Monday, February 26, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Soft color

The cutting garden is finally yielding a few blooms suitable for use in my Monday vases.  The first foxglove flower stalk provided the starting point for this week's other flower and foliage choices.

The foxglove flower stalk might have benefited from another week in the garden but I couldn't resist cutting it

The back view isn't one of my best efforts

And the kitchen cabinets above the peninsula here prevented me from getting a good top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Peach', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Calendula officinalis 'Bronzed Beauty', Grevillea 'Superb', Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', and Lobelia laxiflora


As usual, I'd picked a few flowers I elected not to use in the vase shown above; however, they were perfect for the small vase I picked up when my husband and I visited The Huntington Gardens just over a week ago.

All this vase needs are a few slender stems

The back view shows off its cactus shape

The vase contains 2 stems of yellow Freesia and 4 tiny stems of Pyrethropsis hosmariense (aka Moroccan daisy), as well as a stray stem of Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'


The vase I created 3 weeks ago for the dining table containing Aeonium blooms was finally retired to make way for the first vase, although the Aeoniums were still in surprisingly good shape and probably could have held up another week, if not longer.  Despite its diminutive size, the second vase landed in the front entry, where the scent of the Freesias can greet us as we walk in the front door.



Other than the light touch of hail we got last Monday afternoon, which our roof-top weather station didn't even register as measurable precipitation, we're still dry as dust here.  There's another chance of rain later tonight but, after more unrealized forecasts than I can count, it's hard to get hopped up about it (although I will be doing a rain dance later this afternoon).  Dry as this rainy season has been, spring is marching in.  In addition to the Freesias, the first daffodils and Sparaxis flowers are making an appearance here and there.  Yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to see even my temperamental Scilla peruviana producing blooms.

To see what blooms are popping up in vases elsewhere, visit our "In a Vase on Monday" host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

44 comments:

  1. Kris these vases are just beautiful, I specially like the cactus shaped one! so cute. I love the sight of foxgloves, gorgeous plants but very rare here. I am now thinking of removing the tiles from the floor around the house to make a new flower bed I think foxgloves would look nice in spring.

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    1. I wasn't very successful in growing foxgloves in my borders, MDN, but they've done well in the raised beds of my cutting garden, which get more water than the borders. The plants are prone to woolly aphids here so I treat them as annuals, growing them from plugs each winter.

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  2. These arrangements are so pretty.

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  3. The soft pinks in your first vase are so pleasingly gentle, kris, and then I was smacked in the face by the brightness of your second one! Love the cactus vase itself :)

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    1. That's right - you're not big on yellow flowers are you Cathy? I'm sure I'll find something you like to put in the cactus vase at some point.

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  4. I can see why that foxglove was hard to resist, such a soft pink color. I hope the flower lasts a while and the flowers continue to open.

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    1. The foxgloves I grew from plugs in last year's cutting garden performed amazingly well, Alison, so I have high hopes these will too. Last year's crop was still producing flowers long after I'd originally planned to pull the plants to make room for summer flowers.

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  5. So beautifully colour coordinated. Both the vases are delightful.

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    1. Thanks Noelle! I seem to be compelled to blend colors rather than create contrast among them.

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  6. Lovely both vases....and I especially love the cactus vase with those perfect flowers...of course my heart pitter patters with the sight of that foxglove!

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    1. The foxgloves bulk up quickly when planted in the raised planters in my cutting garden but they always seem to take a frustratingly long time to reach bloom stage! I've got 12 plants this year so you may be seeing a LOT of foxgloves in the weeks to come.

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  7. Your Digitalis 'Dalmatian Peach' is dreamy and I think you were right to cut it as it really makes the vase. A very on trend colour too - I want to paint my daughter's bedroom this shade.

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  8. Such floral abundance in spite of your dry-as-dust conditions. The cactus vase is a perfect reminder of your visit to the Huntington Gardens! Happy rain dancing!

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    1. AccuWeather says there's a 79% chance of rain tonight and Weather Underground says 60% but, despite my heartfelt entreaties to Mother Nature, the skies don't look promising at the moment.

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  9. It is strange to see the determination of bulbs, while shrubs and trees battle.
    Little cactus vase is perfect (not a fan of the live plants)

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    1. The Freesias are always reliable. Surprisingly, so are the daffodils. The Sparaxis and Alliums don't seem to have quite the same vigor.

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  10. I love the peachy shades and the Foxglove is exquisite. I hope it opens gently and happily. The cactus vase is very cute and of course I love the freesias and am hopeful that mine will bloom this year. I've also planted lots of foxgloves of the more usual pink shades.
    I'm picturing you doing the rain dance. x

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    1. Figuratively speaking, a LOT of Californians are doing the rain dance right now. If there's an earthquake overnight, you'll know why!

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  11. Your floral arrangements and exquisite flowers are typically out of this world. However that cactus vase is a find indeed. It's one for me. I don't need flowers!

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    1. Oh, Ian, every vase needs flowers! I bet it'd be cute filled with snowdrops!

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  12. So elegant, soft, subtle and delightful.
    Then I just love that cactus vase - chunky fun!

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    1. The cactus vase was a great find, Sandra. It was even reasonably priced, which can't be said for everything in the Huntington's gift shop.

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  13. Such a beautiful combination of peachy colors, Kris. Your garden offers so many lovely flowers. I love that foxglove and must look for C. 'Bronzed Beauty.' Loree must be drooling over your cactus vase, :) it's adorable!

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    1. I think Loree already has at least one cactus vase already, Eliza. In fact, I've seen more of these in posts by the bloggers in the Pacific Northwest than I've ever seen locally in stores.

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  14. Foxglove, wow Kris. That's lovely and the other peachy flowers set it off. Love that little cactus vase. What a fun find. You found some perfect stems to fill it.

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    1. I was thinking that the Digitalis blooms were right on pace, Susie, but you comment sent me looking back into my archives and I found that late February is indeed early for these blooms, which I featured from April-July last year. Maybe that unusually warm weather we had in January made the difference. I think I planted the foxglove plugs in November or December.

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  15. Love your new cactus vase and contents.I would not be able to resist the Foxglove,either or that Grevillea. I am in Zone 10 A, amazing the difference in what you can grow.

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    1. I'm in zone 10b, Amelia, but I find that, more often than not, classifications based on minimum temperatures aren't really helpful here - there are too many other factors (e.g. summer heat, wind frequency, and the amount of rain) that play key roles. The western states have a second zonal system, sponsored by the Sunset organization, which breaks areas down by a finer set of criteria. It's more reliable for us. By that standard, I'm in between Sunset zones 23 and 24. Unfortunately, relatively few growers (even those based in the west) classify their plants using the Sunset categories.

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    2. Kris, having been in the design business for decades and worked all over the Eastern US, I take Zones with a grain of salt.I think it is simply impossible to sort it down to a level of if you are in this zone -do this. Western sunset zones here useless. That said,the thought of growing foxgloves here makes me laugh.Theoretically, it should be cooler.Check out Dick's Sporting Goods announcement in regards to guns.

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    3. I heard about the DSG announcement first thing this morning and it gave a boost to my day. In fact, I sent a thank you note by e-mail to their press room earlier this evening. After decades working for large corporations, I'm impressed to see one act with such moral responsibility.

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  16. Love the Cactus vase! Peter gifted me a cactus vase/planter that I still haven’t used, thanks for the reminder/inspiration.

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    1. I thought I'd remembered you had one but maybe you showed off the one Peter gave you.

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  17. I don’t associate Foxgloves with your climate at all. I tried some in a shady spot but they didn’t survive. I love the colour combination in the first vase, as you say softer than your usual sunny bright colours. The second vase makes me sad to think that with the cold temperatures we’re experiencing now my Freesias won’t flower for a second year running.

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    1. The foxgloves I've tried (repeatedly) to grow in my borders never thrived, Christina. I'd given up on growing them here until I tried them, on a whim, in the raised planters of my cutting garden. The extra water and morning sun they get there made the difference!

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  18. The colours in that first vase go beautifully - love the foxglove with that pretty Calendula. And freesias are always gorgeous in my eyes. They cost a fortune here, but sometimes you get a stem in a mixed bunch of spring flowers from the supermarket. The scent is one of my favourites! Love the new cactus vase too. :)

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    1. Luckily, Cathy, Freesias are easy to grow here. In fact, they win my award for the easiest, low maintenance bulbs to grow here. The only problem is raccoons digging them up during their relentless pursuits of grubs.

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  19. Oh Kris your vases are manna for the soul on a cold snowy evening. I've found seeds for that lovely calendula albeit under a different name and hope to have some to put in my vases this summer.

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    1. I hope the Calendula seeds deliver on their promise for you this summer, Anna! I've got a couple of packets of Calendula seeds (different varieties) on hand to sow for summer flowers too.

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    1. Foxgloves were woolly aphid magnets when I tried growing them in my borders but they've done well in the cutting garden. They're probably not as stressed because they get more water there.

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  21. You have foxgloves blooming! Mine are just now putting out fresh foliage; no sign of a flower stalk. I love the colors in your first vase, but I really like the artful presentation of the second vase. It is a great souvenir from your visit to a spectacular garden. I am still amazed at how many flowers you successfully grow, despite your drought. Hope you get rain soon!

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    1. I planted the foxgloves as plugs and I treat the plants as annuals here, Deb. They really don't do well with our summers.

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