In a Vase on Monday – Love/Hate Relationships


The oh so subtle signs of fall are appearing on the peninsula of Florida. Hurricane Dorian was one unmistakable sign, the hurricane season peaks on September 10. My husband declared hurricane season over and took down all the storm shutters. Signs in the garden include the formation of fruit on Beautyberry and Firebush and I have seen three (yes, 3!) Red Maples sporting red fall color. It is exciting.

My garden came through the brush with Hurricane Dorian mostly unscathed, the Beautyberry had their leaves blown off (the berries were untouched) and the Avocado tree’s leaves have windburn. A few branches down here and there, but that is about it. I wonder if I have sited the Avocado in a less than the optimal place as the leaves usually burn from one thing or another.


The vase is an old florist’s vase I found by the side of the road in my neighborhood. I am guessing at least thirty years old as I vaguely remember these in the 80s. Most of the plants in the vase I love for their flowers but hate for their voracious appetite for space in the garden.


The most incorrigible of the lot, in white, Spanish Needles (Bidens alba) possibly the best native pollinator in the garden – however, these reseed to the point of annoyance. In orange and red, Firebush (Hamelia patens – varieties botanically undefined) I love these shrubs, but once they get going watch out. I was told one was dwarf (4 feet) sounds great – it is probably closing in on 12 feet and still growing. Also soon to be a tree form as I love the butterflies nectaring on it (5 different butterflies seen while cutting branches for the vase). The red fruits are also from the Firebush, I have two types, the red one produces fruit that grows little plants in the garden – the orange one never does. Grey foliage is from Barometer Bush (Luecophyllum) I prune and prune and never have a dense hedge, purple flowers occasionally make it worthwhile. The purple berries, Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) which I love right now but not so much for the foliage. Ferns are Asian Sword Ferns, they could take over a gas station parking lot. Enough said.

My vase from last week is holding up well with the exception of the Orchid, that was asked to leave and unceremoniously composted. Here are the two vases together.


Maybe there is fall color in Florida. It is just totally different.


26 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Love/Hate Relationships

  1. We also have the problem with shrubs here. They never stay the size stated on the tags. I think I have the same ferns. I have to pull lots of them out every year. On the upside, you have plenty to fill your vases.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your vases look very striking, such good strong colours as interesting texture . Autumnal as we say over here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    I love the wildflower look to this arrangement, Amy. Firebush seems like a great native, it flowers endlessly!
    Glad you escaped the wrath of Dorian. That abrupt right turn was nothing short of amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    Your fall colour is certainly very dramatic. I love the combination of orange and purple. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cathy says:

    Glad to hear Dorian barely touched you. Love today’s orange and green contrast in your vase

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kris P says:

    I’m glad that Dorian passed you by for the most part, Amelia. Is your husband’s declaration that hurricane season is over wishful thinking, or does it have a solid foundation? I imagine that putting up those window shields is a time-consuming process! Thanks for the heads-up about the firebush’s proclivity for reaching for the sky – I may reconsider my interest in it as I already have a few too many of those overachievers in my garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kris, thanks and it is wishful thinking, there are currently 4 storms brewing in the tropical Atlantic and i think the official end of hurricane season is Nov 30. We have had storms in October. I hope I have seen the last of the shutters.


  7. tonytomeo says:

    Ah, beautyberry. I got to get some. I want the common wild form, rather than a garden variety. I am sort of interested in the white Japanese sort too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tonytomeo says:

    Thank you, but I would prefer to wait until I have more time for the garden. I have so many seed here that do not get sown. I only hope that some stay viable for a long time. I could order some online, . . . or I could get some directly when I go someplace exotic like Georgia! (I don’t get out much, but when I do . . . )
    Does comparing the white to Encore Azalea mean that you dislike them? I am less impressed with them because they are not North American, but I think the white is pretty. I dunno. It sees like beautyberry should be beautyberry colored. White is great, but does not fit everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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