Monday, July 30, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Summer Stars

Finally, the flowers that define summer in my garden have arrived!  My lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) experienced a set-back following the nuclear heatwave in early July, searing foliage and withering some buds in place, but in general the plants have recovered in the weeks since that event.  My dahlias and zinnias were late to arrive because I planted the tubers and seeds late.  I subsequently filled in with a few nursery grown plants and I'm pleased to see that the former are now catching up to the latter.

The green-flowered lisianthus that bloomed this past weekend provided the starting point for my first vase.   I think they look their prettiest as the buds first begin to open but that stage doesn't last long when temperatures are as warm as they've been of late.  We benefited from unexpected morning fog for a few days last week but the afternoons were still toasty.

I snapped this photo late Saturday afternoon when the flowers looked like rose buds

By Sunday morning the green Lisianthus no longer looked like roses but their color provides a nice foil for the more fully petaled Eustoma grandiflorum 'Black Pearl'.  I planted the dark-flowered lisianthus last year and the flowers were disappointing but they look much better their second year in the ground.

Hebe 'Purple Shamrock' (aka Veronica 'Purple Shamrock') forms the base of the arrangement

The top view shows off the native California aster, Symphyotrichum chilense.  It spreads by rhizomes.  The seller claimed it wasn't aggressive.  I'd beg to differ.

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: noID green-flowered Eustoma grandiflorum, E. 'Black Pearl', Hebe/Veronica 'Purple Shamrock', and Symphyotrichum chilense 'Purple Haze'


Vase #2 includes lisianthus, dahlias and zinnias.

Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill' continues to pump out big beautiful new blooms

Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime' decorates the back of this arrangement with a little help from pink lisianthus

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, this vase contains: Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill', Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', pink Eustoma grandiflorum (most of these from last year's plants), Zinnia elegans 'Queen Red Lime', Prunus laurocerasus (aka English laurel), and Tanacetum parthenium (aka feverfew)


While most of my dahlias now have buds, nursery grown 'Otto's Thrill' is still the most prolific; however, 'Terracotta' produced its first bloom this week and, with the promise of more blooms to come, I cut it for a small vase.  My recollection is that last year's blooms were large.  I thought it was a dinnerplate variety but it's actually classified as a semi-cactus variety.  Still, the blooms have a projected size of 4-5 inches and this first bloom is a relatively small 3 inches in diameter.

Front and back views of the small arrangement

This vase contains: Dahlia 'Terracotta', Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', Prunus laurocerasus and, hidden behind the dahlia, a noID Zinnia elegans


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other IAVOM contributors have put together this week.



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

34 comments:

  1. My goodness - green lisianthus!! This is a natural colourway, is it, and not manipulated in any way? They are astonishing and make me admire lisianthus all the more for the gorgeous colours they come in :)Such pretty vases today, and all in different ways - that pyramidical vase is most fetching :)

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    1. I suspect the green-flowered lisianthus, and all the double-flowered varities, are hybrids, Cathy. I've noticed that many of the white-flowered doubles have green throats so the growers probably got creative with that characteristic. New varieties of lisianthus seem to be appearing each year in the US so I think the breeders are going nuts with these plants.

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  2. Amazing how much the bud looks like a rose. I've never grown Lisianthus but they are often for sale as cut flowers at the Farmer's Markets around here. Loved your visit to the succulent nursery and your new plants and combinations.

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    1. Burpee has been releasing new varieties of lisianthus each year it seems, Linda - last year it was 'Black Pearl' and this year 'Mint Cocoa' and who knows what next year. California seems to be a profitable market for the plants as many have appeared in our local garden centers. In fact, that's where I got the green-flowered variety this year (although Burpee offered it a few years ago). I'm guessing sellers have cracked the code on breeding and growing the plants, which have a reputation for being very hard to start from seed.

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  3. It's all just beautiful and I am not envious as I have a house full of flowers here. :) I'm tempted to try Lisianthus next year but perhaps I should stick to things I know will do well. Love the Zinnias, I have some too! I hope your temperatures are manageable. It's cool and damp and windy here but we expect the sun back soon. At least the garden had a short respite.

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    1. I'd be interested to hear how readily available lisianthus is in the UK, Alison. They're now commonly available in Southern California garden centers but they seem to be creeping into other parts of the US more slowly.

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    2. I think plug plants are available to order as well as seeds. The plugs are available in several places and not unreasonably priced. I don't think I've ever seen them in a garden centre but perhaps I've just forgotten.

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    3. I'd love to see what you do with the lisianthus next year, Alison!

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  4. Kris, your green Lisianthus is a floral wonder--I love it in all stages, but agree in bud form it is particularly wonderful. Glad your dahlias and zinnias are catching up--they really make the arrangements sing.

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    1. The green color is deeper in the bud. I've got a thing for green flowers and this one may be my favorite.

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  5. Happy IAVOM. You always have so many flowers and color coordinated.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! You should join in some time!

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  6. Such a wonderful selection for your beautiful vases. I thought heck...never seen such green roses before, then I went on to read that they are Lisianthus. I really must try zinnias next year, your are really eye catching.

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    1. Zinnias are easy to grow from seed and give a lot of value for the cost of the seed. I'm sure you'd enjoy them, Noelle. I wish I'd planted a wider range of varieties this year - I got hung up on 'Queen Red Lime' for some reason.

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  7. Love your color palettes this week! And the Lisianthus,though I know it is impossible here.

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    1. The lisianthus is sold even here as an annual, although in our climate they're really short-lived perennials. I bet you could grow them as annuals in pots with good drainage, Amelia, provided you can get hold of plugs. The plants are widely available in SoCal but I don't know if that's true nation-wide.

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  8. Lovely trio, Kris. I love how lisianthus in bud looks like roses and they aren't even related. Your dahlias are looking great and I noted that mine started blooming this week, too. I've got to put my shears to them!
    I like how the little vase is like a triangle with the flowers' shape is the inverse.
    Stay cool!

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    1. I wish I could say that the choice of the third vase was intentional, Eliza, but that wouldn't be true...

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  9. Once again, three gorgeous arrangements. The Lisianthus really is sweet in bud as well as open.

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    1. I hope your lisianthus are doing well, Peter. I look forward to seeing them IAVOM!

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  10. What a nice selection this week Kris!Queen Red Lime is on my list for next years Zinnia expansion. I had a spectacular Dahlia fail here this year, the one and only tuber that came up is still struggling to attain over 1ft in height and there isn't a flower bud in sight. I've become convinced the best place for Dahlias is in a dedicated cutting garden.

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    1. I planted seeds of both 'Queen Red Lime' and 'Queen Lime Blush' but got very low germination, Kathy, probably due to a combination of planting late and watering too little. So, when I found plugs of 'Queen Red Lime' in my local garden center, I snatched them up. As to the dahlias, mine never did well in my garden beds as they just didn't get the water they need. Sadly, I over-watered some of the tubers this year in my cutting garden and they rotted. Beginner's luck last year I guess.

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  11. Everything is lovely, as usual, but that green flowering Lisianthus takes my breath away.

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    1. I'm so glad those plants survived the early July nuclear heatwave. The foliage was scorched but luckily the nascent buds didn't wither.

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  12. Your arrangements are gorgeous and looking quite well considering your heat wave. Absolutely lovely!

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    1. I'm hoping we don't have any more heatwaves of quite the same intensity as that early July event, Cindy, but there's still a lot of summer left!

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  13. What gorgeous photos! Especially the green roses.

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    1. Thanks! While those green buds do a great job imitating roses, they're actually lisianthus, officially known as Eustoma grandiflorum in the family Gentianaceae.

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  14. You're really a pro, Kris! All the vases are lovely. I really like the way you make use of the foliage and the supporting elements. The trailing Abelia is especially magical! And your vases are so pretty!

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    1. I love that variegated Abelia. It's been very useful as vase material and it sparkles in the garden too.

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  15. I get always so jealous when I see all your wonderful flower creations! I urgently need also one of those wonderful bunches in my living room.
    My garden flowers look miserable now due to the unusal hot and dry weather.

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    1. Our weather is very hot and dry this time of year, Sigrid, so I have learned to focus on summer flowers that can cope with those conditions. Lisianthus, dahlias, and zinnias are all up for that job!

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  16. Oh the lisianathus is so pretty Kris and as you say just like a rose bud before it opens fully. 'Otto's Thrill' is most aptly named :)

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    1. I planted 'Otto's Thrill' last year and can't remember getting more than a single flower, Anna. Although planted late, last year's tuber now has several buds and the nursery grown specimen I bought in June just keeps on flowering. I'm taking back every bad thing I said about the variety last year!

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