In a Vase on Monday – White Shoulders


The Florida Gardenia (Tabernaemontana divaricata) in my garden began flowering this week. I wanted to use it in a all white arrangement, but did not make it very far. The all white arrangement was kind of boring. I think the architect Robert Venturi said after hearing ‘Less is More’ one too many times – Less is a Bore. So, I added more color.

While putting this together I added a sprig of Sweet Almond to the Florida Gardenia and Sweet Begonia, then the first thing that popped into my head was this smells like White Shoulders perfume. When I was growing up, a friend’s mother used this as her ‘signature fragrance’ and you could smell her coming. I sneeze at the memory. Below is the Florida Gardenia, these are sometimes called Pinwheel Gardenias and are not quite as potent as Gardenia jasminoides.


I have been gardening so much over the past couple of weeks I have anything but white shoulders. A terrible farmer tan right down to the Birkenstock sandal marks on my feet. But the garden is looking good, and I have been enjoying my time outside. Here is a closer view:


The red flower is a Guzmania Bromeliad fading away; white flowers spilling over the edge of the vase are Sweet Begonias (Begonia odorata); varigated foliage is from Java White Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana ‘Java White’); the ferns are Asian Sword Ferns.

Something about this reminds me of a corsage from the 1950s. Maybe it is the scent of White Shoulders.

Happy gardening and thanks to Cathy for hosting In a Vase on Monday. To see more vases, go to


21 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – White Shoulders

  1. Maybe you have a future in making perfume. I think everyone is going to have a great garden this year and a clean house.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Beautiful. That fern rising up at left lifts the entire design. I love the white but agree it looks great with it’s interesting companions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    That pop of red bromeliad was just the ticket – lovely design!
    I’m working on my farmer’s tan, too. πŸ˜‰ Yesterday, it reached 72 here – glorious!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    The bromeliad is a geat focal point for this not-all-white vase – and I agree, all white might look a bit odd perhaps, but not boring, although invariably there would be green alongside the white and that’s a different thing altogether. Why would a perfume be called ‘White Shoulders’, I wonder? I remember Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew which every young adult wanted at one time, but my goodness! in hindsight it was SO strong! I do have other Lauder fragrances whicjh are my my signature ones though

    Liked by 1 person

    • Youth Dew! I remember that and it was strong. My mother’s favorite was Chanel No 5, I like 19 but rarely wear perfume as bugs chase me. I found out recently I can grow Ylang Ylang in my garden, the primary component of Chanel No 5.


  5. Cathy says:

    The white flowers overflowing the dark vase look really great, but I am also glad you added a bit of colour. That red flower is a lovely focal point. πŸ˜ƒ Very nicely put together!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kris Peterson says:

    I love your Florida Gardenia but I think the bromeliad makes the composition in this case. I was immediately drawn to the Acalypha leaf, which technically grows here, although you wouldn’t know that given my experience trying to keep it alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Noelle says:

    I grew up in a more tropical place, and seeing your wonderful vases reminds me of those times. I always loved the Ylang Ylang, and now understand why I loved No 5 when I was young even though it was ‘an old ladies scent’. Now I can’t wear any perfume as it gives me migraines….but I can still enjoy the beauty of your arrangements. Thank you for sharing them.


    • Thanks, Noelle. Madagascar? is that right? The Ponciana have just started to flower here and I always wonder what their native land is like. Love the Chanel as well. I am an old lady now so I can wear it! Though, I am about the same about perfume, not quite migraines, but very unhappy sinuses.


  8. Chloris says:

    Stunning arrangement, just white could never have made such an impact. But the white flowers you have chosen are divine, I wish I could grow them. I love fragrance on flowers, but on people it makes me wheeze and sneeze.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tonytomeo says:

    All white would be rad too with flowers that look so good in white.

    Liked by 1 person

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