Monday, March 27, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Spring Bloomfest

My garden is a little overwhelming at the moment - in a good way.  True to predictions, our heavier than usual (even by pre-drought standards) winter rainfall has produced an abundance of spring flowers.  It's tempting to flit from plant to plant, cutting a little of this and a little of that.  For this week's vases, I focused my efforts by selecting 2 color schemes before heading out the door, one centered around the magenta color of a particular Pelargonium and the other around the color of my pink Freesias.

The first color scheme produced this:

Front view, which points out that not all "white" Freesias are the same.  The bulbs for these two Freesia were acquired from the same source and planted in the same location but the flower on the left reads as ivory by comparison to the bright white of the one on the right.

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Pelargonium cucullatum 'Flore Pleno' (aka 'Golf Ball'), Ageratum corymbosum, Coriandrum sativum, ivory Freesia, white Freesia, lavender Freesia, and Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa'.  I love the red blushed leaf edges and flower buds of the Pelargonium and the lavender streaks on the back of the white Freesia.


The second color scheme provided more of a challenge.  The pink Freesias have a blue undertone and many of my pink flowers have yellow undertones.  Here's what I ended up with:

Front view: I added soft yellow notes with the Narcissi and the Leucadendron to pick up the subtle yellow in the Alstroemeria

Back view: The pink tones of the Freesias and sweet peas are louder here

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: noID Alstroemeria, Argyrantemum frutescens, Centranthus ruber, Erigeron karvinskianus, Freesia, Lathyrus odoratus, Leucadendron 'Pisa', and Narcissus 'White Lion' and another noID Narcissus.  The Erigeron and the Centranthus are virtually weeds here, albeit ones I allow to spread within limits.  Most of the Narcissus died off following a warm spell the week before last and, as temperatures are expected to climb again this week, I thought I might as well cut what was left.


I had some leftover stems, which I threw into a tiny vase:

A few short stems of Freesia, Argyranthemum, and Erigeron were tucked in here along with 2 slender stems of Ixia (aka African corn lily), which is currently blooming in the wrong place


Last week's vases held up relatively well but I tossed out their contents anyway to make way for the new arrangements.

The first vase sits in the front entry and the second on the dining room table.  The third sits on the desk in my office.


For more vases, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, our "In a Vase on Monday" host.


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

32 comments:

  1. Your last photo of that pale blue vase on the table runner with the art work in the background: just a superb composition1

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    1. Thanks Linda! The vase does look pale blue in my photo, doesn't it? It's actually a mottled white. My mother brought it back as a gift for me many years ago on her one and only trip to her parents' home country, Finland.

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  2. Your garden must be making the neighborhood pollinators VERY happy. The Leucadendron 'Pisa' stole the show for me, love them!

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    1. The remarkable thing about the Leucadendron 'Pisa' stems is that I cut one of them weeks ago (3 at least) and stuck it in a vase, just to take the weight off one branch of the plant. It produced its luminescent yellow "bloom" in the vase on the same schedule as the stems on the plant outside.

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  3. Pinks can be difficult to mix, as you say it depends whether there is blue or yellow in their colour; both your arrangements have the perfect mix of colours. Our cold winter means there are no Freesias this year, I think they will come back next year, I hope so anyway.

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    1. I have the reverse problem with my Anemone coronaria, Christina - they didn't return this year and, as rain (or the lack of it) isn't the problem this year, I can only conclude that we're too warm to make those bulbs happy.

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  4. I always enjoy the immense variety of flowers in your repertoire of arranging. You found gorgeous accompaniments for the striking Pelargonium. Freesias have been unhappy in my garden but perhaps it's time to try them again. Interesting to compare the two whites.

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    1. Christina (see comment above) concluded that her Freesias want more warmth to bloom so that may be your problem with them too, Susie. This is the first time I've had clear white Freesias appear with those lovely lavender streaks on the rear side of their petals - I wish I could purchase more of that particular variety but local vendors seem to offer only purchases of bulbs labeled "white."

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  5. Your arrangements shout abundance and carefree spring days. So happy that you got the rain to make all of this happen!

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    1. The miracles afforded by the rain continue, Peter!

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  6. Completely delightful. I laughed about the pinks dilemma. My husband would look quite blank if you said that to him. I sometimes wonder if people see colours the same way, I think not.

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    1. I know my husband doesn't see color the same way, Alison. He's seriously color blind! I shudder whenever I find him doing electrical wiring as he really can't tell green from red.

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  7. Scrumpdillicious colors! Beauty and scented heaven, you are blessed!

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  8. They are so beautiful Kris and your garden must be a joy with all those flowers in bloom. I hope that the weather is now returning to a more settled pattern although I am sure that regular light rainfall would be appreciated.

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    1. Our rain is generally limited to winter, Julie. We get the occasional tropical summer storm but that's an anomaly. We're a true Mediterranean climate. I think our rain is over until October or November.

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  9. I can imagine you flitting from plant to plant, desperate to cut some of everything! I felt a hint of that this week too, for the first time since the autumn I suppose, but only a hint! Your rainfall this winter will be having all sorts of unexpected consequences over the season. Are you able to store much of it for your periods of drought? I especially like the second two vases - the shape of the second vase and of the arrangement in it are both most pleasing, and I was so intrigued to see your sweet peas! When did you start these, and are they only just flowering? Look forward to seeing more of them, well, and of your lovely vases too! Thanks for sharing

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    1. I have 3 rain barrels, Cathy. They give me 475 gallons of rainwater. They were topped off by our last rainstorm but, as our rain is usually limited to the winter months, it'll be gone all too quickly, especially if we have a hot summer as predicted. I could use a much larger cistern but there's no place to put it!

      Oddly, that pink sweet pea, an early blooming variety, has been the only one blooming for the last month or so. A couple of others have only just started to produce blooms. I started sweet pea seeds in September here but the raccoons "rearranged" my beds so I planted more seeds plus a few small plants in early December. Wind, which we have a lot of right now, and heat can knock our sweet peas out in early spring. My fingers are crossed all get a chance to bloom.

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  10. Wow, I am ready to board a flight to LAX! Everything looks gorgeous and not all whites are the same, flowers or the color.I really love that Ageratum, mine pales in comparison,out of all that wonderful plant material I love the Ageratum, go figure.

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    1. This is an unusual Ageratum, Amelia. It's an evergreen shrub - or "ever-purple," as the seller describes it. I should have pointed out its velvety purple leaves, which make it attractive in and out of bloom.

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  11. Hi Kris, when I see all your lovely vases only one word comes to my mind: Abundance. And that is what spring is about here in Southern California. We are incredible lucky this year that after all the rain we are blessed with so many beautiful flowers. I am very thankful for that and enjoying this spring so much. Looks like you are doing, too ;-)!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. The garden is bursting at the seams at the moment, Christina!

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  12. Wunderschöne Blumensträuße in tollen Farben!
    Liebe Grüße
    Edith

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  13. to have freesias to pick in March would be one of my all-time highs

    such luxurious bouquets - greaty colour matches

    joanna [ http://dispraise2.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/in-vase-03.html

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    1. I expect Freesias are better adapted to my climate than yours, Joanna, but perhaps they'd grow well in a warm greenhouse? I can't grow tulips - or peonies - so I have reason to envy your climate too.

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  14. Fabulous vases as usual Kris and how marvellous to have so much to choose from. It's good to see your sweet peas in flower and I hope that the temperature remains kind long enough for them to have their day.

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    1. As the temperatures jump, I'm silently willing the sweet peas to hurry up and get their bloom on, Anna!

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  15. Three lovely vases, Kris! You certainly rose to the color challenge of the second one :) I am still waiting for my sweet peas to be anywhere near blooming; I intend to try an early variety next time!

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    1. In our climates, planting early and using early flowering varieties is probably the best way to go. I can already see that the Santa Ana winds, blowing steadily for days now, are drying out my sweet pea plants - even extra water can't stop the desiccation of the leaves.

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