In a Vase on Monday – Mixed Media

What is mixed media? In my garden it is tropical plants vs. more conventional plants. For some reason, I don’t really like to mix the two – though I am slowly getting past that. Possibly latent brain washing from design school. Tropical plant material was not on the menu where I went to college.

Who knows? There is not really a color scheme here, either. Totally mixed media. I started cutting the weird red Dahlias (a mistake from the bulb supplier) and just kept going. Added some white for fragrance and then decided more color was needed….snip, snip, snip.

Voila, it had to go in a clear glass vase. An old florist vase from a long ago gift of flowers.

What’s the media?

Tropicals, in red and yellow, ‘Lady Di’ Parrotflowers (Heliconia psittacorum); in white, Tropical Gardenia (Tabernaemontana diviricata). Conventionals, in chartreuse, Envy Zinnias; peach spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) – there is a dilemma, it is called Tropical, but really is not?

White spikes in back are fragrant Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata); blue flowers are Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amiable); white daisies, Bidens alba; Red Dahlias of unknown name. Oops from the bulb supplier, these have oddly short stems – I think? These are my first Dahlias, so please share any Dahlia insights with me. The corrected Dahlias (Labyrinth) have arrived and should be cactus type. I have planted them and am breathlessly waiting for big, fluffy cut flowers. I hope they haven’t been overwatered.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link for some potentially less mixed vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Happy Returns

Saturday, once again. Today I am looking at six things I am happy to see returning to the garden. ‘Happy Returns’ is also the name of a very nice repeat blooming yellow daylily…I wish I had a few of those. On to the six…

Blanketflower (Gallardia pulchella) – a prolific, reseeding wildflower I enjoy in its many variations. I caught a bee on this one. I leave these to grow wherever they land.

Another batch of Envy Zinnias are in flower. My husband even likes these…he doesn’t notice much in the garden.

Another wildflower that I leave to wander the garden. I enjoy these blue Spiderwort flowers every spring. I am sure it is a Transcandentia, just don’t know which one.

Another native back in bloom, Sunshine Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa). This is the groundcover that ties my wildflower garden together, or I hope it will.

Pink Cactus Zinnias are also back in the garden…

Another one of my favorite Florida natives is back in bloom – Firebush (Hamelia patens) – a butterfly and bee magnet. The Zebra longwing butterflies are back as well, nectaring on these flowers and the Zinnias.

There, my Six for this Saturday. To see more posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Taste of Summer

Summer is the rainy season in South Florida. After a month of dry weather, we had a tremendous round of thunderstorms yesterday. It looked like a couple of inches of rain fell, based on what was left in a bucket on the back porch. One of those “I really don’t want to go to the grocery store” days. I did anyway.

The summer tropicals loved the moisture and are showing their colors in this installment of Six on Saturday. To see more SOS posts; visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

My first ever Sugar Baby watermelon. I thought it had died, but it seems the stem turns brown when the melon is ripe. This was delicious and the sweetest watermelon I have ever tasted. There is another one on the vine.

Gulf Fritillary butterflies are back. This is a caterpillar beginning to make a chrysalis on a Corkystem Passionflower vine. I leave the vine to ramble through the shrubs in the front garden and feed the butterflies. These look mean, but they don’t sting. The orange coloration is to keep predators away.

New to the garden, Apricot Profusion Zinnias, grown from seed. I like the color and wasn’t sure how pastel it was going to be.

First Frangipani (Plumeria) of the season. The flower is almost open, I will most likely enjoy the fragrance tonight. Fingers crossed.

First Dahlia in the garden is problematic. I ordered a cactus variety called Labyrinth. It should be pink, peach and fluffy – it is not.

Full size pineapple in the garden. I have a pineapple patch – rooted tops of all kinds of pineapples. I am told they might cross with each other and the results will be seedy fruit. This one looks a little seedy to me, though it is the only one that flowered unless it crossed with some other bromeliads. No clue. Time will tell. In a couple of months, the fruit should ripen.

That all for this lovely spring day.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Eggcentric Blues

It was a lovely, sunny holiday weekend punctuated by a much needed soaking rain. The garden and I are both feeling relieved and celebrating Easter Monday with an egg dyed by my neighbor and blue flowers from the garden.

The egg gets a close up:

The egg was dyed with flowers from the Blue Pea Vine (Clitoria ternata). It almost looks like a robin’s egg. The flower:

The vase contents:

The smaller bright blue flowers are Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amabile), grown for cutting, the stems have just gotten long enough to use. Darker blue spikes are Mystic Blue Salvia; peach spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); white flowers at base are Miss Alice Bougainvillea.

Another view:

Chartreuse flowers are Envy Zinnias, the latest batch. The white spike flowers are Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata); ferny foliage and wild green stems are from Wild Asparagus Fern, which is probably invasive, I keep it at bay using it in flower arrangements. It is oddly sharp for a fern and difficult to pull out.

The vase is actually taupe and pottery, though it doesn’t look like that in the images. I found this at a thrift store a few years ago and have enjoyed it immensely.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening to all.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting, follow the link to see more Monday vase and maybe an egg or two.

Six on Saturday – Sky Blue

It is Saturday yet again and a beautiful, sunshiny late spring day in South Florida. The skies are blue and so are the flowers this week. I am joining the Six on Saturday crowd at Jon’s blog; http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com. Follow the link for more late spring garden views.

Another garden first, the Chinese Forget Me Not (Cynoglossum amiable) flowers! So pleased with these. These reportedly make good cut flowers, though the stems are not very long yet.

The Blue Pea Vine (Clitoria ternata) has started flowering again after a winter hiatus. These vines, after recovering from severe rabbit abuse are supposed to be perennial here, so I am hoping they will cover the fence.

Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamacaicensis) is starting to flower again.

I have two shades of blue flowering Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) – a nearly indestructible tropical shrub. Can you tell the difference? The darker blue is the more recent selection, the paler flower is the heirloom version.

Blue Daze Evolvulus can be used as a perennial groundcover here. I am not sure what inspires it to flower. It just does periodically?

There, my six. Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday weekend and sunny blue skies.

In a Vase on Monday – The Red Wave

This vase was actually done on Friday. A surprise Amaryllis appeared in my garden a couple of weeks ago. After watching it carefully it became evident it was a red Amaryllis descended from some very old heirloom bulbs in my garden, inherited from my late father in law. How it managed to jump over the roof is a mystery to me. The flower was being buffeted by gusty winds, so I cut it and placed it in an old florist vase I found by the side of the road.

I filled the stem with warm water having read this makes the flower last longer. As of Sunday, the flower is turning black! Experiment number nine million a failure. Since I liked the slant of the Amaryllis I added some similarly slanted Firecracker Plant creating a red wave. The white flowers are Love In A Mist, a first in my garden.

A closer view:

I am guessing this is a Red Lion Amaryllis as that was Glenn’s (my father in law) favorite. The Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis) has been around the garden for years. While I like the plant and flowers, it has a frumpy habit, sort of languishes along the ground…very handy if you want a wave, but otherwise sort of weird.

The Love in a Mist (Nigella sativa). I am aware these are very familiar to many gardeners, however, this is the first one I have seen and I love it! and the seeds are edible! Magnificent. I was surprised when it opened white as I was expecting blue. I planted the seeds in November, so they seem to be cool season annuals here. I will grow more when the season is right. There are still a few budding, so I may get a blue one.

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

Wishing everyone Happy Gardening with nice surprises and a little Nigella for seasoning.

Six on Saturday – New for Spring

I am joining the SOS gang yet again looking at Spring additions to my garden. To see more Spring (and maybe some Fall) fun from fellow SOSers – visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Fruit on the Malaysian Orchid (Medenillia cummingii). These eventually turn purple and collapse leaving a sticky substance with seeds. I have smashed the goopy stuff on trees around my garden, hoping for trees filled with Malaysian Orchids.

New pot of succulents from a visit to Pinder’s Nursery in Palm City, Florida. No clue what any of them are.

New crop of Zinnias for cutting and bedding. Apricot Profusion, Pink Cactus and Envy Zinnias to be planted out soon.

Never seen it before in my garden, Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynglossum amiable). Grown from seed and just about to flower.

Leonitis leonurus, Lion’s Tail. I have had L. nepetifolia, an annual for a few years. These plants are somewhat difficult to establish in beach sand, so I decided to try the perennial version and grew two very slowly from seed. Catalogs say these grow to about six feet and are very drought tolerant once established. We shall see. Looking forward to orange flowers.

Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) also grown very slowly from seed and I had to buy two batches of seeds and try a couple of different sowings to get the time of year right for germination. I managed to grow two plants! This is another reportedly very drought tolerant after establishment perennial, native to the mountains of Arizona. What it will do in South Florida is anyone’s guess. It does have a strange smell and it is not like lemons. A couple by the name of Lemmon discovered the plant.

That’s the Spring update. Hoping to see more flowers soon.

Happy Gardening!!!

In a Vase on Monday – Leftovers

I had been eyeing my growing crop of Shell Ginger all week to use in my Monday vase. My hopes were dashed on Saturday night when we had a tremendous thunderstorm. Gusty winds and the downpour beat up most of the Gingers, so I had only two flowers left! The rain event left me looking for floral stand-ins. Surprisingly, the more delicate green seedheads (further away from the edge of the roof) survived intact.

The close up:

The pink flowers are Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet); delicate seedheads are from the Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia), maybe I should say delicate looking seed heads – the stems are at least a half inch in diameter that hold these three or four feet tall flowers aloft. Small white flowers are from Asparagus Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus) the common houseplant, I did not know flowered. In the background, another common houseplant, Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata). Both ferns grow wild in my garden.

Another view:

It’s late Sunday afternoon as I am finishing this blog post. The skies have clouded over again and I can hear thunder in the distance. I am also thinking about dinner, specifically leftovers!

Thanks to Cathy at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this weekly event. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Herbal Essence

I keep vases in my entry foyer so I can enjoy the fresh flowers when I go in and out of the front door. Between dog walking, trips to the mailbox and gardening the vases are a frequent sight.

This Monday, my foyer is filled with herbal fragrance. I think the combination of scents (dill, sage and almond) would make a good dish or hand soap.

The crystal vase, a gift from my dearly departed brother, was chosen for its verticality (design gobbedlygook rearing its ugly head). The dill flowers are my new favorite, well, this week. Here is a closer view:

Chartreuse flowers are from ‘Long Island Mammoth’ Dill; white and pink spikes are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); blue spikes are from Mystic Spires Salvia; a white sprig of Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata) is visible below. The burgundy foliage is from ‘Purple Haze’ Billbergia Bromeliad.

I’ll make an announcement if I decide to go into the gardener’s hand soap business!

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for keeping my entry foyer filled with flowers. Follow the link to find more spring vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Late St. Patrick’s Flowers

I was surprised this Saturday to find green flowers in the garden – a week late for St. Patrick’s Day. And never expected this:

Green Larkspur? Delphinum ajacis, if I remember correctly. I bought a cutting flower seed mix last fall and thought the plant was Nigella – until this popped out. I love Larkspur and always had some in the garden further north, did not know it could be grown in winter in South Florida or flowers could be green. The flowers were pink, white and blue in my other garden. Happy day!

Dill flowers on the herb. I am so enjoying this Mammoth Long Island Dill. The foliage and the flowers.

From the produce section, the Sugar Baby watermelon has been shored up with a sling of netting and growing by leaps and bounds.

A top view of the watermelon sling. I use the netting on nearly ripe mangoes as squirrel abatement.

French Breakfast Radishes from the bag garden.

Surinam Cherry or Pitanga flowers. This is a common screening hedge in South Florida, it produces a grape sized fruit with a pit. In my opinion, the fruit is one of those things you have to grow up eating to enjoy. It has a resinous flavor and often has small worms. I like the indestructible hedge and enjoy the flowers, the birds enjoy the fruit.

There! My Six for this Saturday. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!!