Monday, March 22, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Spring Bounty

At this time of year, with new flowers appearing every time I turn around, it isn't easy to hone in on choices for inclusion in a vase.  I generally pick one thing to serve as a centerpiece and then wander my garden without any larger plan in mind in search of suitable companions.  This week, I started by clipping the stem of the last of the three Hippeastrum 'Aphrodite' I planted as bulbs in November.  Wind has been a persistent companion in my garden for weeks now and it prematurely withered the blooms of my second 'Aphrodite' and I didn't want to see the third plant experience the same fate.

In contrast with the other two 'Aphrodite' stems this one was surprisingly short

Back view: I'm not sure how well the flowers of Arbutus 'Marina', shown here dangling down the sides of the vase, will hold up in an arrangement but we shall see.  Arbutus is known as the strawberry tree because the flowers form red berries that look a little like that fruit.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Anemone 'Mistral Rosa Chiaro', Arbutus 'Marina', Hippeastrum 'Aphrodite', Sparaxis tricolor, and Tulipa 'Lady Jane'


The soft tones of Leucospermum 'Spider Hybrid' have been calling me for a couple of weeks now and I couldn't stop myself from cutting the one flower in full bloom; however, to avoid cutting off other buds, the stem ended up shorter than I'd have liked, just like the Hippeastrum in the first arrangement.

I stuck with a soft peachy-orange palette to complement the Leucospermum

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Grevillea alpina x rosmarinifolia, Leucospermum 'Spider Hybrid', Narcissus 'Geranium', N. 'Sunny Girlfriend', and Sparaxis tricolor

I had leftovers from one of last week's arrangements, as well as a fistful of Leucadendron stems I'd held onto after pruning those shrubs last week, which I used for two other simple vases.

The vase on the kitchen island (left) contains two Leucospermum 'Goldie' stems saved from last week's blue and yellow arrangement.  The vase on the living room mantle (right) contains stems of Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' and L. 'Jester', stripped of their lower leaves to look more like flowers.

The other two vases took pride of place on the dining room table and the front entry table respectively.


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


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. All beautiful as always, but I do especially love your first vase Kris. The colours in the flowers and the lovely bubble colours in your vase all swirl together so beautifully. Really sumptuous and gorgeous! Amanda https://therunningwave290580645.wordpress.com/2021/03/22/spring-in-a-vase-on-monday/

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    1. Thanks Amanda. I tried a teapot with the Hippeastrum arrangement at first but that stem refused to cooperate so I moved to what you called the bubble color vase, an old standby I picked up at a craft fair as a college student.

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  2. Both arrangements are lovely. I grew 2 'Aphrodite' this winter and neither looked like yours. The stripes were more prominent and darker red. I like the softer pinks in yours better.

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    1. I think weather and growing conditions may have an effect on the appearance of some blooms, Elaine. I've noticed fairly dramatic differences with dahlias.

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  3. Kris, as usual you present 'exotic' flowers which we sometimes try to grow: yours are as good as they are on the promotional pictures. I have just bought a fabulous book on the Flora of the Mediterranean by Christopher Gardner and Basak Gardner, and thanks to viewing your vases, I am able to recognise some of them.

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    1. Thanks for the heads-up about the Flora of the Mediterranean book, Noelle. I've noted it on my Pinterest reading list page - maybe I'll pass that on to my husband as a birthday present idea ;)

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  4. Amazing how well that mantel vase coordinates with the leucadendron stems and that first vase with the hippeastrum is the very definition of luxurious!

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    1. 'Aphrodite' has been by biggest Hippeastrum success this year, Loree. I'm going to plant out the bulbs in the garden and hope I can get it to naturalize.

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  5. That is such a pretty hippeastrum, Kris, and makes a glorious focal point for your vase, but that anemone is such a glorious and (to me) unusual colour and works brilliantly with it, augmented by the arbutus and tulip. Lovely! Your second vase is such a contrast and a refreshing cocktail of colours. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Cathy. That Anemone is new to me this year. It's not a vigorous as 'Lord Lieutenant' but it's a nice addition to the line-up.

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  6. nice, Kris. I thought the pink one had Bromeliads in it at first sight. Now I really love the Goldie!

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    1. I've become very fond of Leucospermums in general, Amelia. 'Goldie' was the first one I was able to grow successfully.

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  7. Your garden must be looking grand these days, Kris, with so much coming on.
    I love the Hippeastrum with the pink Anemones, so pretty and I really love the sunrise coloring of the Grevillea alpina x rosmarinifolia.

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    1. I love the color of that Grevillea too, Eliza. However, unfortunately it's difficult to use in arrangements both because the foliage is prickly and because the flowers often grow low on the stems.

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  8. The soft pinks in the first vase are so lovely, Kris. I don't remember seeing pink Anemones before--yum. The hippeastrum is particularly beautiful. You've had good success with yours this year. And those pretty tulips, just gorgeous. Love all the other materials in your vases this week. Your California spring is amazing. Have a good week.

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    1. Thanks Susie. If we could just get some more rain (in gentle doses, not a mudslide-causing deluge), spring here would be perfect.

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  9. Your vases are always such a treat, Kris, tropical splendour! Aphrodite lives up to her name. I guess you can grow it in the garden? I've planted an Arbutus andrachne last year for its bark. Never saw a pink flowering arbutus, yours looks very special. I also love your beautiful narcissus...well, all the flowers look fab really. It's been very windy here too but thankfully it'll be warm and calm this week. Wishing you a good start into the spring season, Annette

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    1. Yes, Hippeastrums can be grown outside here, Annette. Those I've featured thus far this year were all planted in pots but I have planted out some bulbs grown in prior years in the hope of getting them to naturalize. I was successful with that in my old garden but less so in this one, at least to date; however, I'm still hoping I find a spot or two they love.

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  10. Your arrangements are beautiful, as usual. I love the idea of picking a main bloom, then wandering the garden picking it's mates. What a wonderful way to really stay in tune with your garden.

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    1. It's a strategy that works for me, Margaret. I do a lot of deadheading and weed-pulling on those rounds too.

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  11. Wow! Beautiful arrangements! I am in awe of all the blooms you already have in your garden. I would have flowers all over the house. :)

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    1. Thanks Angie. I expect some of the IAVOM crowd already think I verge on overkill with the two (sometimes 3, occasionally 4) arrangements I already create each week ;)

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  12. You have outdone yourself with early spring blooms! It was a treat looking them over this morning. Does the species tulip naturalize for you? Your Narcissus ‘Sunny Girlfriend’ reminds me a bit of ‘Apricot Whirl’ that I grew for the first time this year. Is it new for you or do you find it has returned for you and naturalizes? I hope the winds were not too bad for you yesterday afternoon. Since they were westerly, they cause a problem down the entire length of our home. We have some Santa Ana winds forecasted for the next 2 days but at least we can get work done in the morning. Happy gardening, Kris!

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    1. I'm thoroughly sick of the persistent wind, Kay. Yesterday was bad but it's calmer today, at least for now. I planted bulbs of Narcissus 'Sunny Girlfriend' (despite the somewhat obnoxious name) in October 2019 but I was disappointed by the flowers last year, which were few in number and had very short stems. I actually thought I'd pulled up most of them but I've got a few popping up here and there this year, once again on short stems.

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  13. 'Safari Sunset' is lovely all by itself. What a wonderful shrub it is.

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    1. It's such a feature that I delayed cutting it back longer than I should have.

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