Monday, June 25, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Mutants!

Although my Agapanthus continue to produce a few new stalks here and there, I think their floral display has reached its peak.  There are fewer blooms this year, presumably due to our exceptionally poor winter rainy season, but I have enough clumps of these plants to provide a good show nonetheless.  So cutting a handful of those tall stalks for this week's vase was a no-brainer; however, to change things up just a little, I included two of the mutant stems I recently discovered in my arrangement.

Normally, Agapanthus produce single flowers at the top of each long, straight stalk.  As you can see in the photo above, this Agapanthus produced a second bloom mid-way along the stalk, which has curved in a gentle arc.  I'm assuming this is an example of fasciation.

I liked how the fasciated stem stretched out of the vase as if offering its blooms for closer examination.  Unfortunately, the second fasciated stem got lost in the middle of the arrangement but it's in there!

The top-heavy stems tended to flop so I added glass marbles to the vase to give them support

This was yet another vase that was hard to photograph from overhead

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: noID Agapanthus, Eustoma grandiflorum, Pandorea jasminoides 'Alba', Abelia x grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', and Leucanthemum x superbum


Of course I didn't stop at one vase.  With our morning marine layer firmly in place along the coast, we're still enjoying cooler than average temperatures and flowers remain plentiful.  It's a huge difference from the start of summer 2016, when a sudden spike in temperature to 105F (40C) caused the widespread loss of not just flowers but entire plants and every lemon on my tree.  It took a good year for the lemon tree to recover and I count myself lucky it did.  This is a long-winded way of explaining why we so appreciate our gray summer mornings.

My second vase was inspired by the Drumstick Alliums in bloom this month.  I planted three species of Alliums in early November.  Allium aflatunense 'Violet Beauty' was a complete bust - I planted 18 bulbs and got no blooms.  Allium rosenbachianum bloomed early and well but I'd planted only 3 bulbs.  I wasn't impressed with the foliage of Allium spharocephalon but most of those 10 bulbs surprised me by blooming this month despite their spindly stalks.

It didn't take me too long to find flowers and foliage to pair with those lime and raspberry Allium blooms

I used a small glass cream pitcher unearthed during a recent purge of unused kitchen items as a vase

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, this vase contains: Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lily), Abelia x grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Allium spharocephalon (aka Drumstick Allium), Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light', Hebe 'Wiri Blush', and Origanum 'Monterey Bay'


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



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

40 comments:

  1. I love your blue arrangement. Some of my favorites.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca. I don't always think I do right by Agapanthus when I cut them for a vase but this time I think I actually came close.

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  2. Beautiful as always. Your agapanthus arrangement reminds me of fireworks. (Wow, is July 4 only a week away? How time flies.)

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    1. The outstretched Agapanthus bloom made me think of fireworks too, Peter, but I thought "mutants" might be a catchier title!

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  3. Kris, both are gorgeous. The raspberry alliums are great. I just love the special blue of Agapanthus.

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    1. It's too bad Agapanthus tend to be overlooked as common and uninteresting here, Susie. They really are fabulous plants.

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  4. I'll take Agapanthus in any form....mutant or not! A beautiful vase. Glad the temps aren't too high as your second vase is fabulous in those dark plum colors....love the allium and mine should be flowering soon!

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    1. I really had zero expectations for this second crop of Alliums, Donna, so they were a delightful surprise.

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  5. Both your arrangements are beautiful. Love the way you manage to have air and movement but lots of flowers and foliage as well.

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    1. The Agapanthus arrangement was far airier than most of my arrangements, Noelle. That was the result of using the glass marbles to keep everything upright this time rather than stuffing the vase to the gills as I usually do.

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  6. The first vase is so dramatic with those rich blues and purples. Now I am off to read about that new word you posted!

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  7. That is odd about a floral growth on your agapanthus stem. Beautiful vases both.

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    1. What's odder still, Lisa, is that this now makes 3 examples of fasciation I've discovered in this garden. "Environmental stress" is supposed to be the cause.

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  8. They are both so pretty, I love agapanthus and the pinks are lovely too.

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    1. It's a good thing I've come to love Agapanthus too - I inherited such a lot of them!

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  9. Cool agapanthus, I love seeing when plants do unusual things. Last year I had several rudbeckia with fat fasciated blooms. Love the pink bouquet and how the bright Hebe flowers pick up the pink in the allium. Lovely as always!

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    1. I wonder if the incidence of fasciation is on the rise? I'd never even heard of it until a few years ago when I discovered mutated stems on my Senna bicapsularis. This is the third incidence I've discovered in my current garden.

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  10. Oh such fabulous blue and burgundy shades Kris. Glad to read that you're enjoying some cooler than average temperatures. I hope that lemon tree makes up for that lost year.

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    1. Oh, the lemon tree is more than making up for lost time, Anna. I think I'm going to have to put a few buckets of lemons on the street with a "free" sign again soon. I can't use or give them away fast enough.

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  11. Well I have to say , I have never seen a fasciated Agapanthus before ! Are the stems flattened ? I can't bear to cut my Drumstick Alliums ,they are so damn cheap I need to order and plant some just for cutting this fall. I was a bit perturbed with the ratty foliage this year, I didn't succeed at making sure it was hidden.I plan to plant camouflage plantings this fall to hide it all. Your second vase is my fave this week.

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    1. Yes, the Agapanthus stems were flattened and looked as if 2 stems had been fused together. I'd low expectations for the Drumstick Alliums but they came through. Why the instructions suggested planting them so far apart, though, I don't understand.

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  12. Never thought of Agapanthus in a vase. You did good!

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    1. Agapanthus are so common here, I don't think anyone thinks of them as vase material. Like carnations, or marigolds. Maybe they all need to be resurrected. Well, maybe not marigolds - they can be smelly in an enclosed space.

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  13. those mutant aggies remind me of having a bad hair day.

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    1. The appearance of the second bloom halfway down the stem is odd, isn't it? I like the way it causes the stem to curve, though. Agapanthus always look a bit stiff.

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  14. Fabulous! I like the mutant blooms the best! They create a special visual interest one doesn't expect. My Drumstick Alliums are just about to pop, too. Both of your arrangements are beautiful, as always!

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    1. Thanks Beth. It's always fun when a plant does something unexpected (well, with the exception of dying or dropping all its leaves anyway...).

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  15. Agapanthus are a real favourite of mine, but mine flower less each year. I've blamed the lack of rain (I've been told they need irrigation in late summer when the new flowers are actually being formed. White ad blue always look so elegant so this vase is perfect. I'm not too surprised at your lack of success with Alliums, it is much the same here. You've made the most of the drumsticks they look great.

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    1. My garden does get irrigated during the summer months, although I don't give the Agapanthus any extra water during that period or any other time of the year. However, the lack of winter rain definitely had an impact on the Agapanthus and just about everything else this year.

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  16. I love the personality of your mutant Agapanthus and the raspberry and lime of your Allium. Truth be told I’m also kind of relieved to learn I’m not the only one with Allium bloom failure. I was sent a nice little selection of bulbs to trial and one group failed to boom while the others just completely dried up and turned brown.

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    1. This is the first time I've had any success whatsoever with Alliums, Loree. Whether the 2 species that bloomed will survive to bloom again next year is the central question now. Like tulips, they're a bit expensive to grow as one-shot wonders.

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  17. I love the globe elements in both vases and envy your Agapanthus!I have had one suffering in three different spots in my garden for several years, maybe one flower? It does seem everyone has difficulty with Allium.

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    1. The Agapanthus may get too much rain in your climate, Amelia!

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  18. Monday gorgeousness once again. If my agapanthus would actually bloom this year I might honor it with a visit into the house. Our world wouldn't be the same without those mutant genes. Sometimes good sometimes bad, but this one is a good one, I think.

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    1. I don't always care for the crested succulents and cacti but so far the other examples of fasciation that have appeared in my garden have been interesting, Jenny. The question of the day is: Is this a trend?

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  19. The simple joy derived from cut flowers is immeasurable.

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    1. Cutting flowers and foliage from my own garden has become a weekly ritual for me, David, one I'm not sure I can any longer do without. Thank goodness that coastal Southern California offers flowers year-round!

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  20. Your panache with flower arranging never fails to amaze!

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