Monday, August 6, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Fire & Ice

This past weekend was warm (upper 80sF) but not miserable, which is the best that can be said of any summer days here.  However, excessive heat warnings are back in effect for today through Tuesday.  According to Sunday's Los Angeles Times' cover story, California's current hot, dry conditions aren't a fluke but the result of fundamental climate change.  In California and other western states the fire season is now a year-round phenomenon.  Other parts of the US face greater extremes in the form of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, rising sea levels, and longer, more vicious winters.  Yet our nation's leadership calls the climate shift a hoax, or maintains that it's a natural phenomenon for which mankind has no responsibility.  It continues to amaze me that a nation that prides itself on its technical prowess and a President that speaks of explorations of Mars insistently ignore the importance of addressing the impact of events on our doorstep.  I wonder how long we'll be able to provide emergency services to communities beset by one form of disaster or another?

Putting that rant aside, my vases this week are a study in contrasts.  The first invokes the feeling of  summer's fiery heat.

Dahlia 'Punkin Spice' sets the tone

The zinnias blooming in increasing numbers bring up the rear (view)

Top view, featuring the first feathery blooms of Pennisetum 'Rubrum'

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'; Corokia x virgata 'Sunsplash'; Cuphea 'Vermillionaire'; noID Origanum; Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum'; Zinnia elegans in shades of coral, red, and yellow; and, in the center, Dahlia 'Punkin Spice'


While my garden is dominated by hot colors at the moment, there are blooms in icy colors too and I collected some of those for a second vase.

A late blooming spike of Delphinium got things rolling

Cool-colored lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) fit the scheme 

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Artemisia ludoviciana, Catananche caerulea, Delphinium x elatum 'Magic Fountain', bicolor Eustoma grandiflorum (and blooms of the 'Black Pearl' variety held over from last week's vase), Symphyotrichum chilense, Tanacetum parthenium, and, in the center, another cluster of Eustoma grandiflorum in deep blue


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



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

30 comments:

  1. Love the contrast of the two vases, esp. those grassy blooms exploding out in the fiery group. Your rant is well said and totally true. I think gardeners have seen and believed in climate change for a long time because we pay attention to nature. Locally our city and county governments are working on plans related to climate change and problems caused by weather.

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    1. I remember complaining that the summers were getting worse and worse way back in my teen years in an inland SoCal valley. The temperature hit 117F there on July 6th and I can't count the number of days they've gone above 100F just this year. And yet there are members of Congress that believe that, because snow falls in areas of the country, global warming is a hoax. Our schools seem to have failed us in teaching basic science.

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  2. Both arrangements are well done as always but the arrangement of icy colors in the ceramic pitcher is perfection! Speaking of climate change, when are you going to change climates and move to the Pacific Northwest? Think of all the work and money you could save on your new project...

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    1. I floated the idea with my husband and brother-in-law of plopping a tiny house on the latter's property on Vashon Island as a "vacation retreat," promising to handle his gardening as part of the bargain. Neither one of them took me seriously but I'm still plotting!

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  3. Bravo, on the rant and the vases!

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  4. A very necessary rant, I wish more people would make their voices heard. I have been reading about the terrifying wild fires over there.
    I love both arrangements, you have so many choice blooms. I am mystified how you manage to have delphiniums. I got back from France to find all mine shrivelled up and dead. As usual I covet your lisianthus.

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    1. The wildfires are always terrifying and the fools that shoot illegal fireworks off here when we're tinder-dry make me furious. As to the Delphinium, it's in my cutting garden where it gets regular water. I cut it back after it bloomed and it surprised me with a fresh bloom spike! There are 3 plants in that same raised planter but it's the only one that rebloomed.

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  5. Beautiful as always, Kris. The orange one reminds me of a Vegas girls' head dress, plumes and all. :) Love the blues, too, and good choice of vase to go with it.

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    1. Those feathery plumes do have that effect, don't they?! The Pennisetums are impervious to heat and dry soil - they are among the few plants that reliably look good in late summer and early fall here.

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  6. Rant rings true to me Kris. Love both vases. You have put together inventive arrangements and your flowers are always impeccably beautiful. The colors in that second one are amazing.

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    1. I'm wondering how long it's going to take before the climate change deniers to switch their tune? Are they and their families going to have to lose their homes once or twice to "natural" disasters before than happens? Sorry, Susie, I got back into rant mode there...

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  7. The first one is hot and the second is a cool breeze in the vase. Yes, I like them. Happy IAVOM.

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  8. Oh yes--fire and ice, for sure! I love them both. :)

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    1. I could do with less fire and more ice at the moment...

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  9. Both arrangments are fabulous! Thats for sharing.

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  10. Two gorgeous vases as always, Kris. I have bought some Lisianthus seeds to try, but I read that they are tricky. I too am surprised that you can grow Delphinuims having tried here and finding it too hot and dry, but I don’t have much shade. I agree with your rant, I despair of our ‘leaders’.

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    1. When friends asked me about growing Delphiniums in the past, I've always answered "don't bother," thinking they're impossible to keep alive here. I picked up my plants on a whim as part of a 6-pack (plugs) and stuck them in the raised planters that serve as my cutting garden where they got lots of water relative to the rest of my garden. I was still shocked when they bloomed in spring - and even more surprised when a plant I'd cut back to the ground bloomed again in August. And after that miserable early July heatwave too! Maybe Mother Nature doesn't altogether hate me...

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  11. I thought I would like the FIRE vase best but when I paged down to see the ICE... WOW. that’s a beautiful arrangement.

    I’ve been reading the NYT piece on when we could have stopped (altered) climate change. It’s long, and I’m not finished yet, but it’s very compelling, and sad: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html?hpw&rref=magazine&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

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    1. Thanks for the link, Loree. I'll check out the article. I heard one climate expert speak on PBS News Hour last night on the question of whether it's too late for action. While he acknowledged that sooner would've been better, he still strongly supports the value of action now to slow the steamroller.

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    2. We can't not at least try, while there is the smallest chance, of survival.

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  12. Kris, your bouquets are stunning and what a beautiful array of flower selections you still have blooming this time of year. I haven't that many to pick from and even with your drought, your flowers look lovely.
    I heard here in Ohio that Sept. and Oct. are supposed to be warmer than usual, which probably also means less rain. Hope you all can hang in there until fall. I know your temps have been much more extreme than ours and I can't even imagine what it must be like to live with the constant threat of fire.

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    1. Fire is a worry here, Cindy. The most destructive wildfire on the peninsula I live on dates back to the 1970s (set off by kids with firecrackers) but brush fires aren't uncommon and we've got a lot of dead and drying trees and brush due to the ongoing drought. The local fire department conducts annual inspections but I believe it's up to homeowners to clear hazards.

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  13. I love both- the use of Pennisetum is genius.

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    1. It tends to demand inclusion during this time of year, Amelia. I expect you'll see more of it.

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  14. What a lovely version of fire and ice, Kris! I really like the way you've combined the Symphyotrichum and Tanacetum in the second vase - just the right amount of variety!

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    1. Thanks Amy! I've missed seeing your vases lately!

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