Monday, July 8, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Shaking things up

My home is still chaotic.  As our remodel proceeds, there's a new wrinkle every day - and sometimes two or three.  Our contractor is off to meet with a structural engineer today to resolve an issue with the kitchen extension that impacts the new windows, which have already been purchased and paid for.  The earth not only seems unsteady under our feet, it actually gave us a couple of honest-to-goodness jolts last week with two of the largest earthquakes Southern California has had in decades.  Actually, I didn't even feel the first one.  I was working in the garden but I heard about it nearly immediately from friends and family.  The second one, registering 7.1 on the Richter scale, had 10 times the intensity of the first 6.4 quake.  I did feel that one but, as both were in Ridgecrest some 180 miles away, my area wasn't materially impacted.  Ridgecrest and its neighboring communities have experienced damage and serious disruptions but fortunately no deaths have been reported.  However, even at a distance, major earthquakes shake up everyone here in earthquake country with reminders of the necessity to be prepared for "the big one" we've been told is long overdue.  I grew up in SoCal and I've been through 2 major quakes but, exposed to a lot more small quakes, it's easy to become complacent.  My husband and I have emergency packs on hand and we've taken precautions to prevent furniture and appliances from falling over on us in the event of a strong quake but reminders to review those precautions are always useful.  Coincidentally, we already had an earthquake retrofit earmarked as part of our remodel plan.

But back to flowers!  A few weeks ago, Cathy, our "In a Vase on Monday" host at Rambling in the Garden, featured a vase mixing blue and orange flowers.  I tend to stick with analogous or harmonious colors rather than complementary colors when composing floral arrangements but, after seeing Cathy's arrangement, I decided it was time for me to mix things up.  There are some strong oranges and blues in my garden at the moment so the time was right.

I've also had to change things up when it comes to photographing my vases while living in only half a house.  This week I experimented by shooting pictures in both our temporary kitchen and a vacant corner of my office, recently cleared for work that will affect the wall adjoining the kitchen.  The pictures of this vase were taken in the latter spot with the help of a board pulled from the garage.

I wasn't sure about mixing Agapanthus and Leonotis leonurus (aka lion's tail) but I was surprised at how much I like the combination

Top view: The woolly Leonotis flower looks a little like an orange tarantula spider but it doesn't bite

Clockwise from the upper left: noID Agapanthus, Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', noID Lavandula angustifolia, Leonotis leonurus, and Cuphea 'Vermillionaire'


I fell back on my usual formula for my second vase.  I've been eagerly waiting for more of my Dahlias to bloom but, while there are fat buds developing on a few more plants, 'Enchantress' and 'Labyrinth' are still the only two cultivars blooming at the moment.  Both are pumping out flowers like there's no tomorrow.  Maybe the earthquakes shook them up too!

The bees are preoccupied with 'Enchantress' so I left left those alone this week

'Labyrinth' was slower to flower but it's working hard to pass up 'Enchantress' as top bloomer

These photos were taken in our temporary kitchen, attached to the north end of the house adjacent to our master bathroom

Top view: My husband outfitted the temporary kitchen using shelving and drawers from our old kitchen

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Labyrinth', Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Grevillea 'Superb', and Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream'


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. Love both of these! Your post title made me groan...
    On early-mid June mornings here there's a great complementary color combination along the roadside: sky-blue chicory, orange ditch daylilies (Hem. fulva 'Europa'), and creamy white yucca. I've idly wondered how to capture that effect in a vase, since the roadside companions aren't great for cutting -- the chicory closes up after noon, just to start with.

    The rear view of your second arrangement really brings out the blending of colors that's echoed in the vase itself, a voluptuous effect. And gives us a nice visit to your temporary kitchen!

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    1. About a year ago, a friend and I were attending a succulent show held in a community garden and we saw a beautiful bright blue flower neither of us could identify. After some sleuthing, we discovered it was chicory. It's obviously not seen often here but it's wonderful. I've seen various garden bloggers use daylilies in arrangements. Yes, they provide a very short-term show but they deserve to be viewed close up too.

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  2. I thought of you when I heard the reports and it's good to know you are not complacent having experienced them before, but aware and prepared. I like the blowsy effects of your second vase with its whorls, but love the striking first vase - I am glad you decided to give that colour combination a go! The leonitis is stunning - I grew some from seed but it hasn't thrived and I have ceased expecting any blooms

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    1. I knew the color combination was great as I'd seen your version, Cathy! I'd wondered how the smooth-textured Agapanthus and the fuzzy-flowered Leonotis would look together but I think they combined well. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. Well done, that is very striking. I sometimes try to challenge myself but then go back to choosing what suits me. I tell myself it's my style! It's good to try though and not get stuck in a rut. I like them both. I hope you stay safe and the renovations progress smoothly. It must be strange living with that threat all your life. I suppose you get used to it.

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    1. I've wondered how people live in tornado zones. I guess people can get used to threats of all sorts. I'm actually more afraid of wildfires than earthquakes. I've been through 2 major quakes without a scratch but I saw my in-law's home burned to the ground with many others years ago and watched them as they picked up the pieces.

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    2. Indeed, they are terrifying and seem to be on the increase.

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  4. Blue and orange! Complimentary colours and yours sing beautiful together! So glad you have your garden and all its gorgeous flowers to help keep you sane during what sounds to be a very stressful time! Having building works going on in your home is one thing, but earthquakes in the vicinity is another! Pop a piece of your lovely lavender in your pocket, just to sniff when things get a bit much! I spied some in your arrangement! I have orange in my vase today! Hope the week goes well for you Kris. Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/07/an-orange-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. Ah, I gave a tour of the local botanic garden to a group of 1st graders today and took them by the lavender fields, currently in full bloom. I think the experience calmed all of us.

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  5. I do like blue and orange together and even (in matching hues) orange and hot pink, which may sound odd, but it works for me! Maybe try it since you're stretching and growing. :) 'Labyrinth' is still the star and it looks well with the Grevilleas. Love that vase, too. Have a great week, despite the hammering. ;) Hugs to PIpig. <3

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    1. Ha! When I was in middle school I had 2 pairs of florescent shoes, one in hot pink and the other orange. I used to mix them! That said, I don't think I've combined those colors in a vase (yet).

      Pipig was calmer today. There was a crew on the roof dismantling part of our chimney and she never once sought refuge in my closet.

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  6. Fabulous vases as usual Kris and especially so given the trying conditions that you are dealing with. I hope that everything calms down soon. Take care.

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    1. Some days are tougher than others, Anna. As I had to clear out yet another collection of potted plants to make room for a crew working on our roof this afternoon, my husband gave me a peck on the cheek and told me it'd all be over in 4 months, assuming that we don't run into any more roadblocks...

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  7. I really like the strong statement made in the first vase. And I love Agapanthus..

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    1. Thanks Chris. I love Agapanthus too, even if they're considered as common as dirt here.

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  8. I love both vases full. The blue and orange fireworks and the more sedate and calming peachy one. They are way apart in the color spectrum but the same in delight.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I didn't expect to be as happy with the blue and orange vase as I am.

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  9. As always, your vases are stunningly filled with such a variety of unique flowers.
    Glad to hear you weren't impacted by the quake. I can't imagine living with that always in the back of your mind.

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    1. The risks posed by quakes probably aren't as front-of-mind as they should be, Cindy, but we can always count on Mother Nature to send reminders!

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  10. Love it!! blue and orange especially. Hope your world calms down. Literally. Hope you can find Pipig for some kitty bonding, And seismic upgrades are included in your renovation.

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    1. I think Pipig may be adapting to our new living situation better than I am at present, Amelia. The contractor responsible for concrete and stone work offered me a kitten today - now that would really shake Pipig up!

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  11. I love the bold mix up of the agapanthus and leonotis, I’d steal it but around here it’s gonna be a few weeks before there are any leonotis in bloom.

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    1. I'm happy that my Leonotis is doing so well this year. A hard pruning helped but most of the credit goes to that wonderful winter rain.

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  12. Your arrangements as always are glorious - and in such trying times too.
    I'm completely in love with the second vase - it has a 1920s feel about it -and so perfectly complimented with your flowers.

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    1. That second vase is possibly my #1 favorite, Sandra. It was a birthday present from my husband a couple of years ago.

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    2. What a delightful present.

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  13. Stellar arrangements. I admire that Labyrinth dahlia so much. And the Agapanthus and Leonotis is wonderful--great combination of color and texture too. Stay safe.

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    1. 'Labyrinth' is beautiful. After losing last year's tuber to rot, I'm please to have blooms on 2 plants this year.

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  14. I love the blue and orange too, I would never have thought of it but it works well. Love the dahlias too.

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  15. I remember first seeing Leonotis on the first of the posts I read on your blog. Such an exotic looking bloom, and it sings alongside the agapanthus. Hope your remodelling continues relatively smoothly till the end.

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    1. Leonotis is another of those plants that looks like something right out of Dr Seuss, Noelle. The plants have struggled here in prior years but last winter's rains made a big difference. That suggests that I may need to do a little more hand-watering in the future, assuming that we slip back into drought status next year, which is likely.

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