In A Vase on Monday – Boxed Florida Sunshine.


The Beach Sunflowers are overtaking my front yard. The mailman, raised in the Florida Keys, stopped to inform me no one left the Beach Sunflowers in their garden when he was growing up – they were considered weeds, though clearly he was wondering if maybe it was a good idea. Floridians, the rare native ones,  tend not to appreciate things that are common (and wonderful). I think the tide of appreciation is turning to plants more suited to their native environment – who couldn’t appreciate a box of sunshine from Florida on a fine February morning?


The blue watercolor box is filled with Helianthus debilis, Beach Sunflower. Beach Sunflower is a native reseeding biennial – the reasons I love these, they bloom nearly year round, thrive in pure sand, outcompete most weeds and can be pruned to low masses. What’s not to love?

The fruit tree update. Mangoes are flowering here, we will have fruit in June or July, the panicles produce numerous fruits – most fall off and maybe one to three fruits per flower is left. By late spring, the branches will be bending from the weight of the fruit.


This is a big Haden Mango located on my daily dog walk route. My little Mangoes are flowering a little, but nothing like this.

I bought another fruit tree, a Red Jaboticaba:


This is a South American fruit tree that bears a grape like fruit on the trunk. In a few years. Patience, gardeners.



44 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Boxed Florida Sunshine.

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    I find your sunflowers very charming and I think natives are a smart choice. That said, I think your non-native fruit tree sounds promising – may it bear well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina says:

    I looked up your sunflower on my seed suppliers list and it appears that ‘Italian White’ and several other varieties are all called that!! So maybe my sunflowers don’t need as much water as I give them. Your box full cheered my morning. Here we have thick snow! I’m very envious of the mangoes, but given the currant low temperatures I realise there’s no way I could consider growing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those colours are a shot of Summer. Winter here is dragging on and is about to get colder.
    Amazing they can thrive in sand. Isn’t nature marvellous

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely to see your sunny flowers, its bitterly cold here with snow, so the complete opposite!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pbmgarden says:

    The natives in your beautiful blue box make a perfect presentation.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Peter Herpst says:

    Thank you for this delicious box of sunshine, the perfect remedy for the winter blues!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cathy says:

    Yes, what’s not to like – all the year round too! Perhaps we in the UK should appreciate dandelions more than we do… but I think not! 😉 And your sunflowers look perfect against the blue. Good luck with the mango and the jaboticaba

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would be happy to something grow that easily. Do they bloom all year?


  9. Noelle says:

    If something is indigenous and it looks as beautiful as this, it is perfectly correct that they should star in your vase. I was thinking dandelions like Cathy…but they run to seed in a matter of a couple of days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, it’s my favorite, we have a dandelion like weed here, Florida Tassels, purple and red tassels followed by dandelion like flowers, I cut a few but mostly pull them. Hopefully in time.


  10. I would love that box of sunshine….beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A weed is just a plant in the wrong place – and I think these sunflowers are in the right place. Thank you – it is great to learn about native plants from different parts of the world. They are offset perfectly by your sea blue box.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can feel the warmth from here!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kris P says:

    How can anyone pull up and throw away those wonderful sunflowers?! Actually, people here feel much the same way about plants like Agapanthus so I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Thanks for your messages last week, and the heads-up on Brian Mast’s editorial.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Cathy says:

    Those sunflowers look great in your blue box. I hope they will encourage others in your neighbourhood to grow them again! The mango flowers are magnificent. I rarely eat mangoes as they are so expensive here and often not ripe enough, but had never thought about the plant they come from before! 🙂


  15. Who wouldn’t, indeed. And that is a gorgeous blue box of sunshine, much appreciated by this Canadian.

    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