South Florida, being true to its tropical spirit, heated back up this week and the garden responded. It was 85 F/29.4 C here yesterday. The locals were pronouncing spring had arrived.
Above is what I call my Jurassic Begonia, it started sending up flowers this week, the stems are almost five feet long! This is actually called a Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia) seemingly a roadside weed in parts of Central America – this is difficult for me to imagine.
A closer view of the flower.
The flower of a pink ornamental pineapple. The foliage is green and burgundy striped and the pineapple is miniature and will remain pink. These are too small to eat, but can be juiced if you are so inclined. I usually cut them and use them in flower arrangements. They dry well as tiny brown pineapples.
The Hard Cane Dendrobium Orchid I mounted in the Gumbo Limbo tree has produced a bud. The anticipation is building. I covered this during the cold snap.
Flowers on a Dracaena reflexa just starting to open. They have a wonderful scent. The buds are burgundy and the flowers are white.
I have finally grown some Cilantro! Now I hate to eat it, it took forever.
Some days it seems I am the one going to seed. Maybe people are like plants, some look better than others while going to seed.. The tropical Lotusleaf Begonias (Begonia nelumbifolia) are one of my favorites when going to seed. They make lovely triangular, chartreusy seed heads that tower above the foliage. I have never had a Begonia grow from a seed dropped in my garden, but it is entirely possible I have not left them on the plant long enough.
A closer view:
I started out with the idea of using a hand tied bouquet to make the Begonias stand upright – then the slant grew on me and I added foliage to emphasize the non-political right slant.
The crystal vase, a wedding gift from a dear friend who I worked on perennial gardens with in Atlanta. The left leaning plants in the arrangement are: in black with coral spotted leaves, Piecrust Croton (Codieum varigatum). This shrub is used as a foliage accent in the garden. The new growth is yellow and green and eventually darkens. An amazing variety of colors exist in this well loved tropical shrub. Maybe the left lean is appropriate. The ferns, added for a green, graphic backdrop are from Florida’s native Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata). The day after the US Presidential election, my right leaning neighbor came out with his weedeater and cut the ferns in my garden down. The reason for this remains a mystery to me. The trimming rejuvenated the Boston Fern. The two strap like leaves are from a Neoregelia Bromeliad that is also on its way out. I cannot tell in some cases when to cut the mother plant off and get rid of it. Bromeliads are peculiar in the way they reproduce. I buy a plant, it may or may not flower, sooner or later a side shoot appears, called a pup, and then the original (Mother) plant dies. The pup on this one is nearly as big as the mother plant. The Neoregelia Bromeliad:
The Neoregelia Bromeliad in the front of the image is the mother plant, you guessed it, going to seed! I should add; very few Bromeliad have produced seed in my garden, though it happens. I am told growing Bromeliads from seed is a long, excruciating process – it’s better to use the pups for new plants.
This is a Zinderella Peach Zinnia – these seeds are open pollinated, the flowers are fully double, semi double and single. None of them look like the photo on the seed package.
First ever buds on the Rangpur Lime tree. My neighbor planted the seed five years ago – it is seemingly well known it takes five years from seed to fruit. I have a Cuban Avocado tree the same age, they flower until April. I am watching the Avocado daily, leaf buds so far. I am excited about limes from the garden. The holes in the leaves are from Giant Swallowtail butterflies, citrus are the larval host plant.
The Jurassic Begonia is flowering..it is really a Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbiifolia). It is easily four feet tall.
A Ylang Ylang tree (Cananga odorata) acclimating to sun, waiting for determination of its final location. This is the flower that supplies the fragrance for Chanel No. 5 perfume. The directions stated it takes one, two or three years to flower. Waiting some more….
A new spring container planting. This has brightened my day everytime I see it. In purple, Mona Lavendar Plectranthus, the chartruese is another Plectranthus (can’t we just call them Coleus!?) Peach Impatiens, a white Begonia and a bit of Graptosedum for the spiller.
My first Nasturtiums, I kept planting them at the wrong time of year..going to try some poor mans capers from the seeds. Should be another first.
It’s time for Six on Saturday. A garden meme based in the UK; hosted by The Propagator. The concept is to post photos of six items of interest from your garden. Follow this link to see more:THE LINK.
I have flowers, fruits and vegetables coming along in my garden. Today I had a papaya for breakfast and picked pole beans. I may make a Papaya Seed dressing for the beans later, this papaya had especially peppery seeds.
The Mango trees are busy making fruit and they are big enough to see the difference in varieties. This is a Nam Doc Mai, a fiberless Thai dessert Mango.
This is a Pickering, a condo Mango – dwarf varieties that bear fruit early.
A pineapple flower, just starting.
Buds on the Lotusleaf Begonia
And buds on the Leonitis, I love these spiky ball buds and flowers. I am proud of these, started from seed in September.