Monday, September 4, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Heatwave Rescues

I'm in a bit of a rut with my floral arrangements.  Dahlias and zinnias have been carrying the show each week but, with summer reaching its climax, there's not much else in the garden in terms of flowers.  In addition, a heatwave, currently well into its second week, is withering everything in sight.  Heatwaves in summer are common here but extended heatwaves like the present one are not.  At this location, our temperature peaked on Friday at 104F (40C), which is lower than it was elsewhere in California but still uncomfortable, even when you have an air conditioning system as we do - our system isn't robust enough to push the indoor temperature below the mid 80sF.  But we're better off than many others - the temperature in San Francisco reached 106F a few days ago and the inland valley location my brother lives in has faced daytime temperatures of 111F.  Worse yet, there are more wildfires, including the La Tuna Fire approximately 50 miles to the east of us, said to be the largest Los Angeles has ever faced.  A thunderstorm brought the temperature down some early Sunday evening and delivered a tenth of an inch of rain here; hopefully, it also aided firefighters.

I gathered more flowers than I'd planned this week on the theory that they'll fare better inside than outside.  Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill' is the last of the dahlias I grew from tubers this year to flower.  The plant isn't vigorous so this may be its first and last appearance for "In a Vase on Monday" this year.

Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill' is a pink dinnerplate variety with a lavender cast

I'm once again using zinnias to fill out my vases

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill', Abelia x grandiflora 'Radiance', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Helichrysum petiolare 'Silver Mist', noID Origanum, and 2 forms of pink Zinnia elegans


Dahlia 'Punkin Spice' produced more blooms, which are far lighter in color than the bloom I shared a couple of weeks ago.  A number of other dahlias showed signs of bleached petals during our heatwave but these flowers looked the most remarkably different.

Both of these flowers came from the plant labeled as Dahlia 'Punkin Spice'.  The one on the left was cut yesterday and the one on the right was cut on August 20th.  As the latter bloom aged, its peach and yellow highlights became more prominent but it never developed the color of the one on the left.

I used zinnias to fill out this arrangement too

The sunflowers are just about done.  These 2 tucked into the back of the vases had the longest stems I could find.  I expect to pull all or most of the remaining sunflowers this week.

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Punkin Spice', Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Bulbine frutescens 'Hallmark', Helianthus annuus (from the 'Flash Blend' mix), and 3 varieties of Zinnia elegans


I also cut some Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) after seeing the damage Friday's heat blast had done to a pretty spray of the blue blooms.

These flowers looked fine Thursday night.  Many of the buds my other Lisianthus simply dried up.

There are almost no blue Lisianthus left but 2 other varieties have made an appearance

Rear view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Eustoma grandiflorum in 3 forms, white blushed with lavender, dark blue, and white edged in blue; Duranta repens 'Sapphire Showers'; Leucadendron 'Pisa'; and Symphyotrichum chilense


For more vases created from locally available materials, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, our IaVoM host.  For those of you in the US, best wishes for an enjoyable Labor Day!

My vases in their places



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


32 comments:

  1. I just conceive what that sort of heat must feel like, Kris...Fortunately we and our gardens here rarely have to contend with anything more than high 20s C. Does your 'blue' vase look cooling to you? That's certainly the impression I get, but I have to say that it is your orange middle vase that really sings to me today - gorgeous. I am glad you have been able to enjoy at least some blooms from your garden, despite the heat, Kris

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    1. The orange vase is my own favorite this week, Cathy, but of course I do love my Lisianthus. The Lisianthus looks cool but infortunately it hasn't done well in handling the intense, prolonged heat of this most recent heatwave.

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  2. Your vases are always filled with such beauty! The color difference of that dahlia is incredible. Happy Monday!

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    1. I was a bit disappointed by Dahlia 'Punkin Spice' in its first incarnation, Peter, and I prefer its new color scheme but I still find it hard to account for the rather dramatic shift.

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  3. Three beautiful collections. You can never have too many zinnias or dahlias!

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    1. I'm already searching out sources for new and different dahlias to plant next year, Sam. The biggest problem will be finding space in which to plant them.

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  4. Gorgeous rescues! I think it's hilarious that you've got a Dahlia named 'Punkin Spice'. In an old blog post I used the word "punkin" repeatedly, rather than pumpkin, and I still get people angrily commenting. They can't believe I committed such a horrible sin as to have fun with the language.

    We're not as hot as California but were at 95 and 98 over the weekend with today predicted to hit 99. Plus the smoke, omg the smoke. Some idiot started a fire in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday and it's burning through some gorgeous land and sending so much smoke into Portland.

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    1. I can't fathom why people would take offense to the use of a diminutive form of "pumpkin", Loree. Last night's thunderstorm has cooled us down dramatically. It's been in the low-to-mid 70s today. We didn't get temperatures that low even overnight last week - one night it was still 92F at 9pm! The lower temperature and last night's rain seems to be helping firefighters get things under control here - I hope you get a similar break on both the heat and the fires up there soon.

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  5. Hooray for rescuing flowers from the heat. It's interesting to see the differences in the color of the same Dahlia on different days. We're getting a heat wave here again too, not as bad as yours, although we're supposed to get up to 97 or 98 tomorrow. My oakleaf Hydrangea blossoms that had recently turned pink are all brown now.

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    1. Our temperature fell significantly today after last night's rain, Alison, and I hope yours will follow suit. An "Indian Summer" would be fine but scorching temperatures don't fit with my image of that event.

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  6. I always cut lots of flowers in summer to rescue them from the blazing sun. Days are getting warm here with temperatures touching 82 F and rain that continues unabated, my poor roses are having a hard time .. as usual. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. I'm sorry that your roses are struggling, MDN! It's too bad you can't send some of that excess rain to Southern California.

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  7. I really love the 'top view' photo of the Eustoma. All those beauties despite the heat. I hope they get a handle on those fires-too close to the city. What its happening with all this devastation. Do you pop on down to the beach to cool off?

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    1. Extreme weather-related events like floods and fires do seem to be getting both more frequent and more intense, Jenny. I often spend time with friends in a nearby beach city (close to where I used to live) when temperatures spike but even those areas were very toasty last week - and most beach city residents don't have AC!

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  8. Phew!!!! That's hot...and you still manage to get such wonderful blooms. Hope the fires are soon controlled. All three vases have very little between them..as always admire the foliage

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    1. The La Tuna Fire (about 50 miles away) is currently about 30% contained and firefighters feel they've gotten a handle on it, Noelle. Evacuation orders have been lifted. Last night's rain helped quite a bit it seems.

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  9. Kris, those arrangements are amazingly lush and beautiful, especially considering the weather. I like the use of the grey and white filler, the finer textured flowers look wonderful with the Dahlias.

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    1. I don't know why I don't think to use that Helichrysum more often, Amy. For all practical purposes, it's a weed and I always have an ample supply.

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  10. I'm amazed you can grow anything to put in a vase with that heat, yet still you have vase after vase of gorgeous things. I hope the blue arrangement makes you feel cool. Last year my Dahlia 'Rip City', which is very dark red/maroon turned purple at the end of the season, I have no idea why.

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    1. The timing of our heatwaves makes a huge difference, Alison. Last year, our first and most horrendous heatwave hit on the first day of summer, when spring growth was still tender, and the garden never really recovered during the course of the season. Heatwaves later in the season seem to be somewhat easier for plants to handle, at least when they're well-established. Most of the plants I added during the summer months (when I knew I shouldn't be planting) didn't fare as well...

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  11. Lovely all! The pink Dahlia and Zinnias look great with the variegated Abelia and Helichrysum. I love the curved and notched petals of 'Pumpkin Spice' (the arrangement looks very autumnal) and the variety of Eustoma, esp. the white with purple blotches is great, despite the heat wave. Hope you get some relief soon!

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    1. The blue-edged Eustoma was a new (for me) introduction this year. It's been slower to bloom than the other varieties, perhaps because I've planted it in areas that get some shade during the hottest part of the afternoon - of course, that may also be what saved those blooms while other Eustoma fried during this latest heatwave.

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  12. As I read about each arrangement I thought, "Oh, that's my favorite!" They're all wonderful. How can you have any flowers left in that heat? Hope there will be a break in this weather pattern to bring you some relief. (That Eustoma!)

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    1. Last night's thunderstorm seems to have been a turning point on the heat, Susie. It's been in the low-to-mid 70s all day today and my fingers are crossed that that trend will continue. The extended heat did knock off quite a few plants and, while the dahlias and zinnias are still blooming, the plants themselves look as though they've gone a few rounds...

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  13. That is a pretty awesome rut to be stuck in.

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    1. I do feel lucky to have the dahlias and zinnias on hand. I haven't even gotten around to creating a vase using succulents this year (yet).

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  14. You are so lucky to have such beauties in your garden, Kris!Beautiful arrangements, thanks for sharing!

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  15. What a wonderful array of flowers Kris! I like that orange Dahlia, and the little blue Asters in the last vase are gorgeous. Your heatwave was even reported in passing on our news. Hope,it cools down again soon.

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    1. It cooled down dramatically yesterday, Cathy, and although it's warmer today, we've no reason to expect another heatwave in the immediate future, thankfully.

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  16. Fabulous vases as always Kris and those flowers will certainly appreciate the relative cool of being indoors. I l especially like the silver foliage provided by the hellichrysum in your first vase and can't help wondering who Otto was.

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    1. Ha! I never considered who Otto is but only why he found this bloom so thrilling.

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