In a Vase on Monday – Daffy

After cutting the yellow flowers and placing them in the ‘vase’ – the first thing that popped into my head “Looks just like daffodils.” As a nod to Disney’s famous Daffy and the Daffodils, the brass ducks were added. The ducks are a long ago gift from my father – to remind me to keep my ducks in a row. They make excellent paperweights and also make me laugh, reminding me of one of my father’s favorite sayings.

More daffiness, the weather. We are having the four seasons (not Vivaldi) this week in South Florida. It was dry and 87 F/30 C here one day last week, followed by wind, thunderstorms, a cold front – this morning, temperatures were half that and we are expecting everything in between over the next week.


A closer view:

The mason jar ‘vase’ is a thing now. I suspect this is part of the Millenial ‘farm wedding’ aesthetic. I am fine with mason jar vases, using them as drinking glasses is another story, ugh. I acquired this vase when recieving a flower arrangement.

What’s in it?

Yellow flowers are from Esperanza or Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans); crinkly white flowers with buds are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissierei); white flowers at top of arrangement are Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia); the chartreuse seedheads are from Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘alba’); ferny foliage and yellow starburst flowers are culinary dill. I love the scent and was surprised recently that two friends (father and daughter) did not like dill at all. Daffy genes?

Photo by Anthony on

Well, it goes with the color scheme…

Thank you to Cathy at for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to find, probably (sorry) less daffy vases.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Solidarity and Vodka

I have been watching, with dismay, along with the rest of the world events unfolding in Ukraine. I hope economic sanctions are reaching their intended targets, though I worry they are affecting more than the intended. Right now our local grocery store is taking Russian made vodka off their shelves.

I am not a vodka drinker, but cook with it. Specifically, Smoked Fish Pasta with Creamy Vodka sauce. Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka is my favorite and a key ingredient adding heat and a touch of sweetness to the sauce. Much to my surprise this vodka is made in Ukraine, and a local favorite.

According to Wikipedia – Nemiroff is one of the top vodka suppliers in the world.

The dish:

If flowers or pasta can foster solidarity; here are my offerings.

The Ukraine vase:

The yellow bell shaped flowers are Esperanza (hope in Spanish) in latin, Tecoma stans. Yellow umbels are from culinary dill (Anethum graveolens). I am not sure I have ever seen the latin name for dill or knew it is a member of the parsley family. Blue flowers are Mystic Spires Salvia, a wonderful color match for the Ukrainian flag. The vase, inherited from my mother, from the Ute tribe in the Western US.

The American vase. Red spikes, Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); red bell shaped flowers, Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis); white daisies, the ubiquitous Bidens alba – Spanish Needles in English; blue spikes are Mystic Spires Salvia. The vase, an old Crate and Barrel candle holder that arrived with my husband.

If flowers and vodka could stop wars – I would be on board immediately. Unfortunately, that is not the case. All we can do is watch and wonder and pray for Ukraine.

To see more vases, visit Cathy at

In a Vase on Monday – The Twist

Do the twist! I spied deep pink twisty stemmed Zinnias in the garden and thought I could wind them through some spiraling grapevines I had been eyeing..(that need to come out). The white paper mache object is from a college design class – the assignment ‘evoke the feeling of disco’ I think they are doing the twist. With the Zinnias.

The vase alone:

The grey glass vase, a thrift store find. Pink Zinnias, grown from seeds found on Etsy. White Begonias, a local botanical garden find; Begonia nelumbifolia or Lotusleaf Begonias. Smaller pink flowers are Globe Amaranth, again from Etsy seeds. Tropicals lounging over the edge are Shell Ginger ( Alpinia zerumbet) Ferns are – the love it or hate it Boston Fern – a native I love. Brown grapevines doing the twist, Vitis rotundafolia; they are difficult to like, producing bitter fruit and overrunning (or ruining) everything else.

Closer views:

I love color and texture..

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening.Thanks to Cathy at for hosting. Follow the link for more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – Rapt

I had lunch in my garden today, a perfect 75 degrees F/23C, sunny blue sky day in South Florida..contemplating how the plants and flowers had me paying rapt attention to all the details (and weeds) This made me realize I should sit in the garden more often. And it conjured up a wrapped vase.

The vase is a marinated artichoke jar shaped in a radiused square. I used the leaves vertically instead of horizontally around the jar this time and left some taller leaves with tips in the back. The leaves are from a Blanchetiana Bromeliad (Aechmea blanchetiana)

The arrangement under construction:

The Zinnias I grew for winter are fading fast. I collected seed from the Envy Zinnias and started a new batch to replant in my front garden. I will sow a few more Cactus Zinnia just to have more to cut in the bag garden. With temperatures in the mid 80s F last week, I realize the bag gardens days may be numbered as the bags will dry out faster than I can water them when temperatures are too hot.

A closer view:

White spikes at the top are Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); deep blue spikes are ‘Mystic Blue’ Salvia; off white flowers at top are Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbo); the Zinnias are Cactus Mix and ‘Envy’ grown from seed. The fragrance is a bit unusual – a combination of Sweet Almond and tangy Salvia.

Another view:

Zinnias at the bottom are ‘Envy.’

To see more vases follow the link and visit our hostess, Cathy in the UK who invites bloggers to share their vases from around the world.

I’ll be in the garden paying rapt attention to getting rid of the weeds.

Happy Gardening..

In a Vase on Monday – Wedding Inspired

Expecting something a liitle less colorful, maybe shades of creamy white? Not this Monday. While searching for flowers this overcast Sunday in South Florida I found colorful marigolds, zinnias and a bit of white in my garden.

The arrangement was inspired by my nephew, who was recently in a wedding in India and sent me some images of the event with flowers.

Here goes:

Pretty fabulous, I think. Garlands of marigolds are popular in India for all sorts of occasions. I like one reason best, the color of the sun is reflected in marigolds, representing brightness and positive energy. I imagine there are thousands of marigolds here.

Here is a link to more on marigolds and India.

A pretty shot of marigold garlands with a bicycle embellished with white and deeper toned flowers, another element of weddings in India.

Close ups of my arrangement, with about 5 marigolds instead of 5,000!

I think the orange flowers are African Marigolds from a cutting flower mix I bought from Sow True seeds in Asheville, North Carolina. The white daisies are our native (weed) Bidens alba; yellow tubular flowers are Esperanza (Tecoma stans).

Another view:

Pink flowers are Cactus Zinnias, grown from seed; the foliage – Asian Sword Ferns and a few bits of Rosemary. The vase, a thrift store find on an old brass trivet, probably from India..

There’s my multi cultural experience this Monday. Thanks to Cathy at for hosting. Copy the link to see more arrangements.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Art That Doesn’t Hold Water

The art? The vase – built by me in high school art class, many years ago. The dark ages when Aerosmith first appeared on the rock scene, something much discussed over making coils for clay pots. I think this was called hand building and is the last surviving artifact of my foray into clay. The bottom of the vase is not glazed, it doesn’t leak or hold water – it sort of sweats.

The arrangement has an Ikebana feel to me. I did not start out with that in mind – as my vases usually go, this one evolved from ‘looking for a brown vase to put the cafe au lait zinnias in’ to ‘needs brown twigs for zen balance’. I found an old brass trivet to put under the vase and it is not sweating too badly.

Another vase view:

Time for the close up:

Cafe au lait Zinnias from a Cactus seed mix are the stars of this show. The peachy flowers are non red Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). This Salvia is a perennial (reseeding) favorite in my garden and I love the color surprises left by pollinating bees.

Another view:

The ‘zen’ brown sticks are from the native Muscadines (Vitis rotundafolia) that run rampant through the wilder parts of my garden. The greenery, Asparagus Ferns, run the same course with the Muscadines, with a much smaller stature.

Thank you to Cathy at for hosting this weekly garden meme. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Tropical Travails

This weekend was a bit of a trial. The coldest weather South Florida has seen in a decade blew in Friday night and lingered through Sunday morning. Freezing temperatures threatened; our normal lows are 40 degrees F. I spent the weekend covering and uncovering plants and making sure the vulnerable were hydrated. I fear the only casualty will be the watermelon vines, they wilted despite being covered.

I was quite surprised to find the pink Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) on Sunday morning. I added a few leaves from the varigated ‘Bossa Nova’ Neoregelia Bromeliad, then set off to find a few more vase ingredients from the garden.

The purple ‘flowers’ are actually seedheads from the Portea ‘Candy’ Bromeliad. These eventually turn a creamy white if left on the plant. The green foliage, baby palm fronds from a seedling Sabal Palm (Palmetto sabal) – the state tree of Florida. Grey tendrils in front of the flowers are from the edges of the palm fronds. The heavy crystal vase, a gift from my late brother.

I am ready for some normal Florida winter sunshine this week with no travails.

Happy gardening and thanks to Cathy at for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – Zinnia Conversion

I admit it, I am a Zinniaphile. The reformation from Zinniaphobe has taken a few years to process, but the conversion is complete. I think seeing Cactus Zinnias all summer in Monday vases did the trick. I planted a few varieties of Cactus mix and Green Envy seeds mid September and have been cutting flowers since mid November. My kitchen table has never had so many vases of flowers.

The Zinnias are mostly in grow bags. I have Green Envy planted in the ground, basically in potting soil as the sand in the garden resists water. It took several trials and many dwarfed Zinnias to figure out the sand, no matter how much it was amended, is pretty useless for growing classic cut flowers. I broadcasted a cutting garden seed mix in the area I was trialing the Zinnias last year; just to see what came up in the garden. One Sweet Alyssum, and so weird looking I had to look at it a couple of times before I could figure out what it was. Then, our resident rabbit ate the lone Nigella I tried there.

A close up:

The silverplate goblet is an ‘heirloom’ that came from my mother’s ‘junkstore collection’. It does not hold water and has a yogurt cup inside. I like the patina and wonder what possessed my mother to buy it. Maybe she liked the patina, too. Mysteries to ponder.

The Zinnias are all from the Cactus Mix seeds I bought on Etsy. The smaller pink flowers are Globe Amaranth that was a bonus seed gift with the Zinnias. Orange flowers are grow bag Marigolds from the cutting garden mix from Sow True Seeds in Asheville, North Carolina. Green flower spikes are Sweet Basil seed heads; green spikes are Muhly Grass foliage. Deep blue spike flowers are Mystic Spires Salvia.

Here are a few more vases of Zinnias my kitchen table has enjoyed..

Anyone else converted?

Thanks to Cathy for hosting In a Vase on Monday – to see more vases, follow the link to

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Blue Willow Bouquet

It is a surprisingly rainy, overcast Sunday in South Florida. A little indoor cheer was in order before the truly stormy weather arrived. Pastel flowers spiced up with burgundy and a little Green Envy have been served up in an antique Blue Willow teapot. Cheer crisis averted.

As much as this might look like a summer bouquet, it is really not. The pink Tropical Hydrangeas flower in December and January as does the white Bougainvillea. I am not really sure about the Zinnias yet, though I am going to try starting another batch soon as I have seemingly fooled the rabbits with what other Florida gardeners called kebobs. Looks a little weird, little bamboo stakes around the base of the Zinnias, but it works. A bit of an oriental touch, maybe?

What’s in the vase:

In the foreground, pink Globe Amaranth followed by Green Envy Zinnias; the blue spikes are Mystic Spires Salvia (these have been flowering since March 2021!, amazing); white flowers are ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea; pink balls are Tropical Hydrangeas (Dombeya wallachii)

The remaining unidentified: blue flowers, Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata); burgundy foliage, ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera.

I am still experimenting with growing plants from seed for cut flowers. The Nigella are glacially coming along and I planted some Chinese Forget me Nots – has anyone tried these? The seeds are up, but that is all the news.

As always, thanks to Cathy at for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – China Hat Debut

The red flower in the vase, China Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea) is a recent addition to my garden. This is a tropical shrub native to lowlands of the Himalaya. It is thriving in my garden, enjoying the parched sand, seemingly a tropical desert shrub. These flower in winter here and I decided to cut a few to see how they hold up in a vase. Here is a closer view of the flower:

The other flowers in the vase are Zinnias grown from a Cactus seed Mix. I like the color but hesitate to name it..kind of a bronzy cafe au lait. The misty grasses are from the few remaining flowers on the Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris). I inherited the vase from my mother, I believe she bought it the Desert Southwestern United States in the 1980s, it is marked as made by the Ute tribe.

Happy New Garden Year to all. Time to plot our plots! I am thinking more Zinnias and maybe another China Hat, they are available in several colors.

Thank you to Cathy at for hosting this meme. I always have fresh flowers in the house thanks to Cathy. Follow the link to see more vases.