Monday, January 22, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Caught between seasons

Is it winter or spring in Southern California?  The calendar says it's winter but it's feeling more and more like spring.  Unlike gardeners in many other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, we don't like to rush winter here.  Winter is our rainy season, or that's supposed to be the case anyway.  Now I'm not wishing for heavy rain - the folks in the burn areas don't need any downpours.  But some nice, gentle rain parsed over a period of days would be very, very good.  We had a chance of such rain last week but we got nothing.

When the last storm moved out late Friday afternoon, my season total (measured from October 1st) remained stuck at 1.27/inch


At least the haze over the Los Angeles Harbor cleared, giving us a better view.

Saturday morning's view looking from my back garden toward Angel's Gate, the entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor


My vases for IAVOM this week are as schizophrenic as the weather.  Winter blooms dominate my first vase.

This vases features the red and pink blooms characteristic of January here, including the splashy flowers of Calliandra haematocephala (aka Pink Powder Puff)

I used the small silver glass vase I picked up in December

Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl' hogs the limelight when the vase is viewed from above

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Calliandra haematocephala, Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', Crassula multicava, Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl, and Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola' (Lobularia maritima aka alyssum was included but not shown in close-up)


In contrast, my second vase screams spring, even to my eyes.

The starting point for this vase was the foliage of the variegated Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'

The rain in early January prompted Euryops 'Sonneneschien' to produce its almost florescent yellow blooms

A stray Lisanthus bloom complemented 2 Anemones growing inside my lath house

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: blue and purple Anemone coronaria, Argyranthemum 'Mega White', Erigeron glaucus 'Wayne Roderick', Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschien' , Eustoma grandiflorum, Nemesia 'Sunshine', and, in the center, Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'


There's another slim chance of rain later this week but, as the odds are even lower than they were last week, I'm not counting on it.  The good news is that Northern California is getting somewhat more rain than we are down south but, without a February or March miracle, the rainy season here is looking like a major bust, with rain totals prospectively even lower than they were at the height of the drought in 2015.

The new vases ended up in the front entry and the master bedroom.  Last week's vase featuring Leucadendrons is still in good shape on the dining room table, needing only new stems of Lotus berthelotii to refresh the arrangement.


For more vases, visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

35 comments:

  1. Oh what abundance you are always able to share with us, Kris! Strangely, I think I prefer the first vase without the Calliandra and I thought the back view was a different vase at first! And how fresh your second vase looks with its contrast of blue and yellow. Thanks for sharing both of them today

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    1. Since the Calliandra blooms never last long, the vase will undoubtedly be without them within a couple of days, Cathy!

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  2. Both beautiful arrangements! I was at a nursery yesterday that had Anemone coronaria for sale on the shelves, and the colors were so vivid that I was very tempted. But I've never grown them before, so I hesitated. Now, seeing them in your vase I'm tempted to go back and get some.

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    1. I suspect the Anemone coronaria hybrids would do better in your area than mine, Alison. Since drought and water restrictions became a persistent problem here, I rarely get the tubers to bloom a second year. I don't think your winter cold would be a problem but you'd have to check with local experts.

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  3. For both I see summer but I love learning that there is so much color all winter...the pink is perfect for winter....and yellow and purple always says spring to me....hoping you get many days of gentle rain....here I want my snow to stick around....we are warming again with rain causing flooding.

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    1. I hope you get a slow, gentle melt, Donna!

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  4. I wish (oh how I wish!) we could share our rain with you!!

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    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if their were rain exchanges?!

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  5. Both gorgeous, Powderpuff is under consideration for my garden. When I was in college I had perennial garden design class, the classic Southern summer color scheme was yellow, white and blue - spring classic in So Cal? Your view is fabulous. The drought is getting scary.

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    1. I was afraid that last year's rain was a fluke rather than a fundamental shift back to our old version of "normal" and our experience thus far has intensified those concerns, Amelia. Ridges of high pressure are routinely blocking rain from making its way down to us.

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  6. Oh yes, I can see the two seasons clearly in your vases today Kris! Those powder puffs are amazing, but the spring vase is definitely my favourite this week... I am yearning for some colour and sunshine and wish we could send you some of the rain we have had!

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    1. I'd gladly give you some of our sunshine for some of your rain, Cathy, although I suspect some Californians (non-gardeners) would oppose such a deal!

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  7. Delightful seasonal contrasts in these two stunning arrangements. Love them both!

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  8. So much drama with CA weather.... I hope you get a good soaking rain. We're supposed to get thunderstorms tonight. Beautiful arrangements!

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    1. A good soaking rain isn't in the forecast until February 7th or thereabouts and too many of these future forecasts have fizzled prior to arrival, Tammy, so I'm trying not to get invested in them. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be doing a rain dance in advance...

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  9. You have the garden resources to make such different vases each week - so amazing. I love them both - the yellow Nemisia is beautiful as are the anemones and Calliandra and Leptospermum.
    Time to do a rain dance, Kris! ;)

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    1. My rain dance routine clearly needs something. Bongo drums maybe?!

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    2. Make sure you video it to share, lol! :)

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    3. Ha! Nope, a video is NOT in the cards.

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  10. Leptospermum remains one of my favourites but I also like the cheeky red pompons in your first vase. Ah, what's not to love about flowers, they're so uplifting. Sorry to hear that it's still so dry but I'm glad all the same that you aren't in the area where they had those awful rainfall followed by rivers of mud, so scary. We've got plenty of rain but at least no damage. Wish I could send some over to you...fingers crossed you get some before winter's over. Best wishes, Annette

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    1. The weather forecaster just nixed the rain previously predicted for Thursday so my eyes are now on February!

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  11. I had to smile at your description of the first vase as 'winter'; those blooms here would be early summer! Both vases are gorgeous and beautifully put together. My first Anemone coronaria of the year opened yesterday but I didn't see it for my vase.

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    1. Our "summer" arguably extends much longer than the 3 months shown on the calendar, Christina. It's a pity but since drought took hold of Southern California, anemones have become mostly annuals here.

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  12. Kris, the Pink Powder Puff is screaming for attention and it is fascinating. My face lit up though when I saw the spring harbinger bouquet--oh my, so lovely. Sorry you aren't getting the rain you need. We're having quite a dose of it here this morning. Our rainfall is also low (perhaps the snow helped--haven't heard). Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Short-lived in a vase as they are, I do love the Pink Powder Puffs - they feel just like powder puffs too!

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  13. Ugh, I'm sorry to hear you're not getting much rain this winter.

    It feels like spring here today too, in spite of the recent color weather. It's over 70s. It will be in the low 50s tomorrow.

    The arrangements are beautiful, as always! The pink powder puffs at the bottom really completes the first arrangement.

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    1. Our weather is swinging like a yo-yo too, sweetbay. We were also in the low 70s today and expect to be so again tomorrow before the temperatures dip again as we move toward the weekend. No rain in sight until February, though.

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  14. Both of them so pretty Kris. Your winter vase doesn't look very wintery to me. I adore the powder puffs and I have tried to grow leptospermum here and failed, I love its little scrunched tissue paper flowers. The second vase is springlike indeed, a blue and yellow scheme is always a winner. I have lovely euryops in my greenhouse, grown from an illicit cutting. I love it.

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    1. An illicit cutting! That adds intrigue to any garden collection. Euryops were overused here as foundation plants for a time and seemingly fell out of favor (like Agapanthus) but, drought tolerant and beautiful, they deserve to be used more often.

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  15. It's so unfair, you crave a little rain and we wish it would stop. The pinks in the silver vase are perfect and the Powder Puff is just stunning, I want to reach out and touch it. The spring flowers are very cheering and I will enjoy then knowing ours are a way off. They are starting though with snowdrops and hellebores.

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    1. I tell you, Alison, we need an international weather exchange! Although, can you imagine what kinds of fits and snits our politicians would get into regulating its workings?! Perhaps it's best to rely on Mother Nature's mercies...

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  16. Gorgeous flower arrangements and gorgeous, million-dollar views! I once saw pink powder puffs growing in a conservatory at a local botanical garden and immediately fell in love. Unfortunately, they would not survive outside a greenhouse here. Despite the difficulties of your climate, you are blessed with some delightful plants, and I am a little jealous!

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    1. We are blessed, Deb, and I don't mean to ignore that but I can't help wondering and worrying about the repercussions of a long-term drought. I think California was premature in lifting its more stringent water restrictions in response to last year's El Nino conditions.

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  17. I am catching up.
    Waiting hopefully for the rain we are forecast on Friday / Saturday including over the dams.

    Horrified that you are again looking at possible drought. Another blog said Los Angeles has had almost no rain in 365 days?!

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