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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
They don't last very long in a vase, but if you pick off the spent blooms daily, there is enough new ones opening up so that it is presentable for about 3 days. The coloring of the yard photo is much more representative of the true color. I had to use a flash for this photo and it washes out the color.
Ima - I probably would grow a few more bearded irises if I had more space. As it stands, I only have a couple of each variety of plants so that I can get the different bloom times throughout the year. If you lived closer, you are certainly welcomed to my extras. LoL
Roses are the staple of many gardens, so I had to have a few. I like this shrubby one because it has a profusion of flowers now, another flush in the fall, and a sprinkling of blooms in the 6 months inbetween. I don't know what kind it is - I saw it in a friend's garden, took a cutting, and it rooted.
Since I like to keep my plants in check, cutting flowers for arrangements is a great way to prune and deadhead. The drawback of this plant is that it is quite thorny, and you have to wear gloves to handle the branches. I learned the hard way and got badly scratched the first time I tried this. I like the varying shades of reddish-coral color.
Mrs. Colla - nice flower bed. I think I recognize papaver, digitalis, and coreopsis. What are the others?
I often cut the flowers too when I know a rain is coming, or strong wind, that is going to demolish the flowers if left outside.
I tried an experiment last year with picking peonies when they were about golf-ball to base-ball size, stripped the leaves, wrapped and refrigerated them for 2 weeks to delay the blooming time. Though obviously not as good as freshly picked, it was acceptable.
These in the vase are freshly picked, and I took the photo outside because the coloring is so much more natural.
This one is slightly out of sequence. My last bird of paradise bloom is fading now. They start blooming around Feb, and continues to the end of May. Those of you in Southern California probably consider these weeds, LoL, but here in northern CA where they can freeze back if not planted in a protected area, I do treasure mine.
Christie - Marin may just not be cold enough for the peonies. I have a friend in SF who gave me 4 of hers because they never bloomed for her - and they did OK here. I am just on the edge of being able to plant them. You may want to try tree peonies - they need less winter chill, and they are great plants too.
I also like to collect vases - I get most of mines from thrift stores and garage sales. And my second most favorite vases are discarded laboratory ware - I work in UC Davis and when things get obsolete and labs need to get rid of stuff, I try to save some of the more interesting glassware.
Asiatic lilies are the first of the lilium family to bloom here. I have grown a variety of them, and they come and go, some stay for a few years, some only for one season. I grew some without the stamens, but they petered out after two years. This Lollipop one has had the longest staying power - maybe 5 years now?
For all you vase people, I just discovered something real fun!
My man and boy had drawn on a little glass vase for mothers day, but it washed off.
Now I discovered Pebeo glass paint! It comes in actual paint, that you can apply with brushes, sponges or stamps, or markers.
They allow light through either transparent or translucent.
For a opaque look, try the porcelain paint.
You air dry it for 24 to 36 hours, than put it in your oven, turn the heat to 300 degrees for 30 or 35 minutes, and then turn the oven off and let it cool.
You can put it in the dish washer, microwave and all!
I am going to paint!!
Soils, I have tree peonies, and only one bloomed, with 1 bloom, after years. Maybe they need more sun than what they have... If I dig them up, would you want mine?
Your lilies look great soils. I've had dwindling lilies too. Most of them are pretty weak and spindly after only a couple of years. They must want winter cold to do well. I looked it up on the web and it's pretty clear that they want a winter chill period. Guess we have to grow them like annuals the same as we do with our tulips.
Hey, it sounds like there should be a Round Up for Northern California where you could all bring stuff to trade. From Gilroy, Watsonville, Sacramento, Marin, etc areas you could all get together. California is such a large, long state, it is unreasonable to expect one Round Up could service everyone and pretty much everyone at our RU is from Southern California (with some AZ regulars). Just a thought.
About 4 years ago, one DGer did host a couple of roundups in Stockton. I don't know if she is still an active member. But, yes, it would be great to have a northern CA roundup. I got rid of a bunch of white gingers and Amaryllis belladonnas that year, and was happy to see them go to good homes. It was held in the fall - a great time for dividing perennials. In a year or two, I should have a who bunch of dahlias to share too.
Thanks. The purple plant is Verbena bonariensis or Upright Verbena. The rose is called 'Sexy Rexy'. I'll definitely post a picture of the garden shot later today when I have access to my photos.
I also got the water meter installed last summer and I'm waiting for the metering to kick in. I'm a little nervous about it, to be honest. I try to conserve water in the garden and I think I do a pretty good job at it. But I'm definitely guilty of using more than my share of water for the morning shower.
That's interesting - I am only familiar with the trailing verbenas. It is nice to know that there are some upright ones. I don't have a lot blooming now, except for the lilies, so that would be a nice addition for this time of the year. That was one of the goals of this thread - to learn! So thanks for introducing me to a new plant.
One of the lilies blooming now is my Pink Perfection trumpet lily. This one is a great multiplier.
And here it is in a vase. They are great cut flowers with very strong stems. I added some leatherleaf fern for the greenery. It is in front of a painting where I work of fauna and flora from one of the early ages. The leatherleaf fern grows without any care - just have to cut off some of the old fronds periodically. It is in the shade in the rear of one of my beds. Divides well too.
I got back from a week in the Los Angeles area and found my Easter lilies in full bloom. That was a nice surprise. I used to collect Easter lilies from my church and put them in the yard after the blooms died. They may last a couple of years, and then die off. My sister came across one bunch 5 years ago that was a terrific grower and bloomer - she had one stalk with over 20 blooms, and must have had 20 bulblets around it. She has been dividing that patch, and gave me some last year. I am hoping that they will be perpetual bulbs for me too.
I am normally a just stick the flowers in a vase type of person, but here is my attempt to be artistic. LoL. Easter lilies, gardenias, a white calla that is a summer bloomer (as opposed to the larger, white calla lilies that blooms in early spring), peony and watsonia leaves.
Thanks!! Are you going to go to Annie's in the next few days? I wish I lived close enough to take advantage of their 20% off sale that is going on now. The prices at the nursery itself is less than the catalog price, so making a personal visit is really worth it. I spent over $50 last month when I had my daughter take a side trip to Richmond on her way to San Francisco.
Christie - I looked at all the plants in pots that I have yet to plant, and said NO, I will not order. It was much harder to say no to Santa Rosa Gardens special - 18 perennials, their choice, minimum worth of about $50, all for $19.99. Even with $9.99 shipping, it would have been a bargain. But...in the end, I was good.
Here is a photo of what I normally do with the Easter Lilies.
Summer is here, and lots are in bloom. But, the advent of the heat also signals the end of many others. I have been wanting to post this calla for a long time - Green Goddess. My sister got this from that last roundup that I mentioned earlier. I did not get one because I had purchased pot from a plant sale earlier that year. Not all Green Goddess are created equal - hers thrived, and mines languished. She gave me a couple of offshoots and they have done really well. Here is a garden shot in March.
This plant rivals any that I have for the longest blooming season. My sister picked some for a bouquet at Christmas, and I picked the last of the blooms of the season just 5 days ago. There was always a few opened at any one time, and lasts over a week in the vase. Paired with leaves from the cast iron plant - another great foliage plant, carefree and grows in full shade - in my case, under a nectarine tree and gets watered about every two weeks.
I love flowers with fragrance, and gardenias fit perfectly into this category. It is one of those plants that seem to burst out into bloom overnight. This bush was about 6 feet tall last year, and I trimmed it back to a more manageable 4-5 feet.
and a close-up. I think it was desertpirate who suggested this sequence of photographing plants??? Maybe I got it the opposite - closeup, medium shot, and then the whole plant? The main blooming flush is over, but I will get some blooms for at least another month or so.
I have grown about 3-4 different alstromerias during the last 10 years. A couple have been totally wimpy and was too short to be used as cut flowers, and some have performed beautifully. This particular yellow orange one is very vigorous, and needs to be kept in check to prevent it taking over when you plant it in a spot where it is happy. But, it produces an abundance of blooms for almost 2 months. My sister gave me a clump of this about 5 years ago. This photo was taken at the end of May.
Here it is in a vase. Some of the stems can get up to 3 feet tall, and are quite sturdy. The peak of the blooms are over, but there are still about 6-7 stalks with unopened buds. The coloring goes really well with the colors of the walls in my workplace - this is the landing on the second floor where I put many of the arrangements.
Here is my attempt last year to try and restrict the spreading of the alstromeria. I got some plastic with holes that I hope is small enough to prevent the tubers from crossing through, and put it in about 8 inches deep. The barrier contained it enough so that I did not have to thin out in the fall - seems to be holding up OK. To the side and the rear of the alstromeria clump where there was no barrier, I still had to dig and toss.
Flower of the week (week 27) - this is another great perennial - Stokesia - low maintenance, unaffected by any pest, grows at a perfect pace - fast enough for me to divide if someone asks for an offshoot, but not so fast that I can leave it alone for several years; stays at a nice height since it dies back every year.
The plant was at it's peak a couple of weeks ago, but as I normally like to leave the flowers out in the yard as long as possible, I did my cutting this week. I don't have a photo for this year, but here is one from before.
Thanks, Gardensox. They call me the "flower lady" at work. It is really gratifying when they say that they look forward to seeing what is new when they come up the stairs. And I get to enjoy them too, and being in a public place, I am reminded to toss them out when they wilt. The green goddess calla lily is going on it's third week and still looks good.
Do you want some white butterfly ginger? I am thinning down to one small bed. They have sprouted about a foot, but still should be transplantable.
Wow- I have enjoyed this journey through the blooming season with all your flowers! My yard is literally bare so I am researching all sorts of plants and flowers- yours helped give me some great ideas. I just wish I could get peonies to grow here- they are one of my favorites and yours are so beautiful!
thanks for posting :-)
Thanks, wendallyn. I am lucky to live in a zone where I can grow peonies. The bloom time is really short, but it is definitely worth the effort to grow them. I moved into my present home in 1989 - it was fully landscaped (typical green shrubs) and most of the plants died in the freeze we had in the early 1990's. So, I was able to start with a new slate, and was able to put in the plants that I wanted - mostly perennials, bulbs, and annuals that reseed. I did not want the constant chore of having to replant annuals. I wanted cut flowers on a year round basis, so that became one of my most important criteria. Now that I am cutting back on the lawn, I am looking for drought tolerant low-growing plants for the lawn replacement.
I used to have a lot of gladiolus...but through the years, they have all succumbed to thrip infestations. Leaves and flowers were all deformed, and since I do not like to spray, I pretty much just dug them all up. I left this one patch, and last year, it bloomed, and the flowers were fairly healthy. Kept my fingers crossed, and it was OK this year too.
The coloring goes nicely with the rose behind it. I finally got an ID on that mystery rose that I started from a cutting from a friend's yard. I was down in southern CA this past weekend and visited the rose garden at the Huntington Library. Saw a rose very much like mine, and the name on that rose was Margo Koster. The owner of the original bush also asked a couple of rose experts that she knew, and the expert confirmed that it is a Margo Koster, circa 1931. I posted a photo of this rose in May, and it is still going strong in July. Here is the combo of the two in a vase. I grow cannas for one reason - the leaves make great greenery.
Flower of the week for week 29 - Crocosmias!! These flowers are unpredictable - they grow like weeds in some places, and die off in others. There were two spots that I originally planted them in - they have disappeared from those two places. This photo is actually my ginger patch, but somehow, a few corms of the crocosmia must have gotten included, and they have taken over - in a good way.
They make lovely bouquets - so all the crocosmias that I have popping up in odds and ends places, I just pull them up to give away. Many people ask for some when they see the arrangements. One of the easiest flowers to grow.
Flower of the week for week 30 - Lion's tail, Leonotis leonorus. I had two of these plants from years ago - one I left in a pot, and the other I put in the ground. The one I put in the ground died after a year (never did figured out why), and I wasn't sure where to put the one in the pot to prevent it from following that same fate. It languished for several years in a pot, and then I said, What the heck, I need to get it into the ground. It thrived once I moved it, and has been growing strong for the last 4 years. This yard photo is from a month ago when it is starting to bloom.
Close up of the blooms. I cut the shrub back hard in the winter to keep the plant around 4 feet tall. They do form seeds and I have found some in a plant growing in a public garden, but for some reason, my plant did not form any seeds that I can find last year. I cut off a few stems earlier this spring and stuck them in several moist areas of the yard. They are still alive, so I am assuming they have rooted. I will have to remember to check them soon to see if that is the case.
Did not take any new photos of this plant this year, but since this is a plant that is not commonly found in nurseries, but is easy to take splits from, and it is kind of neat, I wanted to post it here in this series. Francoa ramosa - I got a split of it from a friend in San Francisco years ago - it likes the shade. I transplanted one into a sunny area this year, and it did not like it.
Flower of the week for week 32 - I have one patch of yellow echinacea and a patch of black eye Susan. I have a hard time telling them apart - my excuse is that they are in the same family. These have a really long blooming period. This is the yellow echinacea - or so I was told when I was given the plant. It has gotten huge.
Week 33 - this is an old standby from the yards of my childhood days - Amaryllis belladonna, aka naked lady. The summers are dry here in my zone, and this is one plant that will survive without hardly any summer water (but it will grow just fine with watering too). So, you see this popping out in neglected corners of many yards. In the photo of the yellow echinacea, you can see the naked ladies peeping out from behind. Here's a photo from another patch in the yard where you can see the bare stems. In this photo, they are growing under the shade of a cherry tree; in the photo above, they are growing out in the open and take the hot afternoon sun. A very versatile and easy plant to grow.
And here is the vase shot. The stems can get over 3 feet tall. Wonderful subtle fragrance too. Disease free, no summer water, only draw back is when you split it and give it to someone, it may take several years to bloom. You have to tell them to be patient, and it will bloom and once it blooms, it will come back reliably every year. But it greens up during Oct/Nov and adds greenery when other perennials die back. Anyone in the Sacramento area who wants some, let me know.
I started off a few years ago with just 1 dahlia plant, a border type. Then I got 8 in 2009, and am up to about 28 this year. For me that is a lot, but for other dahlia lovers out there, that is a drop in the bucket. I made a new dahlia bed this year, and this is the first batch to bloom. From left to right - Robin Hood,Fool's gold, Kasasagi (a pom pom type), Karma Choc. In the rear right is Camano Ariel.
Had just a little time this morning for the arrangement so did not do anything fancy. Here are the 4 of the dahlias. Fool's gold is a lot bigger and did not go well with the others so I left it out. One trick I learned is after cutting the dahlia stems, is to put them in about 2-3 inches of boiling water and leave them there until the water cools. That is supposed to extend the life of the blooms. This is the first time I tried it, so will have to see how long the blooms last. Any one out there tried this technique?
I have been on the road these last two weeks, but here is a photo of the Japanese anemone blooming at this time of the year last year. I have two types of Japanese anemones - this purplish pink one is the first to bloom. This variety do get invasive in my garden, so I do a lot of "weeding" several times a year to get rid of excess plants.
And the vase shot. These flowers do have a long vase life. In the planter in the background, you can see one of those stray purple japanese anemones that I have been trying to get rid of from that planter.
They can get over 8 feet tall. The Pennhill Dark Monarch dahlia is about 6 feet tall, the swamp hibiscus (with the red flowers) is about 8-9 feet tall, and some of the white Japanese anemones get right up there. I like how they add a lacy look to the garden. When I was out in upstate New York a couple of weeks ago, these white Japanese anemones were in full bloom in many of the gardens out there. Looks like it is a fall favorite back East.
And, especially because it is the first day of fall, I wanted to celebrate with a vase of flowers at work.
Mostly Karma Bon Bini, with a few Camano Ariel, Fool's Gold, and one Karma Chocolate in the back.
And here it is in a vase. Aphids are often a problem with my sedums, and if I see signs of them, I would dunk the flower heads in a bucket of sudsy water and that tends to loosen and drown the aphids. Then I would rinse them off with clear water, and then put them in a vase. Nothing more distracting than a flower head full of black aphids.
Flower of the week 41 - it is a little too hot to grow gingers here that do not have tattered looking leaves. Here is the white butterfly ginger - Hedychium coronarium. It is blooming a lot later this year than last year. It gets afternoon shade, but is still sunburned.
But, it cleans up very nicely if you just cut the brown parts off and clear the leaves from the top part of the bloom. The smell is wonderful - and that is one of the main reasons why I continue to grow it. You can smell it from far away. Cycad leaves fill in the rear.
Week 42 - A repeat of two long bloomers. The yellow-orange alstromeria and peach dahlia. This variety of alstromeria does tend to spread easily, and I have to hack it back every year. But the bloom season is so long, and the stems are so sturdy, that it is one of my staples. It starts to bloom in May, with sporadic blooms until now. The peach dahlia is one that I have had for quite a few years, but noticed that it was dwindling in size and vigor. I found out that even though dahlias do not need to be lifted here because the ground does not freeze, it needs to be divided regularly so that they don't get overcrowded. Pictured here is the dahlia in July. It is still has a few blooms now.
In the spring of this year, I noticed that the tubers were pushed out of the soil. I had to do something so I finally dug it up, after about 5 years. I was amazed at the massiveness of the tubers - had to use a wheelbarrow to put them in LoL. I got over 30 splits from them - and gave them to everyone I knew. Kept 4 for myself. The irony of it is that I replanted a few in the original spot, but it died later on in the summer.
I currently have 4 different gingers - three I grow for the flowers, one is for the leaves. Flower of the week for week 43 is Hedychium gardnerianum - I like this one better than the white butterfly ginger. I have them in three spots, and they all bloom at slightly different times. Some as early as September, some as late as the end of November.
The third ginger is "Dr. Moy." I had it for 4 years, and it grew beautifully vegetatively, but never bloomed. I was on the verge of digging it all out and giving up. I gave some away a few years ago, and it bloomed in that spot the next year. It was sunnier there, so it never bloomed before because it was too shaded at my house. I have since moved some out to another patch in my front yard, and it is just starting to bud. Will try a third sunnier location for it next year and hopefully will have some blooms to pick.
You have such pretty flowers and make such great arrangements! I love your dahlia one especially! And that white ginger is just gorgeous! All of them are great. Thanks for posting them all. I love flowers!
Funny, I have a lot of flowers growing but never pick them for inside yet I buy flowers at least once a week if not more! I hate to pick them for some reason!
I was interested in what you said about your gingers. I have what now is a huge clump taking over way too much of my rose garden. Especially since it has never bloomed! I thought it got lots of sun but maybe it doesn't! So is that the usually reason they do not bloom? Gingers are dangerous around here for they do spread out of control. Mine I kept in a 5 gallon pot but I am sure it has escaped and is now running rampant. I need to get it out soon. I so wanted to see blooms though before I offed it But it has been in the ground 4 years so I guess I am dreaming that it will bloom.
I have an incredibly variegated one too, probably Dr. Moy but hyper variegated. I kept it in a big pot but that has never bloomed either. It is busting out of its pot. I am about to off that one too. It doesn't look too good anymore it is so root bound. And I do not have room to up it to a bigger pot if it does not bloom. It grows too fast too to keep in a pot..
Kell - thanks so much for your kind words. I am on the frugal side LoL - that is why I try to grow my own flowers.
Do you know what kind of ginger you have? The Dr. Moy is a Hedychium and they are supposed to have fragrant flowers. This is the leaf of the Dr. Moy. As you can see - a really healthy specimen, but no blooms. This is the one that flowered when moved to a sunnier location. But I have also read that gingers like a lot of fertilizer (can't remember what percentages of the NPK at the moment) - and I fertilize at best once a year, most times, every other year. So, maybe some gingers are more finicky in that respect than others?
But, I count the Alpinia as one of my "cut" flower plants because the leaves do make good arrangements. In my zone, they survive most winters so I would cut the leaves and make an arrangement in a week when I don't have any other flowers in bloom. This one was a mid-December arrangement. They last over 2 weeks in a vase.
I remember when Alpinia zurumbet first was available all over! I had a huge one that had so much yellow! So very dramatic. I am trying to remember what happened to it. I think it took over in its area and as I recall it lost a lot of that yellow and became somewhat boring. I am pretty sure I dug it out. It never flowered. And again, I think I may have had it in too much shade. I so need a new yard. LOL
My Dr. Moy is very variegated. I meant to get a shot of it today. It has lots of white which is what got me to buy it in the first place. I love anything variegated.
I really cannot remember which ginger is planted in front. It is plain green and very robust. Too robust.
How cute your vase matches the color in the leaves.
Around here now I see succulents in a lot of arrangements. They look so good! And I assume you can plant the succulents when you are done with the arrangement and then get plants!
Kell - do you mean that they use live succulent plants and pot them up in an arrangement-like fashion?
New week - new plant. This is a tall blue aster that I got from a fellow gardener in Sacramento a few years ago. I was happy that it blooms late fall when not too much is blooming. It does get rather tall, and I do have to provide some support for it. Easy to grow, spreads somewhat, but easily pulled out and given away.
The thorn-less white rose was blooming too, so I said, what the heck, and added that. I like the blue and white combo. And if you look closely, you will see some Tulbaghia fragrans thrown in. That is another great winter bloomer.
This is one plant that I posted in July, along with some crocosmias, and was very surprised that it had a second flush of bloom, 4 months later. Leonotis leonorus - lion's tail. This extended Indian summer has extended the blooming season for some, and accelerated the blooming for my jonquils.
Flower of the week for week 47 - Nerine bowendii - I was so glad I discovered this plant about 6-7 years ago. It is a reliable fall bloomer. It has not mulitplied as much as I would like it to, but then again, it has not died off either. So, from my original purchase of 12 bulbs, I added about 8 more this year. I have them growing in 3 spots, and it blooms anywhere from mid-October to the end of November. Here is the darker pink one out in the yard. They are a cheerful spot in an otherwise mostly dormant garden.
and the vase shot. I have two types - a lighter pink and the darker pink. The lighter one tends to bloom a little earlier. Last week, I bought two red ones, Nerine sarniensis, from the botany department in the university I work in, and am excited about that. That is another winter bloomer, and goes dormant in the summer. I have never seen it for sale before.
I found your series interesting to read. I'm transitioning to growing more flowers that I can use as cut flowers. Wanted to put some of my vase collection to better use! At this point, however, most of my gardening is done in various sized containers, so I won't be growing the large bushes, trees, and shrubs. I'm also planning on focusing more on fragrant flowers of various colors. It's fun to hear about what others are growing. Thanks for sharing!
By the way, if you plan to post more in the series, I'd love it if you could describe your arrangements a little more (colors, size of flowers/stalks, etc). I'm blind, so I can't see the pictures. But any descriptive details help me appreciate the arrangements more, even if I can't see them :) Thanks!