In a Vase on Monday – Go Big or Go Home

My husband went through a spell of getting tattoos, no idea what precipitated it, but he is known as “The Illustrated Man” and people tend to remember his artwork before they remember him. Anyway, the slogan from his favorite tattoo shop on Maui is “Go Big or Go Home.”

Here is his back, a tribute to the Disney movie, Fantasia.

I have taken the slogan to heart in the design of my tropical Rainforest Garden; big, coarse textured plants contrasted with ferns and smaller groundcovers, the colors almost reflect the rainbow. Yellow is missing. I plucked this vase there.

The big pink flowers are from the Tropical Hydrangea (Dombeya wallachii) – everything about this plant is big. The leaves average 9 by 9 inches, the plant itself is 12 by 12 feet after 3 years in the garden. The leaf in the middle is from Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbiifolia) this anchors a corner in the garden. Everyone who walks through gasps and says, “what is that?” At least 4 feet tall and maybe 6 feet wide, it adds a Jurassic feel to the garden. The Ferns are Boston Ferns (yes, the famous porch fern) that grow huge in their native habitat and are easily three feet tall. I am pulling them out and throwing them away as they are out of hand.

The other side of the arrangement has “Java White” Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Java White’). Another prolific grower, this turns green in shade, and is a bit of a trick to site properly…it may be moved further into the sun.

The container, a large crystal vase, a long ago wedding gift from a dear friend I treasure. The vase and the friend.

As always, thank you to Cathy, at for hosting this addictive meme. I am sorry I missed last week’s tribute to Dorris. I will miss her posts and images from her garden.


16 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Go Big or Go Home

  1. That is a great tropical vase. A lot of plants that like this climate do get really big.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Supersize-me! Great combo, Amelia, those begonia leaves really are amazing, I can just imagine what they look like in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy says:

    The begonia leaves jumped out at me as they were clearly supersized and your description of them in the garden gives me more of a picture of how jungly parts of your garden must be. There certainly is something fantastical about the overall effect, despite its relative simplicity.

    Have the tattoos stopped now, or will you be revealing more in future posts…?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Noelle M says:

    Such an exotic look to your arrangement, with amazing leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kris P says:

    That Begonia leaf is incredible (as is your husband’s back). I’m always impressed by the Dombeya flowers and, whenever I see them in one of your posts, I ask myself if I should’ve planted Dombeya instead of Dais cotinifolia (aka pom-pom tree) in my own garden. As the latter has so far failed to bloom for me, it may get swapped out eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your tropical hydrangea must be a magnificent sight to see. How big do you expect it to get? I am only just coming to appreciate how dramatic begonia leaves can be and that lotusleaf begonia is wonderfully glossy and such a pretty shape. It’s lovely to see things we don’t have here (UK). Great vase!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cathy says:

    The leaves are all amazing… as are the tattos!


  8. tonytomeo says:

    Could pass on the ‘artwork’.
    Copperleaf is rad. It looks familiar . . . . and it looks like variegated mulberry. I can not remember what I saw it with before.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Karen says:

    Well your vase certainly lives up the the name…I can’t believe the size of the leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

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