In A Vase on Monday – Semi Tropical


I read something interesting in the local newspaper recently – the garden expert said “there really aren’t any good cutting flowers that grow in our area”. It made me question what I am doing every Sunday morning – deadheading flowers for fun? The very same paper ran an article about growing Red Valerian, in South Florida, unfortunately a laughable situation.

So, if you stand back and squint a bit, this vase looks like white roses, pink lilies and (use your imagination) apricot lilacs and we are in a cutting garden hundreds of miles north.



The reality is while the vase appears semi tropical it is actually very tropical. None of these plants will grow much further north of my garden. The pink lilies are Rain Lilies (Zephyranthes), white flowers Tropical Gardenias (Tabernaemontana divaricata) and the apricot flowers are from Miniata Bromeliads (Aechmea miniata) I would swear the Miniatas were red last year. Asian Sword Ferns create a backdrop.

I cut some Rain Lilies as an experiment thinking they would close immediately, but they last a couple of days and are so pretty they make it worthwhile. No idea why they are blooming – it hasn’t rained here in weeks. The garden is parched. The good news is the weeds are also parched and have slowed down significantly.

Fun things in the garden this week. I enjoyed my first homegrown Mango, a Nam Doc Mai, Thai dessert mango. Divine.


My neighbor’s Cattleya Orchids (she grows them in a tree trunk) started flowering. I have some as well, but mine are still thinking.




33 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Semi Tropical

  1. pbmgarden says:

    You should be writing the garden column for your newspaper. Great interpretation of a northern cutting garden! I have seen Rain Lilies in NC, very lovely. Hope you get some nice showers soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susie. I actually have a gardening column on a regional website and have talked to the paper off and on for years. Finding journalism types difficult to deal with, nothing has ever worked out.


  2. I guess it depends on what you think are cutting flowers. There was a list floating around here for Yankees, giving substitutes for plants we were used to growing. Crepe Myrtles for Lilacs, etc. My rain lilies will finally bloom without rain and I think the cooler indoor temperatures may keep them open longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I disagree with the substitution concept. There is not a substitute for LIlacs, period. Except at Bed, Bath and Beyond. or Laura Ashley. These are some sort of passalong tropical rain lilies I bought at a garage sale.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, there is nothing like a lilac. They were just trying to make Yankees feel better. My few rain lilies have grown into thousands. I can never throw out a good plant and I have them everywhere.


      • Did the crape Myrtle make you feel any better? They say the same thing here, but Crapes look pretty bad in South Florida as do Magnolias but they are everywhere. And you can grow night blooming Jasmine?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Our crape Myrtles usually look good here. And no, they are not the same as lilacs. But to make myself feel better, I like to remember they bloom for 100 days. I do believe that Jasmine grows here, but I never had it. PS for some reason the site was not indicating I had any comments. Guess I need to check myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I was in Atlanta over Memorial Day and marveled at the Crape Myrtles, they were outstanding! I think WordPress stats and notifications can be hit or miss.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ve had all your rain up here in central Florida. And yes, it is making the weeds very happy. And here’s my first attempt at In a Vase on Monday. Be gentle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    ‘it depends on what you think are cutting flowers ‘ – precisely!! On IAVOM we have learned to open our eyes a little wider as we have continued with our vases throughout every month of the year. On first glance yours today doesn’t lookquite as tropical as some, but then when you read what the blooms actually are… Thanks for sharing it and the discussion about what constitutes a cutting garden – and how fun to have grown your own mango, even if it does look a bit like a potato!! 🙂


  5. Cathy says:

    Ooh, the thought of fresh mango fron your own garden is wonderful! Your flowers always seem tropical to me, and as for ‘cutting flowers’, you can cut just about everything, can’t you! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose people think of Roses, Mums and Daisies as cut flowers. All if not impossible extremely difficult to grow here. On the other hand, there are some amazing long life in vase flowers that thrive – so, what to do?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kris P says:

    I agree with Susie – you should write a column for that newspaper. I’d have assumed that the rain lilies wouldn’t last too. It’s good they proved both of us wrong – they make a pretty posy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, to grow cattleyas on a tree in my yard, not to mention a delicious mango – sooo envious!
    I think your news reporter needs to look closer at the possibilities. Your arrangement looks great to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mithriluna says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous tropical bouquet. I would never be able to grow any of these beautiful flowers/ferns in my New Jersey garden. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved seeing your tropical vase….the structure and colors are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Noelle says:

    The joy of this IAVOM is seeing just what great gardeners around the world are growing, and how they arrange some of the foliage and flowers from their garden. Reckon you should write a letter to the Editor with your counterpoint views…with a link to your blog. Ah Mangoes!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chloris says:

    The rain lilies are fabulous such a pretty shade of pink. And how amazing to have Cattleya orchids growing on a tree. As for the mango, I am green with envy.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s