In a Vase on Monday – Year End Favorites

It’s the last Monday of 2020, and the final vase of the year. In celebration of the end of this year, I decided to use some of my favorites. The pink flowers are Tropical Hydrangea (Dombeya wallachii) – I love French and Oakleaf Hydrangeas, but live too far south to grow either. So, I was more than pleased to find this giant “Hydrangea”; – 10 or 12 feet tall and wide. Dombeyas are not related to Hydrangeas; they are actually members of the Mallow family – I live at the northern end of their hardiness zone. The honey scented flowers are just opening and there were a few angry bees after I cut these.

A closer view:

The greenery is cut from a Passionfruit vine. I am not sure which Passionfruit (there are a surprising number of varieties), although it seems to be Possum Purple, the raccoons get almost every one of them – it should be called raccoon purple. The floaty grass is the finale of the Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) for the year, another favorite of mine. The vase, an antique, picked up years ago somewhere north of here.

Thank you to Cathy for 52 weeks of hosting IAVOM! May 2021 usher in health and happiness for everyone – and A Vase every Monday. To see more vases, visit Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – Holiday Surprises

I am joining The Propagator’s gang this Saturday after Christmas to share some surprises the garden has granted me. Not all six are from my garden. These are Christmas Palms (Adonidia merrilli) doing their thing by the side of a nearby road.

Next, we have some Spanish Moss, a native Tillandsia Bromeliad. Although common in Florida, I rarely see it in my garden. I pruned it out of a Firebush by accident.

Another stringy surprise, a native Ageratum, Blue Mist Flower (Conoclinum coelestinum). It seems most native wildflowers in Florida like “moist meadows” – I have a desert like sandy soil, so this was a real surprise. Growing by the air conditioning condensor..

Yet another stringy surprise, the once solid leaves on the Traveler’s Palm, shredded by the wind.

I am delighted by this surprise, despite cold weather, we are freezing with temperatures in the 40s – the Tropical Hydrangea (Dombeya wallachii) has started its show.

Another nice surprise from my neighbor, I found a basket of Rangpur Limes on my front porch Christmas morning.

That is my Six this Saturday, to see more posts from gardens around the world visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

In a Vase on Monday – Solstice Solace

I decided not to do a vase after a rough weekend, emergency room visit at 2 am, etc. We had rain showers overnight, this Monday morning the sky is clear blue, sunshiny and warm. Some December mornings I really love South Florida.

I took a cup of coffee into my garden, met a lovely friendly cat (I put her outside the greyhound fence, though the dogs were fascinated) then noticed I should cut the Zinnias or they would stop flowering. A stroll through the tropical garden revealed the Tropical Hydrangeas had just started to flower.. a vase was calling and I answered.

Here is a closer view:

The pink flowers and green bud are Tropical Hydrangeas (Dombeya wallachii); Zinnias are Zinderella, grown from seed started in August; white flowers are Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘alba’); a few bits of Asian Sword Fern in back. The vase is a well loved thrift store find.

I wrote an article about Tropical Hydrangeas for The American Gardener, published in November. Here is a link if you would like to read more about Dombeyas. People like to call them Pink Ball Trees, I prefer Dombeyas! https://lscpagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/display_article.php?id=3813727&view=683131

Thanks to Cathy, at http://www.ramblinginthgarden.com for hosting and Happy Holidays!! To see more vases visit Cathy’s blog..

A Wreath on Monday – Pups

My vase this Monday morphed into a holiday wreath for my front door. I have wanted to try making a wreath from Bromeliad pups for a while and this year there were enough in my garden to give it a try. Of course, I had no clue how to actually make a wreath from Bromeliad pups and the dilemma haunted me for a while. The Bromeliad pups are from my collection of garage sale finds. The red ones at each end are Fireball Neoregelia, the bigger ones in the middle are Super Fireball Neoregelia, darker green and red varigated Angel Face Neoregelia and I have never managed to figure out the name of the spotted ones.

I started the wreath with a piece of irrigation tubing made into a ring with irrigation connectors. A perfect blank black circle. Then, tried to add the Bromeliad pups. Pups are a bit fat and uneven to be wired to irrigation tubing. Floral wire doesn’t work and tape doesn’t either. Undeterred by my pup attachment failure, I got my trusty gardening serrate kitchen knife with the wooden handle (it goes through the dishwasher) and bored some oddly unsymmetric holes in the irrigation tubing – it worked perfectly to hold the pups in place with the added benefit of holding water at the bottom of the wreath.

After installing 10 or 12 pups, I realized the wreath would be too big for the door if I covered the entire ring with pups..oops. So, as these things go, Plan B appeared. Wrap the rest of the wreath with Bromeliad foliage and add some Spanish Moss accents. I love Spanish Moss and it appears rarely in my garden, too windy here, I think. No Spanish Moss to be found in the garden – decided to wrap and make do with dried moss on hand from God knows where.

About this time, my husband appeared, needing a hand with one of his projects… I gave a hand with his work and then hit him up for some double stick tape for the wrapped part of the wreath. As luck would have it – his double stick tape worked great til it ran out – not quite covering the irrigation tubing. Trusty serrate kitchen knife reappeared, a few more holes bored – voila, a wreath. Almost covered and needing a bit of oddly sourced Spanish Moss.

My first Bromeliad pup wreath makes its holiday debut. I am dreading finding a huge sproing in the morning.

Monday morning update – no huge sproing, but I did step on a bit of Spanish Moss when walking outside.

Happy Gardening and Happy Holidays to all. Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more (usually) vases..

In a Vase on Monday – Biscuit Bus Again

It’s back! The holiday bus biscuit tin makes its fourth appearance in a vase on Monday. This year, I looked for different plants from previous years – the result, a totally different combination of textures and colors and the first appearance of Florida’s native Poinsettia in a vase.

I love tins and this is a favorite, a friend from the UK brought it over as a gift for my husband. The shortbread cookies were consumed in short order – and it became a vase in December 2015, 2016 and last year.

A closer view:

The white flowers are “Miss Alice” Bougainvillea; chartreuse ‘flower’ is a fading red Guzmania Bromeliad; the native Florida Poinsettia is the green cut foliage with the pink markings; grey foliage is from Barometer Bush (Luecophyllum frutescens); red flowers are Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetifolium); ferns are Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata); and a few leaves of Piecrust Croton (darker foliage in picture above)

The 2019 version:

The 2016 Version
The Original Bus 2015

Interesting to look back on past buses! Our tabletop Christmas tree is up with an edited collection of memory inspiring ornaments. I decided on a tabletop tree due to an addition to our family, meet Zepp the Greyhound. He retired from racing at The Palm Beach Kennels on November 10, 2020. It seems a tree in the house might be a bit much for him right now. For the Led Zeppelin fans among us, my husband included, the song ‘Black Dog’ inspired his name.

Happy Holidays to all and thanks to Cathy, at ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

A Week in Flowers – The Final Edition

I am joining Cathy at www.wordsandherbs.wordpress.com for the final edition of our flowery images. I think a glow has replaced the gloom! Follow the link to see more flowery images.

I decided to go all out tropical today.. Pink Bougainvillea to start.

Cattleya Orchids, these grow in my garden and stay outside year round.

My neighbor grows Cattleyas in a tree (Hong Kong Orchid tree, of course)

A closer view:

I have Bridal Bouquet Plumeria

And roses of a different type, Desert Roses.

This has been fun this week, seeing all the different flowers from everyone.

Happy Gardening!!

A Week in Flowers – Butterflies on Friday

It’s Friday and the sixth installment of A Week in Flowers. I love butterflies in the garden and have been planting more (and stranger) plants to attract butterflies. The results have been fun to watch.

A Swallowtail nectaring on a Heirloom Penta.

Zebra Longwing on a Firebush.

White Peacock on Ixora berry..

Sulphur on White Geiger tree.

Gulf Fritillary on the Heirloom Penta..

That’s my Flowery Friday with Butterflies. To see more flowery posts, visit Cathy at wordsandherbs.wordpress.com.

A Week in Flowers – Thursday

This is the fifth edition of A Week in Flowers. Garden bloggers worldwide have been sharing their flowery images with Cathy at wordsandherbs.wordpress.com. We are all making the world a more colorful place this week.

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. Despite 2020, I feel we have much to be thankful for. My garden, for one and blogging friends have been a great respite from current events. Thank you all.

Here is a close up image of the Blanchetiana Bromeliad I posted yesterday. Sometimes called Lobsterclaw..

Tecoma stans, Yellow Bells, in flower.

The Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) is flowering sweetly today.

Miss Alice Bougainvillea and the Beautyberries are still hanging on today.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

A Week of Flowers – Monday

I am joining Cathy at Words and Herbs for the second issue of a week in flowers. This is a Lobsterclaw Heliconia (Heliconia rostrata). One of my favorite tropicals, the flowers alway surprise me. They are set off by a Wild Coffee shrub, not advisable to drink it, but a nice Florida native.

See more flowery photos at http://www.wordsandherbs.wordpress.com

Six on Saturday – November Arrivals

I am joining The Propagator for his meme featuring six items of interest from my garden. To see more posts from other gardeners visit his blog at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

November brings some interesting characters into my garden. Birds become more numerous during the winter in South Florida. I was interested to learn that Hawks migrate, they have recently appeared in flocks, soaring over the Indian River in search of food.

These are White Ibis, they are here year round but more numerous in the winter. The brown ones are juvenile and become pure white as they mature. They are eating grubs in the lawn.

Another bird appeared this week, the Sandhill Crane, these are about 3 feet tall and look like Pterodactyls flying by. They summer in Nebraska.

Winter provides interesting colors in plants as well. The aptly named Christmas Palm (Adonidia merrilli) is producing fruit – looking a lot like Christmas ornaments.

Bromeliads have a tendency to do their own thing. Eventually I will figure out how to have year round flowers. These Guzmanias, left to their own devices, filled this wok planter and bloom every winter for a few months.

Another reliable winter flower is the Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus pendulifloris). These appear randomly in my garden and are very difficult to get rid of – I have embraced them and trained them to my neighbor’s fence.

The Zinnias I started from seed in August have started flowering, as usual, they don’t look like the seed packet. These are Zinderella and supposed to be double..and peach colored, the other one is single and gold..

That is my six for this Saturday… hopefully it stops raining soon.

Happy Gardening and thanks to Jon the Propagator for hosting.