Monday, June 5, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Sour Grapes

In last week's "In a Vase on Monday" post, I featured artichokes as a prop.  After the fact, it occurred to me that I could have tried using them in the vase as I've seen professional flower arrangers do on occasion.  Later, as I was walking by my grapevine, I decided I should try incorporating some of the immature grape clusters into my next arrangement.  I've used the leaves before but not the grapes themselves; however, as we never manage to get more than a handful of semi-ripe grapes from the vine before the critters strip it clean, there's little reason not to use them in an arrangement.  And, the truth be told, I'd let the vine get completely out of control so it can only benefit from a little thinning.

The grapevine is shown in the background in the photo on the left, framed by 2 guava trees.  Conveniently for the critters, the grape clusters are growing low to the ground this year.


I kept the arrangement very simple.

Front view: I'm sure a florist would have come up with something more creative but I was stymied when it came to finding suitable companions for the grapes

Back view: It occurred to me (again after-the-fact) that it might have been easier to have stuck the grapes inside the vase rather than trying to balance them on the vine outside of it

Top view

Close-ups of the materials included, clockwise from the upper left: Achillea 'Moonshine', grape leaves, sour grapes, and Tanacetum nivium


I put together a second vase but also kept it simple.  While the overall volume of flowers in my garden may be greater now than it's been to this point, there's less variety at the moment.  Yellows and blues dominate.

Front view of triangular vase with its heart-shaped opening

Back view, showing the purplish-blue backs of the petals of the Osteospermum

Top view

Close-ups of Osteospermum '4D Silver' (top) and Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers' (bottom left) and more Tanacetum niveum (bottom right)


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for more vase creations.  I'm grieving with those of you in the UK over the latest senseless act of violence on your side of the pond.  My condolences and best wishes to you all.




All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

38 comments:

  1. Oh I love the idea of using your grapes, well done! The simple color scheme compliments them nicely.

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    1. The grapes are plentiful, Loree. You may see them in a vase again if I find inspiration in some other pairing, perhaps as the grapes turn red.

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  2. Good to be thinking out of the box - and yes, several little clusters of these tiny grapelets inside a clear vase could hold stems in place perhaps? I really like those osteospermum, Kris - is it a named variety and do they overwinter for you? Thanks for sharing

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    1. The Osteospermum is a hybrid cultivar called '4D Silver', which is itself an improvement on the original semi-double Osteospermum ecklonis '3D Silver'. Unlike other Osteospermums, the flowers remain open even in low light. Breeders seem to be releasing more and more in the 4D series in different colors.

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  3. Using the grapes is a great idea. Lovely and airy!

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    1. Posts by you and others from the NWFGS showing arrangements using a variety of fruits and vegetables provided the original inspiration, Peter!

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  4. Kudos for your going for creative uses for your excess grapes, Kris - I like it! the tanacetum buttons echo the shape of the grapes. The drape is nice and I expect the vine leaves will right themselves geotropically.
    The 4D Silver and Duranta are beautiful!

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    1. The second vase with the blue and white flowers is my personal favorite this week, Eliza.

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  5. It's funny how colours go in waves in the garden. Grapes are an interesting addition, ripe ones would be good and you could snack on it too! What a shame you don't get to eat many of them yourselves. I do love your blue flowers.

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    1. I've tried a variety of strategies to thwart the raccoons, squirrels and birds to no avail, Alison - they always get the lions share of the grapes.

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  6. Wow, I don't think I've ever seen grapes used in an arrangement before!

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    1. I've seen fruits and vegetables used in arrangements posted on line quite a bit this year. It seems to be a new trend.

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  7. Nice, I did grapes and gardenias last year and found the grape leaves did not hang around very long. We have native muscadines for the raccoons, of course. I love the Duranta they are relatively common here and yours looks great in the arrangement. i may need one.

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    1. My raccoons prefer 'Red Flame' seedless grapes ;) I have a few different Duranta cultivars but 'Sapphire Showers' has the flashiest flowers.

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  8. Loving the blue Osteospermum '4D Silver' .

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  9. Nice job, Kris! I like the use of grape. Yours are a little ahead of mine, for sure, but I should follow your lead and use them in vases. Critters don't get mine, but they do not ripen up by the end of the season. I'd probably enjoy them more if I incorporated them into a floral arrangement!

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    1. That was my thought, Emily - I don't get as much out of the grapes as I'd like as food so I might as well enjoy them elsewhere (not that I really begrudge the critters the food).

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  10. This is the point of IOVOM, isn't it? To inspire others to see things differently. I really admire your sour grapes (although I must say when I saw your title I was expecting a penstemon!). And what a clever additional trick it would be to use the bunch as a support within the vase. I'll look forward to that. The Osteospermum is glorious. I guess they over-winter just fine with you. Here I'd have to do them as tender perennials. Thanks so much for sharing both vases - and your creativity!

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    1. How I wish I could grow Penstemon 'Sour Grapes', Cathy! While that plant did well in my former garden (just some 15 miles to the north), I haven't had much success with any Penstemons here.

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  11. The grapes were a great idea but as I found with the Amaranthus, draping things can be difficult to handle. I like the idea of putting the grapes in the vase, that might be rather fun. I love the Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers' again you have plants I'm not at all familiar with. Both vases are lovely as usual Kris.

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    1. I bet that 'Sapphire Showers' would love your climate, Christina!

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  12. These are both more simplified than some of your vases and they both look great. The grape leaves are perfect.

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    1. I don't know if it's that my plant choices are more limited at the moment or my flower arranging fervor is tamping down, Linda, but I found myself unable to gussy up my vases this week - a little of each perhaps.

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  13. I love the idea of using grapes on the vine in a floral arrangement Kris! I am hopeless at getting things to droop at the right angle, so I think you have done a great job. The Osteospermum is absolutely gorgeous! :)

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    1. I give myself just so much time to fuss with foliage and flowers (and grapes!) - if the plants don't cooperate within that period, well, there's always next week.

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  14. I love your using the grapes, Kris - it really adds a textural dimension! The blues harmonize beautifully in vase #2, and that tansy seems to go so well with everything. Do you find it invasive?

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    1. I love that tansy, Amy. I didn't think it was going to amount to much last year when I planted it - only one of the several plants I put in bloomed. But, like much else in my garden, it seems to have benefited from the heavier winter rain (and somewhat increased irrigation) this year. It hasn't shown any signs of self-seeding to date (drat it!). The common feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) does self-seed here but not prolifically.

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  15. Your arrangement with grapes is lovely, all very Constance Spry. But it is the symphony in blue which captures my heart. Who could resist the blue osteospermum? And the Duranta erecta is stunning, I have never seen it before.

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    1. Both the Osteospermum and the Duranta are great plants that I couldn't do without. And the Duranta, which grows in a large pot, gets by on gray water too (at least when it's not raining, which is most of the year here).

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  16. Thinking outside of the box often produces great results. I would not have thought to use grapevine in a floral arrangement. For a backup, yellow and blue are hard to beat though!

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    1. You're right, Sue - blue, yellow and a touch of white always makes a winning combination.

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  17. Use of those immature grapes is inspired. And love that Osteospermum.

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    1. Now I'm eyeing the last few artichokes with an eye as to how I can use them in a vase, Susie. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not growing a lot of fruits and vegetables this year!

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  18. Two very nice vases again...and so interesting to view on this post and some of your others, plants and shrubs that we seldom see in UK.

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    1. We have VERY different climates, Noelle! Ours is a true Mediterranean climate, which allows us to grow plants from places like Australia and South Africa - but I do wish we got your kind of rain!

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  19. Oh those vine leaves and baby grapes add the perfect finishing touch to your yellow and white vase Kris. What a shame you don't get the chance to eat the mature fruits. Here after ten years albeit in a greenhouse my inherited ten years plus allotment vine sadly died last year. I must replace it. I love the second blue and white combination too.

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    1. I've driven myself crazy in prior year with vain efforts to protect that grapevine, Anna, and I was just not prepared to do another round with the critters this year. The plant is literally laden with fruit this year, however, so who knows, maybe they'll leave us some.

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