Monday, November 20, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Not simple enough

As I was preparing last week's Bloom Day post, I was surprised to discover that my New Zealand tea trees were sporting a heavy flush of pink blooms.  They were a natural choice for this week's edition of "In a Vase on Monday" in which Cathy of Rambling in the Garden challenges us to create arrangements from materials on hand.  The question I faced was: what do I have to accent these flowers?  I cut stems of Coprosma and Camellias but used only the latter.  Much as I love Camellias, in retrospect I think I probably should have let the Leptospermum stand alone.

While both the Camellia and Leptospermum flowers are pretty, I'm not sure they do much for one another

The back view is nearly identical

The vase contains only the glossy-leaved stems of a noID Camellia sasanqua and the prickly stems Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'


As my bush violets are on the wane, I thought I'd also assemble another vase using them while I still could but the flowers were sparser than I'd realized so I ended up picking bits and pieces of a lot of other things to fill out the vase, creating a mish-mash.  I was pleased to find a one blue Lisianthus in bloom, though.

While some ensemble casts may be considered greater than the sum of their parts, I don't think that can be said of this one

The arrangement ended up lop-sided too

Top view

The vase contains: Top row - Barleria obtusa and Duranta repens 'Sapphire Showers'
Middle row - Erigeron glacus 'Wayne Roderick', Eustoma grandiflorum, and Lavandula multifida
Bottom row -  Leucadendron 'Pisa', seedheads of Catanache caerulea, and Osteospermum '4D Silver'


Both vases this week might have been more effective had I kept their contents simpler I think.  We'll see if I can manage to keep that lesson in mind next week.



For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

38 comments:

  1. I'm going to be contrary and say that I really like the camellias in the arrangement. lol I think they're a beautiful addition, truly.

    I love 'Wayne Roderick'. Such a soft lovely color. Love the unique seedheads of the Catanche too!


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    1. As the heat is coming on once again in Southern California (just in time for Thanksgiving!), I guess it was a good idea to cut some of the Camellias before they drop all their lovely petals.

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  2. Both worthy vases Kris....the mish-mash is beautiful in its monotone of purple hues, and I like the bright camellias as they bring out the dark centers of the Leptospermum. I agree you could have let them stand alone...but either would have been quite lovely. Snow here today...3 inches and no garden growing right now. But lots of work to still do once it melts hopefully in our warm up of 50 degrees tmrw.

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    1. 50F doesn't sound at all warm to me, Donna! I'd be looking for a nice warm fire to curl up next to if our temperatures dipped that low. I could do without the 90F temperature we're expecting on Thanksgiving, though :(

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  3. Yes, I agree, the camellias are probably superfluous in the first vase which would stand well on its own. I am not sure about the second one as the top view is lovely as is the contrast of blue and green but I can see why you are uncertain about it. Great to have all those blooms to enjoy theough so thank you for sharing them with us

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    1. In my excitement about individual plants, I tend to cram everything I've got into my vases. I think it's time to step back and consider the overall effect first.

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  4. I think the Camellias are a great addition to the Leptospermum, while the branches alone would have certainly been lovely the Camellia rounds it out nicely.

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    1. I kept thinking pale pink Eustoma would make a better pairing with the Leptospermum but there were none of those to be had...

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  5. Those Leptospsermum are very pretty and could certainly take the stage alone. They suit the tall vase. The blues are lovely and special if you know you won't get many more.

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    1. I don't use that white vase as often as I'd like because it does need tall flowers and I so seldom have them but reducing the scale of the whole arrangement might have made me more comfortable with the pairing of the Camellias and the Leptospermum.

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  6. All the purples in the 2nd just right with that vase. I think yes the Leptospermum can carry the movie without any co-stars. But I like the Camellias, too. :)

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    1. I felt the Camellias were "having a moment" and needed an opportunity to shine, even if I didn't have the right setting for them. With temperatures once again expected to soar this week, however briefly, I was concerned that they might not look so great next week.

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  7. So beautiful. I love the single shade arrangements. Mine is pink this week. Very pretty vases too. Oh, what a wonderful tidy kitchen. I dare not show mine it is so cluttered! https://bramblegarden.com/2017/11/20/in-a-vase-on-monday-in-the-pink/

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    1. Thanks Karen! I like the white color of the kitchen but otherwise it needs some new appliances (from the current century) and solid surface countertops. However, neither my husband nor I are quite up to the hassle of a remodel (yet).

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  8. I think the pattern on the blue vase makes a mix of flowers a success in that container. But the other vase itself is so simple that I think it wants a simple bouquet. So the camellias are gorgeous but probabbly unnecessary, as you said.

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    1. Yes, I think you're right on that point, Linda.

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  9. Lovely and I am continually amazed at what you can grow there -Camellias! only a dream for me.Hope it cools down and rains for you.

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    1. Rain would be SO nice, Amelia! We've had just 0.16/inch since the new rain year started on October 1st. Northern California is getting much more but ridges of high pressure (which also kept us dry during the drought years) are once again in place, preventing the rain from up north from reaching us.

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  10. Kris, you have a New Zealand tea tree! They are gorgeous plants and yours are pink as I like them. I think the camellias look lovely in the arrangement, they are splendid not only the flowers but also the leaves: dark glossy green, no sign of chlorosis (they have the right soil and right water) Once they are stablished Camellias- even Japonicas - are very tough plants.

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    1. I very much miss the tall Camellia japonicas I had in my former shady (and more well-watered) garden. Since the start of our last drought, I've been afraid to even try adding more. I planted one hybrid, 'Taylor's Perfection', after moving here but the other Camellias, all sasanquas, I inherited with the garden here.

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  11. As always, your vase contents are a delight and the pink arrangement looks especially nice on the dining room table with the artwork background.

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    1. Thanks Peter! That painting is perfect for that spot but I recently noticed that it's faded dramatically due to sun exposure and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that!

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  12. Wow, a tea tree flowers? I had never even thought about it and it is such a pretty flower too! I love that first vase Kris. The second wins me over with the Osteospermum - gorgeous!

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    1. Most, if not all, Leptospermums flower, Cathy, although some are more prolific bloomers than others. This one has the heaviest bloom cycles of any I know.

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  13. I think the camellias are wonderful with the leptospermum,; a perfect match. And I love the second arrangement as it is. I am never one for less is more. When it comes to flowers I am in favour of glorious abundance.Especially at this dismal time of year. But it seems there is nothing dismal about your November garden.

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    1. You would love it here now, Chloris! It's sunny, our temperature has already climbed into the upper 70sF, and it's headed toward 90F (32C) tomorrow. For my part, though, I'd prefer cooler temperatures and a bit of rain.

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  14. Less is often more; but once we begin something it is so easy to add more. I agree that the Camellias and tea tree would probably be better displayed separately but the colours work really well together. I love the tea tree; I have one (I planted three but two died) which usually flowers in late spring here.

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    1. This Leptospermum blooms 2x a year here, Christina. Off hand, I've no idea if that's characteristic of this particular cultivar or tied to our climate somehow.

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  15. I must say I am hopeless at getting a floral arrangement symmetrical. The blues all complement each other, but I agree, the camellia and tea tree don't go brilliantly. I find that often native plants don't go with exotics, although lots do look OK together. I'm trying to think why they don't go. I think it's the subtlety of the tea tree compared to the big blooms of the camellia.

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    1. They're both exotics for Southern California, Sue, but I get your point! Although I've used the Leptospermum with Eustoma (Lisianthus) before and liked the effect, the scale and disposition of these 2 species don't work as well.

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  16. I think your pink-on-pink looks splendid. The large flowers at the base form an anchor for the fireworks. (I might just trim back the foliage slightly so the one at the top is better revealed. Feel free to ignore this suggestion!).

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    1. Suggestions are always appreciated, Helen, although I seldom re-do an arrangement. However, as the Camellia petals continue to drop as our humidity declines and our temperature soars, it'll be a non-issue soon anyway.

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  17. I think the leptospermum and camellias look great together! And while the blue vase is busy, when you look at each flower, they are so beautiful. I've enjoyed the fall bloom of Barleria - something I'd grow if I could.

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    1. The Barleria is surprisingly tough here, Eliza, and, even more important, not particularly thirsty. Heartened by its performance, I've planted seedlings in a variety of locations and hope I don't live to rue that - it does spread!

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  18. Oh I think it's all been said already Kris but I would be just so happy to have such a wealth of riches in November, that I'm sure that I would do the very same. I had forgotten just how pretty the seedheads of catanache caerulea are so thanks for reminding me :)

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    1. I'd been planning to cut back those Catanache seedheads so it seemed natural to stuff them into the vase too!

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  19. While both the Leptospermum and Camellias can stand on their own, I like the way their forms and colors complement each other. And all those purples are lovely, especially enhanced with the lighter tones of the Erigeron. :)

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    1. Thanks Amy! Last week's heat seems to have sent the Erigeron into the witness protection program but several of the Lisianthus have promising buds.

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