Monday, April 29, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Late Arrivals

This week I was able to cut both foxgloves and sweet peas for my Monday vases.  My impression was that both flowers are late in blooming this year but, after a bit of sleuthing through my records, the reality is less clear cut.  The foxgloves were blooming by mid-March last year but this year the first flowers have only just appeared.  Although the blooms were even later in 2017, I believe this was because I planted my plugs late, as I gradually converted my vegetable and herb garden into a real cutting garden.  A colder winter and cooler-than-usual Spring could be responsible for the delayed blooms this year but, as I also relied almost entirely on rain to water the raised planters until the middle of this month, the beds may also have received less water than they wanted.  Last year, when we received so little rain, I irrigated the beds regularly.

As usual, I crammed more stems than I should have into this vase.  Once I cut flowers, I'm always loathe to toss them directly in the compost heap.

The Orlaya grandiflora grown from seed were meant to have a larger starring role in the arrangement but they're crowded too tight to have the impact I envisioned

Overhead view

Clockwise from the upper left: Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmation White', spent Helleborus 'Anna's Red', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Orlaya grandiflora, Pelargonium 'Orange Fizz', and P. cucullatum 'Flore Plenum'


I've planted sweet peas from seed for at least 3 years now and my records indicate that, while this year's blooms are almost a month behind the 2017 crop, they're just a couple of weeks behind the 2018 crop.  However, in prior years, I've also added a couple of specialty nursery-grown seedlings to my planters in late winter, which I didn't do this year so it may be that my own seed-grown plants are right on target.

Although all my sweet pea seeds were sown on the same date in late October, only those that were part of the 'Pastel Sunset' mix are blooming and, of those, most are coral-pink.  Finding other flowers to complement their color took 2 rounds of my garden.

Although it took awhile to select flowers for this arrangement, I was pleased with the final product

Top view: The surprise element here are the seedpods of Nigella 'Transformer'

Clockwise from the upper left: Lathyrus odoratus in coral-pink (shown with Abelia grandiflora 'Radiance'), white sweet pea (also from the 'Pastel Sunset Mix'), Nigella orientalis 'Transformer' seedpods, Rosa 'Pink Meidiland', and Centranthus ruber 'Albus'


Last week's arrangements held up well.  While I tossed out the contents of one, I held on to a simplified version of the arrangement featuring the "pinwheel" flowers.

The Ranunculus blooms may not last another week but the Leucospermum 'Brandi' flowers should


The new arrangements found their spots.



For other IAVOM posts, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

30 comments:

  1. Fabulous foxgloves Kris! I can never get over your incredible array of flowers! All so lovely and the colours are gorgeous! Thank you! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/04/a-sumptuous-vase-on-monday.html

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  2. The weather seems to affect different plants differently and it keeps us all on our toes! The foxgloves look really stately in the first vase and I love the effect of the seed pods in the second one. It will be intersting to see whether the rest of your sweet pea mix are the same as this coral shade, which is not the only pastel shade in a sunset! Thanks for sharing

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    1. So far, the 'Pastel Sunset' sweet pea mix has included white, lavender, and coral-pink flowers, with the last accounting for the vast majority of the blooms thus far. However, in prior years I've noticed that some colors come along later than others. I didn't keep the seed packet so I'm not sure what to expect from the mix.

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  3. All your arrangements are so pretty but I really love the one with the sweet peas and roses! It's neat to see a white form of Centranthus ruber. You reminded me that I want to add the red kind to my garden...I have lots of Valeriana officinalis which looks a lot like your 'Albus' and I think it smells divine (although some people say it stinks)!

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    1. The pink Centranthus is the the most "assertive" in my garden (and also in the neighboring hills), Joanna. I've been encouraging the white form to spread more broadly and, while I can say I've made some progress there, it's still slow going.

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  4. Those "florist" hawaiian Leucospermums seem to be winners in a vase for you also. What a nifty color combination yours are showing.

    The 'Blanche Ito' I picked a good while after it opened still looks good 10 days later.

    Good idea to pick Orlaya flowers--less rampant reseeding next year!

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    1. Last year, all the Orlaya plants I installed from 4-inch pots were eaten to the ground virtually overnight by what turned out to be rabbits. Those I grew from seed this were already well established by the time the rabbits showed up a week or 2 ago. I've also noticed active hawk activity the last week so the rabbits may not be as big an issue this year.

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  5. Your late arrivals seem very early to me, how wonderful having foxgloves and sweet peas in bloom already. Gorgeous arrangements.

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    1. My own impatience may be part of the perception regarding my "late arrivals," Chloris. I'm feeling some pressure for both the foxgloves and sweet peas to "get a move on" as I need their space in my cutting garden for the dahlias I've already started in temporary pots.

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  6. I enjoy all of your blooms in a vase. I have a bad case of envy of your sweet peas. I can't seem to grow them. I think I don't have enough sun.

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    1. Sweet peas do love sun, Lisa. I don't think my crop is going to be especially good this year. I've been very sloppy about training their growth up the supports to maximize their sun exposure.

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  7. I'm voting for the foxglove vase as my fave this week. I especially like that you incorporated some Pelargoniums in with the display, so I will be copying you very soon.

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    1. I'm glad you like the Pelargoniums, Kathy! Those were the flowers I considered pulling to give the arrangement a looser look. But I liked the addition of the bright spots of color the Pelargoniums provided so they stayed.

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  8. Each vase has exciting elements..and my nigella transformer is the one that caught my eye...I just had to look it up. Then there were the roses...what a gardener you are. Congratulations!

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    1. That Nigella is my favorite flower discovery this year, Noelle.

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  9. Your foxglove and sweet peas are yummy! I haven't grown Foxglove for over 30 years and never tried sweet peas as our climate gets so hot. Maybe when I retire, I will try both as they are such lovely flowers. Your bouquets are gorgeous and so lush. I like them full.

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    1. Our temperatures go sky-high in summer here too, Cindy, but we're lucky to be able to plant seeds in the fall for late winter/early spring blooms. I don't suppose that's possible in your climate?

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  10. Is it wrong the "pinwheel" flowers stole this post for me? I know, I'm easily swayed. The sweet peas must smell divine.

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    1. The pinwheel flowers are fabulous, which is why I gave them a second showing in this week's post, Loree. I'm not sure I'll cut any more 'Brandi' this season but I'm still enjoying the view of the shrub in full bloom from my office window - and also the scent of the sweet peas sitting next to my computer!

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  11. Love the coral sweet peas - you've picked good partners for them, too. The bouquet must smell sweetly! Your foxglove is impressive - I'd like to freshen up my self-sown, old-fashioned ones and should get some hybrids like these. The Orlaya are very pretty - they remind me of elaborate Queen-Anne's Lace. Beautiful vases, Kris!

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    1. Queen Anne's Lace does very poorly here but Orlaya is another matter altogether. I've been warned about it's propensity to self-seed prolifically but it's hard to imagine that as a bad thing!

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  12. There are just so many factors that can affect the garden - most of the time all we can do is make an educated guess as to which was ultimately responsible for earlier blooms or a better harvest. Your vases are lovely, as usual. I'm so looking forward to growing sweet peas for the first time this year, especially to experiencing the scent that everyone raves about :)

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    1. I don't have a very good nose for scent in the garden, Margaret, but sweet peas are hard to beat. They smell wonderful and are never sickeningly sweet as some flowers can be. Best sown in early fall, they're an early Spring flower here. Warm temperatures combined with our marine layer have them quickly succumbing to mildew as summer creeps up on us.

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  13. Love the foxgloves, that is my favorite vase. I was too paranoid about the cat eating them to ever bring them in the house. So, beautiful and especially with the companions. Hope spring lasts for a long time.

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    1. Digitalis is very toxic but my Pipig has never shown any interest in the flowers. she also knows she's not supposed to jump on the dining room table...

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  14. Especially love the second vase this week Kris - it looks like summer! The sweet peas are gorgeous too of course. :)

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    1. Roses, Jupiter's beard and sweet peas are all long gone by the time summer arrives here, Cathy. If we're lucky, we get another flush of roses in the late summer/early fall when it cools down a bit.

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  15. Fabulous arrangements as always Kris and as Cathy above says it looks like summer 😀 Interesting to read about the variations in the sweet pea flowering times.

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    1. Summer here is very different, Anna. Flowers tend to disappear when the days get hot and dry.

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