Monday, July 1, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Chaos reigns

Not a single room of the house feels familiar or comfortable at the moment.  The living and dining rooms are empty and the kitchen is halfway gutted.  Every one of the remaining rooms is now serving multiple purposes.  Despite packing away furniture and boxing up all but essential belongings for storage and doing our best to organize what remains, our remaining living spaces are claustrophobic.  For someone who's tried to convince her spouse that we could be happy in a tiny vacation house (somewhere with cooler summer temperatures!), this is a comedown of sorts but then who takes all their worldly possessions with them on vacation?  I expect we'll adapt, although getting used to the weekday noise and confusion associated with our remodel may be more of a challenge.  Today, I expect to lose the small window on the south side of my office when it's closed in to form part of our kitchen extension.

Pipig has chosen new spots for her naps in the back part of the house.  She's chill when the workers are absent but, as soon as they pull up outside, she's on high alert and, more often than not, she's hiding in the very darkest corner of my closet on top of a hat box until they leave.


There's still plenty in bloom to cut for vases; however, I had to prepare my arrangements in our master bathroom yesterday as the laundry room is already doing double duty for washing dishes.  The new blooms of Dahlia 'Labyrinth' provided the inspiration for my first vase.

I was disappointed last year when the one and only 'Labyrinth' tuber I was able to get rotted but this year I've got 2 plants full of buds

I was able to use the old, partially deconstructed kitchen as a backdrop for most of this week's photos, relying solely on daylight from nearby windows.  (All the light bulbs in kitchen have already been removed.)

I've yet to identify areas that might be suitable for use in photographing future vases but that may be a week-by-week determination as our remodel progresses

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Labyrinth', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Rosa 'Pink Meidiland', Leucadendron 'Jester', and Tanacetum parthenium.  This 'Jester' grows in partial shade so its colors are more subdued than the plant I have in full sun.


As Thursday is Independence Day, I also cobbled together a red, white and blue arrangement, or as close as I could come to that by substituting magenta for true red.

The shaggy Shasta daisies were intended as accents but, once again, they dominate the arrangement.  I don't mind as they're looking particularly good this year and remind me of the recently departed friend who gave them to me.

Back view

Top view, highlighting what may be the last of my Delphinium blooms for the season

Clockwise from the upper left: Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink', Delphinium elatum, Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Eustoma grandiflorum (aka lisianthus), Hebe 'Wiri Blush', Nigella papillosa 'Starry Night' and, in the middle, Leucanthemum x superbum (aka Shasta daisy)


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

The Dahlias ended up on the card table in our bedroom we're currently using as a dining table (left).  The red, white and blue arrangement sits alongside the PC in my office (right).


For those of you in the US celebrating the 4th of July this week, I hope you have a safe and sane holiday!


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

28 comments:

  1. At least the whole process has started but it will be tough living alonside it for all these montths. Thanks for your intention to persevere with Monday vases despite the difficultiea! That dahlia looks really pretty - is it quite a large bloom, like Cafe au Lait? The foliage and fillers are perfect accompaniments and I oove the shade of hebe flowers in your second vase

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    1. Yes, 'Labyrinth' is a dinner-plate sized bloom with relatively short-stems (at least if I want to avoid losing the side buds). I think she's going to need a vase that helps hold her head up in the future. The tea pot used this round didn't do the job there.

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  2. Impressive you were able to do excellent bouquets despite the construction chaos. Happy to hear Pipig is managing.

    Most of my Dahlias are still getting started. Late this year. 'Labyrinth' is a beauty.

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    1. I've only got 'Labyrinth' and 'Enchantress' in bloom thus far. I tried to get an earlier start this year by planting the tubers in large pots to sprout but the stress of replanting them in the raised beds may have delayed their development, along with the cooler temperatures we enjoyed (up until the last few days).

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  3. What a beautiful dahlia Kris. Such a pretty colour. Good luck with your renovations! You are in good company! My cousin in Devon in SW England has just started the same process with a small extension and remodelled kitchen. She has been packing stuff up over the past week. I am sure it will all be worthwhile for both of you, despite the upheaval! When it all gets too much, take a stroll in your beautiful garden and that is sure to sooth any ragged edges!! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/07/fragrant-vases-on-monday.html

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    1. My fingers are crossed that the garden remains a pleasant place to stroll and work over the months of this remodel, Amanda. We enjoyed unseasonably cool weather throughout May and June but summer seems to be moving in now.

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  4. Labyrinth doesn't seem like the correct name for this dahlia. It is so pretty and feminine seeming flower. No matter what they call it is is gorgeous in your bouquet. I love the shaggy bouquet.

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    1. I was a little surprised at just how pale 'Labyrinth' is as I remembered more vibrant colors. Most of the pictures on-line, although not all, show a flower with much deeper color, described as a combination of apricot, peach, pink and raspberry. But many dahlias undergo a color shift as the blooms age. We shall see if that happens with this one!

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  5. The novelty of building or decorating soon wears thin. I'm not sure how it imapcts on every room in the house when you decorate one, but it always does. And what you are having sounds major. I expect you will get used to it but just focus on how good it is going to be! At least you can get lost outside. Labyrinth is a star. I look forward to mine, it didn't do much last year but looks ok so far.

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    1. Right now, the kitchen, dining and front entry areas look like a war zone - or the after-effects of a major earthquake - and they're not done with demo yet. Worse yet, my husband just brought up the idea of removing the entire stone fireplace (again).

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  6. gorgeous vases and your photos are lovely as usual. The Dahlias are just wonderful and I am still coveting the daisies. Dahlias will come up twice a year in my garden, get three inches tall and retreat back into the earth. Strange. Renovation is such a pain. It will be worth it in the long run. My advice, Go to Maui, take Pipig.

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    1. I'm not sure that Pipig would forgive me for a 5-hour flight in a pressurized cabin, Amelia, but otherwise it sounds like a great plan!

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  7. Your bouquets, as always are lovely and do not betray the chaos at your house. The lighting in the photos is so soft, it gives a very tranquil feel.
    Long going remodeling is a hard road to walk. I'm glad you have your gardens to escape to and give you relief.

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    1. It's too bad that I discovered too late what a nice backdrop that white-tiled corner of the kitchen (formerly occupied by a toaster oven) made for vase photos, Cindy. As of this evening, it's history!

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  8. Dahlia 'Labyrinth' is so lovely and you've created a perfect arrangement with it. And good for you for getting a jump on the Fourth! We had our interiors painted around Christmas--the work last only a couple weeks but things still are not back to normal. Thinking of you!

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    1. Thanks Susie. There's a long haul ahead of us which includes, among many other things, painting the entire house inside and out. I'm beginning to put some credence in another friend's suggestion, which was to shop for a new house.

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  9. That Dahlia 'Labyrinth' is gorgeous! I look forward to seeing new corners of your home as the "In a Vase" photographing moves around.

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    1. I guess I'm lucky that Sundays, when I prepare my vases, are construction-free days, pretty much the only time I can move freely through the house.

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  10. Poor Pipig, I hope she isn't too freaked out by the workers pounding away and adjusts eventually. And you, too! ;)
    I'm loving D.'Labyrinth' –it looks like a smaller version of 'Cafe au Lait', which while lovely, is huge for vases. And the cobalt delphinium is another that makes me drool. Too bad I'm lazy about growing them (and the fact that the slugs would probably decimate them before they did much of anything).
    Hope your 4th is enjoyable and not too noisy for Pipig. <3

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    1. Pipig will have a break from noisy construction activity on Thursday but the 4th is always a challenge here. You can see a couple of dozen public displays from our backyard, including those from the Queen Mary in Long Beach and Disneyland in Anaheim if the sky is clear enough, as well as a zillion smaller displays, many of which are illegal. I used to have a viewing party on the 4th but I'm not going to attempt that this year with our remodel underway and, with the fire risk soaring ever higher, festivities on the 4th are becoming more nerve-wracking than enjoyable. Actually, there have been displays in the area for almost a month already and those will usually drag out another month after the holiday too.

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  11. The natural light is the best! 'Labyrinth' is so special--I'm going to try to find that one for next year. Very well-done, especially since your home is under construction. Hang in there!

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  12. And yet, you managed to pull off some beautiful arrangements! Remodels can be so stressful, but hang in there, friend - it will be worth it in the end.

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    1. I hope so, Anna. As of yesterday, my husband's pushing for another big change, cost estimate and plan pending.

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  13. Poor Pipig - anytime we have workers here, ours hides as well, although she does it so well, I often have a hard time finding her. One time, I was left in a bit of a panic as I thought she may have run outside (she's an indoor cat & it was the middle of winter, no less) when the workers left the door open for a bit.

    The 'Labyrinth' dahlia is gorgeous! I'm such a sucker for pale colours in the garden, especially on larger flowers like dahlias and roses. A couple of mine are on the paler side - or so says the picture on the packet. I'm patiently waiting for them to take off and hopefully they will now that the weather has heated up significantly.

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    1. I've had a couple of those scares with Pipig too, Margaret. She's also an indoor cat but she's escaped a few times in the past, once spending an entire night outdoors. I found her in the morning on top of our grape arbor. The danger here is coyotes.

      The on-line photos of 'Labyrinth' range in color but mine seem to be on the pale end of the spectrum. I hope your dahlias come through for you!

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  14. Your beautiful arrangements are a great way to bring some gentility into the chaos of construction. When my house was under construction five years ago, I felt as though the construction guys had moved in. If I could have hid on top of a hat box in a dark corner of the closet, I would have been sorely tempted!

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    1. It does feel like a massive intrusion. The cat came out of hiding as soon as the workers left and is curled up happily on a loveseat in my office now. She may adapt to the rhythms of construction better than I do in the long run!

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