This idea germinated as I was surveying my new natives garden. My natives garden is currently a repulsive field of weedy grasses, sand and Indian Needles. The Indian Needles are a native that look like Coreopsis, reseeding like Crab Grass. Crab Grass averages a quarter million seeds per head. Dreadful stuff. The one weed I have not encountered in my garden. Thankfully.
I digress. The grapes in the arrangement were noted on my survey as well as the Tropical Gardenias (they are the buds) The grapes are also native and frighteningly prolific. These are Muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) I have been pulling them out for five years. The grapes, while attractive stay this size and turn purple. The wildlife usually eats them before they ripen. It took me a while to find out what these are, terribly seedy and bitter, they are male muscadines, the female grapes are larger and sweeter. My grandfather used to grow these and make wine with them, it is syrupy, treacly wine.
The Tropical Gardenias are the double white flowers with buds. Commonly called Florida Gardenia, the botanical name is Tabernaemontana divaricata, probably native to India and not tolerant of freezing, this Gardenia is from a different family than its more well known counterpart, Gardenia jasminoides. The foliage is a lovely dark green and the flowers are not quite as fragrant as G. jasminoides although the fragrance carries nicely on a breeze at night.
In the center of the arrangement is a flower from my Frangipani, there are also a few flowers from the culinary Fennel and some Asian Sword Ferns. I have been calling these Boston Fern forever, but they are truly Asian. Tuberous Asian Sword Ferns, is the whole name, Boston Ferns have pointed tips.
I decided to stick with a white, chartreuse and green color scheme and the arrangement is held in a Fostoria pitcher from my mother’s collection of American pattern Fostoria. This pitcher graced the table filled with iced tea at many family gatherings. The arrangement is in my foyer as the fragrance from the Frangipani and Gardenia gets a bit thick!