Six on Saturday – Little Surprises

It’s time for SOS again. This Saturday I am focusing on six fun things I found in my garden this week. Follow this link to see more Spring surprises from gardeners around the world – http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

One of the aspects of gardening I enjoy most – the little surprises along the way. Above is a pot with miniature pineapple, graptosedum, and flapjack kalanchoe all doing their thing at the same time.

A surprise Amaryllis I never planted. There are red and orange ones nearby.

First Blue Larkspur in my South Florida garden.

Buds on the never seen before Nigella.

A very early Glenn Mango. This tree flowered in January, it is usually March. I may have one Mango in April.

The White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri) in full bloom. This is an oddly shaped tree after getting blown over by a hurricane. Some of the more tropical woody plants tend to grow in a tangle and this is one of them. Contemplating the pruning.

Voila!

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Late St. Patrick’s Flowers

I was surprised this Saturday to find green flowers in the garden – a week late for St. Patrick’s Day. And never expected this:

Green Larkspur? Delphinum ajacis, if I remember correctly. I bought a cutting flower seed mix last fall and thought the plant was Nigella – until this popped out. I love Larkspur and always had some in the garden further north, did not know it could be grown in winter in South Florida or flowers could be green. The flowers were pink, white and blue in my other garden. Happy day!

Dill flowers on the herb. I am so enjoying this Mammoth Long Island Dill. The foliage and the flowers.

From the produce section, the Sugar Baby watermelon has been shored up with a sling of netting and growing by leaps and bounds.

A top view of the watermelon sling. I use the netting on nearly ripe mangoes as squirrel abatement.

French Breakfast Radishes from the bag garden.

Surinam Cherry or Pitanga flowers. This is a common screening hedge in South Florida, it produces a grape sized fruit with a pit. In my opinion, the fruit is one of those things you have to grow up eating to enjoy. It has a resinous flavor and often has small worms. I like the indestructible hedge and enjoy the flowers, the birds enjoy the fruit.

There! My Six for this Saturday. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Fun Fiddly Foraging

Despite having participated in IAVOM for several years, I finally started growing flowers for cutting last fall. Zinnias, and just planted another batch. My current challenge is foraging something in bloom to cut in my admittedly funky South Florida garden. Usually followed by fiddling.

This Monday’s ‘vase’ was fiddlier than usual. A big, antique copper teapot has been repurposed into a vase. This teapot has holes in the bottom and a repair can be seen on the front. A salsa jar was placed inside to hold the water. I had a difficult time getting the scale of the arrangement to suit me; rearranging the dill flowers and inhaling the scent so much that I decided to make something with dill for dinner.

The flowers:

The orange flowers in the front are Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera); deep blue spikes are Mystic Blue Salvia; white daisies are Bidens alba; crinkly white flowers are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boisseriei); the dill flowers are leaning out of the picture; varigated foliage in back is Varigated Flax Lily (Dianella tasmanica); peachy spikes with seedheads are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) – not being red.

A better dill flower image and the grey succulent tucked into the front is a Graptosedum..which will probably root in the salsa jar.

Dinner forage:

On my dinner forage I collected enough fresh herbs (dill, parsley and basil) and tomatoes to make tomato and sausage pasta with roasted garlic pesto.

To see more vases (probably foraged) visit Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Spring Surprises

I am joining the SOS crowd again today, reflecting on discoveries in my garden this week. Above is a Graptosedum succulent, gifted to me by a friend. I did not realize they flowered – but there it is.

One of my favorite discoveries, Mystic Blue Salvia. This one was planted March 2021 and has been flowwering ever since.

My first Dahlia sprout. I planted Labyrinth tubers about 10 days ago, did not read the directions about not watering them..then stopped. I figured I had rotted the tubers, but no! Hoping for some cut flowers, these are planted in grow bags.

Sugar Baby watermelon that faked me out. I have these in grow bags and put an old teak ottoman next to the bag to grow the melons off the ground. Not realizing they would go through the slats. Now I have to figure a way to support the fruit as it ripens. Thinking a mesh sling might do the trick.

New crop of radishes almost ready to eat.

New flush of flowers on the Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)

My spring wonders for this week. To see more wonders, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Daffy

After cutting the yellow flowers and placing them in the ‘vase’ – the first thing that popped into my head “Looks just like daffodils.” As a nod to Disney’s famous Daffy and the Daffodils, the brass ducks were added. The ducks are a long ago gift from my father – to remind me to keep my ducks in a row. They make excellent paperweights and also make me laugh, reminding me of one of my father’s favorite sayings.

More daffiness, the weather. We are having the four seasons (not Vivaldi) this week in South Florida. It was dry and 87 F/30 C here one day last week, followed by wind, thunderstorms, a cold front – this morning, temperatures were half that and we are expecting everything in between over the next week.

Daffy.

A closer view:

The mason jar ‘vase’ is a thing now. I suspect this is part of the Millenial ‘farm wedding’ aesthetic. I am fine with mason jar vases, using them as drinking glasses is another story, ugh. I acquired this vase when recieving a flower arrangement.

What’s in it?

Yellow flowers are from Esperanza or Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans); crinkly white flowers with buds are from the White Geiger tree (Cordia boissierei); white flowers at top of arrangement are Lotusleaf Begonia (Begonia nelumbifolia); the chartreuse seedheads are from Sweet Begonia (Begonia odorata ‘alba’); ferny foliage and yellow starburst flowers are culinary dill. I love the scent and was surprised recently that two friends (father and daughter) did not like dill at all. Daffy genes?


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Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

Well, it goes with the color scheme…

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.com for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to find, probably (sorry) less daffy vases.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – The Warm Up

Time for SOS again. To join in, visit Jon at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com for instructions and check out the comments from other gardeners around the world.

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.

That is it for this week.

Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Blushing Bromeliads

Time to join the SOS gang yet again. My Bromeliads and vegetable garden are doing their winter thing.

First up, the Blushing Bromeliad. I think these are Neoregelia carolinae. The foliage is solid green until we have a cold snap, then the plant blushes, staying red until summer returns.

Another Neoregelia Bromeliad, this is ‘Luca’ showing its deeper winter coloration.

Other Bromeliads flower in winter. This is a bud stalk, probably three feet tall, from an unnamed (or forgotten) Brom that has been in the garden for several years. The flower is a surprise. It should be interesting to watch the evolution.

This one, Quesnelia testudo, is considered by some to be the tulip of South Florida. The flowers last about a month.

I continue to harvest and enjoy fresh vegetables. The snow peas (mangetout) are wonderful cut into matchsticks raw and added to salad.

I finally got some good radishes – do I know how or why? Not really. This is a French Dressing or French Breakfast radish, name depends on who supplies the seed. These are my favorite and always cleaned and eaten immediately after harvesting. Irresistable. I shall plant another bag full before it gets too hot.

That is six from my South Florida garden. To see more SOS posts, visit http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Happy Gardening!!

In a Vase on Monday – Tropical Travails

This weekend was a bit of a trial. The coldest weather South Florida has seen in a decade blew in Friday night and lingered through Sunday morning. Freezing temperatures threatened; our normal lows are 40 degrees F. I spent the weekend covering and uncovering plants and making sure the vulnerable were hydrated. I fear the only casualty will be the watermelon vines, they wilted despite being covered.

I was quite surprised to find the pink Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) on Sunday morning. I added a few leaves from the varigated ‘Bossa Nova’ Neoregelia Bromeliad, then set off to find a few more vase ingredients from the garden.

The purple ‘flowers’ are actually seedheads from the Portea ‘Candy’ Bromeliad. These eventually turn a creamy white if left on the plant. The green foliage, baby palm fronds from a seedling Sabal Palm (Palmetto sabal) – the state tree of Florida. Grey tendrils in front of the flowers are from the edges of the palm fronds. The heavy crystal vase, a gift from my late brother.

I am ready for some normal Florida winter sunshine this week with no travails.

Happy gardening and thanks to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting. Follow the link to see more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – China Hat Debut

The red flower in the vase, China Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea) is a recent addition to my garden. This is a tropical shrub native to lowlands of the Himalaya. It is thriving in my garden, enjoying the parched sand, seemingly a tropical desert shrub. These flower in winter here and I decided to cut a few to see how they hold up in a vase. Here is a closer view of the flower:

The other flowers in the vase are Zinnias grown from a Cactus seed Mix. I like the color but hesitate to name it..kind of a bronzy cafe au lait. The misty grasses are from the few remaining flowers on the Muhly Grass (Muhlbergia capillaris). I inherited the vase from my mother, I believe she bought it the Desert Southwestern United States in the 1980s, it is marked as made by the Ute tribe.

Happy New Garden Year to all. Time to plot our plots! I am thinking more Zinnias and maybe another China Hat, they are available in several colors.

Thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting this meme. I always have fresh flowers in the house thanks to Cathy. Follow the link to see more vases.

In a Vase on Monday – Sharing Sunshine

The Winter Solstice passed last week, days are slowly getting longer and more sunshine is on the way. I thought I should share some Florida sunshine with a brightly colored mix from my garden. I have noticed the wildflowers in my garden germinate late in the year – which should have given me a clue years ago about when to grow cut flowers. I am guilty of reading and following directions on seed packages….again. South Florida reigns peculiar over American horticulture.

It is difficult to find a sunnier group of flowers. All were grown from seed started in September (some named and some in a cutting garden mix) and currently flourishing (with the exception of Nigella, not sure about that) in containers. I am wondering how long the Zinnias will last. Here is a photo of a seedling from the cutting mix I cannot identify.

Any thoughts? It is not a Hollyhock. That was not included in the mix.

Some closer views:

Yellow Sunflowers are ‘Dwarf Sunspot’. Green Zinnias are ‘Green Envy’; purple tubes are from Mona Lavendar Plectranthus. Pink Zinnia is from an Etsy purchase ‘Cactus Mix’. Here is a close up of the Zinnia, I love the stamens (I think?)

The other side:

Pink Zinnia and the very different green one are from the ‘Cactus Mix’. The African Marigolds are from the cutting seed mix with the mystery seedling. The big leaf forming the wave hugging the flowers is a big ‘Java White’ Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana). The leaf is 6 inches long and across. It rolled over naturally.

As always, thank you to Cathy at http://www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com for hosting In a Vase on Monday. To see more posts, follow the link.

Happy Monday!