Monday, July 5, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: My own kind of fireworks

We celebrated Independence Day in the US on Sunday.  Fireworks are a hallmark of the holiday but, over the years, exploding personal fireworks from June well into August has become an obsession in our area.  Despite the fact that brush is tinder dry in drought-plagued areas like ours.  And despite the fact that personal fireworks are illegal in our city and most of the surrounding cities.  As pandemic restrictions have eased dramatically, public displays supervised by fire department personnel are readily available this year and everyone from government officials to newscasters has made pleas to leave firework displays to professionals - to little avail.  Fireworks blasted away nearly continuously most of yesterday afternoon and we expect them to continue into the wee hours of Monday morning.  We just remain on guard and ride out the holiday, hoping for no serious mishaps nearby.

In spite of my annoyance with clueless neighbors, I had fireworks in mind when I selected flowers for "In a Vase on Monday" yesterday.  My first arrangement isn't red, white and blue but many of the flowers evoke images of fireworks.

The fuzzy orange flowers of Leonotis leonurus (aka lion's tail) inspired the arrangement.  The flowers front and center are Venidium fastuosum 'Orange Prince' (formerly Arctotis fastuosa).  I recently obtained 3 of these new-to-me plants by mail order and I love them.  They're already unavailable from the grower so I may have to try growing more from seeds.

Back view: I hadn't originally planned to add blue notes to the arrangement but decided I liked the effect

Top view

Top row: noID Agapanthus, Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', and Cuphea hybrid 'Vermillionaire'
Middle row: Delphinium 'Pacific Coast Hybrid', Lavandula angustifolia, and Leonotis leonurus
Bottom row: Leucanthemum x superbum, Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum', and Venidium fastuosum 'Orange Prince'
(Included but not shown in closeup are Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated' and Myrtus communis)

My second arrangement isn't red, white and blue either but it also contains some elements that may remind you of fireworks.

The first stem of pink Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus) was the inspiration but the firecracker-like flowers of Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' set the color scheme

Back view: Daucus carota 'Dara' just keeps on giving

Top view

Top row: hybrid Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Daucus carota 'Dara', and Origanum 'Monterey Bay'
Middle row: Fuchsia 'Deep Purple', Eustoma grandiflorum, and noID Pelargonium
Bottom row: Delphinium 'Pacific Coast Hybrid', Penstemon x gloxinioides 'Midnight', and Trachelium caeruleum

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



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


33 comments:

  1. Most eye catching! The first arrangement in particular: the purpler and orange are always a winning combination for me. A red white and blue arrangement is more suitable on the flag than a vase; I'm glad you didn't go that route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I generally don't use sharp color contrasts but I was pleased with the orange, white and purple-blue combination.

      Delete
  2. As you say, it seems downright irresponsible when everything is so dry - not usually a problem for the UK's Nov 5th fireworks! The leucanthemum in your first vase are brilliant to represent the star bursts of fireworks with the oranges and bright blues to back them up. And yes, I can see fireworks in the second vase but in a different way. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we were in the process of buying this house, our real estate agent claimed we were in for a treat with the Independence Day firework displays. It's true that we can see dozens of displays from distances near and far. We used to invite friends to see the show but it's gotten ridiculous over the years, sounding more like a war zone than a celebration. And given the dry conditions, it's a source of worry rather than joy.

      Delete
  3. Excellent floral fireworks! There was a ban announced last week on fireworks here, do to fire danger. While things were much quieter than a normal year there were still plenty of neighbors having fun blowing things up. I just don't understand...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fireworks start a month before the holiday and generally continue for weeks afterwards here. In the days nearing the holiday, they're going off mid-afternoon, which seems to miss the point. Were it safe (which it's most certainly not here), I might be able to understand a 30-minute display for family but shooting them off for hours and hours and hours just strikes me as monotonous and weird.

      Delete
  4. You are growing some really wonderful flowers, and your arrangements showcase these so nicely.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like these all the more that they evoke fireworks for the Fourth with a new slant on the color schemes. The oranges are great in that first arrangement set off so well by the blues. The shasta is really nice. Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That ruffled Shasta daisy is one of my favorite flowers. I wish I could find more of the plants locally. I think I'm going to have to resort to mail order.

      Delete
  6. Very evocative of fireworks. I have a very similar color scheme today like your first arrangement. Also just planted a couple of Leonitis leonurus. I think the white daisies really make the fireworks concept explode! I also have similarly clueless neighbors and had to tranquilize my spooky dog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The dogs suffer greatly here too, Amanda. The local NextDoor (neighborhood social media) site was awash in complaints and reports of runaway dogs today. As we hear "practice" fireworks for a good month before the holiday, I think my cat has gradually become desensitized to the noise. Or she's gone deaf...

      Delete
  7. Oh I hope that you enjoyed Independence Day Kris despite the behaviour of some inconsiderate and reckless neighbours. I don't think that fireworks should be available to the public at all. Beautiful displays as always. Your daucus looks as if it is on steroids compared to mine! I like the colour of your penstemon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denying fireworks to private purchasers would have my vote, Anna, but that's not a restriction that would ever be approved in the US. Keep in mind that we don't even effectively manage access to assault guns! I think my Daucus may indeed be on steroids - it's almost scary how vigorous it is.

      Delete
  8. Like the combos you came up with for the celebrations. I have several plants I grew from seed of the Leonitus so am hopeful they will flower. We were tinder dry here too for Canada Day and still had people setting off fireworks. Gotta shake your head sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a hard time grasping the appeal of setting off fireworks day after day, at all times of day, for literally weeks on end, Elaine, even if you take the heightened risk of setting one's own house, as well as neighbors' homes, afire out of the equation.

      Delete
  9. Orange and purple, a powerful combination. Great bouquet! The Leonotis does look like fireworks.

    Real fireworks have gotten out of hand in SoCal. Our country is becoming a free-for-all in some ways. It's very worrisome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really sounded like a war zone here last night, HB. It's not a holiday I look forward too any more.

      Delete
  10. Love all the orange in the first arrangement, especially the Cuphea and Venidium (which I've never heard of).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They may not be suitable to your climate, Jason. The Cupheas bloom year-round except when I cut them back hard. They're bee and hummingbird magnets too. I'd never heard of the Venidium myself until it was presented as a new offering by a mail order nursery I like. It's yet another plant described as an African daisy. I love the flower and its foliage reminds me of that of some poppies (most of which I can't grow).

      Delete
  11. The Leonotis defintely does look like a big firework, and the way you have arranged both vases does make for that firework display effect. Love the Cuphea too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people think the Leonotis flowers look like big hairy orange spiders, Cathy. I think the comparison to fireworks is a lot better!

      Delete
  12. I much prefer your type of fireworks. Your vases are always so exuberant. I think I will forever think of them as fireworks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty, long-lasting, and most importantly silent fireworks!

      Delete
  13. South Africa weirdly celebrates Guy Fawkes. Colonial history acceptable for fireworks.
    Much prefer the silent Leonotis feeding sunbirds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read an overview of the history surrounding Guy Fawkes Day in response to your comment, Diana. I was surprised to learn that the holiday was once also celebrated in the US before dying out by the 19th century. As the event seems to have its roots in suppression of religious belief, in addition to sedition against the British government in the early 17th century, it struck me as an odd thing to celebrate but then holidays often do take on a new coloration with the passage of time.

      Delete
  14. Perfect representation of fireworks, Kris. I'm sorry that so many people in your area are flaunting the law and risking catastrophe by setting off personal ones. Sometimes I despair at the apparent lack of thought or consideration of folks these days. Was it always this bad?
    I love Venidium, too, you can really get lost in those mandala-like eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember the persistent sense of entitlement we seem to encounter on a daily basis now. Eliza. The politicized polarization between groups also seems to have engendered a knee-jerk "I'll do as I please" mentality. I'm not a psychologist or a sociologist but my guess is that a lot of people are less connected to the community of real people around them and more connected to the amorphous false community provided by social media, which seems to be heavily populated by trolls...

      Delete
    2. You might well be right. It certainly feels like there is a huge disconnect out there.

      Delete
  15. Safer and just as spectacular fireworks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if only the general population would switch to this kind of fireworks!

      Delete
  16. Your flower arrangements do remind me of fireworks! I must plant ‘Dara’ next year! I have both the purple and blue form of Trachelium caeruleum in my garden. I planted them from Annie’s nearly one year ago, and the purple form bloomed immediately although it was a small plant, but the first blooms of the blue form appeared this summer and are tall, abundant, and impressive. How long have you had yours? Do you cut it back and then it returns? Annie’s website states that it self sows. What is your experience? Thank you, Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Trachelium were planted around the same time as yours and came from the same source; however, the purple form quickly died out here. (It was in a particularly dry spot and clearly needed more water.) My blue variety is still relatively small. I've never seen any sign of self-sowing when I've grown these previously. The blue form, which I've grown before, was relatively short-lived for me.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!