Monday, December 2, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Understudies steal the show

I had a couple of blooms in mind as focal points for this week's vases but, in both cases, other flowers ended up stealing the spotlight.  In the first case, a tall-stemmed Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) was intended to be the centerpiece of a pink-themed arrangement but the shorter stems of a noID Camellia sasanqua I cut as an accent commanded more attention.

The Lisianthus, purchased in 4-inch pots a couple of months ago, were supposed to have deep red flowers.  In fact, I passed on them twice because the red color shown in the tag photo didn't appeal to me.  But, hoping that the blooms would resemble the 'Arena Red'  variety I planted in window boxes in 2018, I finally took them home.  So far, 2 of the 5 plants are blooming in this pretty - but not red - pale pink.

Back view: I was surprised to find a couple of Caladium leaves left in my shade house

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: noID Camellia sasanqua that came with the garden, Caladium 'Candyland', mis-labeled pink Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus), foliage of Lobelia laxiflora, and Tanacetum parthenium (feverfew)


For my second case, I'd focused on the blooms of Metrosideros 'Springfire', which just began flowering off-season.  Then I discovered that one of Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs I'd planted in late October had produced its first bloom stalk.  This significantly overshadowed the small Metrosideros stems, although it's arguable that Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' outshines even the Amaryllis, at least at present.

I'm hoping the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) will raise its heavy head once the blooms open further.  Concerned that the flower's hollow stem might cause its premature collapse as a cut flower, I followed the guidance offered by the Swedish Plantguys in this You Tube video.

Back view: I almost lost the Metrosideros during a severe heatwave in July 2018 at the height of our drought. The shrub slowly recovered but it didn't bloom in spring or summer this year as expected, only recently producing buds.  The shrub's name has a nice origin story.  Hawaiian legend has it that, if the flowers are cut, the lovers representing the tree/shrub and the flower will shed tears in the form of rain.  Given our history of drought, it seems I should be cutting the flowers on a regular basis!

Top view

Clockwise from the top: Hippeastrum 'Zombie' (Amaryllis), Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder', and Metrosideros collina 'Springfire'


I'd cut 3 foxglove stems for inclusion in the first vase but they didn't complement the Camellias as well as I'd hoped so they were popped into a third vase with a few other stems snatched from the garden at the last minute.

In addition to the Digitalis purpurea (foxglove), this vase contains Osteospermum 'Berry White' and Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'


For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to find links to posts to other contributors.



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

34 comments:

  1. The pink in the Caladium leaf picks up the pink of the Lisianthus. Subtle but really pretty.

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    1. I love that Caladium, one of 2 I planted from tubers in pots last year. This one was late in leafing out but I was glad to find them this week.

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  2. My favorite spring colors! I'm envious.
    How is the remodel going? Any new updates and photos?

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    1. Well, the general contractor called this afternoon to say that he and his crew plan to drop by Wednesday or Thursday to finish things off. I don't know if he plans to bring the city inspector by to sign off on completion then or later but I'll be glad to see the last of all of them. I'll probably hold off on new photos until the Christmas tree is up.

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  3. Oh such riches and perfectly partnered shades of colour from you Kris. I hope that your hippeastrum decides to stand to attention 😄

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    1. The central flower of the Hippeastrum has opened a bit fuller but it's not holding it's head up yet. I hope I didn't cut it too soon for the side buds to open.

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  4. Just lovely, as always! The pretty pink vase is so delightful, and the amaryllis is so glamorous! Foxgloves and itsy bitsy - one of my favourite combinations of yours! Amanda
    https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/12/cheating-slightly-in-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I was surprised to see blooms on the Amaryllis this soon.

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  5. Camellias always look so pretty, something of course, I can't grow here. Do they last well as cut flowers? They look nice with the lisianthus. No surprise about the color getting mixed up. Even if not red, it is still pretty.
    I hear you are getting lots of rain. Filling up the reservoirs!

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    1. Camellias don't usually last long in vases in my experience, although C. sasanqua holds up nominally better than japonica. The foothill and mountain areas got more rain than we did but the 2 storms we've had thus far delivered 1.82/inches here, which isn't bad, and more rain is expected this week. We won't get as much as NorCal but every inch counts!

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  6. I'm swooning to see all those colorful flowers as our world turns white. I love that Hippeastrum.

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    1. 'Zombie' is new to me but the price was good so I splurged on 3 bulbs and the seller, presumably by accident, sent me 4!

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  7. Kris, each week you outdo yourself. Each flower you use is beautiful in its own right so it must be hard to decide on a focal flower.

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    1. I cut what I've got available and it seems rather that the flowers themselves sort out which will take the starring role.

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  8. You had some beautiful flowers despite the rain.

    Thanks for the link on Amaryllis as a cut flower--very helpful. I'm going to try the hanging-upside-down method--looks like fun.

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    1. I thought the upside-down thing was neat too. I couldn't believe how long the stem on his demo stalk was - none of my Amaryllis grow that tall!

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  9. A feast for the senses, Kris, never a shortage of flowers in your magical garden. My sasanqua has been flowering too for a while and is coping well with our hot and dry summers. Happy December days :)

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    1. The only thing that puts a damper on Camellia sasanqua here is (literally) rain. I figured I might as well cut some as the third storm of the season is headed our way.

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  10. I am always amazed how camellias look like roses to me. I wish I could grow them. Your vase looks beautiful especially to me on this cold damp day here in SW IN.

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    1. I love Camellias and planted a lot of them in my former shady garden. They like water, though, so I've only planted one here, thinking they'll be harder to establish given our seemingly perpetual drought. Luckily, I inherited several well-established specimens with the garden.

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  11. My vases are always an experiment, so I can relate. I am constantly amazed at the variety of plant material you can grow. Camellias, Amaryllis and Foxglove and the tropicals.Vases look great, but your renovation looks awesome!

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    1. We're hoping the renovation will be completed at last this week. Fingers crossed!

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  12. That's quite the cast of understudies!

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  13. Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' is always a winner in my books. I love the colour. I am looking forward to my sasanqua camellias opening too. What a pretty pink arrangement.And a foxglove? You have such summery blooms. All lovely.

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    1. Foxgloves don't bloom in summer here, Chloris. They can't take the heat. They're usually winter-spring bloomers, though.

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  14. Well, isn't that fun?! My eyes will always gravitate toward Leucadendron, because I just find them so fascinating. And Camellias melt my heart. Both of your arrangements are awesome, and the color combos are stunning.

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    1. Thanks Beth. Leucadendrons are wonderful, I can't even remember how many I have now.

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  15. Glorious cast of characters, and certainly lots of budding star material... Each one is beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Anna. As you know, there are always new stars coming up the ladder here ;)

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  16. I seemed to have missed this last week - we were away and I was trying to catch up on my tablet in the hotel room - sorry! I especially like the airy foxglove, osteospermum and gomphrena vase where the colours complement each other perfectly

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    1. The response to that arrangement is a good reminder (for me) that simpler is often better!

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  17. The Amaryllis vase is especially lovely - autumn-like colours. Do you have foxgloves all year round?

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