Monday, March 11, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Freesias everywhere

Freesias weren't the starting point for any of today's vases but somehow they managed to find their way into all three of them.  Those blooms are plentiful in my garden now, come in a range of colors and, as they smell wonderful, tucking a few stems into an arrangement just seems like the thing to do.

Tulips, real ones this time, kicked off the color scheme for my first vase.

I've previously planted species tulips said to be suitable for warm weather climates; repeatedly tried other tulips chilled in my refrigerator for 3 months prior to planting; and tried pre-sprouted tulips purchased from my local garden center, all with limited success.  The tulips in today's vase are another pre-sprouted variety I purchased a month ago.  This time, they bloomed without difficulty, presumably because our weather has been unusually cold and wet of late.

Not my best effort in decorating the vase's back side

The tulips were labeled "two-tone" without a cultivar name.  The blooms were yellow and orange when they first emerged but the colors shifted to cream and red as they matured.

Clockwise from the upper left: "Two-tone" tulips, Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', Freesia, Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', and noID small-cupped Narcissus


I know I've said it before but I hadn't planned on creating three vases this week.  I planned a pink vase and started by cutting stems of Grevillea sericea only to find that the other pink flowers I cut didn't make a good color match, even when I squinted hard.  But, rather than toss out the the Grevillea stems, I cut other flowers to pair with them.

The pink flowers of the Grevillea have bluish undertones

The Freesia I selected as an accent is a marbled pink with similar blue undertones

The odd thing about these Freesias is that they were a solid pink when I originally planted them.  The marbled pink and white pattern showed up in later years, presumably due to some kind of virus.

From left to right: mutant Freesia, Grevillea sericea, and Helleborus 'Phoebe'


The Ranunculus I'd originally cut as a match for Grevillea sericea has more yellow undertones than blue ones so I used plants with touches of yellow to go with them.

I planted Ranunculus tubers in late October.  This pink and white variety is the first to bloom.

The tiny pink flowers of the Coleonema (aka Breath of Heaven) wasn't a perfect match either but I went with it because its foliage is a yellow-chartreuse color

I planted the daffodils years ago but kept no record of the variety

Clockwise from the upper left: Ranunculus 'Tecolote Picotee', Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', pink Freesia, noID Narcissus, and Pyrethropsis hosmariense (aka Moroccan Daisy)


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



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

38 comments:

  1. You can and do grow such a wonderful wide range of plants, with very beautiful flowers, so I wonder what urges you to try tulips? Probably just the same thing as urges us to grow tender plants here in the UK....as usual your vases are lovely.

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    1. Well, Noelle, a lot of gardeners here like me were raised on a diet of English garden books. Millions of US gardeners hang on to lawns due to the same influence, when many, if not most (certainly in my climate) shouldn't waste water on them. I AM hung-up on tulips, and peonies, and even plants like Epimediums that I admire and can't grow.

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  2. I think if I had freesias I'd put them in everything too. You'd laugh if you saw my sorry specimens. Do you grow them outside in the ground? Mice eat my bulbs so it's tricky. You've got some beautiful colours here and gorgeous Ranunculus. I found buds on mine today and I'm very excited.
    A Year with my Camera is available to anyone and people all over the world do it. Go for it!

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    1. Almost everything you see in my IAVOM posts is grown outside in the ground, Alison. I don't have a greenhouse, although I do now have a lath (shade) house to provide the protection some sun-sensitive plants need and can't get in my open garden.

      I did sign up for the camera workshop, starting in April. Hopefully, I can keep up with the course.

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    2. Yes, I thought that would be the case re the planting. Perhaps I should try freesias outside and let them take their chances. The mice might not find them. You work at the course at your own pace so you only need to keep up with yourself. Good luck, I hope you enjoy it.

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    3. We don't have a mouse problem (thank goodness) so I can only imagine that challenge. Gophers here can damage bulbs and I've heard that people facing that problem plant the bulbs within wire cages. Maybe that'll work, although my guess is that your mice are a lot smaller than our gophers.

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  3. https://oldhousegardens.com/display/category/Tulip?page=2 Kris, trying to send you a link Cerise Gris de Lin is the tulip, I think. I am from Atlanta, which is really too far south for tulips, my mother grew these and they were considered a passalong for Southern gardens we called them Cottage Tulips and in college I was taught they are a rare reliable returning tulip for Southern gardens. Probably not Souther California. Love the arrangement and the tulips

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    1. It certainly looks like the right tulip, Amelia. Thanks for the link! Tulips don't generally "over-summer" here but I suppose I could try digging up the bulbs and chilling them next year to see what happens.

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  4. Tulips and Grevillea are a wonderful combination. I love the freesias too, but your vase with the Ranunculus stood out for me this week. Aren't they lovely delicate flowers. :) Wonderful vases again Kris!

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    1. Ranunculus are summer flowers in many areas but spring blooms here. I think they're responding well to the cooler temperatures and rain they got this winter.

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  5. Your vases are always such a delight, Kris, and always have such a variety of blooms, often ones I don't recognise. I especially like the more minimal second one but am fascinated by the way the petals of the ranunculus 'whorl' in the third vase - how pretty is that? Thank for sharing Kris

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    1. The 'Picotee' Ranunculus shows off the whorls you described particularly well, Cathy. You may see white and salmon color Ranunculus in future posts as those are getting close to blooming too.

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  6. Hello Are you okay?
    I love seeing your flower arrangements.
    Pure inspiration.
    In Brazil it is not easy.
    find the flowers freesias.
    Good week.
    janicce.

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    1. I suspect that Freesias may find your climate too wet for their liking, Janicce. They're native to South Africa where summers are hot and dry like ours.

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  7. Kris - those ranunculus make my heart sing! Just beautiful. All your flowers are beautiful! Here's my little collection! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/03/sweetly-pretty-vases-on-monday.html

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    1. Ranunculus are well-suited to my Mediterranean climate, Amanda, at least if grown during our cool (winter-spring) season. They need more water than I could possibly give them if planted as summer blooms.

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  8. Seeing your tulips make me yearn for tulips in my garden. It is going to warm up any day now and things will start growing...I hope. Your lovely flowers really make me itchy for some blooms of my own.

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    1. I think I just got lucky with the pre-sprouted tulips this year, Lisa. Usually they're knocked out by our warm, dry Santa Ana winds just as they're about to bloom but our abnormally cool and wet winter made a big difference.

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  9. I can't bear to cut my tulips even though I planted over 300 this year.I have got to figure out a way to have a cutting garden.Love your Freesias !

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    1. I battled mightily with the decision as to whether to cut the tulips for my vase, Kathy, even though I planted the pre-sprouted bulbs in my cutting garden for that reason. I lost one flower to a critter, cut 3 and still have 5 left in the cutting garden.

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  10. Always a pleasure to see your many blooms. I'm surprised that some of the species tulips haven't done well for you as some are fond of hot dry summers and mild winters. I can only imagine the marvelous fragrance of a garden full of freesia. Swoon.

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    1. I tried species tulips in my former garden. They DID offer a half-decent show the first year but the blooms dropped dramatically the second year and dwindled to almost nothing the third year. I'd like to try them again but didn't find the varieties I sought last fall. Mail order catalogs are the only sources available as the bulbs aren't sold locally.

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  11. What a fabulous group of vases, Kris - you certainly do manage to find something to go perfectly with each color range! Love the Grevilleas...
    Like you, I found in my Arizona garden that even the species tulips were fairly shy of coming back strongly, no matter what the catalogs say. T. saxatalis gave a fairly good showing the first year, and the second year conditions were particularly bad, so who knows now... But narcissus were a good deal easier for me too! Anyway, those tulips are gorgeous, as are the ranunculus and freesias! Love your fluted vase too!

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    1. Thanks Amy. I'd wondered if the issue with the species tulips was lack of water or lack of winter chill. Your experience in Arizona suggests it's probably the former.

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  12. Oh those tulips in the first vase look fabulous with Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite' branches! And I can almost smell the freesia...

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    1. I was surprised at how much I liked 'Scarlet Sprite' in that arrangement, Loree. It isn't the easiest material to use in a vase, however. It's very prickly - I had to use garden gloves when removing the foliage below the water line. In other words, it's a plant right up your alley! ;)

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  13. Three gorgeous vases today Kris, actually I thought the delicate colours and style was quite different from your usual exotic ones (which are equally gorgeous, just different). I hope my Freesias have come back this year, they didn't flower last year due to the freezing temperatures in February.

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    1. I hope the Freesias come through for you, Christina. They're lovely flowers. They don't seem to like constantly being beaten down by rain, though.

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  14. Tulips and daffodils, not what I expected from your garden. You have created lovely spring vases. I always envy your grevilleas. This year I am growing ranunculus for the first time, they are lovely for a vase. And I love your fressias

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    1. Daffodils do surprisingly well here, Chloris, but tulips are another matter altogether. The pre-sprouted specimens are a cheat of sorts but, given the vagaries of our "cool season" weather, which can be very warm and dry on occasion, they may be the best bet we have to managed a few viable blooms. We don't have much of a choice in terms of either color or variety, however.

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  15. Oh what a lovely trio of colourful vases Kris. Glad to read that your tulips are thriving for you this year. The extra moisture must have suited them. I'm just trying to remember the scent of freesias - not easy on a cold winter's night :) They were the main component of my bouquet on my wedding day.

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    1. I think the tulips were aided by both the rain and our cooler temperatures, Anna - warm Santa Ana winds herald a death toll for them. Freesias manage to have a light but sweet scent. In a warm room, they're glorious.

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  16. Actually a four-tone Tulip, since it changed from yellow/orange to pink/cream? That's a pretty wild color change.

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    1. I checked my first photos to see if the colors I recalled were accurate. The edges definitely started out yellow but the base of the petals was an orangish red. The color shift was gradual.

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  17. So pretty! I'm glad that your tulips weren't further de-headed like the first one was. I love the ranunculus and freesia, simply lovely.

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    1. I covered the tulips with a wire dome for a few days after the beheading incident, until the stems got too long for their cage. It seemed to help as there's been no further damage.

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