SOS once again. This week I am exploring the culinary benefits of tending my garden. I grew all the vegetables and herbs in the dishes and enjoying the bounty. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com
This is dill crusted salmon with fresh tomato and herb balsamic pasta and steamed green beans.
Green bush beans. I have finally figured out I need twelve plants to have two decent sized servings of beans for dinner. This is my second crop of beans this winter.
A very funky yellow pear tomato. These seem to produce better fruit if fertilized bi weekly instead of weekly?
New to the garden and my first ever pepper success. Meet the wrinkly Criollo pepper. Native to Central American and essential to Ecuadoran cuisine, these are very tasty. I am thinking Chicken Cacciotore for dinner.
Nasturtium finally produced a flower…a future sandwich or salad topping.
My very first, tiny, Sugar Baby Watermelon. Here’s hoping I can get enough water on it.
That’s it from South Florida. Two hours til lunch!
Above is an underside view of a Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) opening. Eventually the flower hangs down from the branch. These flower every February and a few other times during the year at their discretion.
Long Island Mammoth Dill flower. I am not sure if I should cut this off or let it go to seed. The dill has been wonderful and is recommended for winter in Florida.
A perversely peachy Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea). One of my favorite reseeding flowers. Probably hasn’t had water in weeks.
Here is the red flower…Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis) I like the texture of this plant, though it is kind of gangly, and dangly.
Sugar Baby Watermelon flower. Hoping for some fruit! I am trying to grow these on a teak stool to keep them off the ground. Time will tell.
A blessing and a curse, white wildflower, Bidens alba. The blessing, an indestructible, happy prolific flowering plant. The curse, the same, and it can produce 1200 seeds per plant providing Bidens sod.
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.
First, we have flowers. I focused on flowers this Saturday as there is a possibility of another f word – frost, in frostfree areas of Florida. That’s seven f words – though I will probably think of some more as I am covering orchids and tomato plants for our overnight low. The low is predicted at 37 degrees F., with 35 mph gusty winds. I am not thinking about the wind chill. Not doing it. I had to search for shoes this morning as I always wear sandals; astonished to find some currently fashionable Chuck Taylor style sneakers that must be ten years old!
I’ll admit the shoes looked better in the dark corner of my closet. Maybe I saved them for gardening prior to discovering plastic Birkenstocks, the mysteries continue.
On to January flowers, that will hopefully be here in February.
‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea is in full bloom.
I started some Balsam Impatiens from seed and transplanted them into the garden last week. They are just starting to flower.
Another Balsam Impatiens. I think these will be hardy if the temps stay above freezing. They look like big Snapdragons to me.
Dwarf Chenille Plant (Acalypha pendula) this is underplanting a Malaysian Orchid. These two are spending the night in the bathtub.
‘Little Harv’ Aechmea Bromeliad flowers; one of my winter favorites. It seems all the Bromeliads should be fine. It is recommended to fill their cups with water prior to cold weather. This seems counterintuitive to me but I did it anyway.
Saturdays are more fun when I share six items of interest from my South Florida garden. Florida means flowery in Spanish and we have abundant flowers year round here. Here are a few flowers and colorful plants appearing in January.
Flowers on the White Geiger (Cordia boisseriei). This semi evergreen small tree produces flowers on a whim, usually during the winter.
Snake Plants, Mother in Law Tongues, all Sanseviera flower in winter. These grow wild in South Florida and are considered invasive. The flowers have a lovely, sweet scent and don’t last very long.
The Jurassic, huge (5 feet across) Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbo) is shooting up buds.
Winter color on a Neoregelia Bromeliad. This green Bromeliad, a found plant, has been in the garden for several years. This is the first time it has shown color, allowing me to begin figuring out what it is. Where I found it, I do not recall!
Miss Alice Bougainvillea is flowering again and is sporting a Tillandsia bromeliad on her trunks.
A flower spike on Flapjack Kalanchoes. These have a nice fragrance and eventually turn into little plants.
Time to join the SOS crowd again and share the going ons in my South Florida garden. The first few months of the year much of the tropical fruit flowers and many of the reseeding perennials set seed. The winter veg crops are also starting to produce.
The first tiny mangoes to appear on our Glenn Mango tree. I am happy to see the fruit, some years it is so windy the pollen gets blown away and no mangoes. The saying goes 100 days from flower to fruit, so we will see how that works out. The mangoes are early this year by about two months. Fingers crossed.
These are heirloom peppers from Nicaragua, Criollos. They will be wrinkled and red when ripe and are a standard in Ecudoran cuisine. I am very excited to try one.
Snow Peas grown from seed are climbing and flowering. I love the French version of the name for this vegetable, mange-tout. That translates to eat all in English as the whole pod is eaten. I will eat them all.
Papayas are bravely producing more buds. The Versa Moths have been around (they lay eggs in the fruit) Hopefully, they know something I don’t – and I will beat them to the fruit.
Currently eating – tomatoes, green beans and herbs.
Tropical Milkweed sharing its seed to the wind. I collected some seed and let the rest fly. Next, I will cut them to the ground to create some fresh growth to feed Monarch butterflies.
There are many things to relish about the winter garden in South Florida. Above is actually relish! This is Roselle/Apple/Pecan relish made from Roselles grown in my garden. We ate it on Christmas Eve with the classic American meal – turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans.
I have been enjoying vases and vases of flowers from these two, Globe Amaranth and Green Envy Zinnias. This one has culinary Fennel (not from the garden) I ate that, too.
The bag garden continues to recieve additions. This bag has Sugar Baby Watermelons underplanted with Bush Beans. Theoretically, the beans will fix nitrogen and feed the watermelons. I am going to, hopefully, train the watermelons up the hefty bamboo teepees and tie the fruit on with slings. The fruit weighs eight pounds, so this should be interesting.
Hopefully, these are the first fruit buds on the Cuban Avocado. A friend grew this from seed, it is the rare Avocado that is true to seed, they are usually grafted. It is now five years old and at the proper age to bear fruit. Fingers crossed.
A very typical sight on my front porch. A Anole lizard sunning on a pot of succulents. The succulents are, in bud, a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) and a Fish hook Senecio.
Not exactly the image the words “winter wonderland” conjure up? Welcome to South Florida and 2022’s first edition of Six on Saturday. To see more, probably wintry garden scenes from garden bloggers in more northern climes, follow the link http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.
The flower above is a Billbergia Bromeliad, species ‘garage sale’ – though I suspect it is called ‘Purple Haze’. The foliage is purple, striped sideways sporting flowers of red, white and blue and flowering in January. Pretty trippy.
The next tropical surprise of the morning – ‘Chociana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum ‘Chociana’) I am still wondering what Chociana is. Note the bonus spider inside the flower.
I have been enjoying this magnificent Tropical Hydrangea for a couple of weeks. It is a Dombeya wallachii and about 15 feet tall.
The vegetable garden is doing well, I have been picking tomatoes daily for a week or so, the birds have beat me to them once, diligence is key.
Planning to thin my second crop of radishes this morning. These are my favorite, French breakfast.
Welcome to SOS, December 11, 2021 edition. It is warm and sunny in South Florida and the birds, bees and flowers are enjoying the blue skies. So is the gardener. Though it could be a little cooler (83 F today), are we ever happy with the weather? I am joining Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com with the SOS crowd linking to his blog. Follow the link for more garden fun.
I had to share my Malaysian Orchid in full bloom today. This is an amazing sight and the bees are enjoying the flowers. I finally got a picture of the elusive green orchid bee.
This is a very active, flitting bee. I stood and waited to take the picture. These bees are native to Central and South American and are thought to have been introduced to Florida in 2003 via a nest in a wood pallet from Mexico. There are a fair number in my garden.
The bag garden is producing cut flowers and vegetables for me this week. We have been eating green beans, radishes and tomatoes – it is time to plant a second crop of radishes and beans. I am rooting tomato suckers for a later crop of tomatoes. Here is a sunflower and below, the Cactus Zinnias.
The Papaya decapitated last spring is flowering again. The flowers so far are female, they are usually self pollinating hermaphrodite flowers – so, it will be interesting to see if it is self limiting the fruit production due to the pruning.
The hard cane dendrobium orchid I installed in a Gumbo LImbo tree has started budding. I am wondering how long this will take to flower???
I have been inivted to share flowers from my garden daily for a week by Cathy at Words and Herbs on WordPress. The idea is to brighten winter days and add some color to our cyberworld. Follow this link to see more flowers from around the world. https://wp.me/p1RJ1n-5Ya
I have chosen winter tropicals from my South Florida garden for today. Above is Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) a favorite of mine that can flower three times a year if in the mood.
This is a winter flowering Bromeliad, Quesnelia testudo. I think of these as tulips for the tropical garden. They flower in February and March and are reliable for returning and increasing in mass over time. The downside? One very sharp thorn on the end of every leaf.
Thanks to Cathy for hosting. Happy Gardening or flower watching this week.