In a Vase on Monday – Feeling Cooler, Not.


September in Florida. It’s still blazing hot summer, though the calendar is telling me otherwise. Fall doesn’t arrive until October and it could be really late in October. My mental calendar still lives further north sometimes and expects cooler weather after Labor Day. In hopes of some mental cooling, I went in search of autumnal hues for my vase.

The vase is a thrift store find that I have used frequently and love for its chunky pottery vibe and the grey color provides great contrast to high colors.


This is one of those vases I would have never conceptualized (realize I am a very highly seasoned design person, grey-haired and spicy). Conceptualized is design BS for ‘wouldn’t have thought of this’. Ugh, I hate that stuff sometimes. But there it is. Just popping out.

Wandering through the garden, I cut some white and purple – the white flowers are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) – sometimes it is white. The purple flowers are ‘Cabernet’ Spathoglottis, a Ground Orchid. Then I saw the apricot/orange panicles, these are flowers from the Miniata Bromeliad, fading away. I was surprised to like the color. The usual color is below. The deep purple and gold berries are from a Spicewood (Calyptranthes pallens) – this is one of the supposedly ‘easy to grow natives’ that is not so easy to grow. It has been moved several times and finally seems content, in a place no book recommends. And it doesn’t smell like spices as of yet. The orange tubular flowers are from a Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria), supposedly people made shampoo with these in the past – and then, the disclaimer. Many people are allergic to this, so caution is advised. There is not enough Benadryl in my house to make shampoo with this Aloe. The graceful creamy white spikes are from the Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa) – this is named for a Caribbean dance – Juba, because it sways in the wind like the dancers, and it really does. I guess I need a Limbo plant. Striped foliage in the back is from Wandering Jew (Transcandentia zebrina) that grows wild in my garden.

Here is the Miniata Bromeliad in flower.


An interesting difference in the Miniata, though I like both colors and this week the color is decidedly cooler.

I just finished a good book and would like to share it with you. This book resonated deeply with me, having many similar thoughts and experiences in my garden. (I talk to my mother – who is dead – often in the garden, usually about my lack of gloves) I was happy to read other people do this.

A very enjoyable read by Cynthia Reyes, ‘Twigs in my Hair’



21 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Feeling Cooler, Not.

  1. Noelle M says:

    Oh…that grey vase is just the ticket for showing off your tropical treasures…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, I like this! The round vase is a perfect complement to the berries and flowing, strap-like blue flowers and Juba. Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your vases are always so creative. That reminds me that I need to order Cynthia’s book. I have the other two.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    I would love that vase too if it was mine – both the shape and the colour. It is interesting how your vase seems a little toned down today when compared with your big and vibrant tropical ones, as if you are working towards that early autumn that your mind thinks it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. the running wave says:

    I love the shocking pink with the autumnal colour of the Miniata Bromeliad, and definitely covet your lovely grey vase! Amanda

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kris P says:

    It’s interesting to see how plants can transform themselves. I wouldn’t expect something called a tropical red salvia to produce white flowers or for that dramatic red and purple Miniata bromeliad to produce soft orange panicles. I have to look for that book. Since my friend passed away suddenly in June, I’ve been having conversations in my head with her, also about gardening without gloves. I’m glad to know I’m in good company.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pbmgarden says:

    I too like your new vase. It seems it would work with everything. Nice use of the Miniata Bromeliad. I won’t be making any Soap Aloe shampoo. Had a bad reaction this week to the sap in tradescantia (spiderwort).
    The book looks interesting–will have to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm, I always check out plants before using them where my dogs hang out and Transcandentia can cause rashes if they sit on them! I am still digesting that as I am not sure they would sit on them.


  8. Cathy says:

    I love the vase and all the wonderful names of the flowers in it. I just read a preview of Cynthia’s book and got distracted – so readable… and I have bought the digital version! Thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Amy! I so very much appreciate your mention of my book. Glad you enjoyed it. There’s one main difference between us, lady: I could never make an arrangement as beautiful and clever as the one in this post. Girl, you are something else!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Karen says:

    Love the colors in your vase. I’m hoping that by the end of the month when we return from Europe that at least the temperatures will have dropped below 90 in Florida. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. tonytomeo says:

    Even a week late, yours are the first ones I get to, and the most unusual. Most of your flowers are the sorts that I have never worked with. I would have difficulty cutting such odd flowers from my garden, just because, to me, they would seem rare.


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