In a Vase on Monday – Blue Willow Bouquet

It is a surprisingly rainy, overcast Sunday in South Florida. A little indoor cheer was in order before the truly stormy weather arrived. Pastel flowers spiced up with burgundy and a little Green Envy have been served up in an antique Blue Willow teapot. Cheer crisis averted.

As much as this might look like a summer bouquet, it is really not. The pink Tropical Hydrangeas flower in December and January as does the white Bougainvillea. I am not really sure about the Zinnias yet, though I am going to try starting another batch soon as I have seemingly fooled the rabbits with what other Florida gardeners called kebobs. Looks a little weird, little bamboo stakes around the base of the Zinnias, but it works. A bit of an oriental touch, maybe?

What’s in the vase:

In the foreground, pink Globe Amaranth followed by Green Envy Zinnias; the blue spikes are Mystic Spires Salvia (these have been flowering since March 2021!, amazing); white flowers are ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea; pink balls are Tropical Hydrangeas (Dombeya wallachii)

The remaining unidentified: blue flowers, Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata); burgundy foliage, ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera.

I am still experimenting with growing plants from seed for cut flowers. The Nigella are glacially coming along and I planted some Chinese Forget me Nots – has anyone tried these? The seeds are up, but that is all the news.

As always, thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Coming and Going

Time to join the SOS crowd again and share the going ons in my South Florida garden. The first few months of the year much of the tropical fruit flowers and many of the reseeding perennials set seed. The winter veg crops are also starting to produce.

The first tiny mangoes to appear on our Glenn Mango tree. I am happy to see the fruit, some years it is so windy the pollen gets blown away and no mangoes. The saying goes 100 days from flower to fruit, so we will see how that works out. The mangoes are early this year by about two months. Fingers crossed.

These are heirloom peppers from Nicaragua, Criollos. They will be wrinkled and red when ripe and are a standard in Ecudoran cuisine. I am very excited to try one.

Snow Peas grown from seed are climbing and flowering. I love the French version of the name for this vegetable, mange-tout. That translates to eat all in English as the whole pod is eaten. I will eat them all.

Papayas are bravely producing more buds. The Versa Moths have been around (they lay eggs in the fruit) Hopefully, they know something I don’t – and I will beat them to the fruit.

Currently eating – tomatoes, green beans and herbs.

Tropical Milkweed sharing its seed to the wind. I collected some seed and let the rest fly. Next, I will cut them to the ground to create some fresh growth to feed Monarch butterflies.

That is my Six for this Saturday. To visit other gardens via blog follow this link: http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – Dombeyas…Inverted

One of my favorite winter gifts from the garden are the pink flowers of the Tropical Hydrangea (Dombeya wallachi). Unlike French or Mophead Hydrangeas, the flowers are borne hanging down from the branches like Christmas ornaments. These same flowers do not appreciate being turned upside down for flower arrangements – they tend to be top heavy and fall out of the vase for spite, this is after the bees chase you into the house because the most delicious cake batter scented treat in the garden is being repurposed for aesthetic reasons.

The recalcitrant flowers were conquered by a riff on the hand tied bouquet. I made mini bouquets of four flowers twist tied together, then placed them on the edge of the container.

Dombeya flowers in their natural state:

Someone described these as dreamy, I tend to agree. A big plus to the plant is they are very easy to grow. Unlike their blue French relatives, who I could never grow in my northern garden. I am going to try some cuttings for propagating when flowering is finished.

A closer view of the vase:

The vase is a Fostoria crystal ice bucket that belonged to my grandmother. I think the pattern is Americana. It dawned on me this was probably a wedding gift and over a hundred years old.

The foliage backing up the Dombeyas – in purple stripes, Transcandentia zebrina. The ferns are Asian Swords, a lovely weed. I compost or throw out a lot of both of these plants monthly. They both appeared, unbidden, in my garden – I use them where I would rather not mulch and recycle the rest.

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

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Relish

There are many things to relish about the winter garden in South Florida. Above is actually relish! This is Roselle/Apple/Pecan relish made from Roselles grown in my garden. We ate it on Christmas Eve with the classic American meal – turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans.

I have been enjoying vases and vases of flowers from these two, Globe Amaranth and Green Envy Zinnias. This one has culinary Fennel (not from the garden) I ate that, too.

The bag garden continues to recieve additions. This bag has Sugar Baby Watermelons underplanted with Bush Beans. Theoretically, the beans will fix nitrogen and feed the watermelons. I am going to, hopefully, train the watermelons up the hefty bamboo teepees and tie the fruit on with slings. The fruit weighs eight pounds, so this should be interesting.

Hopefully, these are the first fruit buds on the Cuban Avocado. A friend grew this from seed, it is the rare Avocado that is true to seed, they are usually grafted. It is now five years old and at the proper age to bear fruit. Fingers crossed.

A very typical sight on my front porch. A Anole lizard sunning on a pot of succulents. The succulents are, in bud, a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) and a Fish hook Senecio.

That’s the rundown this Saturday on what I am relishing in my garden. To see SOS posts from other gardens follow this link http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – China Hat Debut

The red flower in the vase, China Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea) is a recent addition to my garden. This is a tropical shrub native to lowlands of the Himalaya. It is thriving in my garden, enjoying the parched sand, seemingly a tropical desert shrub. These flower in winter here and I decided to cut a few to see how they hold up in a vase. Here is a closer view of the flower:

The other flowers in the vase are Zinnias grown from a Cactus seed Mix. I like the color but hesitate to name it..kind of a bronzy cafe au lait. The misty grasses are from the few remaining flowers on the Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris). I inherited the vase from my mother, I believe she bought it the Desert Southwestern United States in the 1980s, it is marked as made by the Ute tribe.

Happy New Garden Year to all. Time to plot our plots! I am thinking more Zinnias and maybe another China Hat, they are available in several colors.

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this meme. I always have fresh flowers in the house thanks to Cathy. Follow the link to see more vases.

Six on Saturday – Winter Wonderland

Not exactly the image the words “winter wonderland” conjure up? Welcome to South Florida and 2022’s first edition of Six on Saturday. To see more, probably wintry garden scenes from garden bloggers in more northern climes, follow the link http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

The flower above is a Billbergia Bromeliad, species ‘garage sale’ – though I suspect it is called ‘Purple Haze’. The foliage is purple, striped sideways sporting flowers of red, white and blue and flowering in January. Pretty trippy.

The next tropical surprise of the morning – ‘Chociana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum ‘Chociana’) I am still wondering what Chociana is. Note the bonus spider inside the flower.

I have been enjoying this magnificent Tropical Hydrangea for a couple of weeks. It is a Dombeya wallachii and about 15 feet tall.

The vegetable garden is doing well, I have been picking tomatoes daily for a week or so, the birds have beat me to them once, diligence is key.

Planning to thin my second crop of radishes this morning. These are my favorite, French breakfast.

Happy New Year from my Winter Wonderland.

In a Vase on Monday – Sharing Sunshine

The Winter Solstice passed last week, days are slowly getting longer and more sunshine is on the way. I thought I should share some Florida sunshine with a brightly colored mix from my garden. I have noticed the wildflowers in my garden germinate late in the year – which should have given me a clue years ago about when to grow cut flowers. I am guilty of reading and following directions on seed packages….again. South Florida reigns peculiar over American horticulture.

It is difficult to find a sunnier group of flowers. All were grown from seed started in September (some named and some in a cutting garden mix) and currently flourishing (with the exception of Nigella, not sure about that) in containers. I am wondering how long the Zinnias will last. Here is a photo of a seedling from the cutting mix I cannot identify.

Any thoughts? It is not a Hollyhock. That was not included in the mix.

Some closer views:

Yellow Sunflowers are ‘Dwarf Sunspot’. Green Zinnias are ‘Green Envy’; purple tubes are from Mona Lavendar Plectranthus. Pink Zinnia is from an Etsy purchase ‘Cactus Mix’. Here is a close up of the Zinnia, I love the stamens (I think?)

The other side:

Pink Zinnia and the very different green one are from the ‘Cactus Mix’. The African Marigolds are from the cutting seed mix with the mystery seedling. The big leaf forming the wave hugging the flowers is a big ‘Java White’ Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana). The leaf is 6 inches long and across. It rolled over naturally.

As always, thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting In a Vase on Monday. To see more posts, follow the link.

Happy Monday!

In a Vase on Monday – It’s Back…

A few years ago I inadvertently started a Shrub Queen holiday tradition. A rock n roll friend of my husband’s brought him a tin of biscuits from the UK. I am a lover of tins and this one has become a favorite ‘vase’ for holiday arrangements.

A few former Holiday Buses:

This year I added new colors to the red and green palette. Burgundy and chartruese and pink. Going wild.

A closer view:

Green Envy Zinnias are front and center. The pink flowers are Globe Amaranth; in white, Bridal Bouquet Frangipani; in red, Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida),

Burgundy flowers are from Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana); red foliage is Ti Plant (Cordyline); red flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); Asian Sword Fern add some greenery.

Happy Holiday Monday to everyone and Best Wishes for a Joyous Christmas.

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this weekly event. To see more vases, visit her blog at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – December Flowers

Welcome to my South Florida garden via Six on Saturday. It seems counterintuitive to feature flowers so late in the year in the Northern Hemisphere. However, this far south, when the weather moderates it is like late spring climate-wise and some of the “normal” summer flowers are in bloom here.

My first African Marigold, probably in decades. These came in a cutting flower seed mix I tried just to see what would grow.

Zinnias, I have been enjoying these as cut flowers for a couple of weeks.

More Zinnias, these are ‘Green Envy’.

Sweet 100 tomatoes, just about ready to pick.

On a more tropical note, the Dombeya wallachii has just started to flower. I can hear the bees buzzing as I approach the plant. Someone aptly described the fragrance of the flowers as cake batter.

The whole Dombeya. At 15 feet tall, this should be spectacular soon.

That is my six this winter Saturday. To see more posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening and Happy Holidays!

In a Vase on Monday – Sunspots

This is Helianthus annuus uno. My first sunflower ever. I fell in love with sunflowers after seeing fields of them during a summer spent in Italy when I was in college. For some reason, I have never grown any. Probably did not want to stake them. This one is ‘Sunspot Dwarf’, a two foot tall plant advertised to have 10″ wide flowers, the flower is not quite that big nor is the plant that tall. However, I am growing them in December in South Florida, so who really knows. I am, nonetheless, thrilled to have and cut them.

I bought seed this fall from Sow True Seed https://sowtrueseed.com/ in Asheville, North Carolina. Their packages read that they are committed to supporting a sovereign seed system. I had to look that one up. I am in favor of non GMO anything. Here is the definition:

The farmer’s right to breed and exchange diverse open source seeds which can be saved and which are not patented, genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants.

Further instructions are on the seed packages as to how to save the seed. Fascinating, though, I will probably cut all these sunflowers. I cut this one and left it in the grow bag to see if side shoots will produce more flowers. Gardening, the constant experiment.

A closer view:

Along with the sunflower are zinnias from the bag garden. I have a Cactus Mix and Pink Cactus. I am not sure where the pink one came from. The green ones are from ‘Green Envy’ Zinnias I have growing in a hot color bed in my front garden.

The foliage view:

Green foliage is Asian Sword Fern. The red varigated leaves are from an unnamed Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa). There are a zillion varieties of these floating around South Florida. My favorite name is Twisted Sister, I picked this one up at a Master Gardeners sale for a few dollars. My favorite kind of plant.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM. To see more vases, follow the link to her blog.

Happy Gardening.