Monday, April 20, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Scent

The spring floral lollapalozza in my garden continues.  I have three vases to share again this week.  The only thing that links them thematically is scent.  Taken as a group, their fragrance is almost overwhelming.

The first vase was inspired by a plant that goes by the common name of Kool-Aid Bush (Psoralea pinnata).  As suggested by the common name, the flowers smell very much like grape Kool-Aid.

The blue Anemones are still producing bloom after bloom so I used two more of them here

Back view: Freesias and Coleonema album (aka White Breath of Heaven) add to the arrangement's fragrance, although the scent of the Psoralea pinnata is powerful on its own

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Psoralea pinnata, Anemone 'Mistral Azzurro', Campanula portenschlagiana, Coleonema album, Centranthus ruber 'Albus', blue and white Freesias, and Trichostemma 'Midnight Magic'


The first sweet pea blooms in my cutting garden prompted the creation of my second arrangement.

I'm guessing that the lavender and wine-colored sweet pea blooms are from the 'Perfume Delight Blend' but, as I sowed seeds of three different mixes I can't be sure.  I added stems of Sweet Pea Bush (Polygala fruticosa) as its color played off the true sweet peas.

Back view: One of the white foxgloves is blooming again so I added three stems 

Top view: The vase was filled out with stems from two Pelargoniums

Clockwise from the upper left: Polygala fruticosa, lilac and violet Lathyrus odoratus, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian White', Pelargonium 'Orange Fizz' (the name reflects the scent of the leaves), and Pelargonium cucculatum 'Flore Plenum'


The third arrangement was designed around the pink Alstroemerias that popped up in several areas of the garden after our extended rainy period in early April.  Scent was only a minor factor in this one but Artemisia californica, scented Pelargonium leaves, and more Coleonema album added touches of it.  The scent of the native California Artemisia is mild and relatively pleasant to my nose.  I read that it's sometimes burned to remove skunk odor but those familiar with its use for that purpose have commented that its questionable which odor is worse.

The noID Alstroemerias came with the garden and bloom in various shades of pink

Back view: I added stems of Centranthus and Heuchera for height

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Agrostemma 'Ocean Pearls' (with Coleonema album in the background), Anemone 'Mistral Rarity', Centranthus ruber in pink and white, Artemisia californica, noID Pelargonium with Erigeron karvinskianus, Heuchera maxima (another California native) and, in the middle, noID pink Alstroemeria


After morning clouds, we're expecting sunny skies and warmer temperatures for the next 10 days, possible exceeding 80F.  Our rainy season seems to have come to its expected end.  Work in the garden will continue unabated!  Wherever you are, I hope your weather also allows you to spend some pleasant time outside.

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


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

28 comments:

  1. So many beauties in your three vases Kris! What an amazing range of colour and form. I am still loving your anemones. The soft blue and the pink one are so lovely. Everything just looks delicious! I have a very simple offering this week! I hope you are well and with such a wonderful garden, I am sure you are keeping busy! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/04/these-are-few-of-my-favourite-things.html

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    1. I couldn't keep Anemones going when I tried to grow them in my borders here, Amelia, so I gave up on them for a period. Treating them as annuals in my cutting garden, which gets more water than my borders and beds, was the ticket!

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  2. Lovely arrangements as always Kris. Love how the dark burgundy sweet peas pick up the same coloured spots in the foxglove. Spring has finally arrived here with a few crocus blooming. Feels wonderful. Gardening really is the best therapy for anything.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you're going to be able to dig into and enjoy your own garden with Spring's arrival, Elaine. It helps!

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  3. Lollapalozza?! What a lovely sounding word and certainly sounds the right way of describing all your lovely blooms. I especially like the complementary shades you have been able to use within each vase, something that is more easily done when you have an abundance of blooms to choose from. Thanks for being so generous with your time, giving us these lovely creations

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    1. Thank you for giving me a reason to put arrangements together on a regular basis, Cathy! Like you, I used to do that regularly to brighten my office at work but I never got into a routine with it at home when I retired until I came across your meme.

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  4. Pretty, as always! I wish I could smell them. I love when the fragrance of flowers fills a room. I work with a lady who can't stand the smell of flowers, so I have to be careful what bouquets I take to the office. I guess that won't be a problem this year since we're all at home.
    Do you have specific places you put the arrangements every week?

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    1. If I've enough flowers to spread around, I put a vase in the front entry and on the dining room table, and occasionally on the mantle in the master bedroom or my home office. Since our remodel, both the kitchen island and the living room mantle "beg" for flowers too. So you see, there's good reason for me to go a little crazy each week ;) As it is, I have 2 tiny vases with "leftovers" as well this week, one in my office and one by the kitchen sink, and I cleaned up one of last week's creations to sit on the living room mantle.

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  5. Pretty pretty. The blues still have it for me. I do love sweet peas though. A sweet peat bush? I have never heard of such a shrub. Sounds wonderful. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. The sweet pea bush isn't in the Lathyrus genus - it's a Polygala - but apparently the flowers remind some people of sweet peas, hence the common name. Polygala hails from South Africa and it's a rampant self-seeder here.

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  6. Oh isn't lollapalozza a great word and having 'googled' it a most apt word to describe your spring floral abundance Kris. I've also had to look up Kool- Aid grape too. Apparently we can get it over here although it's not a beverage I've come across. Beautiful vases as always Kris but my favourite has to be the first one.

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    1. Kool-Aid was a big deal here in the US when I was a kid but I think it's far less popular now with the greater emphasis on healthy beverages for kids. The brand probably also suffered when the drink was used as part of the mass suicide of cult members at Jonestown in Guayana (now part of Venezuela) in 1978.

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  7. All are gorgeous, Kris! I am particularly delighted with the colors in the second one as fuchsia shades are my favorite. Wish I could catch the scents, too. It's great that you are still getting anemones, they've delightful. I'm looking forward to having flowers to arrange from my gardens. At this point, I have daffodils, early tulips and hyacinths. I've started gardening for clients, but got a couple hours in today in my own yard. My body is 'adjusting' to the new exercise regime, haha! ;)

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    1. I'm glad you're able to get out there and work, Eliza - that's good for your clients and yourself. Your body will adjust, eventually ;)

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  8. I just read and admired each arrangement in turn, having first googled 'lollapalozza'. Finally I read the comments andyYou certainly have come up with a wonderful term which I am sure fully describes in just one word, not only your arrangements but your garden.

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    1. I guess "lollapalozza" is an American term! That didn't occur to me when I used it.

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  9. I was confused by the 'Cousin Itt' like foliage in the first vase. It belongs to the Psoralea pinnata? So many lovely flowers...

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    1. Yes, that foliage belongs to the Psoralea. It's funny but I'a assumed that the specfic epithet referred in to something pine-like, which is how I perceive that foliage, but I looked it up and learned that "pinnata" refers to "pinnate leaves," which are those with a feathery structure.

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  10. Scentsational!! And you can grow Sweetpeas, California gardening continues to amaze. I want a White Breath of Heaven just for the name.I have a Alstromeria suffering in silence in my garden, maybe yours will inspire it.

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    1. Sweet peas have a short garden-life here, Amelia. We have to sow the seeds very early, unusually in September, and get them to bloom while we're still in our "cool season." Once the heat hits, they don't last long. This year, the colder-than-usual winter and early spring delayed their blooms, at least in my garden. With temperatures expected to rise into the upper 80s over the next several days, I don't know how long they'll hang around.

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  11. I'm enjoying that blue and white colour combination which is cool and refreshing but also admiring the pink alstroemeria. I had only orange last year so am hoping for some different colours but not holding out much hope. I have 'Orange Fizz' here and adore the scent. I've just taken cuttings so I can have more.

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    1. I hope the Alstroemeria come through for you, Alison. Most of mine came with this garden and die back when summer starts to sizzle. I just added 2 more plants, Alstroemeria ligtu hybrids, which I believe is what I grew in my former garden only 15 miles north of here along the coast. Those plants were virtually evergreen but the old garden enjoyed cooling off-shore breezes I don't get here so my experience may be less positive this time.

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  12. Lollapalozza! - like others, I googled before I read the comments. Perfect description for your vases. Sumptious colour mixes - and it was really nice to see your pink anemone, having enjoyed the blue in previous vases. Interesting to hear that you are now growing them in a cut flower area - they are fairly irregular here too, so that's one to try. My favourite vase is probably the first - the vase itself is exquisite and the white valerian and Psoralea pinnata are a perfect foil for the anemone. Thank you!

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    1. The Anemones just didn't get enough water when planted in my borders, Cathy, even though winter-early spring is our rainy season. In the raised planter boxes in my cutting garden, I feel able to be somewhat more lavish with water without giving too much to other plants that can get by without as much.

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  13. What a lovely collection of flowers again Kris. That last vase is waving 'hello summer'! Gorgeous colours and I love that you have used Centranthus which is one of my favourite flowers. :-)

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    1. It feels like summer here today, Cathy! We're creeping over 80F (27C) this afternoon. It feels too early to be getting that warm but there's no controlling it, unfortunately.

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  14. What fun to see the Psoralea celebrated in a vase, instead of growing along the hiking trail.

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    1. I've seen Psoralea growing in the local botanic garden but I've been really pleased at how well it's fit into my own garden. The only problem we had with it came early on when it threatened to topple over with the high winds we experience here but we gave it some support and it's done beautifully ever since.

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