Monday, March 26, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: It had to be orange

Saturday, 800+ cities in the US and around the world joined a massive group in Washington D.C. led by students from Parkland, Florida to protest gun violence and call for sensible gun control.  A friend and I were among the 55,000 or so that participated in the march in downtown Los Angeles.

The tone of this march was very different than the Women's March in January 2017

While there was a great deal of energy on the part of those who participated, it was in many ways more somber and emotional, at least in my opinion

After all, whatever some talking heads say, the central issue here isn't political but truly a matter of life and death and there has already been much too much of the latter


The color of the day was orange, selected in 2015 to recognize and honor previous victims of gun violence.  As the march and its purpose were still very much on my mind on Sunday when I prepared my arrangements for "In a Vase on Monday," I gravitated to that color in my garden.

I'm not sure when so much orange crept into my garden but I certainly have no shortage of it

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Argyranthemum 'Mega White', Calendula 'Bronzed Beauty', Digitalis 'Dalmatian Peach', red-orange Freesia, Sparaxis tricolor, Lotus berthelotii (gold form), Narcissus 'Geranium', and, in the center, Grevillea 'Superb'


Refreshed by last week's rain, the heaviest we've had all season (and possibly our last until next winter), my garden is in its early spring glory so of course I also have a second vase.

Osteospermum hybrid 'Berry White' was the starting point for this arrangement

but it meshes well with Ageratum corymbosum, a perennial with "ever-purple" leaves, that just started its annual bloom cycle

Top view showing off the Ageratum's dark leaves

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Ageratum corymbosum, Coleonema album, Pyrethropsis hosmariense 'Casablanca' (formerly Rhodanthemum), Osteospermum 'Berry White', and white and blue Freesia


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



For more on the Los Angeles March for Our Lives click here.  For more on the Washington March and other supportive US marches click here.  For information on marches outside the US click here.  I fully expect that change is going to take time in a country with a gun-culture as entrenched as ours but I think the young people leading the charge have shown themselves up to the task.

This is just a handful of the signs I photographed during the march


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

52 comments:

  1. I was so excited to follow the Marches and speeches....such a hopeful day! And your vases give me hope to see my spring blooms soon...our thaw is very slow and we are going to get very wet and cold again next week....so spring continues to be delayed with a few blooms here and there literally....each of your vases adds joy to my day.

    As always I wish I could send more moisture your way.

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    1. At least we got a really deep soaking last week, Donna. It'll be interesting to see if the recent rains have significantly improved the mountain snowpack we'll be largely dependent upon through fall.

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  2. Hi Kris, I love orange too, gives such warmth and this is badly needed at the moment as spring is not in sight. Your vases are lush and gorgeous as always, I particularly enjoy seeing well known stalwarts along with your more tropical flowers. Hope Trump & Co. will come to their senses, fingers crossed. Have a good week, Annette

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    1. I think the only thing that may send the current US government administration in another direction will be the results of our mid-term elections in November, Annette. I look forward to seeing how things change as more and more of the new generation reaches voting age.

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  3. Your arrangements are stunning as always, and I am glad to see gardeners this week sharing stories from the marches.

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    1. Although this is first and foremost a garden blog, Terri, there are some issues I can't help commenting on.

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  4. I love orange in the garden, I need more of it. I think I may have kind of edited it out over the past few years. I just last week sowed some of the Calendula 'Bronzed Beauty' seeds that I bought after seeing yours. I hope they sprout well. Kudos to you on attending the March! The loud, obnoxious cynic and the soft, quiet voice of hope keep fighting in my head over it.

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    1. I fight with the cynical viewpoint in my own head too, Alison, but these kids do seem committed to the issue for the long haul. It'll almost certainly be a long, rutted, twisty road.

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  5. Both vases took my breath away but I have to say the vase of purples is my favorite. I'm so glad Gardening Nirvana put me onto this meme. These vases of loveliness is the best way to start a Monday!

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    1. Thanks Sue! A lot of the meme's participants would undoubtedly agree with you that this is a great way to put a positive spin on the coming week.

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  6. Thanks for marching and for making your vase be part of the message. I saw some of the young people with those signs that asked "am I next?" They were scary and heartbreaking in equal measure to think about what must be going through their minds as they carried their signs. I did not feel well but Mark went and took many photos. It was obvious from them the difference in behavior compared to the women's march.

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    1. I think many of these kids have been living with the fear of in-school violence for a long time, Linda. Many, if not most, schools seem to conduct active shooter drills on a regular basis now. I hope the marches helped them realize how many people really care about the issue.

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  7. It's sad that it's taken the loss of so many lives. The abundance of blooms in your spring garden is delightful as are both of your arrangements.

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  8. Thank you for taking a stand Kris. I love the 'Berry White' in your second vase. Nice.

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    1. 'Berry White' may be the best of the "4D" series of Osteospermums I've worked with to this point, Susie. Plant breeders seem to come out with more varieties in this series each year, though, so I've yet to explore all the possibilities.

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  9. Thanks for your participation, support of the students and sharing your photos. I start to cry every time I look at the images and signs from the protest. These young people are a beacon of hope for this old guy.

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    1. Even the chants during the march made me cry at times, Tim. The commitment and fervor of these kids helped me believe that the train has finally left the station on gun control this time. The kids of Sandy Hook were too young to lead a movement but the Parkland kids are not.

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  10. "It's time we stop, children, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down."

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    1. This movement does have a lot of the same energy and momentum as the protests of the 60s, Eric.

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  11. Thanks for telling us about your your involvement in the march Kris and for all the photos. It was most heartwarming to see the support from other young people across this small planet of ours Kris including students in the U.K. Your vases are both most eye-catching. I am taken by that purple leaf.

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    1. I was taken by surprise by the number of supportive marches outside the US, Anna. It's reassuring to know that the rest of the world hasn't give up on the US just because the current occupant of the White House continues to assert his narrow-minded nationalist agenda.

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  12. Kris, Yay I love it all. I ended up with a lot of orange in my garden simply because it grows here! Maybe a tropical thing. What continually amazes me about your garden is the seasonal plant material you can grown along with the tropical (Narcissus, foxglove, etc) California must be an amazing place to garden. Glad to see your March pictures (not the month) I was also emotional and cried through a lot of the kids speeches here. I think it upsets me on a visceral level that they even have to worry about guns.

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    1. I remain incredulous that nothing happened after the Sandy Hook murders (other than moronic trolls making things worse with claims that the whole thing was a hoax). But these kids are personally invested and I do believe they can lead the change and shift the whole discussion, Amelia. I know I'll be backing them to the hilt in every election.

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  13. Marty marched here in Long Beach among approx 10,000, he estimated. So great that we seem to have overcome that reluctance to take to the streets!

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    1. I was initially disappointed that the LA march didn't pull in crowds on the order of the 2017 Women's March but there were a LOT of localized marches - Long Beach, South Bay, Santa Monica, Burbank, etc. - and it can be argued that those may ultimately carry more impact on voters. I hope that's the case anyway!

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  14. Thank you for sharing the signs at the march - It's sad it has come to this, but really, 'enough is enough.' Let's hope Congress wakes up and takes sensible action.
    Lovely arrangements, Kris!

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    1. I'm not convinced that this Congress will act, Eliza, but I'm hoping that the new-and-i,proved version in 2019 will!

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  15. I will see my Californian poppies as orange support from here.

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    1. That's a wonderful symbol of support, Diana!

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  16. thumbs up Kris. My generation was able to effect the Vietnam issue so I hope this one will return the NRA to their roots as a gun safety/hunting safety organization.

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    1. I'm feeling much better about the chances of that happening than I have since the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook murders, Kathy. It's going to take time but I think the kids leading the charge in this case have the perseverance, intelligence, momentum and stamina to see it through. The NRA (referred to on many signs I saw as "Nothing Rational About It") will either gain leadership capable of common sense or it will slowly die out.

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  17. For the first time, in a long time, I actually have hope for gun control. These “kids” seem to be up to the task, never mind the idiots calling them actors and worse. Your vases are equally refreshing Kris.

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    1. It's going to take time, Loree, but I'm hopeful too. Growing up under the constant threat of gun violence in schools has given this generation a perspective that "old folks" seem incapable of seeing. One of the signs I saw during the march addressed that stupid "crisis actor" accusation - paraphrasing, it was something along the lines of "Gun control now - all these crisis actors are getting expensive."

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  18. Hi Kris, your vases are beautiful and I like the clever linking of the orange one to the marches. We are watching closely from over here and hope so much that those brave young people can make a difference.

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    1. They WILL make a difference. Sadly, it's going to take time.

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  19. I do hope that there really is a change coming with the young people initiating these marches. If politicians believe they will lose votes things will change - it's the only thing they are interested in. Your tribute to the march in orange is perfect; to my eyes it seems strange to have what I think of as spring blooms mixed with high summer exotics but it works because it is right in your garden!

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    1. Southern California is a different world in terms of growing conditions, Christina. If only we got a bit more rain, it's be perfect.

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  20. Your post is a tribute to these young people. The arrangements just full of the most perfect of blooms, and what a wonderfully wide variety.

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  21. There were several hundred people in Irvine of all places. I took some photos, but not as good as yours.

    The voter turnout for 2016 for age 18-24 was a miserable 18%. That needs to change--perhaps this movement will help do that.

    Softer colors in your bouquets this week. Very spring-like. How much rain did you get? We got barely a quarter inch, it was all north of us, very annoying.

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    1. I listened to a discussion on NPR this week addressing the issue of getting out the youth vote. The central message was that the attention of Millennials and Gen Z is likely to be anchored in specific issues so positions on gun violence may indeed drive more of them to the ballot box. There was a heavy emphasis on getting out the vote at the LA march and in fact there was a booth to pre-register 16-17 year olds. I knew Florida had enacted procedures to permit that but, until last weekend, I wasn't aware California had done so.

      We got 2/3rds of an inch of rain from the last storm, which I think is more than we got from a single system all season (with the possible exception of the early January storm). Our seasonal total is still lower than yours, though, I think - just 3.59 inches. It'll be interesting to hear whether the snowpack was helped by the last storms. I'd heard that was unlikely as it was a warm system.

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  22. Bravo! Orange is even more beautiful now.

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  23. Kris your vases are lovely! What a beautiful collection of oranges, apropos to the day. Thank you for taking part in the March For Our Lives. My 17 year old son marched here in San Jose. He also organized his high school walkout on the 17th. Our young people make me so proud. This feels like a sea change, finally, after so much loss. I remain hopeful. Thanks for sharing the march pics along with your gorgeous flowers.

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    1. Kudos to your son, Alys! I hope this is indeed the start of a fundamental shift that will result in meaningful change.

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  24. Wowza! Those vases are impressive! Have you ever arranged flowers for a wedding? You're a pro! Good for you, marching for life. I don't know how lawmakers can ignore the majority of people who want some changes in gun laws--even most gun owners are calling for some restrictions.

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    1. I can't even imagine preparing arrangements for a wedding, Beth. My Monday vases already test the limits of my skills and patience!

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  25. Oh well done for attending the march. It is heartening to hear that so many young people feel so strongly about it.
    I love orange flowers, I particularly love that grevillea. Two charming arrangements.

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    1. It came as a shock to me when I realized that the kids coming to voting age here have grown up under the cloud of gun violence in their schools since the Columbine massacre. It's appalling that the US hasn't come together to face down and constructively deal with the issue before this.

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  26. The orange vase is glorious Kris. I think some of that emotion from the march crept in too, and it seems to carry the message. :)

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