Monday, October 9, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: There's always something

Stepping into the garden to cut flowers and foliage for "In a Vase on Monday," hosted each week by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden, I'd no big ideas about what to use.  First up, I checked the Helianthus 'Sunfinity Yellow' I'd picked up a few weeks ago to fill an empty pot, but last week's heatwave and some kind of critter left me nothing suitable for cutting.  The few dahlias left in the cutting garden also let me down (even 'Loverboy').  However, some of the Zinnia flowers still looked good, even if the plants themselves don't, so I focused on those.

I picked just about all of the coral, peach and yellow zinnias I had left in the cutting garden

Rear view: Not an exciting arrangement perhaps but cheerful

Top view

Clockwise from the upper right: Zinnia elegans (probably from the Cactus and California Giant seed mixes), the ripening berries of a noID Cotoneaster that planted itself at the base of one of my Arbutus trees, and Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'


Despite last week's blast of heat, Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Wonder' continued to produce a steady stream of new blooms and as I still had a few Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) blooming in the garden, I cut more of both.  As most of last week's Eustoma were still looking good, I also repurposed those for this week's second vase.  It's not an exact match of last week's vase, though, as I altered the supporting cast.

Pretty Erigeron glaucus and Leucanthemum blooms added a fresh touch to this week's arrangement

Last week's "black" Eustoma blooms bring up the rear, accompanied by stems of  the weedy Artemisia that planted itself in my garden and the always available Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy'

The top view highlights the lavender blush form of Eustoma, looking just as fresh as it did in last week's vase

The vase contains, top row: Artemisia ludoviciana, Erigeron glaucus 'Wayne Roderick', and Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star'
Middle row: Various forms of Eustoma grandiflorum, including 'Rosanne Black Pearl' (left)
Bottom row: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Leucanthemum x superbum, and Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Wonder'


I hadn't planned to duplicate the color schemes I used last week but that's what happened.



Visit Cathy to discover what she and other gardeners used to fill their vases this week.


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

42 comments:

  1. Love the extending foliage in photo no. 2. And the vase for the lavender bouquet is so perfect for that grouping. You always manage to do two very different creations each week!

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    1. Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' (dwarf peppermint willow) adds grace to any arrangement, Linda. It's one of my go-to foliage filler plants for vases.

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  2. Strangely I like the rear view of your first vase better (not sure why)- don't the views from above look effective? As always, the eustoma in your second vase are gorgeous - it's the one plant Ifell something akin to envy about... ;) so thank you for continuing to share them!

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    1. The blue Eustoma is perhaps the closest thing we have to a blue rose, Cathy - it surely deserves whatever envy it earns!

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  3. Oh I love the peachy creation! And indeed, there is always something...aren't we lucky!?

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    1. It always surprises me how much I uncover, even when the garden seems at a particularly low point, as it does now, Loree. I'm still hesitant to pull the last remaining zinnias for fear I'll be flower-less next week but then that's seldom really an issue. And, it's high time I do something with succulents anyway, isn't it?

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  4. Lovely cactus zinnia - simply arranged to highlight their form - perfect!
    I adore the lavender arrangement, every single flower... the artemisia and leucanthemum play a fine role of adding light to the darker purple. Gorgeous!

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    1. I was pleased to see the Shasta daisies make a return visit, Eliza. While they're not exactly flowering en masse as they did earlier this year, their revival adds a welcome lightness to the garden.

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  5. Sorry that Loverboy let you down but you sure picked up the pieces in a glorious way. Love both of these and can never get enough of those gorgeous Eustoma!

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    1. 'Loverboy' did get around! I think he's enjoying a welcome rest.

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  6. Nice arrangements! I'm especially fond of the 2nd one, which is what I probably said to you last week! The purples, pinks and white are so crisp looking and bright. My eye immediately went to Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'. What a sweet little flower. Do you know if it's considered a straw flower?

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    1. I'm unsure as to how straw flowers are defined but, like Gomphrena with larger blooms (like the more common G. globosa 'Fireworks'), the tiny petals of 'Itsy Bitsy' do have a stiff and dry appearance. They're long-lasting blooms that gradually turn brown.

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  7. I often find that certain colours dominate at different times of the year, you must be in a blue and coral phase. I love the coral Zinnias and would like to have some next year. The other vase is so cool and calm. It's good to see Itsy Bitsy still going strong.

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    1. I love the blue-purple and coral period! More blues and yellows should be making an appearance this month but I'm not sure all my flowers are sticking to the official schedule, Alison.

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    1. I'd love to have a garden bed specifically combining peach and lavender tones but I've never managed this.

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  9. Happy Monday to you. You have the most cut and come back again garden I have ever seen. Lovely.

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    1. I've done more about cutting back fading blooms mid-season this year (my version of the famous "Chelsea chop," although not on the same schedule) and it's made a difference, Jenny.

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  10. Two beautiful vases Kris. That dark eustoma is decidely delicious. I was sad to read earlier tonight about the current wildfires in California. Mother Nature seems to have been particularly cruel this year.

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    1. The morning started with news of extensive fires in the Napa Valley north of us, Anna. This afternoon I drove home to face a dirty brown sky and discovered that fires had arrived in Southern California too. While there were reports of 2 small fires on the peninsula on which I live, the largest fire is about 50 miles east of us, near the site of the last big fire a couple of weeks ago. This time, though, the smoke and ash was blowing our way. I've yet to hear whether Mother Nature, human stupidity, or possibly arson is at fault, although our Santa Ana winds are a factor in any case.

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  11. Hi Kris, always a pleasure to pop in as I'm sure to discover something new. This time Gomphrena, looking stunning as are your bouquets. Splendid to have so much left to cut. A friend of mine in California had to be evacuated because of the fires, I so hope they'll be okay. So scary. You still seem a good bit away but the wind is unpredictable so here'hoping it'll be under control soon. Regards from France, Annette

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    1. So many areas in California are at risk of fires. As it turns out, my sister-in-law is less than a mile away from one of the fires up in Northern California and has made ready to evacuate if necessary. This is one of the reasons we so hate those dry winds that plague us at this time of year.

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  12. Hi Kris, I heard on the radio about the fires in California and immediately thought of you. It must be horrible having smoke and ash blowing your way. I hope you stay safe. Lovely flowers and lovely arrangements. The purple vase looks so cool compared to the hotter colours, but I must say I love them both.

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    1. The smoke from the fire to the east is bothering us a lot this time but we're safe at least. I know others, including my sister-in-law as I learned last night, face a more tangible threat.

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  13. You don't have to apologise for replicating colours when they are so lovely. Zinnias are such hard workers, pumping out blooms for months and only requiring minimum water to keep going. The second vase with your lovely Estoma (like Cathy) I'm definitely envious of this plant! The Gromprena is also one I will be adding to my seed list; the white ones I grew this year have had flowers for months so definitely earn their place in the cuttings beds.

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    1. Gomphrenas are wonderful plants, Christina. I don't know why it took me so long to discover them. You'll have to let us know how well they grow from seed. Those I have don't seem to self-seed, at least not here.

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  14. Gorgeous combinations! the zinnias are lovely but the blue Eustoma is always the scene stealer!

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    1. You can't go wrong with a flower that does a great imitation of a blue rose, MDN!

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  15. Catching up on blogs this afternoon and here I sit admiring both your beautiful zinnias and Eustoma vases. The zinnia arrangement is quite balanced and has lovely colors. Some years I plant Gomphrenas but am without them year. Itsy Bitsy is a charming one. Have been reading your comments about the fires. Such a tragic and scary situation. Hope you and yours remain safe.

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    1. My sister-in-law in Northern California is still at risk. She's packed her car but hasn't yet been forced to evacuate. This is bringing back memories of what happened to her parents years ago - that story didn't have a happy ending. We're so far away we can't help, although fortunately she has family nearby that can.

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  16. The fires terrify me, maybe more than hurricanes. Stay safe and keep a Burford Holly barrier (? I think) Your vases are gorgeous and you have eked out an aesthetic victory. Love the Zinnias!

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    1. Is Burford holly fire resistant? My local garden guide doesn't mention it. The fire department conducts inspections in our area every year before the start of fire season. We passed muster but, in a bad fire, I fear there are still materials in the surrounding area (like the dead pines that can still be found throughout the area) that could go up like matches.

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  17. The zinnias are a lovely colour mix and look so pretty with just a little foliage and berries to accompany them, and the second vase is a prefect contrast to the other one. I like the Plectranthus and wish it was a hardy plant! Hope your area is safe from fire and is not getting too much smoke too. Our news has been covering the situation.

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    1. The smoke situation improved today, thank goodness. The smell was making me sick last night but at least there was no danger to anything but air quality in my vicinity. Our Canyon 2 Fire is 25% contained. The situation in Northern California is not nearly as good.

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  18. I think the Cotoneaster berries are just the right accent for those cheerful zinnias. :) And I love the play on blues in that second vase. I had better try Eustoma again despite my initial lack of success - they are just so beautiful and really ought to grow well here.
    I'm glad to hear the Canyon 2 fire is being contained!

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    1. The latest report I saw this evening says the Canyon 2 fire is 40% contained. I hope Northern California sees similar progress soon.

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  19. Those were the most beautiful bouquets !!!
    Mariana

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    1. Thanks Mariana. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

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  20. Two bouquets in October! What luxury. I'd be happy to have either.

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    1. Although I bemoan the hot and dry conditions, Southern California does have its advantages, Helen.

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  21. Yesterday a fire started on the mountain slope just beyond Camps Bay, where we first lived (and lived thru a few fires). Blazed up today and they closed the road and evacuated a hotel which stands in isolation) Firefighters will be on duty thru the night and our summer Southeaster is raging thru drought embattled fynbos.

    I love both your vases, and will try to harvest a bunch for my sister tomorrow.

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    1. Fires are fairly common in California in the fall when everything is tinder dry and the winds touch off the slightest spark. What's unusual about the current situation is the sheer number of fires burning throughout the state. Those in Northern California have caused numerous deaths and massive home losses. But we've been luck - we got word this afternoon that my sister-in-law is safe and her house is intact.

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