In a Vase on Monday – Summer Reds

I have two vases today. It may sound like wines are the topic this Monday, but that is not the case. The only commonalities with wine are both vases are bottles and feature the color red. For the most part, I can do without red wine. Though I do like to make gravy with it.

I may finally be embracing the single Red Dahlias I got by mistake. These have a tendency to look down in the garden and seemingly I am required to lie on the ground to get a good look at the flowers. I like them much better in a vase.

The vase is an olive oil drizzling bottle given to me by my mother years ago. This is what she called them, she went through a roasted red pepper (drizzling olive oil is essential for this) phase and decided all the cooks in the family needed one of these bottles. They work great for their intended purpose but are difficult to clean after a while and I keep it around for decorative and now, vase purposes.

A close up:

The red daisies are a Dahlia of unknown name; orange tubular flowers are Firebush (Hamelia patens); burgundy leafy foliage is ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera; burgundy strap like leaves are Hallelujah Billbergia Bromeliads; white spike is Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) for fragrance.

The Next Summer Red:

I did a similar vase a couple of weeks ago. The combination of the red bottle and the tropical Heliconias is irresistible to me. This week I added some Hibiscus to enhance the tropical vibe.

A closer view:

The red bottle was a dog walk find a neighbor left out as trash. The yellow and red flowers are Lobsterclaw Heliconia (Heliconia rostrata). These take their time opening, a week or two, then perversely don’t last very long in a vase. I’ll be watching to see if the one that is less open lasts longer. There are two varieties of Hibiscus here. The classic Hibiscus (the top two), a heirloom variety called ‘The President’. An ancient shrub, I think my neighbor’s grandmother planted decades ago. It sits on our property line and every now and then I cut a few. The lower one is a Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus arboreus) – not actually a Hibiscus, but a Mallow and family member. These grow wild in my garden. The foliage is from the Heliconia and was cut with the flowers and left in place.

Will my Summer Reds inspire me to make gravy? Hmmm, chicken thighs in red wine gravy are a favorite. With mashed potatoes and lima beans. A definite dinner possibility.

Thank you to Cathy at for hosting IAVOM. To see more vases, follow the link to her blog.

Happy Gardening!!!


26 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Summer Reds

  1. Love the reds. That is a very creative use of the olive oil vase. The Lobsterclaws work well in your red bottle find.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Red seems to be the color of the week. For flowers, it was my second favorite, perhaps because the garden that I added the most white to was the red garden . . . supposedly because white made the red look prettier. Firebush looks new every time I see it here, as if seeing it for the first time. It reminds me of that red honeysuckle that I have never met before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like whites to set off the reds. The honeysuckle you are referring to is native here. I have honeysuckle phobia – where I come from it is invasive, though I love the smell and remember eating it as a child.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, Lonicera sempervirens. It is native to where we were in Oklahoma also, but I never encountered it. I did procure another species of white honeysuckle while there, but is not very interesting. The native honeysuckles here are shabby and not at all appealing, although I am protective of them merely because they are honeysuckle. Japanese honeysuckle used to be popular. I have a few small plants here from cuttings. However, I have no idea of what to do with them. Although I am not afraid of honeysuckle, I am cautios with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My parents used to refer to the J. Honeysuckle as Japanese Revenge. The L.sempervirens is not a really impressive vine to me, though many love it here for the pollinators it attracts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, some people seem to be (seemingly) overly fond of it. I can not judge, since I am unfamiliar with it. It looks interesting to me, but not ‘that’ interesting.


  3. Cathy says:

    I was enjoying the reds of the first vase but then I saw the second one which is simple but SO striking! You have used reds so well in both vases and I am glad to hear you are beginning to embrace your unplanned dahlia! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris P says:

    There you go – making me hungry again! Both arrangements are beautiful but I’m particularly drawn to the second one. What I wouldn’t give to have Heliconia growing in my garden. I’m hoping to have some red dahlias this summer, although both tubers are taking their time this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Both containers are beautiful. I am especially drawn to that red vase. Your flower picks work well with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad you’ve finally had success with dahlias. Interesting that the flowers nod. All my varieties are tall, some 6′ so I have to reach to cut them.
    Love the elegance of vase #2 … you do the ‘spa’ look so well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Horticat says:

    I love seeing your creations, especially as I believe you are the only tropical gardener (that I’m aware of) who participates in IAVOM. There’s something so special about a tropical flowers – I feel like I’m on holidays looking at your vases. And that oil drizzling bottle is fabulous – it looks like a genie might pop out at any moment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I think everyone else has a more temperate garden. I am from 600 miles north of where I currently live. I used to have frost and really enjoy visiting old garden friends like your camellias.


  8. Red bottle arrangement is dynamic.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cathy says:

    That second vase is beautiful – so striking! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Noelle says:

    The fiery colours are strong and I do like your ‘crab claws’. I am with you regarding using wines for sauces, lifts a dish beyond the good to excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Annette says:

    They’re both uplifting and delightful. The second one is stunning though with those unexpected shapes. I like the single flowered dahlias and insects prefer them too.

    Liked by 1 person

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