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 – 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 – Forget Me Nots

I am loving the blue Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amiable) I planted for cutting in January. I started cutting them last week and they last almost a week in a vase. This variety is recommended by Floret Flower Farm, a seed and advice supplier in the northwestern US. Floret claims long stemmed flowers may be harvested for six weeks and advise planting two crops one month apart to extend the season. I will know if this holds true in South Florida in another week or two. They may burn up in our May heat.

Plants and flowers in the garden. I used bamboo stakes to keep the rabbits away.

The rest of the vase:

The bright blue flowers – the Chinese Forget Me Nots. Another addition to cutting flowers this year – White Nigella (N. damascena) and seedheads. I have some pale blue striped versions of the Nigella as well, so happy; peach spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); orange tubes are from the Firebush (Hamelia patens).

Another view:

White spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) wearing wedding attire; varigated foliage is Varigated Flax Lily (Dianella)

The vase is a mason jar with a bit of raffia.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Little Surprises

It’s time for SOS again. This Saturday I am focusing on six fun things I found in my garden this week. Follow this link to see more Spring surprises from gardeners around the world – http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

One of the aspects of gardening I enjoy most – the little surprises along the way. Above is a pot with miniature pineapple, graptosedum, and flapjack kalanchoe all doing their thing at the same time.

A surprise Amaryllis I never planted. There are red and orange ones nearby.

First Blue Larkspur in my South Florida garden.

Buds on the never seen before Nigella.

A very early Glenn Mango. This tree flowered in January, it is usually March. I may have one Mango in April.

The White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri) in full bloom. This is an oddly shaped tree after getting blown over by a hurricane. Some of the more tropical woody plants tend to grow in a tangle and this is one of them. Contemplating the pruning.

Voila!

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!!

In a Vase on Monday – Fun Fiddly Foraging

Despite having participated in IAVOM for several years, I finally started growing flowers for cutting last fall. Zinnias, and just planted another batch. My current challenge is foraging something in bloom to cut in my admittedly funky South Florida garden. Usually followed by fiddling.

This Monday’s ‘vase’ was fiddlier than usual. A big, antique copper teapot has been repurposed into a vase. This teapot has holes in the bottom and a repair can be seen on the front. A salsa jar was placed inside to hold the water. I had a difficult time getting the scale of the arrangement to suit me; rearranging the dill flowers and inhaling the scent so much that I decided to make something with dill for dinner.

The flowers:

The orange flowers in the front are Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera); deep blue spikes are Mystic Blue Salvia; white daisies are Bidens alba; crinkly white flowers are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boisseriei); the dill flowers are leaning out of the picture; varigated foliage in back is Varigated Flax Lily (Dianella tasmanica); peachy spikes with seedheads are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) – not being red.

A better dill flower image and the grey succulent tucked into the front is a Graptosedum..which will probably root in the salsa jar.

Dinner forage:

On my dinner forage I collected enough fresh herbs (dill, parsley and basil) and tomatoes to make tomato and sausage pasta with roasted garlic pesto.

To see more vases (probably foraged) visit Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Spring Surprises

I am joining the SOS crowd again today, reflecting on discoveries in my garden this week. Above is a Graptosedum succulent, gifted to me by a friend. I did not realize they flowered – but there it is.

One of my favorite discoveries, Mystic Blue Salvia. This one was planted March 2021 and has been flowwering ever since.

My first Dahlia sprout. I planted Labyrinth tubers about 10 days ago, did not read the directions about not watering them..then stopped. I figured I had rotted the tubers, but no! Hoping for some cut flowers, these are planted in grow bags.

Sugar Baby watermelon that faked me out. I have these in grow bags and put an old teak ottoman next to the bag to grow the melons off the ground. Not realizing they would go through the slats. Now I have to figure a way to support the fruit as it ripens. Thinking a mesh sling might do the trick.

New crop of radishes almost ready to eat.

New flush of flowers on the Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)

My spring wonders for this week. To see more wonders, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Daffy

After cutting the yellow flowers and placing them in the ‘vase’ – the first thing that popped into my head “Looks just like daffodils.” As a nod to Disney’s famous Daffy and the Daffodils, the brass ducks were added. The ducks are a long ago gift from my father – to remind me to keep my ducks in a row. They make excellent paperweights and also make me laugh, reminding me of one of my father’s favorite sayings.

More daffiness, the weather. We are having the four seasons (not Vivaldi) this week in South Florida. It was dry and 87 F/30 C here one day last week, followed by wind, thunderstorms, a cold front – this morning, temperatures were half that and we are expecting everything in between over the next week.

Daffy.

A closer view:

The mason jar ‘vase’ is a thing now. I suspect this is part of the Millenial ‘farm wedding’ aesthetic. I am fine with mason jar vases, using them as drinking glasses is another story, ugh. I acquired this vase when recieving a flower arrangement.

What’s in it?

Yellow flowers are from Esperanza or Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans); crinkly white flowers with buds are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissierei); white flowers at top of arrangement are Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia); the chartreuse seedheads are from Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘alba’); ferny foliage and yellow starburst flowers are culinary dill. I love the scent and was surprised recently that two friends (father and daughter) did not like dill at all. Daffy genes?


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Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

Well, it goes with the color scheme…

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.com for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to find, probably (sorry) less daffy vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – The Warm Up

Time for SOS again. To join in, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com for instructions and check out the comments from other gardeners around the world.

South Florida, being true to its tropical spirit, heated back up this week and the garden responded. It was 85 F/29.4 C here yesterday. The locals were pronouncing spring had arrived.

Above is what I call my Jurassic Begonia, it started sending up flowers this week, the stems are almost five feet long! This is actually called a Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia) seemingly a roadside weed in parts of Central America – this is difficult for me to imagine.

A closer view of the flower.

The flower of a pink ornamental pineapple. The foliage is green and burgundy striped and the pineapple is miniature and will remain pink. These are too small to eat, but can be juiced if you are so inclined. I usually cut them and use them in flower arrangements. They dry well as tiny brown pineapples.

The Hard Cane Dendrobium Orchid I mounted in the Gumbo Limbo tree has produced a bud. The anticipation is building. I covered this during the cold snap.

Flowers on a Dracaena reflexa just starting to open. They have a wonderful scent. The buds are burgundy and the flowers are white.

I have finally grown some Cilantro! Now I hate to eat it, it took forever.

That is it for this week.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Blushing Bromeliads

Time to join the SOS gang yet again. My Bromeliads and vegetable garden are doing their winter thing.

First up, the Blushing Bromeliad. I think these are Neoregelia carolinae. The foliage is solid green until we have a cold snap, then the plant blushes, staying red until summer returns.

Another Neoregelia Bromeliad, this is ‘Luca’ showing its deeper winter coloration.

Other Bromeliads flower in winter. This is a bud stalk, probably three feet tall, from an unnamed (or forgotten) Brom that has been in the garden for several years. The flower is a surprise. It should be interesting to watch the evolution.

This one, Quesnelia testudo, is considered by some to be the tulip of South Florida. The flowers last about a month.

I continue to harvest and enjoy fresh vegetables. The snow peas (mangetout) are wonderful cut into matchsticks raw and added to salad.

I finally got some good radishes – do I know how or why? Not really. This is a French Dressing or French Breakfast radish, name depends on who supplies the seed. These are my favorite and always cleaned and eaten immediately after harvesting. Irresistable. I shall plant another bag full before it gets too hot.

That is six from my South Florida garden. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!