Monday, March 16, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: My personal challenge

Yesterday I set myself a personal IAVOM challenge to create an arrangement around a flower I couldn't conceive pairing with much of anything.

This is Salvia africana-lutea.  The flower color is a mix of terracotta and reddish-brown.


As it turned out, it wasn't all that difficult.  A spin around my garden and, voila!  I accumulated more plant material than I needed.

Phylica pubescens, aka featherhead, immediately presented itself as a perfect accent plant

and Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' was another natural pairing

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Salvia africana-lutea, Corokia x virgata 'Sunsplash', Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', Phylica pubescens, Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', and Narcissus tazetta 'Geranium'


There's no shortage of flowers for use in creating vases at the moment.  Spring may not have officially arrived yet but it's well underway in my garden, although over a week of rain on and off has some flowers looking worse for the wear.  One plant that was within days of blooming got completely plastered.

More than 80% of this Agrostemma 'Ocean Pearls' snapped off its base when it collapsed during our heaviest rain last week


Not that I'm complaining about the rain!  What we've received has been wonderful and most of it hasn't come down too hard or too fast.  We're still well below "normal" here and, even with more rain expected this week, it's doubtful that we'll reach that level before our short rainy season comes to an end.

In any case, there were plenty of flowers available to cut.  Among others, the Dutch Irises I was watching last week came on strong and were a natural choice for a vase this week.

I created yet another blue and yellow mix, this one featuring not only the Iris but also a Leucospermum flower and stems of Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt', sporting delicate pale yellow flowers for the first time

There are still lots of Freesia blooms even though some have been beaten into the dirt by rain

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt', Anemone 'Mistral Azzurro', yellow Freesia, Iris hollandica 'Sapphire Beauty', Lavandula multifida, Leucospermum 'Goldie', and Scilla peruviana


There's really no color I don't like but I'm not head-over-heels about pink; however, the mauve-pink Anemones in my cutting garden were begging to be picked before they finish their bloom cycle so they kicked off a third vase, which actually may be my personal favorite this week.

Yes, I tucked too much into this one as well

This vase always looks like it holds more than it does

Top view

Clockwise from upper left: noID Alstroemeria, Anemone 'Mistral Rarity', Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White', Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Persicaria capitata, Prostanthera ovatifolia 'Variegata', and pink Freesia


With events being cancelled right and left, including the school tours I was scheduled to lead as a docent for our local botanic garden, and officials increasingly encouraging members of the public to minimize the risk of exposure to the pandemic coronavirus, my friends and I are already feeling a little stir crazy but I'm well aware that I'm lucky to have the freedom to stay home.  All those people who are unable to work from home because of the nature of their jobs, the health professionals and care givers doing their best to take care of those who are ill or otherwise need support, and all the delivery people working rigorous schedules to bring goods where they're needed are to be applauded.  And then there are people stuck in quarantine or far away from home without the ability to be home with their families.

Two cruise ships are docked at the Port of Los Angeles while cruises are on an indefinite hold.  Many of those in the crew are presumably marooned here while they wait this out.


I hope you're able to accommodate whatever circumstances you're confronting.  Divert yourself by checking other IAVOM creations.  Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



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


27 comments:

  1. Three superb arrangements and heart felt observations on the current difficult situation. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. It's good to have a challenge - how intriguing to have an autumnal shade of vase from spring flowers... I know you are not keen on pink, but I like your pink vase and the view from above is great! Stay safe, Kris

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  3. Your lovely vases are a wonderful diversion Kris. Thank you very much. I love the caramel colour of the salvia. It's so unusual, and as Cathy says, autumnal, but it certainly marries beautifully with the colours of spring! I think it's a cracker! Our vases and gardens are a great diversion for us all, and aren't we lucky to have them. As I type I am watching the latest press conference from the Ginger Ninja in Washington. First time I have seen him reading from a statement rather making it up as he goes along! I am sure all governments are doing their best as they see it but if ours is anything to go by, there is a lot of confusion. Globally we are in unchartered territory and we just have to pray and keep positive thoughts - along with as much fresh air as possible! Hooray for flowers to keep us happy! Amanda
    https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-rescued-spring-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. We ARE very lucky to be able to enjoy our gardens, Amanda. Public gardens here are starting to announce public closures (blocking even volunteers) so I'm glad to have a garden that can keep me occupied for a good long while. Our federal government blew the chance for an early response and we're still shamefully behind on testing but all parties now seem to have gotten the message that the current situation is serious and requires strong measures, which is good.

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  4. LOVE these superb combinations, Kris. Usually, I have a favorite, but not this week - I love them all!
    Hope you continue to stay well amidst the increasingly worrying news. Thank goodness we have gardens to distract us!

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    1. I spent the lion's share of today in my garden, Eliza, focusing first on moving the extra rainwater I'd collected to the last of my 3 rain tanks for storage, then starting general garden clean-up. I feel MUCH better than I did yesterday but I admit to continuing anxiety about the whole food supply chain issue. We're good for at least 2 weeks, though. I hope you're managing too!

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    2. I heard today that the stores have been able to replenish most things, but I do not live in a heavily populated area like you do. I also like the idea that many are offering 'senior hours' (REALLY EARLY AM) so that vulnerable folk can get in and out with minimal exposure.
      So far, we're doing well. Getting a bit stir crazy, but long walks and yoga is helping. Stay well!

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  5. Lovely as always Kris. The first one looks so fallish, and the second one so bold and bright. I think I like the pink one best, as you know I love pink flowers.
    We were told to work from home, and thankfully I was already doing that part time, so it is not a huge transition except for sitting in a less comfortable chair. It's still to cold here to plant anything, so I can stay away from the nurseries if I have to, but not forever. I don't mind being stuck at home since it's cold, and I still have my painting projects going on on the living room floor to keep me occupied. Stay safe and thanks for brightening our day with you beautiful flowers.

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    1. It's good to have work and projects to divert you, Cindy. Two of my regular garden centers have announced their plans to remain open but I'm leaning toward mail order plant deliveries as needed at the moment.

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  6. See there Kris. You have so many beautiful blooms all you have to do is set your mind to it and voila you have something extravagant to show for it. Happy GBBD.

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    1. I should learn to trust myself on that score, Lisa. I usually do come up with companion plants when I make a thorough examination of my garden. I hope you're doing well.

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  7. Especially good bouquets this week. You rose to the challenge.

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  8. The rusty browns and chartreuse are wonderful. As you say, you have so much choice! Nice to see those beautifully clear skies over the harbor.

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    1. The on and off rainstorms have done an excellent job scrubbing that dingy smog from the horizon, Denise. We got an unexpected cloudburst this morning and Weather Underground is holding out the chance of still more rain on Thursday and possibly beyond. It's so nice to have a good news story to go along with all the bad.

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  9. The blue and yellow arrangement is stunning. The iris is such a beautiful deep blue. We were supposed to be visiting Kew Gardens in London today until the virus forced us to cancel. Very disappointing but there are more important issues at work.

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    1. That's so unfortunate, Elaine! I know you must be disappointed. Kew will be there, though, when condition improve.

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  10. I have this salvia in the greenhouse and I love its brown flowers, you have combined it very prettily in your arrangement. Glorious blues too and in fact all three are lovely.

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  11. Congratulations on finding a Euphorbia to perfectly echo Salvia aurea (they have decided that double-barreled names are NotAllowed)

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  12. As I read your challenge to build an arrangement around the salvia I was thinking "go with chartreuse!" and then I paged down and saw that you did. It's beautiful.

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  13. Hi Kris. I love that Salvia and you met the challenge with a beautiful vase - the blue one as well. Wow! So happy to hear rain has fallen on your garden, we are having a dry spell here and I can tell where the irrigation doesn't work very well....

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    1. I hope you get a rain fix soon, Amelia. We're still well below "normal" in the rain department here but every little bit counts. We've had at least a touch of measurable precipitation almost every day during the past week. We're due for a dry weekend but another storm is possible starting Monday.

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