More Crotons – Codiaeum variegatum

More Crotons
There are many different varieties of Croton, the names range from Sloppy Painter to Mrs. Robinson (not sure I even want to know the reason for that name!)

Here is a picture of two additional types of Crotons. On the left side, the Petra Croton, which grows to 8-10 feet and has many uses as a large shrub. I often see these planted and pruned into being ugly because they are naturally taller. This plant has a coarse texture and pruning chews up the leaves.
So, remember, if you want something tall..plant something tall, don’t beat it up for being tall.

On the right is the Gold Dust Croton, I would tend to use this more as an accent plant – both of these shrubs would look wonderful in a tapestry style hedge planting.

It is strange, there is another Gold Dust plant..Gold Dust Aucuba. It is one of those you love it or you hate it plants. This particular shrub will not make it in South Florida but it does from South Georgia almost to Chicago..One of the more opinionated plants around, usually “my Grandma had those and I hate em”
Well, a little Gold Dust in a dark corner is a good thing it a Croton or an Aucuba.

Orange houses with orange plants

One good (or bad-depending on your perspective) thing about South Florida is there is absolutely no wrong ┬ácolor to paint your house. I am suspicious our house was painted a color called ‘Chowder” we found in the garage, the paint color in the bucket could only be described as fluorescent. Seemingly the years and tropical sun have turned it to a more reasonable Pumpkin Creme that I actually like.

We lived in the northern suburbs of Atlanta for almost twenty years. Five, four and a door was the typical house. Five windows upstairs, four down and a front door. Mostly painted Khaki with Cream trim, unless it was Grey with Cream trim. Sometimes the houses were built of brick, this causes much trepidation among the ladies about flower colors and if it clashes with the house colors. I cannot confess to ever being offended by Red Impatiens planted near a red brick house. However, many people are.

We relocated to the Treasure Coast in an area with no Homeowners Association. I am really enjoying the creativity of the general public. Colors, mailboxes and ‘entry features’ are no longer super homogenized into brown and safe. We have a blueprint blue house with Red Poncianas and Ixoras planted in front and a sort of Hawaiian theme house next door, mermaids adorn another nearby and some people on the water have a buoy they paint with cartoon characters during different seasons. All of this I really enjoy, the one thing that freaks me out is the orange house with orange plants in front. It is just way too much orange. This is a Ranch house with a red brick foundation, burnt orange siding and a foundation planting of Orange Crotons. Whoa, maybe somebody is a Florida Gator that really just went too far.

Septic Thoughts

Septic thoughts sounds almost like a medical problem. It is not. Once you become an owner of a septic tank you begin to have septic thoughts. Hmmmm, should I flush this? ┬áThen you find out the previous owner of the house smoked cigarettes whilst he sat on the throne and flushed them…eventually clogging the filter long after he was sitting there. Unpleasant at the very least, the noises emanating from the plumbing sound very much like a cat having furballs. One quickly realizes it is time to call a professional.

Then, being an unsuspecting former surburbanite, you are informed ‘only biodegradable things’ must go into the system. That sounds simple enough until you begin to find out the details..eggshells never break down, any sort of bones are verboten..oddly enough, toe nail clippings are biodegradable and can also be composted. Think a garbage grinder is great – it is until you find out if it is used as intended the tank has to be pumped out twice as often. I always thought those compost pails with charcoal filter lids for use by the kitchen sink were kind of nasty and still do..fortunately I have always been a devoted composter and I have started a pile. The lack of deciduous tree leaves is kind of a downer here but my husband tends to produce a lot of wood shavings so I am trying those. No actual compost as of yet but these things take time. So, off to the compost heap.