Monday, September 18, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Zinnias steal the show

I'd planned to showcase one of my large-flowered Grevilleas, 'Ned Kelly', accenting it with Dahlia 'Terracotta', but the latter's blooms were looking shabby so I cut Zinnias instead.  As it turned out, the Zinnias stole the limelight.

Grevillea 'Ned Kelly' was subordinated to a supporting role

Even Leucadendron 'Chief', used as a foliage filler, seems to overshadow 'Ned Kelly' in this rear view

Top view highlighting the coral Zinnias

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', Tanacetum pathenium, and several varieties of Zinnia elegans


As I've been spending lots of time in the garden on new projects, I'd intended to stop at just one vase this week but I couldn't bring myself to leave the front entry table unadorned.  I immediately thought of the Oncidium orchid I recently found blooming in a shady corner of my garden.  A brief stop at my local botanic garden's orchid show and sale on Saturday had finally provided me with a name for the cultivar, Oncidium 'Wildcat' (although an on-line search suggests a more complicated lineage).  I cut one stem and began hunting for suitable companions.

As you can see, Dahlia 'Loverboy' managed to insinuate itself in yet another arrangement.  While all the other Dahlias are either bloom-less or looking shabby, 'Loverboy' continues to produce one perfect bloom after another.

The rear view shows off the flower-like bracts of Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'

I'd intended to give the orchid star billing but, looking at it from above, it's hard to claim that the orchid outshines either 'Loverboy' or 'Safari Sunset'

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Loverboy'; Oncidium 'Wildcat'; Leucadenron salignum 'Chief'; Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'; berries of a noID, self-planted Cotoneaster; and Alternanthera 'Little Ruby'


The color palette used for this week's vases, like our cooler weather, has a distinctly autumnal feel.  As fall officially arrives on Friday, perhaps that's appropriate.



It'll be interesting to see if other "In a Vase on Monday" participants are also feeling the seasonal shift.  Visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, to see.


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

32 comments:

  1. The first zinnia bouquet is beautiful, I like those zinnia varieties very much :)

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    1. I wish I could tell you the zinnias' cultivar names, Dewberry, but all mine were grown from seed mixes and, to complicate things further, I didn't even keep track of which mixes I used where - everything's a jumble!

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  2. Yes, the zinnias do look wonderful, and perfectly complemented by the grevillia and leucadendron. And what an intriguing orchid in your second vase!

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    1. The orchid clearly prefers life in a corner of the garden to life in the house, Cathy - it has a more bloom spikes now than I've seen before, despite haphazard watering.

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  3. Hi Kris, your Zinnias are so pretty!
    That orchid Oncidium 'Wildcat' looks amazing. Do you have the orchid growing in the ground or in a container?
    I just came back from a trip and have to sort out my dahlias. It is my first year of growing dahlias more seriously and it has been a little bit of hit or miss, some are doing splendidly others are only so so and are a little bit stingy with the blooms. But I have come to simply love dahlias.
    It is so nice that the temperatures finally have cooled down. I am really looking forward to autumn.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. The weather this past week has been wonderful, Christina - let's hope it lasts! Some of my dahlias did better than others and all need better staking than I gave them. I'm going to keep the best (which will include 'Loverboy'), toss the under-performers, and scope out some new varieties to try next year. LOTS of water made the difference here.

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  4. Wow those zinnias and dahlias are gorgeous....love the colors and they both do indeed steal the show. Somehow I must get them to grow more here.

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    1. I had little luck with zinnias when I tried growing them in my borders, Donna - they just didn't get enough water. Segregating them in a cutting garden and lavishing them with water made all the difference. Growing from seed helped too.

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  5. It seems autumn is creeping up on us all round. I love your fiery colours though, and your Zinnias are fantastic. Definitely show stealers.

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    1. Although US gardeners in colder climates regret autumn's arrival, Southern California gardeners embrace it with glee, Alison. It marks the beginning of our "second spring" here.

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  6. I do love cactus zinnias - your exuberant, feathery arrangement complements them well. Your second vase does seem equally weighted between the three components, all handsome in their own right.
    It seems to me the red-range dahlias outperform the other colored hybrids. I wonder if the original dahlia in the wild was red? I read that dahlias have four times the genes for physical characteristics than most flowers, so that explains their great variety in hybrids.

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    1. At the opposite end of the color spectrum, I noticed that my white dahlias ('Hakuyou') performed poorly so perhaps your theory has merit, Eliza. In my garden, red 'Loverboy' has been the most vigorous, followed by magenta 'Little Robert' and peachy 'Terracotta'.

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  7. I must also sing the praises of those pretty zinnias Kris! Gorgeous colour, and lovely with the Grevillea and Leucadendron. (I am slowly managing to remember some of the names of the plants you can grow! ;-) )

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    1. If you learn the names of the Grevilleas and Leucadendrons, you'll be well-prepared if travel ever brings you to Australia and South Africa respectively where the plants originated, Cathy! My garden borrows heavily from countries in other Mediterranean climates.

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  8. Every week you have some flower or foliage that just makes the arrangement and I try to think what I can grow to get a similar effect. Plus I like that most of us only have a limited number of spots to put bouquets and photograph them and so we get to see what works best in a location as it changes from week to week. I am always showing the mantle, two tables or the kitchen windowsill. That's were I always have flowers but not always easy to photograph.

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    1. I usually do a round of photographs in the kitchen each week partly because that area usually offers the strongest daylight and partly because the white countertops don't compete with the vases. Photographing in some areas, like our master bedroom mantle, is often a struggle.

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  9. Ohh, love it, a tutti fruitti tropical autumn color scheme! You always inspire me to grow Zinnias,however, mine never look as good as yours.

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    1. Zinnias like it hot but it seems that they don't much care for humidity, Amy. As our normally dry air gets moister with the return of the marine layer, I notice that I'm getting some mildew on both zinnia and dahlia leaves.

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  10. I love the autumnal colors of your bouquets! The Oncidium orchid is lovely, and I like the selections you chose to go with it. I hope autumn will bring cooler weather. The remnants of Hurricane Irma, all rain and little wind by the time it got to us, brought cooler air for a number of days and I had hoped that was the last of summer. I was in Oregon/Washington last week, visiting my sons and enjoying refreshing, cooler temps. It was a shock to arrive back home to discover the same old summer heat and humidity had returned! But I think it will not last much longer.

    I have been enjoying your last few posts; I chuckled over your cat watching the crack below the door for lizards! It reminded me much of when our cat Autumn was alive; she often assumed the same position, watching out for potential prey.

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    1. After leaving a comment on your last post, I realized I'd referred to Harvey rather than Irma. In any case, I'm glad to hear that the hurricane/storm didn't cause any difficulties for you. Our own temperatures have dropped into the pleasant range but it's hard to know whether summer's heat is truly behind us - October heatwaves are relatively common.

      As to Pipig, if only she'd act to keep the lizards out, rather than treating them as toys! She dropped another one in the living room yesterday while I was out. My husband caught it and escorted it back outside, albeit without his tail. I don't know where the tail went and I'm not sure I want to know...

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  11. Loverboy sure gets around! The rich colors of the second arrangement are yummy. Who would have thought that anything could steal the spotlight from 'Ned Kelly' (love that grevillea.) but your zinnias did it beautifully.

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    1. I love 'Ned Kelly' too, Peter. Although 'Superb' produces the most flowers, at least in my garden, 'Ned's' flowers are more interesting.

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  12. Oh my goodness what wonderful things you can grow in your garden. Finding an beautiful orchid like that tucked away in a shady corner,how amazing.
    I love your red arrangements, the zinnias are gorgeous and I am always envious of your leucadendrons and grevilleas.

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    1. I've a little shelf my husband built me years ago for my orchid plants that I've tucked into a shady but neglected corner of my current garden. I'm afraid the plants get little of my attention, and therefore haphazard watering, unless they raise a flag in the form of flowers. Once I have a lath (shade) house for them and other plants that need protection from our intense sun, I hope I'll be a more responsible caretaker!

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  13. Kris, your zinnias are wonderful and deserve the limelight. The beautiful Grevillea makes a great companion plant. The orchid is impressive. We apparently do have some native orchids growing in NC but not so spectacular I think. Take care and have a good week.

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    1. Native orchids! If there are any orchids native to coastal SoCal, I've yet to come across them but, luckily, some like the Oncidium, take our climate in stride provided they receive sufficient shade and water.

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  14. Beautiful arrangements, Kris. I love Zinnias. So many colors! "Wildcat" is new to me. So interesting and lovely.

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    1. I'm pleased to be able to identify the orchid as something more than "Oncidium species" at long last, although it seems that 'Wildcat' is an inter-species hybrid. However, its lineage was less than clear to me so I'll be making do with Oncidium 'Wildcat'.

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  15. Lots of HOT color in your September garden.

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    1. Yes, and that surprises me as I usually gravitate to cooler colors.

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  16. I'm glad you decided a second bouquet was necessary: that's such a lovely combination! As is the first. You are making me glad that I have some zinnia seedlings coming along finally, though none in those wonderful colors!

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    1. My zinnia plants are on the way out as yours are coming on, Amy - I'm going to miss them (until next year anyway)!

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