Six on Saturday – Primavera (no pasta)

Our windy conditions finally wound down the middle of the week leaving clear blue skies, a light breeze and perfect conditions to stay outdoors – by yourself, no interaction with the germy masses. I have been celebrating Primavera (spring in Italian) enjoying the new growth, fruits and flowers developing and a new butterfly in my garden.

img_20200309_120805

This is a Cloudless Sulphur butterfly sipping nectar from a White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri) . I planted a Senna ligustrina, larval host plant for the Sulphur butterflies and they have graced my garden ever since.

img_20200314_101838

Buds inside the cup of the Blushing Bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae). The blushing is more exciting than the flowers.

img_20200314_101409-1

Flower of Little Harv Bromeliad (Aechmea ‘Little Harv’) . The  flower stalk is nearly 3 feet tall, I would like to see Big Harv.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200314100927447_cover

Foliage getting a bit glaucous on Traveller’s Palm (Ravenela madagascariensis) I planted these as much for the trunk as the foliage. I love both, the story behind the name is a thirsty traveler could cut a stem and get a glass of fresh water, These are just about five  feet tall and don’t quite produce a glass when cut.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200314100739106_cover

Dragonfruit (Hylocereus) just starting to climb a fence post. These are a night blooming cactus that produce a somewhat odd fruit, sometimes called Pitcaya.

img_20200314_102035

Surinam Cherries ripening, these are very deep red when ripe. Until they are very deep red they taste a bit like turpentine smells. A raw, piney taste. A friend makes jelly with the fruit and says it is very good. I leave them for the birds.

My Six for this Saturday. I have carrots and green beans in the garden. I might just make some Pasta Primavera for dinner. Cue Vivaldi..

Happy Spring!!

For more Six on Saturday posts, go to http://www.thepropagator.wordpress.com.

In a Vase on Monday – March Madness

img_20200301_114301

First of all, this has nothing to do with American college basketball. March Madness is a college basketball tournament, I  would rather read about invasive weeds than watch basketball. College football is a different story. That I will watch.

South Florida seemingly lacks seasons. Spring is subtle, but here. Almost everything takes a few months off, not growing. Just resting for the inevitable plunge into March Madness. The Oak trees, grasses and obscure weeds no one ever heard of are flowering and the pollen is dreadful – the native butterflies and insects are enjoying all of  this and literally making hay while the sun is shining. I am seeing butterflies and insects I have  never seen  before. My bush and pole bean leaves have been folded by butterflies to create chrysalis and while I still have beans, the butterflies emerging are just starting to  amaze me.

img_20200206_133605 This is a Longtail Skipper larvae from a couple of weeks ago, I saw the first butterfly today (it got away from me). I will  post a picture another day if I catch one.

Back to the vase. The actual vase is a old florist vase from the 80s I found by the side of the road. It holds up some heavy cut flowers. Heavy is what I have.

img_20200301_114126

The pink flowers are Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet). They flower off and on year round; not reliably but at some point there they are. And  too pretty to ignore, like some teenage  girls from high school. The ferns are my old stand by, Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) and the white flowers, Dracaena reflexa. Yes, it grows in my garden and the flowers  have a wonderful scent. Close ups of the flowers:

Happy Spring!!

For more vases follow the link and visit our hostess, Cathy at MORE VASES

In a Vase on Monday – February Love

img_20200202_153009

This vase marks the first for February, the month of love. I challenged myself to create a  shades of red vase in honor of February.

The combination of plant material is unusual, to say the least, ordinarily (not sure why) I don’t like to combine tropical plants with non tropicals, but this is meant to be love struck pinks.

The construction of the vase is a bit unusual as well, the red container is from Christmas, too lightweight for the thick stemmed Shell Ginger. To conquer this issue, I placed a glass pickle jar inside the red container – it was too tall and I covered the jar with Bromeliad foliage. Here is a closer view:

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200202152805395_cover

The  pink and white flowers are Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet); these are just about to burst into full bloom, really buds. The center plant is a Zinnia of unknown heritage that looks a lot more pink in the garden. The beige and pink flowers are Texas Vintage Rose Mix Celosia grown from seed supplied by Floret. The green tracery in the background is the flower of Dracaena reflexa. The foliage around the base is from a Blushing Bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae).

Another close up:

00000img_00000_burst20200202153105068_cover

Happy Month of  Love!

For more Vases on Monday filled with flowers from all over the world follow this link to Cathy’s blog In A Vase on Monday

In a Vase on Monday – From Florida with Love

img_20200105_110936

As I was putting this vase together it occurred to me there probably isn’t another garden with this mix of plants in January unless it is in Florida. It is a season spanning  concoction. Spring and Summer flowers, some fall berries and pineapple foliage. My husband and I refer to this time of year as Not Summer. The rest of the year is Summer.

The weather during Not Summer is delightful for gardening, highs in the 70s with low humidity and ocean breezes. The climate is not without drawbacks, I cannot let my cat outside as there are several things that might eat her, I believe I have nematodes in my vegetable garden (disastrous), persnickety rabbits ate most of my radishes but only one kind of Basil and I am slightly overrun with Papayas. Not to mention the possibility of hurricanes. I will persevere. Actively looking for Papaya fans. Few takers.

img_20200105_164920

A closer view of the vase:

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200105111020363_cover

The big pink flowers are Zinnias, despite my best efforts I have no idea what kind. Popsicle sticks labeled everything blah, blah, blah. Planted some free mixed seeds,  but I labeled them something else.  Ironically, my favorite Zinnia thus far.

The  yellow and orange flowers are Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella), Florida natives that reseed freely and invent new colors every year. The chartreusy spike above the Gallardia is a new Celosia (Texas Vintage Rose Mix) from Floret. Described as heart breakingly beautiful like faded velvet or something like that; my heart is not broken yet though  I will  monitor these. Pink stars are Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata). There are a few white  and  peach Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). The big orange flowers are from Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria), red and green foliage from a Miniature Pineapple, purple berries are still hanging around on the Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana). Birds  have eaten the berries on the other shrubs further out in the garden. These are closer to the house and my dogs may be keeping the birds away.

From last weeks vase, the Dombeya everyone  was interested in. The  wind  died down a bit and here is the whole shrub.

img_20191231_154047

From Florida with Love.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – New Year’s Projects

For 2020, I decided to add more vegetables to the garden, containers to my screen porch and fix an ongoing drainage problem.

img_20200101_124151

See all  the sand on the porch? I am adding a walkway and a wall to hopefully capture most of it. I have planted the pots with vegetable seeds – lettuce, spinach and  root vegetables.

The walkway under construction, landscape fabric filled with drainage gravel will go under the area where most of the water flows.img_20200104_095639

A concrete mermaid will be added  along with crushed shell and stone in front of the pots to help with drainage. Here is the mermaid, I call her me-maid as I have grey hair and brown eyes, considering adding glasses. And  fixing her arm, oops

img_20200104_095250

 

Replanted pots on the screen porch: A Fireball  Neoregelia Bromeliad, Flapjack Kalanchoe and Boston Fern. All transplanted from the garden.

 

img_20200104_095730

Another pot. The dark Bromeliad is Luca Neoregelia, the green one is Super Fireball, a bit of Asian Sword Fern and Wandering Jew (Transcandentia zebrina) More garden transplants.

img_20200104_095725

Papaya seedlings grown from the fruit of my tree. Papaya trees grow fast and don’t last long so you need back up trees for continous Papayas.

img_20200104_095423

That’s my New Year’s SOS, join the Saturday fun at  http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy New Year and  Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – Dombeyas End the Decade

img_20191229_100435

Dombeyas fill the last vase of the decade. Ten years ago, I did not blog; I did not live in Florida and I did not know what a Dombeya was. What a difference a decade makes.

We have spent the past few weeks cooking and going to holiday parties. My husband and I enjoy cooking but we are taking a break and fortunately have leftovers. He is a great pie baker – this year making an apple, a pumpkin and a Rangpur Lime pie with fruit from my neighbor’s tree. I need to get back to the garden to work all the calories off.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20191224174455859_cover

Here is a closer view:

The  pink flowers are the Dombeyas (Dombeya wallichii); the burgundy and silver striped leaves are Transcandentia zebrina, sometimes called Wandering  Jew; the silvery succulent is  the flower of a Flapjack Kalanchoe and the ferns are Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata).

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20191229100332806_cover

Dombeyas are sometimes called Tropical Hydrangeas though they are not related to Hydrangeas but belong to the Mallow family. Hydrangeas have their own family (Hydrangeaceae). Here is the Dombeya flower in situ. The shrub is about 9 feet tall and wide and the leaves are at least a foot wide and fuzzy. The bees love the flowers and I brought one in with the flowers. I think of them as reverse Hydrangeas since the flowers hang under the foliage.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20191229102516193_cover

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade, hopefully the twenties will roar again. But, nicely and with many flowers.

A heartfelt Thank You to Cathy for hosting this wonderful weekly meme. More vases may be seen in the comments of her blog http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – The Deluge

img_20191213_093746

One day this week we had 4 or 5 inches of rain,  this wheelbarrow full of water is from that storm. The crushed shell residue is from my work on the cleaning and touching up the pathways in my garden.

Below you can see the cleaner part at the bottom of the photo is the new shell, well water irrigation has been staining the shell rust, and I have redone the irrigation so it doesn’t spray on the walkways – the rain helped by compacting the shell.

 

img_20191213_095417

The rain also made this fungus open and let loose their spores. We called these puffrooms when I was a child. And stomped on them.

00000img_00000_burst20191213095505817_cover

I had to tie the Snow Peas up.

img_20191213_095748

The rain also gave me some flowers: Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20191213095343329_cover

And a new flush on the Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamacaensis)

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20191116083407155_cover

A little rain can be a good thing, it has been fairly dry here lately. I just looked at the weather radar, more storms on the way!

That’s the six from my garden this Saturday.

To see more Six on Saturday posts,  go to http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening. Stay dry.