It’s fall in central Florida, and the big cold spell that went across the country brought slightly lower temperatures and a lower humidity. It’s been really beautiful days with highs in the low 80’s and maybe even 79 degrees F with blue skies. We’re getting a little rain from the tropical storm in the Gulf going over Mexico, but it’s nothing bad.
To celebrate October, I am doing an autumn table with pumpkin dishes and a big bouquet of flowers. Nearly all of the small flowers in the vase are from my yard. I started with multiple bunches of flowers and berries from Florida native Fire Bush. See the long blossoms above by red berries? The berries turn a deep dark color as they mature. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love this bush. Last week Vickie and I sat at the dining table watching a little hummingbird flitting over the bush with many stops. I see a Gulf fritillary almost daily. My bush blooms almost year round. I took this photo of the firebush a couple of years ago.
Firebush is a perennial or semi-woody shrub that is known scientifically as Hamelia patens. Gardeners love firebush because it produces lots of flowers which attract hummingbirds and butterflies, including the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies. Song birds also like to feed on the berries.
I added another florida native wildlflower, Dune Sunflower. The small yellow heads are cheerful like the large regular sunflower. See the 2 little flowers hanging down in the bouquet? That’s dune sunflowers.
Beach or dune sunflower is a butterfly-attracting Florida native that’s perfect for hot, dry sites, including coastal areas as it tolerates salt. Many gardeners like to use it as a colorful and drought-resistant groundcover.
I added a few white periwinkle stems (vincas) with flowers. Since my bouquet is mostly cuttings from a bush and ground cover plants I added from the store two large sunflowers. Now the bouquet is complete.
Really one of my inspirations for the table began with a thrift store set of cotton woven fall placemats. They were in good condition although a little smaller than the original size I’m sure. Cotton does shrink over time. I think they’re a cute background to start my place settings.
I added my farmhouse metal trays to serve as chargers.
The next layer is fall dinner plates I got on clearance a few years ago.
The top layer is the salad plate proclaiming “hello autumn”.
Next came a fall cloth napkin with gold cutlery and a brown glass.
I added a dune sunflower to the salad plate and the place setting is complete.
I hope you’re having a great fall season.
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