Six on Saturday – Winter Wonderland

Not exactly the image the words “winter wonderland” conjure up? Welcome to South Florida and 2022’s first edition of Six on Saturday. To see more, probably wintry garden scenes from garden bloggers in more northern climes, follow the link http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

The flower above is a Billbergia Bromeliad, species ‘garage sale’ – though I suspect it is called ‘Purple Haze’. The foliage is purple, striped sideways sporting flowers of red, white and blue and flowering in January. Pretty trippy.

The next tropical surprise of the morning – ‘Chociana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum ‘Chociana’) I am still wondering what Chociana is. Note the bonus spider inside the flower.

I have been enjoying this magnificent Tropical Hydrangea for a couple of weeks. It is a Dombeya wallachii and about 15 feet tall.

The vegetable garden is doing well, I have been picking tomatoes daily for a week or so, the birds have beat me to them once, diligence is key.

Planning to thin my second crop of radishes this morning. These are my favorite, French breakfast.

Happy New Year from my Winter Wonderland.

A Week of Flowers – Day 7 – Tropical Punch

It’s the last day of AWOF and I finally got the title right. Oh, well. I will be spreading some more tropical warmth north via flowery photos.

The scent of Moonflowers perfumes the night in summer.

The Malaysian Orchid or Chandelier Plant in a front porch container.

The fabulous Portea ‘Candy’ Bromeliad lights up a shady corner.

Another front porch container has a Desert Rose.

Last, but not least, a Florida classic – the ‘Red Admiral’ Hibiscus.

That concludes a Week of Flowers this December. To see more flowery photos, visit Cathy at http://www.wordsandherbs.wordpress.com.

A Week in Flowers – Day Four – More Broms.

Joining Cathy at http://www.wordsandherbs.wordpress.com for Day Four of AWIF. Follow the link to see more floral loveliness. I am featuring more Bromeliad madness from my garden. Above is Aechmea miniata, a favorite of mine as it is a reliable summer bloomer and really funky. A closer view:

Another summer favorite the Torch or Hurricane Bromeliad, it flowers at the peak of hurricane season and looks like a torch.

Happy Saturday from South Florida.

A Week in Flowers – Day Two

I am joining Cathy at Words and Herbs for the second edition of AWIF, posting photos of floral abundance. Today, Bromeliad madness from my garden to spread some tropical warmth.

This is a Hallelujah Billbergia Bromeliad, perhaps the maddest of them all. Purple, green and white spotted foliage with red, white and blue flowers.

Another Billbergia of unknown name with a much calmer flower.

Little Harv Aechmea, a close up.

Little Harv in the garden. Little Harv is not so little and is another armored Brom. He was moved away from the walkway as I kept getting stabbed in the calf.

Last, but not least, one of my favorites, with six foot tall flowers, no less. – Aechmea blanchetiana.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.wordsandherbs.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more flowery pictures.

Happy Gardening or garden viewing…

A Week in Flowers – Day One

I have been inivted to share flowers from my garden daily for a week by Cathy at Words and Herbs on WordPress. The idea is to brighten winter days and add some color to our cyberworld. Follow this link to see more flowers from around the world. https://wp.me/p1RJ1n-5Ya

I have chosen winter tropicals from my South Florida garden for today. Above is Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) a favorite of mine that can flower three times a year if in the mood.

This is a winter flowering Bromeliad, Quesnelia testudo. I think of these as tulips for the tropical garden. They flower in February and March and are reliable for returning and increasing in mass over time. The downside? One very sharp thorn on the end of every leaf.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting. Happy Gardening or flower watching this week.

In a Vase on Monday – Fall Tapestry

While searching for seasonality in my garden on Sunday, I came up with several autumnal examples. It brought to mind my mother’s favorite fall annual planting schemes. She called them ‘tapestry colors’ usually done with pansies and kales in shades of purple, gold and pink. “Antique Shades” was the favored color mix of pansies.

Serving as a vase this Monday is a Bromeliad leaf wrapped pickle jar from a couple of weeks ago that was left to dry and repurposed for a different look. This looks a bit like wood to me.

Closer views:

Floaty seed heads of Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris) provide background and are a true indicator of fall in South Florida. The deep purple berries are from Spicewood (Calyptranthes pallens), a native shrub I am not impressed with thus far. Reportedly has a wonderful spicy scent – I haven’t caught a whiff of this yet and it was a real pain to get established, growing to maybe 3 feet in seven years. I won’t ask it to leave the garden, but wouldn’t buy another. Salmon panicles in the back are dried Miniata Bromeliad flowers (Aechmea miniata) these are bright red and cobalt blue when fresh. Yellow flowers are from Thyrallis (Galphimia glauca) I use this as a shrub in my butterfly garden. Pink fuzzies are from Dwarf Chenille Plant (Acalphya pendula), I have this spilling out of a container – though it can be used as a groundcover here.

Red and white flowers are from Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana). Tiny bits of purple peeking out are Mona Lavendar Plectranthus. The green berries are from a Tree Spinach (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius). A few Bidens alba are lurking in the mass of flowers – I may have gotten carried away with the Chenille Plant, so fuzzy and fun to arrange.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening to all. Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this Monday outpouring of floral bliss. Follow the link to see more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – Whatizzit?

I like plants that are a bit off the beaten path. Something that make you wonder “what on earth is that?” It occurred to me as I was arranging this vase I had most likely never seen any of these plants prior to moving to Florida almost 10 years ago. I would have said “Whatizzit?” about this one.

The vase is a thrift store find I have enjoyed for years, simple enough to set off a group of mad tropical flowers and foliage. Here are some closer views of the flowers:

The white flowers are ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea; red flowers are Nodding or Sleeping or Turks Cap Hibiscus (Malvaviscus arboreus) – so many names, I am not sure which one is right. Red and black foliage is from Piecrust Croton (Codiuem varigatum)

Here is the other side. The Lobsterclaws and the big gold leat are from, yes, the Lobsterclaw Bromeliad (Aechmea blanchetiana). These are a very common landscape Bromeliad around here. I cut some stems of the lower part of the flower. The flowers are a bit difficult to imagine and about four feet tall.

Here they are in the garden:

Happy Monday from South Florida.

To see more vases from around the world, visit our intrepid hostess, Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – Reds and Purples

Another Saturday morning tour of my garden featuring six items of interest to join the SOS crowd at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com. Follow the link to see more posts.

I have a lot of hot colors in my garden and fall is no exception. The red and purple flowers and foliage are out in force.

The Aechmea blanchetiana Bromeliads are in full bloom. These are almost five feet tall and last for months. A neighbor gave me a start of these and said “the flowers last so long you get tired of them.” I enjoy them!

The Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana). This is a very happy plant and flowers a lot. One of my favorite old reliables and a gift from a neighbor.

The Roselles (Hibiscus sabdaiffa) have reached five and a half feet in height and are setting flower buds. Eventually I will pick the red calyx of the flower to make tea or holiday cocktails. I planted the seed in April. Most of the plant is edible.

Purple Queen or Setcresea appears randomly in the garden. I prefer to call it Purple Queen, Setcresea sounds like a skin disease.

A new container I put together this week. The Bromeliads are cuttings from existing plants in my garden. In red, Fireball Neoregelia, varigated, Bossa Nova Neoregelia. Draped over the side is a Fish Hook Senecio and the plant in back is a Cardboard Palm (Zamia furfuracea). The Bromeliads should spill over the sides eventually.

The Milkweed devoured by Monarch butterfly caterpillars is making a remarkable comeback. I was amazed at the amount of foliage they ate – all of it and about one third of the stem.

That is my Six for this Saturday.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Hound Inspired

My greyhound, Zepp had an accident last week. While engaged in horse (er, greyhound) play with Fiona in the backyard he tore his dew claw. This resulted in a broken nail that had to be trimmed (while sedated) and a chartreuse green wrap. I finally let him out to sit in the dirt (it was dry enough). He did not enjoy having his paw wrapped in Press n Seal plastic wrap while the ground was wet.

Zepp had his nail wrapped for three days and bounced back miraculously without a misstep. He lost his wrap and I found a salsa jar on the counter and decided to wrap a vase in chartreuse.

The vase:

This is a glass salsa jar (extra large from Aldi) wrapped with a new Lemon Blanchetiana Bromeliad leaf and a dried leaf of the same plant from an earlier vase. The dried leaf looks a bit like bamboo flooring.

The ingredients:

The purple berries are Beautyberries (Calliocarpa americana). If I can find a recipe for a small amount of Beautyberry Jam I may try it, there are a lot of berries. The orange tubular flowers are from the Firebush (Hamelia patens); bigger orange flowers are Parrotflowers (Heliconia psittacorum); white flowers are Miss Alice Bougainvillea.

Zepp is back to full racing speed and hopefully stays out of trouble for a while. Inspiration comes from the oddest places.

As always, thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to find more vases.

Happy Fall, Ya’ll.

Six on Saturday – Fun Stuff

It was a chilling 85 degrees Fahrenheit in my garden this morning, so I worked outside gearing up for the fall gardening season. Taking note of some of the fun stuff that survived summer in South Florida.

The Monarch butterflies finally found the Milkweed in my garden. Here are two caterpillars munching away. Aphids are eating the other plant.

Another vegetable and flower garden experiment is at hand. These are cheap grow bags that breathe. I am certain these would be a disaster in summer so I am trying them in winter – using heavy garden soil (not made from peat!) lightened with 30 % of my oak compost. Planted tomatoes and radishes this morning. Herbs and bush beans are on the agenda next followed by cooler season peas and broccoli in a couple of weeks. I was surprised to read Nigella can be grown here in winter as well as Zinnias. Those seeds are also being planted shortly.

Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida) flowering. This is considered a novelty plant in Florida, it is pretty funky.

Pot o’ Bromeliads in the front garden. Grey varigated foliage is Aechmea fasciata, these have pink flowers like Dahlias. The burgundy with chartreuse spots are Luca Neoregelia, red foliage is Fireball Neoregelia.

Another pot in the front garden with Miniature Pineapples, Flapjack Kalanchoe and a Graptosedum hanging over the side. The pineapple plants flower and bear tiny pineapples. I use them in flower arrangements, I have heard they can be juiced but a field would be necessary to get a full glass.

Another flower to anticipate this winter. The hard cane orchid I mounted in the Gumbo Limbo tree has produced a bud. This should be very interesting.

That is my six for this Saturday. To see more visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening…