Six on Saturday – Fragrant Whites and Mysteries

It is Saturday again, time to check out what’s new in the garden. Six things! Rain has finally fallen on my garden, and with a bit of warmth some mysterious buds have shot up from some longtime residents that have never flowered.

These appeared this week. Buds on (I am guessing) an Aechmea Bromeliad. I bought it at a garage sale some years ago. At least five. Garage sale Bromeliads are about five bucks, named plants are easily ten times that at the nursery, so I have a lot of garage sale mysteries. Here’s the one that is opening.

Whatever it is, it will be an interesting flower. Stay tuned.

One of the Haworthias in my succulent collection sent up a flower. I did not realize they flowered. This should be another interesting flower.

The rain also brought out the fragrant white flowers; and hordes of mosquitoes. I am waiting for the dragonflies to save me.

This is a Frangipani (Plumeria spp) of unknown origin I bought at a Master Gardener’s sale. Finally gaining some height, it is about 7 feet tall. I love the clean graphics of these flowers and their fragrance.

The Tropical Gardenias (Tabernaemontana diviricata) started blooming in earnest this week. Their scent is most notable at night.

Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata) spills its scent during the day near the back porch.

The garden is scentsational right now. I need a swarm of dragonflies to clean out the bad bugs. I’m expecting them anytime now….

My South Florida Six for this Saturday! To see more SOS, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com…

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Happy Returns

Saturday, once again. Today I am looking at six things I am happy to see returning to the garden. ‘Happy Returns’ is also the name of a very nice repeat blooming yellow daylily…I wish I had a few of those. On to the six…

Blanketflower (Gallardia pulchella) – a prolific, reseeding wildflower I enjoy in its many variations. I caught a bee on this one. I leave these to grow wherever they land.

Another batch of Envy Zinnias are in flower. My husband even likes these…he doesn’t notice much in the garden.

Another wildflower that I leave to wander the garden. I enjoy these blue Spiderwort flowers every spring. I am sure it is a Transcandentia, just don’t know which one.

Another native back in bloom, Sunshine Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa). This is the groundcover that ties my wildflower garden together, or I hope it will.

Pink Cactus Zinnias are also back in the garden…

Another one of my favorite Florida natives is back in bloom – Firebush (Hamelia patens) – a butterfly and bee magnet. The Zebra longwing butterflies are back as well, nectaring on these flowers and the Zinnias.

There, my Six for this Saturday. To see more posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Taste of Summer

Summer is the rainy season in South Florida. After a month of dry weather, we had a tremendous round of thunderstorms yesterday. It looked like a couple of inches of rain fell, based on what was left in a bucket on the back porch. One of those “I really don’t want to go to the grocery store” days. I did anyway.

The summer tropicals loved the moisture and are showing their colors in this installment of Six on Saturday. To see more SOS posts; visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

My first ever Sugar Baby watermelon. I thought it had died, but it seems the stem turns brown when the melon is ripe. This was delicious and the sweetest watermelon I have ever tasted. There is another one on the vine.

Gulf Fritillary butterflies are back. This is a caterpillar beginning to make a chrysalis on a Corkystem Passionflower vine. I leave the vine to ramble through the shrubs in the front garden and feed the butterflies. These look mean, but they don’t sting. The orange coloration is to keep predators away.

New to the garden, Apricot Profusion Zinnias, grown from seed. I like the color and wasn’t sure how pastel it was going to be.

First Frangipani (Plumeria) of the season. The flower is almost open, I will most likely enjoy the fragrance tonight. Fingers crossed.

First Dahlia in the garden is problematic. I ordered a cactus variety called Labyrinth. It should be pink, peach and fluffy – it is not.

Full size pineapple in the garden. I have a pineapple patch – rooted tops of all kinds of pineapples. I am told they might cross with each other and the results will be seedy fruit. This one looks a little seedy to me, though it is the only one that flowered unless it crossed with some other bromeliads. No clue. Time will tell. In a couple of months, the fruit should ripen.

That all for this lovely spring day.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Forget Me Nots

I am loving the blue Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amiable) I planted for cutting in January. I started cutting them last week and they last almost a week in a vase. This variety is recommended by Floret Flower Farm, a seed and advice supplier in the northwestern US. Floret claims long stemmed flowers may be harvested for six weeks and advise planting two crops one month apart to extend the season. I will know if this holds true in South Florida in another week or two. They may burn up in our May heat.

Plants and flowers in the garden. I used bamboo stakes to keep the rabbits away.

The rest of the vase:

The bright blue flowers – the Chinese Forget Me Nots. Another addition to cutting flowers this year – White Nigella (N. damascena) and seedheads. I have some pale blue striped versions of the Nigella as well, so happy; peach spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); orange tubes are from the Firebush (Hamelia patens).

Another view:

White spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) wearing wedding attire; varigated foliage is Varigated Flax Lily (Dianella)

The vase is a mason jar with a bit of raffia.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

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!!

In a Vase on Monday – Eggcentric Blues

It was a lovely, sunny holiday weekend punctuated by a much needed soaking rain. The garden and I are both feeling relieved and celebrating Easter Monday with an egg dyed by my neighbor and blue flowers from the garden.

The egg gets a close up:

The egg was dyed with flowers from the Blue Pea Vine (Clitoria ternata). It almost looks like a robin’s egg. The flower:

The vase contents:

The smaller bright blue flowers are Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynoglossum amabile), grown for cutting, the stems have just gotten long enough to use. Darker blue spikes are Mystic Blue Salvia; peach spikes are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea); white flowers at base are Miss Alice Bougainvillea.

Another view:

Chartreuse flowers are Envy Zinnias, the latest batch. The white spike flowers are Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata); ferny foliage and wild green stems are from Wild Asparagus Fern, which is probably invasive, I keep it at bay using it in flower arrangements. It is oddly sharp for a fern and difficult to pull out.

The vase is actually taupe and pottery, though it doesn’t look like that in the images. I found this at a thrift store a few years ago and have enjoyed it immensely.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening to all.

Thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting, follow the link to see more Monday vase and maybe an egg or two.

Six on Saturday – Sky Blue

It is Saturday yet again and a beautiful, sunshiny late spring day in South Florida. The skies are blue and so are the flowers this week. I am joining the Six on Saturday crowd at Jon’s blog; http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com. Follow the link for more late spring garden views.

Another garden first, the Chinese Forget Me Not (Cynoglossum amiable) flowers! So pleased with these. These reportedly make good cut flowers, though the stems are not very long yet.

The Blue Pea Vine (Clitoria ternata) has started flowering again after a winter hiatus. These vines, after recovering from severe rabbit abuse are supposed to be perennial here, so I am hoping they will cover the fence.

Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpeta jamacaicensis) is starting to flower again.

I have two shades of blue flowering Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) – a nearly indestructible tropical shrub. Can you tell the difference? The darker blue is the more recent selection, the paler flower is the heirloom version.

Blue Daze Evolvulus can be used as a perennial groundcover here. I am not sure what inspires it to flower. It just does periodically?

There, my six. Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday weekend and sunny blue skies.

In a Vase on Monday – The Red Wave

This vase was actually done on Friday. A surprise Amaryllis appeared in my garden a couple of weeks ago. After watching it carefully it became evident it was a red Amaryllis descended from some very old heirloom bulbs in my garden, inherited from my late father in law. How it managed to jump over the roof is a mystery to me. The flower was being buffeted by gusty winds, so I cut it and placed it in an old florist vase I found by the side of the road.

I filled the stem with warm water having read this makes the flower last longer. As of Sunday, the flower is turning black! Experiment number nine million a failure. Since I liked the slant of the Amaryllis I added some similarly slanted Firecracker Plant creating a red wave. The white flowers are Love In A Mist, a first in my garden.

A closer view:

I am guessing this is a Red Lion Amaryllis as that was Glenn’s (my father in law) favorite. The Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis) has been around the garden for years. While I like the plant and flowers, it has a frumpy habit, sort of languishes along the ground…very handy if you want a wave, but otherwise sort of weird.

The Love in a Mist (Nigella sativa). I am aware these are very familiar to many gardeners, however, this is the first one I have seen and I love it! and the seeds are edible! Magnificent. I was surprised when it opened white as I was expecting blue. I planted the seeds in November, so they seem to be cool season annuals here. I will grow more when the season is right. There are still a few budding, so I may get a blue one.

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting IAVOM. To see more vases follow the link to her blog.

Wishing everyone Happy Gardening with nice surprises and a little Nigella for seasoning.

Six on Saturday – New for Spring

I am joining the SOS gang yet again looking at Spring additions to my garden. To see more Spring (and maybe some Fall) fun from fellow SOSers – visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Fruit on the Malaysian Orchid (Medenillia cummingii). These eventually turn purple and collapse leaving a sticky substance with seeds. I have smashed the goopy stuff on trees around my garden, hoping for trees filled with Malaysian Orchids.

New pot of succulents from a visit to Pinder’s Nursery in Palm City, Florida. No clue what any of them are.

New crop of Zinnias for cutting and bedding. Apricot Profusion, Pink Cactus and Envy Zinnias to be planted out soon.

Never seen it before in my garden, Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynglossum amiable). Grown from seed and just about to flower.

Leonitis leonurus, Lion’s Tail. I have had L. nepetifolia, an annual for a few years. These plants are somewhat difficult to establish in beach sand, so I decided to try the perennial version and grew two very slowly from seed. Catalogs say these grow to about six feet and are very drought tolerant once established. We shall see. Looking forward to orange flowers.

Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) also grown very slowly from seed and I had to buy two batches of seeds and try a couple of different sowings to get the time of year right for germination. I managed to grow two plants! This is another reportedly very drought tolerant after establishment perennial, native to the mountains of Arizona. What it will do in South Florida is anyone’s guess. It does have a strange smell and it is not like lemons. A couple by the name of Lemmon discovered the plant.

That’s the Spring update. Hoping to see more flowers soon.

Happy Gardening!!!

Six on Saturday – Little Surprises

It’s time for SOS again. This Saturday I am focusing on six fun things I found in my garden this week. Follow this link to see more Spring surprises from gardeners around the world – http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

One of the aspects of gardening I enjoy most – the little surprises along the way. Above is a pot with miniature pineapple, graptosedum, and flapjack kalanchoe all doing their thing at the same time.

A surprise Amaryllis I never planted. There are red and orange ones nearby.

First Blue Larkspur in my South Florida garden.

Buds on the never seen before Nigella.

A very early Glenn Mango. This tree flowered in January, it is usually March. I may have one Mango in April.

The White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri) in full bloom. This is an oddly shaped tree after getting blown over by a hurricane. Some of the more tropical woody plants tend to grow in a tangle and this is one of them. Contemplating the pruning.

Voila!

Happy Gardening!!