Monday, June 29, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Picking flowers in the rain

It rained on Sunday morning.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I get very excited about rain.  We get a lot less of it than many of you do, and rain in summer is particularly surprising.  I saw the forecast that said we had a 30% chance of precipitation but, unless I see predictions of 80% or higher, I don't put much stock in them so I was delighted.  Our rooftop weather system registered 0.07/inch, not a lot by any means but enough to fill my empty 50-gallon rain tank.  It drizzled as I rounded the garden picking flowers.  It was wonderful!  It provided a much nicer start to the day than walking out the back door straight into the path of a coyote as I did last Tuesday.

This week I had in mind exactly what I wanted to cut for today's vases and I actually stuck to my plan, more or less.  The flower-like bracts of the Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' in my back garden was the inspiration for my first vase.

There are actually two Leucadendron here.  The cones and bracts of 'Safari Sunset' on the right are larger than those of 'Devil's Blush' on the left but about the same color.

I was happier with this mix of plants when they were in the jar I used while collecting the stems than I am with the finished product shown here.  Do you ever have that experience?

Back view: I cut the glossy green foliage of the cherry laurels (Prunis ilicifolia) grown as a hedge along one property line as I felt I needed a sharp contrast with the deep red of the Leucadendron.  The cherry laurels are in the process of developing their fruit but it's still green.  Stems with red fruit would've made a nice color echo.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Ammi majus 'Dara', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', shaggy Leucanthemum x superbum, Prunus ilicifolia, and Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink' 


My blue Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) are full of flowers at the moment but I was challenged to find something different to pair with them until I decided to cut stems of Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink'.  I'm not sure I've cut any of the latter this year even though I have ten of these shrubs in full bloom at the moment.  Hummingbirds and bees adore these shrubs.

It's hard to compete with Lisianthus but Monarda 'Peter's Purple' is giving it a good try.  This Monarda is the only one I've ever managed to grow in my garden.

Back view: The white Pandorea jasminoides (aka bower vine) was a last minute addition.  I had the stems arranged at the front of the vase at first but they didn't complement the Lisanthus as well as they do the Cuphea so I moved them to the back, where they look a little like the flounce on a skirt.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Eustoma grandiflorum, Pandorea jasminoides, Monarda 'Peter's Purple', Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink', and Salvia leucophylla x clevelandii 'Pozo Blue'


As I had leftover stems, I threw together a third vase, which may be my personal favorite this week.  It's not as fussy as the other two arrangements, which makes it perfect for the kitchen island.

I used the extra stems of Abelia, Ammi majus, and Scabiosa here and tucked a few stems on Origanum 'Monterey Bay' in the back


The other arrangements took their places on the dining and front entry tables respectively.



For more arrangements created from floral and foliage materials found in the creators' own gardens, visit our IAVOM host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


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

29 comments:

  1. Your personal favourite and my personal favourite are in agreement Kris! All beautiful collections of flowers, all three, but the one you 'threw together' is the one I love the most. So gentle and pretty! Glad you have had some unexpected rain. We have had far too much over the past few days, and strong winds. It has been knocking seven bells out of the roses, just as they are at their best, and I am fed up!! The beautiful Monday vases have been especially enjoyable this week! Thank you for yours! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/06/an-art-inspired-vase-on-monday.html

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    1. Impromptu floral arrangements are often the best ones I find!

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  2. Oh my goodness, you're calling that rain? Maybe up on the hill you got more than we did. Here it was maybe a heavy mist. Love the first windswept photo with the leucs and grasses, and I'm thinking 'Cane's Hybrid' in the background. I met up with a raccoon the other morning, just a couple feet away, and watched as he tried to secure a safe place for his daytime rest rather late after sun up. I don't know how they manage to do it in such a crowded city.

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    1. We have several categories of precipitation here, Denise: spit, mist, drizzle and honest-to-goodness rain. What we got was better than spit or mist but it was hardly a downpour, just a fairly steady drizzle. You're correct that that's Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid' in the background. I've occasionally wondered where the raccoons here go to bunk down - I hope never to trip across one and wake it during its slumbers.

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  3. Rain this late? Such a rare treat, and it filled your reservoir, too. Yay!
    A beautiful set of vases this week, Kris. I wish we could get 'Starfire Pink' Cuphea here, but only 'Vermillionaire' seems to available. Your Monarda and Lisianthus look well together, jewel tones!
    Have a great week ahead!

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    1. If we get rain in summer, it's usually the result of a wayward tropical storm out of the south. I didn't hear an explanation for this rain but then there wasn't much of it.

      'Vermillionaire' is a star and readily available here. 'Starfire Pink' is harder to find. Most of mine came from Annie's by mail order.

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  4. "It drizzled as I rounded the garden...". Ha! one would think you were in Seattle this weekend. So now I'm curious what the first arrangement looked like in the glass jar. I'm sure it looked fabulous too, and it make me think of the unsung contribution of vases to the flower arrangements. Looking at all three vases make me happy; can't pick a favorite.

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    1. Sometimes less structure in "arrangements" is better. The Leucadendron and its companions looked a little wild and woolly in the glass jar I used to collect the material but it struck a chord with me that my final product in the vase didn't. I wasn't ready to start all over again, though!

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  5. We have an amateur weather monitor too and it is often surprising how little rain there is in a shower, but as you say, even this can make a difference to our water butts. Your varied vases are thought provoking, showing how material can be used in different ways, and what a difference the actual receptacle makes - not to mention that an afterthought can turn out to be the most pleasing of the lot! I like the way you always include such different foliage and stems in your vases as well as blooms - always something new to see.

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I'm always surprised just how much water sheets off our roof into my rain tanks even when the precipitation is relatively light. I think I need more tanks, or better yet a cistern, to get through our long dry season but they're not particularly attractive things.

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  6. Rain is always welcome to gardeners and of course you need it more than most so what a treat. Oh that leucadendron is dreamy and you even have enough to pick. I am always envious of your eustoma and the monarda is fabulous too. I love all three arrangements.

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    1. Thanks Chloris. I wanted the red Leucadendron stems to look like rose buds but that effect didn't really come off, probably because (as usual) I stuffed the vase so tightly.

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  7. Yay for rain!!! This time of year when it's so hot, getting some in any amount is a blessing.
    You always have such vibrant arrangements Kris with so much variety. It is always difficult to pick a favorite.
    Stay cool. We're beginning a heat wave that will last as far out as the forecast went. Not looking forward to that.

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    1. Amazingly, after too very early heatwaves, we've had a relatively cool June. That's principally due to the "June Gloom" effect of the coastal marine layer, which is better in some years than others. We got no "May Gray" this year so I didn't have high expectations at first. But there's no colloquial term for the marine layer effect in July and we're probably headed into warmer conditions soon.

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  8. Jar versus vase? Maybe try with a vase which is 'jar' shaped. I use those glass pebbles to hold the stems where I want them. A hand tied bunch is also fun - you - go - just THERE.

    But you have always such a delightful range of colours and textures, of both new and familiar plants.

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    1. I actually did look for a vase with a top of a similar size and shape when I put together that first arrangement, Diana, but I think I got too prissy in trying to create symmetry while placing the materials and lost the wilder look they had in the jar.

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  9. Kris, I know what you mean about enjoying the way the cuttings arrange themselves sometimes in the container as you gather them. Seems a shame to improve on them but you've done a great job. Also, the colors of the Lisianthus and Monarda are great together. All beautiful. Glad you had rain. It's turning hot and dry here too so I understand your appreciation for any amount of rain.

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    1. I was happy to have the one rain tank go from zero to 50 gallons but the two larger tanks are still all too close to empty. Summer always seems like a very long season...

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  10. Love the sagey green vases with everything and thank heavens for the rain. The Lisianthus always amazes me growing with little water and so lush..gorgeous.

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    1. I have a couple of pink-flowering Lisianthus yet to bloom but the majority are blue-flowering plants. I really miss having a range of colors to choose from I've had in the past but, in the larger scheme of things, that's a trivial issue.

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  11. I'm glad you got some rain, Kris! We've certainly had enough around here lately, but with the heat wave of the next couple of weeks, we're going to need those reserves. I may have mentioned before that I'm a huge fan of Leucadendrons. I'm so jealous. ;-)

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    1. I actually thought of you when I cut 'Safari Sunset' yesterday, Beth - I know you love these plants!

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  12. How lovely to get some unexpected rain! I think your favourite is mine too this week, but I do love all the other ingredients you have used and the Lisianthus always looks good.

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    1. It's gotten so that rain is almost always unexpected, Cathy, and so welcomed every time!

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  13. Many times I have thought that the bunch of flowers that I pick for a bouquet looks best in the jar I bring them together than in the vase. Then I wonder what I did to mess up the arrangement. ha... Even your left overs look good. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. Over-engineering arrangements is my problem, Lisa...

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  14. Congrats on the rain! They're saying we may get some today or tomorrow but we shall see. I'm still recovering from the downpours earlier in the month! Love those leucadendron.

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    1. Downpours here are but a distant memory, Loree.

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