Monday, June 24, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: From Spare and Simple to Frou-frou

I've been thinking about using stems of Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' in a vase since my shrubs began sporting their pretty summer blooms a few weeks ago but I'd no idea what to use with them.  When the ruffled Shasta daisies started to bloom, it struck me that they'd make a good accent for the Leptospermum's deep burgundy foliage but a vase with just two elements seemed too simple to me.  On my first pass through the garden, I cut a few stems of foxglove and considered adding a bronze-edged Calendula too before concluding that spare and simple was the way to go.

I can't remember creating a vase this streamlined since I started participating in "In a Vase on Monday"

Back view

Top view

Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' (left) and Leucanthemum x superbum (right)


In viewing the above photos, you may have noticed that something's off with the kitchen space I use in photographing my vases.  After dealing with almost a year's worth of bureaucratic red tape, we finally kicked off our long-awaited remodel last Wednesday.  The current focus of work is outside as a team creates a new footing to support our five by nine foot kitchen extension but my husband is getting a head-start on taking apart our existing kitchen.

He's built us a temporary kitchen, which our contractor has referred to as the "Taj kitchen" (as in Taj Mahal).  He commandeered one set of upper cabinets from the existing kitchen for the temporary kitchen while I was out to lunch with friends last week.  The oven disappeared yesterday while I was working in the garden.  The refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven, and a supply of dishes and utensils will move this week.  And (ugh), two pantry cabinets will be relocated to our bedroom for the duration of the project.


I've yet to determine where I'm going to go to prepare and photograph future vases so I used the kitchen this week while I still could.  We expect the contractor to cut off water to the space later this week so I'll be grappling with that problem head-on next week.  The contractor told me that I was also going to lose some of my Agapanthus this week when they pour a footing for the new HVAC system so I had to rescue those flower stalks for a second vase.

It occurred to me that Agapanthus may look best on their own but one simple vase is all I had in me this week

Back view, featuring the last of the Nigella

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: noID Agapanthus, Globularia x indubia (aka globe daisy), Helichrysum petiolare 'Petite Licorice' (another virtual weed here), Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman' (a California native), Nigella papillosa 'Starry Night Mix' (aka love-in-a-mist), and self-seeded Tanacetum parthenium (aka feverfew)


I hadn't planned a third vase but, rather than toss the foxglove stems I'd cut for first vase, I decided to use those in another vase featuring stems of Dahlia 'Enchantress'.  That plant produced nine new blooms this week and ignoring her output seemed a crime.

The vase ended up being a modified version of last week's dahlia arrangement

Back view, featuring the famous Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' and the last of my Arthropodium cirratum

Top view

Clockwise from the left: Dahlia 'Enchantress' (shown with Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey'), Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga lily), and Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) with Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'


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




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


32 comments:

  1. All three are gorgeous, the simple one has a quiet elegance. The pinks are fabulous, I always admire your Itsy Bitsy, I have never seen it here. Dahlia Enchantress is enchanting. My seed grown buds are showing tantalising bits of colour I can hardly contain my excitement. I always love all your blue flowers and the agapanthus are lovely. Goid luck with your kitchen.

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    1. Thanks Chloris. I need all the luck I can get. The water to our existing kitchen will be cut off tomorrow morning. I don't know which I'll miss more - the dishwasher or the garbage disposal.

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  2. What a lot to think about with all these preparations, Kris, and didn't you say it might not be finished by Christmas? I hope it doesn't prove too nightmarish for you in the coming months... YOur vases today are all gorgeous and so well put together (as they invariably are!) - those agapanthus are a delight!

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    1. After moving SO SLOWLY, it now seems as though everything is moving all too fast, Cathy. I'd be very happy if the project is completed within 4 months but that still seems unlikely.

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  3. That 'Copper Glow' is so beautiful and with the fluffy white daisies, even better.

    There was a 'Copper Glow' for sale at the local nursery and I was sorely tempted. No place for it.

    You getting new kitchen cabinets or just updating the originals?

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    1. Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' IS big, HB. I thought I could keep it below its estimated mature size. Ha!

      We're getting all new custom cabinets. That's potentially one of the biggest hold-ups in the schedule but there were a lot of advance negotiation and, if everyone adheres to their promises and there are no hiccups, those could be ready by the end of July. I think the earthquake retrofit may be the biggest wild-card.

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  4. I'm very jealous of your Agapanthus! We saw tons of it in Penzance, not quite blooming but oh it must be a sight when it does. I've tried here but it just is not happy...

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    1. Agapanthus get no respect here, we're they're frequently used as foundation plants. I inherited at least 40 clumps with the garden.

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  5. Your vases are lovely Kris. I love the first 'spare and simple" one as that is almost always my preference in flowers. I think you got it just right.
    Your agapanthus are stunning, and I'm so glad you saved them to share with us. What a shame to have them gone without making a last appearance.

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    1. Oh, only one grouping of Agapanthus were affected, Cindy. I have LOTS more!

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  6. The simple vase is very cool and pleasing to the eye, and the Agapanthus is quite lovely Kris. I am sure your garden will be getting more attention than usual for a while if the kitchen is upside down. ;-) Hope it all gets off to a smooth start.

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    1. I have indeed been spending more time in the garden, Cathy. It helps that our temperatures have been running on the cool side. I'm not sure what I'll do when the heat comes on - head for the nearest air-conditioned library perhaps.

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  7. Kris, each vase is wonderful in its own way with distinctive personality. I love the Agapanthus and those dahlias are lovely. My dahlias are starting to wake up (of those few that survived--don't know if something ate them or they just didn't like my garden, but only a few are left from a large order.) Hope the new kitchen tides you over.

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    1. Maybe your dahlias tubers got too much rain during their dormant period, Susie? I've found that they rot rather easily. I've been digging mine up in the fall and storing them as I grow my dahlias in my cutting garden's raised planters, where they'd otherwise be watered steadily all year.

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  8. Beautiful arrangements as always, Kris. The dahlias are stunning and look pleasing with my favorite filler 'Itsy-Bitsy.'
    I can hear your dread for what lies ahead with the kitchen. I hope the workers are kind to your gardens. Lots of treats are in order to get you through - lunch out, walks, maybe the spa, lol?

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    1. Yes, lots of outings may be the plan that keeps me sane, Eliza! It's too bad that summer isn't the best time to go plant shopping.

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  9. I really like that first one! The red/magenta of the Leptospermum nicely sets off the white and yellow of the Shasta Daisies. You are a pro!

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    1. I love that Leptospermum, Beth. The foliage is beautiful and the flowers are the icing on the cake.

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  10. Still vasing it as a remodel gets underway around you, that’s the spirit!

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    1. I'd like to believe the noise volume will go down as the remodel proceeds, Loree, but that's probably a delusion. At least Sundays (when I prepare my vases) should be quiet.

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  11. Absolutely glorious abundance.
    Good luck with the house alterations. Not the easiest of times to go through, but looking forward to seeing the end result.

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    1. I just wish the end result was on the nearer term horizon, Sandra, especially on mornings like this when the noise is non-stop.

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  12. All your lovelies Kris! They just keep on coming! Beautiful colours, textures and I particularly love the Itsy Bitsy! Amanda

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    1. 'Itsy Bitsy' is not only ever-blooming but it's also proven very useful in a wide range of floral arrangements. It's a great plant - at least in my climate.

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  13. I love them all - simple and frou frou alike! The Dahlia is fabulous, and that combination of Leptospermum and Leucanthemum is gorgeous.
    Your new kitchen project sounds like an intimidating process to live with, to say the least, but I'm sure the end results will be wonderful!

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    1. The remodel project has been VERY noisy thus far - I really do need to get myself some earplugs!

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  14. I'm glad you rescued the agapanthus so that you can enjoy it in the house. And I can enjoy it in your photos. (We all have flowers we can't grow in our climate but pine for, and Agapanthus is mine.) I'm still trying to learn the lesson that fewer different flowers in an arrangement are sometimes more beautiful. I was reminding myself of that today when I was out rescuing some peonies ahead of the rain that I knew would flatten them tonight. I always love seeing your arrangements.

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    1. As I use my weekly vases to show off my pretty flowers, I'm all too inclined to stuff them with everything in sight but, in truth, I wholeheartedly agree that simpler is often better.

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  15. Well done! I love the simple daisy vase and covet your Agapanthus. I Cannot grow those at all, so annoying and I love the blue. Good luck with your kitchen...can't wait to see it. I also arrange in my kitchen.

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    1. I welcome the strong blue presence of the Agapanthus every summer, Amelia. The plants are so common here they get little respect from the locals but, between the evergreen foliage and the tall blue flowers, I can't imagine my garden without them.

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  16. The arrangements are beautiful - the dahlia is stunning! Kudos for still having enough "umph" in you to create these arrangements as your reno gets underway :)

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    1. We'll have to see how things work out, Margaret. After 3 days of using the laundry room for dishes, it isn't looking like a good prospect for flower arranging but the temporary kitchen may work once the slop sink is in place.

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