In a Vase on Monday – Tropical Layers

South Florida experienced yet another crazy weather day on Sunday. Rain, thunder, tornado watches and warnings. Madness. I sat with Fiona the greyhound to gauge her reaction to all the weather warnings. She slept through it. A good sign and nothing happened except more water and leaves and debris down and probably more weeds will emerge shortly.

After all this weather, I decided to cut the orchid in the Gumbo Limbo tree so I could see it before it was smashed to bits. The stems on this orchid are about four feet long, as it is installed in the crotch of the tree it is a bit difficult to see anyway. Probably 10 feet above the ground. I dashed out into the rain and clipped the orchid. So satisfying.

This is a Schomburgkia orchid. Native to the mangrove groves on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula. How it found its way here is a mystery to me. Based on its coloring, orchid, red and yellow, I decided to put it in my big red vase. My husband refers to this as the ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ vase. Hopefully, you remember the 1960s TV show about Jeannie or the Genie?

I thought some layers of tropical foliage and a bit of red would accent the vase and the orchids nicely. The red flowers are Firecracker plant (Russelia equisetiformis); the big leaf in back is a Split Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron selloum); the left green leaf is from a Lady Palm (Rhaphis excelsa); grey striped foliage is Inch Plant (Transcandentia zebrina)

Fiona on a sunnier day. Looking for sky raisins (my husband’s words again). She eats bees sometimes.

That is all from my garden this week. Hoping for sun and blue skies. To see more vases follow the link to Cathy’s blog http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening!

Advertisement

Six on Saturday – Stormy Benefits

SOS time again! Six items of interest to share with fellow gardeners from all over. To see other SOS posts, follow this link http://gardenruminations.co.uk

Warm and cold weather fronts crashing together from the Atlantic Ocean and elsewhere caused some mad weather in my South Florida garden this week. Neighbors were saying a mini hurricane hit our area, evidenced by 85 mph wind gusts and flying lawn furniture. The rain brought about some welcome changes to the garden.

Schomburgkia Orchids burst into flower and managed to stay attached to the Gumbo Limbo tree.

Blue Daze Evolvulus finally in full flower. These have been in the garden for years and rarely look like this. I have been wondering what to do with them and I am thinking lots of water is the answer.

Native Purslane popping up in the flower border. A weed I like, I am told it is edible – but haven’t tried it.

‘Bossa Nova’ Neoregelia enjoys the sunshine following the storms. I recently discovered these are supposed to grow in full sun. I moved them and we will see. I am not sure why it just seems odd to grow bromeliads in full sun. To me, anyway.

Another bromeliad basking in the sunshine. ‘Fireball’ Neoregeli; usually grown as groundcover for their foliage colors – varying from green to red depending on light conditions. These are in a container with Brown Eyed Girl Sunflowers.

‘White Flame’ Salvia with a Red Cypress Vine growing up the side. I suppose I should separate these two. Black and Bloom Salvia in the background. The butterflies are starting to enjoy all of these flowers.

That is it for this week. Next week’s weather is looking good for gardening. I am hoping the dragonflies show up soon to eat the mosquitoes that came along with the rain.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Tropical Fun

I am joining the SOS gang once again at Jim’s blog – http://gardenruminations.co.uk Follow the link to see more garden fun. This Saturday I am looking at the more tropical side of my South Florida garden.

Nothing says tropical like a big, tasty mango. These are Glenn Mangoes ripening on the tree. I am looking forward to a June day when I can eat one.

Spring brings bromeliad pups and these unusual rick rack shaped pups are growing up from a Macwilliamsii Neoregelia. These bromeliads are mottled green in summer and develop red coloration in winter, the red at the base of the pups is fading.

Shooting out some pups, Fireball Neoregelia are a famously tough groundcover bromeliad. Deep burgundy red in full sun and green in shade, these are underplanting a Brown Eyed Girl sunflower in a container.

Hippeastrum can stay outside year round in my garden. These are Red Lion inherited from my Father in Law years ago.

I installed some Cattleya Orchids in the Pygmy Date Palms (Phoenix roebellini) in my front garden this week. The orchids are wedged into the pruned part of the crown and secured with jute twine. The orchids are already putting out roots and should flower late summer, these are purple Cattleyas.

Schomburgkia orchids were mounted in the Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba) tree last year. They have multiplied and are sending up buds (the brown stem looking like a bamboo shoot). These orchids are native to mangrove forests on the Gulf coast of Mexico; how they ended up here is anyone’s guess.

That’s all from my garden this week. I am breaking rules next week. Bromeliads are supposed to be divided and moved by March 31. Guess what I am still doing? I am enjoying the Lost Marbles tomatoes so much I am considering planting another batch – pushing the tomato envelope here. The last tomatoes should be planted in March. Oh, the dilemmas…

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Schomburgkia?

I am joining the SOS crowd again this week with photos of the orchid in my Gumbo Limbo tree – tentatively identified as a Schomburgkia. Of course, the botanical powers that be decided to change the name to Laelia. I am not sure what it is. About five feet of purple bamboo-like stem with flowers at the end. Here goes:

It has been windy here for the past few days, so it made for difficult picture taking. Hoping to get better photos when the wind dies down tomorrow. This is a sun loving orchid from Central America, known for hosting ants and the old dried out stems become hollow and can be used as horns! Who knew? I can attest to ants living in the roots, but haven’t had it long enough to get a horn.

When the weather starts to warm the more tropical flowers start to appear:

Miss Alice Bougainvillea. Bougs supposedly flower when day and nighttime hours are even as they are native to equatorial regions. I am not so sure about that and keep watching.

Lady Di Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum). These are an oddly short lived perennial in my garden. They are beautiful for a couple of years, spread, then get shorter and shorter. This one is about half the size of the original plants.

Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) sometimes appears in white. This is a volunteer amongst the Mystic Spires Blue Salvia. These are known for their variable colors (red, orange, pink and white), this one has remained white in one area of my garden. It is separated by a fair distance from the colored Salvias, that may be why.

Last, but not least. It is difficult to get much more tropical than this. Miniature Ornamental Pineapple, fully grown. These can be juiced. I think they are too cute to squash and generally leave them on the plant until they dry. I keep meaning to spray some gold for Christmas decorations…

To see more Six on Saturday posts visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Until next time, Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Bees and Bags

Welcome to SOS, December 11, 2021 edition. It is warm and sunny in South Florida and the birds, bees and flowers are enjoying the blue skies. So is the gardener. Though it could be a little cooler (83 F today), are we ever happy with the weather? I am joining Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com with the SOS crowd linking to his blog. Follow the link for more garden fun.

I had to share my Malaysian Orchid in full bloom today. This is an amazing sight and the bees are enjoying the flowers. I finally got a picture of the elusive green orchid bee.

This is a very active, flitting bee. I stood and waited to take the picture. These bees are native to Central and South American and are thought to have been introduced to Florida in 2003 via a nest in a wood pallet from Mexico. There are a fair number in my garden.

The bag garden is producing cut flowers and vegetables for me this week. We have been eating green beans, radishes and tomatoes – it is time to plant a second crop of radishes and beans. I am rooting tomato suckers for a later crop of tomatoes. Here is a sunflower and below, the Cactus Zinnias.

The Papaya decapitated last spring is flowering again. The flowers so far are female, they are usually self pollinating hermaphrodite flowers – so, it will be interesting to see if it is self limiting the fruit production due to the pruning.

The hard cane dendrobium orchid I installed in a Gumbo LImbo tree has started budding. I am wondering how long this will take to flower???

That’s all from my garden this week.

Happy Gardening.

A Week in Flowers – Day Three – Orchids

Welcome to the third installment of A Week in Flowers. Cathy at http://www.wordsandherbs.wordpress.com invited us to share a post a day for a week of flowers in our gardens. Today I am featuring orchids from my South Florida garden – they stay outside year round here. Follow the link to find more flowers from around the world.

Fragrant white Cattleya Orchids live in a pot outside my low slung living room window. These bloom every September and I enjoy watching them and usually cut some for a vase to enjoy the flowers and fragrance up close.

Orange landscape orchids (along with Gallardia) are a fairly common sight around here. These are Epidendrums; sometimes called Ground Orchids. I had some in the garden, but they squirrels dug them up so many times they withered and passed on.

The Orchid tree, not really an Orchid, but a very pretty flower. This is Bauhinia purpurea, I think.

This Orchid tree has purple Cattleya orchids that grow on the trunk. This is my neighbor’s tree, so I see it daily when flowering. One of my favorite summer plantings.

That is all for Day Three. Happy Flower Watching!

Six on Saturday – Frogs and Fun

Another Saturday is upon us. I am sharing six fun items from my garden this week. Here is the frog:

This is a Cuban Tree Frog, native to Cuba *duh. These are considered invasive in Florida as they can out reproduce our native tree frogs. I was surprised by how small this frog is – they are very loud.

A Dancing Lady Ginger gifted to me by a friend. This is potted in canal mud and compost. I wish I had some canal mud to plant it in. Where to plant it is a bit of a dilemma.

A Medenillia underplanted with Dwarf Chenille Plant. The Medenillia is an orchid that grows in trees in Java, another gift from a friend. Hoping for flowers, they look like pink grapes.

This Cattleya Orchid lives in a pot in the garden – its blooms the first week of September every year.

Another favorite of mine. I love the stems for the flowers and the color. This is a non native Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamacianensis, I think) Indestructible and reliable.

So happy to be using my house made compost. It took a couple of years for this to break down into compost, I started with a shredded oak tree and added to it…This week it is time to plant tomato seed for winter vegetables.

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

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – The Pits

This Saturday we are in the midst of the peak of hurricane season in South Florida. The cicadas are singing, the temperature and humidity are soaring, the plants are wilting and so am I. Oddly, the hurricanes are in New England and Mexico. Last weekend, Tropical Storm Fred dropped eight inches of rain at my house. The garden was happy for a while, but is thirsty once again. We are definitely in the pits.

The pit above is much more interesting and from the garden. I finally got one Nam Doc Mai mango from my tree. This is a Thai mango bred to eat for dessert, featuring a small pit, fiberless flesh and a coconut mango flavor. The pit is nearly as long as the mango (6 inches) and about 1/4 inch thick. Here is the mango with a cherry tomato. My husband and I ate most of it for dessert last night. Yummy.

Another interesting observation in my steamy jungle this week – the formation of new shoots on the Hard Cane Orchid I installed in my Gumbo Limbo tree this winter.

Another view:

The Orchid is putting out roots and hopefully will grow into the tree trunk and flower this winter. The sprays of flowers are supposed to be five feet long. Hopefully. I mounted the Orchid by tying it onto the tree with old pantyhose. There is a bit of Orchid soil mix in the hose that has supported the plant while it grows in. I was about to remove it when a swarm of large ants came bursting out..the hose are still in the tree, ants and all.

Another new shoot.

A new butterfly in my garden this week. This is a Mallow Scrub Hairstreak on a Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) flower. A tiny butterfly, maybe an inch wingspan. Picture taken while crossing my fingers. The Sweet Almond is very popular with bees and butterflies.

That is it from the pits. To see more SOS posts follow the link and visit Jon, http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening..

Six on Saturday. Summer Tropicals

I decided to join the Six on Saturday meme at The Propagator’s blog this week. I live and blog in South Florida. Having been down here a while, I still think a lot of the flora is weird but cool. Here are six tropicals blooming in my garden this week:

Flaming Torch Bromeliad. A common and colorful addition to our late summer gardens.

Billbergia pyramidalis.

00100lportrait_00100_burst20190820135850485_cover

Beautyberry, a native shrub with magnificent fruit.

Calliocarpa americana. 00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BUbeautyberry

One of my very favorite Bromeliads, reliable and so funky. And a great cut flower.

Aechmea miniata.

img_20190705_081018

Late summer brings Cattleya Orchids to the garden, the next ones will be huge, white and fragrant. These grow in my neighbor’s Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia) tree.00100lportrait_00100_burst20190710131119708_cover

Another common summer flowering Bromeliad. Little Harv.

Aechmea ‘Little Harv’

20190507_080217

More Florida funkness, this is a Jatropha – called Coral Plant usually and considered a novelty, flowering off and on all summer.

Jatropha multifida.

20190510_124242-1

Happy Gardening Saturday and thanks to The Propagator for hosting.