This vase is a celebration of a mild mid-January, what looks to be the very last of winter and faint beginnings of spring in the desert. In keeping with the season, I have used some entirely new flowers for this vase.
The smallest of these is not really open yet, but I decided to cut it anyway. This is Limonium perezii, which has caught my eye many times on Kris's blog Late to the Garden Party. Online sources (Wikipedia and Calflora) indicate it is a native of the Canary Islands but has naturalized in coastal southern California. According to the ASU site, summer may prove it an annual here in Arizona, but meantime it should be an excellent source for flowers for vases.
Lavandula multifida is another new addition, so new I haven't yet planted it. I am trying to find out how big it grows in mild winter climates as few of my lavenders have grown according to their labels. To complicate matters, it was marked as Lavandula pinnata; the two apparently have become inextricably confused in commerce, at least here in the western US; from what I can tell, my two new plants are L. multifida. Whichever they are, the brilliant purple-blue is wonderful...
...and I am fascinated by the multiple flower heads on some of the stems.
But the center of the arrangement is certainly the cluster of narcissus flowers. This is from the early-blooming "Autumn Colors", a seed strain developed for warm winter climates by Bill Welch (Bill the Bulb Baron) from various tazetta varieties and wild forms. They began blooming in the front patio during the last week of December, and more are now beginning to bloom in the open garden. So far I have had white with yellow cups and pale yellow with deeper-colored cups, but I believe there is a white on white stem opening today... The fragrance has so far been quite pleasant.
In addition, I used stems of Eremophila hygrophana for its blue flowers...
...and silvery leaves.
They all fit rather snugly into my little handthrown stoneware bottle.
As there was only one stem of narcissus to use, it is less of an all-around arrangement, but the lavender keeps it interesting on all sides.
Today has been quite a blogging marathon, due to a late GBBD post and slow internet. But here is this week's Monday vase! Do check out Rambling in the Garden to find many other In a Vase on Monday posts.
Happy new week!
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 61 F ()/Low: 48 F (); Humidity: 49%-100%
Cathy (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 02:51)
This is very effective and those blue lavender flowers are such a gorgeous shade. I think they go so well with the Narcissus. Your vase is pretty too - it looks almost like dark glass.
Kris P (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 12:05)
That is one of my favorite color combinations, Amy. I hope both the Limonium perezii and the Lavandula multifida do well for you. Both are relatively carefree in my garden. They do get scruffy after a few years but, easy to find in 6-packs or small containers, they're also easily replaced when they pass their prime.
Dorris (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 12:33)
The blue lavender is a stunner and a joy to see as here is so dark and grey
Cathy (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 14:27)
What a fresh looking vase this is Amy with the blues and pale yellows. The limonium and lavender sound as if they will prove to be excellent purchases and what an intriguing mix of bulbs this Autumn Colours (strange name!) range of narcissi are. We will try not to be envious when you say that it looks like the end of your winter... ! ;)
Amy@Smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 12:30)
Cathy@Words and Herbs - The blue of those lavender flowers was magnetic, which is why I promptly came home with two... ;-) Thanks so much!
Amy@Smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:55)
Kris -The Limonium has been terrific so far. And I'm wishing I had picked up two more of the lavenders! So often selections are "here today, gone tomorrow" at the the GCs, but I have several places to use it... ;-)
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:57)
Dorris - Even here in the sunshine that lavender gives quite a boost. So glad you enjoyed it - and thanks for visiting! I'm not sure how I've managed to miss your blog all this time, but I'm looking forward to following it!
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 18:05)
Cathy@Rambling in the Garden - No, don't be jealous - because it means we are that much closer to desert summer... ;-) You are quite right about the unusual name for a narcissus! But this variety apparently can bloom as early as October, and even now it is well ahead of any other variety in the garden. In fact, I wondered at first about whether I would even like narcissus in bloom in early winter (let alone autumn), but I decided it really shouldn't bother me... ;-) so I'm hoping for next autumn...
Ian Lumsden (Tuesday, 24 January 2017 14:17)
I simply snap the plant in as good a light as possible, attempting to get the subject in focus. You take things to another place altogether with these arrangements. On the subject of plants, the tazetta narcissus specially raised for hotter climates by Bill Welch look interesting, not that I'd need such developments in our climate here in the UK. I've read Bill's website pages and it is interesting. I've got some interesting varieties obtained from specialist growers for show competition. They are in pots mainly and I'll be writing about them as they flower.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 01 February 2017 10:57)
Thank you so much, Ian - so sorry I missed your comment all this time! The tazetta developments have been very interesting. I've known it as the most often recommended category for warm-winter growing; but of course the selection in any standard bulb suppliers catalog is limited, to say the least! So I was delighted to find Bill Welch's varieties and to learn there is active development going on. Growing, or more accurately, blooming spring bulbs has been a challenge here, as I prefer to work with the climate rather than continually forcing the standard varieties. At least with narcissus I feel I am beginning to get some good results...