In a Vase: From the Drylands

the monday vase

It was just two classic dry-country flowers for today's vase - one from the Mediterranean, the other a Sonoran native.

the monday vase

There is the purple-blue of Lavandula multifida...

lavandula multifida

...and the scarlet-orange of Justicia californica, known as chuparosa because the sipping hummingbirds find it delectable.

justicia californica

Both plants grow in the North Border and manage to bloom on little supplemental water, mostly just runoff from adjacent plants.  I suspect the chuparosa would actually bloom better in an even harsher situation.  As it is, it keeps attempting to spread throughout the border but has only now begun to really come into flower.


I used my white-glazed stoneware pot again this week because its simplicity seemed well suited to a vase full of only two kinds of flowers.  Also because there were quite a few stems to accomodate and those of the chuparosa are extra thick and succulent.

the monday vase

Thanks to Cathy for faithfully hosting In a Vase on Monday each week, to inspire us gardeners to bring some of the garden's bounty indoors!

Weather Diary: Sunny; High: 75 F (24 C)/Low: 58 F (14 C); Humidity: 14%-42%

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Comments: 14
  • #1

    Cathy (Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:05)

    Lovely colourful spikes today, Amy, in that shapely vase again!

  • #2

    Christina (Tuesday, 06 February 2018)

    Love this combination; the wide bottomed pot was a great choice. Perfect vase.

  • #3

    Kris P (Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:56)

    Isn't Lavandula multifida a wonderful plant?! I haven't tried growing that Justicia - I must remedy that.

  • #4

    Derek (Wednesday, 07 February 2018 12:35)

    The word that comes to mind...... elegant!

  • #5

    Ian Lumsden (Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:34)

    Very stark and effective colour contrast, Amy. We have an ex-politician and now travel broadcaster, Michael Portillo, currently touring the US by rail, who wears combinations like this. Google him.

  • #6

    Joanna (Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:43)

    I love the quiet energy in those elegant stems, and that gorgeous little white vase grounds the whole arrangement perfectly. Simply gorgeous!

  • #7

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 07 February 2018 18:03)

    Thank you so much, Cathy! I bought L. multifida precisely because I couldn't resist that color! :)

  • #8

    Brian Skeys (Thursday, 08 February 2018 03:05)

    Such vivid colours.

  • #9

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Thursday, 08 February 2018 15:22)

    Christina - Thank you so much! That has been a very useful pot, now that the garden produces enough flowers to fill it. ;-)

  • #10

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Thursday, 08 February 2018 15:28)

    Kris - Yes, Lavandula multifida is a real winner! :) If you try Justicia californica, I strongly recommend siting it where it has room to spread... but doesn't have to. Size seems to vary quite a lot; mine is perpetually trying to take over the border, but I've read about it being small and slow here too, so it's not just climate difference. Good drainage is supposed to be important, but I know you've got that. ;-)

  • #11

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 10 February 2018 22:06)

    Derek - Thanks so much! :) That's certainly one word I'm happy to have applied to it!

  • #12

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 10 February 2018 22:49)

    Ian - Ha ha, I did google Michael Portillo and had a good laugh thinking about my flower combinations. I blame my choices on growing up in Los Angeles in the seventies... and never liking the drab (ahem, neutrals) that became popular afterwards. ;-)

  • #13

    David Cristiani (Monday, 12 February 2018 23:37)

    The narrow stems and flowers impart so much mystery, as do the deep, contrasting colors. Proving that Sonoran and Mediterranean can look great together.

  • #14

    Ian Lumsden (Monday, 19 February 2018 12:04)

    I'm pleased you looked up our Michael. Growing up in Los Angeles in the seventies. 'Flower Power' certainly took hold. Or was that San Francisco? (400 miles apart showing ignorant me just how big California is.) Portillo was visiting Los Angeles on Friday - he may be there for tonight's episode - and what I most noted was just how Mexican or Spanish it is.