Six on Saturday – Spring Flowers

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Our banishment continues, I was just trying to think of where Napoleon’s exile was…Elba. That sounds pretty good, except it is in Italy. Oh well, I  will just stay here and look at the spring flowers in my garden. I am guessing mine are different from most other Six on Saturday posts. To see other posts for spring flower comparisons, go visit The Propagator at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Above, I started with a Florida classic, the Hibiscus. This is an old fashioned red that is decades old in my garden.

Below, a flower on the Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia purpurea). This is my neighbor’s tree – you can tell by the foliage how dry it has been here.

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This is a Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida) a funky plant – about 18″ wide and 5 feet tall. I have it in a narrow space. The flowers do look like coral and the foliage looks like marijuana.

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Miss Alice Bougainvillea is just starting to flower. I waited a long  time to find a nearly thornless Bougainvillea and here she is. You still need gloves for pruning, just not rose gloves.

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There are several Justicia (Shrimp Plants) I grow as perennials. This is called Mexican Bush Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera), it is a shrub – about four feet tall currently.

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Last, but not least, the flower of the Adonidia Palm (Veitchia merrilli). On the left side of the trunk is the bud.

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Hopefully everyone is making the best of our global exile and working in the garden. I realized I should make a list – there are so many little details to work on. I am making broth and soup this afternoon. I bought a 22 lb turkey and cooked it this week for many future turkey sandwiches and soups. My husband smoked the thighs and I saved the carcass to make broth. In the kitchen for me this afternoon. I am proud that I was able to stop myself from posting large turkey pictures and making political comments. Well, not quite.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Bone Dry

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The hose has seen a lot of action this week. I  don’t recall the last time it rained, this is the last 6 weeks of our dry season. I have a irrigation system and detest hand watering – the exception, I will water containers. I am watering in the garden after the irrigation runs. I have also been enjoying sitting in the garden, away from the news.

The Roselle (Florida Cranberry Hibiscus) my neighbor grew is waiting for moister weather to be planted. Though, I think they might prefer to get their feet in the ground. This is a Hibiscus with edible leaves and flowers, most commonly used for tea. I haven’t grown it or eaten it, it is an annual here.

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I have seen birds and butterflies looking for water in my fountain, so I cleaned and filled it. Always a negotiation with the pump and leveling the container so it doesn’t pump itself dry.

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My so called lawn, you can see how far the irrigation goes.

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No, I don’t hand water this. This is the Greyhound zone and they don’t care.

A few things seem  to be enjoying the weather. The culinary Bay Leaf is putting on some new leaves; I am cooking with them as I write my post.

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This Lotusleaf Begonia is almost 5 feet tall and a mad tropical accent plant. I think the leaves will look better with some rain.

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That’s my Six this Saturday – go and visit The Propagator to see more..www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Hope everyone has enough to do in the garden and stays amongst the plants.

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.

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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.

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Buds inside the cup of the Blushing Bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae). The blushing is more exciting than the flowers.

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Flower of Little Harv Bromeliad (Aechmea ‘Little Harv’) . The  flower stalk is nearly 3 feet tall, I would like to see Big Harv.

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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.

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Dragonfruit (Hylocereus) just starting to climb a fence post. These are a night blooming cactus that produce a somewhat odd fruit, sometimes called Pitcaya.

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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.

Six on Saturday – Like a Lion

March is coming in like a lion in South Florida. There is a steady 20 mph northeasterly wind blowing today. The wind is coming from the Atlantic Ocean, making it a bit chilly despite clear blue skies. I think Alan the Greyhound has the best idea about what to do this Saturday morning.

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The fruit and flowers are coming along in the garden. The pineapple seems a little bigger every day.

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The Pickering Mango – a condo Mango, known for small size and high yield is doing a magnificent job at both. About four feet tall; setting fruit and putting out more flowers. Last year the squirrels got 2/3 of the fruit.

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My neighbor grew some Petunia exserta from seed I gave her and gifted some seedlings to my garden. The first flowers:

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This grouping is next to the Petunias, it is turning into a hot colors butterfly garden. Gallardia, a little Tropical Red Salvia and Penta lanceolata. I would like some more of the Pentas, does anyone know how to propagate these? While I like this picture, the Pentas are not terribly clear, the blurry reds in the background.

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Last, but not least. The obligatory Bromeliad from my garden. This is a Neoregelia with a really odd name that completely escapes me. Another one I bought somewhere for 5 bucks; its sole purpose – to catch the sunlight in the afternoon. The rest of the bed is a bit dark.

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There are my Six this Saturday, to see more posts follow THE LINK to Propagator Blog.

I will be joining Alan the Greyhound in a nap shortly.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Lessons Learned

Gardening is a learning experience that never ends. This Saturday’s Six represent my most recent lessons.

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Lesson 1:  Build it and they will come is true of butterfly gardening. I have been planting for  pollinators for about six years. This is my first White Peacock butterfly.

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Lesson 2: Tree Spinach cuttings root really fast and I don’t think I am going to eat any. A friend gave me these cuttings two weeks ago, they are growing and putting out flower buds already. Tree Spinach or Chaya is a very healthy tropical vegetable, filled with cyanide unless you cook it and then it’s OK. The vapors from cooking are also toxic, and if cooked in a aluminum pan the broth will give you diarrhea. The nectar in the flowers is very nutritious for butterflies-leaving this one to the butterflies.

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Lesson 3: I really dislike Culantro. The plant in the lower part of the picture is Culantro, I bought this to try as I love Cilantro and this is supposedly easier to grow. It is easy to grow – unfortunately tasting like soap. The first time I have picked herbs out of my lunch. My husband was appalled. The plant sharing the pot is Dill, decimated by last night’s Italian Wedding Soup.

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Lesson 4: I like Jaboticabas. I ate a few from this tree. A tropical fruit tree also known as Brazilian Grape Tree. It flowers and bears fruit on its trunk. The fruit is like Scuppernong Grapes with a big seed. This one is in a nursery, I have one in my garden – they are well known for taking years to produce fruit; still waiting.

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Lesson 5: Rabbits like spinach and will raid the garden regardless of patrolling Greyhounds.

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Lesson 6: Wind will blow over a tripod of even the thickest bamboo if the Passionfruit vine is big enough. Time to move this.

That is my Six this Saturday. Follow this link to the Propagators blog to see more posts like it. THELINK

 

 

Six on Saturday – Hallelujah

Time for six pictures of what going on in my garden. I am joining in with gardeners from around the world on The Propagators blog, follow this link to see more posts THELINK

The Hallelujah Billbergia Bromeliad has finally bloomed. Flowers and foliage don’t get much crazier than this one:

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Here is another Bromeliad flower, I think of these as the tropical version of tulips. Meet Quesnelia testudo, this one has very sharp foliage and one of  the hardiest of  the Bromeliads, surviving 25 degrees (F).

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Another Bromeliad, an unnamed Guzmania in full flower.

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The seedling of a Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea) growing in my Tiki. I need  to take  this out soon.

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A bud of yet another Bromeliad, ‘Little Harv’ Aechmea. These are yellow and pink when in full flower.

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My Leonitis flower, I am very pleased about this one I started it from seed last year and it has straight stocky stems. The plants from last year were curved and languished on the ground when flowering.

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That’s my six this very windy day. The wind has been howling since yesterday morning. It is a north wind so gusty it blew the Papayas off the tree and the cushions off the chairs on the screen porch. No gardening today for me.

Six on Saturday – Pole Beans and Papayas

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.

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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.

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This is a Pickering, a condo Mango – dwarf varieties that bear fruit early.

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A pineapple flower, just starting.

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Buds on the Lotusleaf Begonia

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And  buds on the Leonitis, I love these spiky ball buds and flowers. I am proud of these, started from seed in September.

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That’s my six from South Florida.

Happy Gardening.