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

Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – Dombeyas…Inverted

One of my favorite winter gifts from the garden are the pink flowers of the Tropical Hydrangea (Dombeya wallachi). Unlike French or Mophead Hydrangeas, the flowers are borne hanging down from the branches like Christmas ornaments. These same flowers do not appreciate being turned upside down for flower arrangements – they tend to be top heavy and fall out of the vase for spite, this is after the bees chase you into the house because the most delicious cake batter scented treat in the garden is being repurposed for aesthetic reasons.

The recalcitrant flowers were conquered by a riff on the hand tied bouquet. I made mini bouquets of four flowers twist tied together, then placed them on the edge of the container.

Dombeya flowers in their natural state:

Someone described these as dreamy, I tend to agree. A big plus to the plant is they are very easy to grow. Unlike their blue French relatives, who I could never grow in my northern garden. I am going to try some cuttings for propagating when flowering is finished.

A closer view of the vase:

The vase is a Fostoria crystal ice bucket that belonged to my grandmother. I think the pattern is Americana. It dawned on me this was probably a wedding gift and over a hundred years old.

The foliage backing up the Dombeyas – in purple stripes, Transcandentia zebrina. The ferns are Asian Swords, a lovely weed. I compost or throw out a lot of both of these plants monthly. They both appeared, unbidden, in my garden – I use them where I would rather not mulch and recycle the rest.

To see more vases from gardeners worldwide, visit our hostess, Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

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 http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this meme. I always have fresh flowers in the house thanks to Cathy. Follow the link to see more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – Sharing Sunshine

The Winter Solstice passed last week, days are slowly getting longer and more sunshine is on the way. I thought I should share some Florida sunshine with a brightly colored mix from my garden. I have noticed the wildflowers in my garden germinate late in the year – which should have given me a clue years ago about when to grow cut flowers. I am guilty of reading and following directions on seed packages….again. South Florida reigns peculiar over American horticulture.

It is difficult to find a sunnier group of flowers. All were grown from seed started in September (some named and some in a cutting garden mix) and currently flourishing (with the exception of Nigella, not sure about that) in containers. I am wondering how long the Zinnias will last. Here is a photo of a seedling from the cutting mix I cannot identify.

Any thoughts? It is not a Hollyhock. That was not included in the mix.

Some closer views:

Yellow Sunflowers are ‘Dwarf Sunspot’. Green Zinnias are ‘Green Envy’; purple tubes are from Mona Lavendar Plectranthus. Pink Zinnia is from an Etsy purchase ‘Cactus Mix’. Here is a close up of the Zinnia, I love the stamens (I think?)

The other side:

Pink Zinnia and the very different green one are from the ‘Cactus Mix’. The African Marigolds are from the cutting seed mix with the mystery seedling. The big leaf forming the wave hugging the flowers is a big ‘Java White’ Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana). The leaf is 6 inches long and across. It rolled over naturally.

As always, thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting In a Vase on Monday. To see more posts, follow the link.

Happy Monday!

In a Vase on Monday – It’s Back…

A few years ago I inadvertently started a Shrub Queen holiday tradition. A rock n roll friend of my husband’s brought him a tin of biscuits from the UK. I am a lover of tins and this one has become a favorite ‘vase’ for holiday arrangements.

A few former Holiday Buses:

This year I added new colors to the red and green palette. Burgundy and chartruese and pink. Going wild.

A closer view:

Green Envy Zinnias are front and center. The pink flowers are Globe Amaranth; in white, Bridal Bouquet Frangipani; in red, Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida),

Burgundy flowers are from Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana); red foliage is Ti Plant (Cordyline); red flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); Asian Sword Fern add some greenery.

Happy Holiday Monday to everyone and Best Wishes for a Joyous Christmas.

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this weekly event. To see more vases, visit her blog at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

In a Vase on Monday – Sunspots

This is Helianthus annuus uno. My first sunflower ever. I fell in love with sunflowers after seeing fields of them during a summer spent in Italy when I was in college. For some reason, I have never grown any. Probably did not want to stake them. This one is ‘Sunspot Dwarf’, a two foot tall plant advertised to have 10″ wide flowers, the flower is not quite that big nor is the plant that tall. However, I am growing them in December in South Florida, so who really knows. I am, nonetheless, thrilled to have and cut them.

I bought seed this fall from Sow True Seed https://sowtrueseed.com/ in Asheville, North Carolina. Their packages read that they are committed to supporting a sovereign seed system. I had to look that one up. I am in favor of non GMO anything. Here is the definition:

The farmer’s right to breed and exchange diverse open source seeds which can be saved and which are not patented, genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants.

Further instructions are on the seed packages as to how to save the seed. Fascinating, though, I will probably cut all these sunflowers. I cut this one and left it in the grow bag to see if side shoots will produce more flowers. Gardening, the constant experiment.

A closer view:

Along with the sunflower are zinnias from the bag garden. I have a Cactus Mix and Pink Cactus. I am not sure where the pink one came from. The green ones are from ‘Green Envy’ Zinnias I have growing in a hot color bed in my front garden.

The foliage view:

Green foliage is Asian Sword Fern. The red varigated leaves are from an unnamed Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa). There are a zillion varieties of these floating around South Florida. My favorite name is Twisted Sister, I picked this one up at a Master Gardeners sale for a few dollars. My favorite kind of plant.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM. To see more vases, follow the link to her blog.

Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – Zinnia Envy

At long last my Zinnia Envy has been cured. I have been cutting the Zinnias to encourage more flowers and it seems to be working. ‘Green Envy’ Zinnias are doing well and may end up being the best of the bunch. I am encouraged enough to try Dahlias now. I have another case of plant envy that includes Dahlias.

It was an oddly overcast, showery day for winter (dry season) in South Florida. This vase lifted my spirits with its brightly colored cast of characters. I had to stop a couple of times and wait for the rain to stop before I could gather more flowers. I am constantly surprised by the quantity of flowers I can cram into a vase.

The vase is a thrift store find I have enjoyed tremendously. The neutral color shows off highly colored plants well and I like the shape.

A closer view:

Purple foliage with white flowers is ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera, it seems to flower in the winter, though this is a new plant to me. I sprinkled a few bits of long suffering purple Lantana from my butterfly garden. Green Zinnias are ‘Green Envy’, grown from seed. Pale pink buttons are Globe Amaranth.

Pink and peach Zinnias are from a Cactus Zinnia seed mix. Peach and orangey spike flowers are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) it is not always red and I love the variety of colors.

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

Happy Hollydays!!

In a Vase on Monday – A Mixed Bag

I am so pleased to have finally successfully grown Cactus Zinnias. Ta da!

My first several attempts resulted in oddly dwarf flowers that were never more than a single flower. These are doubles and the plants are very healthy with big, deep green leaves. This fall, I decided to plant cutting flowers in grow bags to see if it worked better than my futile efforts to amend the existing sugar sand in my garden. After installing bags and bags of compost, worm castings, mulch and irrigation – I still ended up with puny flowers. Here are the happy Zinnias in their bag:

The arrangement is a mixed bag of fall and winter flowers in my garden. Multi colored is probably the best way to describe it. The vase is a pottery candleholder my parents used in summer to hold citronella candles while they sat on their brick patio and drank untold gallons of dreadful Carlo Rossi Chablis. I put a pickle jar inside to hold water and flowers. The vase holds fond memories for me.

A closer view:

The green Zinnia is Green Envy, these are new to me and my garden. I have planted them with Mystic Spires Blue Salvia and am planning to add chartreuse Sedum below. Green tipped salmon flowers are Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria); purple spikes are “Mona Lavendar” Plectranthus; salmon spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); pale pink clovers are Globe Amaranth.

The other side:

The Cactus Zinnias are in yellow, pink, purple and salmon. Misty pink flowers are from Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris).

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. To see more vases follow the link.

Happy Gardening..

In a Vase on Monday – Gloom Buster

Gloomy is not usually a term I associate with the “dry season” in South Florida. It has been raining and overcast since the middle of last week. We Floridians are addicted to sunshine. The garden is clearly enjoying the rain and hopefully the good plants will absorb more than the weeds. Though I can see the cool season weeds germinating wantonly as I dodge the raindrops walking my greyhounds.

Our moods, needing improvement with some floral friends made me search high and low from the safety of my covered porches to spy some colorful and hopefully a little bit tropical flowers to grace my vase this Monday. All of the components of this vase were cut within a mad dash from our doors.

Another view:

Some closer views:

Purple berries are Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) – planted by the porch to deter mosquitoes. I think it works. Though I have no comparison. Pink cloverish flowers, some free Globe Amaranth I grew from seed I got from Etsy. Fun, but, yeah looks like clover and is a wimpy color. Not a big fan of pale pink. Darker pink wooly worms, Dwarf Chenille Plant (Acalphya pendula), just tropical fun and a great cut flower. Orange flowers, Firebush (Hamelia patens) grows near front and back doors and a perennial (ha) favorite.

White flowers are from Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica). These are slowing down though some consider them evergreen, I do not. Enjoying the slightly fragrant flowers til the bitter end (winter 2022?). Purple foliage is Alternanthera “not sure which one”

The weather seems to be clearing and I hope to be back in the garden soon.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening to you all. Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting – please follow the link to see more vases..

In a Vase on Monday – Wild Thing

Wild Thing .. you make my heart sing! Remember that? The Troggs are the original artists, here is the youtube version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qHX493bB3U

I truly enjoy the wild things (they make my heart sing) I grow in my South Florida garden and have filled, well, not a vase – but a Portmerion canister with fall wild things. Maybe I should call them weird things, though there is not a song for that!

A closer view:

The pink fuzzzies (hubs refers to them as wooly worms) are from Dwarf Chenille Plant (Acalypha pendula); pale pink chandeliers are from the Chandelier Plant (Medinillia cummingii); burgundy edible flowers are Roselles (Hibiscus sabdariffa); yellow flowers and green beans are Esperanza (Tecoma stans). There is a bit of Asparagus Fern in there for green texture.

Ivory Zinnia is my first flower from Cactus Zinnia seeds I started in September. I have Green Envy Zinnias (started at the same time) budding and am hoping I have figured out when to plant Zinnias here. I noted some mature Zinnias around when I planted seed so it may be a two Zinnia season here?? Fluffy pink grass in the background is Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris)

My vase from last week (Palm berries, etc.) is holding up nicely. The bits and bobs have settled a bit and are drying in place, colors are deepening. This may end up being a dried holiday arrangement with the addition of some sparklies, time will tell.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to find more vases from around the world.

Happy Gardening!