Six on Saturday – Seeds of Change

I am joining the Six on Saturday crew today featuring seeds. I started planting tomato seeds this week for my fall garden and noticed many plants producing seed in the garden. As usual, the tropical plants behave differently and the seeds start early, perhaps to catch the end of the rainy season and get a better chance at life?

This is Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana) – a shrub native to the Southeastern US. The berries are more spectacular in Florida, I think and locals make (I am told) tasteless jam from the fruit.

Flowers on a Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebellini). These palms will produce dates. but are dioecious. I am not sure if this is the male or female flower.

Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simarouba) berries, I suppose. These remind me of Crabapples, the birds love them. The Gumbo Limbo is sometimes called the Tourist Tree because of its flaky, red “sunburned” bark.

Firebush (Hamelia patens), this one flowers and fruits simultaneously; birds enjoy the fruit, bees and butterflies the flowers. I can hear the shrub buzzing first thing in the morning.

Seeds forming on Sabal Palm (Palmetto sabal). These seeds eventually turn black and fall to the ground. Native Americans ground the husks into flour.

My neighbor grew these Roselles from seed. This is a tropical vegetable, a relative of Hibiscus and Okra. The foliage is edible; new leaves are reminscent of Arugula and the older leaves can be cooked as greens. The calyx of the flower is what these are usually grown for – they are burgundy colored and are used as a substitute for cranberries in the tropics. These were planted as seedlings in May and are now 4′ tall. Waiting for flowers and ‘cranberries’ – hoping for Roselle relish for Thanksgiving.

That is my six for this Saturday. To see more posts visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Six on Saturday – Preparation H

My husband and I spent last night and this morning securing our house and garden in preparation of the arrival of Hurricane Isaias. It is quite literally a pain in the ….here he is installing storm shutters:

Every window on the house is covered with corrugated aluminum shutters secured with pins cast into concrete window frames and wing nuts. Anything loose in the garden has to be turned over to catch the least possible wind. The teak coffee table has assumed dead cockroach position near the house. I have turned all the garden furniture over, then picked up all the loose bits and nursery pots I have left lying about.

Why, oh, why do I have so many cushions?

For the porch furniture and seating for greyhounds, of course. Piled up to avoid wind gusts.

I ran across this map recently, we live on the Treasure Coast of Florida, so named because of all the shipwrecks just offshore. Caused by – you guessed it, hurricanes. And lack of Preparation. People find gold coins at the beach from time to time.

I have one pretty flower for this Saturday, this is called either a Flaming Torch or Hurricane Bromeliad. It’s a Billbergia pyramidalis. Appropriately prepared for the hurricane.

Isaias is predicted to pass by here tomorrow, time will tell how the garden fares.

I am joining Jon the Propagator and gang for Six on Saturday; sharing six pictures of what is going on in my garden this Saturday. To see more Saturday posts, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening from the Treasure Coast!!

Six on Saturday-Porch Pots

I am joining The Propagator this Saturday with six items of interest from my front porch. I use my porches for propagation and composed containers. Above is one of my containers with Zinnias, Gold Sedum and Flapjack Kalanchoe for the summer.

I found a strawberry pot by the side of the road and decided to plant it with succulents. Here is a Graptosedum taking hold in the side pocket.

The top of the strawberry pot has a Haworthia along the edge. A friend gifted me this one, I am not sure which Haworthia it is, I hope it flowers.

The Neoregelia Bromeliad in the pot is in mid pupping, the mother plant on the left side is dying as the new pups takes over the container. The Graptosedums also have some offspring.

Here is a close up of the Dwarf Cheniile Plant (Acalypha pendula). This plant can be used as a groundcover here, but I have it planted as a spiller in a container.

I propagate plants on the front porch as well. From the left, a bit of ‘Song of India’ Dracaena I found by the side of the road and three Desert Rose cuttings taken while pruning bigger plants I have in containers at another entrance to my house. The Roses are slowly rooting while leaning on the wall.

That is my six for this Saturday, join the meme or see posts from around the world at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – The Front Garden

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My front garden is composed of hot colors, oranges, reds and apricots. Of course a few other colors have crept in, but for the most part it is hot colors for a hot climate. In keeping with the spirit of heat – above is the Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens), planted by birds in a perfect foundation planting placement.

Imagine my surprise when looking at a real estate website one day I found this picture of my garden (Thanks, Google)  with me in my usual position.

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The nearly year round flowering Dwarf Red Ixora (Ixora ‘Dwarf Red’) is at its peak during the summer months, bees and butterflies love it.

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Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria) adds grey foliage color and texture and flowers just about quarterly.

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More foliage interest is provided by Crotons in two varieties. Codiaeum varigatum ‘Pie Crust’ is below.

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The other Croton is Mammey…

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Happy Gardening from my front yard!

To see more Six on Saturday posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday – Blue Blazes

It’s time for Six on Saturday, a post about six items of interest in the garden, anything at all, shared with gardeners around the world.

To view the collection visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

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One of my father’s favorite summertime sayings “It is hot as blue blazes”. I have no idea where that came from. Maybe New England where he was from. I can confirm it is hot as blue blazes in South Florida in July, though there is a nice breeze coming off the ocean currently.

Above is one of my favorite summer flowers, the Parrotflower (Heliconia psittacorum)

Another Heliconia is flowering in my garden, the Lobsterclaw Heliconia (Heliconia rostrata)

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I have been harvesting fruit. My first pineapple, cute and ripening on the counter along with Purple Possum Passionfruit. Say that 10 times fast..

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The Bromeliads are doing their thing, some just looking great in summer colors and some flowers. This is an unknown Neoregelia.

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The Blanchetiana Aechmea Bromeliads are shooting up buds, these are about five feet tall now and will get a little bigger and fully open in November. The flowers usually last until May.

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Another Aechmea Bromeliad, the Miniata. These are very reliable July bloomers, many Bromeliads have a mind of their own when deciding to flower – the Blanchetiana above took about six years to decide to bloom…the Miniata start out red and then get cobalt blue tips. Interesting to watch and they last a long time as cut flowers. The foliage is a bit scorched from two weeks without rain and some wind.

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That is my six. Happy Gardening and stay cool…

Six on Saturday – The Rainforest Garden

I started this garden several years ago, the idea was to recreate a rainforest using mostly colors and textures in shades of plum and green with a few pops of color. My Living Room looks into this space so the plants are placed around the windows to shape views from the inside and outside. Here is what I started with:

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I referred to this ‘landscape’ as the beach with weeds. The glob of plant material on the right side had to be removed with a bobcat – I poked around at it with loppers for a while then gave up and had everything scraped out. The existing irrigation was capped off and I installed above ground tubing and microspray heads to keep the water off the walkway and be very efficient. The sand holds very little water and is mostly unamended – plant material was chosen carefully to cope with the conditions.

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I planted the areas around the walk, and then hired a contractor to install plastic edging. I installed the fabric, then leveled the sand, added stepping stones and shell gradually. I have a crushed shell driveway and had a pile of leftover shell. This is 2018.

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Later in 2018 with the walkway completed. I am not sure how long all that took, though I remember it was many tiny wheelbarrows of shell…

Here it is today, I am standing under an Avocado tree planted about 4 years ago.

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One of the plum and green Bromeliad beds:

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Looking back, I am amazed at how quickly the garden has grown in and enjoy sitting in the garden with a glass of wine frequently.

For more Six on Saturday posts visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com…

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Tropical Summer

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One of the wonderful things about South Florida in summer are the tropical flowers that love heat and humidity. Above is a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum). This is native to Arabia and Africa and is a rare container plant that can stay outside all summer in the full blazing sun.

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The Bougainvilleas are spilling colorful flowers on arbors and trellis. This is Miss Alice Bougainvillea, the flower is the small part, the white bracts surrounding the flower are what make the show.

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Another favorite, the Bridal Bouquet Frangipani (Plumeria pudica). I have these near the entries to my house, they have a light, sweet fragrance most noticable at night or early in the morning.

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This is actually fruit, Sea Grapes (Coccoloba uvifera). These grow just about anywhere in South Florida, usually seen near the coast as it is very salt tolerant. The fruit ripens to brown and tastes a bit like figs, however the seed is nearly as big as the grape – for me, it is too much trouble to eat them.

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Finally, this is my favorite summer flower – my neighbor grows Cattleya Orchids in her Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia purpurea). I am trying to get some going in a palm tree, no flowers as of yet. Here is a closer view.

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That my six this Saturday from humidity central. To see more Six on Saturday posts visit The Propagator at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Shrubbery Lurking

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I am taking a native pollinators class online. I completed the bee section and was instructed to take photos of three different bees in my backyard. Little did I know how much time I was going to spend lurking in the shrubbery taking blurry pictures of  bugs. I did find it interesting to see how much was going on in the shrubbery. Above is a honey bee, the only identification I am certain of. The bee is collecting pollen from a Firebush (Hamelia patens)

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Another  bee, I think it is a Carpenter Bee. Bees, unfortunately are identified by the amount of hair and differences in stripes on their bodies – and most are striped and hairy. This bee is collecting pollen from a Dune Sunflower (Helianthus debilis)

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This bee is perhaps a Longhorned bee, because of its long antennae. But, I am not sure. It is however, striped and hairy. Mr. (or Miss) Longhorn here is collecting pollen from a Sweet Almond flower (Aloysia virgata)

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A fly I mistook for a green metallic bee. There are green metallics bees in Florida and they are nearly impossible to photograph.

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A tiny wasp on a Sweet Begonia flower.

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A garden spider waiting on a Gallardia flower for an unsuspecting pollinator.

As for the rest of the garden, we have had 9 inches of rain this week and it is soggy and  green.

To see more Six on Saturday posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

 

Six on Saturday – Rain Total – 12 inches

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We had one very stormy day and some tremendous thunderstorms this week. I decided to check our local rainfall totals for the past week – 12.04 inches. Wow. The glut of precipation has refreshed the garden and inspired new growth and flowers.

Above is the Barometer Bush (Luecophyllum frutescens) – supposedly the flowers indicate rain is on the way. Oh, boy.

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The White Frangipani (Plumeria) tree has opened its first set of flowers. I am not tall enough to get a good picture.

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Hawaiian Snow Bush (Breynia nivosa) is putting out new foliage – frosted with ‘snow’. I bought this to replace one of my favorite shrubs I live too far south to grow, Burgundy Loropetalum. It is doing and admirable job so far.

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A Thyrallis (Galphimia glauca) with its first flower. I very nearly killed this by leaving it in my plant orphanage too long. This is a native shrub, a great pollinator plant and is usually covered in yellow flowers (if you remember to plant it). I was surprised to see this sold as a summer annual in Atlanta.

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The Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata) has greened up magnificentally and is filled with fragrant white flowers.

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Last, but not least, a bounty of Rain Lily (Zephyranthes) flowers followed the rain.

That is my six on this, so far, sunny Saturday. For more posts, go and visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening.

Six on Saturday – Florida Foliage Fun

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There is some marvelously funky foliage that can be grown in Florida. I have succumbed to more that one plant for its foliage alone. The flowers, for the most part, are less than inspiring. Above is a Mammey Croton (Codieaum varigegatum ‘Mammey’). These are dwarf and grow to about 3 feet. They are a foundation planting next to my peach painted house. It’s  tropical fun.

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The leaves of a Louisiana Red Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana ‘Louisiana Red’) These are new to my garden, six feet is the mature height, I hope. They are at the back of the butterfly garden.

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This is a ‘Raggedy Ann’ Copperleaf, it wasn’t big enough as a mass of color and not being able to find another I put the Louisiana Red beside it. I think this will work out.

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Six on Saturday would not be complete without including a Bromeliad. This is a unnamed Neoregelia I enjoy for its  color and size, it is about 2 feet wide.

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Another Croton, the Piecrust Croton. Planted in honor of my husband, the piemaker. The leaf edges are crimped like a piecrust.

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The groundcover in my Rainforest garden is Zebrina Wandering Jew (Transcandentia zebrina) a common interior hanging basket plant. This is nearly indestructible and thrives in sugar sand.

That’s my six for this Saturday. To see more SOS posts from the world over, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!