Six on Saturday – Winter Veg

This is not actually Winter Veg, it’s Muhly Grass growing next to the Winter Veg and hard to resist.

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Here is the Winter Vegetable Garden, the first half just coming up. It is too hot in South Florida in summer for many vegetables to pollinate. I have Tomatoes, Snow Peas, Radishes, Carrots, Green Beans and Cilantro.

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Papayas. I have Avocado and Lime trees in the garden, if they were old enough they would have fruit at this time of year. Two years to go on those trees, it takes five years from seed.

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The Pineapple patch, no pineapples yet. And the feature dead solar pathway light.

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More seeds coming up, Cactus Zinnias, Winter Flowers not Veg.

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The seeds. The most irksome thing, the Cosmos seeds didn’t come up.

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Go to the Propagators blog on WordPress for more of Six on Saturday.

In a Vase on Monday – Fall Vase Theory

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This vase is filled with the fall colors of South Florida. All of these plants are native to the area and thrive without too much help from the gardener. These are my kind of plants, easy to grow and maintain and not too rude about taking over. An added bonus is they last as cut flowers (or berries).

This week I was asked for a post explaining how I arrange flowers, so my vase design theory will follow the components of the vase:

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The purple berries are Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana); orange tubular flowers are Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens); the off white spikes are from the Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa); pink plumes are from Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) and the ferns are Boston Fern (Nepholepis exaltata).

Vase Theory

The way I go about arranging flowers is less theory and more ‘that needs to be pruned’. I do not have a cutting garden. Anything within reach of the clipper is a cut flower as far as I am concerned. And I like garden space to be year-round, with the exception of vegetables. Flowers feed the soul, vegetables the body. Of course, having spent decades in the design business, there are certain knee jerk reactions to any design problem. And designers can overcomplicate anything.

This morning I noted my Beautyberry needed to be cut back again and decided to use the purple berry stems in a vase.

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The long, skinny stems dictated a tall, slender vase to hold them, I chose the smoky grey glass vase to contrast with fall colors I was thinking about using. I usually put the dishtowel headed towards the washing machine under the vase to catch bugs and trimmed plant bits. For proper scale with the vase, I cut some Beautyberry stems twice the height of the vase.

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I added the Beautyberry stems splayed around the vase into thirds, leaving spaces for more flowers.

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I cut some Muhly Grass stems (taller than the berries) for wispy purple texture change from the berries and greenish-white Juba Bush spikes for color contrast. Then decided the wispy grass needed a more solid green background. Back to the garden.

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I liberated a few Boston Fern fronds from the driveway (only in South Florida would this happen), then compared the size to the rest of the vase, decided they were too tall and cut a few inches off the stems. After adding the ferns, I decided more color was needed and went back into the garden for some Firebush flowers to fill the lower third of the arrangement with orange tubular flowers and some leafy foliage.

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The result, In a Vase on Monday! IAVOM is a Garden Bloggers meme based in the UK. Cathy from Rambling in the Garden is the hostess of this meme. To see more vases follow this link. More Vases

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Six on Saturday – McKee Botanical Garden

Last Saturday instead of blogging, I went to McKee Botanical Garden with my friend Marjorie. This garden is a former tourist attraction called McKee Jungle Gardens, located in Vero Beach, Florida. We had a wonderful curry lunch in the restaurant on site and strolled the gardens and water features. It is a bit jungly, but a lovely walk on a sunny afternoon.

This is my favorite container garden. An ornamental pineapple (Lava Burst?), Coontie Palm (Zamia integrifolia) and a bit of Spanish Moss spilling over the side.

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Tropical Blue Water Lilies.

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An introspective owl.

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Gigantic mushroom.

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My other favorite container garden. Ferns and Orchids.

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Resurrection Ferns and Bromeliads overhang a pathway.

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Today it is rainy and we are in the grips of Tropical Storm Nestor.  Last Saturday was much better.

Happy Gardening! For more Six on Saturday go to: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

In a Vase on Monday – The Shrimp Boat

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This vase is my grandmother’s gravy boat – it exhibits a bit of family history, my father broke it (probably in the 1930s) and was made to fix it. He glued it back together, I wasn’t sure it would hold water but it does! The patina on this old piece of Blue Willow is extreme. The inside repair is visibly cracked, the spout is deeply chipped and the glue has turned brown – I don’t use it for gravy but keep it on a shelf to enjoy the history.

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The shrimp? It’s the Red Shrimp Plant in the vase. The Red Shrimp Plant is one of the more indestructible plants in my garden. It grows in sugar sand, no fertilizer and if you forget to water it that’s not a problem. Flowering off and on year-round and it has an interesting flower. The plant is kind of gangly, but its benefits far outweigh the ganglies. Does it look like shrimp? Not to me.

A closer look at the rest of the arrangement:

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The red flowers on the left side are from the Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida) – a novelty plant by some accounts though it does look like coral. Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana) lounging around the end with white Florida Gardenia (Tabernaemontana diviricata); yellow daisies are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis), off white spikes at the end are Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa)

I have a feeling my grandmother would think this was a pretty weird thing to do with her broken gravy boat. But, you never know!!

Happy Gardening and Happy Monday. To see more vases follow the link to Rambling in The Garden MOREVASES

In a Vase on Monday – Purple Jam Session

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One of the components of this arrangement could be used to make jam..it’s the purple Beautyberries. The green fruit on the table is Florida Avocadoes from a neighbors tree. My grandfather referred to these as Alligator Pears, which makes sense to me now. It’s a sweeter, creamier version of the Hass Avocado. I have a Cuban Avocado tree in my garden, the fruit is similar just twice the size of the Florida version. My grandfather might have called these Alligator Footballs.

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I didn’t set out to do a purple vase, it just evolved after I found the Ground Orchids blooming (Spathoglottis “Cabernet” small purple orchids in the middle). I added some peachy pink Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) and Purple Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana). Then some white accents, spilling over the side Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata) the creamy white spikes are from Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa). Greenery is Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) and a burgundy Bromeliad leaf  – Luca Neoregelia.

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Now, if only one of my neighbors would make some Beautyberry Jam!

Happy Gardening and Happy Monday.

To see more vases follow this link to Cathy’s blog, ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – Flowers, and Friends

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This is Alan the Greyhound, my constant garden companion, and a champion hole digger.

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Flowers on a White Geiger (Cordia boissieri). This tree flowers frequently,  more in cooler weather.

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‘Miss Alice’Bougainvillea finally making her presence known. A nearly (Nearly?!) thornless Bougainvillea, this means the thorns are shorter and more limber but can still stab you.  I have been training  Miss Alice into a pillar for a couple of years.

 

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Florida Avocados from a neighbors tree. I just asked my husband what he wanted with Guacamole? We’ve decided on Mojo Chicken Nachos for dinner.  In summer friends give us Mangoes, fall and winter Avocados and Papayas.

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A new addition to my butterfly friends, a Giant Swallowtail. Easily the biggest butterfly I have ever seen, I thought it was a bird.

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The Desert Roses are flowering a bit. This is a popular type of Aeonium in South Florida, native to sub-Saharan Africa and a rare plant that will survive the summer here in full sun and a container.

Happy Saturday!

To see more of Six on Saturday, go to the https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

In a Vase on Monday – Red and Black

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It’s college football season in the US and I graduated from a football school, the University of Georgia. A football powerhouse currently ranked #3 in the country. Our team colors are Red and Black, hence the vase. The Landscape Architecture program left me with a peculiar love of plants that I like to share in vases. After watching football on Saturday. Only in the fall. And maybe a few bowl games after January 1st.

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The vase is black, a thrift store find I have enjoyed. The red flowers hanging over the side, Turks Cap or Nodding Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), the red and yellow flowers are Parrotflowers (Heliconia psittacorum), white flowers are Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica) and ferny greens are volunteer Asparagus Fern.

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It occurred to me this also looks a bit like an early holiday vase, and I had to laugh considering the images floating through my mind of burly men wearing gigantic pads fighting over a pointy football.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening.

Go, Georgia Bulldogs.