In A Vase on Monday -Summer Bouquet


I was missing last week due to attending a family wedding in Atlanta. As unusual as it seems, I found no vases along the way, although late spring was in full swing and all the gardens and especially the wedding arrangements were glorious. And pure white.


I arrived home to find Memorial Day truly marking the onset of summer. As if on cue,  precipitation started and the weeds burst forth with a joyous and bountiful overtaking of the garden. I am still feeling surly about this and have bought a vast quantity of landscape fabric and cardboard to choke them out. Fifty square feet at a time. Fingers crossed for a victorious outcome. I have, thus far, never defeated the weeds in summer.

I was pleased to see my native plants and the tropicals flowering prodigiously with the onset of wet weather. For whatever deeply buried design reason I am shy about combining these plants – this week I have thrown caution to the wind and come up with the madly mixed Summer Bouquet.


An old friend of mine, from design school and embarrassed to be ‘a posy poker’ (in reality a very talented designer of floral arrangements and gardens) would have called this a plop arrangement.

Go into the garden, cut whatever strikes your fancy to a similar length and plop into a vase. Simple. My plop this week is in a smoky grey glass vase from the discount store. The members of the cast include in white, Sweet Begonias (Begonia odorata), the daisy shapes are Gallardias (Gallardia pulchella), native to Florida; deeper red and white flowers are Red Shrimp Plants (Justicia brandegeana), The orange trumpets are from my native Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens), red and yellow flowers are tropical Parrotflowers (Heliconia psittacorum); the blue flowers are Porterweed, another native. In green, Asian Sword Ferns, true native plant enthusiasts think this fern is evil. The good side reappears with the red spikes from the native Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea)

I may eventually recover from my mixing natives with tropicals neurosis as I kind of like this plop. Here is my latest unusual creature discovery. It is a Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar eating the end of my Parsley. I hope to see the Butterfly.



24 comments on “In A Vase on Monday -Summer Bouquet

  1. Cathy says:

    Hurrah for plop arrangements!! What a sizzling vase you have plopped today – and many of us would not have a clue which were natives and which were tropicals so please don’t get neurotic about it!! Good luck with the weed control initiatives!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kris P says:

    I love the mix of the Gallardia with the Heliconia! The white begonias ground the fiery arrangement nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Exuberantly expressed! So glad you are letting your creative child out to play – I bet she had a great time creating this. 🙂 Forget what the ‘experts’ say and cast off the shackles of conformity. We’re getting to the age where we can do that, smiling while ignoring the raised eyebrows. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Consider the shackles gone. I think they came from the School of Environmental Design at the University of Georgia! It no longer exists.My gardens are still separated though! Thanks for following.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    Well – to me they are all glasshouse plants, and so very gloriously exotic! I do love the way your vases are so vibrantly coloured (and giggled when you wrote that the begonias couldn’t take the heat of the others!). All my vases are ‘plops’ – yours look very definitely arranged, to me. I once did a gardening exchange at Bok for 6 weeks (do you know it?) – your vases seem to evoke the mood that I remember so fondly there. I loved Florida – strange for a British gardener! I share your weed anguish. I went away for 10 days and was shocked (and exhausted) to see how everything had rushed up in my absence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still feel sometimes I am gardening with houseplants! I do know Bok, we live about 2 hours south of there. The exchange sounds wonderful. It is pouring rain here today, so no weeding for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cathy says:

        Bok was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I nearly moved there (they offered me a job) because I loved Florida (the REAL Florida) so much. My husband, at home in Britain, said it would be ‘too hot’. That’s life – enjoy your rain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is fantastic! The real Florida is difficult to find. Your husband is right but only for four months out of the year. Can’t wait til October 15!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cathy says:

        It was fantastic – we always said we’d go back together. Maybe some day. I remember wonderful storms in August the best – and horse-riding bareback through scrubland in the dusk/near dark with lighting in the sky ahead. You’ve so much ‘interesting’ weather to experience before October, haven’t you? Shall look forward to your vases reflecting the Florida seasons.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Having sat through Hurricane Matthew with a drugged Greyhound – Not sure interesting covers it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Cathy says:

    Wow! It is a stunning display full of summer colours! I love it, even if it was just ‘plopped’ (my favourite style anyway!). Have fun weeding – if it is any comsolation, I have never won the weed battle either and some years I just give up!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chloris says:

    Plop arrangements! That’s the only kind I ever do. And why not mix your flowers up in a lovely arrangement like this? I love it. I have never heard the term ‘posy poker’ before. Is that what we are?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chloris says:

    By the way, I have decided that landscape fabric is the way forward for areas of pernicious weeds. I am busy carpeting swathes of my garden too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pbmgarden says:

    A fiery summer design. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s one sturdy-looking caterpillar. I hope you get to see the butterfly too… that’s the least it can do, after eating your parsley. The swallowtails are beautiful and large, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

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