Monday, February 17, 2020

In a Vase On Monday: Prelude to Spring

With plenty of sunny days and warmer temperatures, my garden is waking up.  Gardens in coastal Southern California never entirely shut down but they take the equivalent of a cat nap.

They appear to be asleep but they're ready to jump into action in response to any change in the environment


Yesterday morning we awoke to a blanket of fog but it quickly cleared out and, walking through the garden, it felt as though we were on the cusp of Spring.  The birds were singing and, if I could carry a tune, I'd have joined them.  Bulbs I planted  in early November and others planted years ago are gradually revealing their blooms.  Those blooms kicked off my search for plant material to fill this week's vases.

I headed down the slope to check the bearded Iris I've been eyeing for the last 2 weeks, intending to make it the centerpiece  of an arrangement of blue and purple flowers; however, it wasn't quite ready to be cut.  I cut 2 stems of Ceanothus while I was down there anyway and substituted the first of the blue Anemones as my focal point.

For a change, I managed to keep this arrangement relatively simple

Top view: Could that Anemone be more perfect?  It's the product of a group of Italian hybrid tubers I planted in early November.

Clockwise from the top: Anemone 'Mistral Azzurro', Ceanothus arboreous 'Clif Schmidt', noID Freesia, and Osteospermum 'Violet Ice'


Another Anemone provided the starting point for my second vase.

I started with very few ideas as to what I could pair with the subtle white, mauve and blue shades in the Anemone's petals.  As usual, I got carried away in adding new elements.

The foxglove stems were recycled from one of last week's vases

Top view: The Anemone in this arrangement was more mature than the one in the prior arrangement.  Interestingly, it turned out to have a 2-headed bloom (shown more clearly in the photo below).

Top row: Anemone 'Mistral Rarity', Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', and Digitalis purpurea
Second row: Grevillea sericea and Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'
Third row: Osteospermum 'Berry White', Pyrethropsis hosmariense, and Helleborus 'Blue Lady'
Bottom row: Nemesia 'Snow Angel', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', and Helleborus 'Phoebe'


I'm willing to bet that, if I hike down to the bottom of the slope this afternoon, that Iris I'd originally targeted as the centerpiece of my first vase will be in full bloom.  Usually the first Iris to bloom, it always seems to elude inclusion in a vase.

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




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

24 comments:

  1. All those lovelies, sitting prettily in your vases for us to enjoy around the world! I particularly love the anemones in both your vases. Their colours are just delicious! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/02/an-artificial-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. I don't plant anemones every year because they rarely survive more than a single season but they are lovely. Planting tubers in my cutting garden could become an annual exercise - they're doing far better than my Ranunculus this year.

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  2. Oh that ceanothus works so well in a vase, Kris, and the anemone is a joy. Always good to see that osteospermum again too. And haven't those foxgloves done well, lasting well over a week? Thanks for sharing, as always

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    1. The anemones were a nice change for me and growing them from tubers has proven to be a much better bet than buying sprouted plants.

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  3. The purple-blue mix is fab; the shots looking down at the arrangement with new counter top below, excellent!

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    1. Thanks, HB. As it turned out, this mix was probably better than the one I'd originally envisioned featuring the Iris. I never did get back down to the back slope today to check the status of the latter...

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  4. Anemones are so lovely. I have a few and am looking forward to more. Love the blue look and the pink look. I couldn't choose between but my eye is caught by the lovely reddish Leptospermum. You have so much choice even in your quiet time. I wish you could see what it was like here!

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    1. That Leptospermum has proven to be a wonderful foliage filler, Alison, and it offers the additional value of blooming in summer too!

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  5. One of us looks very pleased that the building work is done and dusted, and we can sleep in peace.

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    1. She is indeed happier now that the construction crew is gone and she has full run of the house, Diana. If only her owner wasn't boxing her up every 3 weeks for a chemo treatment, I imagine she'd be in nirvana. Four more treatments to go.

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  6. Everything in the Blue Vase, including the vase, is a stunner!

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    1. Thanks Chris! I thought that mug was just the right size and color to fit the contents too.

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  7. That anemone is so perfect it looks artificial. My favorite flower of all of these pictured. Yummy.

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    1. I picked the blue anemone at just the might moment, Lisa. In the warmth of the house the bloom is now more fully open but still beautiful.

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  8. As always, your array of flowers and arrangements never cease to amaze me. I particularly like the Ceanothus. I've never seen that before and I love how delicate it looks. Does it grow only in your climate?

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    1. Ceanothus is a California native, Cindy, but I know there are gardeners in the Pacific Northwest who also grow many varieties in the genus. It's probably suited to other Mediteranean climates. Plant Lust rates this particular cultivar as suitable to hardiness zones 8a-10b.

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  9. I can imagine your weather is getting quite pleasant these days, lucky you. (I think about that as I navigate my neighbors long, icy driveway on micro-spiked boots to take care of their pets while they are away, such a contrast - ha!)
    I love your blue Ceonanthus and Anemone/Freesia combination especially. That Anemone hybrid is exceptional – so pretty!
    I'm not sure why I love Coleonema so much, but I just do. Maybe because of all those delicate pink blossoms. We have nothing like it here in season.

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    1. I very much doubt I could survive your winters, Eliza - I'd probably break my neck the first year. Coleonema 'Sunset Gold' is a particularly nice selection. The foliage feels, smells and looks pretty (unlike the white-flowered variety, which I think smells a little funky). The flowers are a bonus.

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  10. All your vases are delightful and ever so professional which makes me wonder if you're a professional florist after all? Birds are singing here too but it'll be a while before my ceanothus will flowers. In any case I'm ready for spring :) Best wishes, Annette

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    1. Ha! I probably would have been far happier with my work-a-day world had I chosen a career as a florist, Annette, but such was not the case.

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  11. How exciting to be so near spring Kris 😄 A cat-napping garden sounds appealing to me. Shame that our gardens go into a bear-like state of hibernation during winter. Such attractive pastel shades of anemones. If only they were scented but perhaps that's being too greedy.

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    1. I've always had a bit of envy of gardeners who get some downtime during winter but a month would be enough for me, Anna!

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  12. Both vases are lovely, I can't imagine having that much floral material in my garden to work with...even at the height of the season!

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    1. Well, fortunately for you, Loree, agaves take their time to bloom!

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