Monday, March 30, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Garden Magic

I felt utterly uninspired when I walked into my garden on Sunday to pick material to use in a vase.  It wasn't that the garden had nothing to offer - it's Spring after all.  The problem was that the situation facing my community, my city, my state, my country and the rest of the world just felt overwhelming.  I brought my clippers and a water-filled jar outside with me anyway and snipped a few blooms from my cutting garden, telling myself I should be able to focus long enough to cobble together one vase.  But then the garden worked its magic and I focused on my plants, shoving the world's woes into a closet at the back of my mind, at least for a time.

The Anemones in my cutting garden have peaked but there were still a few vase-worthy blooms

Back view: I gathered other flowers in shades of pink and blue to play off the colors of the Anemone's petals

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Cistus x skanbergii, lavender and blue Freesia, Osteospermum 'Berry White', Hebe 'Wiri Blush', Trichostemma 'Midnight Magic', Osteospermum 'Violet Ice' and, in the middle, hybrid Anemone 'Mistral Rarity'


Energized by my first collection effort, I tackled a second, centered around the first blooms of Leucospermum 'Spider' I'd originally eyed for one of last week's vases.

'Spider's' flower sepals are an amethyst color, which prompted me to add touches of pale blue to the arrangement

Back view: I added 2 Narcissus varieties to the mix to echo up the peach color of the Leucospermum

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Campanula portenschlagiana, Corokia x virgata 'Sunsplash' (recycled from one of last week's vases), Freesia, Narcissus 'British Gamble', Correa 'Wyn's Wonder', Xylosma congestum (also recycled from one of last week's vases), Narcissus 'Geranium' and, in the middle, hybrid Leucospermum 'Spider'


I cut more than I needed for the first arrangement so the leftovers went into a tiny vase for the kitchen island.

The contents are noID Pericallis  (aka Florist's Cineraria) and Persicaria capitata


I hope you're able to escape current circumstances at times.  Born well after the travails of World War II, this is the first time I can think of in which people all over the world are facing the same concerns, even if in varying degrees of intensity.  Here in Southern California, we got a little extra help on Friday.

This isn't a great photo but that's the US Navy Hospital Ship Mercy docked at the Port of Los Angeles, visible from our backyard.  Although half of it's hidden behind the cruise ship terminal, if you look closely you can see the red cross on its side.  It won't be taking in people infected by COVID-19 but it's available to accept other hospital patients to free up beds for those with the virus in Southern California hospitals.


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what other IAVOM contributors have pulled from their gardens to lift their spirits this week.  Best wishes to all!



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

39 comments:

  1. I am glad the garden worked it's magic with it's beautiful flowers. Tough to not get too down with all around us. Noticed how clear the air is over the harbour. That's a definite plus.

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    1. Yes, reduced pollution in urban areas like mine may be one of the few positives that come out of this terrible situation, Elaine.

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  2. Oh the range of shades in that first vase (and the teeny leftovers) is absolutely glorious, Kris - what a joy your garden must be to wander around!

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    1. Spring is in full flower here, literally, Cathy!

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  3. Kris, your sumptuous vases just go to show how healing a garden can be! Lovely blooms, speaking to us all and reassuring us that where there is beauty, there is solace. This pestilence has certainly brought the world together that's for sure. I suppose something had to - it was spiralling out of control at the end of last year. It will be interesting to see how things are on the other side of this surreal time. At least we gardeners know that the flowers are constant and lovely! Thank you for your gorgeous vases today. Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-simple-vase-on-monday-and-some-spells

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    1. I sincerely hope the world, its governments and its peoples, learn something from this, Amanda.

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    2. I think we will. Time will tell. A

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  4. Thoughts are never far away but at least we can lose ourselves for a short while now and then. Those anemones! Spider is the star this week though. Gorgeous colour and the other inclusions pick up the colours, as you'd planned of course. I do love a teeny vase too. What an amazing view you have and it must be heartening to know that ship is there.

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    1. 'Spider' is a star, Alison! I'm very glad I moved that larger plant I had in a pot to a good-sized spot in a sunny bed this past fall. It's already showing its gratitude.

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  5. Lovely view of the harbor, I think the clearest you've ever shown us. And I did find, just barely, the Red Cross. Hang in there Kris, we're all struggling. So grateful we have our gardens and their beauty as a place to temporarily escape.

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    1. The cross on the ship is more readily visible in the mid-afternoon when the air contains less mist from the water. At mid-day, I can see it with my bare (short-sighted) eyes. It's lights are on in the evening too, which I find comforting for some reason.

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  6. The garden worked its magic once again.

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  7. A garden is a great healer. I am spending more time in mine than ever before and, for once, not just working. Pottering. Going with the flow.

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    1. I'm glad your able to escape the challenges of home renovation for awhile to spend time in your garden, Jessica. I look forward to seeing what you put into those new terraces.

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  8. Challenging times, indeed. If not for our gardens, we'd be in a worse pickle. Your creations are beautiful as always, Kris. I love the anemones and L. 'Spider' especially. It is amazing to see the air above the harbor so clearly. Glad you're documenting it!

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    1. All those cars off the road do make a big difference to our air quality, Eliza!

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  9. Those anemones are exquisite, the petals twice beautiful in and out.

    I fervently hope, that when we come thru, the after will be a kinder place for the marginalised. Our homeless people are being found accommodation - even if only a 2 man tent, with access to facilities, and food - which is good as we lurch suddenly into autumn chilly.

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    1. I hope our states and local governments get as smart as yours when it comes to assisting the homeless during this crisis, Diana. There's a lot of talk but less action than I'd like to see.

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  10. I have decided to purchase flowers from local flower farms at our farmers market every week and mix them with my own. I feel badly that weddings and events are canceled, and the flower farmers are kind of screwed.

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    1. Offering support wherever and whenever you find the opportunities strikes me as positive action, Kathy.

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  11. Oh my, you outdo yourself with each week of bouquets! These are glorious! The Anemones are dreamy... I think my nephew-in-law (a Navy nurse) might be on the Mercy. I know he got shipped out to help, and I think it's that one, since he lives in San Diego. Stay healthy!

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    1. Your nephew is one of our local heroes then, Beth, whatever population he's treating. Please offer my thanks!

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  12. Your garden must be amazing but it is you who has made it so, and the artistry in bringing the elements you cut is sans pareil. I just have to cut and paste and look up plants I have not seen before, and mostly cannot grow here...even if I had the space. Thought this book on Corokias might interest you: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1527255913/?coliid=I3KO17WG71BLDT&colid=XJSE03SRLTQ6&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

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    1. Thank you for the kind compliment, Noelle, as well as the link. I looked to see if the book is available through Amazon in the US but sadly it is not. Corokias are neat plants. I lost one (mainly because it got swamped by other plants) and my remaining shrub took its time growing up but I love it.

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  13. Hi Kris, you're absolutely right: the garden always gives comfort and puts things into perspective. Think of alll those that don't have one and are far away from nature, what a nightmare! Your vases are sweet and uplifting. Enjoy the fresh air and quiet – same here, it's strange but goes to show that there are always two sides. Take care xx

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    1. Yes, as parks and hiking trails have been shut down right and left here (mainly because people failed to practice physical distancing of their own volition), gardens are all the more important. Unfortunately, Los Angeles County is densely populated and so many have little if any garden space. I count myself very lucky.

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  14. Elegant arrangements and well matched to their vases.

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  15. Consider my spirits lifted. Love seeing your collection of flowers in vases. I have no doubt you have a wide variety of flowers available for vases. I love the spiders and the bold colors of the anemones always delight me. Interesting that you can see the hospital ship from your garden. Cheers.

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    1. While I'd have much preferred an open ocean view, that wasn't in the budget, yet I value our port view. There's usually a lot going on down there but, with shipping coming to a near standstill for a time and cruise ships not cruising, the port is eerily quiet.

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  16. All lovely, as usual Kris! The first one is absolutely gorgeous. The pink anemone has slight purply tinges which really play off well against the other flowers. I am using a different browser today and hoping I will finally get this comment through to you! Keep smiling Kris. Our gardens will help us through this. xx

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  17. A trio of beautiful vases Kris. I'm particularly taken with Leucospermum 'Spider'. I think that we all need to escape for a while to save our sanity. I love the views that you have from your garden. We live in a dip so our views as such are fairly limited. Has you air cleared with less traffic about both on the roads and in the air?

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    1. Generally speaking, yes, the air had been much cleaner due to significantly reduced traffic, Anna. The horizon was somewhat obscured today but that may be related to a dramatic shift in temperature in some way I can't explain.

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  18. May your gorgeous vases continue to provide a non-virus focus for you.

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    1. Thank you Loree! I hope your beautiful garden does the same for you.

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  19. Saw your vases earlier but just finally getting a chance to comment. They are breathtaking! Love the Leucospermum 'Spider' and the anemones are standouts, but so are all the materials you use. You really have a huge variety of interesting materials and put them together so well. Harbor view is lovely. Troubling times. Aren't you glad the kitchen work was completed already? (p.s. My last few comments seem to appear twice, not sure why)

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    1. Thanks Susie! Yes, I'm very glad that remodel was completed last year - I wouldn't want to be sheltering in half the house and washing dishes in the laundry room sink while workers were on the other side of a plywood "wall." Re your PS, I think Blogspot must have had hiccups. (I deleted the second comment.)

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