In A Vase on Monday -Going Native


One of the results of moving to Florida from a colder climate – sooner or later you go native. Winter Coats, who needs ’em? The coats are the first thing to go followed by socks, then shoes (sandals are an exception) and most long pants. One year my husband felt compelled to wear long pants twice. It was 50 degrees.

Plants for the garden are no exception. The first thing I had to quit desiring was Japanese Maples, followed by Yoshino Cherries. I got over Azaleas and Roses prior to moving south. Now and again I will suffer perennial envy, then again we have a plethora of great plants here in Florida – many are new to me.

I have always been a fan of native plants and decided to learn more about them by taking an online course about native plants on the Treasure Coast of Florida, taught by the guys behind the WordPress blog, Treasure Coast Natives. This one is for you, George.


The flowers in this vase are all native and from plants included in the online course. The yellow flowers are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis), the white flowers are Spanish Needles (Bidens alba), the orange tubular flowers are Firebush, actually Dwarf Firebush (Hamelia patens) I planted the Beach Sunflowers and Firebush but the Spanish Needles appeared on their own and seed freely everywhere cursing me forever.

The vase is also a sort of native. A gift from my mother bought on one of her trips to the Southwestern United States, the vase was made by Native Americans of the Ute tribe and marked as such. One of my favorite things from my mother.

One of the benefits of native plants in the garden is the local butterflies love them. Here is a Zebra Longwing Butterfly on the Firebush:


Firebush and Friend



35 comments on “In A Vase on Monday -Going Native

  1. Wow! That butterfly! Spectacular!


  2. I had to laugh at the beginning of your post because every time I look at a warm climate blog I am jealous of what you are all growing when I am watching it snow. Sometimes it is hard to recognize the benefits of gardening where we live.


  3. pbmgarden says:

    The pottery makes a splendid container for your native plants.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Noelle says:

    Can a picture bring a glow…yours did to me. To see your sunny flowers and beautiful butterfly is just the thing to lift the spirits. Here it is stormy…thanks for sharing.


  5. Cathy says:

    That is one of the great pleasures of this meme, seeing plants that we don’t know that are growing in different climes – and hearing the back stories too, so keep them coming! It is especially intriguing to know which flowers are native and invasive. I see just what Noelle means when she talks about the warm glow! Is there a name we can call you, by the way, or do you just answer to Shrub Queen?


  6. I love that you have gone native…what a spectacular vase! I also have gone native here…..


  7. George Rogers says:

    Bright and sunny! As always, great vase too. Now if you could just get the butterfly to sit on the arrangement.


  8. Thanks for the introduction to Firebush. It looked a bit like a honeysuckle, but has much prettier leaves. The flowers in your arrangement have such strong shapes to them and the vase highlights that really well. Lovely.


  9. Kris P says:

    I thought the firebush was Cuphea at first. I looked up Hamelia patens and discovered that it should grow here even though I can’t recall seeing it in my local nurseries so now I’ll go on the hunt. Anything that the butterflies like is good with me!


    • Interesting, Cuphea, Firebush is native to South Florida and the Caribbean, I am not sure it would like California?? Butterflies and Bees go crazy over this plant to the point it cannot be pruned.


  10. Hannah says:

    I’m growing 3 kinds of Cuphea from seed this year, so I hope to have some tubular flowers in my vases some this summer. Your warm flowers look lovely in the winter, I will have some consolation when my roses bloom this summer.


  11. Annette says:

    some of my favourite colours – beautiful, so warm!


  12. Chloris says:

    Beautiful colours, how amazing to have native flowers like this. In fact how amazing to have so much colour at this time of the year. I love your vase. And that butterfly- wow!


  13. Hahaha this is just the opposite of my weather up here in the mountains! You almost make me long for Florida.:)


  14. cyndilenz says:

    hey it’s cyndi can you send me an email at please


  15. Cathy says:

    Hi Amy. (I read the comment above about names. 😉 )Your butterfly is a beauty! And the vase is lovely too. So nice to see some sunshiny yellow!


  16. This is lovely and cheery for us northerners especially. I also really like that last picture with the butterfly. Thank you!


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