In A Vase on Monday – Get Your Ducks in a Row


Growing up, my parents constantly told me to get my ducks in a row. This means figuring out what or how you are going to do something before you start. This relates to the flower arrangement as I started out with a beautiful pottery bowl, a wedding gift, placed a flower frog in the bottom and started placing flowers in the holder – only to figure out the base of the bowl was nowhere close to flat, causing the flowers to tip over and then realizing the pendulous flowers were hidden by the edges of the bowl. The blue glass container is Plan B. The ducks were a gift from my father many years ago to remind me.

20170205_130036-1 For this week’s arrangement I was planning Dwarf Jamaican Heliconias and waiting for them to start flowering, Valentine’s Day is usually their prime and they are sticking to their schedule. Maybe next week. More ducks for me to line up. Plan B again.

The Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria) sent up a stalk earlier this week and it was in full flower so that is the center of the arrangement. The pendulous red flowers are Turk’s Cap Hibiscus (Malvaviscus pendiflorus), a native shrub that appears unbidden in the garden. The white flowers are another native, actually a nuisance, I thought these were Coreopsis run amok, then found out they are actually a wildflower called Indian Needles (Bidens pilosa) considered a medicinal plant and prolific producers of sharp, thin seeds. I am not sure if the seeds were used as needles, but they are sharp enough. Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) in red and coral, another native, is thriving so I just keep cutting them. Last but not least, a little foliage accent from Asian Sword Fern and Culinary Dill Flowers.

Interestingly, almost all these plants are medicinal – if I needed shampoo (Soap Aloe) or a cure for hernia pain and upset stomach (Turk’s Cap, Indian Needles, Tropical Red Salvia and Dill) i would have really had my ducks in a row this week.


14 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Get Your Ducks in a Row

  1. You have a nice variety of flowers blooming. The white flowers are cute even though they are considered a nuisance. Nothing is blooming in my yard and I have cut almost everything back. But, abnormally hot temperatures should get things growing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just when I feel nothing is blooming, I go take a look – can you have pansies and snaps? I still miss those winter containers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. I planted a few annuals, but half of them drowned. This is the year I can’t win. Camellias are coming out and the squirrels are removing the buds and flowers. I had to cover them with nets. But, there is always a silver lining and I can now see what was growing in my jungle of a garden and I am thinning out many plants that have multiplied to make room for something new.


  2. Cathy says:

    I have not heard that phrase before, but I can see the sense in it, and I like how your father gave you the ducks as a visual reminder. You could start dispensing with all those medicinal plants in your vase – have you tried any of them? Those hibiscus are a striking colour, not a colour I would have associated with them. Thank you for sharing your vase and your thoughts today

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe an American slang term. I haven’t tried any of the herbal concoctions, the Hibiscus are related to the original ingredients in Marshmallows, which I don’t like. The bright red Hibiscus are actually quite common and old fashioned.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy says:

    Those Hibiscus flowers are gorgeous! I love Hibiscus and have seeds to grow in this summer’s annual pots. I also love that expression (and your ducks!) and think I will have to integrate that into my daily vocabulary. Very useful phrase! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris P says:

    I’ve always liked that phrase and you offered the perfect illustration for it. The vase and its contents are lovely too – that coral-pink and red combination can’t help but be cheerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Christina says:

    Well plan B looks very good to me! The blue bowl is lovely and makes the red flowers really exciting.


  6. Chloris says:

    What gorgeous colours, specially the hibiscus. They look fabulous in that gorgeous vase. I have never heard of getting your ducks in a row, curious, is it a shooting expression?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I looked up the origins of the expression and all the resources said it was from the UK! However, none of ya’ll had heard of it! Funny, my father was from New England and loved sayings – I think it was not shooting related, per se, but a carnival game where a prize was won when the ducks in a row were shot. Get all the ducks in a row and win a prize.


  7. Ok, Amy: This scene is a sheer delight!

    Liked by 1 person

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