Monday, December 11, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Faux frost & a bit of bling

I've been struggling to get into the holiday spirit.  Since last Tuesday morning when I woke to news of wildfires, the situation in Southern California has been hellish.  If you've seen any news coverage of the devastation, you probably won't consider that an exaggeration.  For days, every morning brought news of yet another major fire.  In total, there were 6 major fires, stretching from Ventura County to San Diego County with 3 in Los Angeles County.  Only one has been fully contained thus far.  The worst, the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, was only 10% contained Sunday night and it's now headed for Santa Barbara County.  At their height, 200,000 people were evacuated in response to the fires.  Over 250,000 acres have burned thus far.  More than 800 homes and structures have been destroyed.  Miraculously, only one human life has been lost but scores of horses have been killed.  Yet, my family and friends have been lucky.  Even though my own area is considered to have a higher-than-average fire risk, there have been no outbreaks here.  Only our air quality was affected, although we're still on edge as red flag (fire danger) warnings remain in effect until Monday night.  We're used to Santa Ana winds and wildfires but I can't recall a sustained wind event like this one, nor as many fires burning across such a widespread area.  And I've lived in Southern California all my life.

I thought I'd be posting photos of a Christmas wreath today.  With humidity levels in the single digits, I've put off purchasing a wreath, garlands and a tree but, trying to work up some enthusiasm for the holidays, on Sunday I picked flowers that mimicked the frosty images I saw posted by bloggers in Texas and the Eastern US who found their gardens dusted with snow late last week.

I used icy blue and white flowers, variegated foliage, and threw in my last (?) 2 purplish-blue Lisianthus blooms

Back view: My blue, brown and cream mug picked up nicely on the floral and foliage colors

Top view: I don't think I've had Lisianthus blooming in December before but then summer's blooms burned out earlier than usual this year so perhaps the plants are making up for lost time

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus), Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus', Osteospermum '4D Silver', and Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'


While doing some Christmas shopping, I picked up a small inexpensive vase for myself to provide the house with some holiday bling.  I'd originally planned to use the mirrored glass vase with the blue and white flowers but decided it complemented my pink Camellias better.

The trick in photographing this arrangement was avoiding taking an inadvertent selfie

Back view: You may recall that I combined Camellia and Leptospermum stems in a vase on November 20th.  I didn't like the effect on that occasion but I think the shorter scale of this arrangement improved the pairing.  The addition of Alternanthera foliage that echoes the burgundy centers of the Leptospermum helps tie the elements together too.

Top view: The Camellias have suffered in the low humidity of the past week so I had no hesitancy about cutting them

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: noID Camellia sasanqua, Alternanthera 'Little Ruby', and Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'


I've started pulling out small (non-perishable) decorations here and there.  When the winds die down and humidity levels start to rise, I expect I'll jump into holiday preparations.  For now, I'm making do with my faux frost and a bit of silver bling.



For more "In a Vase on Monday" posts, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

36 comments:

  1. I always love your vases and I think you've really captured the frosty idea with the first one. Glad to hear you are OK. My best friend from college used to live in Santa Rosa but has been in Healdsburg for years. So I was initially paying attention to those fires. I have cousins in Santa Barbara and environs so we have been watching everything happening in CA. It is hard to get one's head around the scale of these fires. Not only do I think about all the homes etc. but the gorgeous west coast landscape and the fact that CA is the source of so much American agriculture. It is distressing and scary no matter how you think about it.

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    1. When you merge the devastation that hit Northern California in October with what's currently happening in Southern California, the scope is almost impossible to get one's head around, Linda. As I said, I've lived in California all my life but I've NEVER seen anything like this. It's possible I feel it more acutely because I now live in a fire risk area too. The loss of more than 60 horses makes me want to cry - who knows what the impact has been on wildlife?

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  2. Those both are perfect! Love the frosty feel of the blue creation and your new vase is gorgeous, especially with the blooms you chose.

    I am heartbroken over the fires. The Australian Native nursery up in the Ventura area has been somewhat spared, although the owner's home burnt. Today I heard Lotusland is in the evacuation area.

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    1. The Thomas Fire is brutal! I understand that the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is threatened (again) and that Seaside Gardens is currently in the voluntary evacuation area, with the Island View Nursery less than a mile from Seaside in the mandatory evacuation area.

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  3. Your frosty inspiration is spot-on Kris. Lovely with the vase you chose. I do like the mirrored one too. The fires situation must be quite a stressor; hope they can be contained soon.

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    1. The fires in LA are in various stages of containment, although I think only one is considered 100% contained thus far. The Thomas Fire's containment dropped from 15% to 10% yesterday and I heard earlier that fire officials don't think full containment there can be expected before Christmas (!). It is stressful here - warnings to be vigilant are continuous in my area.

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  4. I love that marbled blue pitcher and the frosty colors in your first arrangement. I hope they get the fires under control soon and the winds die down. The situation in California has me worried, and I don't even live there. Like Linda said, California is a source of much of our agriculture and produce, and I worry about the effect of climate change on that.

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    1. I read a report last week contending that the melting arctic ice is a key factor in these high pressure systems that our preventing rain from reaching us. If that's the case, we're facing a long-term problem. Governor Brown is already sounding alarms but California can't tackle the problem on its own and there are still a lot of climate change deniers in government.

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  5. Those fires must be terrifying. No wonder you feel like some frosty effect in your arrangement today. The lisianthus is such a rich colour. I love the pinks too.

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    1. I was pleased with the frosty blue arrangement and that I managed to keep both vases relatively simple for a change!

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  6. Gosh, what a dire situation all these fires and the resultant devastation and poor air quality are. Glad you and your family are keeping safe. The blue vase is stunning - the centres of the osteospermum link wonderfully with the lisianthus and the rosemary blooms and foliage are just the right shade too. What great choices - and who wouldn't want to see a lovely vase like your pink one in December too. Thanks for sharing both of them Kris

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    1. The poor pink Camellias don't much like our dry air at present I'm afraid. Hopefully, the marine layer will return soon and boost the humidity back to a more reasonable level.

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  7. It is rather difficult to get festive with so much going on in the world to be worried about. I hope the fires will be under control soon and don't come any closer to you. Here people are under a foot of snow and some have no power.
    Simple pleasures like flowers should not be taken for granted and yours are a delight as always.

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    1. It's the simple pleasures that are keeping me at least partly sane at the moment, Alison.

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  8. I've been sending prayers for all of California. Your blog and several others have made me much more vigilant about what is going on there. It is heart breaking. Both your vases are a welcome respite for the sad pictures that are coming out of so many places there. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks Barbara! SoCal needs all the prayers it can get. The situation of the folks to the north of us in Ventura County (and now Santa Barbara too) is horrible.

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  9. I can imagine everyone is on edge out there. It is horrifying enough watching the news, let alone living it. The loss of wild and domestic animals is heartbreaking. :(
    Your first vase definitely looks frosty and the blue/purples echo snowy shadows - nice! Your camellias are such a lovely shade of pink and I just love that pink leptospermum (another pricey item at the florists around here). Gorgeous displays, Kris!

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    1. The losses of horses, first in Sylmar and then in San Diego County, nearly broke my heart, Eliza. As the Thomas Fire continues to burn, I hope those in its path are able to evacuate themselves and their animals well in advance.

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  10. Kris, all the vases look terrific but the sight of Camellias takes my breath away!I miss my camellia blooms so much now! that's why I am glad to see yours here!

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    1. The Camellia sasanqua took a bit of a beating from the low humidity here, MDN, but there are still some pretty blooms.

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  11. How awful! I think of you and the other bloggers in your area every time I see coverage of the fires on the news (frequently of late.) Your frosty arrangement is perfect in the mug and I love your new vase addition.

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  12. All of California has been hit so hard by fires this year Kris; it must be devastating for families to lose their homes at any time but coming up to the festive season must make it worse. I can understand why the festive spirit hasn't yet overtaken you. Both your vases this week are the perfect antidote to all the glitz seen in the shops; the pink arrangement looks positively spring like to me and the blue is a lovely nod to the frost and snow many of us are experiencing.

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    1. Yes, the timing of these fires make them all the more difficult. It seems we need a Christmas miracle to stop the Thomas Fire, which is burning in terrain that makes it particularly challenging for firefighters while providing the fire itself with lots of new material.

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  13. It must be awful seeing all that devastation every day on the news Kris. Although it is covered here too, I don't think we really have any idea just how large an area is affected, and that you have such poor air quality as a result too. I just hope that wind dies down soon and they can get those fires under control. Your blue and silvery vase really does have that frosty feel to it, and your new shiny vase is certainly appropriate for the holiday season. I love the blue Lisianthus, and the pink Camellias are fabulous!

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    1. Luckily for us in Los Angeles County, the fires here are contained or near containment. Although our humidity will remain low until the weekend and the wind warnings have been extended, I hope our luck holds and no new fires pop up.

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  14. I am glad to hear that you, your family and friends, all doing okay. That fire is seriously horrible. We are having rain today. I wish I could move that rain over to SC.

    Each of the vase is simply GORGEOUS. You really have talent. Wow!!

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    1. Thanks KL! I wish you could send us some of your rain too. Our extended forecast doesn't show any rain here until mid-January now. The ridge of high pressure that's taken up residence over California is a serious problem.

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  15. Feeling so much for everyone touched by the fire...your flowers are lovely though. Take care.

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  16. The fires in your country are on the news in Holland every day. It's heartbraking to see and I feel so sorry for all those people who lost theire houses. Not to talk about what a huge part of nature and wildlife is already distroied. I keep my fingers crossed for your all, that things will turn up in the positive way very, very soon.
    Have a wonderful day

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    1. Thanks Marijke! Things are looking up a bit with the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, which is the most destructive of the lot.

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  17. That first arrangement truly does look covered in frost! I like the vase as much as the arrangement in this case. I wish your camellia had a name. If it did I'd buy one ASAP. The flowers are so beautiful.

    As a horse owner it makes me sick to hear about the fires in CA and the horses that couldn't be moved out in time.

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    1. I've never even ridden a horse but the news about the loss of so many horses pushed my own emotions over the edge when it came to these fires, sweetbay.

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  18. I know someone who has been evacuated by the Thomas fire - safely taking her two dogs with her - and now enjoying breathing clean air, and walking the dogs Outside!

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    1. I hope your friend is able to return to an intact home, Diana! The firefighters are doing great work (and have learned from the mistakes made back in October in Northern California) but Thomas is one NASTY fire. It's now classified as the 3rd largest in California's recorded history and still growing...

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