Monday, May 17, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Everything but the kitchen sink

My garden is bursting at its seams with flowers at the moment, as evident by my recent Bloom Day post.  I found it impossible not to go overboard when it came time to pick flowers for "In a Vase on Monday" so I didn't really even try to contain myself.

My first arrangement was inspired by the Matilija poppies (Romneya coulteri) growing on my back slope.  Because the plant got much too large for its spot, I cut it to the ground last fall and asked my husband to dig it up.  We thought that was it but, in spite of our pitiful rainfall, it came back with a vengeance this year and it's once again towering well above my head.  We'll make another attempt to remove it this fall but for now I chose the enjoy its magnificent flowers.

We got one-tenth of an inch of rain in the wee hours of Sunday morning and there's a 24% chance of more drizzle overnight so I decided to cut the second 'Medallion' rose to bloom this year too

Back view: While I was on the back slope, I cut a couple stems of the red trumpet vine that also runs rampant down there.  Inherited with the garden, I've always thought it was Bignonia capreolata but it appears it's actually Distictis buccinatoria (syn Bignonia cherere).

The top view provides a good look at the poppy, a Southern California native often called the fried egg poppy

Top row: Achillea 'Moonshine', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', and Alstroemeria 'Inca Sundance'
Middle row: Antirrhimum majus 'Double Azalea Bronze', another noID snapdragon, and Distictis buccinatoria
Bottom row: Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Romneya coulteri, and Rosa 'Medallion'

My second arrangement was inspired by the first flowers of the Renga lilies (Arthropodium cirratum).  The flowers are exceptionally difficult to photograph so you may have to accept my word for it that they're very pretty.  The attractive foliage is evergreen and the plants do well in dry shade, which makes them valuable in my view.  The species is native to New Zealand.  I added foxgloves again as those chunky flower stems are currently plentiful.  I filled in with a lot of the cool season flowers in my cutting garden to take advantage of them while they last.

The colors are similar to the second arrangement I created last week and the arrangement contains some of the same cool season flowers, like the foxgloves and sweet peas

Back view: In addition to the Renga lilies, new elements include the first flowers of Centaurea 'Silver Feather' and Nigella 'African Bride'.  I sowed seeds of both 'Nigella papillosa 'African Bride' and Nigella hispanica 'Chocolate and Cream' but they seem to be one in the same despite the discrepancy in their species names.

Top view

Top row: Arthropodium cirratum, Centaurea 'Silver Feathers' (with Coriandrum sativum), and Consolida ajacis
Middle row: Correa 'Wyn's Wonder', Digitalis purpurea, and Lathyrus odoratus 'High Scent' with 'Sir Jimmy Shand'
Bottom row: Lathyrus 'Navy' (and 'Blue Shift', not shown), Nigella 'African Bride', and Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink'

I often have a problem tossing out blooms I've already cut and this week was no exception.  I tossed a few of the remaining stems in a small cactus-shaped vase for my home office.

The vase contains short stems of Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' and Nigella orientalis 'Transformer' and unopened buds of Romneya coulteri 

For more arrangements created from materials on hand, visit our IAVOM host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



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

26 comments:

  1. Kris, you grow some of the most beautiful specimens. The poppy is quite attractive but I can see how it earned its nickname.

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    1. I much prefer Matilija poppy as the common name, Susie, but at least it's other name is memorable.

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  2. What a contrasting pair f vases you have given us and the third one with the leftovers is so sweet - love it! Anything that flowers well in dry shade would be welcome here too. I am encouraged by seeing your regular use of foxgloves to grow specific variaties here too as they make such an impact, both on the garden and in a vase. Here they are grown as biennials, so I would have to sow it this year for it to flower the next. Thanks for joining us with your colourfl vases, week in week out Kris

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    1. The foxgloves I've grown from seed act as biennials should, Cathy, blooming in their second year but the plugs I pick up in 6-packs from local garden centers will generally bloom the first spring if they're planted in the fall. I imagine our warmer winter conditions - and the fact that we experience neither frost nor snow - does a lot to expedite flowering.

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  3. I love your three vases! So many lovely things - colours, shapes. Some really dainty and others more robust. What fantastic variety Kris! Thank you. Amanda https://therunningwave290580645.wordpress.com/2021/05/17/simple-fare-in-a-vase-on-monday/

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    1. Thanks Amanda! Our cool season is our most floriferous period. Hopefully, real summer conditions will hold off for awhile. We've been lucky to have our morning marine layer return, keeping our temperatures from soaring as they did earlier this spring.

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  4. As always such a variety of beautiful and interesting flowers in your vases Kris. As always it's the shades of blues, purples and pinks that are my favourites rather than the hot colours. The romneya flowers are most attractive.

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    1. Romneya coulteri seems to be the only poppy I can grow on a reliable basis, Anna - even our native wildflower, the California poppy, is reluctant to grow here!

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  5. Wow, the colors! You always make my day with your arrangements. Just beautiful!

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  6. You've outdone yourself this week, Kris. I was amazed by the first two and then the little cactus vase stole my heart.

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    1. I'm still waiting to see if the Matilija poppy buds will open, Barbara. It's not looking like they will but the fuzzy buds are attractive even so.

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  7. Your vases are always a joy to behold, Kris, and I wonder how you manage to grow such tropical abundance in a garden where it hardly ever rains, it's awesome. All those colours and shapes, love it! We've had a VERY dry spring and so I'm grateful for the rain now although it spoils some flowers but around here plentiful spring rain makes all the difference later in the season. Hoping some will also come your way. Have a good week :)

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    1. Neither my climate nor my plants can really be characterized as tropical, Annette. Coastal Southern California is one of a handful of places in the world with a true Mediterranean climate and I've been collecting plants from other parts of the world with the same conditions, like the Cape area of South Africa and Southwestern Australia. But then, with climate change proceeding as it is, I fear we may turn to desert one day :(

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  8. So beautiful! A huge inspiration for low water flower-full gardening. Although looking at your bloom day shots, it's a wonder that you ever manage to choose :)

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    1. That's the benefit of preparing arrangements once a week for IAVOM - there's always an opportunity to clip whatever I skipped for a vase the following week (unless a nasty heatwave incinerates what's in bloom).

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  9. Excellent! And I am quite fond of your cactus creation.

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    1. I love the quirky blooms of Nigella 'Transformer' but for some reason the flowers are smaller and the stems are shorter than they were last year so I haven't used them much. I suspect the flip-flop weather conditions were a factor in my results this year.

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  10. Beautiful arrangements, Kris. I always enjoy your color choices, perfect blends. Love those Romneya poppies, too, so striking.

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    1. If only I had another half acre to give the Romneya the space it needs, Eliza. I'd love to keep it but it really needs the kind of space a botanic garden provides.

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  11. Both lovely, fabulous colours and such an abundance of gorgeous blooms. I have never seen Renga lilies here but I must see if I can find some, I always admire yours. I got rid of my romneya when it started appearing in my library. But even after I had dug it up it still kept on coming. Never plant it near the house.

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    1. I thought the back slope would be a "safe" place to grow the Romneya but it does like to spread! It has put out runners so I anticipate that getting it out of there may be a long slow process.

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  12. I can see that thise Renga lilies are very pretty. The first vase is what catches my attention this week though... those colours are a dream! And the white poppy as a focal point amid all that lovely orange, red, pink, is so effective. Well done once again Kris!

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    1. Thanks Cathy. The first arrangement is also my personal favorite this week.

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  13. Amazing bounty - love the orangey colors and I remember wanting the Renga lily last year. I think you need bigger vases! I saw your Gingko, that is one of my favorites and they grow slowly, my parents grew one from seed. After 45 years it was 18 feet tall.

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    1. Supposedly, a Ginkgo tree can reach 40 feet tall at maturity but I'd swear that the two in a neighbor's front yard have hardly grown an inch in the 10 tears we've lived here. Slow growth is good as a 40-foot tree could run me afoul of the "view conservation" police here. I'm assuming I'll be gone before the tree ever becomes an issue for anyone - and hopefully by then that silly view ordinance will also be history.

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