In A Vase on Monday – Branching Out

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I am madly trying to get the gardens straightened up before summer starts scorching me, causing retreat to the air conditioning thus causing the weeds to reach Jurassic proportions. While cleaning up I noticed two palm seedlings growing about a foot away from my house. Much too close for comfort.

Palms being monocots are easily gotten rid of by cutting off their one growing point, the apical meristem. Then, you can put the palm fronds in a vase on Monday and join Cathy’s meme at Link to meme to see more vases. I did exactly that and cut a few branches from some flowering shrubs that needed it and then looked around for some accenting flowers.

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The result is a big vase in my foyer this Monday. The whole arrangement is about 3 feet tall, the vase a Christmas gift from my husband some years ago.

In my big vase are: fronds from seedlings of the Sabal Palm (Palmetto sabal); orange and red flowers are from two different Firebush (Hamelia patens and var. patens). I may have the only pollarded tree form Firebush in Florida. The blue flowers are from the Plumbago shrub (Plumbago auriculata), a pretty and utterly indestructible shrub; the white flowers are from the White Geiger (Cordia boissieri), a tree native to Mexico.

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Maybe this is upcycling instead of recycling prunings. Hmm.

A Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all.

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In A Vase on Monday – Summer G’s

 

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Summer began on Thursday here, complete with thunderstorms and wet blanket of humidity slapping me in the face when traveling from air conditioned space to the great, sweaty outdoors. Summer flowers are a consolation for the weather.

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The G’s are Gardenias and Gallardias, the Tropical Gardenias are stalwarts in my garden. They thrive under dreadful conditions and supply flowers off and on all summer long. The plant is probably ten feet tall and I struggle to reach the flowers, having jettisoned more than one across the vegetable garden by letting go of a long branch too quickly. Oddly enough, the buds last a really long time in the vase, but the flowers don’t. I love the graceful lines of the buds, when hanging over (and around) the side of a contrasting vase, the summer garden is looking fine indoors.

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The first G is Florida (or Tropical) Gardenias (Tabernaemontana divaricata), semi deciduous, in my experience and not particularly hardy to frost. The other G is Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella), a native wildflower I have been trying to establish in the Pollinator Garden. The third plant in the vase is a Penta lanceolata, a plant known to serve as a nectar plant for butterflies. I have noticed the butterflies sipping on the flowers, hoping for offspring.

Speaking of pollinators, they are back for summer – these are caterpillars of Gulf fritillary butterflies chowing down on my ‘Lady Margaret’ Passionflower vine. Lady Margaret has been perverse in her unwillingness to flower in my garden, so I don’t mind if the Gulf fritallaries eat her up.

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Here are the Gulf Frittilaries from last year. I hope to get better pictures this year,

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Flowers by Karma

 

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Last week I made the bold statement “there is not very much pink in my garden”. As always, karma reigns supreme and two of my favorite plants are in this vase (also supplied by karma). Both are, well, pink.

Strangely enough, last week one of my favorite vases, a simple glass cylinder cracked. Nothing happened to it, the vase just cracked up and down about a third of the height of the vase. It occurred to me I would really like a slightly larger glass vase with a more interesting shape.

The following morning I was walking my greyhounds and spied this vase, left at the curb as trash. It was promptly removed, by me. The greyhounds did not care. They prefer hanging with a soft blankie or two.

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Later in the week, I renovated my front porch containers for summer (the new colors are shades of peach, apricot and burgundy with a touch of gray and chartreuse) I am hopeful the new variety of Zinnia will survive the onslaught of heat and humidity.

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During the course of my renovation I removed a long serving ‘Alabama Sunset’ Coleus, it had developed a nearly half inch stem and I knew its days were numbered, so I took some cuttings and put them in the vase to root. The pink vase was inevitable.

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Here is a close up, the ‘Alabama Sunset’ Coleus is at the base of the arrangement. The flowers are Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), a favorite tropical and the gingery fragrance adds to its appeal. The background greenery is Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) a native and vase favorite slowly invading my driveway landscape.

Wishing good karma for all this week. And I hope everyone is in the pink.

In a Vase on Monday -Festivitea

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I was absent from IAVOM last week as I was attending some festivities out of town. I went to a reunion of my college Landscape Architecture class at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. April in North Georgia is lovely and we had a luncheon in the courtyard of the Founder’s Memorial Garden on campus. Here is the fruit parterre garden, the shapes formed by the boxwood are lemon, lime, strawberry and cherry; if memory serves – and sometimes memory refuses. This garden is part of the curriculum to learn how to draw Landscape Plans, I can only wonder how many times it has been drawn.

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The house, originally built in 1857 has served many purposes; most recently the headquarters of the Garden Club of Georgia. The garden commemorates the Founders of the Garden Club movement, established in Athens in 1891 and was opened in 1939 by the first dean of the Landscape Architecture school, Hubert B. Owens. More About the Garden

Back to my Festiv-i-tea vase.

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The vase is a teapot of English Blue Willow, one of my all time favorites. For whatever reason, there are a lot of hot colors flowering right now. Soft spring colors are not really a thing in South Florida, in my garden anyway. Living in a deep peach painted house discourages the use of pinks and lavendars.

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The teapot is stuffed full of flowers. The big orange flower is Mexican Bush Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera), I have been enjoying pruning this one back to size for vases. Nearby are white Petunias of mystical origin; white daisies are the invasive native Bidens alba; the small sunflowers are another native, Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis); red star shaped flowers are Petunia exserta; a few Parrotflowers in the front (Heliconia psittacorum; grey foliage is from Helichyseum petiolaris, Licorice Plant and there is some Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) in the back that is not in this picture.

Hope everyone had lovely Easter festivities!

Happy Monday.

In A Vase on Monday – Uber Tropical

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Frequently I receive comments about my vases being tropical or exotic. Much of this plant material is commonplace in Florida. The above vase, however, seems Uber Tropical to me.

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Here is a closer view. The arrangement is a stem of Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet); a sprig of Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) and a potential replacement for the umbrella in tropical drinks, a Miniature Pineapple. The Pineapple is a cutting from a friend and I have no idea what botanical name goes with it. I cut it because the varmints in my garden usually eat them at about this size. They are not edible, extremely fibrous I am told, but may be juiced.

Here is the pineapple in the garden:

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I am happy I beat the varmints to my little pineapple. They are currently eating the new shoots on all the Bromeliads.

Happy Monday!

In A Vase on Monday- Spa Day

 

20190331_110422From time to time I make an arrangement that generates comments like ‘it belongs in the lobby of a spa’. I think there is a relaxation vibe from some of the more tropical plants in my garden. I have been gardening madly to get my pollinator/fruit garden finished before the rainy season starts, so I could use a Spa Day myself.

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Here is a close up, there is a lot of foliage in this vase. The flowers are; in red, Guzmania Bromeliad, in white, Lotus Leaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia) – a recent addition to the garden, this Begonia gets 5 feet tall and wide. It has just started to flower and is really shooting up in size. The burgundy and green leaves are from Neoregelia Bromeliads, I am not quite sure of the variety. The thinner leaves are from a Varigated Minature Pineapple (currently bearing tiny pink pineapples). Bigger leaf behind is from the Ornamental Banana (Musa ensente). Ferns are from my driveway edge volunteer Boston Ferns (Nephrolepsis exaltata) and the volunteer Asparagus Fern. Vase is wrapped with a Pandanus leaf.20190331_124536-1

Here is my volunteer Boston Fern garden, I have a crushed shell driveway, the shells are held in place by wood timbers and there is an inches wide space between the driveway and my neighbor’s fence where the ferns thrive. I have really enjoyed this gift.

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Happy Monday.

In a Vase on Monday – Exserta Experiment

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This is an In A Vase on Monday story. Every Monday morning, Cathy from ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com invites us to share a vase of flowers from our gardens. The meme is called In A Vase on Monday and gardeners from around the world share flowers from their gardens. I have learned so much from fellow ‘vasers’ and the contents of this vase bear witness to my affinity for IAVOM.

Sometime last summer, Chloris from thebloominggarden.wordpress.com shared photos of the Petunia exserta she had grown in her garden.  I had never seen or heard of this plant and looked it up. To my surprise, this Petunia was rare, from Brazil and grew in cracks on the sides of sandstone towers and is pollinated by Hummingbirds. Sounds perfect for my incredibly well drained sugar sand garden with a bonus of attracting Hummingbirds. I live on the east coast of Florida, where Hummers are not as prolific (I see 3 or 4 a year) I bought a packet of seed (oddly from the US Pacific Northwest)

Not being native to South Florida and really more a plant buyer than propagator, I decided to plant seeds the first of September for winter flowers. They promptly sprouted and were planted in the ground, in pots and gifted to my neighbor to see what happened. They flowered a bit all winter, but as soon as the temperature hit 80 – off they went. I needed to cut them back and they landed in my vase this Monday. Clearly, something has been pollinating them, although I have not seen a Hummer nearby. Here is a close up of the vase, a candle holder from Pier One.20190324_102907_Burst01

The Petunia exserta, the red star shaped flowers, the grey plants are Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima), viny grey plants are Helichryseum petiolaris; red spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); foliage Boston Fern (Neophrolepis extalta) and a Red Banana Leaf (Musa ensente).

Here is the Petunia exserta in my garden, placed next to a rock to make it feel at home.

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