Monday, May 21, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Wild & Loose

Neither of my vases this week are anything like what I contemplated when I walked into my garden Sunday morning to see what there was to cut.  My Renga Lilies (Arthropodium cirratum) and Agapanthus have produced their first blooms and I had vague plans of using each in an arrangement but I'd no idea what to pair them with.  Then I remembered the multi-flowered stem of Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri, aka California Tree Poppy) I'd seen Saturday while working on the back slope and I headed down there to see if the flowers were suitable for cutting.  The bees tend to scatter pollen all over the ruffled white petals but the cluster of flowers I'd identified was still pristine.

In keeping with the wild look of these Southern California natives, I kept the arrangement loose and simple

I tucked the Sideritis cypria I used in last week's vase into this one.  (Note: I mistakenly labeled this as S. syriaca, a different species, in last week's post.)

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Achillea 'Moonshine', Sideritis cypria, Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', and Romneya coulteri


While down on the back slope, I noticed that another stalk of bearded Iris was blooming and, since I spend relatively little time down there, I cut it too.  I threw a lot of other long-stemmed flowers into the mix with it, creating a second vase with a wild look and loose composition.  However, like the first vase, it might have looked better had I simplified the flower palette.

It's a bit of a mish-mash

The stem of Melaleuca thymifolia at the base of the arrangement was a last minute addition.  It has an interesting flower, although the plant itself has a sloppy look in the border and I've contemplated pulling it out.

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Arthropodium cirratum, Coriandrum sativum, noID Delphinium, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White', Lathyrus odoratus, noID Iris germanica, and, in the middle, Melaleuca thymifolia


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



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

36 comments:

  1. That vaseful of romneya is fabulous. I always get the sideritis species mixed up too!

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    1. Rather than check my spreadsheet for the plant's name, I entered "Sideritis" into an on-line search and when Annie's listing for S. syriaca popped up I just assumed it was that as I ordered my plants from there. But Annie's carries both species. My bad.

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  2. Both vases are lovely. I grow Romney’s here, and love it. The melaleuca is stunning: I’ve never seen one like it.

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    1. The Melaleuca's flower is lovely, Jane. It's too bad the plant itself is not impressive.

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  3. Hey, fellas, where the party at?
    Right here under your shoes!
    Hey, fellas, what time is it?
    Time to get wild and loose!!

    - Morris Day & The Time, 'Wild and Loose'

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    1. Ha! When I chose that title, I actually wondered if there was a song with that name but I didn't run a search. Thanks for doing it for me, Nell!

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  4. I love the white poppies featured in the first vase all loose and wild with the greens and yellows. The second vase is a perfect mix of lovely flowers.....sometimes the best vases are the loose and wild ones!

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    1. I usually stuff my vases to the gills but most could benefit from a simpler, looser structure.

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  5. Love the wild and loose look. My romneya won't be in bloom for a few weeks. So nice to get an early glimpse.

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    1. My Romneya's produced flowers off and on for more than a month now. I think it may be responding to our periodic warm spells, which haven't "stuck" yet (thanks goodness!).

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  6. It is always hard to go simple when there is so much blooming. Love the Romneya! First saw it at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden many years ago and instantly fell in love with it. How lovely to be able to use it in a bouquet.

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    1. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has a whole meadow dominated by Romneya. I can see how that happens as mine is already sending out runners.

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  7. The tree poppy sounds interesting - are they tougher than other poppies and will they stand up to being picked? They certainly make an effective vase. Both your vases today are somehow 'simpler' than usual but do not lose anything for their relative simplicity. Because you put them together just as stylishly, I guess!

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    1. As I don't have any luck whatsoever with poppies - even California poppies! - I'd argue that the tree poppy is tougher but it may just be better adapted to the soil and weather here in coastal Southern California. I vaguely remember cutting them before but couldn't remember how well they hold up in a vase. The answer seems to be: not long.

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  8. Gorgeous poppies Kris. You did a great job showing them off with the companions you selected. Love the iris too. Mine didn't do very well this year. Probably need to divide them.

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    1. I'm frankly surprised that this bearded Iris on my neglected back slope is the only one that's bloomed for me this year. Maybe I need to move all of them down there!

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  9. All I can say is I totally love the first one.Brilliant

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    1. It's pretty, albeit short-lived, Amelia. Three of the blooms have crumbled after just one day in the vase.

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  10. I love the bold look of the Romneya and I'm glad nothing competes with them - they shine on their own. The purple-theme vase is lovely with iris, delphinium and sweet peas being my favorites.

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    1. I remain impressed at how well Delphinium has performed in the raised planters of my cutting garden. I had low expectations when I planted the plugs as an experiment.

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  11. Very nice, Kris! You're a pro! Both arrangements are simply lovely!

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  12. Damn! The Sideritis cypria is a Zone 9 plant!!! I guess I will just admire it in your lovely vases, along with the knockout Romneya coulteri which I’ll never have the room to grow.

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    1. Maybe you could try Sideritis syriaca, Loree. Annie's says that one's hardy to zone 8.

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  13. Both your vases are quite different from your usual style, Kris. I often find my best vases are when I'm surprised by what I pick; mine today was planned as soon as I saw the buds beginning to show colour last week; but that meant I left some better options in the garden; actually I did a second vase much later in the day which I think is much better.

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    1. I had similar thoughts, Christina. I left some pink flowers that I thought would make a nice arrangement in favor of the spur of the moment selections I made down at the bottom of my slope.

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  14. I like the wild and loose look, you have created two meadows in vases. It's good to try different ideas. I see the most amazing flowers on your blog - today Melaleuca thymifolia.

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    1. The Melaleuca sports a fascinating flower, Alison. If only the plant itself wasn't so homely! But I'll give it more time in the border in the hope it'll outgrow it's ugly phase.

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  15. Does romneya last in a vase? It is a fabulous flower. When it is happy it romps away, I was astonished last week to find a piece growing in my library, it had somehow got through the wall.
    I love the second vase, what you call a mish mash is my style. Melaleuca is fabulous, I've never seen it before.

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    1. Three of the 5 blooms crumbled within a day but the other 2 still look fine and there's still an unopened bud. I picked a single stem with 5 blooms and I suspect 3 of those were already past their prime even though they were unblemished. Cutting the blooms immediately after they unfurl may be the trick.

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  16. I always like the loosey goosey vases. The other is crammed full of gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Cramming vases is my usual approach to floral arrangement ;)

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  17. Beautiful arrangements as always! The first one could be the subject of a still-life painting. The Melaleuca thymifolia is fascinating close-up--it looks like a tangle of purple string! --Terri, https://tssoutherngarden.com

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    1. The flower on the Melaleuca is very complex and also very different than the bottle-brush style flowers I usually associate with Melaleucas.

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  18. It is always fascinating for me to see what you have growing in your garden for cutting - some flowers I know, like foxglove - what a pretty one you have used! And others are rather exotic, like the Golden Sunset foliage. You say the second vase is a mish-mash, but I love that airy slightly wild effect with the Coriander flower and the tall and willowy Arthropodium. Lovely! By the way, your labelling with the photos is such a big help to me in identifying these exotic plants. Thanks Kris!

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    1. I've trained myself to use the Latin names of plants so well that I often have difficulty coming up with the common names, Cathy! And then common names vary so much from place to place.

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