1. I don't consciously choose to make such different arrangements in one sitting but somehow it does seem to turn out that way, intended or not!

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  6. What a beautiful pink confection, Kris. :) Both are lovely!
    It's funny that 50 is cold to you, when I'd think that would be really warm. ;) Highs are supposed to be in the 40s the next few days ... a thaw!

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    1. We really are wimps here in SoCal, Eliza, although I'm told that it only takes 2 years for people who relocate here from colder climates to become "thin-skinned." Actually, I understand it has to do with changes in blood circulation that occur as people in warmer climates adapt mechanisms for cooling off.

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    2. Interesting! I've often wondered if there was a physiological reason. When it warms up too quickly here (like 80 in April), it feels like my pores can't open to accommodate the heat. Might be the reason.

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  7. Hi Kris, I love your pink purple vase! The soft pink Eustoma with Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl' is just a stunning combination and the purple filler leaves of Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star' just enhance the whole arrangement. Well done!
    I have a question, if you don't mind me asking. I think I recall that you bought your Eustomas from an online nursery last year. I would love to get them for my garden, too, and last year when I looked in the local nurseries I couldn't find any. Do you mind telling me where you bought yours? If you ordererd online I would like to buy from the same source since you seemed to have gotten really good plants.
    Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Most of my plants came from local garden centers, where they're almost always sold as "Lisianthus" rather than their proper classification as Eustoma grandiflorum so you may want to ask for them by that name at Armstrong Garden Center if you have one nearby. However, I did order some plug-size plants from Burpee last year. They're offering a dark purple, almost black form this year, which I've ordered, but they also have the pink form and others they carried last year. You can order now for shipment in late March/early April. Be sure to search the site under the common name of Lisianthus - I don't think Burpee uses the plant's proper classification either.

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    2. Many thanks for your detailed answer! For time reasons I can't go that often to the local garden centers and was so disappointed that I missed the Eustomas completely last year and ended up with none. So this year I don't want that to happen again, so I will order from Burpee for sure. Thank you so much for helping me out here by telling me your source.
      That being said, I would like to ask if you remember when the Eustomas where showing up in your local garden centers last year? At least I could pay attention to them locally in the time frame.
      Thank you again, Kris! Your answer really means a lot to me!

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    3. The single-flowered Lisianthus pop up in garden centers in 6-packs at periodic intervals - I've seen them as early as January. But the more fabulous rose-like double-flowered varieties don't usually show up until the latter part of April or early May and I rarely see those offered in 6-packs - they're usually sold in 4-inch pots. The shipment I got from Burpee last year arrived in good condition in 6-packs. Best wishes with plans for your 2017 garden, Christina!

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    4. Again, many thanks for your reply! I will watch out especially for the double flowered lisianthus at the times that you mentioned. I would be happy to buy the lisianthus' in the 4-inch pots, though more expensive, they are probably much easier to establish in the garden than the ones coming in the 6-packs.
      I still will order from Burpee, though. This year I really don't want to be without these beautiful flowers.
      I also wish you that your dreams for your garden this year will come true!

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  8. Isn't it fun to find those special surprise blooms. Beautiful arrangements Kris.

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    1. I guess I should never count Eustoma/Lisianthus out, Susie. it's delicate appearance belies its resilience.

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  9. I love the delicate pinks of that arrangement, but its the red/purple foliage that really makes it sing. Beautiful. Happy New Year! -Jean

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    1. I agree with you on the Pseuderanthemum foliage, Jean - it pulled all the elements together. I wish that plant was more readily available. It would also be helpful if the growers could agree on its classification - I've found it sold as Pseuderanthemum, Strobilanthes, and, most recently, Barleria.

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  10. Gorgeous, as always! I enjoy watching birds in winter, maybe because they are easier to see!

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    1. We don't have all that many deciduous trees, Deb, but they did seem to like hanging out together in the mimosa yesterday. That's not surprising in the case of hawks, who are always scoping the surrounding area for prey, but I'd have thought the smaller birds would prefer some cover.

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  11. Your vases already lovely as always...but that birds in the mimosa photo...WOW! That's just stellar.

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    1. I was genuinely startled when I noticed all those birds perched silently in that tree outside my office window (and none at the feeder below), Loree. Although there were some pigeons in the mix, I think many of the birds were part of a noID flock just passing through.

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  12. Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl' and the pink Estoma are perfect together, what a happy chance that have flowered together for your New Year's vase. As I have come to expect your flowers are much more summer-like than to seen on the first day of the year. I have been reading and enjoying all your posts while I was unable to comment as it is difficult to do so from my iPad or phone. I hope 2017 is a happy and peaceful one for you and that you will recieve the rain that all gardeners need.

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    1. Thanks Christina! We've a chance of light rain on Thursday and a better chance of heavier rain over the weekend. January is looking good right now!

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  13. Just love that Leptospermum, Kris, and it seems a delightfully long-flowered plant too. Both posies are pretty, how lucky you are to be able to pick such treasures. Happy new year :) PS: I'm glad you have an ivy somewhere in the wilderness, such a great plant to have.

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    1. I was very impressed by how much the bees loved the flowers on that ivy down at the bottom of the slope, Annette. It changed my entire view of the value of ivy.

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  14. I particularly love the pink arrangement. Isn't it a bonus when flowers bloom slightly out of season so that we can see them arranged in new combinations?

    Perhaps those birds had overdone the celebrations... must have been some party ;-)
    Wishing you health and happiness throughout the coming year.

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    1. You may be right about the birds, Sarah. I noticed members of what I think was the same flock in another tree at the south end of our property yesterday afternoon and they were chattering away and flitting about.

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  15. Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl' with Eustoma is a dreamy combination, glad that the Eustoma reprise made it possible. Both arrangements are lovely as always. The strong, cold wind here made the day far from quiet.

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    1. The skies were indeed calm here on New Year's Day, Peter. It was a nice change from the Santa Ana winds that stirred things up the week before.

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  16. It is always so lovely to see all the flowers you have Kris - even in winter and I am so pleased to hear that you have had a lot of rain - hopefully that will have relieved the drought situation. It is not a lot colder here - mid 40's most days - but I am flowerless until the early bulbs and hellebores arrive.

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    1. One of my fellow local bloggers recently posted on California's latest drought map. According to it, our area has progressed one rung up the drought ladder, moving from "exceptional drought" to "extreme drought." But then progress often comes in small steps!

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  17. Lisianthus and Leptospermum - such a beautiful combination! The four-pack of Lisianthus I planted in early fall seems to have changed very little since then, but at least it's alive... I'm not sure whether it will give much of a showing in the garden here, but maybe when things warm up ;-) I love seeing what all you can do with Tagetes lemmonii too. It's such a cheerful flower!

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    1. Lisianthus here don't usually bloom before May at earliest - mine are just stragglers from the earlier bloom cycle. Hopefully, yours will thrive once the weather warms but before it sizzles!

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  18. Those Eustoma are amazing! I really love the pinks all together, but the second vase is even lovelier. It is so beautifully dramatic with the Nandina berries - a real firework display for the new year! Have a happy new gardening year Kris!

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    1. Thanks Cathy! Best wishes for you and your garden too!

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