In A Vase on Monday – Zerumbet Zen


My Shell Ginger is still flowering, so I couldn’t resist cutting a few more to create a vase for Monday. The word zerumbet is the last part of the botanical name for Shell Ginger, Alpinia zerumbet. Zerumbet means a plant stem with a spicy aroma.Β  This plant is nearly a pleasure to cut back as the stems have a gingery aroma and of course, if deadheaded properly the results are more flowers and a much better looking plant. A little pruning induces garden zen. Rarely I find myself happily inhaling the scent produced by my loppers. These tropical perennials tend to be large, about six feet wide and four feet tall and a bit of thinning improves the foliage and flowers.

The Shell Ginger was (I know, yet another) garage sale find. I spied the five dollar huge pot of Ginger, not knowing what it was exactly (Ginger something and I love Ginger anything) bought it, then decided it was so huge I divided it into three. Planted in three different places, which ended up being a really good idea. Siting Gingers in my garden seems to be a bit of a trick, out of the wind, sun but not too much sun and a nearby irrigation head seems to be a great thing. The wind thing really surprised me, after six years I am moving the rest of the gingers this spring.


This vase seems to be another of my spa lobby creations, there are black Mexican pebbles in the bottom to hold the stems in place as the stems are heavy and uncooperative. Feeling the calming ginger vibes helped solving another identity crisis.

The other mystery Amaryllis in my garden finally flowered.


This is the one from my father in law, and oddly enough it flowered during his birthday week. He would have been 93 years old. I have been carrying this Amaryllis around for going on 20 years. Maybe another cosmic reminder of gardening zen.

I think it is a Red Lion as that was commonly grown 30 years ago as a forced holiday bulb. I am letting it go to seed, hoping for more.


36 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Zerumbet Zen

  1. Plants never cease to amaze me. I was a little disappointed a few weeks back when the mystery amaryllis bloom turned out not to be from your father-in-law, but it was just waiting for its big moment. Beautiful shell ginger, too, as always. That plant was a quite the find!


  2. I’ve never seen a ginger plant, they are really beautiful!!


  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Funnily enough, I have the same red Hippeastrum blooming right now in my sunspace. I love the shell ginger, such a delicate cascading bloom. Fragrance must be a bonus!
    You’re definitely getting a jump on the Monday crowd. πŸ˜‰


  4. Yeah, really tricky, sometimes there and sometimes gone…the ginger was beautiful today and it supposed to get hot and rain,blahhh


  5. tonytomeo says:

    I miss the weird gingers that grew in Southern California. We do not have the same variety here, and we lack shell ginger. I do not know why. Some tropical types are sensitive to frost.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It must be red amaryllis week as I had two bloom. Plants can be very “strange”. I have a Butterfly Vine my mother-in-law gave me. It only bloomed once and that was the summer after she died.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cathy says:

    That’s good to have this reminder of your father in law, and what a great find your big pot of ginger was – but what a size it grows to!! Always enjoy seeing what surprises you have for us each Monday πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The ginger vase is one stunning arrangement. And I love your description of “spa lobby.” I am impressed with how many gardeners who do this meme have bulbs and plants that they have carried over for years. I have pretty much lost all the things like that that I once tried to keep alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I may be the spa lobby Vaser. I think it is simple, wildly tropical flowers in a vase! The Amaryllis were in the ground in Georgia for several years, then joined my tropicals in Florida where I guess they were Happier.


  9. I am so happy you chose to cut more Shell Ginger…..I am quite loving it! And that is one special amaryllis!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Peter Herpst says:

    Wow, your arrangement is so exotic and beautiful. How sweet that your Amaryllis bloomed during your father-in-law’s birthday week!


  11. Chloris says:

    I love your ginger, what a delight to have such a magnificent thing growing in your garden And I am so impressed at how long you have kept the hippeastrum going. I can never get them to rebloom.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kris P says:

    I so love that ginger that I looked it up in my western garden guide to see if, just possibly, I could grow it. It seems that it’s rated as evergreen in Sunset zone 23/24 (my Sunset zonal classification) but the “ample water” designation is a hurdle I’d have to face. It’s always something…The performance of the Hippeastrum is impressive too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kris, I don’t water anything very much, we have beach sand with well water for irrigation and it is not terribly reliable. The Gingers are sited below the roof where the water drips off and in the bottom of a swale where the driveway drains, and out of the wind. I love the Ginger, too – it took a couple of years for them to flower.


  13. Cathy says:

    I do like your shell ginger flower. It must be a lovely scent – I love ginger and thinking about the smell has reminded me of a liqueur we used to have for Christmas time in the UK – Stone’s ginger wine. Oh yum! It is also a wonderful thought for me to see Amaryllis flowering in the garden – and what a lovely way to remember your father-in-law! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Noelle says:

    The ginger bloom is a real winner…and I am sure it last quite a long time. I hope that you enjoy that lovely amaryllis for years to come and pass it down to other family members too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pbmgarden says:

    Lovely that your father in law’s amaryllis came into bloom when it did. Gardens hold love and lovely memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Christina says:

    I don’t know how I missed your post before; I’m so glad I saw it now. I love, love, love your ginger and how you arranged it in the vase. Zen is a good word for gardening – happy memories of people and sometimes places.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jane Lurie says:

    Shell Ginger is so beautiful. Love your photos and your description.


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