Monday, June 22, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Adjusting the color palette

Once again on Sunday my garden worked its magic.  With my cool season flowers now gone and the warm season flowers far from ready to take off, I was at a loss as to what I could put together, other than cutting more Agapanthus.  I had the color orange in mind as Cuphea 'Vermillonaire' is going great guns but instead I decided on the fly to cut some Leonotis leonurus (aka lion's tail) while there's enough available to cut.  Then I saw a bloom on an Alstroemeria I planted two and a half years ago and I was off and running.

I planted the orange Alstroemeria 'Third Harmonic' toward the back of one border, expecting it to grow 3 to 4 feet tall but it's stayed small and, when it's bloomed in the past, I've missed it.  I think it wants more water than it gets.

Back view: With the strong orange color of Alstroemeria 'Third Harmonic' and Leonotis, I felt I needed to bring the color down a couple of pegs so I cut the soft-toned variegated foliage of Corokia 'Sunsplash' to do just that.  In turn, the 'Corokia' sent me on a search for other flowers in similar soft colors.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria 'Third Harmonic', A. 'Claire', Leonotis leonurus, Corokia x virgata 'Sunsplash', and Crassula pubescens ssp radicans


I toned down the first arrangement by adding softer colors but, after cutting stems of Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid' as the inspiration for my second vase, I decided I needed to add stronger coral-pink colors to provide contrast.

Two early heatwaves put a quick end to an earlier flush of bloom on Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid' by mid-May.  I was surprised to see the shrub produce another flush of peachy-pink blooms again last week.

Back view: I cut several flowers of Grevillea 'Superb' to add the deeper coral-pink I was looking for but the back of this arrangement could've used a couple more stems

Top view: Two unusually tall stems of my 'Pink Meidiland' rose were a last-minute addition

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid', Grevillea 'Superb', and Rosa 'Pink Meidiland'


I threw together a third vase mainly because one of the lisianthus stems I cut last week still had some vase-life left in it.  My living room mantle was also calling out for color.

The interesting thing I've discovered about the dark blue-flowered lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) is that larger buds will open in a vase but in a lighter lavender color.  The lisianthus stem on the left was cut last week and the lavender colored buds surrounding the dark blue bloom opened several days later.

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Eustoma grandiflorum, Leucadendron 'Pisa', Trachelium caeruleum, and Trichostemma 'Midnight Magic'


Amazing myself, I cut, arranged, and photographed these arrangements in record time.  That's fortunate as I'm hosting three friends for a "bring you own lunch" in my garden today.  In the "before time," we usually met at a local restaurant at least once a week but, due to the pandemic, we haven't been together since early March.  My garden allows plenty of space for physical distancing (and a better view than most of our favorite restaurants).  Over the weekend, I scrubbed down all my garden furniture and cushions, tidied up the garden, and gave the interior of the house a once over as well.  With a final sweep of the back garden and a thorough scrub of the guest bathroom this morning, everything will be ready and waiting.  Knock wood, our marine layer will lift mid-day, leaving us to enjoy comfortable temperatures and friendly conversation.

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




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

32 comments:

  1. A garden party! I'm sure no one will be late to yours. ;) Hope you have a great time!
    I miss seeing my gal friends at yoga and book group. An outdoor gathering sounds like a good way to see friends. It has been far too long. Restaurants I can do without, but not friends!
    Your vases are beautiful per usual. The orange and corals are standouts! I realized I have no coral in my gardens unless it is in a zinnia mix, and just a bit of orange, mostly lilies. The older I get, the more I like bright vibrant colors, so maybe it is time to add some more splash to my beds.

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    1. My former shady garden was populated mainly with pastel flowers with no red or orange to be found, Eliza! But this bigger, sunnier and more exposed garden seems to call out for stronger colors.

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  2. More lovely flowers and it seems a shame to choose just one but my favourite this week is your beautiful single rose, Pink Meidiland. She reminds me of our lovely single wild roses which are looking so glorious in the hedgerows at the moment, only your girl is far more glamorous in that luscious pink! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/06/another-wild-bunch-in-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. I inherited that rose (6 shrubs) with the garden and I love it too, Amanda. Regrettably, it doesn't seem to have a long vase life but it drops its petals in an artistic manner.

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    2. Graceful to the end! What a top plant!!

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  3. Orange blooms are so striking in a vase, especially when they are not displayed with yellows and reds to average the colour out, so it is a refreshing change to see your first vase. I have got 3 tiny alstromeria seedlings that I am nurturing but I have no idea how long it will take tillthey get large enough to flower! How intriguing to hear about the colour change of the lisainthus - I wonder why that is? Thanks so much for your vases, Kris, always a joy to see.

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    1. Alstroemeria form tuberous roots, much like those of Agapanthus, so I expect it may take awhile for them to beef up sufficiently to bloom, Cathy, but I'll be interested to hear how they perform for you. I've noticed that the pink lisianthus change color after opening but I haven't noticed anything as dramatic as this color change in the blue lisianthus buds by comparison to the mature blooms.

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  4. I think I see a new plant every week in your vases Kris and this week it is an ORANGE alstomeria! It is beautiful! The whole vase is lovely and the softer creamy colours make the orange flowers stand out so well. :-)

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    1. I've coveted that 'Third Harmonic' Alstroemeria for some time, Cathy. It was hard to find even though Alstroemerias are common features in local garden centers. I was pleased to find a stem in bloom to include in a vase - previously, I've found the stems already bloomed out or nearly so.

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  5. I like the way the flowers in your first vase reflect the shape of the vase Kris. My favourite though is your thrown together third 😄 I hope that you enjoyed your meet up with your friends.

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    1. My friends and I enjoyed our first get-together in many months, Anna. We talk by phone and text regularly but it isn't the same as seeing one another in person!

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  6. You must be excited to actually visit face to face with friends again especially as your garden is showing so well. Would love to do something similar on my back patio but unless the breeze is up we'd be sucked dry by the mosquitoes.

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    1. Ugh, the mosquitoes were a problem here a couple of weeks ago, Elaine - I gave up trying to count the bites I accumulated. For some reason, thankfully they've tapered off of late. With the gophers pockmarking several areas of the garden, I was a little self-conscious about its appearance but my friends didn't notice the gopher-ravaged sections until I pointed them out!

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  7. Kris, I hope you had a great time at the garden party. Sounds so fun! Love that Leonotis. Our botanical garden has it on display, unfortunately can't visit yet but I remember how interesting it was.

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    1. Leonotis is an interesting plant, although my first thought when I see the flowers is always that it looks like an orange tarantula.

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  8. Lovely as always. Sometimes I think the less there is to pick from, the more our creativity is stretched, and the results are beautiful. I especially love the first arrangement!!! Have a nice week Kris.

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  9. The first vase is my favorite today. Love those orange flowers. Lovely arrangement. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! (Were you up really early or is something wonky with the way times are registering here?)

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  10. Beautiful, especially the orange collection! Hope you had a lovely lunch.

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  11. Those Alstromeria look so delicate, you must have really worked to get them to grow. Lovely arrangements again.

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    1. Alstroemeria are surprisingly tough plants and do very well in this climate, Noelle. The flowers have a long vase-life, exceeding that of most other flowers I grow, which is why they're so often used in restaurants here too.

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  12. Combinations of orange, deep green, & chartreuse are among my favorites, from vase to viewshed (autumn foliage can produce big-scale versions). This is a delight!

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    1. I wish we got more in terms of autumn foliage, Nell - in those or any other colors!

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  13. Kris, the 'Third Harmonic' is mystifying me too. The first time I grew it, the vigor and amount of blooms were unbelievable. I had to remove it because it swamped a big area. Missing the flowers, I brought it back recently, and it is the wimpiest grower! It could be the location, and I was giving it a few years to settle in -- but I'm beginning to wonder if there's different alstro going by this name. I've been careful to water it this year, and everything around it has responded except the alstro. Without checking records, I remember the first TH being from Plant Delights and the second from Annies. In the opposite of coddling, a Leonurus menthifolia is doing amazing in a very dry, full sun strip, staying upright, dense, no flopping, blooming like crazy -- such good plants. As usual, I love your 'Cane's Hybrid' and I'm not usually a fan of lots of pink!

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    1. My 'Third Harmonic' came from Annie's too, Denise. You're probably right that there's something off with the current crop but I hope both of us see improvement in the vigor of the plant in time. Re 'Cane's Hybrid', my eye reads the flower's color as more peach than pink. I'm not a huge fan of pink either.

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  14. Those are great bouquets. Hope you had a great lunch with your friends after having to forgo that pleasure for so long.

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    1. It was good to get together, even if just for a couple of hours. Fortunately, it isn't hot here at the moment. Our only issue was the wind kept blowing the sun shade out of position.

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  15. I ended up with orange and white too, when I picked a birthday posy for my sister.
    A garden party is an appealing idea, but probably still months away for us.

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    1. It sounds as though you're more well-disciplined when it comes to "reopening" than we are here in California (even though our state has been more careful than some others). We're already seeing signs we may pay the price for attempting to get back to "normal" too fast; however, our Center of Disease Control has deemed small gatherings of a handful of people, a low risk when held outside and people keep 6 feet of distance and wear masks when not eating.

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  16. I am week late with this, I did try commenting but it disappeared into the ether. I have an alstroemeria just like that but I never knew the name. I love all the oranges in that pretty vase.Rose Papa Meidiland is a sweety, I can never resist single rose. How lovely for your friends having lunch in your beautiful garden. Muuch nicer than a restaurant.

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