In a Vase on Monday – Under the Toasting Sun


It’s the Fourth of July holiday week in the US, usually celebrated with red, white and blue everything. I have these colors in my garden, while poised under the Gardenia with my clippers I decided to forego the patriotic theme and create a vase that reflected the current state of affairs in my garden – Under the Toasting Sun. A brief walk to check the mail will envelop you with humidity that metastasizes into a form-fitting body glove consisting of a fine layer of sweat, soon beading up from head to toe, making the mail a forgotten task as one tends to turn and stride back to air-conditioned space tout de suite.

Last week in the garden was a bit hot, temperatures in the 90’s (30s Centigrade to feels like 40s) ‘but it feels like 108’ kept popping up on my computer. Add the astonishing humidity and an air quality alert due to Saharan sand – it was time to look out the window at the garden.

This indoor respite gave rise to weeds and fungus took a few innocent lives during the week. I am happy to have weed check fabric in many of my beds doing a fine job preventing the worst offenders. It was cool and cloudy Saturday and I plucked weeds not smothered by the weed fabric. The Zinnias I thought could last the summer in partial shade withered and browned overnight. They were plucked as well, I have Flapjack Kalanchoes propagated last year to stand in for the supposedly heat loving Zinnias. I will reserve Zinnias for fall and winter.


Look closely and you see two Papayas, saved by netting from the Papaya Fruit Fly – a vile creature that lays eggs inside ripening fruit – unleashing a herd of maggots on unsuspecting gardeners looking for a ripe Papaya. The only cure- netting or pesticide, we will soon see how this works. I realized something was wrong and got rid of all the infested Papayas before the little devils reproduced.

Back to the vase, filled with hot colors and Firebush:


The grey foliage represents smoke from the heat, Barometer Bush (Luecophyllum frutescens) from last week, not flowering despite all the rain it is supposed to predict. In the front of the vase in yellow, Beach Sunflower (Helianthis debilis) proposing a trip to the beach. Behind are Indian Blanket, the native Gallardia pulchella – suggesting what to sit on at the beach; the red spikes, Tropical Red Saliva (Salvia coccinea) hmm, tropical drinks could be a great idea. The Firebush is the orange tubular flowers and berries, well, it is hot as fire here! A few ‘Hallmark’ Bulbine implying a postcard might be a good idea.


The word from my garden is..take an Indian Blanket to the beach with a tropical red cocktail and don’t forget to send a Hallmark greeting card to anyone left at home.

Seems like the advice I might take this week..

Happy Fourth of July. Red, white and blue flowers can wait.



22 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Under the Toasting Sun

  1. Christina says:

    I love your exuberant vase this week, fully if such striking colour. Happy Fourth of July.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like a firey sunset

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy says:

    Wow, that really reflects your temperatures, Amelia, and I love how you have included all the connotations to the heat too. Sorry to hear about the effect on your garden but I suppose that is the downside of living where you do. Let’s hope it cools a little for you soon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris P says:

    I love your title! The beach sunflowers look fantastic with the Gaillardia. My own Gaillardias are blooming heavily but I haven’t come up with suitable companions for them yet – maybe they’ll last until the sunflowers arrive but, as I only recently planted seeds, that may be a pipe dream. Zinnias stand up to the summer heat here (I’ve only just planted those seeds) – I wonder if it’s your humidity that does them in? Even though our summers have been somewhat more humid in recent years, we’re dry as dust by comparison to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kris. It seems you should be able to grow Beach Sunflowers -? I have a hard time getting rid of them. About the Zinnias, they were thriving until we had a brutal heat wave. And I was so looking forward to Lime Queen! LA must be a cooler somehow, I have Zinnias in February.


  5. Chloris says:

    Wow, I enjoy a bit of heat but this sounds unbearable. I love your fiery arrangement and how exciting about the papayas.


  6. tonytomeo says:

    Yours are some of the most fun because there is always something that I do not recognize.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your weather sounds very familiar. The dust has been causing some respiratory issues here, including for my husband. The upside is that the meteorologist say it keeps hurricanes away.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. the running wave says:

    Hot, hot, hot! And it translates in your lovely arrangement! I couldn’t cope with such temperatures! Here in Scotland we wilt at around 25C! A

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cathy says:

    These are the perfect colours of summer, and I am gald you chose them despite the date! Love the sunflowers and your salvia reminded me I grew a pineapple one a few years ago which smelt gorgeous. We had mid 30s and high humidity last week – awful, so 40°C must be simply mind-numbing. Hope you get some fresh and drier air coming your way soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    I do not envy you that heat and humidity. Stultifying outdoor activity, in a word. Your arrangement reflects the heat well, hot and sunny!
    Hope your netting keeps the nasty flies away. It seems if we like a thing, so do a myriad of other creatures. Growing food is a battle I don’t engage in anymore, at least not on the scale I used to when I canned and froze what I grew.
    Happy Fourth to you – going to see any fireworks?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stupifying may be a better description! I am hoping for a Papaya or two, having thrown at least 8 out. A friend gave me a huge bag of Mangoes yesterday, so I am enjoying so tropical fruit. Usually I can see fireworks from my front yard – i stay in with my terrified dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

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