Monday, April 30, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Springing toward summer

I'm already looking at my cutting garden with an eye toward what I can remove to make room for summer bloomers.  I've cleared out some of the Ranunculus and I think the peach foxgloves and the Calendula will be the next to go as both were badly burned by the brief heatwave we experienced in early April.  However, despite their ugly foliage, the foxgloves and Calendula have continued to produce bloom spikes so I cut several of each as the starting point for this week's first vase.

The garden provided plenty of other blooms to add zing to the soft peach flowers

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Calendula 'Bronzed Beauty', Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Peach', Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', and Lantana camara 'Irene'


The bearded Iris on the back of the slope I'd hoped to use last week bloomed last Monday afternoon.

The blooms are violet, not the deep purple I'd expected based on the color of the buds.  I don't know the variety as the bulbs were planted by a prior owner.  I believe this is the first time in the 7 years we've lived here that they've bloomed.


Fortunately, our weather turned a bit cooler again last week (upper 60s to low-70sF) so there were still viable blooms available to cut this week.

There are 2 more bloom stalks still in bud on the back slope but, with warmer temperatures expected to return this week, I thought this might be my only chance to feature the Iris in an arrangement.  Thus far, none of the other bearded Iris in my garden shown any indication that they're preparing to bloom this year.

The back view is remarkably similar to the front view this week

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: noID Iris germanica, Lathyrus odoratus, Coriandrum sativum, Cerinthe major purpurascens, and Polgala myrtifolia 'Mariposa'


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



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

38 comments:

  1. Both gorgeous but I particularly love the colour scheme of the first vase. I love the peachy foxglove with the richness of the deeper colours and the calendula is a perfect match. And the second vase is lovely too, I can never resist an iris and you have so many beautiful blooms to complement it.

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    1. The bearded Iris have been a huge disappointment for the past several years. I planted some very pretty varieties after we moved in but they've been no-shows. Frankly, I'm surprised and somewhat mystified that those on the back slope bloomed as I've paid them little to no attention at all.

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  2. You always do 'colour' so well, Kris. Your peach one today is especiaally successful and it was good to hear that you could utilise blooms that you were about to take out. I am growing a 'white' calendula this year so I shall be interested to see what it looks like in the flesh

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    1. A white calendula? I'll be interested in seeing that!

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  3. Fabulous colors in each vase and they work well together....glad you could use the iris and I love those peachy colors mixed with rosy reds and oranges.....your blooms help me get past the fact that we are at a standstill here due to cold weather, but with summer temps for a day midweek, the garden should jump ahead all at once.

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    1. The cold weather has held on much too long in your part of the country, Donna. I hope you enjoy a good long stretch of pleasant weather to make up for spring's delayed arrival.

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  4. Both are beautiful but the warm colors of the first ('Indian Summer' is my new favorite Alstroemeria and I always love seeing 'Ned Kelly!') skillfully combined with the peachier tones makes my heart sing. It reminds me of the colors that we painted the exterior of our house the first time.

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    1. That Alstroemeria really is wonderful, isn't it?! It looks to be more vigorous than the other varieties in my garden too.

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  5. Both beautiful as always but that bit extra taken with that orange and apricot arrangement!

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  6. The soft peaches are beautifully accented by the darker shades. It's terrible to have to choose what to move to make room. I look forward to your summer bloomers.

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    1. I could be very happy with another acre or so of garden space, Alison. But in coastal Southern California that amount of land comes at a very steep price!

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  7. That fiery vase is shouting out Summer! That lantana is a gorgeous colour. And the cool colours of the second are a lovely contrast. :)

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    1. That lantana isn't as tough as the plainer white variety I have growing in my front garden but I adore the color of it. If I could find more plants, I'd snap them up.

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  8. The iris is lovely and you have surrounded it with perfect companions. I love the colors. Also love that peachy foxglove. It is demure but holds its own with those striking Alstroemeria and Grevillea. Oh, have a great time at the Fling. I'll be thinking of you.

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    1. I was disappointed that the peach foxglove was so badly burned during our early April heatwave. With just a touch more shade, the white variety nearby fared much better.

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  9. Both of your vases are just beautiful. So springy.

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  10. Two beautiful vases, Kris. The first one is very fulsome, and l love those colours. I’ve noticed you’ve used alstroemerias quite often in your vases and it’s inspired me to plant some as I think they would do well here. They are proving quite difficult to source.

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    1. In the US, I've noticed that some of the bulb sellers offer Alstroemeria so, if you haven't already checked those sources, Jane, perhaps that's an angle you could pursue.

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  11. wowee, that A. "Indian Summer' is a nice one.

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    1. 'Indian Summer' has really surprised me with its vigor. When you factor in the flower and foliage color, it becomes a "must have" plant.

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  12. Once again I'm jealous of your abundance. I'm so looking forward to having some Calendula to cut. Right now I have tiny sprouts.

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    1. I'm planning to plant some more Calendula from seed soon - after I clear out more space in the cutting garden. Actually, as space there is limited, maybe I should trying seeding other areas of the garden. The raccoons messed with my seeds the last time I planted them in the larger garden but, with things filling in, maybe I should try again.

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  13. I'm so surprised by your Irises Kris, they are one of the few plants that survive the heat and drought here (I don't ever irrigate them). That said they seem to have even more flowers this year after our wet spring. Both your vases are gorgeous. Your friends must think it wonderful that you always have such beautiful arrangements to greet them. Your foxglove has lasted very well.

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    1. I'm surprised - and frustrated - by the Iris too, Christina, especially as they bloomed reasonably well for a few years after we moved in. Perhaps all the soil amendments I've added have covered more of the surface of the tubers than advisable. I may lift and replant some later this year.

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  14. The colors in that first vase are so elegant!
    Your Cerinthe looks better than mine. I think I need to resow. Do you sow it yourself?

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    1. The current crop of Cerinthe are self-seeded, Amy. I thought they were gone this year until I discovered them hiding behind some of my more established (larger) shrubs.

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  15. Hi Chris, Your Irises look like what I call "old-fashioned" ones. They're so reliable. I'm a sucker for Foxglove and yours are huge and so beautiful. I'm hoping some will bloom in my big garden this year.

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    1. I recognized the Iris as one that's relatively common around here, although I couldn't discover its name in my (admittedly brief) on-line search. I've never had much luck with foxgloves in my borders but they've worked out better in my more well-watered cutting garden. They're annuals here - they can't handle our summers.

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  16. Great bunches of flowers, Kris!
    I read your name several times at MDN's blog. Got curious about your Californian garden now.
    Greetings from Germany sends Sigrid

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    1. Thanks for the kind remark and for visiting my blog, Sigrid!

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  17. Both beautifully put together vases of flowers but I'm especially drawn to your second vase Kris probably because the flowers in it are my favourite colours. The markings on the iris are exquisite. It must have been the seven-year itch that prompted them into flowering :)

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    1. Well, if the 7-year itch theory is correct, then I suppose I just have 3 or 4 more years to wait for my other bearded Iris to bloom, Anna. That's better than never anyway!

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  18. Love the bold orange & peach combo of grevillea, foxglove and alstroemeria, as well as the cooler purple/pink of iris, cerinthe and sweet pea. I always thought iris liked it dry, but maybe your temps/drought are too extreme for them to bloom?

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    1. I've been told that bearded Iris need water during their growing cycle, even though they prefer drier conditions during their long dormant period. I wondered if the timing of our winter rains this year, the bulk of which fell in March, just happened to fit the timetable of these particular bulbs.

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  19. Both are beautiful, as always! Perhaps my favorite is the one with the irises, which surprises me because I am not a big Iris fan. But I love the colors, as well as the vase.

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    1. I was in a bit of a quandary in selecting a vase for the Iris.
      That silvered glass vase struck me as the right touch to complement but not overwhelm it.

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