Monday, April 17, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: A tad simpler

I tried to stop my vase stuffing ways this week by being more selective about what I cut during my stroll through the garden in pursuit of plants for "In a Vase on Monday."  That's hard to do with spring in full swing!  I'd nothing specific in mind when I headed out with my clippers and, somewhat to my own surprise, the first plant I focused on was Festuca californica, a native California bunch grass.  It's been in my garden for almost 4 years but I don't remember ever seeing it in bloom prior to this year, another side-effect of ample winter rain perhaps.  In any case, use of the delicate grass required that I stick to the plan to allow my plant materials space to breathe in their vase so the grass wouldn't be lost.

While I limited the types of flowers for this vase, I think I should have used fewer stems of each

or trimmed the foliage a bit more

The grass didn't photograph well from above

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Phlomis fruticosa, noID Alstroemeria, Festuca californica, Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard', and Prunus laurocerasus


The inspiration for the second vase was one of my favorite Pelargoniums, 'Oldbury Duet', which made its appearance in the front garden several weeks ago.  I've been wanting to do something with it ever since.

Front view, showing the rippled side of the small crystal vase

Back view, showing the vase's clear side

Top view with the sweet peas hogging the scene

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Hebe 'Wiri Blush', Lathyrus odoratus, Pelargonium 'Oldbury Duet', and Stachys 'Lilac Falls'


There are more flowering plants in the wings.  My Gaura lindheimeri began to open the moment my Bloom Day post was in the can and it appears that Centaurea 'Silver Feather' may bloom for the first time this year.  The pleasures of spring continue to unfold but warmer weather is in the offing so it remains to be seen which plants will realize their potential.  You'll probably see whichever do in future vases but here are this week's efforts in their places:

The first vase sits on the dining room table and the second in the front entry


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other bloggers have "In a Vase on Monday."


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

30 comments:

  1. Only you could simplify things and still have two gorgeous vases stuffed full of colorful flowers, I love this!

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    1. There's SO much blooming in the garden right now, Loree! It's hard not to clip, clip, clip...

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  2. Oh, wow! Those pelargoniums and sweet peas are to die for. Gorgeous arrangements, Kris!

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    1. Thanks Eliza! Lat year, my sweet peas were gone in March - it's wonderful to have them going strong in April.

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  3. Hiya Kris,
    I never grew Phlomis and wish I had. Fits in so well with that colour scheme.

    Thanks for your wishes - helped me today.

    Hope the rain stays with you a bit longer.
    floral-fun.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh, I think our rain is over until late fall, Joanna, but that's not unusual for our climate. Northern California is still getting lots of rain (which isn't usual) but the storms aren't making their way down south anymore. All signs are that the most recent storm in the north is also going to pass us by this evening.

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  4. Even though it is not at its best when viewed from above the grass is a graceful addition to the first vase, but what a wonderful collection of soft purples/mauves there are in that second vase. And 'Wiri Brush'! Such a fantastically apt name for that hebe - made me laugh out loud! :) Thanks for sharing, Kris

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    1. 'Wiri Blush' is a wonderful plant! The flower color is striking.

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  5. I love the English Laurel in the arrangement -I think the wispy grasses are hard to use in arrangements. The Sweet Peas, I can only dream about them. So pretty.

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    1. It occurred to me after-the-fact, Amelia, that the first arrangement might have been better if I'd restricted the palette to the English laurel, the grass plumes, and the Phlomis.

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  6. Effective strategy Kris. The grass is nice--that rain worked wonders didn't it? Both arrangements are gorgeous. I love the overhead shot of the second one with sweet peas. Have a good week.

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    1. The rain was a miracle, fully realized in spring, Susie.

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  7. Despite being tricky to photograph the grasses stand out really well in your first two pictures and I love the effect. Also love that Pelargonium with its pretty fresh foliage. And that vase with a smooth and a ridged side is such a great idea!

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    1. It's a somewhat tricky vase to use, Cathy, as the vase has a heart-shaped opening that dips down in front, but it is pretty.

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  8. I have a vase of purple prunings - but not nearly such a talented blend of harmonious colours.
    I'd love a Phlomis but can't shoehorn in another exuberant shrub.

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    1. I'm reaching that point too, Diana - I can't shoehorn much more in without shoving something else out.

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  9. I love the soft pinks and lilacs in you second vase. I used to have a few pelargoniums, we have to grow them inside and they used to get covered in whitefly so I sadly abandoned them. They hve such vibrant colours and velvety petals. It sounds as though you are loving spring, lets hope it lasts a bit longer.

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    1. We have summer-like temperatures forecast for this coming weekend but hopefully we'll get a cool-down the following week.

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  10. I never really think of Pelegoniums as cut flowers - I need to remember that that look great! I especially like the second vase but both are lovely Kris.

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    1. The ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) tend to drop their petals faster than most other flowers I cut, Christina, but the fallen petals create a sense of romantic decay (or so I tell myself).

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  11. With a front entry arrangement like that, how could your guests not feel a warm welcome as they stepped through your door! Such a pretty arrangement.

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    1. That's my favorite arrangement this week too.

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  12. I have been so busy the last few days I missed a couple of your posts, so I was happy to catch up now. Your spring garden is looking great! I love both of your vases. I like the voluptuous, unstructured look of these arrangements. Especially like the color of the second one!

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    1. Thanks Deb! Much as I like the formality of Ikebana and other more structured floral arrangements, a loose unstructured style is my standard.

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  13. A lovely combination with the pelargonium and sweet peas! And I do love the Festuca!

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    1. The Festuca looks even better in the garden, Amy. It really came into its own after our winter rains.

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  14. I' m all for vase stuffing, I like generous abundance. Both your vases are so pretty. I love the delicate colours of the second one.

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    1. Stuffing vases is hard to prevent at this time of year - the garden is just SO full of flowers!

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  15. Both wonderful vases - is this really 'simplification'?!!! I especially loved that little pelargonium with the sweet peas. And the little stachys is a darling.

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    1. No, I don't think I made any great leaps in simplifying my arrangements, Cathy. In fact, I've pulled out some materials from both vases (albeit mainly because they were dropping petals!).

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