Monday, April 24, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: An Exercise in Restraint

I had plants in mind when I stepped into the garden on Sunday to select flowers for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  For a change, I stuck pretty much to my original intent.

Vase #1 was arranged around the foxgloves that finally bloomed in my cutting garden.  I grew these plants from plugs, not from seed, but for a while I thought they weren't going to do much of anything.  On Friday, I also feared that weeks of high winds, followed by a spike in our daytime temperatures and a sharp drop in our humidity levels, was going to put a premature end to the sweet peas I'd earmarked to accent the foxgloves.  However, a 10 degree drop in our temperature and a substantial increase in humidity gave the sweet peas a reprieve on Sunday.

Front view: the mottled white vase, decorated with a ribbon-like painted overlay, was a gift my mother brought me many years ago after a trip to her parents' Finnish homeland 

Back view, showing off the maroon sweet pea stems and my weed-like Centranthus

Top view

From left to right, the vase contains: Centranthus ruber (pink and white forms were used), Digitalis purpurea, and Lathyrus odoratus


Vase #2 was constructed around my white Alstroemeria, which is looking especially pretty right now.  I allowed myself 2 last minute additions to the vase in this case.

Front view: the last minute additions were the rose and the Grevillea stems.  I got the rose, a David Austin selection, from my favorite mail order nursery last November and have been growing it in a pot - this is its first bloom.  The Grevillea blooms sporadically.

The back view is all about the Alstroemeria

The top view highlights the flowers of the humble dusty miller plant (Jacobaea maritima)

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Alstroemeria 'Claire', Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Grevillea alpina x rosmarinifolia, Jabobaea maritima, and Rosa 'Golden Celebration'


On my final round through the garden, I latched eyes on another recent bloomer I want to use in a vase but I stopped myself at 2 this week.  Hopefully, the other plant will still be vase-worthy next week.  For more vases, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

My vases in their places


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

40 comments:

  1. I don't think I have ever seen anyone do such amazing bouquets with two different sides. And you do it week after week. These are lovely as alway and so dramatically different. I find that most of my vases go against a wall and so I only pay attention to one side. I think I need to expand!

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    1. Given my tendency to stuff my vases with too much material, Linda, sometimes the back and top views lend a whole different personality to the arrangements.

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  2. Hi Kris, I think you have outdone yourself with the arrangement in the first vase! The color combination is perfect, as is the combination of the different flower shapes and the tasteful beautiful vase is the ideal match for the bouquet. Wonderful!
    As for the rose in the other one: So glad you got a new rose! 'Golden Celebration' is supposed to do very well in our climate and is a very pretty rose. Great choice!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. I love the flower on 'Golden Celebration', Christina. The only thing that bothers me about it is that the stems lean toward the thin, wiry side. The stem I used was twisted every which way, which made fitting it into the vase a bit difficult.

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  3. The foxglove looks so elegant there, Kris, arching over like that, and the centranthus is lovely and frothy (having said some in a previous garden I have resisted introducing it here as it spread so much) so the dark sweet peas are set off really well. And the pure white alstroemeria are gorgeous! You must be thrilled with your new rose - do you get yours direct from DA or is there a intermediary? I buy all mine from DA these days too.

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    1. This David Austin rose came through Annie's Annuals & Perennials, a Northern California nursery that offers mail order. I often find things there that I can't get locally.

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  4. I associate Foxgloves with holidays in Cornwall so I really enjoyed seeing yours, I'm surprised it grew at all in your heat. I think your soil must be much better than mine as my foxgloves failed to flower when I tried them. The white Alstroemerias are gorgeous; I think I may have mentioned before that the nursery I I was going to order some plants from let me down and they won't send now that the plants are growing. Next year - maybe!!
    BTW i agree with Linda about the quality of your vases each week, they are an inspiration.

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    1. Foxgloves can usually handle our spring temperatures but, like many plants that can bloom into summer in other climates, they normally fail here as our temperatures ramp up. That ramp up is already beginning - I expect that the foxgloves and sweet peas will be gone by mid-May and the Iceland poppies earlier still.

      It's too bad about the Alstroemeria! I hope that nursery comes through for you next year, Christina.

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  5. Gorgeous (again!) - your arrangements are so lovely, Kris. I'm drooling over your burgundy sweet peas and Rosa 'Golden Celebration.' ;)

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    1. That burgundy sweet pea was an impulse plant purchase at an Orange County garden center, Eliza. I'm glad I caved and brought it home.

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  6. Beautiful as usual, dear Kris, and it's actually quite comforting to see some plants we have here too. Too early though for digitalis. Love the colour of your sweet peas, just gorgeous!

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    1. Digitalis has to get its bloom on early here, Annette, or it's game over - it can't handle our summer temperatures.

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  7. It seems that your garden is a heaven all the year around!Beautiful vases, Kris, as usual!

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    1. The garden here hits a low point July through August or September, Anca. That's when I start creating vases using succulent plants!

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  8. Fantastic, I love the pinks and purples and am astonished you can Foxgloves as a drought tolerant plant. I could not have resisted that David Austen rose and would have it in a pot as well. Fortunately I haven't seen one!

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    1. Foxgloves need regular water here too, Amelia. Like the sweet peas, I'm growing them in the raised beds formerly used for vegetables because I use water a bit more lavishly in that enclosed space without over-watering the drought tolerant plants that dominate my borders.

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  9. so many luxurious summer flowers already - I envy you the Sweet peas out such dekight

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    1. Of necessity, many of the flowers that bloom in summer in the UK take advantage of the warmer spring conditions here to bloom and sow seed before our summer heat beats them down. Last year, my sweet peas were cut down by early heat in March! This spring has been cooler so they've hung on longer. We plant early in the hope of getting the flowers to bloom before it gets too hot.

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  10. Kris, Rosa 'Golden Celebration' is a star. Also love your burgundy sweet pea. I have two foxgloves that look quite similar to yours, so we have another plant in common. Mine began flowering this past week. Both arrangements are gorgeous.

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    1. I'm very happy with 'Golden Celebration', Susie. The flower is so much more complex than most of my roses and has stronger scent too.

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  11. If that rose is as fragrant as it is beautiful then your house must be smelling divine!

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    1. It's probably the most fragrant rose I have, Loree. Even my husband was impressed (and that takes a lot!).

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  12. I can never resist a dark coloured plant, leaves or flowers so I love your sweet peas. The colours in the other vase are fresh and very pretty and the rose is a beauty. I hope you get many more blooms. I realised I didn't have any foxgloves so I've sown some seeds. Patience is a virtue!

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    1. Foxgloves are generally planted in winter here so they have a good chance to grow and bloom before summer's heat strikes them down, Alison. And sweet peas seeds are usually sown in September!

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  13. Foxgloves and sweet peas - sigh! ;-) Lovely vases, Kris, and I'm definitely admiring your "Golden Celebration" with the alstroemeria! This was a dangerous post for me, in fact, with the Annie's Annuals link left right there! As we're heading on into summer, I'm trying to stay away from temptation!

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    1. Well, the good news in terms of stemming temptation is that the rose isn't currently available but you could create a wishlist and Annie's will e-mail you when it is! ;) I got my rose in November. My recollection is that Annie's doesn't offer roses all year, at least not by mail order.

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  14. You always combine colours so well, and that first vase is a wonderful mix of pinks. The Centranthus adds lots of frothiness, but the foxglove still stands out nicely. You have reminded me how lovely Centranthus is and I wonder how mine will grow in my rockery this year after a bad year last year. (Too wet!) Love the aerial view of the second vase - the yellow Jacobea is pretty. I wonder if I will be able to find some for summer pots...

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    1. The flowers produced by the Jacobaea are indeed pretty, Cathy, although the plants are generally sold here purely for their foliage. I had no idea the plant even flowered when I added it to the border years ago!

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  15. So nice to get a bit more history of that lovely vase that you showed us last week, Kris! The purple of the sweet peas picks up the 'ribbon' on the vase perfectly. Like Christina, I am amazed and pleased to think that the foxgloves can fit in a little time to show off in your climate. And that rose with the white alstromeria. Well! Unfortunately another rose to add to the list!

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    1. I'd given up on foxgloves years ago as they don't handle our dry conditions or summer temperatures well but, on a whim, I decided to try them in my cutting garden, where I use water more freely. Our winter rains provided a boost too. However, it remains to be seen how long they'll last as your temperatures climb.

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  16. Good restraining! I specially love the first vase, with all the shades of pink set off by a bit of white. Centrathus grows like a weed in my garden too, but I never thought of putting it in a vase.

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    1. Centranthus only holds up for a few days in a vase but it looks pretty as long as it lasts, Sue!

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  17. Excellent bouquets yet again. I got that same burgundy sweet pea--it's a fun color, isn't it?

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    1. It's an interesting addition to the demure pastels of most sweet peas, HB. I don't recall seeing seeds offered in that color.

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  18. Both vases are beautiful, but I am definitely favouring purple hues this week. It is especially lovely to see your foxgloves and sweet peas. We have a bit to go before we get to use them here.

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    1. And my foxgloves and sweet peas will probably be long gone when yours arrive! Our nasty Santa Ana winds (sometimes called "devil winds") are currently beating the heck out of all my plants - I'm not sure the sweet peas will last through the weekend.

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