In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Purple Smoke baptisia was the starting point for today’s vase.  It grows outside of the main fenced garden and its flowers usually have been stripped away by now, presumably by deer.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

‘Purple Smoke’ (B. australis x B. alba) is a shrubby perennial which typically grows 3-4.5′ tall. It was discovered as a chance seedling in a trial bed at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in the early 1990s. Features smoky violet, lupine-like flowers (from B. australis) and gray-green, clover-like foliage on charcoal stems (from B. alba).  [ “Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke.'” Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed May 3, 2020.]

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Purple Smoke was discovered by Rob Gardener, late curator of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens here in Chapel Hill and was introduced by Niche Gardens, also of Chapel Hill.  (Sadly  Niche Gardens closed in October 2019.) Kim Hawks, former owner and  founder of Niche Gardens, is known for other introductions, including ‘Kim’s Knee High’ echinacea and Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore.’

Last fall’s snapdragons are mostly white or salmon, but one yellow opened up this week. I thought it would be a good foil to the baptisia.

Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)

Several of you were surprised to see Clematis ‘Niobe’ in last week’s arrangement.  I am happy to report the clematis lasted all week.  I have had other clematis cuttings fade quickly in arrangements, so I don’t know why that one did so well.  Hope Jackmanii will also make it for a few days.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

The irises are having a good year, but I have lost a number of my passalongs from the late 70s.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Iris (Passalong)

Some heavy rains came just as Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ began to peak, leaving many of the flowers bent to the ground.  There are a few more buds and I just stashed 4 in the refrigerator to bring out in a few weeks.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

I hesitated to introduce pink into this vase but Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ is looking fine this week.  It has very few flowers for some reason, perhaps from being a bit close and overshadowed by Festiva Maxima.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)
Iris hybrid
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Vase
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

36 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

  1. Chris Mousseau

    Love the Purple Smoke – perhaps this year is the year to try growing Baptistia myself…I was excited, when I first started scrolling thru the photos on my phone, because I thought I was going to see a step by step on how you created the vase of flowers!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That’s funny, I did intend to do a step-by-step because I liked the first stage with just baptisia so much. The photos don’t do it justice but it looked lovely all on its own. Next I added the two irises and the clematis and photographed that, but after that I had to shift things around and honestly I got distracted from picture taking, or rather I became focused just on the flower arranging. Have a good week.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, I guess it does with the pea-like flowers. The header is a photo with a filter applied, created in an app called Waterlogue. Search my blog and you’ll find some more examples. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and it’s a meditative pastime.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, the baptisia is easily available around here. There is now a yellow form that is striking. The local botanical garden has quite a lot of it growing. This is the best mine has done in years.

      Reply
  2. Kris Peterson

    It’s a lovely confection, Susie. I tried growing Baptisia australis here, thinking its species name was auspicious but it was a no-go. If I see any peonies in the market I’m going to grab them and try your trick of keeping a few in the refrigerator to prolong my enjoyment of the flowers – the only flaw in that plan is that I’m not going to the market much these days.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      We’re trying to stay home as much as possible too Kris. Peonies have been a revelation the past several years. I planted a new one and also saw one beginning to grow that I’d planted last year; next day the green shoots were gone. I’ve seen a little bunny hopping in and out of the garden. Not so cute as in the Peter Rabbit tales…

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Having read through the post about all the vase contents it is clear the vase must be hefty size overall. The Purple Smoke was a great starting point, and it was helpful to see them in the vase on their own before you added the other bits. I am amazed to hear that your clematis lasted a full week, and hope that todays does too. Thanks for sharing your lovely blooms, Susie

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. You sent me off measuring! The dish is 10-inches in diameter by 3.5 high. From top of bowl to top of flowers is about 16 inches. Width is 17. I cut down the stems some.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    The Baptisia is a lovely flower and reminds me in shape of my broom, Cytisus praecox. And your Festiva maxima is as gorgeous as ever. I could dive into those soft fluffy petals! Bet it smells good too. 😃 Lovely arrangement Susie.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. I’ve enjoyed seeing your broom. Festiva maxima does smell lovely. Unfortunately we had a lot of heavy rains just as they were opening, so many turned brown early. But honestly I’m glad for the rain.

      Reply
      1. Cathy

        It is always the same with the peony season, isn‘t it. Rain, storms… 🙁Good thing you have saved some in the fridge! 😃

  5. Cindy Coghill

    What beautiful bright and cheery colors! I was going to ask you how you were able to get the wisteria to stand up, but then I saw it is baptisia. Thought maybe I was missing something and you could teach me how to use them in arrangements. My baptisia isn’t blooming yet, but you have given me ideas for when it does.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Cindy, this baptisia has been a treat. I imagine you could make a great design with some sort of armature/framework that you could then drape over wisteria.

      Reply
  6. Eliza Waters

    Beautiful arrangement, Susie and what a gorgeous Baptisia! I love the dark Iris, too. Thanks for reminding me about storing peony buds in the fridge to extend my bloom time. I do love peonies, and the season is never long enough!

    Reply
  7. Noelle

    My eyes popped when I saw your Baptisia those arching flower spikes are so beautiful. Thanks you for the notes about its discovery and introduction. Just a vase of these on their own would have been delightful, and then you found more beauties to join them. A lovely arrangement.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Noelle, I really loved the baptisia all on its own–glad you noticed it. It stood like a miniature forest. But I’d already cut the other flowers which were at their peak this week so I kept going with the design.

      Reply
  8. bittster

    Well I’m glad the deer missed your baptisia this year! The peonies are great as well. What a perfect May combination with the iris and clematis.
    I have to remember to tuck a few peony buds into the fridge. Do you just put them in a bag, or wrap them as well?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. I store the peonies (cut at “marshmallow stage”) in a glass of water. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. I’ve kept them for weeks like this and almost all of them open.

      Reply
      1. bittster

        I’ve heard you can do that. Someone said wrap in damp newspaper and put in a bag but I like your method better. Thanks!

  9. theshrubqueen

    Niobe is amazing me! Hope Jackmani does as well. And I love the Purple Smoke. I thought it was Lilacs!! Oh, well. Lovely in with garden friends and your Peonies are divine. I did not realize Niche Gardens was gone, they were a great resource.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      When I visited NIche Gardens I felt this is how a garden should be. I related to the natural setting. Friendly, knowledgeable folks.

      Reply
  10. tonytomeo

    Baptistia is pretty sweet. We brought in stock plants years ago, but never produced it. The stock plants just went out in the arboretum. They do not bloom well here, but it is nice to see them in other gardens. There was something else that was similar, but I can not remember the name.

    Reply

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