In A Vase on Monday – A Fine Kettle of Heliconia


A fine kettle of fish seems to be an expression indicating you have gotten yourself in a dilemma or odd situation. The dilemma involving this old copper kettle was how to put flowers in it – it is so old there are holes in the bottom. Problem solved by cutting down a milk carton to fit inside the kettle. The result – a fine kettle of Heliconia. No fish whatsoever.

The copper kettle is a favorite of mine, bought at a flea market in the mountains of North Georgia possessing such a patina I feel as though I am the kettles steward rather than owner. Obviously handmade and repaired many times it sits in different places around my house, currently in the foyer filled with flowers.


Our oh so dry spring has turned into a rainy summer, normal for South Florida. The tropical plants are loving it and the Parrotflowers (Heliconia psittacorum) are blooming like mad. I had to cut a bunch and then decided to use coppery and white hues in the kettle. Joining the Heliconia are natives Galllardia (G.pulchella) and Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis) hanging over the side. The white flowers are tropicals, bigger flowers with yellow centers are Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica) and the buds hanging over the sides are Florida Gardenias (Tabernaemontana divericata) Not sure why they are called Florida Gardenias as they are from India! Rounding out the kettle as green foliage accents the Asian Sword Fern.

Here is my interesting/weird tidbit for the week. This is the bud of a Night Blooming Cereus Cactus – the white fuzzy thing, first ever, can’t wait to see the flower.



31 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – A Fine Kettle of Heliconia

  1. Christina says:

    Beautiful kettle, think ic all the people who have used it. Your lovely flowers do it justice

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cathy says:

    The kettle is the perfect receptacle for these colours of blooms – definitely a burnished vase today and it all works so well. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m looking forward to see your cactus bloom. Mine is already finished and I had 3 flowers this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris P says:

    How exciting to finally see your Cereus bloom! You made great use of the copper kettle with your ingenious milk carton solution – it echoes the color of the Gaillardia and Heliconia beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Always a stunning statement in your vases…love this kettle and the plant material you chose!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    I love this kettle o’ flowers! Heliconia, as you know, are a favorite and fragrant gardenia and frangipani – how I wish I had some. The gaillardia look like little mandalas. 🙂
    You’ll have to practice your flash-night photography so you can show us that cereus when it blooms. I once was invited to a party to celebrate the blooming of one. They are such celebrities!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Gallardias do look like Mandalas, the guy who grows them field collects the seed from Florida natives. You are right about the photography – I have tried this before and ended up with impressionism.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your flowers and greenery are delightfully set in your gorgeous kettle vase! I hope you’ve found an inset solution to keep the arrangement going strong! The bonus bloom at the end… I looked at the link you gave about the “Queen of the Night” cactus and this would be the one exception to a no thorns garden for me. I hope you get to catch the night display!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OK — this is a serious beauty. Very clever.


  9. Cathy says:

    A fine kettle and ideal for the fiery coppery tones used in your arrangement. The parrot flowers are lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Chloris says:

    A gorgeously exotic kettleful of flowers. Love it.
    I have had one of those night blooming cereus for years. It grows ever more yards and yards of prickly arms but never ever blooms. Looking forward to seeing yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, You may get the most optimistic gardener award for keeping the cactus for so long. These things clamber around on the ground here. I have no idea where they came from, I tied it up about a year ago and this bud popped up and keeps getting bigger. Stay tuned.


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