Flowers from Yard to Vase - CA series

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I started a yard to vase series in the cut flowers and floral arrangement forum a couple of years ago. I thought it would be fun to do a California series so that I can see what other gardeners have blooming in their yards at the same time as mine. I donít have a lot of acreage to be able to devote a section of it to cut flowers. So, the plants that I choose to grow for cut flowers double as landscaping plants. I would love to see how you incorporate plants that are suitable for cut flowers in your garden environment and how you use the flowers and other materials in arrangements. The only rules are that the materials used are actually home grown. To start, my freesias have been blooming for a couple of weeks now. Here is the yard photo.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I normally leave the flowers out in the yard as long as possible to enjoy them outside, and just when they are about to go past their prime, I bring them in for arrangements. I tend to be more of the "just stick flowers in the vase" type of arranger, so I am optimistic that there are lots of creative arrangers out there who can give me some ideas from their yard.

Dianne

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

A closeup showing the four different colors that I have. I love the smell of freesias!

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No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

I love freesias, too, and yours are beautiful! I got mine planted a little late, but they are growing fine now and I hope I get blooms this year.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

My neighbors were enjoying them so much I could not cut them. But every year they double so next year I will cut half and leave half for the neighbors.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, KaperC. Once nice thing about living in Ca is that you can leave bulbs like freesia in the ground from year to year, so next year, you won't have to worry about planting them too late - they'll just come right back up.

WormsLovsharon - I like to enjoy the flowers while they are on the plants too - that's why I wait until the last few days when they are going to be fading anyway before picking them. I started out with a few from my sister and they multiplied too. Glad that yours are doing so well.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I am lucky to live in a zone that is just barely cold enough that peonies will grow. The tree peonies are the first to bloom. This is a single red one that is still pretty young. It is growing in the shade of a persimmon tree, but I have another one that is more out in the open and gets morning light.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

This particular variety is not really suitable for cut flowers, but since I knew the rains were coming tonight, I went ahead and cut one this afternoon. It will only last about 2 days.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

The next one to bloom is this double pink tree peony that I got quite a few years ago. I got it from Rite Aid - tagged name is Pink Tree Peony. But it has performed beautifully every year. I do have to keep the growth in check by cutting about a third of it's branches back every year once it got to be about 4-5 feet tall. The main drawback about peonies is that the bloom time only last about 7-10 days, but I definitely feel that it is worth it. Here is a photo of the whole tree about 5 days ago.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Two days later, all the blooms have opened.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

a closeup.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

This particular variety does do reasonably well in a vase. If you cut it when it is partially opened, the bloom will last about 4-5 days. About the same as if it was on the plant. The leaves do not last very long, so I use some leaves from a herbaceous peony. The problem with these large blooms is that the only way I know how to use them in a vase is to display single blooms. Suggestions, any one?

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Flower of the week is ranunculus. I have about 5 different colors scattered throughout the yard. I don't have a lot of land to do large color schemes, so I have color planters - a white planter for white flowers, a hot planter for hot colors and so on. Here is a photo of the yellow ranunculus in the hot planter.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

For the vase, I cut a little of all the colors that I have blooming so far. The whites were in full sun and bloom the earliest, while the salmon/rose color one in the center was in a very shady spot and was only just opening.

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No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Love those flowers. Have you ever seen the Carlsbad, CA Flower Fields? Almost, if not all, Ranunculus - I read somewhere it is 50 acres. They used to grow a beautiful US flag in the fields - I'll have to look for it this year.

http://www.theflowerfields.com/

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

How colorful and wonderful your flowers are. I grow dahlias but of course they come up later in the year. I bring in bearded iris too but leave the lilies in the garden. Perhaps I should bring in some of them this year. The roses I tend to leave on the bush - maybe you've inspired me to do some cutting. The only other cuttable flowers I grow are daffodils and they looks so wonderful in the yard I never cut them. I can see them from the windows at the back of the house so I get to enjoy them all the time they are up anyway. I love your peonies. I tried one but the flowers turned into furry balls and didn't open so I gave up. Some people cut clematis but I've never tried it.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, KaperC. I have never seen the Carlsbad Flower field. Will have to go someday.

Doss - it would be wonderful if you will bring cut some of your flowers and post them here. Remember, you can leave them in place until they are about to be past their prime and then cut - you will only lose a couple of days LoL. I am hoping that there are other Californians who will come out of the woodwork with their flowers and arrangements.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

My goal a few years ago was to have some kind of cut flower each week of the year. I love spring when there is so much in bloom that there are sometimes several plants that are blooming all at once. Here is a pink dogwood that is currently blooming.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I never considered using branches from this tree for arrangements until two years ago. It got taller than I wanted and I decided to lop off some of the branches. Being someone who hates to throw anything away, I decided to put them in a vase. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they last quite awhile in a vase. Here is the arrangement that I bought to work today. Since I spend a fair amount of time at work, I started bringing flowers in about 10 years ago. By having it in a public place, I am much more mindful of tossing out the flowers when it dies off. At home, I have been known to keep a vase of dead flowers for weeks.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Here's a closer photo of the tree branches.

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Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

Last year my friend put the red Japanese Maple branch tips we pruned off in a vase; they were gorgeous and lasted for quite a while!

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Imapigeon - did you take any pictures? I would love to see it.

Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

No---I was reminded of it when I was pruning my maple the other day, and it needs more work. So maybe I'll have some to do soon, and I'll take pix.
My early-spring almond prunings frequently go into a vase, and in the early summer I pick alstroemeria. I grow a whole bed that has multiple colors. I killed them for years, and suddenly they started growing for me.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Imagpigeon - do you find that some alstromerias do better than others? I have grown about 4 types, but there has only been 2 that was really robust and comes back every year. They bloom a little later in the season.

Dutch irises have been blooming for the past two weeks. I have them in various spots in the garden - the blue ones bloom first, then the white ones, followed by the yellow ones that are in the front yard in a more shaded area.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Here's a closer photo of the blue ones when they were in their prime.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

And here in a vase are the three colors that I currently have. Dutch irises make great cut flowers. Since they normally have two buds per stem, I would wait for the second bud to open and pinch of the wilted first bloom before I cut them for arrangements.

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No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Beautiful arrangement.

Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

My Dutch iris are done now, but I have this new one that I really like! No idea what its name is; I must have gotten it with a batch of bulbs last year....I don't remember ordering it, so maybe it was a freebie.

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Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

Yes, I definitely see differences in the vigor of alstroemerias. I've gotten several of mine as "seedling clusters" from Flowers and Greens. They're a great price, and it's always a fun surprise. I have bought some of the named varieties from him, too and they've all done pretty well.
http://www.buy-alstroemeria.com/alstro_cat.html
I also knocked on somebody's door last year and offered to trade him my white for his bright yellow, but he just gave it to me. I'm hoping it takes off this year.

My bearded iris are starting to bloom now. I occasionally cut them, but they don't seem to last long. Is that typical?

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Imapigeon - Bearded irises do typically only last a couple of days. But if you have multiple blooms, you can just pinch off the ones that are wilted while the new ones open up. By doing that, the vase will last about 3-4 days.

Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

Right now they're getting pounded by rain. I should probably bring some in where I can enjoy them for a little while!

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Be careful with the dark iris. When you have them in the house they can drip a dark color onto the surrounding table.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Doss - sounds like you have had that happen to you. Hope the color comes out OK.

White calla lilies are one of those plants that can bloom for months. Depending on how much sun they get, they can start blooming as early as January, and the ones that are in the shade are starting to bloom now. I have them scattered throughout my yard so that I can get an extended season of blooms. But, you do have to be careful where you plant them, because once they are there, they are hard to get rid up. Even a tiny plant part left behind will grow into a full plant.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

As common as these calla lilies are, I still think they are elegant and regal. They also have a nice fragrance, which is more evident when you bring the blooms inside.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Calla lilies are also very versatile and combines well with other flowers. Here it is with some Dutch Iris and white azalea.

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Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Love the callas soils. And they are very pretty combined with the dutch iris. Good job!!

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Doss.

I haven't posted in two weeks - not because there was not any flowers blooming, but because I dropped my camera two weeks ago and I think it died. I have been borrowing my daughter's camera, but it is not the same as having my own whenever the whim to take photos strikes me.

This yellow color is the last of my tree peonies to bloom. Out of the 6 tree peonies that I have, this is the only one in which the blooms hang down - kind of like Christmas ornaments. Possibly a Kinkaku.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I have it planted in the front of the house where it is slightly raised. From the sidewalk, you can kind of see the blooms. It is the plant in the middle of the photo.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

It is a shame that the flowers are not that visible, but it invites you to go closer and take a look. It is a beautiful bloom.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I have grown the yellow Iris pseudacorus for years. My sister gave me a start of it, and it has been spreading quite freely. I saw a white iris that was very similar to it several years ago, and I got some. Not sure if it is a Iris pseudacorus or not - the growth habit looks very similar, upright, about 3-4 ft tall, but the flowers of the white one has multiple blooms along the upper stem. Last week was it's prime blooming time.

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