Monday, May 3, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Mixing things up

Last week's heat fried some plants, including the tulips sent to me in error last November by a mail order nursery.  I didn't expect much from them but, after keeping them in our refrigerator for three solid months before carefully planting them out and dutifully watering them in the absence of any rain, I was still disappointed.  The cool season flowers I grew from seed have been unimpressive this year too but, looking ahead, I see the summer bloomers are gearing up, possibly responding to the summer-like heat that's sounding the death knell for the cool season blooms before they ever got very far.  I've even got Agapanthus buds developing in some areas.

My first arrangement reuses some of the flowers I cut last week, albeit in a different combination.  The Leucospermum stems have at least another week of life in them, as do the stems of Alstroemeria 'Claire'.

The rose is a new bloom and it was so large and perfect I gave it a starring role.  We're expecting another round of warm weather mid-week and I thought I'd get more enjoyment out of it inside the air-conditioned house than I would watching it wither outside when the temperature reaches the mid 80sF (28C).

Back view: Achillea 'Moonshine' has produced its first blooms.  I added more of the flowers of Aeonium 'Kiwi Verde'.  I'd estimate a third of those plants are currently in bloom throughout the garden and, when the bloom dies, so does the succulent rosette that sprouted it.

Top view

Top row: Achillea 'Moonshine', Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi Verde', and Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'
Second row: Alstroemeria 'Claire' and Rosa 'Medallion'
Bottom row: Leucospermum 'Brandi', Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Peach', and Antirrhinum majus

The second arrangement couldn't be more different.  It's all about soft pastels and wispy blooms.

The sweet peas are now blooming in earnest, perhaps because they know their days are numbered - they're cool season blooms here.  They and the fuchsia blooms (from a recent purchase) set the color scheme.

Back view: Echium 'Star of Madiera' accommodated by starting its annual bloom cycle

Top view: Cool season Coriandrum (aka cilantro/coriander) and Consolida ajacis (aka larkspur) provided the wispy filler material.  The Coriandrum is already producing seeds.  The larkspur just started blooming but I don't expect it's going to last long.

Top row: Consolida ajacis, Coriandrum sativum, and Echium candicans 'Star of Madiera'
Middle row: Fuchsia 'Deep Purple' and Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink'
Bottom row: Lathyrus odoratus 'Blue Shift', 'Chelsea Centenary' and 'Sir Jimmy Shand' with 'High Scent' 

Other parts of the world still have many early spring blooms to share.  Visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, to enjoy what other contributors have found in their gardens this week.



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

26 comments:

  1. Oh, so beautiful! I love the Australian shrubs for cut flowers, they look so good for so long. May I ask how many inches/water per week your Agonis is getting, and if it retains that red flush? It looks like a fabulous foliage plant. Thanks and congratulations on such a wonderful garden.

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    1. I couldn't give you an accurate measure in terms of inches of water per week but those shrubs are in an area irrigated by sprinklers. On a timer, during periods when we have no rain (e.g. most of this year), they get sprinkled twice a week for 8 minutes on each occasion: 4 minutes on the first pass and another 4 on the second as the system moves through its cycle, ensuring there's little or no run-off. Soil composition is an important factor in judging the amount of water provided. My soil is heavy on sand so, while it drains well, it doesn't retain moisture over a long period. If your soil has more clay or is otherwise better at retaining moisture, your requirements may vary. That sounds like a product disclosure but it's true! For what it's worth, my husband (a scientist) estimates that 0.12 inches of rain is roughly equal to one day's irrigation cycle (i.e. 6 minutes of irrigation, which suggests that the shrubs receive about one quarter of an inch of water per week). My plants are well-established and of course they received more water during their first year in the ground.

      The red color is most prominent on new foliage so it's more noticeable in the spring but, when cut back, the new foliage will have that reddish color regardless of the time of year.

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    2. Thank you for the info and hurray! sounds like it could fit right in to my 1in/mo irrigation scheme. I appreciate your time and attention to detail.

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    3. You're welcome. I hope your plan works just the way you envision it.

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  2. It's great that some stems will last a fortnight in a vase, isn't it? As always, you have managed to collect together material with just the right shades to create complementary vases, Kris - the warm colours of your first vase really make it glow, and I love the assortment you have chosen for your second vase, wth the echium and sweet peas. Both lovely

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  3. It's disappointing about your tulips but wow--so many beautiful flowers you have. I love the colors in the first one. My daughter sent me a photo of an interesting flower she saw along her walk in an L.A. neighborhood. I recognized it as Leucospermum.

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    1. I love Leucospermum almost as much as Grevillea, Susie. The latter ranks higher in my view only because the larger flowered varieties, especially Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' and 'Superb', bloom year-round, while Leucospermum has a much shorter annual bloom cycle.

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  4. You’re so artistic! I love both vases. When I first started gardening, I would go for all pastel colors. Today, I think I’m leaning towards the first vase. I love your Rosa ‘Medallion,’ Leucospermum ‘Brandi,’ and my oh my, your Digitalis ‘Dalmatian Peach’ is outstanding and I have never seen this one before. Happy Monday, Kris!

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    1. I was more into pastel colors with my former garden, which was smaller and almost exclusively shady. My current drier, sunnier garden seems to call out for stronger colors than my old garden did.

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  5. So beautiful - the orange/pinky peach combination is so striking! That's the way it is with weather. I suppose the good news is that there will always be some plants that revel in whatever weather mother nature throws our way (within reason, of course).

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    1. As I walked through my garden today, I noted how very dry it is and had to wonder how long some of my plants are going to remain happy, even with regular irrigation. My rain collection tanks are almost entirely empty now, which is also a concern, especially as we probably won't get rain again until fall, at earliest.

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  6. Gorgeous, I love the peachy colors. And the rest, haven't seen a Scabiosa in years and had to think of what it is. Lovely! We are starting to fry here and the wind has been relentless, water, water, water....hoping for rain for both of us.

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    1. You're much more likely to get rain in the near term than we are, Amelia. Rain is mostly a winter thing here, with only the occasional tropical storm breaking through if we're lucky during the summer. The situation this "water year" (defined as the period from October 1st through the September 30th the following year) is on par with the horrible time we had a couple of years ago, which had been the worst in my memory up to that point. The snowpack that provides our water supply is also reportedly declining more rapidly than usual. It's not a good situation :(

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  7. For once I can't pick a favourite vase Kris - they are both so pleasing to the eye. What a beautiful rose in the first vase. I want to cry at the thought of your poor tulips being "heat fried" especially when you had nurtured them with such tender loving care!😱

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    1. I knew the tulips were a chancey proposition, Anna. This has happened before, which is why I stopped trying to grow anything other than species tulips here. I probably should have pressed the matter with the bulb supplier and insisted they send me the more climate-appropriate Triteleia bulbs I'd actually ordered.

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  8. Very different color themes but both equally delightful, Kris. I love that peach rose and foxglove especially.
    Your sweet peas are ending, and I'm still waiting for mine to sprout! Hope the heat isn't too bad this week.

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    1. More heat of the type we had last week will bring a quick end to the sweet peas but this week we're only expecting to hit the mid-80s. I'm hoping we don't soar back into the 90s next week. If we can get our coastal marine layer back it'd help matters.

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  9. Two lovely summery arrangements. I particularly love the first one with your trademark apricot/peachy colours.

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  10. One warm colors, one cool. Cool is my favorite, because it's hot outside. I cut one of the Peonies for the vase, because it too will fry on a hot day. Grrrr.

    Tulips here are hopeless--they always time their opening for a day that is too hot for them.

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    1. I had a brief - very brief - period of hope that the tulips might just make it, HB, but it was not to be.

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  11. You are a master of colour with flower arranging, superb as always!

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  12. What a shame to have spent the effort chilling those tulips only to have the weather overcome them at the end! Two fantastic vases though. I really love the orange toned one, as I don't grow any flowers like these at all.

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    1. Sadly, weather conditions will generally take out all but species tulips here, which bloom much earlier in the season when it's still cool. Perhaps, if the larger tulips delivered in error had been received much earlier than they were, I might have gotten them to bloom within the narrow window open to them but, in addition to the error in what they shipped, the supplier was very late with the shipment I'd submitted months in advance :(

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