Monday, February 1, 2016

In a Vase on Monday, Aloha Pepeluali!

This week's "In a Vase" creation...

Was inspired by the fact my pass-along Schlumbergera truncata (from my friend Peter, the Outlaw) is blooming for the first time. I needed something fun and tropical to join it on the dining table...

Elements in the arrangement include a pair of Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) leaves...

A half-dozen magenta spikes with blue berries from a Mahonia gracilipes.

A few not-yet-purple berry spikes from Mahonia x media 'Charity'.

A couple cuttings from Ludisia discolor (rooting them for a friend).

And finally, a piece of Saxifraga urbium ‘Aureopunctata'.

My goal was to come up with something vaguely Carmen Miranda-esque for my vintage Shawnee pottery head vase. Oh wait, look at that! There are Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' 'Jester' (thanks to Kris for catching my error) branches in there too! Yes, also from my garden...although it's a plant I recently purchased (at Cistus) that's still in it's nursery pot.

The Saxifraga acts like a nice big flower, even though it's green.

And the Ludisia discolor adds drama.

This was a very difficult arrangement to photograph, if the black Orchid leaves read well then the light colors of the Leucadendron were completely washed out. If you could see the coloring of the Leucadendron leaves then the Orchid leaves were like a black hole.

I took advantage of a break in the rain and went outside to shoot, where the natural light made it possible to see all the colors. I also found the depth of colors showed up better against a planty background than when in front of a solid color (like our garage door - where I usually photograph arrangements outdoors).

Even though I was finally able to capture the colors and detail of the "ingredients" I'm still not thrilled with these images. It was difficult to capture the overall composition and share it with you the same way that I see it. The pieces work together so much better than it looks like they do!

Here's the pair on the dining table...

And aren't the Schlumbergera flowers fabulous?

Cathy, the brains behind this weekly excuse to get out in the garden and collect things for an in-house arrangement, blogs at Rambling in the Garden. Visit her blog for links to all those participating. Oh and my title, "Aloha Pepeluali!", is "Hello February" in Hawaiian. At least I hope that's what it means!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

34 comments:

  1. It works perfectly for me and goes just brilliantly with the vase. Inspired!

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  2. I do believe you've caught the Carmem Miranda feel. I keep lusting after your Mahonias and checking them out in catalogs, thinking maybe they'll suddenly be suitable for a zone 4/5 garden. Hasn't happened yet!

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    1. Try Mahonia aquifolium, there are some sites that list it going as low as 4, but all seem to in agreement about 5.

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  3. It looks great on the table with the Schlumbergera. I hope my little Ludisia grows up to look like yours someday. I've had trouble with that plant before. Yours is looking great!

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    1. Thanks! (the Ludisia) I think it might have been you who told me it could get leggy. I am seeing that a bit, I may have to start chopping and rooting and replanting.

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  4. How very tropical! The colors work out great with the wall arrangement too.

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    1. Thanks Shirley, I was pleasantly surprised to see how the variegated Agave print behind them fit right in like I'd planned it.

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  5. Oooh, nice job! The second vase photo (under the "The Saxifraga acts like a nice big flower..." text) is my favorite angle. Is that a heavy vase? Seems like this might be in danger of toppling over, but that is probably desired... :)

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    1. The vase is pretty heavy, not outrageously so. The contents though, while they look substantial, are actually quite light.

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  6. I like how the Mahonia berries look in the arrangement, as if they were little grapes :). It looks nice with your Schlumbergera truncata.

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    1. Yes! Good eye, that's what I was hoping for.

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  7. It doesn't look like you had difficulty with the lighting, the images are great. You always have such interesting material in your garden; what a fun vase you've chosen too.

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    1. That's great to hear Christina, and I am often quite thrilled with the foliage choices I have at my fingertips.

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  8. As usual, you've done a brilliant job with foliage. And I love that vase! Wherever did you find it? The Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' foliage threw me, though. I have a 'Safari Sunset' with no variegation - the foliage is actually very dark. I ran a search and found photos featuring many that look like mine but some that look like yours. I couldn't find any explanation for the discrepancy. 'Safari Sunset' is a parent of 'Ebony', which makes sense when I look at mine. As yours looks more like 'Jester' to me, I looked into its parentage. According to San Marcos Growers, like 'Ebony', 'Jester' is a sport of 'Safari Sunset' so I guess the parent has a wide range of variability in its genes.

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    1. Nope, I was wrong! It is 'Jester' - I have no idea why I got it stuck in my head that it was 'Safari Sunset'...thank you for catching that! And the vase was an antique store find a few years back. It was priced way beyond my comfort level but the store was going out of business so everything was 40% off and I had a little Christmas cash in my pocket so it became mine!

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  9. Aloha! I feel warmer already. The arrangement is perfect for your head vase and the elements work very well together! Funny that your Schlumbergera is blooming now as the mother plant bloomed back in November. Must have something to do with light. Happy Monday!

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    1. That poor plant has been in every condition possible. It was on the mantle (high light in the summer, low light once the grey skies move in), then at Christmas got moved downstairs under florescents. About a month ago I noticed tiny nubbins that looked like it was going to bloom so I brought it upstairs and in front of the window with better light. Some of the nubbins dropped off but the others...wow!

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  10. The Carmen Miranda effect is perfect (if she happened to be Hawaiian), especially in the ninth photo from the top. When I was a kid, my mom took me to a china painting class and we turned out a vase very similar to that...no idea what became of it.

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    1. Bummer that the vase went missing! It would be fun to see a modern day arrangement from your garden filling it.

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  11. Love this tropical 'hat' for this amazing vase. Very creative with so much stunning foliage.

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    1. Thanks Donna, I am lucky to have so much great foliage to work with.

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  12. Yes, like Christina said, the images are great and the choices inspired. Love that vase - I want one!!

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    1. eBay to the rescue! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Signed-Art-Pottery-Shawnee-USA-896-6-Lady-Head-Vase-Hawaiian-Polynesian-/281147656515 wait, is $280 too much? (ha, that's ridiculous) Here it's only $89: http://www.decadesvintage.com/artifacts/vase14.shtml (still more than I paid).

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  13. Love the Mahonia and the Ludisia together! And that vase is perfect. So delightful that the vase filled with plants looks like a very fancy hat!

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    1. Thanks PP, then I achieved my goal.

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  14. ok, I might need to get some more vases. I can't compete with that one!

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  15. Very nice combo, both in the vase and with the Schlumbergera! And for some reason I inferred that you were including the Ludisia discolor in the vase to root it... Closer reading indicates that's probably not the case, but what a great reason to include something if it was!

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    1. Nope you were right, the Ludisia is rooting. I had already taken the cuttings and they were in another vase but when I decided to put this together I had to use them. It worked out well, such gorgeous foliage!

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  16. You can go ahead and will that head to me.

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  17. This is a really exotic vase for me, and I love it! The actual container alone is fabulous, but the arrangement makes it look like she is wearing a beautiful hat. :) I think your photos are great too, despite your worries.

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    1. Thank you w&h, I appreciate your saying so!

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