Monday, November 30, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: Strange bedfellows

Finding flowers to fill a vase (much less my usual two or three vases) has become more of a challenge with each passing week.  Only a handful of flower species are currently available in a bountiful supply but of course I try not to repeat myself.  As my Correa 'Pink Eyre' (aka Australian fuchsia) is dripping in blooms, I knew I wanted to use it again but I'd no idea what to pair with it until I tripped over two stems of pink Alstroemeria blooming off-season while doing some pruning.  Unfortunately, one of those stems was no longer vase-worthy when I went to pick them yesterday morning and the second one started to collapse as I began putting my arrangement together so some shuffling was required.

Stems of Camellia sasanqua and a noID orchid I've had for more than 25 years took over as the vase's focal points.  The orchid was given to me by one of my husband's former bosses, whose mother reportedly brought it with her from China.  My best guess is that it's a Cattleya of some kind.

The diminished noID Alstroemeria was tucked into the back of the arrangement

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: noID Alstroemeria, noID Camellia sasanqua, Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre', the noID orchid that might be a Cattleya, Pentas lanceolata, and Prostanthera ovatifolia 'Variegata' foliage

After cutting one orchid, I decided why not cut another one while I was at it, especially as the orchid in question fit the color mix I'd already selected. 

Both orchids were in my lath (shade) house.  This noID miniature Phalaenopsis has been blooming for two months and was starting to fade so I justified cutting it on that basis.

I dressed up the back of the arrangement with a stem of white Dianthus

The most unusual element is Pelargonium 'Colocho', shown in this view jutting out at roughly the two and eight o'clock positions when viewed from overhead.  It's growth habit is very interesting but this arrangement doesn't show off its shape to its best advantage.  You can find better photos here.

Clockwise from the upper left: noID miniature Phalaenopsis, Polygala fruticosa (aka sweet pea shrub), Pelargonium 'Colocho', Dianthus barbatus 'Dash White', Salvia canariensis var candissima, and Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'

For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who leads this weekly parade.



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


39 comments:

  1. And both of them are so pretty. Yes, it does look like a cattleya, well done on keeping it going for 25 years,does it bloom every year? I never thought of using my orchids as cut flowers but why not? The plants are not very elegant.

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    1. No, generally speaking, I think orchid plants are rather homely and Cattleyas particularly so. This Cattleya usually produces a random bloom a couple of times a year. If I actually fed it occasionally, it might do better. As I recall, I've repotted it at least once but it's mostly survived on benign neglect.

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  2. That is impressive you've had the orchid so long. Great back story on it and it's lovely. Both arrangements are really beautiful. You found plenty of variety.

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    1. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel at the moment, Susie. I suspect that even the earliest of my cool season flowers are a couple of months away, although I broke down last week and planted half a dozen snapdragon plugs even though they're rust magnets here.

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  3. It doesn't look to me at all as if you were struggling to fill your vases, Kris, they're as gorgeous as ever. I'm in love with the dainty bells of Correa, they're so pretty. Have a good December :)

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    1. That particular Correa is the most generous in producing flowers of the several varieties I have, Annette, and this year's "crop" is especially heavy.

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  4. Such a lovely and interesting array of blooms - as always Kris! I do love the Pentas lanceolata - such a rich and intense colour, and also the sweet pea shrub - I haven't seen that before! Have a good week! Amanda

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    1. The sweet pea shrub (Polygala fruticosa) hails from the coastal region of South Africa. Fortunately for me, coastal Southern California accommodates a lot of plants from Mediterranean climates like South Africa and Southwestern Australia.

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  5. Both arrangements are quite stunning, Kris, as are the vases! I home in on that camellia whenever you use it. I wish we weren't so alkaline here. The alstroemeria is lovely too. Shame that it is noID, but I will search for something similar.

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    1. Oddly, most of our sandy soil is also on the alkaline end of the spectrum, Allison. The sasanquas came with the garden and they're sited in a bed of their own along the house's foundation so perhaps the prior owners who planted them did some major work in preparing the soil. That pink Alstroemeria also came with the garden.

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  6. Love the paired down look with pops of colour. Restful. I really like the Australian fuschia. Bit of a sucker for downward shaped bell flowers. The vase of the first arrangement really suits the flowers.

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    1. I glad you feel that first vase fit the contents, Elaine. I went back and forth before I selected it.

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  7. Both are beautiful arrangements, Kris. The pinks shine brightly amid the variegated foliage, and I love the orchids and camellia, they seem so exotic to this northern gardener.

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    1. I don't grow a lot of orchids but, if I treated those I have better, I'd probably get a lot more satisfaction from them. I keep planning to put them on a regular feeding schedule but somehow never get to it...I adore Camellias and had a lot more of them in my former tiny (and very shady) garden. They aren't well suited to the alkaline soil here and I've got a lot less shade to offer so I've only added one, a japonica-williamsii hybrid, since moving in. If I'd realized the challenges in growing them here in advance, I might not have even planted that one.

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  8. Nice! I love the orchids and have not seen mini - Phalo (can't spell it) before. The Cattleya looks like a no name one I have. Interesting you can grow Camellias, I love them but no hope for them here. Hope you get some rain.

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    1. Camellias did well in my former garden just 15 miles north of our current location. Unfortunately, the alkaline soil and limited shade make this garden far less hospitable.

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  9. Ah, Camellias; and those vases! Sigh. Pure beauty.

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    1. I still miss the large-flowered tree-sized white Camellia japonica I had in my former garden, Beth. My mother-in-law, who lived a little further north still, also grew them well. They struggle here by comparison.

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  10. Lovely Monday. The Correa are so cute. I've tried and failed with several plants, unfortunately.

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    1. I killed a couple Correa 'Wyn's Wonder' early on here. I think I probably gave them too little water to get properly established. 'Pink Eyre' took its time to settle but it's taken off the last 2 years and I now have 'Wyn's Wonder', 'Ivory Bells' and 'Sister Dawn' growing happily in other areas.

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  11. The combination of Camellia and Correa pulchella is heavenly. So is the pairing of Phalaenopsis and Polygala fruticosa. I didn't know there was such a thing as a sweetpea shrub, the flowers are lovely.

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    1. The sweet pea shrub is a mixed blessing, sweetbay - it's a prolific self-seeder.

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  12. Both vase arrangements are equally beautiful. I do like the bright magenta-pinks! The Salvia canariensis is exactly suitable for your arrangement. I must find my own Correas for the garden as I would think they attract hummingbirds. The Pelargonium is quite different: those lovely, frilly leaves! At the moment, I do not have a Camellia, and just spotted some blooming with wonderful fragrance at our local nursery today. One plant at a time! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Oddly, I can't remember ever seeing hummingbirds feeding from any of my Correas - the bees do love 'Pink Eyre' though. That Pelargonium came from our local botanic garden, Kay - I'll have to try propagating it once we return to normal humidity levels. And yes, you do "need" a Camellia.

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  13. I always look forward to your pickings and arrangements. This time of year they are extra special since all here is dormant and will be for quite some time. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. You remind me how lucky I am to have some flowers year-round, Lisa, even if their numbers are much lower at this time of year.

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  14. At first glance I thought the orchid in the first vase was a frilly daffodil!

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    1. No daffodils yet, Loree, but I did notice the first green nubs of the daffodil bulbs I planted several weeks ago pushing up through the soil just this morning. Orchids, on the other hand, have their own mysterious schedules for producing blooms.

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  15. Hello!

    I'm writing a post for Facebook and Instagram, and I was looking for pictures of pretty weeds (specifically Santa Barbara Daisies), and I found your old blog post (https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/04/pretty-weeds.html). I was hoping that I could use the picture you posted there. I would give credit (a link on Facebook, a mention of your blog's name on Instagram (unless you have an Instagram account, they still don't let you link to outside sites on IG)). Thank you either way, your pictures are beautiful!

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    1. I don't know why it said unknown. I'm Sarah from Strategies Sorted (@strategiessorted). I'm a coach specializing in executive function disorders. The flowers are a metaphor. :)

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    2. Sarah, it's fine for you to use that photo. I do have an Instagram account - it's @krispeterson591. Best wishes with your endeavor.

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    3. Sarah - if you click Unknown, your Blogger profile is blank.

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  16. For not having many blooms you always manage to come up with plenty. I'm totally taken by the first arrangement, added by the fact I LOVE the vase: style, shape and color. Perfection.

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    1. That vase seems to be universally loved. My husband bought it for my birthday a few years back when we visited The Huntington Gardens.

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  17. It is lovely seeing some bright summery colour and lively pinks. Beautiful arrangements as always! :-)

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    1. Thanks Cathy. At the moment, I wish it didn't feel quite so much like summer too...

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  18. Both such attractive vases Kris. The correa looks so dainty and from what you say it is prolific with its flowers. What's not to like? 😄

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    1. It's probably not cold hardy, Anna, but then that's not really an issue here.

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