In A Vase on Monday – Winter Gardening


The gardening season is heating up in South Florida. The reverse of most of the Northern Hemisphere, we grow vegetables in the winter as it is too hot for tomatoes or corn to pollinate in the summer. I received the last of my vegetable seeds (Haricot verte) over the weekend and will sow my vegetable garden in the next week or so.

While I grow flowers year round, I plant some of the more common summer flowers in the winter. Deciding to grow some from seed this year, I have Zinnias, Asters, Petunias, Moon Vine and Coral Vine to add to the pollinator garden and cut. The seeds were planted around the first of October and my first Zinnia bloomed this week.20181121_094921_HDR-2This is a Zinna Super Cactus Lilac Emperor, an heirloom variety. It doesn’t quite resemble the picture on the packet – not nearly as stringy or cactusy (new word?) However, it may be the biggest Zinnia I have run across (4 inches wide).

20181125_095513The vase I inherited from my mother, who bought it from the Ute Indian tribe in the Southwestern US. Accenting the Zinnia in the arrangement are in white and fragrant spikes, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); Purple Verbena is next, a native (Glandularia tampaensis); the deep blue flowers are from Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamaicaensis); purple flowers with grey foliage are Barometer Bush (Luecophyllum frutescens); the background plants are Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris), Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) and a sprig of Hawaiian Snowbush (Breynia nivosa).


The pollinators attracted to my garden continue to amaze. We had two groups of honeybees resting in the garden and I spotted this dragonfly while weeding yesterday.


27 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Winter Gardening

  1. Looking good. We can also grow summer annuals, but I have waited too long to get mine. I’ll have to search around.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pbmgarden says:

    What a treat to see that gigantic zinnia–lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Hawaiian snow bush? That sounds compelling. There are a few items in there that I can not identify. I can not even put the names with the plants. What is that foliage to the lower right that looks like silver dollar gum?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Herpst says:

    Very pretty. The contents work so well with your gorgeous vase. I’m a bit envious of your being able to garden in the winter but when I think of the heat and humidity of your summers, huge snakes and alligators, the envy diminishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peter. Summers can only be described as hellish here. However, I am at 28 feet above sea level, have never seen an alligator and only have black racers in the garden. Non venomous snakes that eat bad everything. Would not live anywhere near a canal though.


  5. AlisonC says:

    Your Zinnia is a beautiful colour if not quite what expected. It will be interesting to see if they are all the same. I love those grasses, I’m hoping to have more next year. Your climate is certainly different from ours!


  6. Cathy says:

    Flowering from an early October sowing? That’s amazing, and what a huge flower! Love the grass in the background 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Christina says:

    You’re at the beginning of your Zinnia season and I’m right at the end of mine! I’ll enjoy seeing your blooms when it is winter here. It feels like it is arriving now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a lovely vase, and oh to garden year round and see the pollinators now too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kris P says:

    That wonderful grass again! I’m amazed you can grow Zinnias at this time of year. I think of our climates as somewhat similar in terms of temperature (discounting the increased rain and humidity in yours) but I seriously doubt could grow zinnias from seed in the fall here. Ditto corn and tomatoes – our nights, though freeze-less, are too cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kris, it is so interesting to me to see what you can grow that I have either never or barely heard of. That said, I continue to try things and haven’t seen Zinnias anywhere else around here in October.Though I had them thru the winter last year and they were oddly dwarf. Day length and planted too late I think?! Always an experiment.


  10. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m envious of your zinnias, one of my favorite garden annuals and pollinator attractor. I wonder what your other seedlings will look like? Love the grass that reminds me of Roman candles going off. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chloris says:

    What an enormous zinnia. How wonderful to sow and enjoy winter flowers. Love the muhly grass, I’ve never seen it before.

    Liked by 1 person

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