Monday, May 18, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: A mix of spring and summer blooms

There are still a LOT of flowers suitable for cutting here, as anyone who read Friday's Bloom Day post could tell, but yesterday I went looking for something a little different to include in this week's flower arrangements.  The appearance of the first Agapanthus blooms had me thinking of a blue and white arrangement and the deal was sealed when I spotted the first flowers on the Rotheca myricoides (aka butterfly bush) I planted last fall.

Our heatwaves didn't fry the larkspur (Consolida ajacis) as I feared so stems of the 'Summer Skies Mix' I grew from seed provided the perfect filler.  I cut just a single stem of Rotheca, with only two flowers, hoping that the buds will open as the week progresses. 

Back view: Stems of blue and white Nigella 'Starry Nights Mix', also grown from seed, were added to provide more interest 

Top view

Included, top row: Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated' and noID Agapanthus
Middle row: Consolida ajacis in white and dark and light blue and Rotheca myricoides
Bottom row: Blue and white Nigella papillosa 'Starry Nights Mix'


The inspiration for my second arrangement was a new vase, received as an early birthday present from a surrogate family member.  The vase is unusual and I didn't feel I could put just anything in it so I went looking for floral material that would complement its colors.  I selected Salvia lanceolata, a South African native with mauve flowers as my starting point and took off hunting down suitable companions from there.

I used the same Salvia in another arrangement in April but I like this mix better

Back view: The reddish-pink Centranthus ruber used here is far less common in my garden than the  Centranthus with paler pink blooms

Top view

Included, top row: Centranthus ruber and Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey'
Middle row: Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Lagurus ovatus, and pink Lathyrus odoratus
Bottom row: noID rose and Salvia lanceolata


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



As a side-note, we got a bit of rain overnight!  That's remarkable for May.  Last night's report was a 20-30% chance of 0.02/inch of rain overnight but I've tallied one-tenth of an inch already and it's still raining.  What a wonderful May surprise.  I hope the week brings a pleasant surprise or two your way as well!

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

30 comments:

  1. Two rich and lovely vases Kris! They really are beautiful. I love all the blues, progressing from light to deep and dark, and the colours in your second vase are stunning. The salvia is such a curious and unusual colour for a flower. I really love it! Enjoy your rain! We've had a little too. Not nearly enough though! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com

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    1. Our relatively short rainy season, which starts in late October (if we're lucky) and ends in late March/early April, generally leaves us feeling parched, Amanda, so any unexpected rain is cause for celebration.

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  2. Kris, love your blues. I think you made a great choice starting with Salvia lanceolata for the second vase. Makes the entire arrangement work as one unit. Lovely. Hope all is well. Congrats on rain too. We had a bare drizzle this morning.

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    1. I really expected little or nothing out of the rain forecast, Susie. The drizzle was steady until near noon and we ended up getting 0.35/inch, which is truly remarkably for mid-May. And it wasn't even a far-blown tropical system either as far as I know.

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  3. I love reading your enthusiasm for rain. Kris, every fraction of an inch of it!! I am guessing your blue vase, with its agapanthus and larkspur, must be quite sizeable - it's so striking and I love it! But we can guarantee you will give us 3 lovely vases nearly every week!

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    1. I only gave you 2 vases this week, Cathy! I planned to cut flowers for a third today to fill an empty spot on the living room mantle but never got around to it. Tomorrow perhaps...

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  4. Yay for rain!! I am waiting for the Arthur thing to go by here though it is not raining yet. Oddly, I have had Agapanthus for years, but not a single flower..the Larkspur mix is a considerable improvement over what i used to grow...I love that Salvia, I really need some.

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    1. I have tremendous difficulty growing most of the Salvias originating from Central and South America, Amelia, but the African species seem to like it here, probably due to our Mediterranean climate. Salvia lanceolata hails from the Cape of South Africa so Florida may be a little too wet for it.

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    2. I have it on my look for list..have you tried S.coccinea? it likes my dry sand.

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    3. If it likes dry sand, then it might do fine here. My Sunset garden guide says to protect it from wind, though, which would be nearly impossible here.

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  5. The Salvia is more beautiful when the flowers have fallen, the colour intense.
    Next year you will have more blue butterflies on your Rotheca.

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    1. I grew the Rotheca (under its former name of Clerodendrum ugandense) when I lived in Santa Monica, California but it wasn't happy as I moved further down the coast, Diana. I lost one plant at this locations but this one seems much happier in its large pot. I look forward to seeing more blooms as it matures.

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  6. I have been reading your blog about long enough to start seeing the rhythms of your garden. Fun. Love all the flowers oh Goddess of the Bloom.

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    1. Ha! Well, that's a better moniker than "flower floozy" or "flower freak"! Thanks Lisa.

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  7. What lovely arrangements Kris. I can't quite decide which one I like best. Both are stunners. I just bought agapanthus bulbs over the weekend. I don't know a lot about them, but hopefully they will bloom yet this summer and be as lovely as yours.
    So glad you're getting some rain. We're in the midst of a tornado watch with heavy rain and hail. The tropical storm off the east coast is keeping us in lots and lots of rain the next 2 days. Wish I could blow it back your way and share some of it.

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    1. A tropical storm and you get hail?! That seems unnaturally cruel. I hope you don't see a tornado. While we worry about earthquakes and fires here, the volatility of weather conditions in your part of the country must be unnerving too.

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  8. I wonder how many times you are asked to do arrangements for wedding and parties. You certainly have an incredible talent. Always love your arrangements.

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    1. I've never been asked to do arrangements for any kind of event, Jenny. I'd probably freak out if someone proposed that. Impromptu arrangements are just fine, although, if I was young enough to start my life over, I just might have sought to become a florist or a flower farmer.

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  9. Wow, rain - how about that! A gift from the gods. :)
    Both color combos are nicely done, Kris. I love the blue/purples and the butterfly flower really looks like a butterfly!
    I like the dusty rose of the Salvia, so unusual, and you've pulled all the colors together so well. You definitely have the eye for it.
    Hope you have a great week. Looks like our weather is finally warming up to more 'normal' temps at last. I hope I can plant the annuals out by the weekend, which will a relief from their constant care.

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    1. It's about time for you to get an extended dose of real spring weather, Eliza. I hope that happens and you can get back into your gardening groove.

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  10. Beautiful vases - interested to hear that a paler centranthus is more common in your garden. Is that the one you started with. Also - the second Nigella in your 'ID' montage looks a little like the one I've been trying to grow called 'African Queen'. I keep failing to germinate - both in the ground and when I try in cells. And what a wonderful Salvia! Very classy and perfectly suited to the colours of your new vase.

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    1. The Centranthus were here when we moved in, Cathy, although for better or worse I'm responsible for transplanting seedlings on the back slope. Centranthus is effectively a weed on this peninsula - it's everywhere! I suspect you're right about the identity of the white Nigella. I planted it as part of a mix but, having grown 'African Bride' before, I'd say this one is similar, if not identical.

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  11. You did a fabulous job of coordinating vase and flowers with that gifted vase. I would love to see a close up of it. Painted glass?

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    1. The vase didn't come with any description of its construction, Loree, but it seems to be painted metal of some kind fitted or formed over a simple glass interior.

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  12. That's a striking new vase you got and the arrangement matches its sophistication.

    We got rain too, what an unexpected delight it was!

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    1. It was wonderful! The forecast projected 0.02/inch of rain (if any) here and we got 0.35/inch, enough to turn off the irrigation system and to bring what was in my rain collection tanks back up close to 475 gallons.

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  13. Happy early birthday! Another arrangement of yours inspired me to plant the salvia and I was wondering how it holds up in a vase. Actually wonder that about many of your more unusual and drought tolerant selections; succulent flowers, globularia, polygala, renga lilies...as you can see I've been stalking you for garden-to-vase ideas for a hot and dry climate! Maybe someday you'll do a list, post, or who knows, book idea? Love the quiet drama of your chromatic arranging style.

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    1. Thank you for both the early birthday wishes and for your kind complements. That's a good idea for a post or two at some point. While some of my floral arrangements surprise even me with their endurance (like the Leucadendron 'Pisa' with Alstroemeria 'Claire'), others fall apart all too fast. I'm able to hold onto most for a week (or nearly that) as long as I pay attention to the water level in the vases but some arrangements (like those containing larkspur) can be a bit messy.

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