In A Vase on Monday – Two Challenges

20181111_095353-1 Last week, in honor of the fifth anniversary of the meme ‘In A Vase on Monday’, Cathy, our hostess at Rambling in the Garden on WordPress challenged us to not use a vase on Monday. Hence, the watering can. My second challenge, issued by a gardening friend, to use all native wildflowers in my non vase.

The brass watering can had been around my mother’s house for so long I am not sure if I am the second or third generation to use it. I decided to leave the patina and fill it with delicate wildflowers from my garden and a few fall fruits, all from plants native to Florida – a surprisingly long plant list.


As I was arranging this, I was surprised by how pretty these flowers are when closely observed. And how many flowers it took to fill the small watering can.

The purple flowers are Tampa Verbena (Glandularia tampensis); pink tubular flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) – it seeds in red, pink, salmon and orange. The deep blue flowers are Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis); I have learned to love this plant along with the butterflies, it continues to open flowers after cutting and the stems are such a wonderful accent. The purple grasses are Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris). I am not sure this grass does as well anywhere else but in Florida. Sharp drainage is vital, mine grows in sugar sand with no irrigation.


I have finally found out what the off white spikes are – Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa), identified by a wildflower expert who said “Juba Bush is named after a Afro-Caribbean step dance, because of the way it waves in the wind” It actually does have a lovely sway in the wind – and I like the story. The ferns are Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata),  porch plants the world over, these originated in the swamps of Florida and popped up in my garden. The white flowers are  Jointweed or Wireweed or Octoberflower (Polygonella robusta), started blooming on October 31!

Fruits are from the Senna ligustrina, the long brown pods. I recently added these to the garden to attract Sulphur Butterflies. They are doing their job, though I haven’t seen any caterpillars. The plants remind me of Soft Caress Mahonia, which l love but can’t grow this far south. The round fruits are from the Gumbo Limbo tree (Bursea simarouba) I love these for their names, the other one being Tourist Tree, for the red peeling bark resembling sunburned skin…

Happy IAVOM Anniversary, to see vases from around the world follow this link.More Vases


34 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Two Challenges

  1. Amanda says:

    What a lovely collection! I particularly like the ethereal grasses – they are just the sort of thing I would pick for my Plant Belles – see my contribution for today’s vase! Amanda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Amelia, this is just lovely. The brass watering can makes a beautiful container, especially knowing it’s been handed down for generations. I see lots of muhly grass here in Chapel Hill, both pink and white. Yours adds height and an airy feeling to the other natives.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gorgeous! Love the grasses giving an airiness to the arrangement. What a variety you found – both challenges met brilliantly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great use of wildflowers. We have a pink Muhly grass here that is blooming well this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love that Muhly grass and have discovered one that is hardy here but I have not tried it yet. Since you mentioned it, I will need to think about whether i can meet its drainage needs. Love your watering can and its patina. Nothing like a family treasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cathy says:

    Well done for combining two challenges! It is always fascinating to see and read about your native plants and the plants you have selected work well following the contours of the watering can, especially the spout. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tonytomeo says:

    You certainly have some odd natives there.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Chloris says:

    I love seeing your pretty wild flowers, it is great that you use them in your garden and vases. I often see Muhly grass on American blogs but I have never come across it here. I love it. And what unusual fruits too.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Peter Herpst says:

    You rose to both challenges very well! What a lovely arrangement and sweet to have so many natives in bloom.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Kris P says:

    This may be one of my favorites among your creations, Amelia. I LOVE that grass. There’s are Muhly grasses that grow here but none are as graceful and ethereal as yours. The Iresine is wonderful too. I’m trying, relatively unsuccessfully thus far, to grow Iresine herbstii but, with our humidity levels once again in the single digits, I don’t think I have the most hospitable environment for tropical plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kris – I love the Muhly as well and think Florida has champion Muhly. I had never heard of Iresine and am going to look yours up right now! Aha, I think I have seen that one. Didn’t know the latin.


  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Well done! A beautiful assortment of flowers and the grass looks like fireworks celebrating Cathy’s fifth. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You have outdone yourself again…..all natives that look stunning in the watering can.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. George Rogers says:

    Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your Florida native grass has a wonderful texture. Love the brass watering can as your ‘not’ vase.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Cathy says:

    This is so lovely Amelia. I think it is my favourite ‘vase’ of yours so far! So many unknown plants for me, yet somehow the overall effect is familiar. Wildflowers always appeal to me wherever they come from!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Christina says:

    Well done, Cathy’s challenge was ha di enough let alone making it harder by taking on the challenge of using native flowers. You have succeeded in both. Your arrangement is beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

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