In a Vase on Monday – From Florida with Love


As I was putting this vase together it occurred to me there probably isn’t another garden with this mix of plants in January unless it is in Florida. It is a season spanning  concoction. Spring and Summer flowers, some fall berries and pineapple foliage. My husband and I refer to this time of year as Not Summer. The rest of the year is Summer.

The weather during Not Summer is delightful for gardening, highs in the 70s with low humidity and ocean breezes. The climate is not without drawbacks, I cannot let my cat outside as there are several things that might eat her, I believe I have nematodes in my vegetable garden (disastrous), persnickety rabbits ate most of my radishes but only one kind of Basil and I am slightly overrun with Papayas. Not to mention the possibility of hurricanes. I will persevere. Actively looking for Papaya fans. Few takers.


A closer view of the vase:


The big pink flowers are Zinnias, despite my best efforts I have no idea what kind. Popsicle sticks labeled everything blah, blah, blah. Planted some free mixed seeds,  but I labeled them something else.  Ironically, my favorite Zinnia thus far.

The  yellow and orange flowers are Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella), Florida natives that reseed freely and invent new colors every year. The chartreusy spike above the Gallardia is a new Celosia (Texas Vintage Rose Mix) from Floret. Described as heart breakingly beautiful like faded velvet or something like that; my heart is not broken yet though  I will  monitor these. Pink stars are Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata). There are a few white  and  peach Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). The big orange flowers are from Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria), red and green foliage from a Miniature Pineapple, purple berries are still hanging around on the Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana). Birds  have eaten the berries on the other shrubs further out in the garden. These are closer to the house and my dogs may be keeping the birds away.

From last weeks vase, the Dombeya everyone  was interested in. The  wind  died down a bit and here is the whole shrub.


From Florida with Love.

Happy Gardening.


13 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – From Florida with Love

  1. That is a great description of “not summer”. It is a treat to have flowers all year. Florida has us beat, but I can see something in bloom outside of every window.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cathy says:

    My first thought was ‘Oh, it’s like a summer vase!’ so it tickled me that you call this season ‘Not Summer’! Such an interesting mix and it reminds me how well pink and orange look together in a vase. So what are these nematodes in your veg garden? Here we think of nematodes as good guys, released to get rid of bad guys – or am I just ignorant in not knowing there are ‘bad’ nematodes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, pink and orange is controversial, but I like it. We have root knot nematodes here, they destroy roots basically and the plant can’t support itself. Common in sandy soil, there are also beneficial nematodes and I should probably buy some.


  3. Kris P says:

    Like you, we have only 2 real seasons as well (cool and warm-to-hot) but even here I can’t grow zinnias at this time of year, Amelia! My soap aloes have yet to produce any flowers. My husband would gladly take the papayas off your hands.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you can grow Zinnias, I started them from seed in October, I think it might be better to do it later. Just planted some seed in the ground. They fry in July or so here. Wish your husband was here to eat Papayas!


  4. Eliza Waters says:

    A great colorful mix, it sings of summer (or in your case, NOT summer 😉 ).
    The papayas look great, I’d take one if I lived closer, alas. Do you juice them? Ever thought of getting a dehydrator? You could make fruit leather or chunks to store for later. They also make great homemade ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes and dried herbs. Also good for farmer’s market surplus. Oh, yeah, and don’t forget dried flowers! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Noelle says:

    Your arrangement is so colourful. I just love pawpaws and love to make pawpaw and vanilla jam, which is my favourtie on brioche for breakfast. I made some brioches and pawpaw jam specially to have for Christmas morning breakfast.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cathy says:

    Your not summer sounds like a perfect summer to me! 😉 Wish I could hop over for a plateful of papayas…, hard to get them here, and always a disappointment too as they are never really ripe. Your vase is so summery and very cheering on a chilly January morning!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Ah, more beautyberry. What I find even more impressive though, are the soap aloe. They bloom here, but everyone leaves them in the garden.


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