Monday, October 14, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Windfalls

I'm afraid there are yet more dahlias in my vases this week.  I've been on the look out for new fall blooms but the usual suspects have been slow to appear.  Unfortunately, our Santa Ana winds have shown up right on schedule, bringing yet another round of wildfires.  The winds cause humidity levels to plummet and snap tall, top-heavy dahlia blooms.  Salvaging the blooms for use in a vase is preferable to throwing them in the trash.

This week I decided to photograph my vases in the new but still unfinished kitchen.  The cabinets have been painted and the countertops are installed but there's no electric lighting yet.

The tall stem in the center of the arrangement is showing off the first blooms of Senna bicapsularis

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlias 'Citron du Cap', 'Labyrinth' and 'Otto's Thrill'; Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'; Lantana 'Lucky White'; Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'; and, in the center, Senna bicapsularis


I managed to create one vase using "new" material.

The graceful lavender racemes shown here are Plectranthus 'Zulu Wonder', one of my favorite fall bloomers.  One of my plants has been trashed during our remodeling process but the other is looking good.

I also added a few stems of Anemone hupensis japonica, not a prolific bloomer here but always welcome

Top view showing off some late-blooming lavender lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum).  According to the nursery tags, this variety was supposed to have had reddish-brown flowers.

Clockwise from the upper left: Anemone hupensis japonica, Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein', Eustoma grandiflorum, and Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Wonder'


Dahlia 'Punkin Spice' has had lots of attention the past few weeks but she's too pretty to allow to wither in the wind either so I threw some of those blooms into a third vase.

The only embellishment I added to the dahlia blooms was 2 stems of Duranta repens 'Gold Mound'

'Punkin Spice' can vary dramatically in color as these 2 photos show


The wind was still blowing in my location last night but the fire situation in Southern California has improved overall.  The Sandalwood Fire, which covered 1000 acres, killed 2 people and burned 74 structures, is near full containment.  The Saddleridge Fire resulted in evacuation orders affecting 100,000 people, spread over 8000 acres, contributed to one death, and burned 31 structures.  It's also blown smoke and ash over a wide area of Los Angeles County, including my own area.  It's 41% contained as of the last report.

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



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


29 comments:

  1. Gosh, that is not pleasant news about the fires and the extensive areas they cover - do people warned about them tend to leave the area, or do many stay put and hope for the best? My dahlias have grown so tall this year and I have not staked them brilliantly so they readily snap too - it is the first year I can see from the kitchen windows though, with their heads above the level of our neighbour's fence (that part of the garden is at right angles to the house so we look along the diagonal across 3 other gardens!)I always love the variety in your vases, Kris, and today I am fascinated by the lilac shades which almost seem to have a luminous glow about them. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Response to evacuations here are often spotty, Cathy, although I think more people are taking them seriously after the fierce - and deadly - fires we've had over the last couple of years. My husband and I have pre-packed bags for us (and the cat!), along with a list of what we should add depending on the length of any notice we receive. My in-laws lost their home to a wildfire decades ago and, although they had some time to plan their evacuation, they always rued the loss of items they hadn't thought to take with them.

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  2. I love your Zulu Wonder Kris! A beautiful flower - lovely colour and graceful habit! The wild fires must be very preoccupying for you and your neighbours. We were watching them on the BBC News over the weekend and I thought of you. I hope they don't come anywhere near, and send prayers for all those who have lost everything. What a nightmare. Love all your arrangements this week - as always. Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/10/flowers-from-field-in-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. Thanks Amanda. The fires were nearer to friends and family than they were to us but we were affected by the smoke for a time. Our area is also at a high risk for fire but luckily there hasn't been a really serious one in this location for a couple of decades now.

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  3. Please don't apologize for using your beautiful dahlias. Mine are all packed away until next year. An all too short season for them here so I prolong the enjoyment through your arrangements.

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    1. If the foliage didn't get so ugly, Elaine, I'd probably hang on to at least some of those dahlias for a month or more yet. As it is, I may drag things out with 'Punkin Spice' awhile - it seems she's just hitting her stride.

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  4. What lovely windfalls! You made amazing arrangements out of them and they don't look damaged at all from the wind of falling. Beautiful once again!

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    1. As long as I don't leave the dahlias that fall from bent stems too long, they seem to be alright for inclusion in a vase. 'Otto's Thrill' has really large, heavy blooms and it took an especially hard hit this weekend with the wind, forcing me to toss some of those flowers.

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  5. Never apologise for dahlias!. I hope some of them survive a bit longer. Good to see progress on the kitchen. That must be heartening. I adore that Plectranthus. I wonder if it's available here.

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    1. I like a lot of Plectrantus but I love 'Zulu Wonder', Alison. Not only are the flowers pretty but the foliage, which has purplish-burgundy undersides, also has a pleasantly spicy scent.

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  6. Well, your Dahlias are still gorgeous and your kitchen is looking the same. The Plectranthus is spectacular, I haven't seen that one before and the Senna - does it attract butterflies? sending cool rain thoughts!

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    1. The Senna is a host plant for cloudless sulphur butterflies. I haven't seen any since the flowers started blooming this weekend but I hope to soon! Thanks for the rain thoughts.

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    2. Oh, the same here Cloudless Sulphurs..they love the Senna ligustrina!

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  7. Kris, the lavender vase just calls out today. Lovely materials and arrangement. Exciting to see your kitchen coming back together. Nice and bright. Hope the fires will not be so worrisome this year, but having one so close to you must be stressful.

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    1. I only wish that the kitchen - and the rest of the house - would come together more quickly, Susie! At the 4-month mark, my patience is wearing much thinner.

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  8. That Plectranthus sure has pretty flowers. Nice to see your Dahlias--I was chopping down some of mine this morning--they are almost all finished for the year.

    The peaks of your kitchen looks great. Soon complete, I hope. What did you use for counter material? Nice stuff.

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    1. The countertop material is quartz, Cambria Montgomery. After committing to it, I got nervous that it might be too much but I'm happy with it now that it's in place. It's still a very light, bright kitchen, which is what I wanted.

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  9. All three vases are so different, but equally lovely. I love the lavender plumes of Plectranthus and the sweet little Lisianthus that look like lavender roses. D. 'Punkin Spice' is the perfect October flower! I never tire of seeing it.
    We've been watching the fires anxiously on the news, I can't imagine it being so close as you are. Stay safe.

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    1. The smoke from the Saddleridge fire was surprising. Even when ash covered surfaces here in connection with prior fires, I didn't find it as disturbing as the heavy smoke smell associated with this most recent fire. The air's still dirty here but at least the smoke smell is gone. I feel badly for those that were closer to it than I was.

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  10. Your kitchen is bright and cheerful even without lights. Your vases are cheerful too. I reallly like that Plectranthus. It was funny that I was enjoying looking at those first photos with all those soft colors then when you switched to the darker fall colors the contrast made my eyes jump. tee hee... WEll done!!

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  11. Lovely vases but I kept trying to look around them to see the details of the kitchen...you know you're going to have to do a big "kitchen reveal" post...

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    1. Even though we've reached the 4-month mark this week, there are still a lot of hurdles yet to jump before the kitchen (and the adjacent dining and living areas) will be ready for a reveal, Loree. If we finish within 6 weeks I'll be ecstatic. Last week we encountered an unexpected glitch in the form of a severely corroded gas line. More of my garden is being dug up as I type...

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  12. It is always disturbing go hear about the wild fires in your part of the world Kris. I do hope the winds drop enough for the fires to be under control. The 'aerial' view of your first vase blew my breath away today! The light in your new kitchen is great for photos. And your dahlias are gorgeous - especially that lemony one. The Plectranthus in the second photo really makes the arrangement. What a pretty flower it is. :)

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    1. The Saddleridge Fire jas only just now reached 50% containment. More wind is expected this weekend. What we really need is rain but there's none of that in the near-term forecast, Cathy.

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  13. Aww, so excited about your new kitchen! Don't those flowers look GREAT in there! That Senna...new to me...what a wonderful combination you picked.
    The winds and fires sound so devastating.
    I guess I will feel the season full on, as I will be in San Diego soon. You don't live in San Diego, do you?
    Alyse

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    1. I'm a good 2 hours north of San Diego, Alyse. We're due to receive another blast by the devilish Santa Ana winds beginning Sunday. Hopefully, you'll be too far south in San Diego to feel their impact.

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  14. Your new countertop makes a very effective backdrop for this week's flowers.

    I wonder if you know what happened to Close to Home blog? She is also in California, but her blog is unreachable says Feedly.

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    1. I haven't been in contact with Jane for some time now but I just tried the link I have on file and was able to pull up a post dated late October. Try janestrong dot blogspot dot com.

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