Monday, September 3, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Keeping things light and bright

The long holiday weekend that unofficially closes the curtain on summer in the US started with emotionally charged public memorials for two American icons, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, and John McCain, the political maverick known for both straight talk and reaching his hand across the aisle.  I followed Franklin's memorial through radio coverage but watched the televised service for McCain at the National Cathedral.  Franklin's voice was unparalleled but I expect her influence will live on through the many vocal artists she influenced.  I'd like to hope that McCain's integrity, respect for others, and emphasis on civility in political discourse will influence those who seek to represent us in national and international arenas too but, sadly, that seems far less certain.

When it came time to cut flowers and foliage for "In a Vase on Monday," I sought to shake off the tears and keep things light and bright.  As has been the case for weeks now, the focal point of my first vase was a dahlia, in this case 'Strawberry Ice'.

Dahlia 'Strawberry Ice' becomes far more luminous as the bloom matures

On this occasion, the back of my vase looks remarkably like the front

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, this vase contains: Abelia x grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Clematis paniculata (aka Sweet Autumn Clematis), Corokia x virgata 'Sunsplash', Agastache 'Ana's Hummingbird Mint', Gomphrena 'Fireworks', white and yellow forms of Zinnia elegans 'Candy Mix' and, in the center, Dahlia 'Strawberry Ice'


I abandoned the dahlias when I put together my second vase, electing instead to use the last of my green Lisianthus.

I used the colorful foliage of Caladium 'Miss Muffet' to pull together the green Lisianthus and a variety of pink flowers

The back of the vase shows off the last pink Lisianthus I was able to find along with some bedraggled coleus

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: green and pink forms of Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus), Fuchsia 'Galfrey Lye', Leucadendron 'Pisa', Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Redhead' and 'Chili Pepper', Zinnia elegans 'Benary's Giant Wine' and, in the center, Caladium 'Miss Muffet'


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



Happy Labor Day to those of you in the US celebrating the holiday!


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

24 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your success with fuchsias. Both arrangements are lovely as always and this lightness is just the thing to help us through this time. September is always brings a melancholy feeling as the academic year begins again and the carefree days of summer come to an end. Folks rush around to get houses sealed, re-roofed, painted against the wet winter to come. The recent losses of Franklin and McCain add even more heaviness. Thanks for the balance of lightness.

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    1. Like my begonias, I suspect my fuchsias are far less robust than yours, Peter, but I'm enjoying them nonetheless. You have much more reason than I do to be melancholy about letting go of summer than I do. I know you've thoroughly enjoyed your summer break but I'm sure the new school year will bring you great rewards as well.

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  2. Happy Labor Day! I have to admit I didn't watch or follow either of the memorials. I will miss Aretha terribly though. You've put together and shared two beautiful arrangements again. I saw some Lisianthus for sale at a nursery on Saturday, but it's too late in the season here to be planting it, so I didn't buy it. It was interesting to see what it looks like in person, so to speak.

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    1. I'm sure the Lisianthus would enjoy your summers, Alison, although I can't say whether it'd survive your winters. Luckily, Aretha's music will be with us always. As to John McCain, I disagreed with him often and didn't vote for him when he ran as President but I did respect him, which is more than I can say for most of those operating in the political realm these days.

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  3. Kris, love the color combinations, Dahlias,Fuchsias (wah,no hope here) and comments about McCain, I am astonished by some of the editorials I am reading, in a good way.

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    1. Many of the comments I've read about McCain reflect a common theme: regardless of political viewpoint, a large portion of the population wants to be represented by a person with this kind of integrity and moral courage.

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  4. Wow Kris, love these vases. The dahlia is spectacular in form and color. I adore that you used the Lisianthus with that exciting caladium. You found just the right color combinations to exploit the interesting pattern on the leaf. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. I was stingier than I'd have liked in cutting stems of the Caladium, Susie, as my plant's still relatively small. Next year I'm buying more Caladium tubers!

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  5. Beautiful vases and I love the variety of flowers and foliage you've used.

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  6. Beautiful and interesting vases as usual Kris. What are the origins of Labour Day? It would seem that it comes a week after our penultimate public or bank holiday of the year. Integrity is one of the words that came to my mind when I heard about the death of John McCain who was undeniably a brave man too!

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    1. Labor Day in the US was an outgrowth of the trade union movement in the late 19th century, Anna. The state of Oregon was the first to recognize it as a holiday in 1887 and our federal government recognized it as a national holiday 7 tears later, after 30 states had individually recognized it. Various social and economic trends, including the rise of knowledge-based versus skills-based jobs, have eroded labor's strength but I personally hope the unions find ways to continue to support the nation's workforce. I spent many years in human resource management and I can assure you that my view isn't popular among members of that discipline (or even in my own household) but my stepfather was a union member and benefited from its support so I've seen its value in operation.

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  7. Pretty and well-coordinated colors, Kris. I find it amazing that you can grow fuchsia in such hot conditions. Mine never make it past spring and we don't see your temps. I wonder if yours is esp. heat tolerant? I love the bright green ovule in contrast against the light and dark pink, so dainty and pendulous.
    Love the 'Candy Mix' zinnias and 'Strawberry Ice' dahlia, too. Beautiful!

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    1. Fuchsias wouldn't survive in any of the open areas of my garden, Eliza. The only reason I've had modest success in growing them this year is because they're ensconced in my lath (shade) house. Even there, they suffered until we added the shade-cloth covers to lower the internal temperature and shield the plants from the sun's intensity. I suspect they may end up as annuals even so.

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  8. Oooo, the colors and the structure! Both arrangements are amazing (as always)! Those are lovely Fuchsias...I often forget that they are decent cut flowers, so thanks for the reminder. I love the variegated elements in both of your creations...the Zinnias and Dahlias in the first arrangement and the Caladium in the second one.

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    1. Thanks Beth! The only problem with the fuchsias is that the blooms tend to drop one by one.

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  9. Light and bright and lovely! We definitely need more lightness and brightness. This time of the year it’s hard (even for me) to deny that summer is on its way out. Thankfully our autumns can be stunning, if I could just do away with January!

    As for McCain, he was a hero and the kind of man we need more of in government, not that I agreed with his politics but he was always one to respect. And Aretha! I had to be part of a rediculous work party rendition of Respect, and I know every single word to that song and can sing right along (sock it to me, sock it to me...). Hmm, seems r.e.s.p.e.c.t. Is a theme....

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    1. We share a desire to skip certain months of the year, Loree - they're just not the same months. I'd give a lot to see a video of you singing R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

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  10. That's a stunning dahlia - it's reminded me to grow more next year and I really like the colour combinations in your vase. I've got petunias in my vase, mainly as I'm full of a cold and they were closest to the door. Like you I think integrity is nearly always missing from politics - it is here in the UK where they are making a pig's ear of brexit (not that we should be leaving anyway) I'll get off my hobby horse now... love Bec

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    1. Growing dahlias has proven to be very rewarding, Bec. I was surprised as I'd considered it a fussy flower.

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  11. The Caladium foliage is an inspired touch. Looks great.

    Please blog about your magnificent Leucadendron 'Pisa' with lots of photos!

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    1. I may do a post on all my Leucadendrons soon. The number I have came as something of a surprise...

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