Monday, August 2, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Dreaming of Autumn

It's most definitely still summer, although I can't help dreaming that autumn is just around the corner.  It's been warmer this past week and humidity has been running higher than normal, making the heat more unpleasant.  Traditionally, Southern California has been known for its dry heat but it seems that, like so many weather trends, that may be a thing of the past.  Our temperature hit 90F (32C) for a time yesterday afternoon but, as summers go, it hasn't been bad here thus far.  (In contrast, the inland valleys are seeing much higher temperatures.)  However, it's still very dry.  My collected rainwater is long gone and, realistically, we won't see rain until late October or November.  I have to think twice before I water anything given the need to conserve water state-wide.  

My first arrangement this week is a mixture of spring and summer flowers.  One of the Hippeastrum bulbs I planted in my front garden last fall surprised me with a bloom last week.  I grew these bulbs in the ground in my former garden with no difficulty but I've had a hard time getting them established in my current garden.  When I didn't see any blooms this spring, I thought I was out of luck again but perhaps the bulb just needed extra time to settle in.  I hope this success signifies that I've finally found the right spot for them.

Hippeastrum are commonly referred to as Amaryllis even by bulb sellers, but they're a different genus than the true Amaryllis, although both are part of the Amaryllidaceae family.  This one is 'Zombie'.  I inadvertently managed to break one of the flowers off the main stem so I popped it into a tiny vase.

The back view is dressed up with Zinnia 'Queen Lime Orange', grown from seed

The top view shows off strawflowers (Xerochrysum bracteatum) grown from a single seedling received as a gift from blogger friend Denise of A Growing Obsession.  She gave me four seedlings but the rabbits apparently ate the three I planted in a backyard bed.

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Hippeastrum 'Zombie', Leucadendron 'Jester' (pale pink rather than red as it's planted in shade), Xerochrysum bracteatum, and Zinnia elegans 'Queen Lime Orange'

My second arrangement is channeling an autumn mood with colors of red, gold and brown.  The centerpiece is a new-to-me Echibeckia, which is an intergeneric hybrid of Echinacea and Rudbeckia.

I bought the Echibeckia 'Summerina Orange' on a whim a few weeks ago

Back view, filled out with a couple of stems of Leonotis leonurus

Top view, showing off the feathery plumes of Pennisetum 'Rubrum', which are only just beginning to make their annual appearance in my garden

Clockwise from the upper left: Echibeckia 'Summerina Orange', Lantana 'Lucky Orange', Leonotis leanurus, Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', Plectranthus scutellariodes 'Pineapple' (aka coleus), and a prop celebrating summer harvest season

As usual, last week's most presentable leftovers went into a small vase to brighten our kitchen island.

Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus), Tanacetum parthenium, and Leucadendron 'Jubilee Crown' all have long vase lives

For more IAVOM posts, visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



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

26 comments:

  1. I love the soft colors in your first vase. Great surprise to have the Hippeastrum rebloom. The Echibeckia is cool and I love that coleus color. Have a good week.

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    1. This particular Hippeastrum was originally in a pot and bloomed in January 2020. I planted it in a garden bed last fall along with 2 others. I kept a 4th bulb in a pot and it also surprised me, blooming about a month ago on a very short stem. I'm planning to transplant that one and all the other Hippeastrums I currently have in pots into positions in the garden this fall in the hope they'll start blooming on an annual basis without the coddling that the potted bulbs require.

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  2. Delle bellissime composizioni! Molte piante qui sono delle annuali. Ho provato a renderle perenni senza riuscirci :O

    Buona settimana :)

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    1. Thanks Gabriel. I am hoping I can get the Hippeastrum to naturalize but I have had limited success with that here so far, even though I managed to accomplish that in my former garden. The Echibeckia is an experiment too - it may not get enough water here to be happy in the long term.

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  3. I am also dreaming of autumn, Kris. Sounds like our temperatures are about the same. My smaller plants are wilting daily and I am wondering how many times they can wilt before death! Love the peachy colors - I am having similar difficulties with Hippeastrum. It seems to flower every third year. The colors in the second one are wonderful. And very autumnal and cooling! Labor Day in four weeks!

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    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Labor Day really meant the end of summer, Amelia? ;) Our temperature slipped above 90F yesterday and it's slightly higher yet this afternoon but at least our humidity came down substantially today. I don't know how you manage with the humidity in Florida!

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  4. You're definitely channeling autumn vibes this week, Kris. The orange theme fits perfectly. I don't blame you wanting to push toward more comfortable weather, the west is definitely getting hammered this summer.
    In contrast, for a change, we're having a nice spell of cool, dry weather this week, but the heat/humidity will return by the weekend. It ain't over yet! ;)

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    1. SoCal, or more specifically coastal SoCal, has gotten off easier than either the PNW or NorCal thus far, Eliza. While a friend in an inland valley (where I grew up) experienced a high of 106F today, we peaked at 94F this afternoon and, unless I'm suffering from a mental lapse, we haven't even had a temperature of 100F yet.

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  5. You've got some beauties in those vases, Kris. I too am dreaming of autumn and am so happy we are now in August. Today, finally, with temps in the 80s I was able to spend several hours outside doing some much needed yard maintenance. It was still hot but at least bearable. We are 5" above normal on our rainfall and everything is lush. This is very unusual and so far there is no sign of the normal brown grass in August. Wish I could share some of it with you.

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    1. I wish you could too, Barbara! Getting by on 4 inches of rain since the start of the current "water year" last October 1st isn't easy. Even large sections of my creeping thyme are dying :( I'm glad your temperatures have cooled a bit. It's looking as through we have to wait for the weekend for temperatures to come down here.

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  6. There is something totally refreshing about the way you use colour, and arrange your flowers. Having three vases to view is a sheer indulgence!

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    1. I'm scraping the barrel a bit for flowers at the moment, Noelle, still waiting for my dahlias to pop.

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  7. Not ready for autumnal colors yet, but very ready for autumnal night time temperatures. Still in the mood for color like your last-weeks-leftovers.

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    1. I was expecting more of those cool blues in the garden this week, HB, but it looks like the native aster that's taken over one bed is turning dry and crispy before my eyes. I'm planning to dig it up this fall but I thought I'd let it have a final floral blast first.

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  8. Do have access to other water suppliies for your garden, Kris? I know some bloggers in the US have a well. Do you have water meters to help control usage? I am not sure the zinnias are needed in th first vase as the front view looks perfect as it is, and I am most intrigued by the echibeckias in the second one - how do they compare to the two separate species?

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    1. Wells are more common in rural areas than an area like Los Angeles, Cathy. My sister-in-law in Northern California has a well and so far she's fine but the sad news is that many wells, especially in Central California, are also going dry as aquifers shrink. The state is currently seeking a voluntary 15% reduction against last year's usage level but, as I'd continued to keep my water use down even after the earlier restrictions were lifted in 2016, I can't manage another 15% cut without letting some plants die so I'm just cutting use whenever and wherever I can. Frankly, I think the state should be taking a harder look at the flagrant abusers (like the so-called "wet prince of Bel Air" who reportedly used 11.8 million gallons of water in one year during the 2015-16 drought) rather than asking for a flat reduction per household but I'm at risk of getting into a rant here...

      The Echibeckia looks more like a Rudbeckia than an Echinacea to me and I hope it behaves more like one as Rudbeckias have a better chance of surviving more than a single season in my garden than Echinaceas.

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  9. ..."channeling an autumn mood" got my attention. Not only for the most favorable name of this arrangement, incorporating my favorite season, but also for the orang-rust-chartreuse combo. Gorgeous and striking!

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    1. Thanks! Our cool season, stretching from late September/early October through late March/early April, is my favorite. My hope for both cooler temperatures and the prospects of rain increases with each day in September.

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  10. I really like the colors in these arrangements! All of them, but especially Hippeastrum 'Zombie.' That is truly lovely!

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    1. I'm very fond of 'Zombie' myself and I hope all that all of those bulbs will eventually naturalize in my garden.

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  11. Lovely peachy colours in the first vase and the second really does look like autumn! Interesting to see the Echibeckia which I hadn't heard of before. It is very autumnal here too… cool and rainy/stormy with the wild cherry already shedding a few leaves and turning yellow and red.

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    1. I'm eagerly awaiting our first rainstorm, Cathy, although realistically we're not likely to see one until November. It was very warm this past week but our marine layer is back this morning, cooling things down at least through the weekend, for which I'm grateful.

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  12. The arrangement with the Hippeastrum flowers is gorgeous and I rather like the accompanying single flower. We're headed back up to the 100 mark later this week...ugh.

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    1. Sorry Loree! Meanwhile, it's turned almost cold down this way with the return of the morning marine layer. This brief flirtation with "Fogust" won't last but it's still remarkable to me that we've had cooler temperatures than you've had in Portland this summer thus far.

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  13. Both beautiful vases Kris. Echibeckias are a new one on me too - did you buy it as a plant or grow from seed? The pennisetum is a brilliant companion. Autumn seems upon us too - cooler temperatures, windy and wave after wave of torrential rain which I only wish I could send in your direction 😄 I t's been impossible to get out in the garden for a few days now.

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    1. I bought the Echibeckia as a full-grown plant, Anna. Having a relatively poor record in growing both Echinaceas and Rudbeckias, I wouldn't chance the frustration of growing it from seed, if seed is even available yet. As to the weather, it seems that Mother Nature is delivering rain in deluges or not at all. I'm sad to say that climate change is no joke.

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