Monday, January 20, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Starting Over

I walked through my garden yesterday with some clear ideas in mind as to what I'd use in a vase this week.  Once I cut a flower as a focal point, the rest of my choices usually fall into place.  If I come up short, I make another pass through the garden and, more often than not, I can find something to fill out an arrangement.  When I carry my glass jar of cuttings back to the house I'm generally satisfied that I'll be able to pull together what I've cut.  That didn't happen yesterday.  I pulled out another glass jar and tried again.  When I'd filled that with pieces of this and that, I still wasn't happy.  So I re-sorted everything into two completely different mixes and went back outside to cut a few things to fill in the blanks.  The result?  Three vases.

The original inspiration for vase #1 was Grevillea rosmarinifolia, which I'd planned to pair with the first Alstroemeria bloom I'd noticed earlier in the week.  But the Alstroemeria was past its prime and I lost my intended focal point.

In the end, I recycled a stem of pink Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) I'd had in a vase in my office as a new focal point and used Leucadendron 'Chief', which has pink and red flower-like bracts, to tie together the colors in the Lisianthus and the Grevillea.

Back view: I picked a paler pink Lisianthus to dress up the other side of the vase and used Narcissus to echo the yellow tones in the Leucadendron

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus), Coleonema pulchelum 'Sunset Gold', noID Narcissus, Grevillea rosmariniflia, Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', and Penstemon mexicali 'Mini Red Bells'


Vase #2 was going to be constructed using the white snapdragons in my cutting garden which, despite my best efforts, are once again covered in rust and are therefore living on borrowed time.  Without a lot of thought I picked a nearby foxglove stem to go with the snaps but, to steal a phrase from Marie Kondo,  the pairing didn't "spark joy."  I gravitated away from white toward purple flowers but didn't find a focus until I cut some multi-colored Violas.

The purple, white and orange Violas led me to add the orange berries and Grevillea flowers to the mix

Back view: The purple Sweet Pea Bush (Polygala fruticosa) flowers look better in person than they do in these photos, where they appear more pink than purple

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: noID Viola, berries of Auranticarpa rhombifolium, Campanula poscharskyana, Grevillea 'Superb', Digitalis purpurea, and Polygala fruticosa (shown with Gomphena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy')


The leftover snapdragons went into vase #3, along with a few other things I picked to tie them together with the yellow flowers I'd picked during my first pass through the garden.

The florescent yellow weed, Oxalis stricta, picked up the bright yellow touches in the white snapdragons

Back view: I used 2 species of yellow-flowered Euryops here as well and added a couple of blue notes to the mix

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Oxalis stricta, Antirrhinum majus, Salvia 'Mystic Spires', Rosmarinus 'Gold Dust', Euryops chrysanthemoides, and E. virgineus


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



All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. Well, you pulled it off majestically Kris. I adore that foxglove and the violas/berries combination is a winner. Love the simplicity of number 3.

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    1. I couldn't ignore that foxglove stem when I saw it, Susie - it was perfect.

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  2. I had to smile at your repeated trawls around your garden, but knew you would be able to pull it off, as you lways do! The second is my favourite - even more so from the back (without the violas, not my favourites)! Thans for sharing

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    1. I really did think I was going to fall flat this week, Cathy. I made a LOT of turns around the garden this week seeking inspiration!

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  3. Envy all of your available options but funny how sometimes when the flowers just don't seem to speak to each other. You managed to get the conversation going in the end though. Love the Mystic Spires salvia. A beautiful blue.

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    1. Years ago, another gardener told me that she found white flowers the hardest to match up. They definitely posed a challenge this week. That Salvia was an early - and pleasant - surprise.

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  4. Gorgeous flowers, lovely vases - all of them - but as always, the Itsy Bitsy stole the show for me! I wonder if I can get it in Scotland. Must investigate! I love it's personality - tiny but packs a punch. You'd miss it if it wasn't there! Your stunning foxglove is a cracker! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/01/in-sweetly-pretty-january-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. The Gomphrena is a winner, blooming all year here, Amanda. Unfortunately, it doesn't self-seed and it isn't easy to find even here.

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    2. I have had a good trawl through online for nurseries in the UK that might offer Itsy Bitsy, but no luck! I will just have to content myself with enjoying yours, as and when!! A

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    3. Maybe there's a UK seed supplier? According to the grower I got my plant from, it's classified as Gomphrena decumbens. In the US, it's sold under a variety of cultivar names, including 'Itsy Bitsy', 'Teensy Weensy' and 'Little Grapes'.

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  5. Each different, yet harmonious. I love that tricolored Viola, which goes well with the berries. I know that yellow oxalis is everywhere out there and is a common weed, but I love its bright cheer. I suppose, if I lived there, I might not be so happy to let it self sow about. Our oxalis is not as showy and is such a pest!

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    1. Most of my Oxalis (there are plenty!) are homelier than this bright yellow one but I still wasn't inclined to let it take off in the middle of one of my backyard beds!

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  6. Those little violas make my heart jump. They are one of the first flowers available here in Spring. I can't hardly wait to see those cheerful little faces. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. Violas have a hard time with our weather, usually dying off as soon as temperatures rise in late spring. Despite that and their water requirements, I fall prey to their allure every year.

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  7. I love how you put so much effort into getting your vases just right. They are all gorgeous and I do envy your abundance of January flowers.

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    1. I've cut flowers for vases for decades, even when all I had was a tiny townhouse garden, and the arranging was always an integral part of the process for me. It's a meditative experience of a sort.

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  8. Although I love pink flowers, I think I like the second vase best. All those perky colors bouncing off each other is just delightful. Your house must always look so happy with fresh cut flowers everywhere.

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    1. I got rid of the majority of my houseplants during our remodel and haven't replaced them (yet) so cut flowers are taking up the slack at the moment.

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  9. Oxalis does have pretty flowers--too bad it is such an aggressive plant. Even without lots of flowers, you still have lots of flowers!

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    1. I don't actually see a whole lot of the yellow Oxalis here, although, when it blooms, you're sure to notice it!

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  10. I am trying to get my head round having narcissus and foxgloves in flower at the same time Kris 😄 It would never happen here. All lovely vases - my favourite is the second. That viola is so pretty.

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    1. There are a lot of plants that are spring and summer bloomers in the UK that only have a good chance of blooming here during our relatively short cool season, Anna. The fact that we generally only get rain during the winter is probably another factor that affects timing.

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