Monday, March 19, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Spring has arrived!

Two weeks of periodic rainstorms may not have made up for the overall dryness of our winter rainy season or lifted us back out of drought but it's re-energized both the garden and the gardener, at least for now.  Suddenly, the problem in preparing arrangements for "In a Vase on Monday," the popular weekly exercise hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, isn't what to pick but how to cram everything I've picked into the vase I've selected.  The Ranunculus in the cutting garden got me started this week as they all seem to be blooming at once.

I wasn't sure what I was going to pair with the vivid red Ranunculus when I cut those first stems but in no time I'd gathered more than I needed.

The red Ranunculus were supposed to be purple but I must admit they proved useful as vase material this week

The orange-red Freesia were supposed to be blue and, although they're messing with the color composition of 2 of my borders, they also came in handy in preparing this arrangement

Grevilleas and a stem of early-blooming Alstromeria added extra pizzazz 

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', red and yellow Freesia, Ranunculus californicus (aka California buttercup), red Ranunculus (open form), Xylosma congestum, another red Ranunculus (rose form), Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset', and, in the center, Grevillea 'Ned Kelly'


My second vase also started out with Ranunculus and Freesia.

I cut the first bloom of Digitalis 'Dalmatian White' in my cutting garden to give this arrangement more height

This is the back view but, when I reviewed my photos, I liked it better than the view I selected as the front of the arrangement

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Coleonema album; Cuphea hybrid 'Starfire Pink'; Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey'; pink and white Freesia; white, pink and picotee Ranunculus; Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'; and, in the center, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White'


For more vases from IaVoM contributors, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



Last week I discovered a new book on flower arranging that captures my own approach, Color Me Floral by Kiana Underwood.  It offers recipes for monochromatic arrangements, albeit based on a wider range of floral and foliage materials than most of us are able to forage from our gardens.  You can find more information about the book here if you're interested.*

Image from Amazon.com


*I found this book on my own and wasn't offered anything to include mention of it in my post.


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

38 comments:

  1. It's interesting how often bloggers add 'this was supposed to be blue/pink/cream'. What is going on? I suppose we don't mention the many times things are what they are supposed to be. Your vases are so colourful and wonderful shapes. I really don't need another book but I'll just go and have a look...

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    1. I admit that I was VERY irritated when a large number of the Freesia and Ranunculus bulbs I bought in sealed, clearly labeled bags from my garden center all bloomed in the wrong colors. I figure that the growers who shipped the bags to my garden center have some poor color-blind guy in their packaging unit.

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  2. Oh you have chosen wonderfully well for that first vase, with the alstroemeria and grevillea and whatever the 'claw' blooms are toning perfectly with the not-red ranunculus. AS always your eye for colour combinations is spot-on, so of course your second vase is just as attractive in a cooler and more subtle way. Both lovely :)

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    1. Thanks Cathy! The claw blooms are commonly known here as parrot's beak and they're blooming prolifically right now. The Alstroemeria are just beginning to produce buds so finding an open bloom in that color was pure serendipity.

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  3. I tend to plant and often make bouquets that are monocrome so I will have to look for that book. Your first vase is just a wowie zowie bouquet. And that shot from above is my favorite. So many different looks in one arrangement.

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    1. I was pleased with how that Grevillea appeared in the overhead shot of the first vase too, Linda. Grevilleas never cease to awe me (which I suppose is a good thing given the number of plants I now have).

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  4. A great problem to have Kris.....and that books looks very interesting. I must say all those reds really took my breath away today but both your vases warmed me...very cold here.

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    1. Our weather is definitely better than yours at the moment, Donna. I expect you'd be wearing a t-shirt and shorts if you were here, even though it's still on the slightly cool side from my own perspective.

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  5. Vivacious color in that first arrangement - love the ranunculi (didn't know there was a 'single' version), lotus and freesia - even if they weren't the color you expected, they proved useful. The pink vase is yummy with the leptospermum, delicate ranunculi and hot pink freesia. Even the throat spots on the digitalis match! Tres magnifique!

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    1. I don't usually go for red flowers in the garden so I was frankly surprised at just how much of it I have at the moment.

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  6. Gorgeous, possibly best ever. Isn't rain amazing. And the Ranunculus, my mother was besotted by them, but they are impossible to grow in the humid south.The range of plant material in your garden continues to amaze me,I enjoy seeing it all!

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    1. Ranunculus aren't especially easy to grow even here, Amelia. They tolerate heat but the tubers need a surprisingly amount of water to bloom. I've given up planting them in my borders, where plants generally receive as little water as necessary to keep them alive, but I lavish the raised beds of my cutting garden with water from my rain collection tanks.

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  7. They are lovely vases, Kris the red one especially has Impact! I think alstroemerias would do well in my garden....I love the one in your vase.

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    1. Alstroemerias are beautiful in the garden and have a long vase life when used as cut flowers in a vase, Jane.

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  8. The Lotus is neat, is that a good grower for you?

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    1. 'Amazon Sunset' is especially vigorous (which is why I couldn't understand why I was having a problem getting new plants established in one area before the bunny problem mentioned in my foliage follow-up post was revealed). I usually see it grown in pots and baskets where the flowers can trail but, in my garden, it's performed even better as a groundcover.

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  9. The warm colors of the first arrangement could brighten the darkest day.
    Love the drooping Lotus berthelotii tracing the bottom of the arrangement and how Alstroemeria pulls both colors together. The more subtle beauty of the second is quite elegant but still exuberant.

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    1. Thanks Peter! The garden did all the work.

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  10. Nice to see the Coleonema, and it smells so good. On my list ...

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    1. Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' has an even more pleasing scent than C. album, Diana.

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  11. Oh how lovely to see your floral abundance! You've done a great job with the arrangements. I didn't realize Ranunculus had those two forms--both are lovely. You've really had a challenge with colors not being labelled correctly, but they sure worked out well.

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    1. I wish I'd recorded who the growers were for the mis-labeled Freesia and Ranunculus, Susie. If I had, I'd be sending those growers a letter...It doesn't seem fair to hold the garden center that sold the bagged bulbs accountable and then it's not as if I've any proof to back up my claims - the receipts don't reflect flower colors.

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  12. Lovely arrangements. I am wowed by your abundance!

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    1. My garden peaks in the spring, Terri. The plants tend to hunker down when temperatures soar in the summer.

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  13. Oh those Ranunculus! so pretty! they look like roses I'll buy ranunculus this year. Fall is around the corner here, days are still hot but nights are now cooler and plants notice it, we had a very rainy week with two leaf-shredding hailstorms just when roses were leafing out and camellias producing buds... disaster!

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    1. Amelia (theshrubqueen) says she's had problems growing Ranunculus under her humid conditions in Florida but perhaps you can treat them as annuals. That's actually what I do here.

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  14. I’m so jealous you’ve got Ranunculus in your cutting garden, and so many beautiful blooms! I did buy a lovely peachy orange bundle at Trader Joe’s last week for under $5 so I’m not completely without. Oh and speaking of rain, I read something this morning that makes it sound like SoCal will be getting more rain than we are towards the nd of the week? Hope that’s true!

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    1. Yep! There's no real sign of it now but there's a decent chance of rain tomorrow and a very good (80-90%) chance on Thursday. As I'm using watering cans to tote rainwater from my collection tanks at the moment, I'm really looking forward to Mother Nature taking over.

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  15. Both arrangements are gorgeous Kris. With winter still making its presence felt here I am so much enjoying the exuberant flowers of warmer climes. I too usually prefer arrangements that are monochromatic but with flowers from the garden that is obviously always dependant on what is available.

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    1. I hope you get relief from the cold soon, Christina!

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  16. Wow! The red in that first arrangement really knocked me out. I love it. I'm hoping with the cutting garden and all the seeds I've started this year that I will have a feast of flowers soon in my own garden and will have your dilemma when putting my vases together too.

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    1. I've been hesitant about using red flowers in my garden. That's probably a holdover from my practice in my former tiny garden, where strong reds seemed too overwhelming. This garden's sunny exposure and larger size seems more fitting for strong colors and they're slowly creeping in. However, those red Ranunculus really were supposed to be purple!

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  17. Oh, wow! All those reds and oranges in the first vase are just GORGEOUS! I am starved of colour here right now, and your vases are a real pick-me-up! Thanks Kris!

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    1. I know the gardens of those of you in colder climes will take off as soon as the snow melts, Cathy, and your gardens will still be looking fabulous in summer, when mine's in decline.

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  18. I like the contrasting colour schemes, one bright, one soft.

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  19. Two fabulous vases, Kris - that second one is sooo signature style! I love all your reds (no surprise!), and the red ranunculus in particular. All the same, I feel for your frustration at getting the wrong colors in your borders. I remember my late grandmother telling of one year when every bare-root rose she bought turned out to have been mislabeled!

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    1. Of necessity, we do put a lot of trust in growers when it comes to their labeling. The degree of inaccuracy with the bulbs this round is really annoying, though. It wasn't just one bulb here or there that was off. Almost all the "blue" Freesias are coming up dark pink or orange-red.

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