In a Vase on Monday – Vibrant Colors


The flowers I started the arrangement with seemed especially vivid today. Maybe it’s the overcast skies or the first flowers of the season make them feel more vibrant; but the Nodding Hibiscus (at the bottom of the arrangement) looks really red (to me). I added the big green leaf (White Bird of Paradise) to calm things down; then realized it was getting a little Christmasssy – that is probably not a word.

Back to the garden, I love a little grey-green in anything and spotted spiky seedheads forming on the Leonitis. Cut the biggest ones and they are sharp like a pinecone. Red, green, yellow and black varigated foliage should be celebrated, so I added a cutting of Mammey Croton and for more red, a sprig of Firecracker Plant. Four plants produce a lot of punch in one little crystal vase.

Closer views: My oldest  brother, who passed on several years ago, gave me the heavy crystal vase for Christmas. I have enjoyed it and think of him with each use.

The spikey ball is the going to seed flower of the annual Leonitis (Leonitis nepetifolia). I am a bit confused about this plant. There is another one, considered perennial in Florida called Leonitis leonurus. One or the other or perhaps both seem to be smoked by people in Africa for fun. Something called Dagga. I am not smoking it, like Bill Clinton, I was not meant to inhale. (American joke, sorry – Bill swore he never inhaled Marijuana, despite admitting to smoking it)

The multicolored foliage is from Mammey Croton (Codiaeum varigateum ‘Mammey); fine textured grassy foliage with red bell shaped flowers is Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformus); red flowers are Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) and the  big green leaf – White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai).




Greens, reds, golds and textures in a vase on Monday. To see more vases visit Cathy at  MORE VASES

Happy Gardening.


20 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Vibrant Colors

  1. I always like to test my plant knowledge when I look at your arrangement. I thought the hibiscus was turk’s cap. Otherwise, I did pretty well on the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Noelle says:

    Wouldn’t a botanical artist love to paint your beautiful collection and arrangement of plants? There is a great variety of textures and form in green to balance the vibrant red.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy says:

    I love the striking red and green contrasts here and I know what you mean by ‘Christmassy’ but I think we are far enough from Dec 25th for it not to seem at all festive! I have grown Leonitis leonurus from seed (both white and red varieties) but they have shown no signs of flowering, although are stil alive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, no Christmas in March then…I had not seen Leonitis until a few years ago, not sure why. It seems to do well here. The L.nepetifolia does anyway – I need to find some leonurus though I know some people that grow it.


  4. Tracy Perez says:


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kris Peterson says:

    The Croton pulls all the elements together well. I wish I could grow Crotons but we ‘re just too dry for them – they drop all their leaves in protest. I grow Leonotis leonurus and have grown its smaller cousin, which is a short-lived perennial here. For the record, I’ve never smoked either…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Brilliant use of color (pun intended)! The spiky heads of Leonitis are neat and I’ve always loved Russellia since seeing it in CA years ago. It’s nice that you have a vase from your brother, makes it all the more special. Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pbmgarden says:

    You weekly vases get better and better. Love your use of strong color and texture. Fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Karen says:

    Love your arrangement, it makes me think of an Audubon painting.


  9. tonytomeo says:

    Is white bird of Paradise primarily a foliar plant like it is here? Some bloom nicely, although not with flowers that could be cut and put into a vase easily. I think of the bloom as merely a ‘potential’ bonus to the elegant foliage.

    Liked by 1 person

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