No, that is not Almond Joy or Alpine Joy, it is Alpinia Joy. Alpinia zerumbet to be exact. The Shell Ginger. One of my garage sale finds from a few years ago; the plant is well known for taking two years to flower and this one was true to form. I have been waiting and finally got a flower.
It takes about a week to fully bloom and bit by bit peeks out from under the foliage. There is a lovely ginger scent when the plant is cut, although a member of the Ginger family it is not a culinary ginger.
The rock that keeps appearing is a hunk of Fool’s Gold from my father’s (the geologist) collection of obscure mineral crystals. I was looking for some marbles to use in the vase to hold the stem, I have some lavendar ones somewhere. I knew where they were before we moved – so inspiration struck and I thought to use the Fool’s Gold vaguely remembering something bad happens to it in water. It is a Pyrite, iron sulfide, I think, and what happens is instantaneous rust when it gets wet. I suspect it would have killed the flower if I had left it in the water. I was also left with the dilemma of how to get the sharp bits that fell off out of the stainless steel sink without scratching the sink. After everything was rinsed and clean, it dawned on me, I really didn’t have an arrangement at all.
Back to the garden, fortunately spring brings some interesting flowers into bloom.
Contents of this vase are:
Soap Aloe flowers (Aloe saponaria), in the foreground; Parrots Flower (Heliconia psittacorum) and foliage; the orange foliage is from Blanchetiana Bromeliad (an Aechmea type)
The vases are both from a simple design phase I went through in the 80s. Less is more or less is a bore depending on how you look at it. The flowers are the focus if these vases are used.
Here are both vases and the Fool’s Gold:
Moral of this story, no iron minerals in your vases. Fool’s Gold is named for a good reason.