Monday, April 9, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Spring before summer

Our temperature is expected to soar to a summer-like level today, reaching 80F (26C).  I know that may sound like heaven to those of you still shivering under winter's icy fingers; however, we don't like to see summer arrive this early.  Summer usually overstays its welcome as it is.  In addition, it stresses all the early spring blooms, some of which are only now making an appearance, prompted by the rainstorms that belatedly showed up in March.  I'm making the most of the spring blooms now while I can still enjoy them.

The pink Alstroemerias are sparser than usual this spring but, with a plentiful supply of pink flowers elsewhere in the garden, I picked what I had to tie my other choices together

The Centranthus ruber (aka Jupiter's Beard) that colors up my drab back slope in spring is blooming right on schedule

I stood on a chair to take this top view photo and still couldn't entirely capture it

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: noID Alstroemeria, Antirrhinum majus, Centranthus ruber, Coleonema album, Freesia, Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', and Ranunculus


My perennial flossflower (Ageratum corymbosum) is now in full bloom, stretching into one of the main pathways in the back garden, so it was a natural choice for cutting this week, although I was challenged to avoid duplicating the vase I created two weeks ago.

In addition to the Ageratum, I used the same Osteospermum I paired with it 2 weeks ago

but the other elements are new

I also had a problem photographing this vase from above

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Osteospermum '3D Berry White', Ageratum corymbosum, Coleonema album, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White', Limonium perezii, Ocimum hybrid 'African Blue Basil', and Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa'


Here's a side-by-side comparison of today's vase and the one I created two weeks ago:

Oops, I duplicated the Coleonema too.  Still, I think the 2 arrangements have their own personalities.


The new vases landed on the dining room table and in the front entry as usual.  Last week's vases held up surprisingly well but I tossed most of the contents anyway.



For more Monday vases, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  For those of you still suffering winter's chill, I hope some of Southern California's warmth blows your way.


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

46 comments:

  1. Even duplicated flowers are a bonus and so special in your vases.....those bright pink flowers are just the ticket to warm me.....and oh the purples always please too! I am sorry to hear you are warming while we are still unseasonably cold.....so very strange.

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    1. With climate change, extreme conditions in both our areas of the country seem to be be intensifying, Donna. Our temperature just passed 94F - ridiculous and more than a little scary when I think of the summer to come.

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  2. Oh both of these are wonderful, Kris - you never seem to lack blooms and are able to thrill us week after week with your abundance. To have such a range of pinks for your first vase, and of blues for your second, is such an asset. Shame that you have to put up with long summers and lack of rain...! ;) Thanks for sharing Kris, as always

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    1. You don't know the depth of my envy over the rain you get in the UK, Cathy. While Northern and Central California got a healthy rainstorm late last week, it entirely passed us by. The seasonal total in my garden stands at 3.59 inches and in all likelihood that's the last we'll see until fall or later. The garden will be fine as long as we're able to continue irrigating but there's always a question as to when the water supply may be reduced.

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  3. Both fabulous, as usual! I'm looking forward to planting out the Centranthus ruber seedlings I have growing in the greenhouse. I grew some from seed my first year here, they did well, but for some reason (can't remember why), I pulled them out and tossed them a few years later. Now they're back, and I hope they thrive for me as yours have.

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    1. Centranthus is really a weed here, Alison. I've mostly confined the plants to the back slope, where supplemental water is more severely limited. That generally keeps it in check, although I also pull a lot of the seedlings when they appear after the winter rains.

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  4. Both so lovely. I love your pretty in pink and I had to smile at the idea of you climbing on a chair to take a photo. All your spring flowers shout summer to me and I could really do with some of that heat.

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    1. It's even hotter than the forecasts predicted here, Chloris. We passed 90F (32C) before noon today! I'm hoping the other forecasts maintaining that this is a temporary "warm-up" are more accurate.

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  5. Those are GORGEOUS! I especially love your pink vase with the Centranthus. I don’t know that name for it! I really can’t imagine summer staying too long!

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    1. I've come to realize that summer in the UK and summer in Southern California are two very different things, Ali. Our summers are very long, very hot, and very dry periods not at all hospitable to most growing things other than succulents and the most drought tolerant of trees and shrubs.

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  6. Two superb arrangements. What you call spring flowers are our Summer Flowers. It must be so gratifying to have such a range of possible blooms to choose from...but I know that behind these arrangements is a very good gardener. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's funny but I've made similar statements to gardeners in US desert areas, Noelle. What blooms for us in spring often blooms for them during the winter months, just as what blooms for you in summer blooms for me in spring. The degree of heat is the fundamental difference in both cases I'd guess.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear that the spring is not lasting, I hope the spring blooms linger longer though they look like full summer here! I love the foxgloves with the blues.

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    1. The plants in my cutting garden are already reacting very negatively to this heat spell, Alison. If I'd have realized that our temperatures would exceed 90F (32C) today, I'd have cut just about everything I had there yesterday. Please notice my use of the past tense.

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  8. Wonderful arrangements again Kris. My Centranthus flowers in summer here, so it is interesting to hear it is a spring flower for you. We sometimes get the moth called the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth hovering over it, so I wonder if yours gets any special visitors?

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    1. I've seen photos of hummingbird hawk moths in posts from other parts of the US, Cathy, but I've never seen one here, although according to the map I saw their range includes Southern California. Perhaps predators - or our resident hummingbirds! - keep them at bay.

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  9. Two really lovely arrangements, Kris. I didn’t know the Botanical name for Valerian and had to look it up. It’s considered an environmental weed here, but I still like it for filling difficult corners. Alstroemeria is something I want to grow, and those pink ones are gorgeous. I never see it in nurseries. I’m sorry your weather is hotting up so soon. Ours refuses to cool down, still at least 30C almost every day and no rain.

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    1. I read (somewhere) that all the areas with Mediterranean climates are facing extended periods of intense heat and drought, Jane. That certainly seems to be the case here. I hope you get a break soon!

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  10. WOW. You have so many blooms to choose from. Such lively full vases.

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    1. Early spring is usually my peak bloom period, Lisa, although this flash of heat isn't helping the garden any. Flowers in my cutting garden are shriveling quickly.

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  11. I hope spring cools down a bit for you. Both arrangements are gorgeous as always!

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    1. Both weather forecasters I follow are showing a 20 degree drop in temperatures tomorrow but then neither accurately predicted today's high would climb over 90F.

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  12. So pretty in pink and the blues, too...honestly, even if you duplicated exactly the same vase, it'd still be wonderful to my eyes. With the lack of growing things around here, any floral creation pleases. :)

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    1. Oh, if only there were a heat (and rain) exchange, Eliza!

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  13. Beautiful work there, fluffy and billowy.

    It's 90F here. Wise you got some flowers picked before the heat blast arrived. Everything that was so beautiful at 7:am is drooping and toasty at 3pm.

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    1. Yesterday, the highest temperature I saw in Monday's forecasts for our area was 80F, HB. If I'd known our temperature was actually going to peak near 95F in mid-afternoon, I'd have cut nearly everything in my cutting garden then. Even the Ranunculi, said to handle heat, withered, despite the supplemental water I gave them yesterday. It was too rapid a change, especially as the humidity level also tanked. Ugh! I hope this isn't a preview of what summer will bring this year.

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  14. Kris, both vases are gorgeous. The arrangements don't seem duplicated at all, but rather unique. Swooning over your foxglove and ranunculus today, as well as all the other wonderful blooms you've found. We've already had 80 but then people reported seeing snow Friday night. I feel amazement that plants are as adaptable as they are.

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    1. I should take an analytical view and observe what does and doesn't survive today's 95F heat blast but I can't help kicking myself for failing to cut more flowers yesterday. The temperature is currently (at 7pm) stuck at 84F but hopefully it'll plummet as the evening proceeds. My irrigation system will run during the wee hours overnight, which will be a bigger help yet.

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  15. Nicely done! Anytime temperatures soar, or drop, with little time to adjust, it’s bad for people and plants. Hope your summer is short lived.

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    1. It looks as though we're in for at least one more day of summer-level temperatures. At least the garden got a thorough watering early this morning to help it through.

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  16. I think the two vases with similar flowers look totally different, mostly because the Foxgloves add such a great strong vertical accent. As usual, your spring flowers equal my early summer, but I'm getting used to that. Your early blast of heat sounds very scary; I'm dreading that happening here too this year as spring has not really made herself apparent yet.

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    1. While not as horrible as the first-day-of-summer heatwave we had in 2016, yesterday's blast of heat nonetheless took a toll on my early spring blooms. We're expected to be only a couple of degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler today, which is also much warmer than originally projected. It's depressing.

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  17. Kris, your IAVOM posts have really changed my view of Alstroemerias! I used to think of them as generic grocery-store bouquet filler. But in your arrangements, I see their real beauty. Thank you for introducing me to ageratum--I think that could work really well for some of the shady areas of my terraced back yard that still need filling in. --Terri, tssoutherngarden.com

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    1. The perennial Ageratum (described as "ever-purple" by the grower) is relatively uncommon - I've only seen it offered by one Northern California nursery, which is where I got it by mail order. But the annual Ageratums are wonderful too, although they generally need more sun, at least here.

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  18. Pretty in pink and blue! I hope your Snaps last a while they are gorgeous, the pinks look perfect in the vase.I am happy you got some rain there - a friend sent me almost blooming Jacaranda pictures so you are in for a treat!! Those are a favorite, grow here and bloom about 30% of what you get in LA.

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    1. Sadly, last week's rainstorm stayed well north of us, Amelia. We got not a drop. However, I expect the local Jacarandas to bloom in profusion in May as usual.

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  19. The pale ranunculus make quite a statement in the pink vase. And I love seeing the foxgloves in your second. They are sometimes offered here, but I haven't tried them yet. How thirsty are they in your garden?
    It's really heating up here now; we hit 94 F today and have a few nasty days predicted. Sadly, it was quite a fast spike from much cooler weather over just the last few weeks. Hopefully it will cool back off for bit to allow the garden time to adjust!

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    1. I put the foxgloves in the cutting bed because they need more water than I give the plants in my border, Amy. While the raised beds are on a drip system that runs 2x per week, I usually supplement with hand watering 1-2x per week. I'm currently using rainwater from my tanks but that's rapidly being depleted. Unfortunately, the last week's rainstorms in Northern and Central California didn't reach us to top off my tanks.

      We hit a high of 95F Monday but it didn't go quite that high Tuesday or today.

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  20. Hello dear Kris,
    You are really a flowerartist. Can't make a choice I love them all. They are all special. It must be great to be able to fill your vases with flowers out of your own garden. I hope for you that the temperatures get more springlike.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Rosehugs Marijke

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    1. It still feels a little like summer here but at least it is not as hot as Monday was!

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  21. I love those snapdragons! Such a beautiful shade of raspberry. I had to do a double take on the Centranthus, it looks so much like crape myrtle from a distance. The double white Ranunculus sets off the arrangement perfectly.

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    1. It's so far so good with my snapdragons this year, sweetbay. I've always had horrible problems with rust on these plants, which generally leads me to pull them even before they reach peak bloom. This year, I grew the snaps from seed and, so far, no rust!

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