percy & friends in a vase


Lots of choices out there these days, but Kniphofia ‘Percy’s Pride’ just happens to be at its very best right now, so I knew that was what I wanted to feature this week.


Once I had gathered the plant material, I knew that the stems would be a jumble so I settled on this copper container with a nice patina. I’ve had some trouble with flowers not lasting very well in metal vases, so this is something of an experiment. I’ll let you know, in next week’s post, how it goes.


This was to be a study in chartreuse, so the base is several branches of Lonicera nitida ‘Lemon Beauty”. I have lots of this, all started by layering from one small plant from Cistus, acquired in 2005. Some stems of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ went in next. I like it best at this stage, before it starts to show pink. Now I had enough material in the vase to stabilize the three stems of Percy. I then began to add some golden bamboo to fill in here and there.

Chasmanthus latifolia

The finishing touch is Northern Sea Oats. It is just beginning to form the seed heads that give it its name. They will be changing color through fall, and will make it into many more bouquets before being slammed down by winter.

Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) invites you to forage in your garden for the makings of a bouquet every Monday of the year. Even if you don’t participate, you will be cheered, I’m sure, by the efforts of a growing group of bloggers.

30 thoughts on “percy & friends in a vase

  1. The copper patina looks good with all the chartreuse, and the rectangular vase shape makes it easier to fan out the stems for good effect. I tend to use my variegated Elaeagnus leaves for chartreuse but have Lemon Beauty, I hadn’t thought of using it but the smaller leaves would be good with some flowers. I like all the varied forms and shapes together!

    • There are a couple of florists around here that are always pushing the envelope. They are a constant inspiration. That, and the commitment to fill a vase every week.

  2. I agree with you on the Sedum – I like it much better before the flowers open. And in this case, it provides a stellar color echo to the vase, and balances out the yellow greens. I love this arrangement, and I love that you gave me a Percy of my own. It’s starting to die back a little, but I’m still out there admiring it every day. So grateful!!! 🙂

  3. I think I’ll have to copy you with this one . My L. nitida could use a good trim . Don’t think I can spare any Percy just yet though, but I have spotted a few more blooms on my other clumps!

  4. I love anything in chartreuse. The contents of your vase support each other well. Every time I see Kniphofia I wonder why the heck I’m not growing it somewhere in my garden.

    • You should go for the knifs. They’re easy, draught resistant, and about as close as we in the north can come to the fab Aloe blossoms (not your problem).

  5. That is just gorgeous Ricki! The container and contents all perfect for each other.

    re: the metal base effecting the lifespan of the flowers … I’ve noticed the same thing and have had luck “lining” the container with a plastic bag, usually a produce bag from the grocery store. If the flowers hide it then I’ll roll it over the edge but usually it stays tucked just below the top.

    • Aah…the plastic bag is a great idea, especially for odd shapes. I’m thinking, since copper is an ingredient in some plant concoctions, it may not be as toxic as other metals. I’ll let you know.

  6. This is lovely Ricki, I will definitely have to grow more flowers in the chartreuse colour range the effect is striking. Kniphofia ‘Percy’s Pride’ is a star, again I think I need to organise on cut flower bed with perennials, they may not give the quantity of flowers for the space they take but add great variety to a vase; I have a lemon Kniphofia, but it flowered in June when I wasn’t here and is now dormant because it doesn’t like the heat.

    • Another flower in that color range is Zinnia ‘Envy’. I love it but have limited success growing it from seed. Others have confirmed that it is difficult, but I would be interested to hear if you have better luck. Another, easier one, is Nicotiana landorfii.

  7. I was trying to think who Percy was, and now I see – he looks very grand with all his hangers on. I love all these greens and you have clearly chosen well as they look perfect together. I love the shape of your container as well as its patina – have you considered using a different vase inside to keep the stems and water away from the metal?

    • I’m testing to see if the copper is as detrimental to the flowers as other metals. So far, so good. I do put glass inside some wooden containers, but this would not be an easy shape so if it doesn’t work I may use it for dry arrangements.

  8. I really like all the variations on chartreuse, though when I saw the reference to Percy I thought of Percy the Small Engine from Thomas the Tank Engine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *