Monday, November 29, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Flowers are in short supply

My flower supply is greatly diminished but I resisted falling back on my Grevilleas this week.  The Camellias are still plentiful but they shatter easily, especially when the air is as dry as it's been of late.  As I wandered my garden, I focused on foliage plants and looked for the odd flowers that might serve as accents.  One arrangement turned out better than I'd expected but the second was so disappointing I was tempted to throw the whole thing in the trash.

The first arrangement started with Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', which has colorful bracts that look almost like flowers.

Although the Leucadendron stems were my starting point, I think the single orchid stem placed in front did a lot to pull the whole arrangement together.  That Phalaenopsis has been blooming in my lath (shade) house for about 2 months now.

Back view: The coleus (now classified as Plectranthus scutellarioides) also pulled colors together

Top view:  The chartreuse color of the coleus led to the selection of the flowering bloom spikes produced by Mangave 'Bloodspot'

Clockwise from the upper left: Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', Mangave 'Bloodspot' bloom spikes, Phalaenopsis 'Balden's Kaleidoscope', Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Pineapple', and Prunus caroliniana

While I like each of the individual components of the second arrangement, they just didn't come together well.

Clockwise from the upper left are flowers of Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree), Pelargonium peltatum 'Dark Burgundy', Cyclamen 'Djix', and Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', shown with foliage of Centaurea 'Silver Feather'

Front view: The Centaurea foliage I've been in the process of cutting back was the starting point but I think it's better paired with larger flowers.  Even after I'd thinned the foliage and cut it down in size, it overwhelmed these flowers.

Back view: I should have picked longer stems of the Bauhinia and scrapped the short-stemmed Pelargonium and Cyclamen flowers

Sometimes the overhead view looks better than the other views of my arrangements but this wasn't one of those times

The Anemones in my cutting garden have sprouted foliage and the Ranunculus are just beginning to follow suit.  I planted plugs of foxgloves and snapdragons a month ago too.  However, nothing is anywhere near bloom stage yet.   In the void, succulents may make an appearance in my December IAVOM posts - or perhaps my arrangements will shrink to tiny dimensions for a time.  We'll see.

For a look at what other IAVOM contributors have come up with this week, visit our host, Cathy in Rambling in the Garden.



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

23 comments:

  1. Just can't express how much I love that first arrangement Kris! Massing the Leucadendron makes it quite impactful and the orchids are beautiful. The foliage colors and textures work so well.

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    1. I was completely surprised at how well that first arrangement came together, Susie :)

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  2. Love them both. The first is so exotic to me.

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    1. I don't imagine there are many Mangaves in the UK - or Leucadendrons for that matter, Sandra.

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  3. Both are beautiful, but with the first vase you really outdid yourself. It's an unusual in texture and colors. You were thinking outside of the box with this one and knocked it out of the park!

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    1. Thanks! As I think you've commented before, scarcity can promote creativity ;)

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  4. Love the colors. I try to find Silver Feather every time I see yours, no luck so far.

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    1. I love that silver foliage too, Amelia. I just wish I'd done better by it when selecting its companions.

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  5. The Leucadendron is a beautiful shade of purply red and I do love that first vase Kris. It has a kind of vintage feel to it. Love the airiness of the second one too!

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  6. The lack of rain has been hard on your garden, but don't despair, Kris, as you still have much more than we do here in the land of frigid temps! I think both of your arrangements are well-inspired. The first with the phalenopsis (brave of you to cut it!) pulling the burgundies and greens together, and the second vase reminds me of a modern dancer with a lace skirt. I like it!

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    1. I probably couldn't have brought myself to cut that Phalaenopsis if it hadn't already been blooming for a couple of months, Eliza. And I left a second blooming stem in place ;) I'm afraid I'm still grimacing at the second arrangement.

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  7. All the rich foliage colors and bold textures of the first arrangement make it quite luxuriant. And while I can barely imagine getting up the nerve to cut an orchid stem, they certainly add to the effect! I can see your issues with the second, but I think the color blend is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Amy. I liked the colors of the second one too. It's just the proportions of the materials that didn't work I think.

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  8. Fabulous rich colours. The Leucadendron 'Safari Sunrise'is amazing. How we yearn for plants we have no hope of growing!

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    1. Leucadendrons are amazing! But you have LOTS to beauties I can't even dream of growing.

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  9. I actually love the second arrangement!

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    1. Well, given the number of people who gave it a thumbs-up, Loree, I guess it's a good thing I didn't follow my inclination to throw it out. I find I'm still walking through the garden wondering what might make a more effective pairing with 'Silver Feather' ;)

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  10. Oh my goodness: gorgeous as usual. Your short supply is a palette of plenty. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Beth. Everything is relative but I know I'm luckier than those of you in colder climates (except when it comes to precipitation anyway).

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  11. Your first vase certainly proves how foliage can set of a single striking bloom - and the foliage itself is striking in colour and texture. It's interesting to consider the second one and why it disn't work as well as you would have liked - did you try removing the foliage altogether?

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    1. I started with the objective of using that foliage, Cathy, and, although I decreased its bulk in an effort to make the arrangement work, I didn't consider dispensing with it altogether as I'd intended to make it the focal point. Instead, I kept throwing more flowers at the problem, which was probably my biggest mistake.

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  12. I love the silver feathers - but you might have been happier if you had cut the single leaves shorter, to suit the proportions you wanted. It makes a gorgeous silver ruffle around the colourful flowers. That plant can be much too generous - sawed armfuls off mine yesterday!

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