A Week of Flowers – Day Three

I am joining Cathy at Words and Herbs for this year’s Week of Flowers sharing images from our gardens. I am adding some tropical lovelies from my South Florida garden today. Below are the pink flowers from Tropical Rain Lilies, back dropped by variegated foliage from ‘Java White’ Copperleaf; a large, leafy shrub from the South Pacific,

Below, another ultimate tropical flower, the Frangipani (Plumeria). This color is very common around town and I have no idea what its name is. Like most Frangipani, it is quite fragrant and the flowers could be used to make leis if we were in the mood for a luau.

Hopefully these images warm up gardeners living in more northern climes. To see more flowery images from around the world visit Cathy at wordsandherbs.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

A Week of Flowers – Day Two

I am joining Cathy at Words and Herbs for this year’s Week of Flowers sharing images from our gardens. I am adding some Bromeliad madness from my South Florida garden today. Below are the red flowers from Aechmea miniata Bromeliads, one of my midsummer favorites, along with ‘Mystic Spires’ Salvia and foliage of the tropical Silk Oak, which is not really an oak at all, but Grevillea robusta, the largest member of the Protea family.

Below, another ultimate tropical flower, the Silver Urn Bromeliad (Aechmea fasciata). These were very common during the eighties Interiorscape rage as a long lasting flower for interior use. The flowers last about four months in my garden and flower every other year.

Hopefully these images warm up gardeners living in more northern climes. To see more flowery images from around the world visit Cathy at wordsandherbs.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

A Week of Flowers – Day One

I am joining Cathy at Words and Herbs for this year’s Week of Flowers sharing images from our gardens. I am adding some tropical warmth from my South Florida garden. Below are Cattleya orchids that live outside year round. These are deliciously fragrant and faithfully flower every September; they are mounted on a piece of wood and perch on a terracotta container.

Below, in my opinion, are the ultimate tropical flower, the Lobsterclaw Heliconia. These have lush, large, coarse textured tropical foliage and require a great deal of water. They live under the edge of my gutterless roof. There are many varieties of this plant, some with chains of flowers two feet long.

Hopefully these images warm up gardeners living in more northern climes. To see more flowery images from around the world visit Cathy at wordsandherbs.wordpress.com.

In a Vase on Monday – Floral Triad

I love planting in groups of three and decided try the same in this Monday’s vase. I think the result is a balanced arrangement. Maybe I am getting in touch with my inner accountant (there is not one); or maybe it is the late November heat baking my delicate brain. High temperatures have been in the mid 80’s (F) complete with humidity and the stray thunderstorm. Florida is known for the Endless Summer, this year they are not kidding. The 10 day forecast keeps insinuating cooler weather that never materializes. I shall persevere and plant some vegetables, summer, of course – it is time to plant tomatoes and green beans here and the first sweet corn of the season has just appeared at our local farmer’s market. The citrus harvest is in full swing so I am looking forward to local Orri tangerines.

The vase contents:

 

The flowers, three of each, of course. In red and yellow, ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); in orange, ‘Chocociana’ Heliconia (H. psittacorum ‘Chocociana’); white spikes lending fragrance to the vase, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); grey flower stalks are Flapjack Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe luciae); Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are in the background again; green leafy foliage is from the Heliconias.

The Flapjack Kalanchoe flowers are the most unusual of the lot this week. Here they are in the garden. Actually they are in a container, growing under a Desert Rose.

 

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this weekly meme. Follow the link to see more vases. I found the Classic Editor on WordPress again, thanks to Cathy and Cathy from Words and Herbs, thank you both. Classic Editor is much less annoying than the Block Editor. We’ll see how everything works out!

Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Winter Flowers … South Florida Style

It has been rainy and windy here. Not the usual winter (dry season) weather, though the season officially starts December 1, so I suppose I should be grateful for the precipitation. The wind has blown the flowering shrubs over with the weight of the flowers flopping to the ground. A significant pruning is in order to get the Esperanza (in yellow) back in order. The white Bougainvillea is going mad with flowers and very little green growth, so I was glad to trim a few for this vase.

The Beautyberries are ending their season and whoever the birds were that enjoyed the fruit seem to have flown further south. This is the time of year for bird watching in South Florida. Flocks of birds pass through on a daily basis, lining up on power lines to rest. White herons walk on hedges to pick the gourmet insects off and Ibis are patrolling lawns with their long beaks probing for grubs. I have seen everything from hummingbirds to vultures. I never realized the extent of migration until observing the southern end.

The vase is an old florist vase I fear was used last week. Oh well. The contents:

Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) is coming at you! In all its purple glory. The yellow flowers are Esperanza (Tecoma stans), other common names include Yellow Elder and Yellow Bells. I like Esperanza because it means hope in Spanish. The white flowers are Miss Alice Bougainvillea, this makes a surprisingly good and long lasting cut flower.

The ferns are Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) in the back and a few sprigs of Asian Sword Fern on the side. I have noted I like to cut the Boston Fern, but don’t think it looks good in the garden. This is native here and just showed up in this odd space between a retaining wall and the fence.

I think I don’t like this because it always looks half good and half dead. On the plus side, it’s free greenery for arrangements and I couldn’t get rid of it if I tried, so my free greenery habit keeps it trimmed.

That’s my vase this Monday. To see more vases, visit Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Is anyone else having trouble with this block weirdness on WordPress?

Happy Winter and Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Happy Anniversary

Today is the ninth anniversary of the IAVOM meme. I don’t recall when I started creating and posting vases every Monday, but it has been several years and has become a weekly habit and a joy to share the fruits (or flowers) of my labor with fellow gardeners.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a Zoom meeting with several members of the IAVOM community. I have been exchanging comments with these blog friends for years and finally met them, virtually.

Cathy, at http://www.ramblinginthgarden.wordpress.com is the creator and hostess of IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases. Thanks to Cathy for arranging and hosting the Zoom meeting.

The Vase – Contents:

The red flowers are Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus pendululiflorus) – a sort of ratty looking shrub I keep in the garden for its winter flowers. The grey ‘flowers’ are cuttings of Echeveria, a succulent given to me by a friend. These cuttings are destined for a winter tabletop container on my screen porch. The vase is the last vestige of a historic floral arrangement.

The upper level – this image looks suitable for a snack of vegetarian dinosaurs and may well have been one. Both plants are native to Florida and have been here for millenia. The ferns are Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) and the flowers are Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa)

Happy Monday, Happy Gardening and Happy Anniversary, IAVOM.

Six on Saturday – The Hurricane Report

I am joining the SOS crowd after a rare event, a November hurricane – the third one to occur since the mid 1800s. If you look at the map above – where the red line hits the east coast of Florida, that’s my house. The hurricane, named Nicole, made landfall as a Category 1 (min 70 mph winds) at 3 am Thursday morning about 30 miles north. We all slept through it, the dog included. The hurricane was immediately downgraded to a tropical storm after landfall. I would guess we might have had 50 mph wind gusts, the damage minimal.

Floridians generally scoff at Category One hurricanes. The problem is you never really know where the thing is going to end up and the wind field on this one was so huge it was difficult to drive away from it. The wind kicked up Monday afternoon and continued until Thursday. We put up our storm shutters just in case, my husband is currently outside, grumbling and taking down the shutters.

A scattering of debris from Sabal Palms.

My Rangpur Lime tree is bent over. I guess I should tie it up to the fence to straighten it up? Lime trees are quite thorny and this is almost leaning into the pathway.

Miss Alice Bougainvillea was knocked off her column.

Further north, close to the ocean and rivers, people weren’t so lucky. This hurricane hit during a full moon and at fall king tide time, so the water was already high and the storm surge was 3 to 5 feet. The Daytona Beach area was also hit hard by Hurricane Ian, 43 days before. Some of the houses damaged by Ian fell into the ocean with this additional insult. These images are what you are seeing on the news.

The barrier island protecting us had quite a bit of flooding and an native American burial ground on the beach was unearthed; it will be interesting to learn how old the skulls are found on the beach.

A few images from further north:

Wind and water damage from further north.

Thanks to Jim at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/ for hosting Six on Saturday. To see more posts, follow the link.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Late Bloomers

The nearly precipitation free summer pushed some of the usual fall flowers later this year and extended the summer blooms on others. I can’t remember the Muhly Grass starting to flower later than the first week of September or a summer without Beach Sunflowers. But here they are together in late October. I will admit to adding Osmocote a few weeks ago when we had some reliable rainfall.

The mysteries of gardening are teasing my brain once again.

The South Florida heat and humidity is abating in fits and starts. We have a lovely sunny weather forecast for the next 10 days. I have been clearing off the porch and replacing the cushions for winter outdoor living. This always takes longer than I think it will. I hope to be sitting on the porch with a glass of wine this week and maybe get in touch with my inner Floridian by making smoked fish dip appetizers.

The vase is an olive oil cruet inherited from my mother. As a lifelong gardener, I think she would approve of this repurposing.

The flowers:

In white, possibly the last of the year, Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica); yellow daisies are Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis); sage green flowers are Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria); the ropy stems are Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamaicaensis) – the blue flowers fell off on the way inside, but I like the stems; pink flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); green flowers in background are Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata), lending a fragrant assist to the Frangipani. In the background are the late, great Muhly Grass (Muhlebergia capillaris).

That’s all from my garden. Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases…

Happy Gardening!!!

Six on Saturday – The Far Side of South Florida

I am joining the SOS crowd today with our new host, Jim at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/. Follow the link to see more SOS posts! Thank you to Jim for taking on this task.

I have been ruminating about the odd nature of some of the plants in my garden. There are aspects of my garden that remind me of The Far Side cartoons. Below is a Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) standing sentinel by my side door. I kept thinking this thing would snap in a high wind, but it hasn’t.

Another novelty plant in the garden, Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida). These look oddly like a multi stem marijuana plant, but in reality are deadly poisonous and the flowers are a great butterfly attractor. These are planted in a narrow spot between the house and driveway.

The Coral Plant flower. It looks like a coral from the ocean..

The caudex of a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum). I have several around the garden. This one has the most interesting trunk. These are native to the Arabian Peninsula and grow quite large.

Buds on the Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscue arboreum). I was poised above this with the pruning shears when I realized how many buds were there!

The super tropical Palm accent is a gift from a passing bird. It’s the seedling of a Chinese Fan Palm (Livinstonia chinensis) This is about 8 or 10 feet tall and has been in the garden for the past 10 years. The trees get much bigger. It has been surprising to me how slowly palm trees grow.

That’s my Six for this Saturday. Maybe I should take up garden cartooning??

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Juba – lation

My favorite cool season flowers are starting to show their colors. One is the Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa). I am jubilant that the Juba Bush has reappeared. I thought it was gone. This is a native wildflower that I mistook for Amaranthus and left it in the garden only to discover its wonderful chartreuse to creamy white flowers. Juba is the name of an African dance that was imported into the Caribbean where these wildflowers are also native. The dance involves a lot of hip movement and swaying – the plant’s movement in the wind reportedly mimics this?! I wish this grew under my Gumbo Limbo tree, that would be perfect.

The Juba Bush. It is the creamy white flower; ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia is in the background.

The other fall indicator is the red Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) at the base of the vase. This is another volunteer that I have embraced as I love the flowers. Like many Hibiscus (it is a relative and Mallow family member) the shrub is rangy and not particularly attractive. For me, the flowers make it worthwhile and I enjoy them all winter. It also needs no supplemental water and the leaf cutting bees love it.

The Nodding Hibiscus:

The rest of the vase:

The orange flower is a ‘Choconiana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); white daisies are the native Spanish Needles (Bidens alba); ferns are the evil invasive, Asian Sword Ferns. I keep the Sword Ferns at bay by using them in vases.

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

Happy Gardening…