In a Vase on Monday – Floral Triad

I love planting in groups of three and decided try the same in this Monday’s vase. I think the result is a balanced arrangement. Maybe I am getting in touch with my inner accountant (there is not one); or maybe it is the late November heat baking my delicate brain. High temperatures have been in the mid 80’s (F) complete with humidity and the stray thunderstorm. Florida is known for the Endless Summer, this year they are not kidding. The 10 day forecast keeps insinuating cooler weather that never materializes. I shall persevere and plant some vegetables, summer, of course – it is time to plant tomatoes and green beans here and the first sweet corn of the season has just appeared at our local farmer’s market. The citrus harvest is in full swing so I am looking forward to local Orri tangerines.

The vase contents:

 

The flowers, three of each, of course. In red and yellow, ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); in orange, ‘Chocociana’ Heliconia (H. psittacorum ‘Chocociana’); white spikes lending fragrance to the vase, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); grey flower stalks are Flapjack Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe luciae); Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are in the background again; green leafy foliage is from the Heliconias.

The Flapjack Kalanchoe flowers are the most unusual of the lot this week. Here they are in the garden. Actually they are in a container, growing under a Desert Rose.

 

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this weekly meme. Follow the link to see more vases. I found the Classic Editor on WordPress again, thanks to Cathy and Cathy from Words and Herbs, thank you both. Classic Editor is much less annoying than the Block Editor. We’ll see how everything works out!

Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Winter Flowers … South Florida Style

It has been rainy and windy here. Not the usual winter (dry season) weather, though the season officially starts December 1, so I suppose I should be grateful for the precipitation. The wind has blown the flowering shrubs over with the weight of the flowers flopping to the ground. A significant pruning is in order to get the Esperanza (in yellow) back in order. The white Bougainvillea is going mad with flowers and very little green growth, so I was glad to trim a few for this vase.

The Beautyberries are ending their season and whoever the birds were that enjoyed the fruit seem to have flown further south. This is the time of year for bird watching in South Florida. Flocks of birds pass through on a daily basis, lining up on power lines to rest. White herons walk on hedges to pick the gourmet insects off and Ibis are patrolling lawns with their long beaks probing for grubs. I have seen everything from hummingbirds to vultures. I never realized the extent of migration until observing the southern end.

The vase is an old florist vase I fear was used last week. Oh well. The contents:

Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) is coming at you! In all its purple glory. The yellow flowers are Esperanza (Tecoma stans), other common names include Yellow Elder and Yellow Bells. I like Esperanza because it means hope in Spanish. The white flowers are Miss Alice Bougainvillea, this makes a surprisingly good and long lasting cut flower.

The ferns are Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) in the back and a few sprigs of Asian Sword Fern on the side. I have noted I like to cut the Boston Fern, but don’t think it looks good in the garden. This is native here and just showed up in this odd space between a retaining wall and the fence.

I think I don’t like this because it always looks half good and half dead. On the plus side, it’s free greenery for arrangements and I couldn’t get rid of it if I tried, so my free greenery habit keeps it trimmed.

That’s my vase this Monday. To see more vases, visit Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Is anyone else having trouble with this block weirdness on WordPress?

Happy Winter and Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Happy Anniversary

Today is the ninth anniversary of the IAVOM meme. I don’t recall when I started creating and posting vases every Monday, but it has been several years and has become a weekly habit and a joy to share the fruits (or flowers) of my labor with fellow gardeners.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a Zoom meeting with several members of the IAVOM community. I have been exchanging comments with these blog friends for years and finally met them, virtually.

Cathy, at http://www.ramblinginthgarden.wordpress.com is the creator and hostess of IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases. Thanks to Cathy for arranging and hosting the Zoom meeting.

The Vase – Contents:

The red flowers are Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus pendululiflorus) – a sort of ratty looking shrub I keep in the garden for its winter flowers. The grey ‘flowers’ are cuttings of Echeveria, a succulent given to me by a friend. These cuttings are destined for a winter tabletop container on my screen porch. The vase is the last vestige of a historic floral arrangement.

The upper level – this image looks suitable for a snack of vegetarian dinosaurs and may well have been one. Both plants are native to Florida and have been here for millenia. The ferns are Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) and the flowers are Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa)

Happy Monday, Happy Gardening and Happy Anniversary, IAVOM.

Six on Saturday – The Hurricane Report

I am joining the SOS crowd after a rare event, a November hurricane – the third one to occur since the mid 1800s. If you look at the map above – where the red line hits the east coast of Florida, that’s my house. The hurricane, named Nicole, made landfall as a Category 1 (min 70 mph winds) at 3 am Thursday morning about 30 miles north. We all slept through it, the dog included. The hurricane was immediately downgraded to a tropical storm after landfall. I would guess we might have had 50 mph wind gusts, the damage minimal.

Floridians generally scoff at Category One hurricanes. The problem is you never really know where the thing is going to end up and the wind field on this one was so huge it was difficult to drive away from it. The wind kicked up Monday afternoon and continued until Thursday. We put up our storm shutters just in case, my husband is currently outside, grumbling and taking down the shutters.

A scattering of debris from Sabal Palms.

My Rangpur Lime tree is bent over. I guess I should tie it up to the fence to straighten it up? Lime trees are quite thorny and this is almost leaning into the pathway.

Miss Alice Bougainvillea was knocked off her column.

Further north, close to the ocean and rivers, people weren’t so lucky. This hurricane hit during a full moon and at fall king tide time, so the water was already high and the storm surge was 3 to 5 feet. The Daytona Beach area was also hit hard by Hurricane Ian, 43 days before. Some of the houses damaged by Ian fell into the ocean with this additional insult. These images are what you are seeing on the news.

The barrier island protecting us had quite a bit of flooding and an native American burial ground on the beach was unearthed; it will be interesting to learn how old the skulls are found on the beach.

A few images from further north:

Wind and water damage from further north.

Thanks to Jim at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/ for hosting Six on Saturday. To see more posts, follow the link.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Late Bloomers

The nearly precipitation free summer pushed some of the usual fall flowers later this year and extended the summer blooms on others. I can’t remember the Muhly Grass starting to flower later than the first week of September or a summer without Beach Sunflowers. But here they are together in late October. I will admit to adding Osmocote a few weeks ago when we had some reliable rainfall.

The mysteries of gardening are teasing my brain once again.

The South Florida heat and humidity is abating in fits and starts. We have a lovely sunny weather forecast for the next 10 days. I have been clearing off the porch and replacing the cushions for winter outdoor living. This always takes longer than I think it will. I hope to be sitting on the porch with a glass of wine this week and maybe get in touch with my inner Floridian by making smoked fish dip appetizers.

The vase is an olive oil cruet inherited from my mother. As a lifelong gardener, I think she would approve of this repurposing.

The flowers:

In white, possibly the last of the year, Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica); yellow daisies are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis); sage green flowers are Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria); the ropy stems are Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamaicaensis) – the blue flowers fell off on the way inside, but I like the stems; pink flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); green flowers in background are Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata), lending a fragrant assist to the Frangipani. In the background are the late, great Muhly Grass (Muhlebergia capillaris).

That’s all from my garden. Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases…

Happy Gardening!!!

Six on Saturday – The Far Side of South Florida

I am joining the SOS crowd today with our new host, Jim at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/. Follow the link to see more SOS posts! Thank you to Jim for taking on this task.

I have been ruminating about the odd nature of some of the plants in my garden. There are aspects of my garden that remind me of The Far Side cartoons. Below is a Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) standing sentinel by my side door. I kept thinking this thing would snap in a high wind, but it hasn’t.

Another novelty plant in the garden, Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida). These look oddly like a multi stem marijuana plant, but in reality are deadly poisonous and the flowers are a great butterfly attractor. These are planted in a narrow spot between the house and driveway.

The Coral Plant flower. It looks like a coral from the ocean..

The caudex of a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum). I have several around the garden. This one has the most interesting trunk. These are native to the Arabian Peninsula and grow quite large.

Buds on the Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscue arboreum). I was poised above this with the pruning shears when I realized how many buds were there!

The super tropical Palm accent is a gift from a passing bird. It’s the seedling of a Chinese Fan Palm (Livinstonia chinensis) This is about 8 or 10 feet tall and has been in the garden for the past 10 years. The trees get much bigger. It has been surprising to me how slowly palm trees grow.

That’s my Six for this Saturday. Maybe I should take up garden cartooning??

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Juba – lation

My favorite cool season flowers are starting to show their colors. One is the Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa). I am jubilant that the Juba Bush has reappeared. I thought it was gone. This is a native wildflower that I mistook for Amaranthus and left it in the garden only to discover its wonderful chartreuse to creamy white flowers. Juba is the name of an African dance that was imported into the Caribbean where these wildflowers are also native. The dance involves a lot of hip movement and swaying – the plant’s movement in the wind reportedly mimics this?! I wish this grew under my Gumbo Limbo tree, that would be perfect.

The Juba Bush. It is the creamy white flower; ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia is in the background.

The other fall indicator is the red Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) at the base of the vase. This is another volunteer that I have embraced as I love the flowers. Like many Hibiscus (it is a relative and Mallow family member) the shrub is rangy and not particularly attractive. For me, the flowers make it worthwhile and I enjoy them all winter. It also needs no supplemental water and the leaf cutting bees love it.

The Nodding Hibiscus:

The rest of the vase:

The orange flower is a ‘Choconiana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); white daisies are the native Spanish Needles (Bidens alba); ferns are the evil invasive, Asian Sword Ferns. I keep the Sword Ferns at bay by using them in vases.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.com for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening…

In a Vase on Monday – Two Yards of Flowers

Last week I commented that one of the flowers in the arrangement was three feet long. This was a Blanchetiana Bromeliad. I decided to cut a whole flower to use in a vase. The flower turned out to be closer to six feet long. Two yards or nearly two meters. I cut about four feet including the stem and realized the flower was too heavy to put in a vase, so I used some ‘florets’ – kind of like broccoli. The florets are the orange and yellow arching accents in the vase. Here is the entire flower:

Blanchetiana Bromeliads (Aechmea blanchetiana) are a common sight in South Florida. It is a big plant, six feet tall with orange foliage and they spread very well, probably too well. I was astonished the first time I saw one, thinking of bromeliads as small houseplants. There are some with flowers up to 10 feet!

The rest of the vase:

Florets of Blanchetiana Bromeliads; varigated foliage is Piecrust Croton (Codiaeum varigatum).

White flowers are ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea; tropical green foliage is Split Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron selloum). The big crystal vase is a wedding gift from a dear friend. I rarely use this vase as it requires a lot of flowers – maybe two yards.

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting my weekly favorite, IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Fall Food for Thought

I am joining the SOS crowd today seeking signs of fall in my garden. South Florida is not noted for obvious seasonal changes – however, there are autumnal signs if you look hard enough. To see more posts about fall, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

There are trees and shrubs that produce fruit in the fall. The hungry migrating birds are just starting to show up as the fruit matures. This is the fruit of the Gumbo Limbo tree (Bursera simaruba). It ripens to red and then bronze. Then there are a zillion seedlings.

I was surprised the first time it happened. The Pleomele (Dracaena reflexa) flowered, and then it produced fruit. There is a bird that bangs on the window after it eats the fruit for some reason. I have never seen Dracaena seedlings although it is easy to grow from cuttings.

Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa) occurs naturally in my garden. I have read that you can roast and use the seeds for a coffee like beverage, but it is not recommended or caffeinated and related to medicinal plants that can make you sick. Best left to the birds.

I spied a Mockingbird enjoying the Beautyberries (Calliocarpa americana) at long last. He or she did not hang around for a photo session. Mockingbirds are winter visitors here.

Martin Bromeliads (Neoregelia ‘Martin’) starting to show their fall colors. They are yellow and green in summer and change to deep red by winter.

For a final tropical touch, my ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea is showing off for fall. Who knows why?

That is all from South Florida.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – A Different Perspective

Fall rode into South Florida on the coattails of Hurricane Ian last week. While Ian left an unprecedented swath of destruction through the peninsula, my garden was unaffected by the storm for the most part. Leaves, branches and palm fronds were strewn around by the winds and a few plants are taking a more southerly direction bent by the higher wind gusts. Otherwise, all is well. The temperature change is a welcome relief from summer as is the lower humidity. Clear blue skies and daytime highs in the low 80s are the reason hordes flock to South Florida in winter.

I went in search of fall colors in the garden. Real fall color is difficult to find here, fruit bearing shrubs and trees are about it. Beautyberry and Goldenrain tree are my fall color change plants. The flowers in my vase are a different perspective on fall color than most gardens north of here.

The flowers:

The orange flowers are from Aechmea rubens, a long lasting bromeliad; variegated foliage is from ‘Java White’ Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana). The vase is a thrift store find.

The orange tubular flowers are Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens); yellow lobster claws are pieces of Blanchetiana Bromeliad (Aechmea blanchetiana) flowers – the actual flowers are 3 or 4 feet long.

To see more vases, visit our hostess, Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Happy Fall Ya’ll.