Monday, April 19, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Is it already summer?

Did you know that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US government agency charged with following climate issues, has formulated new definitions of "normal" temperatures?   It makes sense to me given the frequency with which weather forecasters project temperatures significantly above "normal."  Yesterday afternoon, the temperature here peaked just above 87F (30.6C) and today's high temperature is expected to be comparable.  Santa Ana wind conditions are in effect, which means our humidity is also very low, sparking wildfire concerns.  Many spring blooms are beating a hasty retreat and, concerned that others may follow on their heels, I cut a lot of them to bring inside.

In addition to the newest foxglove to appear in my cutting garden, I cut stems of the flowering redbud and the first sweet peas to make an appearance.  I was perplexed by the sweet pea flowers as I didn't recall sowing seeds that bloom in that color but, as a subtle change was evident in some of the flowers, I believe this must be 'Blue Shift', which are said to transition from violet-purple to blue as they age.

Back view: The original snapdragons I planted from a pony-pack of plugs last fall are still producing pristine blooms, free of rust, unlike my more recent additions

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: white Antirrhinum majus, Cercis occidentalis (aka western redbud), self-seeded Coriandrum sativum (aka cilantro/coriander), Helleborus 'Phoebe', Lathyrus odoratus 'Blue Shift' (probably), Pelargonium cucullatum 'Flore Pleno', P. 'Lemona', Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink' and, in the center, Digitalis purpurea


I'd hoped to use the fluffy lavender blooms of Ageratum corymbosum in my second arrangement but they're already fading so I pivoted and instead cut several Ixia blooms that appeared just days ago.  They inspired a pink, white and yellow color scheme.  I wasn't entirely happy with it but, as it was already getting very warm, I decided against deliberating any further.

In retrospect, I think I should have skipped the pink snapdragons and Alstroemeria, although they do pick up on the color of the fingernails in the clasped hands vase

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemerias 'Claire', 'Inca Sundance' and noID pink; pink and white Antirrhinum majus; noID Ixia (aka wand flowers or African corn lilies); Osteospermum 'Double Moonglow'; and Pelargonium 'White Lady'

I'd cut a couple stems of yellow snapdragons to include in the second vase but the nearly fluorescent yellow of those flowers was jarring so I popped them into a tiny vase for my home office.

The color of the snapdragon is very like that of Dahlia 'Kelvin Floodlight', if you've ever seen that.  I added Centranthus ruber 'Albus' as an accent. 


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



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


18 comments:

  1. Beautiful vases. I'd be happy with any one flower from them. Foxgloves elude me and I really love them. I do have a snapdragon about to flower and if I'd know how long and cool our spring would be this year I might have ventured out to buy some. The Ixia is a good feature!

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    1. Ixia is a reliable returning bulb flower year and drought tolerant to boot! If temperatures continue along the current trend, the foxgloves and snapdragons won't last long. Both need more water than they'd get in my garden beds, hence their placement in my cutting garden, which I water lavishly by comparison.

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  2. You must be absolutely delighted with your spikes whether they be foxgloves or antirrhinums. These are Summer blooms in the UK, so it is a treat to view your arrangements.

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    1. There are a surprising number of flowers we can grow during our cool season that are normally grown in summer conditions in places with colder winters, Noelle. (We don't have "winter" as you know it at all.) However, as soon as it gets consistently hot and dry, those flowers are out of here. The only problem with that is that our cool season is getting shorter and shorter, as well as drier.

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  3. Gosh, how deep a purple is that foxglove?! And what beautiful antirrhinum blooms with such straight stems. The pinks and purples of that first vase make for a stunning result and although you may be right about leaving out some of the contents of the second, they do pick out some of the other colours, as you say. And your last VERy bright vase is really sweet!

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    1. I thought the same thing about that foxglove, Cathy - it IS a deeper purple than I can remember growing before. It was part of a 6-pack of assorted foxglove plugs so it'll be interesting to see if any of the others develop that same deep color.

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  4. Gorgeous, I am amazed you have foxgloves this late, I have just put a heirloom Alstromeria in a pot, and am hoping to get some flowers - I think you grow them in containers? Love the Ixia as well, need to find some of that..

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    1. I'll have to double check when the foxgloves bloomed last year - they seemed late this year to me too but then I've thought that about other plants and been proven wrong. However, the larkspur, which is only now in bud, is definitely late this year. The lack of rain maybe? Re the Alstroemeria, most of mine are in the ground but I have two varieties in pots. I expect yours will be fine there. Ixia bulbs are hard to find outside of specialty bulb growers.

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  5. Glorious color combos, Kris. I love the rich burgundy of the foxglove and sweet peas, paired with the pink scabious and hellebore. After last year's attack on my sweet peas by (I think) a rabbit, I've fortified them with a wire cage within an outer cage. I couldn't bear another year without sweet peas!

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    1. I've wondered if rabbits accounted for the slow growth of my sweet peas both this year and last. Something was definitely nibbling the tips of the seedlings despite my (semi-feeble) efforts to protect them. I just caged other plants in my garden that the rabbits "pinched back" for me.

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  6. So many beautiful flowers!!! My eye was especially drawn to the noID Ixia. We hit 84 on Saturday and 83 on Sunday and with only 1.64" of rain since March 1st (our dried spring on record) "normal" is becoming something I can't even fathom.

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    1. I'm not sure that calculations - or recalculations - of what's "normal" can be determined on the same schedule as the rate of change itself, Loree :(

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  7. Gorgeous. Especially love the purples. We are in what is called the 'false spring' in that we have a few days of glorious weather and then back to snow and cold. Minor bulbs all take it in stride though. We are forecast to have a abnormally dry spring and summer so will take all the moisture we can get.

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    1. I understand, Elaine! We've got a 40% chance of drizzle overnight but that's better than nothing! Rain of any kind at this time of the year is unusual.

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  8. Antirrhinums and foxgloves together are wonderful! I don't think we would have them flower at the same time here as my antirrhinums always take forever to get going. Foxgloves are in May or June here. Love both vases Kris!

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    1. Thanks Cathy. The flowers in our climate do seem to bloom on a very different schedule than those areas with colder winters.

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  9. Fantastic blooms, again! My favorite vase arrangement is the first, and individually, I covet your Helleborus 'Phoebe', the no ID Ixia, and Osteospermum ‘Double Moonglow’. I have gained a greater appreciation of Osteospermums because of you. I only have ‘Violet Ice’ that was originally planted years ago from one small 4” container, and at least once a year, I have cut it back to nearly one stem when it is not flowering. I have threatened to remove it entirely, and then in winter/early spring it prolifically blooms again and hence it remains. I recently purchased Ixia ‘Mabel’ bulbs which have bright magenta blooms that is stated to flower in late spring / summer. My foxgloves are self-sown, and although I usually have magenta colored ones, the one that is currently in bloom is white. I have never planted a white foxglove before. Enjoy the cooler temperature today!

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    1. Osteospermums do retreat when the weather gets hot but, as you experienced, they come back magnificently when cooler weather returns if cut back. I believe I found 'Double Moonglow' at our local garden center a year (or maybe two) ago.

      Today's cooler temperature is wonderful. Now if only some of that drizzle the weather forecasters keep promising would actually come through...

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