Three heatwaves into summer, my Agapanthus blooms are looking pretty sad. I've already cut down 4 dozen flower stalks. There are few blooms left in pristine (vase-worthy) condition.
|Agapanthus bloom stalks facing decapitation|
My impression was that the flowers were finishing early this year but, when I looked back at my last 2 July Bloom Day posts, I found that their exit is right on schedule. Perhaps my absence in late June or the fact that I've used the flowers just a couple of times this summer contributed to the sense that their season was shorter than usual. I managed to scrounge up 5 nice blooms for a vase this week but I'm still faced with what to do with the fading bloom stalks. I'm a neat-freak so I usually just hack the bloom stalks down when they get messy but, with the garden moving into a period of relative floral dormancy, I'm wondering if I should let the Agapanthus stalks remain in place for awhile, as many gardeners do with Alliums. During the Garden Bloggers' Fling in the DC area, I saw dried Alliums spray-painted blue in 2 Virginia gardens.
|I thought these were metal sculptures at first but quickly realized that they wouldn't need metal supports if that was the case. Then I noticed touches of paint on the stalks.|
I'm not prepared to go that far but maybe I'll clean the dried petals off some of the finished blooms and let them stand awhile longer to add some interest in my dull summer borders. What do you think?
|I cleaned the dried petals (and mimosa floral fuzz) off this stalk fairly quickly, leaving the seedpods in place. I'm not prepared to do that with 200+ bloom stalks but maybe I'll leave a few nude stalks here and there when I clip the rest.|
But on to this week's vases. After I scrounged up my Agapanthus blooms I had to find suitable companions for them. Like tulips and calla lilies, Agapanthus tend to look their best alone but I didn't have enough on hand to fill a vase - and when do I ever keep things that simple?
|Blue and white Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) were the natural choice to accent the Agapanthus and princess flower (Tibouchina urvilleana) just happened to be blooming too|
|Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: noID Agapanthus, Catananche caerulea, Duranta repens, blue and white forms of Eustoma grandiflorum, Leucanthemum x superbum, self-seeded Tanacetum vulgare, and Tibouchina urvilleana|
My second vase features pink Lisianthus. Gaillardia is growing in the same area and the Lisianthus flowers clash horribly with the red and yellow flowers of those plants so cutting the pink flowers wasn't a hard decision. I'll need to find another spot of the Lisianthus next year but, with the heat on, it's the wrong time to move them now.
|Like Lisianthus, Zinnias are reliable bloomers during the summer months|
|Back view: More Lisianthus and Zinnias|
|Top view: The mouth of this vase is just over an inch at its widest point, which creates a very narrow profile|
|Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Eustoma grandiflorum, Abelia x grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', noID culinary Origanum vulgare, and Zinnias in various colors, most grown from seed|
As usual, I picked too many plants for my vases. The leftovers went into a small vase.
|This vase contains more Abelia; a stem of pale pink Eustoma grandiflorum, salvaged from one of last week's vases; a few late-blooming stems of noID Alstroemeria; and Digitalis purpurea 'Alba', which keeps on giving|
Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to discover what other gardeners have found to fill their vases this Monday.
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party