Monday, January 7, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: The usual suspects

Every garden has its rhythms and, despite the mild winter conditions here, mine is no exception.  When I look back at photos of arrangements I created in January in prior years, the same flowers usually make at least one appearance on In a Vase on Monday, the popular meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  The tradition continues with this post.

Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' produces yellow "blooms" every January.  While this is one of my favorite plants of all time, notable not only for its colorful yellow bracts in winter but also for its fiery red bracts in summer, I've never been entirely happy with how it looks in a vase.  On this occasion, I trimmed off most of the green foliage to make the bracts surrounding the cones more flower-like and to show off the plant's red stems.

I also kept the arrangement somewhat looser than I usually do.  The paperwhite Narcissus was thrown in the back, partly to add interest there but also because the stems had been plastered to the pavement by rain.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Corokia x virgata 'Sunsplash', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', and noID Narcissus


For a few weeks now, I've been pruning plants as though my life depended on it and, as my pink-flowered Leptospermum is one of the plants under siege, I'm using it and another January all-star, Grevillea 'Penola', in a second vase.

The Leptospermum and the Grevillea both have needle-like gray foliage but the former's flowers are flashier

This Grevillea has small but profuse red and white snail-shaped flowers,  Most of the flowers on my plant are still tightly furled.

Top view

From left to right: Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola', Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', and Persicaria capitata


For more January arrangements, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



On the weather front, we got a decent soaking of rain at last on Saturday night and there's more coming down this morning, and still more predicted for the coming weekend.  With that boost, I'm hoping I'll see a variety of new blooms in February, if not sooner.  On the other hand, I also hope Los Angeles will avoid any serious rain-related disasters in the recent burn areas.  It's a fine balance Mother Nature but I know you're up to the challenge!

View of the incoming storm from my backyard late Saturday afternoon

This is a closer look at one of the funnel clouds that got some news press in association with Saturday's storm.  I caught it on camera too.  Luckily, this one never touched the surface.



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

28 comments:

  1. Both arrangements are beautifully balanced...as for elements I have Leptospermum envy....

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    1. The Leptospermum has lovely flowers, Noelle, although stripping away the spiky foliage for arrangements is a bit of a pain.

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  2. I love your January flowers. Leptospermum is delightful, like tissue paper flowers. I've tried to grow it several times but I have never been able to keep it. I am not surprised that leucadendron is a favourite, it's fabulous.
    What weird clouds, I've never seen a sky quite like that before.

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    1. That flat cloud formation isn't all that common here, although I've seen it before. I can't remember seeing funnel clouds, however. I saw 2 of them in the lead up to the Saturday night storm and local newscasters reported 3 of them in the area.

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  3. You have emade a good job of trimming the leucandron as it works a treat in your first vase. Having seen leptospermum many times in your vases I have investigated their suitablility for the UK and have a plant on order which I will add to my shrub border. Thanks for sharing both your pretty vases, Kris

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    1. I hope the Leptospermum works out for you, Cathy! Chloris reports trying it without success.

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  4. I like how you trimmed the Leptospermum as it, indeed, makes the bracts look more flower-like. Both are well done as always but gray and pink are such a fabulous combination and the silver glow of the vase is marvelous with the flower/foliage colors.

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    1. I pulled out 3 vases before settling on the silver one for the second arrangement, Peter. I'm pleased that you validated my choice!

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  5. I bet it is exciting to look out over the city to see those storms flying into the area. I wouldn't want to see a tornado tho. Your vases are lovely. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. We get very excited about rain here these days, Lisa! The persistent drought has made weather-watchers out of all sorts of people.

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  6. Kris, RAIN! Now I am the envious one. I honestly cannot remember the last time we had rain. Perhaps November… or was it October? The pond behind our house is only half full, which is normal for mid-June, but not winter!

    As always, your vases are lovely. You could almost convince me to like pink with that leptospermum!

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    1. Your rain story sounds a lot like our situation last year. I hope you get some soon!

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  7. If I had a gorgeous Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' in my garden I’d be using it in a vase every week possible! I love the stem treatment, really lets the tips be the stars.

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    1. I'm not sure why I haven't thought to deal with the Leucadendron stems that way before, Loree.

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  8. Rain! It's good to hear but it must be a worry too. I'm sure your garden will burst into growth. I'm sure we all find ourselves repeating but that's ok. Hopefully we are heading for snowdrops and hellebores here. I always like pink and grey but the pop of colour in your first vase is very refreshing and must smell good too.

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    1. The gray foliage of the Grevillea in the second arrangement may look like lavender, Alison, but unfortunately it doesn't have any scent, at least not any I can detect.

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  9. Both these arrangements are lovely; I like the looser style of the first vase and agree that a lot of flower stems are improved immensely when you trim off all the foliage, it is such a bind having to do it though. Seeing your flowers is a great reminder that there will be more flowers to come, our freezing temperatures have slowed everything down here.

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    1. I really need to make more effort in exercising restraint in creating my arrangements this year, Christina. I always like the looser arrangements more but somehow can't stop myself from over-stuffing my vases.

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  10. Those vases both feel like a new year with spring on the way. Is is unusual to see a funnel cloud like that? My husband recently read that we are having fewer tornadoes here. I guess that is the tradeoff with the new torrential rain storms instead.

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    1. Well, spring is on the way here in a very real sense, Linda - we usually see what I'd term the first spring flowers as early as February. Funnel clouds are NOT usual here. I was a little spooked when I saw them.

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  11. Yay, rain! So happy for you. And your garden. Love the Luecadendron and seemingly recall it from last winter! Oddly my vases are sort of different this year. No Heliconia. Go figure. I love the vase in the second arrangement, it looks like the Caithness (?) glass from the UK.Love a little grey foliage almost anywhere! Well done.

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    1. Sadly, the vase is not Caithness glass but rather an inexpensive item I picked up on sale last year made of ordinary glass with a light coating of silver (which seems to be gradually disappearing with each cleaning).

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  12. Happy New Year Kris! I love both your vases, but particularly the pink one! It's really lovely! I don't think I have seen that pretty Leptospermum before - the whole arrangement with all the material you have used is just delightful. Thank you! Amanda

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    1. You're likely to see the Leptospermum again in my spring posts, Amanda, if my delay in pruning it doesn't coast me that second season of blooms.

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  13. Wonderful to see your rain rolling in. To enjoy the good weather!

    Today I was cutting back swathes of Californian poppy, down the little fresh sprouts. Wonder if those fleshy orange roots are edible? Or poisonous??

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    1. I've never heard that California poppy roots are edible, Diana, even if they do look a little like carrots. But then I was surprised to learn that dahlia roots are edible so I'm no expert!

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  14. Both incredible arrangements, as always! For some reason, I'm very much attracted to the golden tones of the first collection--perhaps it's the time of the year and I crave warmth. ;-) In any case, I've always thrilled to the sight of Leucadendrons--both in photos and in person, during travels to milder climes.

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    1. Leucadendrons are fantastic plants, although I'm sad to say I'm running out of space to add any more.

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