In A Vase on Monday – Pre Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US on Thursday this week. I found a perfect centerpiece container at the thrift store recently and decided to do a pre Thanksgiving arrangement before going full autumnal.

The Thanksgiving centerpiece sans flowers:

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Company arrives tomorrow afternoon, so the pre vase will go on the dining room table with lavender candles. Wednesday I will go full autumn centerpiece in the thrift store container. I have inadvertently ended up with numerous red and orange plants in the garden. High colors of the tropics I suppose and a good selection of fall-ish colored plants for an autumn arrangement without the crisp temperatures or actual fall.

Here is what late fall in South Florida looks like, about 78 degrees Fahrenheit with a light breeze.

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There is good reason to be here.

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The details. The vase belonged to my mother, acquired out west somewhere after my parents retired and went on meandering trips driving around the western US. It is marked Ute and probably made by the Ute Tribe of Native Americans in Colorado, late 1980’s. I enjoy having vases from my mother during the holidays as she is no longer with us.

The flowers: Deeper purple spikes are from Mexican Sage (Salvia sp), lighter purple, Spathoglottis Orchids “Cabernet’, the bits of deep blue are from our native Porterweed. The white mystery plant spikes appeared in my garden and I just keep cutting them. Foliage is Copper Fennel in dark gray and Asian Sword Ferns.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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In A Vegetable on Monday – Faux Fall

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I like gourds in the fall. My husband told me once he knew when it was fall because I had the gourd arrangement on the dining room table. So, here is the 2016 version.

Florida is tricky about fall. September, in my opinion, should be, the transition to cooler weather. September, in Florida is a sweaty repeat of August. Fall manifests itself subtly, fruits appear on the Beautyberry, Muhly Grass bravely sends up a pink cloud and then slowly the calendar reaches October and becomes the savior of all things pleasant outdoors. We have now reached the magical day when a cold front arrives, humidity disappears and all windows and doors can be thrown open to invite the outdoors back in. In celebration of all things autumnal, here are the gourds filled with flowers from my garden.

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The gourds aren’t all gourds. The striped centerpiece is a Carnival Squash, a vegetable, my husband wouldn’t eat squash on a dare, the result of a Midwestern upbringing featuring Butternut Squash baked with a lump of sausage. I had no worries about wasting an edible squash for a flower arrangement. This green one is an inedible gourd.

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The mini pumpkins are just that and completely ornamental. Flowers from my garden include – in red, Tropical Red Sage (Salvia coccinea), in yellow, Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis), purple berries, Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana), pink plumes of grass, Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia), orange firecracker flowers and foliage are from Firebush (Hamelia patens). The off white spikes are a mystery volunteer (i.e. weed) . The ‘Autumn’ leaves strewn about being from the Raggedy Ann Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana ‘Raggedy Ann’)20161023_122725

It occurred to me that almost everything here is native to Florida with the exception of the faux leaves from Raggedy Ann, and the gourds, maybe there is fall in Florida – you just have to open your eyes and see it.

Thanksgiving

Charles

Charles

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US. Time to think about what you are grateful for. In my case, it is many things – one is my big dog, Charles. Charles is a retired racing greyhound and my constant companion. He is a big dog, weighs about 90 lbs. I think he is eight years old. He raced for 3 or 4 years and then was retired due to a leg injury. He can be described as a happy go lucky guy who has never met a stranger. Some people are taken aback by him because of his size, but he is a very nice guy.

Larry and My Girl

Larry and My Girl

I am also grateful for the company of my husband and our other greyhound, My Girl, who will be 14 years old soon.

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty

Another member of the family is the kitty who I inherited from my brother when he passed away – he had inherited the cat from my mother when she passed away. Hence the cat’s name, Sweetie Pie which my husband refuses to use. She is called Miss Kitty and requires a great deal of maintenance.

Thanksgiving is all about food so we are cooking up a feast starting today. Other traditions associated with the holiday are football and shopping. I am a graduate of the University of Georgia, a powerhouse of Southeastern conference college football so we will be watching some football and hoping for Mizzou to lose so Georgia can go to the Championship game. The shopping aspect of Thanksgiving weekend is too much of a madhouse for me. People get up at 4 am to wait for stores to open then fight over bargains. I’ll be grateful not to participate in Black Friday.

We are smoking a turkey tomorrow in keeping with tradition (roasting a turkey is truly traditional, smoking is not) To go along with the turkey I am making cranberry relish, cornbread dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. My husband is baking a pumpkin pie tomorrow. All of this is fairly common Thanksgiving fare, cornbread dressing is Southern as am I.

I am also grateful for my blog readers, I have been blogging for a little more than a year and have been really enjoying meeting ya’ll.

Thank you,

Amy