In a Vase on Monday – Summer Reds

I have two vases today. It may sound like wines are the topic this Monday, but that is not the case. The only commonalities with wine are both vases are bottles and feature the color red. For the most part, I can do without red wine. Though I do like to make gravy with it.

I may finally be embracing the single Red Dahlias I got by mistake. These have a tendency to look down in the garden and seemingly I am required to lie on the ground to get a good look at the flowers. I like them much better in a vase.

The vase is an olive oil drizzling bottle given to me by my mother years ago. This is what she called them, she went through a roasted red pepper (drizzling olive oil is essential for this) phase and decided all the cooks in the family needed one of these bottles. They work great for their intended purpose but are difficult to clean after a while and I keep it around for decorative and now, vase purposes.

A close up:

The red daisies are a Dahlia of unknown name; orange tubular flowers are Firebush (Hamelia patens); burgundy leafy foliage is ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera; burgundy strap like leaves are Hallelujah Billbergia Bromeliads; white spike is Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) for fragrance.

The Next Summer Red:

I did a similar vase a couple of weeks ago. The combination of the red bottle and the tropical Heliconias is irresistible to me. This week I added some Hibiscus to enhance the tropical vibe.

A closer view:

The red bottle was a dog walk find a neighbor left out as trash. The yellow and red flowers are Lobsterclaw Heliconia (Heliconia rostrata). These take their time opening, a week or two, then perversely don’t last very long in a vase. I’ll be watching to see if the one that is less open lasts longer. There are two varieties of Hibiscus here. The classic Hibiscus (the top two), a heirloom variety called ‘The President’. An ancient shrub, I think my neighbor’s grandmother planted decades ago. It sits on our property line and every now and then I cut a few. The lower one is a Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus arboreus) – not actually a Hibiscus, but a Mallow and family member. These grow wild in my garden. The foliage is from the Heliconia and was cut with the flowers and left in place.

Will my Summer Reds inspire me to make gravy? Hmmm, chicken thighs in red wine gravy are a favorite. With mashed potatoes and lima beans. A definite dinner possibility.

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM. To see more vases, follow the link to her blog.

Happy Gardening!!!

Six on Saturday – Quandaries

I face many quandaries when gardening. Many involve recalling the name of the plant. I finally remembered the one above is an Aechmea aquilega bromeliad, then I looked it up online and found several photos and only one looked like this? And what are the black things on the tips of the flowers- seeds? Rarely I will get a new bromeliad from seeds, but it takes forever.

These are called grass pups, they are from an Alcantarea bromeliad, as far as I know the only genus that makes grass pups. After putting them in a pot together I read they hate this and should be separated – I am thinking not since they are just starting to do well. I am not sure which Alcantarea these are, either.

Another tropical dilemma. This is a Leafless Bird of Paradise, a very interesting plant. This one is perpetually plagued with scale. I am thinking of cutting all the foliage off and letting it start over. I did this with a nearby Coontie, similarly plagued and it is much improved.

The Coontie and my big toe. Coontie (Zamia integrifolia) is a cycad native to Florida. The very poisonous roots are a source of arrowroot flour and were nearly harvested to extinction. The scale is gone.

Several blog friends asked for an update on the decapitated Papaya tree. It produced a few weak flowers and then passed on. The trunk is nearly loose enough for me to pull out.

Here is the Papaya last June, probably a month after decapitation. This is a practice endorsed by Floridians, supposedly reinvigorating the plant to produce more fruit. It seemed like a bad idea at the time.

Another thing to wonder about. What is happening here? A two headed pineapple?

There! My Six Quandaries for this Saturday. To see more posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening. I’ll just be in the garden, wandering and wondering.

In a Vase on Monday – Embracing Envy

We are not talking about the seven deadly sins today. I am embracing the Green Envy Zinnia. I usually use these as a side dish instead of the main course in arrangements. Today, they are the pot roast! My husband opined this is a muted arrangement from me. Pot roast is kind of a muted color..

I have had these flowering in my garden since November. Not the same plants, this is the second batch grown from seed. I am hoping to be able to grow Zinnias year round for cutting. I am getting longer stemmed flowers now and will be interested to see how long these plants last in the blast furnace South Florida summer.

A closer view:

The Green Envy Zinnia gets its close up.

The sides:

Foliage friends – in purple, ‘Purple Prince’ Alternanthera; ferns are Asian Sword Ferns. For fragrance, I added – in blue, ‘Blue Lagoon’ Rosemary, also good in pot roast; in white, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata).

The vase is a mason jar, meant for canning. This post is making me hungry.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting – follow the link to find more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – June Bouquet

June in South Florida brings thunderstorms, moisture and flowers. I am enjoying the flowers, but could do with a little less moisture, we have had some intense thunderstorms with more lightning that I can recall experiencing.

Above is the very appropriately named Rain Lily (Zephyranthes spp.) I am not sure which Rain Lily this is – it reseeds freely in the garden. I have several clumps of this along the pathways in the garden and enjoy it as it flowers off and on throughout the rainy season.

Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria) flowers. A great garden plant for growing in sugar sand. It flowers at least four times a year.

Aechmea fasciata or Silver Urn Bromeliad in full bloom. Many brom flowers last a long time if not cut. I am leaving these to see how long they last.

Adonidia Palm (Veitchia merrilli) flower buds. These open and make red fruit late in the year that gives them another common name, Christmas Palm, as the fruit looks like Christmas ornaments.

This is a Vitex trifolia purpurea, I think. I am not sure about the purpurea part, the backs of the leaves are purple, so maybe that is the right name. It is sometimes called Arabian Lilac. I bought it in place of Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) as I am really too far south to have success with those. It is finally establishing itself after a few years of suffering in the sugar sand. I hope the butterflies find it soon, it is a nectar plant for many.

The formerly native Thyrallis (Galpinia glauca). The tiresome native plant continuum changed their mind about this one. It is reportedly a very drought tolerant shrub, although I find it needs water during the dry season. Also advertised to bloom year round, doesn’t do that, either. Oh well, I still like it in summer and maybe it hasn’t been in the garden long enough. A gardener’s hope springs eternal.

That is my Six for this Saturday. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!!

In a Vase on Monday – Roadsidia in Red

A gardening friend collects plants from the side of the road and transplants them into his garden; referring to these plants as his roadsidia – and has a beautiful garden. The roadsidia element in this arrangement is the vase, found on the curb with the trash while walking the dog. It reminds me of a bottle that would contain a genie..I hope one is in there and he or she will clean my house!

A closer view:

The bigger red flower is a Lobsterclaw Heliconia (Heliconia rostrata) – it doesn’t get much more tropical than this. The varigated leaf is from ‘Java White’ Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana ‘Java White’); smaller red flower is Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis).

Pale yellow flowers are from the Java White Copperleaf, red spike flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); the arching green leaves are foliage from the Lobsterclaw Heliconia; pale green stems are Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Firesticks’)

I spied the first Monarch butterfly in my garden today; visiting the Firebush for a sip of nectar and wanted to share a link to some good news about this butterfly at long last.

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/butterfly-effect-monarchs-are-making-a-huge-comeback/1195131

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM; follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Not Alex

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1. The rainy remnants of the first named hurricane of the Pacific season, Agatha, started to fall in my garden yesterday late afternoon and continue this morning. Agatha hit the west coast of Mexico, crossed that country, emerged in the Caribbean and is predicted to form a tropical storm after it passes over South Florida later today – it will be called Alex. The wind speed and rain is still literally up in the air.

All the tropical moisture has been a boon to the garden. I walked Fiona the Greyhound this morning, she meandered around then came in the garden with me and proceeded to dig a hole and do a greyhound speed run. Yes, she is covered in sand. And soggy like the rest of the garden.

One of my favorite natives, a Thatch Palm (Thrinax radiata). This is a pretty palm, one of only 12 native to Florida, but very slow growing. I have had this one for at least 7 years, it might be 18 inches tall.

Summer rain brings out the tropicals, this is a Lobsterclaw Heliconia (Heliconia rostrata). These take a lot of water, I finally placed them under the edge of the gutterless roof and they are thriving at long last.

The unnamed Bromeliads are in full bloom.

The chandelier plant (Medinillia cummingii) started its second round of flowers this year. I am wondering if this plant will provide year round color. The flowers and fruit last a long time.

I have three mango trees. This one, a Glenn variety, has grown a foot this week. Amazing. Despite having three trees, I only had one mango and the squirrels got to it before I did. There is still hope, the Thai mango, Nam Doc Mai, has the potential to flower in the summer. The others, hopefully next year.

My neighbor’s mango, doing much better than mine. He cut this tree back hard last year and I suppose that is why it has fruit? The foliage looks a bit chlorotic to me. I bought a new bag of fertilizer in hopes of getting a little more color in the foliage on mine and more fruit in the future.

There! Six from South Florida. Not sunny. To see more SOS posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Morning Finds

It’s time for another Saturday morning walk around my garden. The heat and moisture lovers are lifting thier heads and showing their colors.

This is a Silver Urn Bromeliad, most people call these Fasciata, as the botanical name is Aechmea fasciata. I associate these with the Atrium trend from the eighties when these were commonly used as a long lasting color plant in interiorscapes. This one flowers and produces pups every other year in my garden.

Another tropical that enjoys humidity, the Choconiana Parrotflower (Heliconia psittacorum). I am wondering what Choconiana is??

A little less tropical but another seasonal indicator, the flowers on the Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) signal the start of summer. On the flip side, the lurid purple berries, borne around Labor Day, mark the end of summer..

The architectural buds on a Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria). I think these were inspired by a few rounds of thundershowers this week. The foliage bases have greened up as well. It is possible I fertilized them and forgot about it…

Another architectural plant, the Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica), started flowering this week and will most likely continue until November. This is a semi evergreen, columnar variety of Frangipani. I have a number of these as they are great accent plants around fences and narrow spaces. They are lightly fragrant at night.

A little foliage to end this Saturday’s walk. This is Goudaea ospinae, no idea of the common name. It used to be called Vriesea ospinae gruberi. It’s a varigated Bromeliad and adds a lot of color to deep shade. This supposedly will flower with yellow spikes. I was wondering how much shade it would take, so it has been sitting in its pot in the shade garden for at least two years, another incredibly hardy Bromeliad.

There, my Six on this Saturday. To see more SOS posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Eastern Line?

One of my favorite aspects of blogging is learning from fellow bloggers. Last week, I was informed by Tony Tomeo of the existence of Western Line Floral Design – and had to look it up. Here is a link that explains the style and other floral design styles; who knew there are so many floral design styles? I certainly did not.

https://www.floraldesigninstitute.com/floral-design-styles?page=2

I like the Western Line concept and have the perfect vase. I will have to wait for the appropriate flowers to attempt a Western Line style vase. Meanwhile, I call this one Eastern Line as it is linear and I am on the east coast of Florida. There is probably a floral show judge somewhere not feeling happy about this at all.

A closer view:

Eastern Line Plant Palette:

In blue, Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amiable); orange banana shaped flower, Parrotflower (Heliconia psittacorum ‘Choconiana’; orange tube flowers, Firebush (Hamelia patens); chartreuse flowers, ‘Envy’ Zinnias; varigated foliage, ‘Bossa Nova’ Neoregelia Bromeliad; background ferns, Boston Ferns (Neprolepis exaltata)

With the onset of mid May humidity the summer flowers are starting. Firebush is one of my warm season favorites and lasts for months. The orange Parrottflower is also a summer flower here. Watching the Zinnias to see how long it takes for something fungal to get ahold of them…The Forget Me Nots are starting to go to seed with the heat. I think I got my money’s worth out of these four plants. It will be interesting to seed if the seed germinates in the bed. I imagine they will have to be grown in pots and transplanted – the experiment continues.

The vase – a serendipitous unload from the dishwasher by my husband; unceremoniusly left near my flower arranging spot. It is the bottom half of a candy jar we broke the top for and couldn’t decide to keep or toss. This Monday a vase..

A view from the top:

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

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Updates

Last Saturday, I posted some mysterious bud photos from my garden. This week, I have flowers to share and some updates to my front garden. The weekly six:

The Aechmea Bromeliad is opening. How much more it will open is anyone’s guess. The flowers tend to last for months on these Broms. It reminds me of a Bird of Paradise….

Here are the flowers on the Haworthia from last week. The stem is too long to take a picture of. Below is the origin of the stem.

I have been working towards a perennial border look in my front garden. This is uncommon in Florida and I have grown most of the flowers from seed as they are not grown or sold here. The area behind the rocks was the site of a former driveway and hard as a rock. The coral flowering shrubs refused to grow in this area (I don’t blame them) so they were asked to leave and have been replaced with flowers.

A closer view:

Plants in this area are: coral flowered shrubs, Dwarf Red Ixora (Ixora taiwanensis); chartreuse foliage, Gold Mound Duranta (Duranta repens); blue flowers, Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amiable); gold flowers, Mountain Mint (Tagetes lemmoni). The succulents in the above photo are Soap Aloes (Aloe saponaria and produce deep coral flowers about 4 times a year. I think this area needs a touch of white flowers…

A nearby bed:

The fallen leaves from yesterday afternoon’s mega thunderstorm (with hail!) are visible. The gardener will pick those up later..bamboo sticks are to keep rabbits away. The Mountain Mint in the above photo has such a weird scent that deer won’t touch it. I am wondering if that is enough to keep the rabbits away.

Plants in this area: in apricot, Apricot Profusion Zinnias; in blue, Mystic Spires Salvia; in white, Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); in chartruese, Gold Mound Sedum (Sedum acre). I have a feeling the Sedum is losing its battle with South Florida..

That is all the news from my garden this Saturday. To see garden updates from around the world visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!!

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!!