In a Vase on Monday – Modern Bromeliad

Modern was the first word that popped into my head after I put this vase together. Sometimes I wonder where these things come from. I suppose, in my mind, this is just really not an old fashioned vase of plonked wildflowers. Except in South America where some of these plants probably are wildflowers. Food for thought.

After a little online searching, I found a long trip would be necessary to gather this particular group of plants as wildflowers – from Southeast Asia to the Gulf Coast of Mexico then down to Southern Brazil. A trip around my gardens seems much simpler.

Close up, please!

There are two Bromeliads in the arrangement, both from Southern Brazil. The flowers are Quesnelia testudo, they have been flowering for about two months and are nearing their end. They don’t last long in the house, so I decided to enjoy them while they last in a vase. The foliage on the Quesnelia is needle sharp and bright yellow green; I try to stay away from it and use loppers to cut the flowers. The green foliage with pink tips is from Painted Fingernail Neoregelia Bromeliads. This is one of my favorites and a stalwart in South Florida gardens. The flowers aren’t very showy, but the olive green foliage with fuchsia tips is worthwhile year round in the garden.

Other foliage in the vase: in purple, hailing from Mexico, Purple Queen (Transcandentia pallida ‘Purpurea’) I like this name so much better than what I learned in school – Setcresea, what is that? Once again, my favorite sidekick with flowers is Asian Sword Ferns.

We had a very rainy Sunday morning here and I am looking forward to clear skies next week. I am happy all the plants got a good long drenching and hopefully the wind stays away long enough for the water to soak in.

Thanks to Cathy at for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!


Collecting Treasure Coast Passalongs

It is entirely possible the term “Passalongs” is Southern American slang. In the Deep South gardeners typically pass along their favorite plants to friends and neighbors by seed, cutting or division. Once I was the happy recipient of an air layered old fashioned Gardenia. Hence the term Passalong Plants.

There are varying superstitions about proper receipt of these plants. One is you never say ‘Thank you’ because this will result in the plant’s immediate demise – this seems so strange to me as Southerns are, if anything, polite.

Many of these plants might be considered ‘Roadsidea’ as they are superhardy and likely to have been collected by an intrepid gardener for their outstanding flower or other characteristics.

Everglades Tomatoes

Everglades Tomatoes

Here in South Florida, contrary to most of the Northern Hemisphere, the gardening season is winding down and gardeners are sharing plants for installation before the rainy season begins. In the case of the Everglades tomatoes, the seeds will be saved for planting next fall.

I am not so sure about the Everglades Tomato. They are the small tomato at the top of the picture, the bigger ones are Grape Tomatoes. These are native to the Everglades, hence the name, some people grow them year round. To me, they have a beefy taste and are too small to get the full tomato experience. I want a burst of sunshine when I bite into a tomato. I may have to stick with my favorite Sweet 100s.

I call these Groundcover Bromeliads, they are some type of Fireball Neoregelia, maybe Atomic. Commonly sold at Garage Sales and passed along by division. I have striped, spotted and red. They spread and form a groundcover. I find that I am not worried as many gardeners about botanical nomenclature when I find a great deal at a garage sale. Please forgive me for spreading ambiguity.

Groundcover Bromeliad

Groundcover Bromeliad

Groundcover Bromeliad

Groundcover Bromeliad

Painted Fingernail Bromeliad

Painted Fingernail Bromeliad

This is the aptly named Painted Fingernail Bromeliad, an Aechmea variety. My neighbor gave me a few pups from her plants. I saw these growing by the side of the road for a long time before I managed to find out what they were. Like many passalong plants, these prove to be pretty indestructible and will grow in sun or shade.

Succulents are another excellent passalong as they reproduce quickly with side shoots. Just break one off and replant in hot sun and infertile soil. They may need water once or twice. The Agave and Soap Aloe are from my friend, Eddie.

To a certain extent all of these plants are a double edged sword. Yes, they thrive in our difficult environment. Maybe a little too well. If not maintained through careful sharing, the garden could be at risk of being overrun. I wouldn’t mind with the Bromeliads, except they are pretty sharp as are the succulents. So, mine are kept at bay and cleared from the edges of walkways.

Now that I have collected all these plants, I have some ready to pass along, should anyone need a new plant or two t try. I do hate to throw plants away.