Monday, May 28, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Better than I'd anticipated

The Agapanthus are making their annual appearance throughout my garden.  Unlike prior years when they've arrived like a stampede of cattle, they're moseying in a few at a time.  However, as I have more clumps of the plants than I can count, that's still a lot of flowers.  The question this week wasn't would I use them in an arrangement for "In a Vase on Monday" but rather how I'd use them.  Although I like the flowers, I've seldom been pleased by how they look in a vase.  As the variegated Echium 'Star of Madeira' is also blooming at last, I decided to see how those two plants would look together.  Frankly, I wasn't too impressed by the combination once the cut stems were in my bucket but adding a few other plants seemed to improve the overall effect.

I tried to keep the arrangement airy but it could perhaps have used more splashes of white

Back view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: blue and white Agapanthus, Coleonema album, Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira', Consolida ajacis (aka larkspur and Delphinium ambiguum), and Osteospermum '4D Silver'


I managed to take out a small slice of one finger while cutting back the weed-like growth of Erigeron karvinskianus in the course of assembling flowers for this weeks' vases.  This put a damper on my flower arranging exercise but my husband bandaged up my finger and I persevered to create a second vase, using flowers I'd had my eye on since last week.

This was supposed to be the front of the vase but I changed my mind

This view shows off the flowers of Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl' and Dorycnium hirsutum, which were the inspiration for this arrangement.  The vase itself is new, picked up during a weekend botanic garden/nursery trip with a friend to celebrate my upcoming birthday.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, this vase contains: noID Alstroemeria, white and pink Centranthus ruber, Dorycnium hirsutum (aka Hairy Canary Clover), Jasminum polyanthum (hanging over the fence from my neighbor's garden), and Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'


Those of you who've included peonies in recent arrangements know I suffer from a severe case of peony envy.  I have 2 peony plants but the Itoh peony hasn't bloomed since the year I purchased it (in 2013!) and the Majorcan variety, which generally produces at least a single bloom, has produced none this year.  So, when my hairdresser told me the market down the street from her shop had peonies, I treated myself to some.  It's an IAVOM cheat but here's my third vase:

The rose may be the queen of flowers but I think the peony is the empress.  This vase is sitting in the kitchen window where I can admire the flowers many times a day but it didn't photograph well there.


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



And best wishes to all of you in the US for a happy Memorial Day holiday!


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

45 comments:

  1. Oh my Kris what a bunch of stunning vases....the purple vase with the agapanthus and other wonderful blooms including those Osteospermum really was a stunner.....but then I saw your pink vase and wow! A great new vase too. I hope your finger mends quickly.

    I was glad you could get some peonies as well especially as your birthday approaches. Wishing you a fabulous birthday!

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    1. I too thought I owed myself some peonies as an early b-day present, Donna. After all, I'm not getting any younger!

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  2. Well of course you had to buy yourself some Peonies, what with your birthday coming up! Nice new vase too, I hope your finger heals up fast.

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    1. The finger is annoying and my own darn fault for being too impatient to be careful. I'm going through half a dozen band-aids a day just trying to keep the wound dry. Of course, it'd probably help if I laid off gardening for a few days but apparently good sense doesn't necessarily come with age...

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  3. Kris, all vases look stunning but the one with Peonies takes the cake, I definitely understand the peonies envy thing! they are so insolently beautiful, if one day I garden in a colder climate I'll have thousand peonies! Have a nice week!

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    1. "Insolently beautiful" - well-described, MDN!

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  4. Pretty! Your vases are so color coordinated,it's impressive! Happy birthday, and best of luck with your finger.

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    1. Thanks Renee! I got the bleeding to stop which is progress.

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  5. I have red and white valerian growing like a weed in my garden and have never thought of using it to so beautiful an effect as you have done by combining it with more sophisticated flowers. You have inspired me to have a go.

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    1. Valerian/Centranthus is a weed in my garden too but I let it do its thing in the drier areas where I have trouble getting other flowers to grow. It makes a pretty good cut flower, although it doesn't hold up more than 4 or so days in a vase.

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  6. I love blue and white always, and usually am left cold by pink -- but your second arrangement is perfection. It's the grey-green that makes it, both the vase (happy birthday to you!) and the Leptospermum foliage. Hope you heal quickly; the persistence through pain really paid off.

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    1. Pink isn't my favorite color either but I do like it with sage green and gray. And I've got a LOT of Leptospermum and Dorycnium in bloom at the moment!

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  7. Even though I like blue better than pink in general , I like your pink vase the best--the canary clover just makes it for me.Not to mention the Lepto !

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    1. Hairy Canary Clover is a great plant, Kathy! The fact that it likes dry conditions and self-seeds are major bonuses.

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  8. Kris! Finally found my way over to your blog. What beauty in your vases! Oy, that blue one is exquisite. That Dorycnium hirsutum--wow, fantastic in arrangement--I'll have to plant a couple of those! (Do you think the deer will eat it?)
    I'm glad I met you in Austin, Kris. You made this newbie feel welcome and comfortable. Thank you for your warm presence!

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    1. I'm glad to have met you too, Alyse! As a relative Fling newbie myself (Austin was just my 2nd Fling), I'm glad We could hang out a bit. As to your question, while I've got squirrels, raccoons, coyotes and now bunnies, I've no experience whatsoever with deer so I can't tell you whether or not deer like it. The foliage is fuzzy and soft like Stachys byzantina so, if they don't eat that, maybe they'd also avoid the Dorycnium.

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  9. Yes, peonies do impress. Just like everyone else, I love them...but you know, sometimes find them just what? a bit too much. A little TOO showy! Give me a tulip, or larkspur/delphinium or even a snapdragon and I am happy. I've never grown roses so cannot speak to that!
    I am continually impressed and envious of your variety of flowers at any given time. Amazing. Here we have had endless rain and grayness (wonderful for working in the garden) but the color has taken a long break! I leave for England in two weeks, and hoping their nice weather continues...

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    1. If I could grow peonies maybe their show-off looks would put me off in time, Libby, but at present they represent the holy grail of flowers to me. Best wishes for sunny weather during your trip!

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  10. Oh you must be pleased that your agapanthus are arriving in dribs and drabs Kris and not all at once. They are stunning flowers. I hope that your finger has recovered from being snipped and that you're not in pain.

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    1. I suspect I'm not going to have the usual volume of Agapanthus this year, Anna. It seems that the lack of winter rain is having an impact even on those most generally reliable blooms. As to my finger, it's finally stopped throbbing!

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  11. Very nice, I am loving those blue spikes!

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    1. They're a little late in arriving this year but very welcome!

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  12. Knowing how tall echiums get it seems strange seeing it cut for vase, but it works wel. And the shades of pink and green in your second vase are a perfect conbination

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    1. Both the Echium and the Agapanthus would be happy in my tallest vase (seldom used) but I cut them dramatically to balance with the shorter stems of the larkspur, Coleonema and Osteospermum.

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  13. Your vases are always so bountiful, Kris. This week I wouldn’t be able to choose a favourite. You have a very sweet leptospermum in your pink vase. I’ve discovered another difference in our climates: I can’t grow alstroemerias or echium as it’s too cold here in winter for them.

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    1. We don't get freezes at all, Jane. I take it that you must. Our winters have been getting steadily warmer too. We used to be able to grow some stone fruit trees but the winter chill seems to be inadequate now even for the most low-chill varieties.

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  14. The blue looks great without white accent. And the pink are so pretty together. Ouch for your poor finger. Your new vase is a beauty. Peonies are great and when we lived in colder climates I always grew them.

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    1. The Itoh peony was supposed to handle warmer winter conditions but I think we may have become just too warm. I recently discovered that my zip code is now rated as 11a.

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  15. Those are all beautiful vases full of blooms. Happy IAVOM.

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  16. One can never have too many arrangements! I don't blame you a bit for buying peonies, it is a necessary indulgence. :)
    Your other arrangements are lovely, esp. love the 'Pink Pearl' - it is so lush and packed with blooms. Hairy Canary Clover is new to me and is pretty cool looking, fuzzy/pink/gray-green all in one.

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    1. The really great thing about Hairy Canary Clover (in addition to its drought tolerance and self-seeding) is that it's attractive in and out of bloom.

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  17. Happy upcoming birthday, Kris! I love your new vase and how the Dorycnium hirsutum hangs down so gracefully. You can never go wrong with blue in my opinion and peonies to boot! Hooray. I saw some at a local grocery store and almost got some but decided to simply enjoy the fragrance there and keep myself from having to pick up petals at home.

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    1. So far, the peonies have behaved themselves and held their petals but I think the point of no return is approaching. Still, they're a value for a week of pure joy.

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  18. You may have Peony envy Kris; but I have Agapanthus envy!! I do have Agapanthus in the garden and in a pot but they were hit hard by the cold winter and I don't expect them to flower this year. I love the blue arrangement with it's different textures and forms of blue. I think it photographed better in its final position, maybe something to do with the angle of the shot?

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    1. Agapanthus seem to handle short-term freezes like those experienced by our inland valleys here but prolonged cold snaps aren't in their job description! As I recall, you even got snow this past winter - no wonder the plants are sulking. I thought the arrangement looked better in its final spot too - although I turn on all the electric lights to take my photos, the light through the windows was probably better by that point.

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  19. Did you know there is a peony nursery called Peony's Envy?!! I had a hardy Agapanthus that I've been growing for a number of years that I think died this winter. It is such a beautiful flower and the blue is incredible. I love that you always have multiple vases AND take pix of them from multiple angles. I always think I will do it and then completely forget about it.

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    1. Now that you mention it, I remember hearing about that nursery, Linda, not that there's much point in my placing an order there. I tried growing a herbaceous peony once in my former garden, going as far as scattering ice cubes around its base at periodic intervals in a vain effort to simulate a real winter. Needless to say, I wasn't successful! I tried a tree peony too - there I at least got a single flower after several years in the ground and then never again.

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  20. When is your birthday, Kris? 28th?. Happy Birthday!
    And by the way, my birthday is today, the 29th. :)
    My favourite flower bunch is the pink one in the middle although I also like blue flowers.

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    1. We share a birthday then, Sigrid! Have a good one!

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  21. Love the Hairy Canary! All your vases are as lovely as ever and I am glad you were able to treat yourself to some peonies. I also have an Itoh peony that refuses to flower... it must be its fourth year now! The pink vase is my favourite with the frothy red and white Centranthus. Does it do well in your climate or does it need coddling?

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    1. As long as my Itoh continues to produce foliage, I'm hanging on to hope it'll bloom someday, Cathy. As to Centranthus, it's a real weed here. It grows on untended slopes along the roads in the area and is happy in the driest and most neglected areas of my own garden. No coddling required!

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    2. Just like here then. A welcome weed though! :)

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