In a Vase on Monday – Christmas Palm Forest

 

IMG_20191208_115516It’s an oddly dreary day in South Florida, making it feel more like the holidays to me. I decided to do a mini forest basket for this second week of Advent. The forest idea sprang to mind when I saw the Christmas Palm seedhead from last week lost all its berries and looked like a  birch tree in winter. I usually call these Adonidia Palm, this is one of  those  plants with several common names. The common name can be Christmas Palm or Manila Palm, and my neighbors call them Triple Palms as many have three trunks. The botanical name is Veitchii merrilli. Below is a Christmas Palm with red fruit.

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The arrangement has the white stalk from the Christmas Palm seedhead. Red flowers are from Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata); red berries are from the evil Brazilian Pepper  (Schinus terebinthifolia) – the Peppers are invasive in South Florida to the point it is illegal to plant them. I have gotten rid of mountains of  these things, but there are always a few lurking and using them in flower arrangements saves Florida a few in the woods. The ferns are: Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) in the back and Asparagus Fern around the edges. Both are volunteers in the garden. A closer view:

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The  basket is a thrift store find and the gold cat is in honor of Mr. Bob, our resident Bobcat.

Feeling a bit more Christmassy this week. Maybe a tree and wreath on the front door next week.

For vases from around the world, follow this link to http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Waiting

It’s Saturday morning and time for The Propagators garden meme featuring six items of interest from your garden. For more interesting sixes, follow this link SIXES

I  think Tom Petty said ‘The waiting is the hardest part’. If there is one thing gardening teaches you it is patience. Our weather has cooled a bit and this slows everything down. Here are six things from my garden that I am waiting for:

The Dombeya,  I  had the buds in last weeks post,  they are tormenting me by just getting bigger and staying green. This uber tropical small tree should be covered in pink hydrangea like flowers soon.

img_20191206_143357Green Beans, not quite big enough  to eat:

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Radishes, again not quite big enough to eat:

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Tomatoes, every so slowly turning red:

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Papayas refusing to turn yellow or doing so at the moment a hungry bird flys by. These must have yellow streaks before  picking or they never get ripe.

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Lastly, fancy Zinnias grown from seed (Macrenia),  these are supposed to be an excellent cut flower – double and 3 inches across bronzy orange with scarlet tips. Waiting to see the flowers!

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That’s six from my garden. Happy Gardening.

In a Vase on Monday – Holiday Infusion

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For me, it is always a bit strange being in South Florida during the holidays. I spent most of my life in a place that experiences winter. Yesterday I found myself in the grocery store dressed in shorts and a tank top, surrounded by gaping tourists and listening  to  Christmas carols play in the background. While driving home I noted my neighbors planting Poinsettias in their yard for holiday color. Odd. Clearly a holiday vase was in order.

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The big red flowers are Nodding Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos); red spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); red star shaped flowers are Heirloom Pentas (Penta lanceolata); white spikes are from the sweetly scented Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata); white stems are from Adonidia Palm (Veitchii merrilli); white daisies are from Spanish Needles (Bidens alba) ferns are from the native Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata).

The vase is another oddity found by the side of the road in my neighborhood, likely a historic florist vase from the 1980s. With all the red and green in my vase…my Christmas spirit is cranking up a bit. Maybe my holiday mood will improve once my neighbor puts the flamingoes out. Yes, there is a sled and Santa that goes with it.

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Didn’t I say it was a bit strange in South Florida during the holidays?

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At least the Nodding Hibiscus looks a bit like a Christmas ornament.

Happy Holidays!  To see more vases from around the world go to http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – Walking the Dogs

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I walk my greyhounds frequently, they like to walk around the neighborhood and my garden. Here are some of  the plants we have encountered recently. Some are not to be sniffed by dogs or people. Above  is one of those plants, a Blue Agave (Agave tequilana) grown by a friend and gifted to me, this is the plant that tequila is made from and is very spiny with spines  on the leaf  tips.

Here’s another sharp plant,  my neighbor’s Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa). A poisonous plant with thorns, paradoxically having edible fruit and gardenia scented  flowers.

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Another Agave, not quite as sharp as the Blue one. This one is a Sisal Agave (Agave sisalana) – yes, where Sisal for rugs, ropes, etc. comes from. This is on a vacant lot on our walk and is shooting up a  bloom stalk that is at least 10 feet tall and not showing a bud yet. Somewhere south of here an enterprising soul started a Sisal plantation, the Sisal reseeded and took over an island in the Florida Keys and has blown seeds all the way to my neighborhood.

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Another sharp  plant, the Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria). These can be used  to make  shampoo and are foamy if the leaves are snapped. After reading about these, I decided against the shampoo as it seems most people are allergic to it.

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The Autograph Tree (Clusia rosea), waiting to be planted – one of  the potted orphans that lurk in everyones garden, not sharp at all.

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Buds on the Dombeya (Dombeya wallachi). This is a pink tropical Hydrangea tree, if you can imagine that – and  they bloom in December! I walk by everyday looking for flowers.

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Happy gardening!

To see more Six on Saturday posts featuring six items of interest from gardens around the  world go to: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday – Florida Style Fall

I am enjoying the cool, sunny weather in the garden. This time of year in South Florida is perfect gardening weather, temperatures in the 70s and low humidity. I have redone my front porch containers with Bromeliads, succulents, annuals, and herbs.

Below is a new plant to me, Dwarf Chenille Plant, it is draped over a tall pot with a striped Bromeliad behind it.

 

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This container has herbs, Dill,  Columnar Greek Basil, and Genovese Basil. I grew the Basils from seed and have Blue Spice Basil for butterflies.

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The succulents in the Strawberry pot are just getting going. They are Flapjack Kalanchoes, a Graptosedum and Gold Sedum. A real pain to water, I found this pot by the side of the road and the plants are cuttings from my garden.

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A Guzmania Bromeliad produced a seed head in another container, I  have not had this happen before and can’t quite tell where the seeds are.

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My neighbor’s Rangpur Lime tree is loaded with fruit, the basket of limes is from her garden. A  pie may be in my future.

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This is a Mangrove tree growing on a riverbank down the street from my house. The roots help hold the soil on the banks of the Indian River and prevent erosion.

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To see more Six on Saturday posts- go to www. thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

 

Happy Gardening

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Fringe Benefits

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While searching for vase materials this morning it dawned on me, I would not have most of these flowers without making a vase every Monday. I cut flowers from everything except the palm frond and Beautyberries in the past month or for other vases. Hand pruning for a vase inspires the plants to produce more flowers. Fringe benefits from In a Vase on Monday.

Here’s a  close up:

00100lrPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20191117130923032_COVERThe red and white shrimp-like flowers are  Red Shrimp Plants (Justicia brandegeana), a nearly indestructible perennial. White flowers with yellow centers are  Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata), another great indestructible. Yellow and red daisies are native Gallardias (Gallardia pulchella) they change their colors with the pollinator – or maybe via the pollinator.

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The palm frond in the back of the arrangement is a seedling from a Sabal or Cabbage Palm (Palmetto sabal) that popped up in the garden. The purple berries are still going strong on the Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) – I have had berries on one since August, the birds have eaten most of the fruit from the one further out in the garden. The green pods are from a native Senna (Senna ligustrina) I planted for hosting Sulphur Butterflies. Off white spikes are from the native Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa)

Here is the caterpillar from the Senna, one of my favorites:

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Happy Gardening and Thanks to Cathy for hosting IAVOM and the fringe benefits, more flowers! Here is a link to more vases: IAVOM more

Six on Saturday – Day off

I  had a gigantic load of oak mulch delivered this week. After spending a couple of days ferrying mulch around in the wheelbarrow my back is complaining this morning so I am taking Saturday off from gardening.

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There is still a lot to do in the garden. These Heirloom Celosia seedlings are nearly ready for planting. They are called Texas Plume Vintage Rose Mix and reportedly make excellent cut flowers.

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A new Bromeliad flower appeared this is a Portea ‘Candy’.

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This is one of our native Air Plants, a Tillandsia that is going to seed. It fell out of a nearby Oak – I am going to add it to my Air Plant collection that lives in the Sabal Palm.

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A new butterfly caterpillar on a larval host plant I installed last year. The plant is Corkystem Passionflower, the tiny flower is hidden behind a leaf. The caterpillar will soon form a Chrysalis and become a Zebra Longwing butterfly. I hope.

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The Zebra Longwing Butterfly:

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This is the state butterfly of Florida, I have a large population in my garden and see these on a daily basis.

To see more Six on Saturday posts follow this link  http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy  Gardening.