In A Vase on Monday -Funky Fall Flowers


I get some interesting comments from readers about my plant selections. Exotic is the most common description, though weird, unusual and alien have been bandied about. I tend towards the unusual, possibly due to spending over 30 years designing landscapes for corporations. Corporations like a clean, green hedge around their buildings, parsley around the pig is how I refer to the clean green, preferably not interesting in any way. Think Viburnum of any kind clipped into submission. Gardeners tend to be a lot more fun to work with and also avoid workhorse Viburnums.

My garden sports no workhorse shrubs, all selections are off the wall and flowering and fruiting to their hearts content. Corporations would hate it. Not a clipped Viburnum in sight.


Even I think this vase is funky, put together for texture and color. It speaks of South Florida in the Fall.


The purple flower is an Orchid, Spathoglottis ‘Cabernet’. The pink vine is a Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus), some call this Queen’s Wreath. The white spikes are from Snake Plant or Mother In Law’s Tongue (Sanseveira) – they flower here and are considered invasive – it would take a bulldozer to rid my garden of these. Purple berries are from the Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) I think the berry production in Florida is triple what my northern plants produced. The striped leaf is from a Screw Pine (Pandanus sp.) I love these and bought a small plant that is surprising me with variegated foliage. Screw Pines are common in the South Pacific and remind me of Hawaii.


A Screw Pine (Pandanus) on the Pacific Ocean near Hana, Maui. Kinda funky, had to have one in my garden.


18 comments on “In A Vase on Monday -Funky Fall Flowers

  1. I could never garden for the corporate look. The neighborhood association has problems with my gardening! When I first saw Beauty Berries in the South (they grow in the woods here), I was blown away by their color. Do the berries stay on once they are cut? I threw a Sanceveira leaf out in my woods and it started to grow, making it through last winter’s freeze. Maybe I can add them to the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We decided to avoid the HOA on this house, which is a mixed blessing. Boats everywhere. The berries last so long they shrivel up on the stem. The Snake Plant is another mixed blessing although they have grown on me.I have a half acre lot and they run down nearly the entire length.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful variety in your vase again. The Screw Pine leaf immediately caught my eye. Perfect for flower designs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the crisp graphic quality of your vase. I recently noticed Beauty Berry planted in the parking strips with lovely grasses at a locally owned and rather high-end grocery store. So I guess some corporations can manage without parsley! I love that phrase and am going to have to remember it as it is a perfect description of that ethos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christina says:

    Guess I’m guilty of the ‘exotic’ comment on almost every post you write but it isn’t derogatory; just a little envy at what grows for you. I love seeing your vases because they are always different from everybody else and that’s really good!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cathy says:

    Same here – it is always intriguing to see so many things that we don’t know or sometimes that are just grown as houseplants in the UK like sanseveria. Interesting to have a hint of your background today – and thus not surprising that you want the complete opposite to corporate plants. Your callicarpa always looks wonderful – here I am thinking of removing mine as without berries it’s not worth the border room!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Love the color and form of today’s arrangement. I would have guessed variegated dracaena, screw pine is a new one to me. You’re right about your beautyberry, mine are positively anemic compared to yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Eliza. Screw Pines are relatively common here – it is the original material for Tiki Huts and thatched roofs in the South Pacific. I did not realize how many varieties there are – it may be a tree or a shrub and they are male and female so it may have fruit. One to watch. The Beautyberry are amazing here and will grow in nearly full sun, which surprised me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kris P says:

    I love the colors in this week’s vase. The Sansevieria flowers surprised me. Only one plant in that genus has ever bloomed for me but the flower was nowhere near as dramatic as the one you featured. The screw pine with the variegated leaf was also a surprise – I’d have guessed that leaf came from a Phormium or a Dracena . Callicarpa is supposed to grow here but I’ve yet to see one in any local gardens or our garden centers; however, if I ever manage to hunt one down, I’m going to try it – those berries are fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy says:

    Wow, that beauty berry is amazing! I love your tall arrangement this week, with different foliage and that lovely pink vine. And who would have known that Sanseveiria flowers! Amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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