I was inspired to cut some Tropical Gardenias after they started flowering in earnest. Several afternoon thunderstorms provided the inspiration for the flowering, I think. As I was gathering gardenias it occurred to me it felt like I was carrying a bridal bouquet and it certainly looks like one. This is not a proper hand tied bouquet – it is rubber band secured. The gardenias exude a sticky sap, I am not sure how good this would be to carry down the aisle. They also brown quickly like the more common gardenias. With the addition of the Sweet Almond flowers, the fragrance is amazing.
A closer view:
A closer view:
The vase is a thrift store find I have enjoyed for years. I love the sprays of buds on the Tropical Gardenia (Tabernaemontana divaricata), they last longer than the flowers and rarely open. The white spikes are the very fragrant Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata). I cut these back about two months ago and they have grown four feet and need another trim. Abundant rain in South Florida is a plant stimulator, I am not sure I even fertilized these. Greenery is from the gardenia and Asian Sword Ferns.
I needed some color and also needed to deadhead the Brown Eyed Girl Sunflowers, so I made another little vase. Continuing the wedding theme, these are for the tables at the reception..
The vase is a Pier One oil jar from who knows when. I trimmed the sunflowers as they needed some air to hopefully help with their tendency for powdery mildew. It has been raining too much to do anything else about the mildew. A few snips of Salvia are included: in blue, Mystic Spires; in white and pink, Tropical Red Salvia. Greenery is a bit of Asian Sword Fern and a few stems of Blue Lagoon Rosemary.
I decided to celebrate summer with a colorful vase after the garden served up a batch of bright colors this week. I think the garden is celebrating a few soaking rains. The difference between hand watering and rain always surprises me – it seems all the plants enjoyed it from the fruit trees to the succulents. The mango trees are covered with fruit, I managed to give them their summer feeding before the rains started and now they are putting out new foliage. The mangoes are beautiful, but still hard as rocks. More gardening patience required. The Brown Eyed Girl Sunflowers are back in action. I added them to two vases this week, this one and a birthday vase for my neighbor.
A closer view:
The vase is a crystal rose bowl that belonged to my mother. Gracing the rose bowl front and center are the BEG Sunflowers in yellow; salmon flowers with green tips are from Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria); blue flowers are Black and Bloom Salvia.
The back of the vase has two colors of foliage from Pie Crust Croton, a mad tropical shrub about five feet tall currently. The yellow and green foliage is new growth and the darker is the mature foliage. The shrub resembles a psychedelic Aucuba. White flowers are from the stalwart Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea, the white version)
I am very pleased with my Plumbago shrubs this year, they have burst forth with a display of flowers like no other. Why this happened is another mystery of the gardening universe. They inhabit the “hell strip” – a dry area between the street and my driveway. There is no irrigation, I am pretty sure I forgot about the fertilizer and they are growing under some good sized trees. Yet they prosper. My neighbor gave me the original shrub about 10 years ago, offspring of the one her grandmother planted in the 60’s. I added a darker blue variety last year and that is what I have in the vase.
The two Plumbagos, the darker one on the left. The lighter blue one is at least eight feet wide and five feet tall.
A closer view of the vase:
I was taught in my college perennial garden design class (by a very old school design professor) that the classic Southern (the Southeastern US) summer color scheme for a garden is yellow, blue and white. I decided against the yellow in favor of grey green. I am pretty sure my professor wouldn’t consider Florida part of the south, so he is probably not spinning in his grave over the lack of yellow. The only yellow in the garden currently is daisies and the shape of the flower needed to provide some contrast as all the other flowers are daisy shaped.
The gray green flowers are the buds of the Adonidia Palm (Adonidia veitchii). The flowers eventually open, turn nearly white and then produce bright red fruit. The white flowers and glossy green foliage belong to the Tropical Gardenia (Tabernaemontana divaricata). The vase was a thrift store find I have enjoyed immensely. It is my favorite for the Gardenias as they lounge over the side so well.
I have two Indian elements in my vase today. First, the vase itself was made by the Ute tribe of Utah in the US. They still call themselves Indians so I think it is okay if I do. They also refer to themselves as the Ute People, which I like better. The second, the red and yellow daisies are called Indian Blanket (Gallardia pulchella). The flowers are native to the Great Plains in the US, though they have naturalized throughout the country right down to my garden. These reseed and required no maintenance and are relatively well behaved. What’s not to like? I was searching for a rust colored flower to accent the vase and was happy to find several groups in bloom.
The sage in the vase is not wisdom, but Salvia. Two kinds, Black and Bloom and Roman Red. The red exudes the fragrance of culinary sage.
A closer view:
Brown Eyed Girl sunflowers (in yellow) have reappeared after taking an extended break from flowering. I am reserving judgement on these. They were great for about six weeks, then stopped flowering for about the same amount of time and are loaded with flowers again. Time will tell. For those who were intrigued by the Golf Beauty Craspedia, it has passed on, leaving me to believe it is a cool season annual in South Florida. I will be interested to see the progress of others with Craspedia this summer. The deep blue flowers are Black and Bloom Salvia; the lighter blue flowers are Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata). Shiny foliage is from Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa), a native shrub I have for butterfly habitat. Evidenced by the botanical name, you can drink it, but shouldn’t.
The rest of the crew. Standing in back in red, Roman Red Salvia; white spikes are from Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata)
The title of this post sounds like a Harry Potter book with wizards and witches – but it is just a combination of the names of the plants in the vase. I admit to wondering where plant breeders come up with these names sometimes..oh, magic.
Only a little magic in the garden this week, though I am enjoying the late spring weather and some rain showers keeping the plants happy. I am (as usual) almost (key word) finished for the season, waiting for the heat to set in and gardening to slow down. I have less than 10 tomatoes left on my plants and the plants are lurching into decrepitude just in time to be tossed out. Almost all the spring flowers have burned out – a few dianthus left, the snapdragons are toast and ranunculus a distant memory. Oddly, my latest batch of zinnias is really sluggish, despite what seemingly should be good zinnia weather. This gardener needs a little zinnia magic.
The Mystic Flame and Fire:
The Mystic is Mystic Spires Salvia in blue, this one has been flowering since March 2021 and has given me one new plant (from six cuttings, one survived). The Flame is White Flame Salvia, the flowers are a lot smaller since the plants were put in the ground and look more like Salvia farinacea now – it is a cross between S. farinacea and longispicata. The Fire is the Firebush (Hamelia patens), an orange flowering native shrub that will flower until cold weather comes back, usually January. Asian Sword Ferns add some greenery.
The other white flower in the vase is from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri). I like the crinkled flowers and so do the Sulphur butterflies.
That is all from slow simmering South Florida this Monday. Thank you to Cathy at http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this garden meme. Follow the link for a visit with more gardeners and vases.
South Florida experienced yet another crazy weather day on Sunday. Rain, thunder, tornado watches and warnings. Madness. I sat with Fiona the greyhound to gauge her reaction to all the weather warnings. She slept through it. A good sign and nothing happened except more water and leaves and debris down and probably more weeds will emerge shortly.
After all this weather, I decided to cut the orchid in the Gumbo Limbo tree so I could see it before it was smashed to bits. The stems on this orchid are about four feet long, as it is installed in the crotch of the tree it is a bit difficult to see anyway. Probably 10 feet above the ground. I dashed out into the rain and clipped the orchid. So satisfying.
This is a Schomburgkia orchid. Native to the mangrove groves on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula. How it found its way here is a mystery to me. Based on its coloring, orchid, red and yellow, I decided to put it in my big red vase. My husband refers to this as the ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ vase. Hopefully, you remember the 1960s TV show about Jeannie or the Genie?
I thought some layers of tropical foliage and a bit of red would accent the vase and the orchids nicely. The red flowers are Firecracker plant (Russelia equisetiformis); the big leaf in back is a Split Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron selloum); the left green leaf is from a Lady Palm (Rhaphis excelsa); grey striped foliage is Inch Plant (Transcandentia zebrina)
Fiona on a sunnier day. Looking for sky raisins (my husband’s words again). She eats bees sometimes.
The Red Lion Amaryllis in my garden is a long ago gift from my father in law, Glenn. He went through forcing bulbs every Christmas, saving them and planting them in the garden and then dividing them and after a while there was a pride of Red Lions. Glenn left us almost fifteen years ago and I still cherish this Amaryllis (he would never call it a Hippeastrum.) It refused to flower for several years, so I moved it to a sunnier spot and the Red Lion is roaring again. I was happy to bring it inside to enjoy in a Monday vase. I was even happier the lion was inside when a rollicking late afternoon thunderstorm roared through.
A closer view of the Lion:
Accompaniments to the Lion:
The white flowers are ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea; orange flowers are Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens). This is a restrained plant palette for me. The vase is my favorite piece of vintage Blue Willow, a teapot from the UK.
The thunderstorms lasted longer than I thought they would – leaving 7 and a half inches of rain behind in a little more than two hours! Lots of roaring here today.
Thank you to Cathy for hosting IAVOM every week and hosting our Zoom meeting yesterday. Such fun to meet other garden bloggers. Follow this link http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com to see more vases.
I have been enjoying the Giant Dianthus plants that I have been keeping on my front porch. I expected them to burn out as soon as the temperatures exceeded 80 degrees. They haven’t, surprising me with fringed flowers in shades of pink almost daily. The snapdragons are still hanging on as well. Laziness and distaste for throwing anything away that might possibly flower made me keep the snaps around. I was rewarded with a few more flowers, dwarf when compared to the earlier ones, but a nice accessory to the delicate dianthus flowers.
The vase belonged to my mother. It was her go-to container for pansies and a perfect size for the dianthus. I am wondering if this was once a jam jar, it has a very jammy vibe. This vase has some wonderful scents, basil flowers, dianthus and salvia; sweet, spicy and herbal. I am enjoying walking by.
The close up:
Giant Dianthus in pink; yellow snaps; a few sprigs of Genovese Basil flowers; ‘White Flame’ Salvia and ‘Golf Beauty’ Craspedia in yellow.
Pink snapdragons, a few sprigs of Tropical Red Salvia in white with Asian Sword Ferns and Asparagus Ferns for greenery.
This is a spring mix of flowers from my garden. Spring mix is a kind of packaged salad greens I am not particularly fond of. Too bitter, I think it is the tatsoi I don’t like, or it is my husband referring to it as yard clippings? Anyway, there is no salad here and one of the cast members in this arrangement is poisonous, so we won’t be eating any of it.
I am pleased to have grown this poisonous Ranunculus, with the innocent sounding common name Persian Buttercup. This one looks like a tiny red rose and there is one more bud outside. This was a total experiment. I am supposed to be too far south to grow these and bought the bulbs at an end of summer sale. The bulbs arrived fried and I put them aside and completely forgot about them until they were desiccated shells. An old pot with soil in it appeared in the back yard and I had a ‘hate to throw things away’ moment and dumped the shells into the pot. An odd rainy, cold snap arrived, chilled and rehydrated the bulbs. Serendipity intervened and this is the first of probably two Ranunculus my garden will ever produce.
The rest of the mix..in blue, ‘Black and Bloom’ Salvia; white spikes, ‘White Flame’ Salvia; pink and white fringed flowers, Giant Dianthus; a little Pink Snapdragon; green Envy and pink Zinnias; the red Ranunculus; yellow ‘Golf Beauty’ Craspedia, and a few bits of Asparagus Fern. The vase was a gift from my older brother.
Sunday turned out to be a beautiful sunny and breezy day. The Brown Eyed Girl Sunflower was covered in flowers again, so I decided to cut them. For some reason, the stems were really short. It seemed like a good idea to utilize the short stems by hanging them over the edge of a martini glass. A Suntini was created to celebrate an abundance of sunflowers on a sunny Sunday.
The crystal martini glass is from my mother’s formal crystal used for holidays. To my knowledge, there has never been a martini in the glass. My mother was a prissy Southern lady who insisted these were fruit compotes. Southern ladies of her generation can only admit to drinking under certain appropriate conditions. I have never been able to work out the appropriate conditions; what has always seemed odd to me is this generation came up with the strongest drinks possible. Another mystery to ponder.
There are two plants in this mocktail. The Brown Eyed Girl Sunflowers in yellow and flowers and a going to seed flower from Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbiifolia)
The swizzle stick is a stem from the Begonia with a sunflower at one end and a baby mango at the other.