Monday, January 21, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Subtle color variations

After almost a solid week of rain, my garden is saturated.  That may bode well for my spring blooms but at present there's not much more in flower than there was last week.  I couldn't think of anything new to do with my large-flowered Grevilleas so I checked my back slope on the off-chance that the calla lilies might have made an appearance.  They haven't, but while I was down there I cut a few stems of Ribes viburnifolium, aka Catalina Perfume Currant, challenging myself to come up with something to bring out the color of the currant's tiny flowers.  I'm not at all satisfied with my results.  The color variations are too subtle and there's no real focal point to the arrangement but the high winds that kicked up in the afternoon tabled whatever thoughts I may have had about a re-do.

In retrospect, I should have traded the greener Leucadendron "flowers" for more red and yellow-tinged specimens.  After reviewing my photos for this post, I pulled one stem of green bracts out of the vase but the light required for passable photos was gone so I won't be showing the impact here.

Back view, showing off the variegated foliage of Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'

Top view, dominated by the more colorful bracts of Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'

Clockwise from the upper left: Grevillea rosmarinifolia, Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', Hebe 'Purple Shamrock', Leucadendron 'Blush', L. 'Summer Red', L, 'Safari Sunset', and Ribes viburnifolium


Last week's vases stood up relatively well.  After a little tweaking, I shifted them to different spots with the new vase stationed in the front entry.

All the middle vase needed were new stems of paperwhite Narcissus while the vase on the right was simplified, stripped of its rose, poppy and Grevillea stems


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

There are positive signs on the horizon in my garden.  My Freesias, Ceanothus, Calliandra, and one Echium all have buds and Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection' produced its first bloom on Saturday.  How long it'll take for the buds to bloom isn't clear to me but they have me looking forward to the days ahead.  I participated in a local "sister march" associated with the third Women's March this past Saturday and found positive signs for the future there too.



All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

36 comments:

  1. I like the density of your arrangement and the contrasts in foliar texture. Grevillea rosmarinifolia is also hardy here although mine still just has tightly closed buds on it. Good to see positive signs for the future!

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  2. I love what the Hebe added to the mix!

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    1. I do love that Hebe and, as soon as I cut the Ribes, I trotted to my back border to see how the two plants looked together. It stays low but it's spread nicely since I planted it a couple of years ago.

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  3. The top view of your arrangement is lovely! I also enjoyed your last post! I am glad you are finally getting some good rain. I know your garden is loving it. Rain and wind sounds like what we have been experiencing, though today the sky is bright blue. We had temps in the 20s last night, and despite the sun, at midday we still are just over freezing.

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    1. The wind was a bit of a surprise. Cold Santa Ana winds aren't much more fun than the hot summer version. Hopefully, they'll stop soon.

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  4. A tricky time of year all round, it seems. Your garden will be revving up now, after all that rain. We've still had very little and I'm on the hunt for a rain gauge so I can measure it properly. Your vase is still colourful and lovely and restful to look at.

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    1. Typical of the scientist he is, my husband went to great lengths to test the calibration of the weather system he installed on our roof after discrepancies with our neighbor's readings became apparent last year. Even so, my little no-tech test tube gauge showed 3/4ths of an inch more rain than the roof-top system this time. I haven't bothered to disclose that to him - no system is perfect.

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  5. You always manage to find something for your vases, Kris, and yet it is unusual not to have some bright and cheerful bloom in the mix. Will your recent rain make a big difference to what will be appearing in your garden in the coming weeks or months?

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    1. I can only hope so, Cathy! Last year, I think I had only a couple of calla lilies bloom and virtually no California poppies. If both appear this year, I'll be very pleased.

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  6. Kris, I love the colors and textures in your vase today. It's shocking how much rain you've had recently. We have been oversaturated here in NC as well.

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    1. If only that rain would come in more measured doses, Susie! I've got plenty of stored rainwater now but, if we dry out early again this winter, it won't last long.

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  7. Oh wow! Saturated after a week of rain. I have so forgotten what that feels like. Have never worn the Wellingtons we bought for Porterville since we moved away.

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    1. In March 1991, Southern California experienced what's known to this day as the "March Miracle," during which we got rain nearly every day for a month. We haven't had a continuous stretch of rain even like the one last week for a long, long time.

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  8. Leucadendrons are amazing in their variety. I esp. like 'Safari Sunset.' Your bouquets from last week still look great!

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    1. 'Safari Sunset" has particularly large "flowers" and they do make a splash!

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  9. Something from the fridge (an artchoke?) would be a fine focal point for those subtle colors. Not that those colors and textures need anything added.

    Happy saturation!

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    1. I never thought of checking the fridge but I guess I could have wired one of the large Aeonium rosettes to fit the bill. It's too bad I didn't have you on hand to encourage me to stretch my imagination.

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  10. OOOoooo I can't wait to walk out and gather something for a vase besides snow. It lifts my spirits seeing all the flowery vases. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. You know, Lisa, if I had snow, I'd definitely put a snowball in a vase - even if short-lived, it'd be an incredible novelty here!

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  11. I love it when you use the Leucadendrons and the Grevilleas! Such interesting plants--no matter what parts you use. The foliage, alone, is so colorful and fascinating. All three of your arrangements are perfect!

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    1. I was pleased at how well last week's vases held up overall. As the Alstromeria I used in the second of last week's vases opened, it picked up the pink color in Leucadendron 'Chief', making that arrangement looked all the better to my eyes.

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  12. Unusual to hear you talk about rain. I love the colours of your first arrangement, what gorgeous foliage you have.
    Well done on going on the march.

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    1. I've talked about the lack of rain a lot, Chloris, especially as last year's total was downright depressing. It was wonderful to be able to talk about rain falling on my garden. Fingers remain crossed that we'll get more yet before our winter rainy season is over.

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  13. You must be trilled about the rain, we have snow around us today but not actually in the garden yet. You are being hard on yourself about your vase, anyone would be very happy to have such a full vase in January. Seeing your vases from last week, I was very struck with the beautiful shape formed by the one on the right.

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    1. Oh, I know I'm still lucky to have so much in my garden at this time of year when cold brings many gardens to a hard stop, Christina. I just have unrealistic expectations.

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  14. Such beauties! I'm sure you are glad your gardens are well watered. It may have to last you a long time. Is spring your rainy season?

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    1. No, actually winter is our one and only rainy season. Occasionally, we'll get a tropical storm in late summer or fall but that's the exception rather than the rule. Rain usually comes to an end in April, if not earlier. In 2018, I think our last storm was in early March.

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  15. I like the new arrangement.Foliage color is very underrated in my opinion. The salmony subtlety is lovely. Glad for your rain.

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    1. There's more rain in the longer-term forecast for February. I hope it materializes.

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  16. Me, too. Finally figured out your comment thing!

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  17. It must be wonderful to bring flowers into the house every week. Your new arrangement is charming and perfectly suited to the month of January. I always remember when we first moved to Ca being surprised that Ca actually had a winter.

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    1. Winter = rain for us, Jenny. Cooler temperatures too but that's secondary.

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  18. A week of rain Kris! I didn't think that I would ever hear those words coming from your lips :) I imagine that the garden will relish it in due course. Such warm and glowing colours in your vase.

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    1. Not quite an entire week of rain but 5 days of rain out of 7 is utterly remarkable in light of the current trend. We've recently had several bouts with high wind, which is drying things up all too quickly. Our humidity level was 6% at 7am this morning and it now stands at 5% 10 hours later; however, the 10-day forecast is still showing a decent chance of more rain in the early days of February. I suppose weather whiplash is just part of the "new normal."

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