This vase was actually done on Friday. A surprise Amaryllis appeared in my garden a couple of weeks ago. After watching it carefully it became evident it was a red Amaryllis descended from some very old heirloom bulbs in my garden, inherited from my late father in law. How it managed to jump over the roof is a mystery to me. The flower was being buffeted by gusty winds, so I cut it and placed it in an old florist vase I found by the side of the road.
I filled the stem with warm water having read this makes the flower last longer. As of Sunday, the flower is turning black! Experiment number nine million a failure. Since I liked the slant of the Amaryllis I added some similarly slanted Firecracker Plant creating a red wave. The white flowers are Love In A Mist, a first in my garden.
A closer view:
I am guessing this is a Red Lion Amaryllis as that was Glenn’s (my father in law) favorite. The Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis) has been around the garden for years. While I like the plant and flowers, it has a frumpy habit, sort of languishes along the ground…very handy if you want a wave, but otherwise sort of weird.
The Love in a Mist (Nigella sativa). I am aware these are very familiar to many gardeners, however, this is the first one I have seen and I love it! and the seeds are edible! Magnificent. I was surprised when it opened white as I was expecting blue. I planted the seeds in November, so they seem to be cool season annuals here. I will grow more when the season is right. There are still a few budding, so I may get a blue one.
Fruit on the Malaysian Orchid (Medenillia cummingii). These eventually turn purple and collapse leaving a sticky substance with seeds. I have smashed the goopy stuff on trees around my garden, hoping for trees filled with Malaysian Orchids.
New pot of succulents from a visit to Pinder’s Nursery in Palm City, Florida. No clue what any of them are.
New crop of Zinnias for cutting and bedding. Apricot Profusion, Pink Cactus and Envy Zinnias to be planted out soon.
Never seen it before in my garden, Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynglossum amiable). Grown from seed and just about to flower.
Leonitis leonurus, Lion’s Tail. I have had L. nepetifolia, an annual for a few years. These plants are somewhat difficult to establish in beach sand, so I decided to try the perennial version and grew two very slowly from seed. Catalogs say these grow to about six feet and are very drought tolerant once established. We shall see. Looking forward to orange flowers.
Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) also grown very slowly from seed and I had to buy two batches of seeds and try a couple of different sowings to get the time of year right for germination. I managed to grow two plants! This is another reportedly very drought tolerant after establishment perennial, native to the mountains of Arizona. What it will do in South Florida is anyone’s guess. It does have a strange smell and it is not like lemons. A couple by the name of Lemmon discovered the plant.
That’s the Spring update. Hoping to see more flowers soon.
I had been eyeing my growing crop of Shell Ginger all week to use in my Monday vase. My hopes were dashed on Saturday night when we had a tremendous thunderstorm. Gusty winds and the downpour beat up most of the Gingers, so I had only two flowers left! The rain event left me looking for floral stand-ins. Surprisingly, the more delicate green seedheads (further away from the edge of the roof) survived intact.
The close up:
The pink flowers are Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet); delicate seedheads are from the Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia), maybe I should say delicate looking seed heads – the stems are at least a half inch in diameter that hold these three or four feet tall flowers aloft. Small white flowers are from Asparagus Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus) the common houseplant, I did not know flowered. In the background, another common houseplant, Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata). Both ferns grow wild in my garden.
It’s late Sunday afternoon as I am finishing this blog post. The skies have clouded over again and I can hear thunder in the distance. I am also thinking about dinner, specifically leftovers!
It’s time for SOS again. This Saturday I am focusing on six fun things I found in my garden this week. Follow this link to see more Spring surprises from gardeners around the world – http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com
One of the aspects of gardening I enjoy most – the little surprises along the way. Above is a pot with miniature pineapple, graptosedum, and flapjack kalanchoe all doing their thing at the same time.
A surprise Amaryllis I never planted. There are red and orange ones nearby.
First Blue Larkspur in my South Florida garden.
Buds on the never seen before Nigella.
A very early Glenn Mango. This tree flowered in January, it is usually March. I may have one Mango in April.
The White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri) in full bloom. This is an oddly shaped tree after getting blown over by a hurricane. Some of the more tropical woody plants tend to grow in a tangle and this is one of them. Contemplating the pruning.
I keep vases in my entry foyer so I can enjoy the fresh flowers when I go in and out of the front door. Between dog walking, trips to the mailbox and gardening the vases are a frequent sight.
This Monday, my foyer is filled with herbal fragrance. I think the combination of scents (dill, sage and almond) would make a good dish or hand soap.
The crystal vase, a gift from my dearly departed brother, was chosen for its verticality (design gobbedlygook rearing its ugly head). The dill flowers are my new favorite, well, this week. Here is a closer view:
Chartreuse flowers are from ‘Long Island Mammoth’ Dill; white and pink spikes are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); blue spikes are from Mystic Spires Salvia; a white sprig of Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata) is visible below. The burgundy foliage is from ‘Purple Haze’ Billbergia Bromeliad.
I’ll make an announcement if I decide to go into the gardener’s hand soap business!
I was surprised this Saturday to find green flowers in the garden – a week late for St. Patrick’s Day. And never expected this:
Green Larkspur? Delphinum ajacis, if I remember correctly. I bought a cutting flower seed mix last fall and thought the plant was Nigella – until this popped out. I love Larkspur and always had some in the garden further north, did not know it could be grown in winter in South Florida or flowers could be green. The flowers were pink, white and blue in my other garden. Happy day!
Dill flowers on the herb. I am so enjoying this Mammoth Long Island Dill. The foliage and the flowers.
From the produce section, the Sugar Baby watermelon has been shored up with a sling of netting and growing by leaps and bounds.
A top view of the watermelon sling. I use the netting on nearly ripe mangoes as squirrel abatement.
French Breakfast Radishes from the bag garden.
Surinam Cherry or Pitanga flowers. This is a common screening hedge in South Florida, it produces a grape sized fruit with a pit. In my opinion, the fruit is one of those things you have to grow up eating to enjoy. It has a resinous flavor and often has small worms. I like the indestructible hedge and enjoy the flowers, the birds enjoy the fruit.
Despite having participated in IAVOM for several years, I finally started growing flowers for cutting last fall. Zinnias, and just planted another batch. My current challenge is foraging something in bloom to cut in my admittedly funky South Florida garden. Usually followed by fiddling.
This Monday’s ‘vase’ was fiddlier than usual. A big, antique copper teapot has been repurposed into a vase. This teapot has holes in the bottom and a repair can be seen on the front. A salsa jar was placed inside to hold the water. I had a difficult time getting the scale of the arrangement to suit me; rearranging the dill flowers and inhaling the scent so much that I decided to make something with dill for dinner.
The orange flowers in the front are Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera); deep blue spikes are Mystic Blue Salvia; white daisies are Bidens alba; crinkly white flowers are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boisseriei); the dill flowers are leaning out of the picture; varigated foliage in back is Varigated Flax Lily (Dianella tasmanica); peachy spikes with seedheads are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) – not being red.
A better dill flower image and the grey succulent tucked into the front is a Graptosedum..which will probably root in the salsa jar.
On my dinner forage I collected enough fresh herbs (dill, parsley and basil) and tomatoes to make tomato and sausage pasta with roasted garlic pesto.
I am joining the SOS crowd again today, reflecting on discoveries in my garden this week. Above is a Graptosedum succulent, gifted to me by a friend. I did not realize they flowered – but there it is.
One of my favorite discoveries, Mystic Blue Salvia. This one was planted March 2021 and has been flowwering ever since.
My first Dahlia sprout. I planted Labyrinth tubers about 10 days ago, did not read the directions about not watering them..then stopped. I figured I had rotted the tubers, but no! Hoping for some cut flowers, these are planted in grow bags.
Sugar Baby watermelon that faked me out. I have these in grow bags and put an old teak ottoman next to the bag to grow the melons off the ground. Not realizing they would go through the slats. Now I have to figure a way to support the fruit as it ripens. Thinking a mesh sling might do the trick.
New crop of radishes almost ready to eat.
New flush of flowers on the Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)
After cutting the yellow flowers and placing them in the ‘vase’ – the first thing that popped into my head “Looks just like daffodils.” As a nod to Disney’s famous Daffy and the Daffodils, the brass ducks were added. The ducks are a long ago gift from my father – to remind me to keep my ducks in a row. They make excellent paperweights and also make me laugh, reminding me of one of my father’s favorite sayings.
More daffiness, the weather. We are having the four seasons (not Vivaldi) this week in South Florida. It was dry and 87 F/30 C here one day last week, followed by wind, thunderstorms, a cold front – this morning, temperatures were half that and we are expecting everything in between over the next week.
A closer view:
The mason jar ‘vase’ is a thing now. I suspect this is part of the Millenial ‘farm wedding’ aesthetic. I am fine with mason jar vases, using them as drinking glasses is another story, ugh. I acquired this vase when recieving a flower arrangement.
What’s in it?
Yellow flowers are from Esperanza or Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans); crinkly white flowers with buds are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissierei); white flowers at top of arrangement are Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia); the chartreuse seedheads are from Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘alba’); ferny foliage and yellow starburst flowers are culinary dill. I love the scent and was surprised recently that two friends (father and daughter) did not like dill at all. Daffy genes?
March is roaring like a lion this Saturday in my South Florida garden. We had a tremendous thunderstorm yesterday that arrived with a cold front. Very little rain has fallen in the past few weeks so the precipitation was a welcome relief and the dragonflies were hard at work as I was walking through the garden. So many things to look forward to this spring.
The bud has lengthened on the Hard Cane Dendrobium Orchid in the Gumbo Limbo tree. The bud is about three feet long currently. Very excited to see the flowers on this. Purple flowers on the tree in background are from the Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia purpurea)
Flowers and petals from the Hong Kong Orchid tree have been scattered throughout the garden like fallen leaves.
The Painted Fingernail Neoregelia Bromeliad is starting to flower and is sporting a few orchids as well.
Guzmania Bromeliads starting to flower in wok container. The flowers last a few months and have been in this container for years. I rarely do anything to this.
Pineapple has set fruit, these take a couple of months to grow to edible size. Then need to be carefully watched as the critters enjoy the sweet fruit as much as I do.
Nam Doc Mai Thai Mango has set fruit. Sometimes it is too windy for pollination and no fruit is set despite flowers. I should be eating mangoes in 100 days! Fingers crossed.