In a Vase on Monday – August in a Pasta Jar


The Dog Days of Summer are upon us. August dawned with steamy tropical heat punctuated by thunderstorms followed by a deluge of rain that emboldened and enthralled weeds overtaking the garden. I try to keep all the seed heads picked off the most noxious weeds in hopes of containing their numbers. It seems things make seed earlier here taking advantage of the rainy season to establish a new generation.

My Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana)  is packed with fruit and was blocking access to our irrigation controller so I trimmed a branch for this vase. Floridians make jam with this – I may have enough berries this year, although the universal reaction to the jam (from non-Floridians) has been ‘it doesn’t taste like much’. Probably best left for the birds. And I won’t have to engage my botulism phobia. This is one stem of a 6-foot shrub.


The vase is an old pasta container that long ago lost its lid. While cutting flowers, it occurred to me I was getting a real taste of late summer in Florida without any of the imported tropicals. I left Frangipani, Heliconias, Orchids, and Bromeliads flowering in the garden.


The contents of August in a jar: purple and green berries; American Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana); white flowers, Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata); orange and yellow spikes, Bulbine frutescens; red spikes, Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); red star shaped flowers, Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata); tubular red/orange flowers, native Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens); Daisies at the base; in yellow, Beach Daisies (Helianthus debilis); in apricot, some mysterious Zinnias and some native Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella). The Gallardia was thoughtlessly cropped out by me – it can be seen in the picture at the top of the post.

Maybe next week I will have a Tropical Jar of August!


21 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – August in a Pasta Jar

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    I love this wild mix of summer in a vase! So pretty a mix of color and form, the ones that have caught my eye are apricot Bulbine, the bright Pentas and Firebush, which looks like licorice candy to me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy says:

    That’s a glorious concoction, Amelia – I love the ‘shape’ of the vase as well as the colours. Really really like this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kris P says:

    I so wish I could grow Callicarpa with those jewel-like purple berries. Supposedly there are species that can be grown here but you wouldn’t know it from the stock in local garden centers. Your summer rainstorms sound lovely, other than the weed part.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am intrigued with these Florida Beautyberry, they grow in sugar sand and nearly full sun. They would have rolled over and died in my Atlanta garden in such a place. I looked and we had 6 inches of rain last week. The weeds are the worst part.


  4. Love the vase and the bright beautiful flowers you chose for it,.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Our local paper ran an article on Beautyberry jam. I am going to pass on that. We have Beautyberries growing on our wooded trails.


  6. tonytomeo says:

    What!?!? I so did not know that beautyberry is useful for jam! I had been wanting to grow it because it is so pretty, but I can not justify it. If I can make jam with it, that would be rad! Even if it is no good, at least I would know. I made jelly with the native Santa Catalina cherries . . . but it was not very good. I tried to make jelly with manzanita, but it does not gel. I intend to win a blue ribbon this year for my blue elderberry jelly!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So vivid — and interesting shapes and textures too. I’m wondering if that beauty berry is the same thing my friend has growing in her garden. So I sent her the link to this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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