Monday, August 19, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Wispy Blues & Sugary Pinks

The weekend weather carried a hint of fall.  Dare I hope that we'll get through the summer unscathed by another searing heatwave of the type we had last year?  We can't really count summer's heat out of the picture until late October but, with much of the country - and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere - experiencing severe heat at intervals, we can at least count ourselves lucky to have had a relatively pleasant summer thus far.

While the Dahlias are still the flashiest flowers I've got on hand at this time of year, the Delphiniums I planted in early spring surprised me by producing a second round of blooms.  I steered away from Delphiniums (as opposed to larkspur, Consolida ajacis) for years in the belief that they're impossible to grow here.  On a whim, I tried them in my cutting garden last year and they did okay.  This year, I put some plugs in my cutting garden and one of my backyard beds.  The backyard bed didn't get enough water to keep them happy but they've hung on in the cutting garden; however, I never expected more blooms in August.

I'm still stuck using our less-than-optimal temporary kitchen to photograph my vases.  The way things are proceeding with our remodel, my guess is that'll be true for at least a couple more months.

Back view: Along with 2 Delphinium stems, the other main ingredient is the rangy native California aster (Symphyotrichum chilensis)

Last year's heavier rain prompted the aster to spread with abandon.  I like the flowers but, even with our mild summer weather, the stems burn out and look unattractive if not cut back regularly.

Clockwise from the upper left: Delphinium 'Pacific Giant', Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Aloysia citrodoa (aka lemon verbena), Symphyotrichum chilensis 'Purple Haze', and Pandorea jasminoides


Of course, I can't ignore the Dahlias while they're still plentiful and, as there are also lots of naked ladies (Amaryllis belladonna) in bloom, pairing them up was a no-brainer.

I paired Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill' and the Amaryllis 2 weeks ago but changed out the accents and the vase this time for a somewhat different look

I selected Caladium 'Tapestry' as the foliage accent this time but the leaves refuse to stand up properly

I'd hoped the dark flowers of Cosmos 'Double Cranberry' would cut the sugary sweetness of the arrangement but I think I needed more of them

Clockwise from the upper left: Amaryllis belladonna, Caladium 'Tapestry', Cosmos 'Double Cranberry', Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill', and Eustoma grandiflorum (aka lisianthus)


For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.




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

34 comments:

  1. How lovely to have delphiniums flowering again, what a treat. Dahlias certainly are the stars at this time, the colours are just amazing. I do like the dark cosmos with the sugar pinks. I didn't grow Eustoma this year but one year I will buy in some seedlings and have a go. Hope the work is going to plan and not too slowly. At least you still have a place to admire your flowers.

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    1. The second flush of Delphinium blooms feel like a minor miracle, Alison. Giving Mother Nature due credit, I suspect our mild spring and summer temperatures have a lot to do with it.

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  2. Oh these are both pretty in their different ways - I loved to see that caladium as for years I used to hanker after one till I finally realised that I would struggle to grow it here! Thanks for sharing again today, despite the constraints

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    1. I've never made a go with Caladiums in my garden beds, Cathy, but planting the bulbs in pots and keeping them in my lath (shade) house seemed to do the trick. The stems took their time but they've straightened up considerably since I prepared the arrangement yesterday, which was gratifying.

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  3. Hi Kris, two lovely vases! I love the aster. We have a very similar wild aster here - I saw some the other day for the first time this year. I suppose we are now lurching towards early autumn so it's timing is right! Such a pretty flower, and a lovely gentle combination of colours with its yellowy brown centre. None of the flowers in my vase this week come from our garden so I take no credit for them! They look lovely all by themselves! Have a good week. Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/08/a-flower-farm-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. This aster is supposed to be manageable in low-rain climates like mine but it's run amok as a by-product of the heavier-than-usual rainfall we enjoyed this past winter. I'm hoping it'll fall back in line if our rainfall returns to normal levels this year - otherwise, I'll have a big job ahead of me digging out the rhizomes.

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  4. Both vases are lovely! The first one just feels so light and airy. the second (hello Otto's Thrill beauty!) has more substance to it and its beautiful. Great use of various foliage types. I love it!

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    1. Thanks Angie. 'Otto's Thrill' is one dramatic dahlia.

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  5. Lovely combinations, Kris! You're lucky the delphiniums gave you a second round. They look robust! As do the dahlias - I think they like what you are doing!
    Re: the renovation, hang in there! ;)

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    1. My husband's calmer about the remodel than I am at present. He says the contractor expects to be done by Halloween, which he thinks really means Thanksgiving, but I fear means Christmas!

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  6. OOOooooo I like that double cranberry. Yes, you need lots more to mix up that sugary vase. I like it tho. I like suga. I am always surprised when you mention growing delphiniums. You must have really good soil, something I must not have because I can't get those things to grow. Bah... Lovely vases.

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    1. The Delphiniums are growing in one of my raised planters, which is filled with imported soil and planting supplements. The planters also get more water than any other area of my garden. The plugs I planted in the sandy soil of my regular garden beds haven't done nearly as well.

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  7. I'm amazed by your delphiniums. So gorgeous. Love that Amaryllis too. Hope the remodel is going well.

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    1. The Amaryllis are VERY happy this year. I don't know if they just needed a few years to beef up before the bulbs produced blooms or if this was another positive side effect of our heavier winter rain - or a combination of both.

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  8. WOW! Gorgeous pinks and blues..gardens provide the most magnificent surprises. I am loving yours. Hope summer goes gently into fall everywhere.

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    1. A gentle progression into fall would be a dream, Amelia. I'm afraid I'm still looking anxiously over my shoulder waiting for the other shoe (on summer) to drop.

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  9. I miss growing Delphiniums, I had good luck with them here . The big problem is the snail issue. And you have them in August ! Both your vases have a pleasant almost spring-like feeling.

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    1. The one thing that raccoons are good for is snail and slug removal, Kathy. I never cease to be amazed when I find empty snail shells, their contents removed without even a crack in the shell.

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  10. Your delphiniums are magnificent, Kris! I wouldn't have imagined they would do so well there - what a wonderful addition to your cutting garden! And your dahlias as well...
    I'm a bit envious of your good summer weather; we are in the middle of one of those heat waves here, with today's heat index (actual temperature plus effects of humidity) reaching 110 F. Oh well, it will cool down in a few weeks... ;-)

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    1. Yikes, Amy! 110F is miserable - that's was our peak temperature last year. I hope you get a break in the heat soon.

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  11. Tried Delphiniums once--a late winter heatwave that year killed them. Awesome that they worked for you--congratulations!

    35 days until the first day of Autumn...yes, I'm counting them.

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    1. The marine layer has been a boon here this summer, even if it occasionally gets knocked out by one of those blasted ridges of high pressure. It's already burning off this morning and it's just 7am :(

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  12. I love your use of the caladium leaves, perfect!

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    1. The Caladium leaves are now standing much straighter in the vase now too. They just needed a little time to recover from the indignity of being cut. I've got a nice crop of them in my lath house this year.

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  13. Delphiniums in August are amazing.I love all your pinks too.I think it is wonderful how you keep on doing beautiful flower arrangements when you are living in chaos. Let's hope it will be sooner rather than later.

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    1. A Delphinium bloom would be unusually in August in the UK too? Now, I'm really amazed!

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  14. As always Kris, so beautiful, but I am always drawn to sugary pinks. Stunning, and I like the use of the caladium leaves.

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    1. Thanks Cindy. Caladiums are the ideal foliage for a committed flower-lover.

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  15. The pale pinks are so lovely, especially the delicate lisianthus. I always find that it pays to try things out, even if you don't think it will work - you just never know as conditions can be so different, even between different gardens in the same area. I'm always pushing the envelope, especially when it comes to hardiness. All of the pleasant surprises I've had definitely overshadow the failures.

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    1. I suspect that all the rain we got, combined with milder than usual spring and summer temperatures, made the difference with the Delphiniums this year. Last year, early July brought us a scorching heatwave, peaking at 110F here - the Delphiniums couldn't handle that! But I agree with you, pushing the zonal limits is worth a try - or two. Heck, I try tulips every few years too.

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  16. The first vase is so lovely and airy - very pretty. I love the foliage in the second vase especially. I should love to have Caladium as a houseplant but the lighter shades are extremely hard to find here. Our heat has gone, but it was very extreme this summer. I would never have got Delphiniums through that! I do admire how you manage to grow such variety in your climate Kris!

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    1. We've had a remarkably nice summer thus far, Cathy - I've no doubt that played a role in getting the Delphiniums to produce another flush of bloom.

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  17. Oh both such pretty vases Kris. I'm glad to read that you've managed to escape the heat so far this year and hope that such a happy state of affairs continues.

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