Six on Saturday – May Happenings

The month of May is coming in like a lion here. Stormy weather and cool temperatures are across the US. In Florida, it is a refreshing 70 degrees but the wind kicks up and it a bit too windy to sit outside. Some of the warm season shrubs are starting to flower.

Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) can flower anytime, but is more prolific in the summer.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200509095713721_cover

Firebush (Hamelia patens) and one of my favorites flower more during the warmer months.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200509095614507_cover

The Dwarf Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebellini) is flowering. I don’t get any dates, though these will bear fruit if you have a male and female palm.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200509095834998_cover

The Papaya has produced its second crop this year. This one fell off the tree – there is a moth that lays eggs in the fruit and causes it to drop off. You can tell by the sap oozing out that the moth has been there. If I had cut the fruit open it would be full of worms eating the flesh of the Papaya (I didn’t). The fruit that falls has to be picked up quickly to halt another generation of moths.

00000img_00000_burst20200509094451595_cover

The Thai Dessert Mango is tantalizing me. This is a Nam Doc Mai.

img_20200506_111557

The Nam Doc Mai is also flowering again, so I should get a few more Mangoes this summer. These can flower year round, though mine usually don’t.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200509094313878_cover

There, six things happening in my garden in May. For other Six on Saturday posts, go to  http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy gardening.

Six on Saturday – Blues, Whites and Greys

The skies have been blue, white and grey this week. We have had some stormy weather that required greyhound consolation and enough rain to kick off some new flowers and foliage.

Below is my “Lady Margaret” Passionflower.  I bought this as a red flowering Lady M two years ago and babied, watered and trained it to my fence only to find white flowers after breathlessly observing buds for days. The vine is a larval host for a few butterflies and holds all life stages currently. I contacted the seller to see what it actually is and either they wouldn’t say or didn’t know. I am hoping it bears a good Passionfruit for cocktails. Time will tell. I got my money back as I did not want to establish and train another vine.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200420143211172_cover

Another vine I have been working on is the Miss Alice Bougainvillea. Miss Alice is a nearly thornless variety and I am working her into a pillar.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200425091647781_cover

Graptosedum gifted to me by a friend is reproducing in a pot on the front porch. The pink flowers are Dwarf Chenille Plant and grey foliage is Licorice Plant (Helichryseum).

img_20200425_091718

The Painted Fingernail Aechmea Bromeliad is flowering.

img_20200425_103344

This is a new variety of Rosemary to me and as a treat to myself I bought a big one. It’s a good thing, we have eaten about a quarter of it! This is a Blue Lagoon Rosemary, great for containers.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200425092012453_cover

The fruit of Candy Portea Bromeliad. The flower is purple and the fruit hangs around for awhile, then turns brown.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200425103425818_cover

Wishing everyone gentle rain, many flowers and Happy Gardening. To see more Six on Saturday posts go to, http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

 

Six on Saturday – Buds

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200411092140635_cover

Weather is heating up in South Florida as summer approaches, we had a round of thunderstorms yesterday and expect more in the coming week. The Frangipani (Plumeria) has set buds promising a fragrant yellow flower with pink accents.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200411092231332_cover

Buds and one tiny flower on the Blushing Bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae) .These will flower, put out some pups, and then stop blushing until next winter.

img_20200411_093610

More Bromeliad buds, these are Tillandsias and the flowers will tell the tale of which variety – they will be red or green. I am hoping for Cardinal Air Plants, red flowering Florida natives.

img_20200411_093359

This is a Roselle, an edible Hibiscus (H. sabdariffa) – Most of the plant is edible, the leaves can be cooked as greens or added to salads. Sometimes called Jamaican Sorrel, I am thinking is it sour, but haven’t tried it yet. The burgundy ‘fruit’ is the base of the flower, called a calyx – these are used as a substitute for cranberries. Thankgiving relish may  go tropical this year.

img_20200409_113111

This is not a bud, but a cone. It is the female cone of a Coontie (Zamia integrifolia) the only Cycad native to the U.S. Cycads are gymnosperms and have male and female cones.

00100lrportrait_00100_burst20200404100911252_cover

One of my garden buds and a frequent companion when I am in the garden. An Anole lizard, not sure which one. I have read there are 2,000 lizards per acre in Florida and I believe it.

I hope everyone is surviving lockdown. My husband and I are thinking this is causing brain fog. Probably best to keep thinking!

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

In a Vase on Monday – Unreal

img_20200405_113002

Given what is going on in the world; there are many things that seem unreal. Sitting on my sofa waiting for a delivery of a multi pack box of cereal is one. Yet, here I am.

This vase is another. I took the pictures earlier today and sat down to write my post and  thought “that could be Hydrangeas, Mums and Red Maple leaves in fall color.” But it is not. I don’t think I could have forecast being unable to buy liquid hand soap and toilet paper, ever. I have learned how to make homemade liquid hand soap! Unreal. Also found directions on making toilet paper, but really don’t want to try it unless the situation becomes dire. Then, I found directions for converting your toilet to a bidet. Good grief! I found out later the TP factories are running 24/7 in Florida and all should be well soon in that respect. It is our first and hopefully last pandemic.

A closer view:

img_20200405_113400

The ‘fall foliage’ is Lousiana Red Copperleaf (Acalphya  wilkesiana ‘ Louisiana Red’) This is a coarse textured red shrub that will probably end up about five feet tall. It serves as a backdrop for the Tree Spinach I just planted (deep green with white flowers)

The ‘Orange Mums” are Mexican Bush Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera). These tend to be a upright, going on gangly shrub I have used  to screen my neighbor’s fence. These few flowers provided a nice reshaping for the shrub and a vase for me.

The ‘Hydrangea’ is a going to seed Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia), the green stem that looks like a straw is the stem I cut off and left in there. Couldn’t decide which way I liked the arrangement.

img_20200405_113218

I like the fat, green stem as it seems to balance the vase to me – five tall elements, 3 ferns and one faux Hydrangea. Design school brainwashing creeping in, once again.

Stay safe in your gardening space!

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