Six on Saturday – Stormy Benefits

SOS time again! Six items of interest to share with fellow gardeners from all over. To see other SOS posts, follow this link

Warm and cold weather fronts crashing together from the Atlantic Ocean and elsewhere caused some mad weather in my South Florida garden this week. Neighbors were saying a mini hurricane hit our area, evidenced by 85 mph wind gusts and flying lawn furniture. The rain brought about some welcome changes to the garden.

Schomburgkia Orchids burst into flower and managed to stay attached to the Gumbo Limbo tree.

Blue Daze Evolvulus finally in full flower. These have been in the garden for years and rarely look like this. I have been wondering what to do with them and I am thinking lots of water is the answer.

Native Purslane popping up in the flower border. A weed I like, I am told it is edible – but haven’t tried it.

‘Bossa Nova’ Neoregelia enjoys the sunshine following the storms. I recently discovered these are supposed to grow in full sun. I moved them and we will see. I am not sure why it just seems odd to grow bromeliads in full sun. To me, anyway.

Another bromeliad basking in the sunshine. ‘Fireball’ Neoregeli; usually grown as groundcover for their foliage colors – varying from green to red depending on light conditions. These are in a container with Brown Eyed Girl Sunflowers.

‘White Flame’ Salvia with a Red Cypress Vine growing up the side. I suppose I should separate these two. Black and Bloom Salvia in the background. The butterflies are starting to enjoy all of these flowers.

That is it for this week. Next week’s weather is looking good for gardening. I am hoping the dragonflies show up soon to eat the mosquitoes that came along with the rain.

Happy Gardening!!


Six on Saturday – Turkey Tangle Frogfruit

I am joining the SOS gang this week with my latest garden adventure. Weather in South Florida is transitioning from Not Summer into Summer, rain showers have started back up, the humidity is up and a platoon of mosquitoes showed up this morning to interrupt my walk. I slathered myself in mosquito spray and braved the onslaught long enough to pot up the Frogfruit cuttings. Hoping for the dragonfly crew to show up soon and dispatch the mosquitoes.

To see more SOS posts, visit Jim at

The Frogfruit:

These don’t look like much right now. I want to get rid of the St. Augustine lawn in my garden. It needs too much of everything, water, sun, fertilizer and I refuse to put weed killers – especially Atrazine on my lawn. Florida, as a state, has mostly ruined their local waterways with lawn chemicals and sewage. And people wonder what happened to all the sea grass that the Manatees eat, duh. Put enough grassy weed killers on the zillions of acres of turf grass on sand and it’s going into the watershed to kill other things, especially the animals that rely on sea grass. The Manatees rely on sea grass and are starving, so the state is feeding them Romaine lettuce. I am so disgusted with these people. So, in my garden the lawn is mostly gone. And really ugly.

Rant is complete.

Turkey Tangle Frog Fruit (Phyla nodiflora) is an evergreen, low growing native wildflower – or weed, depending on who you ask. It is recommended as a lawn replacement in places other than Florida (Texas and California). It is also a host and nectar plant for many butterflies. For some reason, it is extremely difficult to source. I ordered cuttings in January and they just showed up in my mailbox. Now I have potted the rooted cuttings after several days of rehydration. Fingers crossed they grow. Who knew it would be so hard to grow weeds, uh, wildflowers.

The “lawn” as it is. Ugly!

On to prettier things.

Three miniature pineapples and a lizard on a favorite bromeliad. The minature ones are more reliable about fruiting than the big ones, but you can’t really eat them. I have read they can be juiced, but how much juice could really be in there? I like to cut these and let them dry, they are fun additions to flower arrangements.

Another oddity, Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida) The leaves look like marijuana, though the whole plant is very toxic.

A plant combination I like. On the left, the foliage, Golden Duranta (Duranta erecta); grey foliage with yellow ball flowers ‘Golf Beauty’ Craspedia; ‘Mystic Blue’ Salvia and the small yellow flowering plant is a native purslane, I am not sure which one.

Flowers on a Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbiifolia). The leaves on this begonia are easily 18 by 18 inches. It is a great coarse texture accent in the garden – considered a roadside weed in South America, where it inhabits ditches.

That is all from lawnless land in Florida. Thanks to Jim for hosting and..

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Red Lion Roars Again

The Red Lion Amaryllis in my garden is a long ago gift from my father in law, Glenn. He went through forcing bulbs every Christmas, saving them and planting them in the garden and then dividing them and after a while there was a pride of Red Lions. Glenn left us almost fifteen years ago and I still cherish this Amaryllis (he would never call it a Hippeastrum.) It refused to flower for several years, so I moved it to a sunnier spot and the Red Lion is roaring again. I was happy to bring it inside to enjoy in a Monday vase. I was even happier the lion was inside when a rollicking late afternoon thunderstorm roared through.

A closer view of the Lion:

Accompaniments to the Lion:

The white flowers are ‘Miss Alice’ Bougainvillea; orange flowers are Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens). This is a restrained plant palette for me. The vase is my favorite piece of vintage Blue Willow, a teapot from the UK.

The thunderstorms lasted longer than I thought they would – leaving 7 and a half inches of rain behind in a little more than two hours! Lots of roaring here today.

Thank you to Cathy for hosting IAVOM every week and hosting our Zoom meeting yesterday. Such fun to meet other garden bloggers. Follow this link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – The Bugs are Back

Thankfully, we had a couple of inches of rain fall this week. Flowers are bursting out and the buzzing of bees in this flower on my Dwarf Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebellini) caused me to look up and take note. It is a pretty flower though not easy to see unless you are a gardener standing under it looking at other plants. Note the thorns on the stems of the fronds, I wear a hard hat when pruning this one. The butterflies are also back – I have been chasing them but as of yet unable to catch one.

Flowers on the Adonidia Palm (Veitchia merrilli). If left on the palm these get much bigger and turn into bright red fruits in December. This is also called Christmas Palm for that reason. Most people cut them off. There is actually a palm pollen advisory in effect.

The final Ranunculus, about a quarter of the size of the first two. No clue why.

The Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) has been spectacular this year. Again, no idea why.

A Latania Palm (Latania loddigesii) I bought as Blue Latan is probably a Red Latan – due to the red leaf margins. This has been in the garden for years and years and has not developed a trunk. I did not realize how slowly palms grow. I hope to see a tree someday. Right now it is still a shrub – palmetto?

Nam Doc Mai Mango ripening. The wind and rain knocked the mango crop from maybe 50 to about 15, which is normal and expected. I was concerned about what to do with 50! Waiting for one of the 15.

That’s my Six this Saturday from South Florida. Where are yours? To see more SOS posts, visit

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Delicate Dianthus

I have been enjoying the Giant Dianthus plants that I have been keeping on my front porch. I expected them to burn out as soon as the temperatures exceeded 80 degrees. They haven’t, surprising me with fringed flowers in shades of pink almost daily. The snapdragons are still hanging on as well. Laziness and distaste for throwing anything away that might possibly flower made me keep the snaps around. I was rewarded with a few more flowers, dwarf when compared to the earlier ones, but a nice accessory to the delicate dianthus flowers.

The vase belonged to my mother. It was her go-to container for pansies and a perfect size for the dianthus. I am wondering if this was once a jam jar, it has a very jammy vibe. This vase has some wonderful scents, basil flowers, dianthus and salvia; sweet, spicy and herbal. I am enjoying walking by.

The close up:

Giant Dianthus in pink; yellow snaps; a few sprigs of Genovese Basil flowers; ‘White Flame’ Salvia and ‘Golf Beauty’ Craspedia in yellow.

Pink snapdragons, a few sprigs of Tropical Red Salvia in white with Asian Sword Ferns and Asparagus Ferns for greenery.

This is a stuffed jam jar!

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this week (and every week) To see more vase follow this link to her blog.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – The Jesus Lizard

It’s Saturday again and time to share garden happenings. I suppose it is very appropriate to find a Jesus Lizard in the garden during Easter week. I had been seeing a fast moving animal in the garden for a couple of weeks, it appeared to be running on its back legs like a little T Rex dinosaur. I am beginning to think I am seeing things. Things that aren’t there. Finally, it stopped and I was close enough to get a picture.

Here is the lizard. Google was able to identify this as a Brown Basilisk or Jesus Lizard. It does run on its back legs and has paddle shaped feet that make it appear to walk on water if it runs into a lake at high speed, hence the name. These are not native to Florida and considered invasive. Mental health crisis averted. Additional information, if you need it.

I was thrilled to get my second Ranunculus flower.

I am looking forward to eating this pepper. Tonight. My first successful red pepper.

I have been moving bromeliads around this week. A new container of Neoregelia bromeliads was assembled for the porch from random plants in the back garden.

‘Purple Haze’ Billbergia bromeliad added to the front garden. A ring cut from a nursery container supports the plant as it roots into its new space.

I planted three Papayas grown from seed in the back garden. Hopefully a male and female plant emerge from the trees and I get some fruit. These are Mexican Papayas. I have them amongst the pineapples that were gnawed by something. Maybe the Jesus Lizard.

Happy Easter and Happy Gardening!!

To see more SOS posts visit Jim at

In a Vase on Monday – No Salad Here

This is a spring mix of flowers from my garden. Spring mix is a kind of packaged salad greens I am not particularly fond of. Too bitter, I think it is the tatsoi I don’t like, or it is my husband referring to it as yard clippings? Anyway, there is no salad here and one of the cast members in this arrangement is poisonous, so we won’t be eating any of it.

I am pleased to have grown this poisonous Ranunculus, with the innocent sounding common name Persian Buttercup. This one looks like a tiny red rose and there is one more bud outside. This was a total experiment. I am supposed to be too far south to grow these and bought the bulbs at an end of summer sale. The bulbs arrived fried and I put them aside and completely forgot about them until they were desiccated shells. An old pot with soil in it appeared in the back yard and I had a ‘hate to throw things away’ moment and dumped the shells into the pot. An odd rainy, cold snap arrived, chilled and rehydrated the bulbs. Serendipity intervened and this is the first of probably two Ranunculus my garden will ever produce.

The rest of the blue, ‘Black and Bloom’ Salvia; white spikes, ‘White Flame’ Salvia; pink and white fringed flowers, Giant Dianthus; a little Pink Snapdragon; green Envy and pink Zinnias; the red Ranunculus; yellow ‘Golf Beauty’ Craspedia, and a few bits of Asparagus Fern. The vase was a gift from my older brother.

Thanks to Cathy at for hosting this weekly garden meme. To see more vases, follow the link.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Tropical Fun

I am joining the SOS gang once again at Jim’s blog – Follow the link to see more garden fun. This Saturday I am looking at the more tropical side of my South Florida garden.

Nothing says tropical like a big, tasty mango. These are Glenn Mangoes ripening on the tree. I am looking forward to a June day when I can eat one.

Spring brings bromeliad pups and these unusual rick rack shaped pups are growing up from a Macwilliamsii Neoregelia. These bromeliads are mottled green in summer and develop red coloration in winter, the red at the base of the pups is fading.

Shooting out some pups, Fireball Neoregelia are a famously tough groundcover bromeliad. Deep burgundy red in full sun and green in shade, these are underplanting a Brown Eyed Girl sunflower in a container.

Hippeastrum can stay outside year round in my garden. These are Red Lion inherited from my Father in Law years ago.

I installed some Cattleya Orchids in the Pygmy Date Palms (Phoenix roebellini) in my front garden this week. The orchids are wedged into the pruned part of the crown and secured with jute twine. The orchids are already putting out roots and should flower late summer, these are purple Cattleyas.

Schomburgkia orchids were mounted in the Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba) tree last year. They have multiplied and are sending up buds (the brown stem looking like a bamboo shoot). These orchids are native to mangrove forests on the Gulf coast of Mexico; how they ended up here is anyone’s guess.

That’s all from my garden this week. I am breaking rules next week. Bromeliads are supposed to be divided and moved by March 31. Guess what I am still doing? I am enjoying the Lost Marbles tomatoes so much I am considering planting another batch – pushing the tomato envelope here. The last tomatoes should be planted in March. Oh, the dilemmas…

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Suntini

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful sunny and breezy day. The Brown Eyed Girl Sunflower was covered in flowers again, so I decided to cut them. For some reason, the stems were really short. It seemed like a good idea to utilize the short stems by hanging them over the edge of a martini glass. A Suntini was created to celebrate an abundance of sunflowers on a sunny Sunday.

The crystal martini glass is from my mother’s formal crystal used for holidays. To my knowledge, there has never been a martini in the glass. My mother was a prissy Southern lady who insisted these were fruit compotes. Southern ladies of her generation can only admit to drinking under certain appropriate conditions. I have never been able to work out the appropriate conditions; what has always seemed odd to me is this generation came up with the strongest drinks possible. Another mystery to ponder.

There are two plants in this mocktail. The Brown Eyed Girl Sunflowers in yellow and flowers and a going to seed flower from Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbiifolia)

The swizzle stick is a stem from the Begonia with a sunflower at one end and a baby mango at the other.

Thank you to Cathy at for hosting this weekly meme. Follow the link to see more vases.

Cheers and Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Flowers

I am joining the SOS gang once again after checking out the flowers in my South Florida garden. The sun is shining and the weather is heating up again. I have been attentive to watering and fertilizing and have some new flowers to show.

The Chandelier plant (Medinilla cummingii) had a rough winter, not enjoying our unusually cold December weather. It has come back nicely and started flowering again. This plant usually flowers year round. This is the flower.

The fruit follows the flower and is just as ornamental. Eventually, the berries turn dark purple and become sticky. I am guessing in their native Philippines the birds eat them and distribute them in the tree tops. I smashed some of the berries onto some big branches in the trees in my garden last summer and nothing happened..

I am enjoying my recently planted Salvias tremendously. The sun was hitting the Black and Bloom Salvia as I walked outside this morning and I had to snap a photo.

Roman Red Salvia is also shining.

Our native Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) sometimes appears in white. This amazingly hardy plant is happy with Blue Daze Evolvulus at its feet.

More blue and white flowers. White Flame and Mystic Blue Salvia.

Wishing everyone sunny days and warmer weather. Thanks to Jim at for hosting. Follow the link to see more gardens.

Happy Gardening!!