In a Vase on Monday – A Mixed Bag

I am so pleased to have finally successfully grown Cactus Zinnias. Ta da!

My first several attempts resulted in oddly dwarf flowers that were never more than a single flower. These are doubles and the plants are very healthy with big, deep green leaves. This fall, I decided to plant cutting flowers in grow bags to see if it worked better than my futile efforts to amend the existing sugar sand in my garden. After installing bags and bags of compost, worm castings, mulch and irrigation – I still ended up with puny flowers. Here are the happy Zinnias in their bag:

The arrangement is a mixed bag of fall and winter flowers in my garden. Multi colored is probably the best way to describe it. The vase is a pottery candleholder my parents used in summer to hold citronella candles while they sat on their brick patio and drank untold gallons of dreadful Carlo Rossi Chablis. I put a pickle jar inside to hold water and flowers. The vase holds fond memories for me.

A closer view:

The green Zinnia is Green Envy, these are new to me and my garden. I have planted them with Mystic Spires Blue Salvia and am planning to add chartreuse Sedum below. Green tipped salmon flowers are Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria); purple spikes are “Mona Lavendar” Plectranthus; salmon spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); pale pink clovers are Globe Amaranth.

The other side:

The Cactus Zinnias are in yellow, pink, purple and salmon. Misty pink flowers are from Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris).

Thank you to Cathy at for hosting. To see more vases follow the link.

Happy Gardening..


28 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – A Mixed Bag

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Your arrangements get better and better. This is lovely and the vase choice is superb. Congratulations on growing Cactus Zinnias. I had beginner’s luck with them a few years ago but not since. Will keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Noelle says:

    I like the way vases are handed down, and there are also so many memories attached. Your arrangement shows just what a great gardener you are, having chosen a wide selection of blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m glad your bags are a great success! I love the cheerful colors of zinnias, they really light up an arrangement… love the muhly grass, too. I keenly wish I could grow it. The closest I can get is Eragrostis, not the same presence at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am reserving judgement on the bags as they are also growing some weird fungus! I think the key to Muhly is incredibly sharp drainage and very little water. These grow in unirrigated sugar sand in my sort of shaded area next to the road and do really well. I don’t think you are too far north but wouldn’t try these on clay.


  4. Your zinnias did well. I have actually grown Green Envy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the balance that the grasses provide – wonderfully colourful -just gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kris P says:

    I think it’s remarkable you can grow zinnias at all at this time of year! I love the muhly grass, which adds animation to every arrangement. Did you like the grow bags? I’ve thought of using them to grow dahlias (since I always seem to end up with more tubers than I have places for).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kris. I think the day length must be key as the later seeded zinnias are puny again. I love the Muhly and the grow bags. I think you have to pay attention to tending the bags. If it is windy they need more water.


  7. Cathy says:

    Wow, that is really beautiful! I love the airy summery feel to it, and the candleholder too. Such a pretty salvia. Congratulations on the zinnias. 😃 I know myself how hard they are to grow (although some people seem to have no problems at all).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. susurrus says:

    What beautiful soft colours. This has done me good – things are getting greyer here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chloris says:

    What a triumph your zinnias are and the arrangement is a delight, just the thing to cheer up a gloomy November day. I grow Plectranthus zuluensis which looks similar, it has such pretty flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cathy says:

    I am so pleased you have finally had some success with your zinnias, even though it required a lot of effort – will you persist next year too? I know it took me a few years to achieve success with mine, but it didn’t prove as difficult as it has been for you. Your vase looks so much less tropical than usual, more like an English summer vase, although not all of the contents would grow happily here 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. smallsunnygarden says:

    Growing zinnias has been a mystery to me–they are supposed to be so easy?! 😉 Glad you have had some success anyway, and the combination is lovely with its tutti-frutti effect!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. tonytomeo says:

    Soap aloe is one of several species of aloe that are popular on the coast, but the various aloes are so variable that they are difficult to identify! I believe that soap aloe lives right outside here, but I am not certain of its identity.


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