Monday, November 26, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Super-sized

The unripe fuzzy peach-pink cones on the Magnolia tree in the front garden got me started on Sunday morning as I assembled materials for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  I've used these at least once before but I'd forgotten how heavy they are before they dry and fall from the tree.  When I added a couple of branches from the persimmon tree currently sporting brightly colored leaves, I had a mix that tested the capacity and stability of my usual go-to vases.  Out came a vase I've had for well over a decade, which I seldom use.  In fact, I can't remember using it all since we moved into our current home almost 8 years ago.  It created a super-sized display.

Even with glass marbles to help hold everything in place, I had challenges with this arrangement

Back view

People have asked if I stand on a chair to photograph my vases from the top.  Usually, I don't have to but this time I needed both a chair and a more open area of the kitchen to get a clear shot.

Clockwise from the upper left: Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Magnolia grandiflora cone, Grevillea 'Superb', Magnolia leaves, and leaves of what I think is a 'Fuyu' persimmon (Diospyros kaki 'Fuyu')


There weren't many ingredients in the first vase but they were cumbersome and, for once, I gave serious thought to stopping with vase #1.  But I've become accustomed to having fresh flowers in the front entry too so I put together a second smaller vase for that spot, incorporating a bloom that surprised me when it made its first appearance in my back garden last week.

The Camellias that performed so well in a vase last week are back this week but, in my view, the star of this arrangement is the single Nerine

Back view, showing off the Leptospermum currently blooming in abundance, as well as Westringia foliage recycled from one of last week's vases

Top view, once again showing off the Nerine bloom.  As I recall, I planted perhaps a dozen of these bulbs in one area of the back garden 2 or more years ago.  They've previously produced foliage but this is the first bloom I've had.

Clockwise from the upper left: noID Camellia sasanqua, Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light', Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', and noID Nerine


Cutting and arranging flowers gave me a nice break from the garden clean-up activities that consumed much of my time during the extended holiday weekend.  I was aching all over Saturday night and Sunday morning but I feel almost normal again now so I can get back to work.  We had rain early Thanksgiving morning and there's a chance of another storm later this week.  Both major fires in California are finally fully contained and it's possible to take deep breaths again.  Things are looking up here.

For more floral/foliage arrangements, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



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

42 comments:

  1. Those magnolia cones are amazing and all the other elements work together in such a striking way. Love it! And the nerine is just gorgeous too. So glad the fires are contained.

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    1. So used to seeing the dried brown Magnolia cones with their red berries that litter the ground, I'd almost entirely forgotten how interesting the unripe pinkish cones are. Then I looked up!

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  2. That's an intriguing vase and makes a brilliant shape arrangement. Love the autumnal colours. There is so much choice in vases but where should I keep them all? A house can look a bit bare without flowers when you are used to them. Sometimes I even buy some in the winter! Shocking.

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    1. I struggled to find a spot to store that big vase when I purchased it, Alison, and I seriously considered getting rid of it when we were packing to move. But the new house had more storage so it came with me after all. Now, on the precipice of a kitchen renovation, I'd been considering getting rid of it once again but I guess I may need to hold off on that.

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  3. You went big this week and I went small. Love the magnolia cones The intense pinks in your second arrangement are glorious too.

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    1. You may not believe me, Peter, but I generally prefer smaller arrangements. Yours was imaginative and choice, mine was simply big.

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  4. Yeah for the rain Kris....we are being flooded again with rain as it melts the snow too. Your first arrangement is magnificent. I love that vase and how it shows the stems too. Those bright pinks of the second vase were such a pleasure to view as we are dark and drab here now.

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    1. Maybe it's time for another visit to the Pacific seashore for you, Donna!

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  5. What beautiful vases. The colors and varieties are great and I love them both. How wonderful to still be having fresh cut flowers.

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  6. Well, I love the Grevilleas as usual and have never seen one here though I have an ugly Silk Oak awaiting the kiss of a chainsaw. Jealous of your Camellias and tried Nerines (agreed star!) a few years ago and got one leaf!

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    1. I didn't know what a silk oak was until I searched for a photo upon reading your comment, Amelia. I've seen it only once here, planted in a local nursery but not offered for sale. Is it messy? As to the Nerine, I heard (somewhere) they can take their time getting established. Now that I've got one bloom, I'll be hoping for more next year. I'm an optimist at heart...

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  7. Now that is a whopper of an arrangement! It's great when we feel the challenge of our garden pickings. Love the silvery-pink vase as well. I've always loved nerine as a cut flower.
    So glad the rain has put an end to those horrid fires. Now the rebuilding work begins...

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    1. While I fully expect Malibu and the surrounding areas will rebuild, I have to wonder if the Paradise area will. The stories are utterly heartbreaking and I don't imagine insurance and monetary donations are going to be enough.

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  8. Love that first vase and the flowers in it. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. You need to join in some time - in spring if not this time of year!

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  9. That first vase is super! Magnolia is an elegant genus.

    Rain looks highly likely for Thursday, wheeee!!

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    1. I'm wary of getting invested in the weather forecasts but even so I'm already making plans based on this one coming through, HB.

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  10. That large vase is spectacular, Kris! I was about to ask 'what variety of Nerine?' and then saw the noID... My N. sarniensis appears to have not survived its first summer here, so I am inevitably on the lookout for something else similar that will take the weather! ;-)

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    1. I'm guessing that mine is probably Nerine bowdenii, Amy, but I've no actual record of what I planted (or when). Careful as I am about recording most of what I plant, I seem to regularly fail in registering bulbs.

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  11. that vase! I don't recall ever seeing anything quite like it, and I love the selection you made to arrange in it. Funny, when I opened this post and saw it I assumed it was new because I had never seen it before.

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    1. I've had that vase at least a decade, possibly closer to two. It's too big to fit in the cabinet I use for my other vases so it's buried in another cabinet I seldom burrow through.

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  12. Sigh...it's all so stunning! Where did you find that first vase? I mean I love everything about both arrangements! So much color at the end of November! Sigh...

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    1. As I recall, I picked up the vase at a street fair, Beth, probably the one I once attended annually in the beach city I formerly lived in. That fair became same old-same old and it's been years now since I shopped there.

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  13. Wow, that first arrangement is stellar and I rather like the second one too. So is it hard to through out the prior weeks vase? Or is it just “out with the old, in with the new!”?

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    1. I don't throw them all out, Loree, although some get downsized and materials in others get recycled, as in the case of the Westringia from last week's vase. Right now, I have a combination of lime coleus and Leucadendron left over from 2 or more weeks ago sitting in a small vase on my desk.

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  14. You must be so relieved that the fires are 'contained', although that doesn't yet mean 'out' so I assume there is still a risk of there was no rain and the winds got up? The shape and form of your first vase is such an intriguing challenge and offers unique posssiblities, which you have utilised in your usual artistic way. The magnolia cones are a great asset for vases and these colours are brilliant together. Love the pink vase too, with your solitary nerine!

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    1. The winds that contributed to the fires in the southern part of the state were back yesterday and continue today, Cathy, but, as rain is expected on Thursday, the emphasis in both parts of the state are now focused on managing mudslides and debris flow. There's a not-so-funny joke about California's "seasons": wind, fire, mud and earthquakes.

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  15. I absolutely love that first vase - full of drama!

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  16. Arriving late to comment I am sure everyone will have taken the words out of my mouth!! So without having read them, all I can say is that the first vase is stunning....and well done on your perseverance. The material is superb, and I love seeing those stems and the marbles through the glass. The second vase is splendid too.

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    1. Thanks Noelle! It's a good thing to change things up occasionally.

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  17. I'm really surprised that you haven't used this vase more often, it's lovely. I love the interesting choice of using the magnolia cones, they set off everything else perfectly. The Camellia and the gloriously coloured Nerine make for a strong colour theme but that works perfectly with all your other chices for this vase.

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    1. Frankly, I usually forget all about that vase as it's hidden deep in the bowels of a cabinet I seldom even open (where all the stuff you don't really need but can't quite bring yourself to toss goes). I do like the vase but it's an imposing piece on the dining table and I don't have many other spots to put it.

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  18. I love, love love that first vase. and your chosen arrangement. You must bring it out more often. It does seem strange to me to see all that pink in November when we have barely a flower left after the freeze.

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    1. Between the Leptospermum and the Camellias, I've got a surprising amount of pink in the garden at present but it still seems a bit off (not in keeping with the season) to me as well, Jenny.

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  19. Both beautiful, as always, and I'm very happy to hear both that you've had rain, and that the fires are finally contained. Such scary times - you California folks have been on my mind a lot lately. Glad you're okay!

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    1. Thanks for the concern, Anna. The earlier rain put an end to the Camp Fire, the last one to be contained. with more rain coming in now, our hope is that it'll be gentle enough to avoid mudslides.

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  20. It is tantalising that with a row of vases ... this arrangement needs something taller wider shorter, and I sift thru too many to find one that works.
    Your large one is a statement piece.

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    1. I don't create arrangements as large as that first one often but it did make an impact in my smallish dining room space.

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  21. A lovely big arrangement, that looks so pretty from all angles, and the nerine in the second vase is gorgeous. It is refreshing to see bright pink pristine blooms on a grey November day Kris! So thanks for cheering this day up!

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    1. I'm glad I could brighten your day a little, Cathy!

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