Monday, March 5, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Feeling the blues

Scilla peruviana, which I've found to be a finicky bulb, has bloomed in my back garden for the second year in a row despite this season's stingy rain.  The bees love it and so so I.



I cut one Scilla stem as the start of this week's vase, sticking to a blue and white theme.

The vase could have used more Scilla stems but I couldn't bring myself to cut them

Back view: The bees love Echium handiense too and I had to wave them away before carrying the cut stems into the house

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Scilla peruviana, Coleonema album (aka White Breath of Heaven), white Freesia, Echium handiense, and Osteospermum '4D Silver'


Of necessity, my second vase started out with yellow Freesias.  We got 2 (!!!) rainstorms last week and, although neither could be called a drought-buster, they flattened many of the Freesias, some of which had to be cut before they were stepped on.  Last Monday night's storm delivered 0.15/inch of rain and the second storm, which spanned Friday and Saturday, added another 0.28/inch, beefing up our seasonal total to a still paltry 1.88 inches.  The peninsula on which I live was short-changed by comparison to some areas but our total is on par with the tally for downtown Los Angeles.  However, on the good news side of things, the fears concerning another round of killer mudslides in the areas that burned during the January wildfires weren't realized and the snowpack in the Sierra Mountains, the source of about one-third of California's water, got a boost.

Sunset last night lent a pink tinge to the snow also now topping the nearby mountains to the northeast


But back to the yellow Freesias and vase #2.  I accumulated a lot of yellow blooms in my round-trip of the garden before reaching the decision that I needed to balance all that yellow with another color besides green.

I cut the blue Salvia to strike the balance I sought but it wasn't until I clipped 2 short stems of pansies that the arrangement came together

Back view: I'd cut the new foliage of a tree-like shrub to fill in and provide some height but it drooped even before I got around to putting the arrangement together so I reused stems of the Coprosma I cut for one of last week's vases

Top view with the blue flowers largely hidden

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Argyranthemum 'Go Daisy Mega White', Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein', noID Narcissus, Salvia 'Mystic Spires', yellow Freesia, and, in the center, Viola 'Matrix Midnight Glow'


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to find more "In a Vase on Monday" posts.

The vases in their places



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

46 comments:

  1. Gorgeous & uplifting! Glad some rain came your way.

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    1. Thanks, slc! The arrival of rain almost always puts a positive spin on things here.

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  2. I was happy to hear you had some rain and the mountains had lots of snow. That storm is headed our way but we don't need any more rain or snow after our latest winter storm.....sigh. What a joy to come here weekly and see what you have in store for us....I must say I was loving the blue vase until I saw the second vase with the yellows and blues/purple, and especially my favorite viola in the middle. That one made my heart pitter patter. Hoping to melt our snow soon but it will be slow going with temps in the 30s, but the sun is shining so it will warm things a bit more to melt.

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    1. I heard our storm was moving across the country to become another major weather event in the Northeast, Donna - I hope it'll be as gentle with you as it was with us! I love that Viola too. Although pansies struggle here, I couldn't pass it up when I saw it in 6-packs back in November.

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  3. Yay for needed and gentle rain! I love blue flower arrangements, but that yellow with the purple is strikingly gorgeous!

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    1. As you know from your time in Africa, Nomad, even in small amounts rain is reason for celebration!

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  4. I don't think I know that variety of scilla, Kris, and must look it up - it's really attractive and looks wonderful in particular with the gorgeous osteospermum. It makes for a most stylish vase, one that is very different from your sunny second one. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Despite its name, Cathy, Scilla peruviana originates from southwestern Europe. It apparently got its name from the ship,"The Peru," that carried the plants from Spain to England in the 17th century.

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  5. I have long admired Scilla peruviana and even considered growing it here but I've read that it is quite a thirsty bulb; and as they are quite expensive to buy I don't have any in the garden Seeing your gorgeous vase makes me wish I did. Both vases are lovely and again a different style from your exotic flowers.

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    1. I'd assumed that the main reason the bulb previously failed to bloom year-after-year had to do with our long-running drought and that last year's blooms were due to our heavier-than-usual rain last winter. That's why the blooms this year came as such a surprise as we've had less rain thus far this season than any year since we've lived here. However, I read that it can take drought during its summer dormancy period so maybe I gave it enough water at the right time.

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  6. That's an interesting Osteospermum. We get them as annuals here, I might look for that one this year. Both nice vases. I'm tickled that you got a laugh from my silly sidebars on my blog.

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    1. The best thing about the '4D' series Osteospermums as cut flowers is that they remain open in low light. More and more '4D' varieties seem to be coming out each year (at least down this way).

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  7. I love Scilla peruviana but it is temperamental about flowering. I don't think I could bear to pick it. I am interested to hear how long it will last in a vase. Both arrangenents are so pretty. Lovely to grow freesias. And another of your wonderful skies.

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    1. I admit I hesitated about cutting that Scilla bloom but with several in the line-up this year, I gave into the impulse. Except for their vulnerability to being dug up by raccoons soon after planting (as they're planted only a few inches deep), Freesias are the easiest bulbs to grow here.

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  8. I'm learning more about floral design, California and plants by the day. I prefer the blue arrangements to the yellow. Personal preference. I know all about bad weather though not so much concerning mud slides.

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    1. Well, now you're thoroughly prepared to pay a visit to Southern California, Ian. I've no personal experience with mudslides myself but all you need to know is, if someone tells you to evacuate, it's best to just go.

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  9. What a rollercoaster ride of weather! At least you had some rain. I like the blue and white but I like the yellow and blue - I can't choose. The viola is adorable.

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    1. I'm beginning to wonder if we really have seasons anymore, Alison. Summer conditions pop up here at intervals during all periods of the year nowadays.

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  10. Almost 5 cm - will make a nice difference to your rain tanks.

    I have an indigenous scilla, renamed Merwillea - still waiting for it to flower. Ever!

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    1. The rain tanks are pretty much all full, Diana! It's incredible how much rain our roof surfaces shed. The largest tank, attached to the smaller garage roof, usually fills up very slowly but I collected quite a lot of overflow off the rain chain on one side of the house in plastic trugs and transferred that to the large tank. It took forever but then we're not expecting much more rain before the season ends next month.

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  11. Oh it's great to hear that you have had more rain Kris. I like both of your vases but have a soft spot for the blue. That scilla is just as vibrant a colour in the vase as it in your garden. I'm not surprised that you couldn't bring yourself to pick another stem. Our bees have still to show themselves this year but then I suppose bees and snow don't go together.

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    1. Poor bees! Ours are around all year but then we don't get nearly as cold as you do.

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  12. Oh my goodness! Are all these blooms from your garden?! Yowza! You really are a professional with the arranging! I love Freesias.

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    1. Yes, the blooms are all mine, Beth. The garden has fewer blooms than it did last year at this time but then we had lots of rain last winter and I don't think it was nearly as cold as it's been for the last several weeks.

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  13. Kris, these are both lovely - I am really enjoying the blue and yellow and happy to hear you had precipitation! YAY. Next year you have inspired me to try some Pansies, they were a cool season favorite further north.Antique Shades was my variety of choice. Are you growing Sunshine Blue Blueberries?

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    1. The 'Antique' pansies are a favorite of mine too, Amelia, but they didn't pop up in the local garden centers until January, when the heat was on so I didn't even try planting them this year. Re the blueberries, my pots currently hold 2 'Bountiful Blue' and one 'Pink Icing'; however, I previously grew 'Bountiful Blue' with 'Sunshine Blue'. (I was told I should grow 2 different varieties to promote pollination.) The shrubs get scraggly after several years in a pot, even big ones, and I swapped them out for new shrubs after they ceased bearing last year.

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    2. OK, thanks. I have mine in a peat moss filled hole with irrigation and Hollytone. We'll see.

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    3. Fingers crossed for both of us. My bushes lost a lot of leaves during our extremely warm January but they have flowers now.

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  14. Beautiful, as always! I love blue and yellow together. I've started designing my new garden and just dug up the front yard and ordered 50 prairie dropseed plants, a beautiful native grass that will be used to stabilize a slope. Exciting!

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    1. I look forward to seeing photos of your new garden, Tammy. Planting a garden from scratch (or close to it) is the very definition of "exciting"!

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  15. I like that Scilla much better than one I have which is way too vigorous. I pull up handfuls every spring.

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    1. While my clump of Scilla is larger than it was, I can't say it's at all aggressive, Cathy. According to my records, it's been in the ground since 2012.

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  16. Wonderful as always, Kris! Is that a new table runner? The floral design echoes the blues really well!

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    1. I picked up the table runner in January, Peter, drawn to it in part because it will go with so many vases. Only pink presents a problem.

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    1. I hadn't thought about that, Mariana, but you're right!

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  18. I have always been curious about that Scilla and it is amazing looking. Having it in a vase with other flowers gave me a much better idea of its color and size. Certainly added a lot of drama for a small bulb.

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    1. The Scilla flowers are surprisingly large relative to the size of the flower stalk.

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  19. That scillia is a real gem, both in the garden and in your vase.

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  20. That scilla is so lovely! Quite different to the ones I grow and am looking forward to seeing soon. It makes a great focal point in your first vase. I think here 'less is more' as they say, and one scilla was just perfect for it to stand out. :)

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    1. I'm glad my parsimony in cutting the Scilla didn't mar the arrangement's impact, Cathy!

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  21. 'Delicate beauty' is what I thought when I first set eyes on your blue arrangement. The lightness of the Echium anchored with the single Scilla is beyond lovely, Kris. And again, your second arrangement shows your gift of knowing just what to combine to bring out the best in each flower. I truly admire your artistry!

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  22. That Scilla is gorgeous! The pansy too. You have a beautiful view of the mountains as well as the harbor.

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    1. The only problem with the mountain view, sweetbay, is that, more often than not, you can't see it clearly! The sky in that direction is clearest after a rain, which as you know we haven't had much of this season.

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