Valentine’s Day is happening this week and my usual reaction is a pink or red vase. I finally collected a full vase of Zinnias and decided Cupid wouldn’t mind some colors other than pink. One of Zinnias flower meanings is lasting affection, I think that works for Valentine’s Day. The Envy Zinnias in here might be more difficult to explain.
The warmer weather over the past few weeks has produced some green tomatoes and Zinnias. Bell peppers are setting buds and the cool season herbs are being devoured (by humans). The Sunflowers are in bud and I am earnestly watching the Ranunculus, having never seen any before, waiting breathlessly to see a flower, or a bud. They look like weird giant parsley right now. I just stuffed a package of “Alaska” Nasturtium seeds into the pots and edges of beds around my front porch. It may be too late to plant the seeds, I usually do it in December.
The vase, inherited from my mother, was made by the Ute tribe in the Southwestern US. The flowers are Zinnias, grown from seed started in December and nurtured through two unusual cold snaps. Cactus mix in pink and Envy in green. The purple foliage is from an old “Purple Prince” Alternanthera, which has been languishing in a pot for a couple of years. I had just decided to get rid of it and changed my mind to add it to the vase. Maybe I will just start some new cuttings and change the planting in the pot. Decisions, decisions.
Maybe this is Cupid contemplating the Zinnias. Or a garden cherub?
I had lunch in my garden today, a perfect 75 degrees F/23C, sunny blue sky day in South Florida..contemplating how the plants and flowers had me paying rapt attention to all the details (and weeds) This made me realize I should sit in the garden more often. And it conjured up a wrapped vase.
The vase is a marinated artichoke jar shaped in a radiused square. I used the leaves vertically instead of horizontally around the jar this time and left some taller leaves with tips in the back. The leaves are from a Blanchetiana Bromeliad (Aechmea blanchetiana)
The arrangement under construction:
The Zinnias I grew for winter are fading fast. I collected seed from the Envy Zinnias and started a new batch to replant in my front garden. I will sow a few more Cactus Zinnia just to have more to cut in the bag garden. With temperatures in the mid 80s F last week, I realize the bag gardens days may be numbered as the bags will dry out faster than I can water them when temperatures are too hot.
A closer view:
White spikes at the top are Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); deep blue spikes are ‘Mystic Blue’ Salvia; off white flowers at top are Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbo); the Zinnias are Cactus Mix and ‘Envy’ grown from seed. The fragrance is a bit unusual – a combination of Sweet Almond and tangy Salvia.