Monday, January 8, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: No, it's not spring yet

It's not spring here yet but perhaps my first vase will make you think it is.  Winter in my area of Southern California is admittedly different from many places in the Northern Hemisphere.  I hope those of you dealing with snow, ice and freezing temperatures will forgive me for pointing that out.

The blue Plumbago was the starting point for this arrangement.  I came across it at my local garden center last week and couldn't pass up buying 2 plants to fill the large pots that sit outside my new lath (shade) house.

The Plumbago flowers really are as blue as they appear in these photos

The blue and purple Anemones came from inside my lath house

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: purple and blue Anemone coronaria, noID Lonicera japonica, Argyranthemum 'Go Daisy Mega White', Osteospermum '4D Silver', Rosmarinus officinalis, and, in the center, Plumbago auriculata 'Imperial Blue'


The Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana) in the front garden has been blooming more heavily than I can remember for well over a month now and, although past experience indicates that the flowers will not last long in a vase, I couldn't stop myself from cutting some this week.

I always believed that the tree bloomed best when the air was on the humid side but that must not be the factor I thought it was as December was unusually dry

I found a surprising number of plants to complement the almost glow-in-the-dark Bauhinia blooms but they didn't all fit in the vase I selected

The wire-thin stems of Gomphrena were the primary accent

The vase contains Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' (shown with Lobularia maritima), Bauhinia x blakeana, and Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star'


Finding the right vase for the Bauhinia stems proved a problem as the stems are top-heavy and need support.  I ended up using a vase with a small opening that couldn't accommodate everything I'd cut so the extras went into a tiny vase that now sits by the kitchen sink.

The small vase contains Alternanthera 'Little Ruby', Ocimum hybrid 'African Blue Basil', and Persicaria capitata


I moved this week's vases around a bit before they finally found their spots.

The blue vase sits in the front entry and the pink one on a side table in the living room


Last week's vase remains in its place on the dining room table, looking little different than it did last week.

Ignore the blue tape on the wall in the background.  My husband is starting another project, which I fear may involve drilling through walls.


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


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

38 comments:

  1. I'd forgotten how wonderful Lobularia smells! And it grows so easily from seed. I should buy some seeds and try it in my cutting garden, I bet I can still shoehorn some in. I wonder if there's a cultivar with long stems. What a shame the Bauhinia won't last long, that's a fabulous flower!

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    1. Lobularia is one of those flowers that fits itself comfortably around virtually everything. It self-seeds freely here, although I also buy plugs when I need a groundcover filler in a particular spot. I wish I could tell you which cultivar that long-stemmed variety is but it appeared on its own and surprised even me with the length and relative sturdiness of its stems.

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  2. Wow the Acacia foliage from last week still looks fresh! Your blue vase is the perfect "feeling blue" accompaniment to my green pictures this week...

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    1. The Acacia foliage seems to dry in place without immediately turning brown, Loree. I should probably conduct an experiment to see exactly how long it retains its green color - it's at least a couple of weeks, though.

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  3. You have so many different plants in your garden...lucky you. My favourtie this week is the blue one.

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    1. I am lucky, Noell. And just a bit of a plant hoarder too.

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  4. Ooh, I love those blues and the vibrant pink makes my winter-weary heart sing!

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    1. I adore blue and felt the need of it after all the red color associated with Christmas.

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  5. I love your area in winter....so many gorgeous flowers especially that first vase....made my heart sing. And what a stunning tree...orchid flowers of fuchsia! Wow!

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    1. Coastal Southern California is especially appealing during the winter months, isn't it? Coverage of the Pasadena Rose Parade is considered one of the principal drivers behind migration to California as New Year's Day is almost always sunny and (relatively) warm.

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  6. Just amazing. So much colour to see and enjoy. The only colour here is on the pages of seed catalogues. Our mud is now frozen and we have fog too. I don't think you'd like it.

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    1. Ouch - frozen mud! I can't even visualize that. I hope you get a warm-up soon, Alison!

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  7. Does my heart good to see your spring-like blooms. I've tried several times to grow Plumbago for that gorgeous blue color but it gets too hot. Lovely vases Kris.

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    1. The lighter blue Plumbago grows along the roads here so I'm trusting that it can make it through our summers, Susie. My biggest concern is that the location may not be sunny enough. We'll see. I can always try moving the plants to my back slope.

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  8. I love that color range in the 1st bouquet.

    Enjoy the rain! Your big tank should fill from this.

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    1. I wasn't ready to believe the forecasts were true until it actually started raining steadily for a time this afternoon. Still, all we've had so far today is 0.20/inch but I'm hopeful now that we'll get more tonight and tomorrow. Only the 50-gallon tank is full so far!

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  9. Oh my goodness, Kris, that first vase is enough to drive the blues away for any of us - it's absolutely delightful! But then you give us the gomphrena and bauhinia vase as well, which really does glow. I don't know bauhinia at all - what sort of plant is it? And then ANOTHER pretty vase - you do spoil us Kris, and then of course you have the benefit of the real thing... lucky you :)

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    1. The Bauhinia is a small tree that originates from China, Cathy. It's semi-evergreen here but blooms reliably in the fall; however, the bloom is particularly heavy this year for reasons I can't fathom as it's been very dry and windy too. Luckily for us, it gets by with moderate amounts of water.

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  10. I love to cut the Bauhinias too, it's an ephemeral experience, but worthwhile. Also have old fashioned Plumbago (lighter blue) everywhere, a near indestructible shrub, love the arrangement.Rumor has it rain could be in your future, good luck.

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    1. Our area is supposed to get 1-2 inches of rain between Sunday night and Tuesday but we've had less than a quarter of an inch thus far. I just checked the local forecast, though, and there's a 100% chance (!) of more rain tonight and a 90% chance tomorrow. Fingers are crossed.

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  11. I love the blue vase! a stunning combination! I love the blue plumago flowers, they are really blue. My plumagos here are full of flowers. Your Hong Kong orchid tree looks amazing and dominates that area of your garden. Enjoy this second spring that we gardeners in warm climates have!

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    1. "Winter" here is all about rain, MDN, and we've had almost none until now. If we really get 1-2 inches before the storm front due in tonight moves out on Tuesday, we really may get that spring-like boost.

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  12. Seeing your flowers is so inspiring, Kris - it feels good to know that SOMEwhere life goes on! ;D I can see why you fell for the plumbago - gorgeous and the anemones' velvet petals are too. I always enjoy seeing what you arrange each week from your ample garden. Lovely!

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    1. I love blue flowers and this particular Plumbago is a really vivid blue. I put the plants back once (out of concern that they might be too big for the spot I was looking to fill) but I caved and went back for them. If they get too big for the area or their isn't enough sun for them there, I'll relocate them to my back slope.

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  13. I love your plumbago. I got one at Plant Delights a few years ago and although I really like it, it doesn't have the large sky blue flowers I really wanted. The arrangement is beautiful.

    Your orchid tree is gorgeous!

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    1. Most of the Plumbagos I see growing in my own area are a much lighter blue. The depth of color in this 'Imperial Blue' variety is what drew me in.

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  14. Love the Plumbago Kris! What a beautiful blue skies kind of blue. And with the white daisies that first vase really does look like spring. :) Your flowering tree is gorgeous too and the little Gomphrena is a nice companion for them in the vase.

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  15. Just awesome, Kris, and your vases make me want to grow all these fab exotic things myself...but sadly I'll never will. Love the blue shades, can't beat Plumbago for true blue. That orchid tree looks fantastic. I wonder if you water the garden or is it completely drought-resistant? Happy new year, Annette

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    1. No, I water, Annette. The amount of water I can use for irrigation is somewhat restricted but we're lucky to have that as little more than plastic flowers could probably survive otherwise!

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  16. It could be quite depressing seeing how many flowers you have to fill your vases on a January Monday when most of us are desperate to find just one bloom; but instead I find it uplifting that you can share such bounty. This is also due, in no small measure, to your excellent planting choices. The Bauhinia is amazing

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    1. Well, I think I finally learned the secret of the Bauhinia's extended floral bounty, Christina - our lack of rain! It's finally rained here, heavily early this morning accompanied by strong winds, and the tree is now largely stripped of flowers. I guess it was a good thing I cut some for a vase!

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  17. Beautiful vases, Kris! Have a great year!

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    1. Thanks Anca. Best wishes for a happy new year to you as well!

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  18. Imperial Blue is more convincing that the Royal Cape I have been disappointed by.

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    1. It was the deep color of 'Imperial Blue' that turned my head, Diana. I'd previously had no thought of using Plumbago in those pots.

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  19. I love all those purples! You're arrangements are lovely, Kris.

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