In a Vase on Monday – American Posy

I think of this as a posy, my (I think) American take on the definition of posy or posey – a small flower arrangement. I looked up the definition and came up with two spellings and several definitions. One that surprised me – posey, an informal adjective describing someone who is pretentious and trying to impress others. And I thought it was either a hand tied bouquet or a small flower arrangement!

The weather in South Florida has returned to warm winter and my cutting flowers are starting to bloom. Exactly 3 Zinnias and the everpresent blue Salvia. Enough for a posy, posey or tequila shot glass full of flowers. The vase is from my niece’s wedding. I am surprised to see in writing she has been married for almost eight years.

A closer view:

The Zinnias are: in pink, Cactus mix; in green, Envy; and in peach, Apricot Profusion. Blue spikes are my favorite Salvia, ‘Mystic Blue, and the ferns are Asian Sword Ferns, a garden weed here that is great for vases.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.cpm for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Herbs and Succulents

I was perusing my front porch recently, noting I have managed to collect a large number of succulents, and decided the array of colors and textures would be fun to put together in a Monday vase. I have a gardening friend who loves succulents and we are bad influences on each other when we visit our favorite local nursery; Pinders https://pindersnursery.com/ to shop the amazing selection of succulents.

The succulents are in need of trim, and while I certainly don’t need anymore I will always take more! I just have to figure out where to put them. These cuttings will be spread around the garden..somewhere. I think I will try a few more in the ground, if the so called soil in my garden is anything – it is very well drained and will hopefully support these plants.

Time for close-ups:

The grey rosettes are Graptosedum; that is all I know. Orange flowers are from the Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria), which seems to flower quarterly on its own schedule. Yellow green foliage is from a Senecio that flowers with yellow daisies followed by dandelion like seedheads.

The herbs in the arrangement are in the back – Blue Lagoon Rosemary, flowers are deep blue and it lends a wonderful flavor to anything it is added to, even Fiona the greyhound appreciates it in her food. The arrangement has a nice herbal scent I will enjoy passing by.

That is all from South Florida this week. Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Fresh as a …

A Beach Daisy.

South Florida is experiencing another cold spell. I have been covering summer (ha!) vegetables and flowers at night due to temperatures hovering in the high 30s (F). One more night of cold seems to be on tap, followed by a warm up. The more tropical plants are sulking and browning, leafy plants like Heliconias look particularly unhappy.

Some of the native plants are looking, well, fresh as a daisy. I don’t recall the Beach Daisies (in yellow) ever looking so good in January. They usually flower madly during the summer, get moldy, and are asked to leave the garden (by the wheelbarrow load) due to their scraggly appearance. The new year seems to be presenting new gardening challenges. I will cover my plants one more night and hope for some zinnias in the coming weeks. There are buds!

The cast of characters:

Daisies first! In yellow, Beach Daisies (Helianthus debilis); in white, Bidens alba, sometimes called Spanish Needles; blue spikes, Mystic Spires Salvia; white and coral spikes, another happy native, Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); finer textured white spikes, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata).

Fluffy flowers and needle like foliage are from Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris). The vase was left to me by my mother, made by the Ute Indians in the Southwestern US.

The happy Beach Daisies and Tropical Red Salvia in the garden:

I am hoping for warmer days here, but am grateful for the happy flowers in the garden. Thanks to Cathy for hosting this week and every week! To see more vases, visit http://www.ramblinginthgarden.wordpress.com.

In a Vase on Monday – Sage Salvias

It may seem odd, but I think some plants are smarter than others. Is botanical wisdom gained because they are native and used to the vagaries of weather, or something more Darwinian? Currently, the most sage plants in my garden are really a Sage. The Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). Less than two weeks after the coldest weather in a decade, they were fully greened up and flowering madly. I had to cut some.

Tropical Red Salvia or Sage flowers in four colors in my garden. The brilliant red ones are the most prolific currently and the tallest plant of the bunch. I cut a handful and looked for some companionable colors to cool down the palette. Whites, corals and even a little sage seemed to fit the bill for a warming January vase.

A closer look:

Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) in red and white spikes; Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) is the other white spike; Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria) in sage tipped coral flowers; chartreuse and reddish flowers are from China Hat shrub (Holmskioldia sanguinea); yellow striped foliage is Martin Bromeliad (Neoregelia martin); grey foliage is from Barometer Bush (Leucophyllum frutescens)

Another view:

The white flowers in the center are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri). I thought this tree wouldn’t like the cold weather, but it seems fine; it has a few yellow leaves and started flowering. The fern trailing over the side is an Asparagus Fern, an invasive weed that tends to pop up under shrubs. I cut these and use them in vases occasionally. They are surprisingly sharp, woe is the gardener who tries to strip the leaves off the stem for a vase.

The garden is bouncing back from the extreme cold. (I know y’all are laughing, not even freezing here, except me, I was freezing) I am finding blackened edges on a lot of shrub foliage and the trees I have that are at their northern limits are showing signs of unhappiness. I have to tap into my gardening wisdom and wait and see what happens. Not feeling particularly sage here yet.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this weekly meme. So much fun. Follow the link to see more vases.

Until next week – Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Ring in the New Year

I am issuing a hearty welcome to 2023 by ringing in the New Year with a vase on Monday. A bit of a poem by Tennyson, written in 1850, celebrating the church bells ringing at midnight.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

This is a high concept floral creation. The pen holding up the bell is for writing New Year’s resolutions. It has not been used – yet! The silver bell is for ringing in (and out). The flowers are fireworks and the shells are grounding it all. Design school rearing its ugly head again.

A closer view:

The pen is a freebie I picked up at a lecture about controlled burns in the nearby state park. It is from the Florida Forestry Service and looks like a stick. The bell is one of many collected by my husband. It is an annual silver bell engraved with the year. After about 30 years you really don’t need any more bells. The grey plant in the background is an Air Plant; known around here as Ball Moss (Tillandsia recurvata). These can grow almost anywhere and are sometimes seen on power lines. This one is flowering and I think it looks like fireworks.

The red fireworks are actually buds from ‘Maui Red’ Ixora. The Ixora is a shrub that is very intolerant of cold – being a perverse plant it has started flowering after being exposed to the coldest temperatures it has ever experienced last week. Shells are from our local beach and the moss and the vase are from recent floral gifts from friends.

Happy New Year to all and a big Thank YOU to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for her years of hosting In a Vase on Monday. Follow the link to see more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – The Holiday Bus Returns..again.

It’s that time of year. Time for greens with red accents and a little, um, tropical color from the garden tucked into a festive biscuit (or cookie in US speak) tin. A friend from the UK gifted us with this tin of biscuits several years ago. I love tins and pull this out every December to make a holiday arrangement for my foyer. My husband and I devoured the shortbread in the tin, leaving me wondering if packaged cookies (biscuits) from the UK are better than US cookies? I think they might be, Hobnobs are my favorite cookie to buy, chocolate and made in the UK. As a native of the Southeastern US I think biscuits are for dogs or a simple quick bread/roll served as a side dish. Biscuits are a very important vehicle for gravy in the South.

Back to the vase, now that I am hungry… An overhead view, the ferny foliage is from the Asparagus Fern that pops up in the garden; purple foliage with white flowers is ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera; white flowers are from a volunteer Vinca rosea, another garden pop up; bigger red flowers spilling over the tin are Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus arboreus).

Another view: on each side I have ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea in white; a few sprigs of Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); and a dash of China Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea)

The colored foliage at the back of the arrangement looking a bit like flames is from two Crotons in my garden. Crotons are medium sized, extremely colorful shrubs from the South Pacific. They are very common in South Florida. There are a few leaves from ‘Pie Crust’ Croton at the edges and some leaves from ‘Mammey’ Croton mixed in the background. Pie Crust has the rolling leaf margins, you guessed it, like a pie crust. There are a lot of food references in this post; I need to think about what to have for dinner…

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Holidays from South Florida !!

In a Vase on Monday – Floral Triad

I love planting in groups of three and decided try the same in this Monday’s vase. I think the result is a balanced arrangement. Maybe I am getting in touch with my inner accountant (there is not one); or maybe it is the late November heat baking my delicate brain. High temperatures have been in the mid 80’s (F) complete with humidity and the stray thunderstorm. Florida is known for the Endless Summer, this year they are not kidding. The 10 day forecast keeps insinuating cooler weather that never materializes. I shall persevere and plant some vegetables, summer, of course – it is time to plant tomatoes and green beans here and the first sweet corn of the season has just appeared at our local farmer’s market. The citrus harvest is in full swing so I am looking forward to local Orri tangerines.

The vase contents:

 

The flowers, three of each, of course. In red and yellow, ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); in orange, ‘Chocociana’ Heliconia (H. psittacorum ‘Chocociana’); white spikes lending fragrance to the vase, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); grey flower stalks are Flapjack Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe luciae); Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are in the background again; green leafy foliage is from the Heliconias.

The Flapjack Kalanchoe flowers are the most unusual of the lot this week. Here they are in the garden. Actually they are in a container, growing under a Desert Rose.

 

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this weekly meme. Follow the link to see more vases. I found the Classic Editor on WordPress again, thanks to Cathy and Cathy from Words and Herbs, thank you both. Classic Editor is much less annoying than the Block Editor. We’ll see how everything works out!

Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Happy Anniversary

Today is the ninth anniversary of the IAVOM meme. I don’t recall when I started creating and posting vases every Monday, but it has been several years and has become a weekly habit and a joy to share the fruits (or flowers) of my labor with fellow gardeners.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a Zoom meeting with several members of the IAVOM community. I have been exchanging comments with these blog friends for years and finally met them, virtually.

Cathy, at http://www.ramblinginthgarden.wordpress.com is the creator and hostess of IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases. Thanks to Cathy for arranging and hosting the Zoom meeting.

The Vase – Contents:

The red flowers are Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus pendululiflorus) – a sort of ratty looking shrub I keep in the garden for its winter flowers. The grey ‘flowers’ are cuttings of Echeveria, a succulent given to me by a friend. These cuttings are destined for a winter tabletop container on my screen porch. The vase is the last vestige of a historic floral arrangement.

The upper level – this image looks suitable for a snack of vegetarian dinosaurs and may well have been one. Both plants are native to Florida and have been here for millenia. The ferns are Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) and the flowers are Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa)

Happy Monday, Happy Gardening and Happy Anniversary, IAVOM.

In a Vase on Monday – Late Bloomers

The nearly precipitation free summer pushed some of the usual fall flowers later this year and extended the summer blooms on others. I can’t remember the Muhly Grass starting to flower later than the first week of September or a summer without Beach Sunflowers. But here they are together in late October. I will admit to adding Osmocote a few weeks ago when we had some reliable rainfall.

The mysteries of gardening are teasing my brain once again.

The South Florida heat and humidity is abating in fits and starts. We have a lovely sunny weather forecast for the next 10 days. I have been clearing off the porch and replacing the cushions for winter outdoor living. This always takes longer than I think it will. I hope to be sitting on the porch with a glass of wine this week and maybe get in touch with my inner Floridian by making smoked fish dip appetizers.

The vase is an olive oil cruet inherited from my mother. As a lifelong gardener, I think she would approve of this repurposing.

The flowers:

In white, possibly the last of the year, Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica); yellow daisies are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis); sage green flowers are Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria); the ropy stems are Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamaicaensis) – the blue flowers fell off on the way inside, but I like the stems; pink flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); green flowers in background are Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata), lending a fragrant assist to the Frangipani. In the background are the late, great Muhly Grass (Muhlebergia capillaris).

That’s all from my garden. Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases…

Happy Gardening!!!

In a Vase on Monday – Juba – lation

My favorite cool season flowers are starting to show their colors. One is the Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa). I am jubilant that the Juba Bush has reappeared. I thought it was gone. This is a native wildflower that I mistook for Amaranthus and left it in the garden only to discover its wonderful chartreuse to creamy white flowers. Juba is the name of an African dance that was imported into the Caribbean where these wildflowers are also native. The dance involves a lot of hip movement and swaying – the plant’s movement in the wind reportedly mimics this?! I wish this grew under my Gumbo Limbo tree, that would be perfect.

The Juba Bush. It is the creamy white flower; ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia is in the background.

The other fall indicator is the red Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) at the base of the vase. This is another volunteer that I have embraced as I love the flowers. Like many Hibiscus (it is a relative and Mallow family member) the shrub is rangy and not particularly attractive. For me, the flowers make it worthwhile and I enjoy them all winter. It also needs no supplemental water and the leaf cutting bees love it.

The Nodding Hibiscus:

The rest of the vase:

The orange flower is a ‘Choconiana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); white daisies are the native Spanish Needles (Bidens alba); ferns are the evil invasive, Asian Sword Ferns. I keep the Sword Ferns at bay by using them in vases.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.com for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening…