Monday, April 8, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Nothing to spit at

My Osteospermums  are doing especially well this year so I decided to make one variety the focus of this week's vase.  After cutting a couple of stems, I realized that they were covered in a sticky foam, the tell-tale evidence of the presence of a spittlebug.  I hosed them off and used them anyway.  I'm not sure how common spittlebugs are but you can see them in action here.

As usual, I stuffed my vase

I've got oodles of frothy white Coleonema album (aka white breath of heaven) in the garden at the moment.  It's a great filler but I won't use much of it in a vase as I dislike the smell of the flowers.  The foliage has a lovely scent but, when it's blooming en masse on a warm day, the smell of the flowers can be unpleasant.

The Ranunculus in my cutting garden are fading fast now due to warm temperatures and dry winds

Clockwise from the upper left: Ageratum corymbosum, Coleonema album, Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl', Lavandula stoechas, Freesia, Ranunculus, Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly' and, in the middle, Osteospermum '4D Violet Ice'


I put together a second vase this week specifically as a personal challenge, using Salvia africana lutea as my inspiration.  I've never had any idea what to combine with its flowers, which have an unusual shape and color.  It's been in my garden for 3 years now and, while it's far from reaching its mature size, this year it's produced numerous flowers.

The flower color is variously described as clay, brick, or rusty orange
 

I surprised myself (again) by finding more than enough flowers and foliage to accent the Salvia.

This vase was a Christmas gift from my brother and his thoughtful girlfriend.  It bears some resemblance to my cat, Pipig, who was described by the rescue organization I adopted her from as a "Torbie" or tortoisehell-tabby.

I used the orange/salmon Ranunculus to complement the color of the Salvia and to repeat the orange color in the vase

I'm a little shocked that I cut one of the first blooms on my Leucospermum 'Spider Hybrid' but it did play off the color of the Salvia surprisingly well

Clockwise from the upper left: Correa 'Wyn's Wonder', Leucospermum 'Spider Hybrid', Lotus berthelotii 'Gold Flash', Narcissus 'British Gamble', N. 'Geranium', Ranunculus and, in the middle, Salvia africana lutea


It's probably entirely a coincidence but Pipig showed up as soon as I put the vase down on a side table in the living room.

Admittedly, Pipig (her name is Swedish for "Squeaky"), periodically checks out my vases but it's not a regular practice and it's been many months since she's shown any interest in them

She settled on the arm of the sofa, keeping her eye on the vase


I'm still feeling a bit guilty about cutting the Leucospermum bloom for this vase but the flowers have a long vase-life so I expect I'll be able to enjoy it for awhile.

This Leucospermum 'Brandi' flower is still in great shape 2 weeks after I originally cut it for another of my IAVOM posts.  It's sitting in my office now with some new accents in the form of Ranunculus and Agonis flexuosa foliage but the sun's glare made it impossible to get a good photo of it in situ.


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




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

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful as that first vase is, and that is putting it mildly, the second vase with shades of peach and burnt orange would just go perfectly on my coffee table. And I see someone else appreciates it too.

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    1. I couldn't tell whether she appreciated the vase or was jealous of the attention it was receiving, Jenny. At least she didn't try to eat any of the flowers.

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  2. The range of blooms and shades in the first vase are wonderful Kris - it is such a cohesive display, whilst the cat vase is so cute. What a lovely present that was!

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    1. I'd been waiting for the right mix of flowers to use that cat vase, Cathy. This was it!

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  3. Dear Kris,

    I wanted to ask how your jacaranda blue bonsai is doing. I am thinking of planning one near my front door, but an worried that it will grow into the full size jacaranda trees along the streets. Is yours planted in the ground?
    Thanks,
    Martin

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    1. I've been told that the dwarf Jacaranda ('Bonsai Blue') can get 8-10 feet tall, Martin, but mine is only about 2.5 feet tall after 28 months in the ground. It's foliage is thin and yellowish in color but that's typical of the full-size Jacarandas in my area at this time of year too. Mine didn't bloom well last year but then our rainfall was paltry to say the least. I have hope that this winter's heavier-than-usual rainfall will provide the boost it needed. I'll certainly post photos if/when it blooms.

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  4. The purple and white looks dreamy,a beautiful arrangement. I love the terracotta shades of your salvia arrangement. And why not pick your leucodendron flowers? You can enjoy them up close inside and what a beautiful flower. I love the ranunculus too.

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    1. The Leucospermum seems exotic even to my eyes, Chloris, and as I failed in growing plants in this genus previously, I tended to view the few flowers I got last year as precious. However, I now have 5 Leucospermum and it appears they're all anxious to bloom so I'm getting freer with their flowers. Proteas of all kinds seem to be happy growing here.

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  5. Aw, sweet Pipig! She looks great next to her doppelgänger vase. ;) I wonder if she knows?
    Great color combinations this week, no surprise there, you always do. I esp. love the pink/purples in the white vase, the vertical lines in the glass lead the eye right up. I've enjoyed seeing your ranunculus, it's a pity they don't last longer! Same way I feel about lilacs and peonies, a couple weeks and they are gone.

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    1. I'm glad you like the first vase with the purple and white mix, Eliza. I originally tried to stuff all that plant material in another vase with a narrower neck and, failing that, made a last minute switch (instead of tossing some flowers out). At present, the Ranunculus appear to last longer inside in a vase than outside confronting our drying winds.

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  6. I have Osteospermum seeds,but I think they are more cool season? Love yours and the combo,I fear Ageratum here, though I love the blueflowers. Cats have a strange sense of when to show up and pose,love the Pipig pics, my parents had a similar pair of cats Mo and Jo. Torbys.

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    1. Osteospermums are evergreen here, Amelia, but their flower production slows to a near halt when it gets really warm. The plants are at their best in our cool season. As to the Ageratum, this one is an evergreen (or, in the words of the grower, "ever-purple") shrub. I have to cut it back hard after it finishes flowering. It looks awful for a month or two before it produces a fresh flush of purple-tinged leaves. Annie's Annuals & Perennials, a NorCal retail/mail-order nursery, is the only place I know of that sells it. Despite its brief ugly period, in my experience it's much more resilient than the Ageratum houstonianum sold in most of our local garden centers.

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  7. I love love love all of that purple in the first vase. Your kitty vase is adorable and so is it's look alike. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. The addition of some bright white flowers brought out the best in those soft lavender/purple colors I think, Lisa. I was more pleased with it than I thought I'd be.

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  8. Love the tribute to Torbie Pipig.
    Perhaps you were thinking aloud - did someone call my name?

    Pincushion flowers retain a certain charm if allowed to dry out once faded (like hydrangeas)

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    1. I'll have a go at drying out the Leucospermum flowers, Diana. As to Empress Pipig, she seems to think my husband and I are here to offer tributes in her honor.

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  9. Purple and white makes for such a lovely combination! And Pipig checking out the kitty vase is adorable! My kitties do more than check them out...they've broken 2 or 3 vases already and eaten quite a few flowers! :D

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    1. My Pipig has knocked vases down but, almost miraculously, all have fallen onto soft surfaces without breaking - so far!

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  10. Lovely as always, Kris! The Osteospermums are beautiful, as are the rest of the flowers. I love the Lavandulas and the orange Ranunculus, too! Sigh...

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    1. The Ranunculus aren't holding up as well as I remember in prior years. The persistent dry winds are putting an end to them all too soon.

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  11. I'd say you really succeeded with designing an arrangement for Salvia africana lutea - what a gorgeous vase! As is the purple and white one. I'm especially admiring your use of the Euphorbia as a subtly dark accent in it! And of course admiring Pipig! :)
    Sorry for deleting my first comment; the link was sending me back to my older version of my blog, so I am trying again...

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    1. I'd use Euphorbias in my vases more often if they weren't so difficult to deal with as cut material. That sap!

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  12. I am always in awe of the variety of flowers you have available to you. Perennial Ageratum doesn't bloom here until August and you have it already in your vase. What a delight that must be to have such beauty always at hand.

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    1. This particular Ageratum has a relatively short bloom period, Cindy, perhaps 4 to 6 weeks, but its foliage is lovely once it recovers from the severe post-bloom pruning I give it.

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  13. Yes, we get those bugs too. I don't think they do too much damage but just make a mess. I love those peachy tones and you seemed to have managed to accommodate the salvia. The ranunculus look very good, it's a shame you won't have them for long.

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    1. Our warm, dry Santa Ana winds are are a real Spring buzz kill, Alison. Fortunately, many of my plants can hold their own against them but that list sadly doesn't include tulips, Ranunculus, anemones...

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  14. Beautiful arrangements! Pipig is a cutie! Our cat is only a year old so I'm not sure I'll have many cut flowers in the house this year. I'm thinking that I may put some on the kitchen windowsill as she doesn't (or shouldn't!) go on the kitchen countertop, and see how that goes. A few flowers on a windowsill is better than none (like last year when she was a rambunctious kitten and even that would have been risky).

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    1. Pipig is now a sedate 12 year old, although I can't claim she always behaves herself. I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy those windowsill flowers, Margaret.

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  15. Wow !kris that is one huge admirable beauties ...is it the cat holding pretty flowers or Vase is cat shaped ...Have a great week ahead.

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    1. The vase is cat-shaped, Arun. The color was perfect for that arrangement I think.

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  16. Hello Kris,
    What a beautiful flowers out of your garden.
    Have a wonderful day

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