In A Vase on New Year’s Day- Unreal


Some of the more tropical plants in my garden produce flowers that strike me as unreal. New Year’s Eve found me in the garden tending vegetables under a cerulean blue sky, wearing a sweatshirt and enjoying a bit of cool weather. December in South Florida can seem a bit dreamy. Beautiful beach weather for the most part, sometimes a bit foggy. Around town people can be seen surfing on the blue water… while pelicans dive into the river seeking a mullet for dinner.

It also seems unreal to me that tomorrow ushers in 2018! Where did the time go?

I can assure you that the flowers are quite real and from my garden. The orange, yellow and red flowers resembling Lobster Claws are from a Blanchetiana Bromeliad. The Bromeliad itself is probably 5 feet tall and 6 feet across, the flowers are panicle like affairs that are about 4 tall and maybe 18 inches wide. I had cut the whole flower, then realized there were ants living in the stem. Quick work was made of cutting the ant hill off and leaving it in the garden. The balance of the flower was placed in my big crystal vase, forming a swirling base for some other flowers.


The orange firecrackers are from Firebush (Hamelia patens), big leaves are from a Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), the off white flowers from the mysterious Wireweed, the gift from Mother Nature that keeps on giving. Here is a close up:


The crystal vase, a wedding gift from a dear friend. The bells, to ring in the New Year, a favorite family heirloom of mine – my father brought them home from India, where he served during World War II. I have no clue what they really are, but my mother always used them on her wreath at Christmas.

Since it is New Year’s Eve, my husband and I are preparing a special dinner. He is baking an Apple Pie, I am working on homemade Pasta for Smoked Fish in Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce. The fish is Snapper caught and smoked by my husband, the sauce a decadent creamy vegetable sauce. For this we needed another flower arrangement.


The centerpiece, in my mother’s Rose Bowl features Salvia: the peach Salvia is a seedling of the Tropical Red Salvia (S. coccinea) – there are named cultivars like this, however, this one is mine! The purple Salvia is Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha). I had this plant as an annual further north and bought one late fall. It seemed annoyed, then started to flower. Orange flowers are from our Firebush (Hamelia patens). White flowers are Sweet Begonias (Begonia odorata), Dark red flowers are Shrimp Plants (Justicia brandegeana) and some Asian Sword Fern, there are also some Gallardia floating around in there.

New Year’s Eve dinner:




Happy New Year!!




25 comments on “In A Vase on New Year’s Day- Unreal

  1. Happy New Year! It looks like you are having a great day. Your weather sounds fabulous. We are all wrapped up waiting for a hard freeze.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love how these 2 vases look like fireworks…perfect for New Year’s celebrating! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FlowerAlley says:

    Lovely in every way. Happy New Year Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Noelle says:

    Happy New Year to both of you. Love the arrangement…such movement in the first one. Great dishes too…lots of memories with the bells in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AlisonC says:

    The colourings are beautiful and do look unreal. The wireweed is very lovely, what a great free gift. How lovely to have your own flowers in December, we can only dream of that. Happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy says:

    The bromeliad must be a real feature in your garden at that size – or perhaps you have lots of huge plants! Its flowers and that of the firebush make for a lovely fiery vase – and then such a contrast with your pretty second one. As I haven’t yet decided what I am cooking for our meal tonight seeing your two dishes from last night have made me feel quite envious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have several of these bromeliads and think of them as turning points in the garden, they are red and orange and big, mixing them with the less tropical plants is the challenge. I have a pot of soup on today, watching football (not soccer!)


      • Cathy says:

        I am pleased I don’t have the challenge of mixing bromeliads with less tropical plants!! ps we are very fond of homemamde soup here, and one of us is very fond of watching football 😉


      • Typically bromeliads are planted with more bromeliads – which ends up looking like an outer space garden. I think of them more like big Miscanthus. My alma mater is playing in the national championship! We are also homemade soup fans, Goulash last night.


  7. Kris P says:

    What a wonderful way to spend New Year’s Eve! (Well, except for the ants of course – they plague us here too.) Your Blanchetiana never ceases to amaze me. I wonder if I show my plant your photo, it’ll get the message to start blooming? I love how you used the flowers in a vase and your dinner makes my mouth water. (Once again, I’m visiting your blog at lunch time.)

    Best wishes for a glorious new year in the garden, Amelia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kris. The Blanchetianas have been around for years-4 or 5 from pups. I think they have to develop some size before flowering. Hurricane Irma sort of mashed all of them, but they are still going. Happy Hopefully Rainy New Year!!


  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful arrangements and your weather sounds so much nicer than ours. Your dinner looks absolutely scrumptious! I’m drooling! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Karen says:

    Your vases are pretty, your meal looks delicious…a nice way to start the new year. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are so good at these arrangements, girl. through a bit of tha talent north, okay?
    The bells look like the temple bells used in some eastern religions and for yoga and meditation. what an heirloom!
    And how funny to hear about your plant that seemed ‘annoyed’. I believe you! Some plants just do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia, thank you! I will look into temple bells,it would make sense as they are from India. We have a friend who is a Buddhist (probably the wrong word) priest, I will ask him. As for annoyed plants, there are more than a few here with the cold snap. I am also annoyed!


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