Monday, September 25, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Summer re-run

After 2 pleasantly cool, fall-like weeks, summer is mounting a re-run here this week, with temperatures expected to climb back up into the mid-to-upper 80sF as our notorious Santa Ana winds return.  Those winds can shrivel flowers in record time so I felt only a little guilty about cutting the roses and other flowers that have appeared since the temperatures dropped.

My 'California Dreamin' rose produced 3 blooms on short stems.  This rose has never been robust.

I'm still cutting snippets off the top of my silver Leucadendron as I remain concerned that it's too top-heavy to hold up to strong winds

I finally got a few blooms on the white Japanese anemone I inherited with the garden

Clockwise from the left: Rosa 'California Dreamin', Anemone hupehensis japonica, Leucadendron 'Pisa', and Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom'


A dahlia I'd purchased in a nursery pot from a garden center 6 or more weeks ago bloomed for the first time this past week so I created an arrangement around it too.  I'd been under the impression that the bloom would be a lavender/white bi-color but it looks pink with blue undertones to me.  I had a hard time finding suitable companions for it so my choices are a bit of a jumble.

The dahlia is pretty but, with just a single bloom to date, I'm not sure it was worth the purchase

The rear view isn't especially attractive so it's a good thing I've got it facing a wall

Top view

Clockwise from the top right-hand photo, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Veracruz', Zinnia elegans, Pseuderanthemum 'Texas tri-star', noID violet and white Pentas, Ocimum hybrid 'African Blue', Eustoma grandiflorum, Cosmos bipinnatus, and Abelia x grandiflora 'Hopleys' Variegated'


I've become very reliant on photo collages for my IaVoM (and many other) posts; however, this week I discovered that PicMonkey, the collage maker I've been using, has decided to charge for use of the tool.  I may opt in eventually and pay the membership fee but, for now, I'm trying another tool, Be Funky.  I tried one other but found it less than intuitive to use.  If you know of a good free collage tool, let me know!

Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, our "In a Vase on Monday" host, to find more floral and foliage arrangements created by gardeners from materials close at hand.



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

36 comments:

  1. What a bummer that the Dahlia flower is a bit meh. With Dahlias you do really want them to blow your socks off. They're still both very nice arrangements. I've never been a big fan of collages in posts. I like poring over pictures that I can embiggen and sometimes the collage elements are just too small to see anything useful. I don't mind picture-heavy posts.

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    1. The dahlia is pretty but, with a single flower for the season (and no sign of any more), it's not going to make the cut as I've only so much space in my cutting garden. As to the collages, if they're eliminated, then I'll really have to trim down my Bloom Day posts (which is probably a good thing).

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  2. Aargh - PicMonkey are going to charge...??! I use it a lot too, particularly for my pairs and triplet photos, and the squares as well. I will have to check that out and and consider my options :( I hope your Santa Ana winds don't do too much damage, although I suppose you come to expect it now if it is indeed an annual occurrence. The 'California Dreamin' rose is a pretty thing, but a shame it is short stemmed. As always you blend your blooms together perfectly, Kris

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    1. Be Funky isn't quite as user-friendly or flexible, Cathy, but it may be a serviceable substitute for you if/when PicMonkey gets around to cutting off free use on your side of the pond. Sadly, the blasted Santa Ana winds kicked off a brush fire this afternoon to the east of us - it's already covered 1500 acres and prompted evacuations.

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  3. Those are both lovely, but I'm especially in love with the first one. Does the Anemone hold up well as a cut flower? I've been trying to find it as I really want to add it to my garden.

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    1. It's been awhile since I've had Japanese anemones to cut, Loree, but my recollection is that the flower buds open at intervals after the stems are cut. The plants have a reputation for spreading but that's not been a problem here, where they hang on for dear life.

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  4. The dahlia is nice but it ain't no 'Loverboy!' 'California Dreamin' is gorgeous! Happy new week!

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    1. None can beat out 'Loverboy', Peter - he's a keeper.

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  5. What a beautiful rose with delicately coloured petals. I've found that a few dahlias have not really been the colour I'd seen on the advertising. I'm sure it's hard to reproduce accurately and I do know not all screens make colours look the same. I hope you find a good way to do your collages.

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    1. I always suspected that free collage service would go away, Alison, but I'm still annoyed that it has.

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  6. That is such a dainty rose and I love your new dahlia. Your collages are lovely.

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    1. The rose is almost too dainty, meaning that its stems are weak as well as short, but it's still pretty and the wind would have put a quicker end to the blooms than the vase will.

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  7. I love how these complement each other...that stunning rose and dahlia! Sorry to hear summer temps are returning...hot here but cool this weekend.

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    1. Santa Ana winds are a common phenomenon here but they're never welcome. Hopefully, cooler temperatures and some moister air will return by next week.

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  8. I love the new Dahlia, looks like a waterlily! And the rose is beautiful - I am California Dreamin I could grow one.

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    1. The dahlia reminded me of a water lily too, Amy - and that's probably as close as I'll get to growing one of those!

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  9. So glad your anemone has flowered for you Kris! It is a very pretty one too. Love the second vase with all that variety and the white Eustoma :)

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    1. I was very pleased when that white anemone made its appearance (even if the plant's leaves are seriously burned). I'm not expecting a major flush of bloom, though I spied buds on the pink form in the front garden this afternoon.

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  10. Beautiful! All combinations are stunning but the vase with the gorgeous California dreaming takes the cake!

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    1. 'California Dreamin' is pretty in bud and full bloom but the flowers don't hold up well, regrettably.

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  11. Kris, the coloring of your leucadendron really accentuates the beautiful California Dreamin.' Love that top view shot of your 2nd vase.

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    1. I love that Leucadendron but then there aren't any Leucadendrons I don't like.

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  12. I love that dahlia - hopefully it will go on to great things... ;-) Your California Dreamin' Roses are beautiful, and so are those Appleblossom pentas. Really love the gentle, delicate feel of both vases. So sorry to hear about the Santa Anas and that fire - hope everything gets controlled quickly!

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    1. I'd hoped that what was billed as a "mild Santa Ana" wind event wouldn't lead to fire but such was not the case. It sounds as though the fire has been at least partially contained but the evacuation order still seems to be in effect this morning as the winds are expected to kick up again this afternoon.

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  13. Oh but it's still a most pretty dahlia Kris. It's still annoying though when these things happen. Interesting to see that we both have white Japanese anemones in flower at the same time. What a shame about PicMonkey which I also use for collages :( I will have to investigate Be Funky. Thanks for the suggestion :)

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    1. The Japanese anemones here are hanging on by a thread here, Anna, but then that's been true for the 6 years we've lived here.

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  14. Sorry to hear your high temperatures have returned - hot wind is the WORST as far as I'm concerned. Love the colours of your vases today.

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    1. Our Santa Ana winds are an annual trial, Christina. The wind was quite intense last night, although it's calm right now. However, fire personnel are worried that the winds will kick up this afternoon and fan the fire that started yesterday.

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  15. I always admire your lovely flower arrangements. You have such a great variety of colorful blooms and foliage through the year to choose from! When you mentioned your collage issues, I greatly sympathized. I recently upgraded my old iMac operating system to Sierra, the newest version, only to discover my old photoshop was incompatible with it! I have had photoshop for years and always used it for making collages. I ended up having to upgrade to the newest version of photoshop, which cost me over $80, and now I am having to learn how to use this new version. Nothing is as intuitive and easy as my old combination of iPhoto/photoshop. It took me hours, but I finally managed to put up my latest post yesterday. I am all for technology upgrades, but only if they improve things.

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    1. I may break down and pay the membership fee to PicMonkey but, given my rather limited needs in terms of a collage tool, $50/year seems a little out of whack. I should probably look into tools for purchase that would be compatible with my Linux operating system - a single sunk cost is more palatable.

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  16. Your arrangement is amazing! The roses look huge and the Dahlia is so stunning. I suspect ole Santa Ana can try but it can't keep you down!

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    1. Yesterday was extremely dry - my household weather station recorded 1% humidity - but today was significantly better. Unfortunately, the wind and dry conditions fanned a fire to the east of us. Other than impacting the air quality, the fire had little impact here but I sympathize with the poor folks who've been evacuated from their homes.

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  17. You're definitely 'in the pink' this week, Kris! 'Veracruz' is pretty and the petal structure is unusually attractive, as well. I'm loving that blowzy Eustoma with lavender markings. Hope you and your garden survive the hot Santa Ana winds.

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    1. The brushfire to the east of us is far enough away to have little direct impact but it's yet another reminder of the risk that accompanies every Santa Ana wind event. We're also in a fire danger zone so, in addition to feeling as if we're undergoing a slow mummification process in the dry air, our noses twitch at even the faintest scent of smoke.

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    1. Hmm. Google says it retired Picasa. I just tried GooglePhotos but I'm fumbling a bit.

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