In A Vase on Monday – Winter White


Winter lasted for about two days here. The temperature was 87 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. I gave up gardening in hopes of cooler weather later in the week. My vegetable seeds were planted this week along with lettuce plants (the lettuce probably has wilted and needs water by now).

My task this morning, moving Orchids to strategic areas, so I can see the flowers from inside the house. As I was wheeling pots around, I noticed most of the flowers in the garden are white currently, no idea why. I have been watching this native wildflower called Octoberflower bloom for about a month, it started right on time, October 31st.

20181128_110712Octoberflower is native to an area called Scrub in Florida – my garden is in Scrub, so you would think these plants would enjoy my garden. Not so much.  I find them very difficult to place and grow, moving them into the native pollinator garden, one out of five made it. Although, they are great cut flowers.


Here is a close up of the vase, the blue glass bowl, a Christmas gift from long ago. The Octoberflower is on the right side of the photo, tinged with pink. Next to those, probably the last flower of the Tropical Gardenia (Tabernaemontana divericata); draping the vase are Sweet Begonias (Begonia odorata ‘Alba’); some clusters of White Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘Alba’); the bigger spikey flowers are from Snake Plant AKA Mother In Law’s Tongues (Sansiveria cultivar ‘It Took Over My Yard’); smaller white spikes from Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa); a few sprigs of pale pink Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). The foliage in the vase is Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘sprengeri’) and another native, Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa) – the berries look like coffee, but you can tell by the botanical name, not something you want to drink.

I am from the American South. Wondering how many gardeners relate to the term ‘Winter White’?

My mother, a well raised lady of proper breeding:?! – would have said Winter White is an off white color appropriate to be worn in winter; whereas wearing pure white after Labor Day (early September) is an abomination.



The photos, Snake Plant and Wild Coffee.


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

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    You always seem to find interesting flowers to use in your arrangements. I like the drape of the begonia blossoms over the blue glass. Very pretty! And that wild coffee, I wonder who experimented with that to come up with its name?? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Well . . . .
    Yes, white is my favorite color, so I do not care what time of year it is.
    However, I use it responsibly in landscaping. At my former home, there was no white in front, just because it would not have looked good with that simple home and landscape. It was mostly orange and yellow. I get to use white more at work because it works so well in the shady redwood forests. It has it’s place.
    There are many natives that, even withing their native range, do not like to be cultivated. Joshua trees that do so well out in the desert will rot in an irrigated landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, these days I only think of winter white in terms of snow in the garden. But growing up, summer white from Memorial Day to Labor Day was definitely the rule. And I remember winter whites as well. Anything I have now is always a creamy white once winter is here, so I guess I am still following the rules!

    That October flower that is a scrub plant looks a lot like a heath or heather to me. And my hardy Begonia rarely flowers. I am happy if it just makes an appearance. I must say that I really like your concept of winter white for a bouquet. I tend to think of red at this season and your display is a very attractive alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    No idea about any fashion ‘rules’ for wearing white here in the UK!! It seems unusual to have a white vase from you, as we are used to such brighter offerings, but it is intriguing that this is what your garden is offering now. I am a little concerned about the latin name for the ‘wild coffee’ which suggests it might have a psychotic effect if ingested…will google if I get a spare moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the white flowers. It is funny how sometimes you look at your garden and see one dominate color. It has always amazed me that people here (I’m a former Yankee) dress for the time of year. It can be in the 80’s and everyone is dressed for Fall/Winter. One would not dare to wear white this time of year, no matter how hot it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christina says:

    Winter white means snow or frost even though it’s not something we see much here. I only wear white in mid-summer when the light is bright, otherwise I think it looks a bit sad. Your blue vase is a gorgeous colour and the way the flowers drape really emphasizes it’s colour.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow these look so exotic and beautiful!


  8. Kris P says:

    I remember admiring those Sansevieria flowers before. I’ve only seen flowers on one species in my garden and they were no where near as wonderful as those on your ‘It Took Over My Yard’. Oddly, my garden also seems to sport certain colors to a greater extend than others at intervals too. Right now, regrettably, we’re in a pink period, totally out of keeping with the season. I wish I had more white.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Peter Herpst says:

    Oh yes, I remember the no white after Labor Day except winter white. Your winter white arrangement is in perfect fashion for the time of year. Nicely done!


  10. Cathy says:

    Ooh, this is so pretty! I love the pink tinges of the October flower and the begonia stems, and the way the flowers drape down over the blue vase. I have never heard of not wearing white in winter, but also know ‘winter white’ as sort of off-white. I always assumed the term comes from the colour of animal furs that were worn in winter in the past… or the colour of my complexion in December! LOL!


  11. Chloris says:

    That’s a new one to me about wearing white, although I have heard blue and green should never be seen. I love your white arrangement. Such unusual flowers and I love your begonias.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Okay: this arrangement is one of my all-time faves. Brava, sister! It’s complex, yet there’s such harmony.

    Liked by 1 person

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