In a Vase: Extravaganza

the monday vase

This week's vase is an admittedly odd medley of blooms - lavenders, narcissus, kalanchoe, and a small rose!  But they were all begging to go into a vase this week, so I decided to do my best with them.  They are all part of the exuberance of early spring in the desert garden.

the monday vase

The pièce de résistance is the stem of Narcissus.  I rather expected to cut some last week, but I'm glad I waited as there are far more blooms filling in now.  This lovely and exceptionally fragrant narcissus was listed merely as "good scent Avalanche cross" by Bill the Bulb Baron, from whom I ordered it.  Despite its lack of a frilly name, it is a delightful addition and the bulbs have set bloom very freely despite our typically mild winter.  Stems have been very short, so I feel fortunate that I planted them right at the front of the border.  


The scent has been eddying around inside the house.

narcissus with lavenders

As you can see, it is certainly challenging to keep lavender out of my bouquets at present; there is just so much from the everblooming species.  I was able to gather handfuls of flowering stems from both Lavandula dentata and L. multifida.

lavandula multifida, lavandula dentata

Kalanchoe x "Pink Butterflies", which I planted for its exquisitely variegated foliage, has been in bloom for many weeks now, and I finally went ahead and slipped a stem into this vase.  What a lot of flowers from a single stem!


"Pink Butterflies" is one of the few unarmed succulents that grows well in the borders for me.  I think more experimentation with Kalanchoes is in order.

kalanchoe x pink butterflies

With a big splash of butterfly pink, there was every reason to add one of the many blooms from the lavender and pink miniature rose.

miniature rose with lavandula dentata

I slipped it into the back of the vase.


The pot is an older handthrown stoneware piece I made; the white of the glaze is supplied by the traditionally used tin oxide.

the monday vase

A note to those of you who have commented on my recent posts: for some reason my comments section keeps resetting itself so that URLs can't be added.  I've got it set correctly as I finish this post... I can only hope it stays that way!  


Also, apologies for my very late replies!  For anyone who suspected I was out working with the new horses - quite right...  My little buckskin mare, Bonita, is requiring extended training sessions right now as she settles in.  She has found her new surroundings and her new human to be all a bit much for the nerves, and she is the sort of horse that freezes up under pressure.  So we are working through all that, and it takes time, but it's very rewarding to see her responding well!  Hopefully we will be able to cut back our extra long sessions soon...


Finally, thanks, as always, to Cathy for hosting the wonderful In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in the Garden!  I certainly did quite a bit of rambling about among the borders for this unusual vase!

narcissus with lavenders

Weather Diary: Fair; High: 81 F (27 C)/Low: 47 F (8 C); Humidity: 36%-44%

Previous Post: Wordless: Bees on Blue

Next Post: Some Favorites

Write a comment

Comments: 10
  • #1

    Kris P (Tuesday, 30 January 2018 17:44)

    That Kalanchoe is very happy! I'm impressed with your Narcissus too - the Santa Ana winds here put an all too early end to my paperwhites. Poor Bonita! I'm sure she'll flourish under your patient attention given some time.

  • #2

    Cathy (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:11)

    It is a lovely combination Amy, but certainly unusual... I can't quite get my head around lavender and narcissi flowering at the same time! The Kalanchoe is remarkable, and more exciting than its cousin that I grow in a pot indoors. :) Do keep us updated on the horses. It must be quite an upheaval for Bonita - hope she settles in soon. :)

  • #3

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:18)

    My paperwhites have toasted rather quickly too, Kris. I have hopes these will last a little better as they are in a more protected spot and the blooms have a good deal of substance. I'll get a chance to find our as our temperatures are definitely going up now! BTW, I finally found some grevilleas for sale last night and decided I would buy one, whether I knew where I could fit it in or not! ;-) I picked a dwarf hybrid 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' - hope it will grow for me!

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:25)

    Thank you so much, Cathy! I've come to the conclusion that giant everblooming (or nearly) lavenders are one of the big rewards for being crazy enough to try gardening out here. ;-) Bonita is such a sweetheart and definitely getting more relaxed with me overall. Must see if I can get some more pictures!

  • #5

    Chloris (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 14:30)

    So that's what spring brings you in the desert. How pretty. I thought that narcissus needed a cold spell to bloom.

  • #6

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:17)

    Chloris - Growing narcissus has been a challenge, but a manageable one, unlike tulips! Best luck has been with the most Mediterranean species, including paperwhites, and, more recently, with varieties like this one, coming from a specialist in California. I am an incurable lover of spring bulbs, so a lot of trial and error has taken place, with more to come, no doubt... ;-)

  • #7

    Ian Lumsden (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 16:46)

    A work of art. A practical point, Amy. Do the various plants have different rates of decline in the vase?

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 31 January 2018 23:41)

    Thank you, Ian! :) Yes, they certainly do; in this case the Kalanchoe flowers will last much longer than anything else. I hope to get the stem to root eventually. A lot of my flowers don't last very long when cut, and I don't really know whether it is my poor job of conditioning, or the invariably dry conditions in which the flowers are grown. Perhaps some of both...

  • #9

    Cathy (Friday, 02 February 2018 10:55)

    What a delightful mix of blooms Amy, and at close quarters I wouldn't have recognised what some of them were - they make a lovely combination in your appealing stone glazed pot. Interesting to read about your trials and tribulations with bulbs, Amy, and about your involvement with horses. We often don't know anything about the non-gardening life of fellow bloggers!

  • #10

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 03 February 2018 14:44)

    Cathy - For some reason I'm always nervous about combining blooms with succulents in my vases, but I was quite pleased with the way they looked with narcissus.
    I think most of us, like myself, tend to keep our blogs very garden-specific. But the horses are taking a good deal of attention now as my new little herd settles in - all three of them ;-) They are Galicenos, part of an attempt to save a very rare, historic breed from extinction as numbers have dropped below one hundred now. I'm sure that once there babies, they will be appearing on the blog! But that won't be for a year or two... ;-)