Monday, March 9, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Sun, Blue Sky & Fluffy White Clouds

We got a teeny tiny amount of rain Saturday night and awoke on Sunday (late due to the start of Daylight Savings Time) to clear blue skies, scrubbed clean of their usual dingy brown layer of smog, a few lingering fluffy white clouds, and bright sunlight.

View looking southeast at the Port of Los Angeles from our back door after we received 0.06/inch of rain overnight.  If you look closely at the left side of the shot you can see the Royal Princess cruise ship sitting in port, probably being scrubbed from stem to stern.  It pulled out past Angel's Gate headed to Mexico just after 5:30pm yesterday.  I belatedly learned that the cruise was cancelled due to a link to the Grand Princess.  The Royal Princess sailed out of port but I'm not sure where it went.

View from our back patio looking northeast.  The Port is disturbingly quiet at the moment as the volume of transport ships has dropped dramatically over the past few weeks.


The sunny scene inspired the contents for my first vase.

Although the blue tips of the Dutch Iris are just beginning to emerge, none were ready to be cut yet so I sought out other flowers in shades of true blue, including the first flowering stem of Portuguese squill (Scilla peruviana) for the front of the vase

and Pericallis, Salvia, lavender and Aristea inaequalis, a South African Iris relative, for the back

Top view: Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa) and Freesias provided the yellow notes and marguerite daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens) provided fresh white

Clockwise from the upper left: Argyranthemum frutescens, Aristea inaequalis, Freesia, Lavandula multifida, Pericallis, Phlomis fruticosa, Salvia 'Mystic Spires' and, in the middle, Scilla peruviana


My second vase is very different in terms of color and contains a mix I'm fairly certain I've used before; however, it shares a connection to the first arrangement in that both vases provide examples of nyctinasty.  Nyctinasty describes the natural phenomenon which causes leaves and/or flowers of certain plants to close in response to diminished light levels.  Interesting as that is, it's a bit irritating when it comes to creating flower arrangements.  I usually avoid using flowers with this characteristic but I'd utterly forgotten that the South African Iris relative, Aristea inaequalis, did that when I cut two stems for my first vase.  I remembered it when I found myself struggling to find open flowers to photograph.  In the case of the second vase, it wasn't the flowers that presented an issue but rather the foliage.  

The new red-tinged foliage of the pink powder puff bush (Calliandra haematocephala) folds when the light level is reduced, although the flowers and mature foliage are unaffected

The powder puff flowers don't last long in a vase.  I included a few flowers still tightly in bud to help dress up the back of the vase.

Top view

From left to right: Calliandra haematocephala, Freesia, and Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola'


Finally, as I've grown accustomed to eating breakfast with flowers on the kitchen island, I cut a few florets from the florescent yellow bloom stalks of the succulent Aeonium arboreum to fill a small cactus-shaped vase.  Much as I love flowers, I'm not particularly fond of these flower stalks, which give the succulents a misshapen appearance.  In February, I had a dozen or more of them and, as new ones continue to appear, I've started cutting the older, scruffier stalks down so I decided to use a few of the florets before they all end up in our green waste bin.

Aeonium arboreum bloom stalk in garden and individual florets in the cactus vase


For more In a Vase on Monday creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



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

26 comments:

  1. All very pretty. I especially like the red tones in the second vase. Wish I could grow Grevillea. Do you know how they would do in a container?

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    1. While I've tried Leucadendrons in a container (albeit not for long), I've never planted a Grevillea in one, Elaine. Many of them get very big over time. 'Penola' (the one used in my 2nd vase here) gets 5-6 feet tall and as wide as 10 feet. The only one I can think of off-hand that could be manageable in a pot is Grevillea lanigera.

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  2. That is the perfect use for those aeonium flowers! I'm sorry to hear your rain was so brief.

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    1. More significant rain is expected to start tonight, becoming heavier tomorrow with the possibility of more in fits and starts into early next week. I'm not prepared to lay odds on how much we'll get but it's fairly certain we'll get something, Loree. Of course, I've been deceived by forecasters before...

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  3. Two more really pretty arrangements Kris! I love the summery blue and yellow of your first vase. So fresh and lovely. And your blue skies and fluffy clouds! We had two days of blue skies towards the end of last week - what a joy, not to mention a blessed relief! What different climates we live and garden in! Love seeing the fabulous array of flowers fromyour garden! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/03/in-trio-of-vases-on-monday.html

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    1. I can't imagine getting rain with the regularity you do in the UK, Amanda. We have a relatively short rainy season and, once it's over (usually in late March/early April) that's it until late October.

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  4. Yes, your first arrangeent is definitely a great representation of a sunny day - I really like it. The aeonium florets look perfect in the cactus vase too

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    1. We've no shortage of sunny days to inspire us, Cathy, but I might be hard-pressed to find inspiration for a rainy day vase :(

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  5. What a wonderful clear blue sky and vases to celebrate Kris. Glad to read that you got some rain albeit not as much as you have no doubt wished for.

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    1. We should have more rain coming in tonight, Anna, so I haven't given up on my "March Miracle" quite yet!

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  6. I love that bright yellow in the first vase and the red pom poms in the second. The vases are so cheerful. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! The Dutch Iris bloomed today too, just a day late to make this week's vase.

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  7. We got an unexpected cloudburst, one millimetre.

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    1. We got a little less than twice that Saturday night but there's reportedly more on the way. Every little bit counts!

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  8. I love these color and texture combos, Kris, so much to catch the eye– Calliandra, Grevillea, Peruvian Squill and Pericallis are my favs this week.
    We really have to keep our spirits up with all that is going on– flowers and nature walks are some of ways I'm doing it. Thanks for sharing the beauty!

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    1. Just about everyone I know was in the doldrums today, Eliza, and I had to try my best to focus on the positives too. I hope Spring arrives in your part of the country to distract you soon.

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  9. Seeing the cruise ship must have been a little odd. Lovely blue sky and your garden looks so happy. Beautiful vases. Your first one is sunny and cheerful. Love the reds in that second one and the Aeonium makes a gorgeous statement all on its own.

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    1. Cruise ships operate out of our (LA) side of the port from winter through spring so seeing them isn't unusual this time of year but, with all the virus activity of late, I was surprised to see one head out to Mexico as scheduled late yesterday. There's another one in port now. I haven't heard anything about cancellation rates but, with the White House "encouraging" people to avoid cruises now, I wonder if they'll call an early halt to the season.

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  10. Oh, beautiful view, as always! And the floral arrangements are so colorful! My favorite is the simple Aeonium florets in the cactus vase. Lovely.

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    1. I wish all my vases were as easy to arrange and photograph as that Aeonium vase, Beth ;)

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  11. What glorious views you have - thank you for sending us some sunshine - we need it over here!

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    1. We've got a little of your gray skies and rain today, Sandra. Unfortunately, it's too little of the wet stuff thus far, dampening my spirits more than the garden.

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  12. Lovely vases and bright blue skies. I love that little cactus vase.

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    1. That cactus vase was a great, and inexpensive, purchase, well-suited to much of what's in my garden..

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  13. Nice! All of them.

    Did not know that about Calliandra foliage.

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    1. The fresh Calliandra foliage is very pretty and I'd use it far more often (without the flowers) if it was more cooperative.

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