Monday, June 4, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Lisianthus at last...

It seemed to me that my Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) were late in blooming but, based on a quick check of my Bloom Day records for the last 2 years, it appears they're right on schedule.  Somewhat to my surprise, one of the first to bloom this year is 'Rosanne Black Pearl', a variety that didn't bloom well last year.  Only a few of last year's plants survived our very dry winter and I noted that comments on the grower's site indicate that other purchasers were as disappointed as I was by the performance of this cultivar.  While I didn't order any more 'Black Pearl' plugs this year, I took a chance on yet another new variety introduced by the same grower, 'Mint Cocoa'.  One of these plants also produced its first bloom this week so I threw it into my vase with 'Black Pearl' even though the color isn't quite right.

Although not actually black, 'Black Pearl' is a very deep purple.  The grower showed it in combination with chartreuse flowers, which possibly would have given it more life than the mix I chose.

Back view: Once again, I got a little carried away stuffing the vase with flowers

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Catananche caerulea, Consolida ajacis, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White', Eustoma grandiflorum 'Mint Cocoa', Helleborus 'Anna's Red' (shown with Orlaya grandiflora), Limonium perezii, Pandorea jasminoides 'Alba', Santolina virens, and, in the middle, Eustoma grandiflorum 'Rosanne Black Pearl'


The palette for my second vase was set by the foliage of Leucadendron 'Chief'.  One of 'Chief's' branches was obscuring the smaller Leucadendron 'Ebony' next to it and, after cutting it off, I decided I should make use of it.  As a transition from spring to summer blooms is underway, the pink snapdragons in the cutting garden joined the Leucadendon in my bucket.  After weeks of the moist air associated with our "May Gray" marine layer, rust is developing on all the snapdragons, the rest of which I expect I'll pull soon.

I added white Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) and yellow yarrow (Achillea 'Moonshine') in an effort to prevent the vase from becoming too sugary sweet 

I dressed up the back view with a few stems of Heuchera maxima, a California native

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Achillea 'Moonshine', Antirrhinum majus, Leucanthemum x superbum, Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', and Heuchera maxima


Like the snapdragons, my sweet peas are suffering the side effects of prolonged exposure to damp air, showing the first signs of powdery mildew.  The plants got off to a very slow start as something, I suspect the bunnies that now pay me regular visits, repeatedly chewed the seedlings down to the ground.  As a result, I made little use of them in arrangements this spring and, now that their decline is imminent, I felt compelled to cut a small posy for my desk.

Most of the seed sown sweet peas were part of a mix but I used a few special named varieties

The blue blooms here are Lathyrus odoratus 'Blue Shift' and I think the maroon variety behind them is 'Black Prince'.  I was looking forward to seeing 'Blue Vein', an orange flower with blue veining, but the orange blooms that have appeared thus far, while pretty, are missing that distinctive veining.


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to find more Monday vases.



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

40 comments:

  1. I like your "Farewell to Spring" snapdragon arrangement very much, and the sweetpeas are very sweet. Mine seem to be stuck at about 7 inches tall. I don't know if they need more heat or more water or what. We're having unusual dry but cool weather.

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    1. I hope your sweet peas get a move on, Alison! Last year, I think mine were blooming in February and pulled in late March or early April so this is a later than usual flowering here too.

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  2. Oh Kris these are superb....I especially love the second one with many blooms I can find in my garden especially those snaps and daisies. And your native heuchera is sublime!

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    1. That Heuchera took a surprisingly long time to become established, Donna. I originally had several plants but pulled all but the one because they looked sad for so long. Now I wish I'd been more patient.

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  3. Caterpillars have arrived here on brassicas, willows and viburnums so I understand the frustration of pests. I should be out now picking them off! I hope you get a little more from your sweet peas. As usual, it's a joy to see all your individual flowers. Mint cocoa looks almost edible.

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    1. It remains to be seen how well 'Mint Cocoa' will do in the long haul, Alison. The plants are currently shorter than my other Lisianthus and the buds are smaller.

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  4. Your Lisianthus are dashing! I esp. like the look of the blue vase from the top as each flower's outline is visible. The movement in your pink vase flows beautifully. It's a pity that the moisture (ironic in your dry climate) is taking its toll on your snaps and sweet peas. My sweet peas are just beginning to gain height after stagnating for weeks.

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    1. The marine layer is the saving grace in our dry climate, Eliza. I understand that Native Americans formerly took steps to capture the moisture it brought the area and, as things stand, I'm beginning to think I need to learn to do that!

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  5. Lovely vases again Kris - I really love the pink and yellow combination with the pretty Heuchera flower. :)

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    1. Thanks Cathy! I think the Heuchera did a nice job of pulling the arrangement together.

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  6. I am continually amazed at the range of plant material you can grow. Probably 70% wouldn't make it here and I think we are in the same zone! Pink vase is outstanding, love the textures.

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    1. That's the problem with the nursery industry's wholesale dependence on the USDA cold hardiness map in guiding buyers I think, Amelia. The Sunset classifications, which consider both cold and heat extremes as well as pivotal factors like our marine layer, offer much better guidelines but to my knowledge those classifications are limited to the western US and they've been adopted by only a few growers.

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  7. I tried again with Lisianthus seeds this year but still had no germination. I have not come across plugs of it in the UK (yet) so I shall have to cintinue being envious of yours!! Black Pearl is a stunner :) As always, both your vases are full of interest and a joy to behold. Thanks for sharing

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    1. I understand that Eustoma/Lisianthus seeds are tricky to get to germinate, Cathy. I'm not sure but I suspect the plants available here may be the product of tissue culture as they've become available both more widely and in far more more variations in recent years.

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  8. Your vases are delightful Kris. I love both of the Eustoma you've shown and those sweet peas are so pretty. You have such variety of blooms--wow. Your shasta daisies are a bit ahead of mine. Just seeing the first buds opening today.
    Now that you've enabled anonymous, I'm also seeing an option to provide Name/URL. I'm going to use that one. Maybe you can still restrict anonymous. Thanks for fixing.

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    1. Google seems to have limited Blogger users to only 3 options for commentators: anyone (including anonymous parties), Google users, and pre-defined posters. I think the change is unfortunate but I hope it'll be manageable and I'm glad that you now have access.

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  9. Oh so many riches Kris. I'm most disorientated seeing a hellebore with orlaya for company as the two would never meet here :) I like all your vases but the little sweet pea posy is my favourite. Bad news about the bunnies - they nibbled my sweet peas at the allotment last year.

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    1. I too think it's very odd that our hellebores bloom so late, Anna. In colder climates like yours they're among the earliest plants to bloom but in our climate the flowers don't show up until spring is well underway (and spring comes early here!). Perhaps they need a certain amount of light exposure to bloom?

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  10. Hooray! The lisanthus are back. They are a favorite of mine and now I think of you whenever I see them offered at the florist or grocery store. Great arrangements as always!

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    1. It's too bad the growers don't also think of me and send me new Lisianthus to trial when they're first introduced, Peter, but I digress...

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  11. Goodness, the lisianthus are stunning! I’ve only ever seen pink and blue, which are pretty, but nowhere near as desirable as the ones you’ve shown here, Kris. Both of your vases are charming, as always.

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    1. I picked up some green Lisianthus last week. I tried them when they were first introduced, ordering them by mail, but this is the first year I've seen them in a local garden center. Those I tried earlier weren't as hardy as the pink, blue and white cultivars but they do work well in arrangements and I'm looking forward to using them again.

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  12. The Heuchera flowers make a delicate accent. The muted colors of the 2nd bouquet are sophisticated.

    Do you get long stems on your Eustoma flowers? Mine are so short. Not sure if I should be cutting off much of the plant or not.

    All your fault you know! I would never have grown them but for they being such a beautiful part of your bouquets.

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    1. The only Eustoma that got fairly tall (10-12 inches) were the pink varieties and then only in their second year in the garden. I usually cut the stems at the base and cross my fingers that the plant will offer up more stems.

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  13. I love foxgloves but none of the plants I had last year returned, so I am drooling over your white one. And I‘ve never seen Lisianthus in such stunning colors. I’ve always thought of them as bland, but yours prove me wrong. What a wealth of beauty this week!

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    1. Within the last few years, growers seem to be having more fun cultivating new varieties of Lisianthus, Linda. I think the double petaled varieties have become moneymakers, especially as the plants are notoriously difficult to grow from seed. You can find them now in pale yellows and greens, white, various shades of pink, blue, purple and some bi-colors.

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  14. I have not grown Lisianthus since I left San Diego. The plants always seemed awkward to me. I really should give them another chance-hard to beat as a cut flower. I like the yellow with the pink in your 2nd arrangement. Festive !

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    1. The new varieties of Lisianthus are very different from the old single-petaled varieties, which I never found inspiring either, Kathy. I understand that they appreciate slightly alkaline soil, which may be why I've done relatively well with them as my sandy soil leans that way. The leaves are remarkably succulent, which may be another reason they've worked here.

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  15. As I discovered last year, dark colours can be difficult to use in an arrangement, I think some chartreuse would help to show them to their best effect as you noted on my post today. I don't know if you ever watch any of Sarah Raven's You Tube videos, she did a great example of dark flowers with lime green/chartreuse. that said I think your vases are all stunning; you always make the best of your amazing blooms.

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    1. I'll look for the Sarah Raven video. I've lots of chartreuse Euphorbia blooms at the moment but just didn't feel like dealing with that sap last Sunday and the Santolina didn't really do the job.

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  16. I can almost smell those sweat peas! Oh and that new ‘Mint Cocoa' is perfection... do you love it?

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    1. I haven't made up my mind about 'Mint Cocoa'. So far, the blooms are smaller and the stems are shorter than I'd like. The dusky color is interesting, though.

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  17. Absolutely stunning bouquets of flowers. :) Greetings from Poland. Have a really nice week. :)

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    1. You too, Agnieszka! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  18. How wonderful that you have so many beautiful flowers that you can fill several vases. All are so colorful, they lift my spirit.

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    1. What a nice compliment, Lisa! I hope you have a good week.

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  19. I like the Sweet Peas the best, but my goodness: All your arrangements are so professional and beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Beth! I'm enjoying the scent of the sweet peas while they last.

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  20. That lisianthus is fabulous, how I wish thst I could grow them. Both arrangements are lovely but I particularly love the purple and white.

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    1. Lisianthus is sold here as an annual (even though it will over-winter, at least with sufficient rain). I'm surprised they haven't made an appearance in the UK as annuals too. Unfortunately, they're notoriously difficult to grow from seed so, even here, we're dependent on growers to deliver plugs.

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