Monday, February 27, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Alstroemeria sets the scene but does Freesia steal the show?

The garden may already be waking up to celebrate spring but it's been really cold here.  Not as cold as many of you reading this may be used to in late February but cold by local standards.  Our temperatures are barely exceeding 50F.  Sunday was drizzly, offering more gray clouds than sun and enough of a breeze to make 50F feel colder still so I spent little time outside deliberating on what to use to fill my vases.  I settled on Alstroemeria and Freesia as I walked out the door and made all my other selections to accent those choices.

Vase #1:

After I pulled 3 stems of pink Alstroemeria, I realized it was looking a bit bedraggled but I decided not to second guess the choice and just kept moving

I selected this as the back view but, in retrospect, I think I like it better than the front view

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: noID pink Alstroemeria, Coriandrum sativum (or cilantro gone to seed), noID Dianthus, yellow Freesia, noID Narcissus, Pyrethropsis hosmariense, and white Ranunculus asiaticus


Vase #2:

This vase also started with Alstroemeria and Freesia.  A red-flowered Freesia popped up in the middle of plants with pink and purple flowers so it was begging to be cut.

The back view was meant to showcase 3 Leucadendron stems with rosebud-like "flowers" but I think they've been overshadowed by the vase's other contents

Top view

This vase contains: Top row - Alstroemeria 'Inca Husky', Coriandrum sativum, and 'Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey'
Middle row - gold and red Freesia and Leucadendrum salignum 'Summer Red'
Bottom row - Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset', noID Narcissus, and red Ranunculus asiaticus


The most unusual element in today's arrangements may be the Lotus berthelotii, also known as Parrot's Beak.  The flowers on this plant show up best when hanging down from a pot or other vertical element but most of mine are planted as ground covers.  It's proven effective (thus far) in keeping the raccoons from digging but admittedly the flowers don't show to maximum advantage when the plants are used this way.  It's an aggressive plant and needs regular trimming to keep it from covering everything in its path, although it's still less trouble than the raccoons.

Parrot's Beak just coming into bloom in the a garden bed on the south side of the house


My vases are in place for another week.  Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other bloggers have assembled this week.




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

26 comments:

  1. I like the way the different elements in both vases pick out the colours of each other, like the centres of all the white blooms and the red markings on the alstroemeria.I also love the tapered shape of the first glass vase.You must have quite a dilemma with the Parrot's Beak plant!

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    1. Color drives all my decisions on vase content, Cathy.

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  2. Hiya Kris - I am slightly greenish with envy at your bounty from the garden. Such colour and glorious perfection on what is for us a very unforgiving february day :-)
    And if I heard right, you now have rain as well. I remember your drought stricken garden from last summer.
    Nice to talk to you again

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    1. The drought isn't entirely over. Although parts of California (mainly in the northern area) are now considered drought-free, my area of Southern California is classified as between dry and moderately drought-afflicted. Still, it's a major improvement of our former "exceptional drought" classification. We can only hope that this year's heavy rains aren't a one-year exception.

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  3. Your vases are bursting with the exuberance of spring! Lotus berthelotii is an annual here but used as a spiller in lots of combination pots. The cut blooms look great in your arrangement! Happy Monday!

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    1. I think the Lotus is considered a short-lived perennial here. In the past, I've pulled most of mine early for the sole reason that their aggressiveness became unmanageable so it's life span is untested.

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  4. As always the two sides are so different. In each vase I think the freesia is a scene stealer on one side but not the other. Amazing how it can put all of that red in the background.

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    1. That may be why a preferred the "back" of the first vase to the front, Linda - that side placed the individual elements in a better balance.

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  5. What gorgeous rich colours. The freesias are fabulous. As always stunning arrangements. How odd to have summer flowers and winter weather.

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    1. Freesias and Alstroemeria are early spring flowers here - by summer, they'll be gone. But then I expect your summer temperatures are closer to our spring temperatures than they are to our toasty summer temperatures.

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  6. It's probably a similar temperature here until the wind blows, then it feels much worse. Your blooms are so vibrant and beautiful.

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    1. By the end of February, we've usually had many more warm (and sometimes hot) days than we've had this year. The Santa Ana winds (aka "devid winds" here) are expected to arrive later this week, though, and they'll almost certainly bring temperatures up.

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  7. Kris, your California garden provides such rich colors and assortment of flowers. Both vases are magical. I have a couple of Ranunculus plants with just foliage so far. Hope they will finally bloom.

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    1. I think the rains gave my Ranunculus an unexpected boost this year, Susie. I hope yours spring into bloom (pun intended) soon!

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  8. Joyful bouquets - I'm oohing and aahing! :D

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    1. Thanks Eliza! Early spring usually brings blooms to a peak here and this year, though cooler, seems to be no exception.

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  9. I suppose on some level I knew Lotus berthelotii wasn't a true annual, but it still kind of blows my mind to see it in your garden happy blooming away in February. I am read for spring!

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    1. Given the frequency with which I cut the Lotus back, I'm surprised it's blooming at all. It's one vigorous species (at least here)!

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  10. Your vases seem a complete mix of seasons to me; but that doesn't mean I don't think they look stunning. Narcissus (early spring), Alstroemeria (summer) and Freesia (late spring) are very unlikely to appear in my garden at the same time. I detect you are already tiring of the dull, cool, wet days; I'm just the same, I complain about the heat all summer but then when it rains for a week I'm ready for some sunshine again!

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    1. We got some sun today and expect more through the entire week -it does make a nice change! There are summer and winter-growing species of Alstroemeria, as well as hybrids of the 2 that create evergreen types. Based on my experience here, I expect that all of those I inherited with the house are the winter-growing types. The 2 I've added (one of which is 'Inca Husky') are "evergreen" hybrids I think, although neither has the long bloom period and height of the unknown variety I grew in my former garden.

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  11. An amazing mix of flowers again (for me, at any rate!). I had a bunch of flowers given me last week with Alstroemeria in, and immediately thought of you! I like the way you show us a top view of each vase and have been meaning to ask how you do it... do you have a step ladder in your kitchen?! ;-) Wishing you a lovely week, Kris, and some warmer weather too.

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    1. I don't use a step ladder for the top view photos but do stretch my arms above my head and sometimes step on my tip-toes to get those shots. I've gotten pretty good at positioning the camera without actually looking through the view finder, which is not to say that I don't end up tossing out many of my first tries. Thanks for the good wishes, Cathy - it is warmer today and we expect it to be more so tomorrow!

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  12. I am entering into a world of flower arranging that is outside my comfort zone. There is an obvious freshness to it all, Kris, such pin-point use of colour and the freesias do steal the show for their fragrance. I can smell it here. I'm on firmer ground in praising your setting out of the pages, with the arrangements given prominence and the ingredients delineated in boxes. Th same artistry in web design as with flowers!

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    1. Thanks Ian! I don't consider myself particularly adept at either flower arranging or web design but I enjoy fiddling with both.

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  13. It's wonderful to see how much you have to cut now, Kris; and freesia season is special :) Mine remain a little behind yours, but I guess our weather is too! I don't see Lotus berthelotii available here, but I'm intrigued by its raccoon-resisting prowess ;-) and those bright blooms. It makes a lovely addition to a beautiful vase! As I'm struggling with slow internet again, I'll just add that I certainly hope you won't be getting any fresh disasters from the refinery. It must be nervewracking having it within 15 miles!

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    1. Frankly, I didn't know just how troubled that refinery was until I heard about the last explosion. Even though we were actually closer to it in our former house, its outputs weren't visible to us there as they are now.

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