Six on Saturday – F Words

First, we have flowers. I focused on flowers this Saturday as there is a possibility of another f word – frost, in frostfree areas of Florida. That’s seven f words – though I will probably think of some more as I am covering orchids and tomato plants for our overnight low. The low is predicted at 37 degrees F., with 35 mph gusty winds. I am not thinking about the wind chill. Not doing it. I had to search for shoes this morning as I always wear sandals; astonished to find some currently fashionable Chuck Taylor style sneakers that must be ten years old!

I’ll admit the shoes looked better in the dark corner of my closet. Maybe I saved them for gardening prior to discovering plastic Birkenstocks, the mysteries continue.

On to January flowers, that will hopefully be here in February.

‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea is in full bloom.

I started some Balsam Impatiens from seed and transplanted them into the garden last week. They are just starting to flower.

Another Balsam Impatiens. I think these will be hardy if the temps stay above freezing. They look like big Snapdragons to me.

Dwarf Chenille Plant (Acalypha pendula) this is underplanting a Malaysian Orchid. These two are spending the night in the bathtub.

‘Little Harv’ Aechmea Bromeliad flowers; one of my winter favorites. It seems all the Bromeliads should be fine. It is recommended to fill their cups with water prior to cold weather. This seems counterintuitive to me but I did it anyway.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Saturday!

Thanks to Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com for hosting, follow the link for more SOS posts.

Six on Saturday – January Fun

Saturdays are more fun when I share six items of interest from my South Florida garden. Florida means flowery in Spanish and we have abundant flowers year round here. Here are a few flowers and colorful plants appearing in January.

Flowers on the White Geiger (Cordia boisseriei). This semi evergreen small tree produces flowers on a whim, usually during the winter.

Snake Plants, Mother in Law Tongues, all Sanseviera flower in winter. These grow wild in South Florida and are considered invasive. The flowers have a lovely, sweet scent and don’t last very long.

The Jurassic, huge (5 feet across) Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbo) is shooting up buds.

Winter color on a Neoregelia Bromeliad. This green Bromeliad, a found plant, has been in the garden for several years. This is the first time it has shown color, allowing me to begin figuring out what it is. Where I found it, I do not recall!

Miss Alice Bougainvillea is flowering again and is sporting a Tillandsia bromeliad on her trunks.

A flower spike on Flapjack Kalanchoes. These have a nice fragrance and eventually turn into little plants.

That’s my six on this January Saturday. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

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!!