In a Vase on Monday – Holiday Upcycle

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The  upcycle is the vase itself. Made from dried remnants of my front door Christmas wreath.  Here is the wreath in its previous life. The green bands are Blanchetiana Bromeliad foliage wrapped around the wreath and tied with jute. When I took this down the flowers had dried to brown and the bands were curly and retained their color. I saved them because I thought they might make an interesting addition to a vase. Instead, I covered a plastic water bottle with the curled leaves and made a vase.

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The flowers are a bright mix designed to counter any winter blues. Low temperatures in the 40s (F) are forecast this week, appalling weather to anyone Floridized (living in Florida for over 5 years, blood completely thins out). We might have to wear long pants and  (gasp)  turn on the heat. A closer view of  the vase:

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Another view of  the flowers:

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The yellow daisies are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis), a year round bloomer. The red and yellow daisies are Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella), another year round bloomer. Both are native and absurdly easy to grow. The pink flower is an unknown Zinnia. Deep pink and chartreuse spikes are Texas Vintage Rose Mix Celosia from Floret, I may really like these. I think they need cutting back, so here they are. Peachy and red spikes are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). The more beige spikes are Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa) and funky stems with a bit of blue are Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamaicaensis), white daisies are another native Spanish Needles (Bidens alba).

I am really enjoying my winter garden this year and just planted another round of vegetable seeds. Hoping for more Zinnias and Celosia before the heat sets in.

Happy Gardening and thanks to Cathy at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ for hosting. For more vases, visit Cathy’s blog.

In a Vase on Monday – Not Summer Blues

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January in South Florida is not summer, it just seems like it today. The air conditioning is running; despite the fact this is the dry season, rain showers are making above 80 degrees (F) weather steamy and not conducive to gardening. My reward is flowers and vegetables in the garden. I have ripe tomatoes and Papayas; my second planting of green beans and first lettuces and spinach have come up. Some interesting flowers are also gracing the garden.

The Blue Willow teapot is a favorite of mine, bought with my mother on a long ago antiquing adventure (she referred to this as ‘Going to the junk store’).

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Zinnias grown from seed continue to boggle my mind – not sure what they are at all. These are much bigger than those in the smaller vase and have longer stems. I’ve added pink and green Dombeya (Dombeya wallachii) flowers. The green are the buds, the Dombeya itself is huge and I don’t mind cutting some buds, though I feel the bees would disagree. The flowers have an amazing honey fragrance and I have never seen as many bees on a plant. A closer view:

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The white flowers are Sweet Begonias (Begonia odorata ‘Alba’), another subtly fragrant flower and the spikes are seedheads from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea)

This vase, another ‘junk store’ find has Dombeyas and Zinnias, just the shorter-stemmed version. The green seed heads are from the Sweet Begonia. I like the seeds as well as the flowers.

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I have both vases in my foyer; the Dombeyas tend to be ephemeral in vases, not lasting more than a day. The fragrance from the combination of Dombeyas and Sweet Begonias is ethereal, I can imagine angels in flight leaving this scent. Worth every moment and curing the Not Summer Blues. Back outside tomorrow.

In a Vase on Monday – From Florida with Love

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As I was putting this vase together it occurred to me there probably isn’t another garden with this mix of plants in January unless it is in Florida. It is a season spanning  concoction. Spring and Summer flowers, some fall berries and pineapple foliage. My husband and I refer to this time of year as Not Summer. The rest of the year is Summer.

The weather during Not Summer is delightful for gardening, highs in the 70s with low humidity and ocean breezes. The climate is not without drawbacks, I cannot let my cat outside as there are several things that might eat her, I believe I have nematodes in my vegetable garden (disastrous), persnickety rabbits ate most of my radishes but only one kind of Basil and I am slightly overrun with Papayas. Not to mention the possibility of hurricanes. I will persevere. Actively looking for Papaya fans. Few takers.

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A closer view of the vase:

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The big pink flowers are Zinnias, despite my best efforts I have no idea what kind. Popsicle sticks labeled everything blah, blah, blah. Planted some free mixed seeds,  but I labeled them something else.  Ironically, my favorite Zinnia thus far.

The  yellow and orange flowers are Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella), Florida natives that reseed freely and invent new colors every year. The chartreusy spike above the Gallardia is a new Celosia (Texas Vintage Rose Mix) from Floret. Described as heart breakingly beautiful like faded velvet or something like that; my heart is not broken yet though  I will  monitor these. Pink stars are Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata). There are a few white  and  peach Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). The big orange flowers are from Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria), red and green foliage from a Miniature Pineapple, purple berries are still hanging around on the Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana). Birds  have eaten the berries on the other shrubs further out in the garden. These are closer to the house and my dogs may be keeping the birds away.

From last weeks vase, the Dombeya everyone  was interested in. The  wind  died down a bit and here is the whole shrub.

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From Florida with Love.

Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – Dombeyas End the Decade

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Dombeyas fill the last vase of the decade. Ten years ago, I did not blog; I did not live in Florida and I did not know what a Dombeya was. What a difference a decade makes.

We have spent the past few weeks cooking and going to holiday parties. My husband and I enjoy cooking but we are taking a break and fortunately have leftovers. He is a great pie baker – this year making an apple, a pumpkin and a Rangpur Lime pie with fruit from my neighbor’s tree. I need to get back to the garden to work all the calories off.

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Here is a closer view:

The  pink flowers are the Dombeyas (Dombeya wallichii); the burgundy and silver striped leaves are Transcandentia zebrina, sometimes called Wandering  Jew; the silvery succulent is  the flower of a Flapjack Kalanchoe and the ferns are Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata).

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Dombeyas are sometimes called Tropical Hydrangeas though they are not related to Hydrangeas but belong to the Mallow family. Hydrangeas have their own family (Hydrangeaceae). Here is the Dombeya flower in situ. The shrub is about 9 feet tall and wide and the leaves are at least a foot wide and fuzzy. The bees love the flowers and I brought one in with the flowers. I think of them as reverse Hydrangeas since the flowers hang under the foliage.

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Happy New Year and Happy New Decade, hopefully the twenties will roar again. But, nicely and with many flowers.

A heartfelt Thank You to Cathy for hosting this wonderful weekly meme. More vases may be seen in the comments of her blog http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

In a Vase on Monday – Zinnias & Indiscretions for Christmas

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My South Florida garden, being perverse as usual,  produced Zinnias for Christmas. I have been trying to figure out when to start seed for a couple of years and bought some fancy seed from Floret to try this fall. The seeds were Macarenia Zinnias – the red and gold flowers are Macarenias, most of the rest  came up from the same seed pack and are solid pinks, apricots and oranges. I actually like those better, the Macarenias look like  weird Marigolds to me.

The small tree is a European Cypress, I forwent a big Christmas tree as my younger greyhound, Fiona has been suffering from dietary indiscretions. First, I caught her trying to eat a CD?!  They are very crunchy. And then she gorged herself on Cabbage Palm berries resulting in a trip to the vet and a special diet for almost two weeks. I make an excellent canine chef and have cooked vats of rice, pumpkin and turkey for her. The food and medicine has her running laps in the backyard again. Here she is reclining on the porch.

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Some close ups of the Zinnias. I am not sure what they are at this point. Mixed Christmas surprise Zinnias. The vase is a sugar bowl; the white flowers from Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa) and Asparagus Fern greenery that just floats around in my garden until I cut it for flower arrangements.

The back side of the vase, more surprises. I  planted some other Zinnia seeds – 4 cells out of about 20.

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My older, more discreet greyhound, Alan Alda – under a past Christmas tree.

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Thanks to Cathy, at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this weekly event. Visit her blog to find links to vases from all over the world.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah to all.

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Holiday Bus Again

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Here’s my favorite holiday tin again. Several years ago a client of my husband brought this from the UK, filled with Scottish Biscuits (shortbread cookies in US speak). The cookies were divine (and didn’t last very long). I am a lover of tins and used it IAVOM twice before during the holidays. This year it is crammed full of red, green and white flowers and foliage, having some perspective on my garden and many others through blogging I realized how downright odd it is to have red and green foliage to cut for Christmas decorations. And I haven’t  done the wreath yet.

A closer view:

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The big white flowers are Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica), smaller white flowers and bigger foliage is from Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata); white and red spikes are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); the red spikes on the sides are Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans), red berries are from Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebenthifolia) – a dreadful weed.

Below is a better image of the red and green foliage – at the right end a Martin Bromeliad (Neoregelia Martin) leaf, the middle has foliage from Mammey Croton (Codieum varigata ‘Mammey’)

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Here is the tin from 2016:20161211_102634-1

And  the original tin/ vase from 2015.

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Hmm,  which is your favorite.? 2016 has one of my favorite plants, the Parrotflower (Heliconia psittacorum)  – I like the Flapjack Kalanchoes in 2015 (grey foliage). I may combine all the plants next year into a 2020 mash up.

For more vases on Monday, visit our hostess, Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com

Happy Holidays!

In a Vase on Monday – Christmas Palm Forest

 

IMG_20191208_115516It’s an oddly dreary day in South Florida, making it feel more like the holidays to me. I decided to do a mini forest basket for this second week of Advent. The forest idea sprang to mind when I saw the Christmas Palm seedhead from last week lost all its berries and looked like a  birch tree in winter. I usually call these Adonidia Palm, this is one of  those  plants with several common names. The common name can be Christmas Palm or Manila Palm, and my neighbors call them Triple Palms as many have three trunks. The botanical name is Veitchii merrilli. Below is a Christmas Palm with red fruit.

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The arrangement has the white stalk from the Christmas Palm seedhead. Red flowers are from Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata); red berries are from the evil Brazilian Pepper  (Schinus terebinthifolia) – the Peppers are invasive in South Florida to the point it is illegal to plant them. I have gotten rid of mountains of  these things, but there are always a few lurking and using them in flower arrangements saves Florida a few in the woods. The ferns are: Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) in the back and Asparagus Fern around the edges. Both are volunteers in the garden. A closer view:

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The  basket is a thrift store find and the gold cat is in honor of Mr. Bob, our resident Bobcat.

Feeling a bit more Christmassy this week. Maybe a tree and wreath on the front door next week.

For vases from around the world, follow this link to http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening.