In a Vase on Monday – Holiday Infusion


For me, it is always a bit strange being in South Florida during the holidays. I spent most of my life in a place that experiences winter. Yesterday I found myself in the grocery store dressed in shorts and a tank top, surrounded by gaping tourists and listening  to  Christmas carols play in the background. While driving home I noted my neighbors planting Poinsettias in their yard for holiday color. Odd. Clearly a holiday vase was in order.


The big red flowers are Nodding Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos); red spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); red star shaped flowers are Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata); white spikes are from the sweetly scented Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); white stems are from Adonidia Palm (Veitchii merrilli); white daisies are from Spanish Needles (Bidens alba) ferns are from the native Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata).

The vase is another oddity found by the side of the road in my neighborhood, likely a historic florist vase from the 1980s. With all the red and green in my vase…my Christmas spirit is cranking up a bit. Maybe my holiday mood will improve once my neighbor puts the flamingoes out. Yes, there is a sled and Santa that goes with it.


Didn’t I say it was a bit strange in South Florida during the holidays?


At least the Nodding Hibiscus looks a bit like a Christmas ornament.

Happy Holidays!  To see more vases from around the world go to

In a Vase on Monday/ Not Hotel California


Mirrors reflect the foyer ceiling

Pink Champagne bottle in Grandmas ice bucket

And she said, ‘we are all prisoners here of my Bromeliad vice’

Here is the real lyric verse from the song ‘Hotel California’ by 70s American Rock Band, The Eagles. I hope someone else remembers it.

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

I always thought Hotel California was a weird song, very evocative, but weird. This is another of my spa/hotel lobby arrangements.


The pink flower is ‘Little Harv’ Bromeliad (Aechmea ‘Little Harv’) Little Harv was developed in South Florida in the 1970s and is a popular and easy to grow perennial. Ironically, Little Harv is relatively tall reaching about 3 feet. The Dwarf Pineapple (Ananas spp) is another Bromeliad I used in a vase a few months ago, it dried in this downward curve. The background is a Tropical Gardenia leaf (Tabernaemontana divaricata) and some Wild Asparagus fern. The pink bottle is from Champagne a friend brought to share at a dinner party and the crystal ice bucket is Fostoria from my grandmother.


Here is Little Harv in bud and full bloom. I cut this one today as it is in a bit too much shade and our lawn mowing crew is very likely to run it over.



In A Vase on Monday – Whispers of Fall


Sunday in my neck of the woods began stormy and transitioned into a cool, overcast day (high of 80 degrees F) My husband and I sat on our screened porch for the first time in months. Fall is elusive in South Florida and sometimes the flowers speak for the season. Chapman’s Goldenrod is flowering in my garden, an indestructible and polite native wildflower that reminds me of much more Autumnal months spent further north. Our weather is not reliably cooler until mid October, so this first whisper of Fall was a welcome respite from the usual steamy late summer temperatures.


The Chapman’s Goldenrod (Solidago odora ‘Chapmanii’.) is the yellow flower in the middle of the arrangement. Here is a link to More about Chapman’s Goldenrod . 

Clockwise from the Goldenrod, in red spikes, Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); a sprig of Blueberry Flax Lily (Dianella); The orange tubes are Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens);white buds from a Tropical Gardenia (Tabernaemontana divericata); Daisy mixture is Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis) and Gallardia pulchella. The far left side of the arrangement has a Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana); the background plants are Wireweed (in white); and a bit of Dwarf Pineapple foliage (the spear).

For an arrangement in a vintage Dansk candleholder-  there is a lot stuffed in there. Initially, I decided to try a hand tied bouquet (which I do not know how to do) gave up on that,  kept adding flowers, changed vases three times and ended up here.

Listening for more whispers of Fall.


In A Vase on Monday – A Day at the Beach.


I usually conjure up my vases on Sunday morning as many things in South Florida can get wilted in the afternoon. This morning I was scratching my head as it didn’t seem to me much was going on in the garden.

As I was walking around the garden it occurred to me what a wonderful exercise  in seeing putting a vase together every week is. (This is also a flashback to design school -looking and really seeing) First, I noticed the berries on the Firebush (Hamelia patens)


Then the fluffy seedheads on the mystery plant:


Whatever this is popped up in my garden a few years ago  and I left it for the flowers or seedheads, please let me know it you recognize it. I thought it was some sort of Amaranth, but don’t really know.


After finding the two base plants, I found the Red Shrimp Plants (Justicia brandegeana) and Beach Sunflowers (in yellow, Helianthus debilis) are still flowering and the thus far, oddly small Cactus Zinnias were added. Then I went around to my herb pots and snipped some Copper Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare “Purpurea”) to complete my arrangement. The flowers were placed in an vintage amber glass candlestick holder from Dansk, a favorite of my husband, repurposed for a vase on Monday.

Then it dawned on me, this was so easy it was like a day on the beach. So, I decided to go see how things were on Jensen Beach. If you are in a cold place I hope this warms your heart.


In A Vase on Monday -Triple Bubbly


This first Monday of November a challenge was issued to use threes in an arrangement. Given our now wonderful weather in Florida and the third anniversary of In A Vase on Monday I thought a celebratory arrangement was in order. Champagne is always a nice touch on a happy occasion.

Out came the flutes and the search was on for some bubbly flowers. I decided the flowers from the Firecracker Plant (Russelia) were red and bubbly enough and then added one Parrot Flower (Heliconia psittacorum) and a bit of Bromeliad foliage (Neoregelia spp) and a few sprigs of Asian Sword Fern complete the cocktail.

I found a relatively historic bottle of Cava in my refrigerator and added my mother’s relatively historic Fostoria ice bucket with matching tray to complete the vignette.

Here are the flutes without the wine. They are now perched on a table in my foyer.


And here is a single flute:


Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden blog for hosting this meme. Each Monday bloggers from around the world post arrangements from their gardens.



In A Vase on Monday – New Years with the Natives


The last vase of the year! My ode to Florida natives with friends from other places. The vase is a Christmas gift from an old friend, my college roommate and is sparkly blue mosaic. Neither of us are Florida natives.

The Florida natives in the vase are: Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis) the yellow daisy; Firebush (Hamelia patens) the tubular orange flower; Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) the pink feathery grass in the back. The non native friends are Solar Sunrise Coleus, chartreuse and burgundy leaf; Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘Alba’), the white flowers and a few pieces of Mother In Laws Tongues in the back of the arrangement (Sansiveria).

Here is a close up:


I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! I have enjoyed comparing vases this year and look forward to next years bounty.

In a Vase on Monday

11/16 VaseNovember brings some unusual flora and some of the usual suspects to my vase. The unusual ones are the cream colored infill flowers and the Muhly Grass. The cream colored flower is an unknown plant to me – something I let go just to see what would happen. I may live to regret that decision, but part of gardening is the experimentation. The Muhly Grass is what Sweetgrass baskets are made from in the Lowcountry of the Southeastern US, I think of Muhly Grass as Roadsidia but I like its feathery presence in the back of the vase.

I am referring to the pink and red flowers and the foliage as usual suspects because they tend to come and go year round in South Florida. Coral Vine and Shrimp Plants are tender in areas with freezing temperatures. These plants include pink flowers from the Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus and red ones are from the Red Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana. Foliage from a Painted Fingernail Bromeliad and Boston Fern round out the composition.