Monday, December 28, 2020

In a Vase On Monday: Prelude to rain

Expecting our first real rain of the season, I cut flowers with little chance of holding up well for today's arrangements, not that I had an extensive list of prospects to begin with.  The focal point of the first arrangement are flowers of the Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana), which are currently prolific but which don't stand up well to either wind or rain.

I threw in more of my never-ending supply of Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', as well as several stems of Leptospermum 'Pink Pearl'

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Bauhinia x blakeana, Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', and Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth'

I picked more flowers of the pink powder puff shrub (Calliandra haematocephala) for the second arrangement.  As you can imagine, powder puffs don't hold up well against rain either.  The stems of the frequently sheared shrubs are also annoyingly short and the flowers don't last long in a vase but I admit I'm fond of them anyway.

I used the vase featuring clasped hands with well-manicured fingernails but, as arranged, those are largely hidden by the flowers

I planted snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) plugs several weeks ago and added a few stems of their first blooms.  Snapdragons are rust magnets in my climate so I could end up pulling the plants out before they have time to make much of a splash.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Antirrhinum majus in burgundy, pink, and white; Calliandra haematocephala, Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', and foliage of Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'

I'd cut a few stems of paperwhite Narcissus too but I decided they didn't work well with either of the previous arrangements so the the leftovers went into a small vase to sit in my office.

I've noID for the Narcissus, which came with the garden

If we don't get measurable rain, I'll be mightily disappointed.  I consulted two forecasting agencies online Sunday afternoon, one projecting a 95% chance of rain and the other a 72% chance but it wouldn't be the first time that high expectations crashed due to an unmovable ridge of high pressure air.  Fingers crossed!

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


Update:  It's raining!

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

35 comments:

  1. Today is the first time I see you use Bauhinia in a vase, and I love it (I'm glad you could reach the blooms). I imagine the scented geranium made the job of arranging the vase especially pleasant. Not having the bounty of a cutting garden at this point make your choices more challenging and the results more fun. Whether it's the snapdragons, or the narcissus, the results are fresh and appealing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I was surprised to find that I could reach some of the Bauhinia blooms now that they're more prolific. They don't last long in a vase and the unopened buds don't bloom once a stem is cut but they actually have a longer life in a vase than the powder puff blooms, which don't appear to appreciate the heater at all!

      Delete
  2. Yay! Glad the rain found you Kris. Love the snapdragons. The Gomphrena works with everything doesn’t it. It looks great with the Hong Kong orchid flower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Gomphrena IS very versatile despite its strong color. The tiny flowers help it blend I think.

      Delete
  3. Glad to hear it’s raining! I wish we could send more of our rain your way. I hope you get enough to help.

    I especially like the first arrangement. The combination of Hong Kong orchid tree blossoms, gomphrena, ‘Pink Pearl’ and ‘Lady Plymouth’ is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has been a good storm for us, at least apart from the 3-minute pummeling of hail we got near noon. We've received 0.82/inch of rain from the current storm thus far, pushing us just over 1 inch for the season-to-date (counted from October 1st). There's a chance of another shower or two up through 8pm but, after that, it's out of here.

      Delete
  4. Love all those shades of pink Kris. Great combinations, and your snapdragons remind me of my summer ones which were a big success. Hope you get that rain!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rain! awesome. I love the Orchid tree flowers too and they are an ephemeral pleasure!! The Powderpuff grows here and I am intrigued by the many forms they can be pruned into...love the orchid and pink color mixtures, I cannot understand how you grow Narcissus - I wonder if those are Tazettas?? Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tazetta types do superbly in SoCal, mine did a little too well. Clumps got massive.

      Delete
    2. I didn't realize that paperwhite Narcissus fell in the Tazetta group but I just looked it up and they do. HB is right that Tazetta varieties do particularly well here, although I have some daffodils of other types that return year after year as well.

      Delete
    3. Thinking I need to meet Tazetta again..

      Delete
  6. Pretty in pink - I love the Orchid tree blooms with 'Itsy Bitsy' and the variegated Pelargonium. So glad you are finally getting some rain. That will certainly perk up your garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rain has a magical effect, even in a garden filled with sandy soil.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Despite forecasts late last week, I wasn't ready to believe the rainstorm was going to materialize so that first rumble of thunder just after midnight last night created excitement rather than any apprehension.

      Delete
  8. The Bauhinia x surely does have a beautiful and detailed flower. Nice to bring them into a vase where their beauty can be studied!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm usually hesitant to cut Bauhina flowers as the buds form in clusters and they don't open once a stem is cut but I figured I could spare losing some given that the storm was likely to take out many of the open blooms,

      Delete
  9. Luscious. I'm so jealous, and thinking of spring. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm already looking forward to spring myself, Beth, although I'd still like to see a lot more rain before we get there!

      Delete
  10. I do hope yu get your rain Kris, and a (relatively) generous amount of it! Those Hong KOng orchid blooms must be quite large, comparing them with the pelargonium leaves - I love the combination with the gomphrema and leptospermum. I especially like the simplicity of the third vase too, and the green vase works so well with the narcissi - is it Caithness Glass? It's certainly one of their styles and colours. Do the narcissi have just a short season because of your warmer temperatures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We got about an inch of rain, which is pretty good for us, Cathy! The small green vase is a from an unknown maker - it's nowhere near as nice as the pretty Caithness glass vases you've featured in your posts. The paperwhite Narcissus are always early winter blooms - these will be gone long before spring but some Narcissi bloom later, although all will be gone well before warmer temperatures settle in here. There are a lot of flowers that bloom in late spring through summer for you that are winter blooms here. The timing probably has to do with both the cooler temperatures and the fact that winter is our one and only rainy season.

      Delete
  11. So glad you have had rain Kris, and dearly wish I could swoosh some of ours in your direction. We have far too much and overnight rain has now frozen on the drive, rendering it an absolute skating rink. Very dodgy! But back to your glorious glamorous flower arrangements! All so lovely, as always, and I do love Pink Pearl, what a pretty little flower. We now have narcissus to look forward to - some way off yet, here, but it's good to know that come what may they will bloom! Sending very best wishes to you for 2021. Amanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Pink Pearl' is a great flower to use in arrangements, although its foliage is very prickly! Be careful on that driveway skating rink, Amanda!

      Delete
  12. Itsy bitsy makes all vases seem a little more lively. That is one pretty scented geranium leaf. My orchids are just setting blooms. They have been quite fussy this year. Why would that surprise me? Snapdragons remind me of spring. I hope all your rain barrels are full now. Happy IAVOM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only the smallest of my 3 rain barrels is full but this storm was a boon nonetheless. Although all the barrels collect rain from the roof through our gutter system, I collect some of it in smaller containers to pour into the bigger ones but I missed out on some of the heaviest showers associated with this storm system because they occurred in the wee hours of the morning - and even I'm not crazy enough to run around in nightclothes collecting it ;)

      Delete
  13. Aww, the flower arrangement looks gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am always in awe how different hardiness zones can be different at this time of the year. Look at your beautiful bounty! Here in Minnesota is nothing but evergreens and snow. Thankful for blogging that allows me to connect with people from all around the globe where there is a blooming season still going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expect your hardiness zone is 4 or 5, Angie while ours is 10b/11a, so it's a very different growing environment from yours! Coastal California is considered a Mediterranean climate, which is why I grow so many plants native to places like South Africa and Australia.

      Delete
  15. Very pretty Kris. So glad you're getting some much needed rain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Cindy! I'm not taking it for granted that we'll get a lot more before our rainy season ends in late March/early April, though.

      Delete
  16. I will never tire of seeing those beautiful Bauhinia x blakeana blooms, but I do love the simplicity of the narcissus vase. Your office must smell lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before IAVOM, my vases were mostly very simple ones like that, Loree.

      Delete
  17. Oh to have such beautiful floriferous riches on a late December day Kris! I'm green with envy. I woke up to a garden covered with a blanket of snow on Monday morning and I don't think that there was much lurking underneath 😄

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!