Six on Saturday – Day off

I  had a gigantic load of oak mulch delivered this week. After spending a couple of days ferrying mulch around in the wheelbarrow my back is complaining this morning so I am taking Saturday off from gardening.

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There is still a lot to do in the garden. These Heirloom Celosia seedlings are nearly ready for planting. They are called Texas Plume Vintage Rose Mix and reportedly make excellent cut flowers.

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A new Bromeliad flower appeared this is a Portea ‘Candy’.

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This is one of our native Air Plants, a Tillandsia that is going to seed. It fell out of a nearby Oak – I am going to add it to my Air Plant collection that lives in the Sabal Palm.

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A new butterfly caterpillar on a larval host plant I installed last year. The plant is Corkystem Passionflower, the tiny flower is hidden behind a leaf. The caterpillar will soon form a Chrysalis and become a Zebra Longwing butterfly. I hope.

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The Zebra Longwing Butterfly:

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This is the state butterfly of Florida, I have a large population in my garden and see these on a daily basis.

To see more Six on Saturday posts follow this link  http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Happy  Gardening.

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Happy Anniversary

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In a Vase on Monday is celebrating its sixth anniversary this Monday. Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden blog, created and hosts this meme weekly and challenged us to create a miniature vase (6″x6″) in honor of the anniversary. This  ‘vase’ is just under that and I added a crystal for Cathy as I know she likes crystals.

I decided to use shells and a tiny glass pot as my containers and then determined that they wouldn’t hold water. An additional challenge, waterless vase. The shells are a Tortoiseshell Cowrie in the glass pot and a Lightning Whelk. These shells are common to the east coast of Florida and were found on this beach near the Fort Pierce Inlet about 20 miles north of my house.

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The  Lightning Whelk holds one of our native Bromeliads (Tillandsia utriculata). These are commonly known as Air Plants and it is actually illegal to collect them in Florida.  Most are grown in South America and shipped to Florida, this one came up on its own in a nearby Oak and I moved it to a booted Sabal Palm.

The brown pods are from a Senna ligustrina, another native I planted as a larval host for  Sulphur Butterflies.

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Here are the Tillandsias in the booted Sabal Palm,  I am planning to add Burgundy Bromeliads and some Cattleya Orchids to the Palm. The boots are the bases of old fronds, many palms are cleaned up with a chain saw for a smooth trunk.

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The  Tortoiseshell Cowrie holds the dried stems of a seedhead from an Adonidia Palm (Veitchii merrilli). The stems are white until the berries ripen and then turn brown. The white stems are from a younger seedhead.

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A heartfelt thank you to Cathy for hosting IAVOM, it is an addictive pleasure to share a weekly vase with gardeners from all over the world – and to see theirs! To see more miniature sixth-anniversary celebrations follow this link More Vases.

Happy Anniversary and Happy Gardening!

Six on Saturday – Bountiful Butterflies

It’s a dreadful Saturday morning in Florida, our first cold front of the season is moving through spawning 35 mph winds and pouring rain. I spotted some new butterflies in my garden this week and decided that would be a better post than blurry, windblown flowers photos. I started a pollinator garden about two years ago and was astonished at how many butterflies appeared in my garden to devour my botanical treats. Here are a few:

The Giant Swallowtail on Firebush.

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Cloudless  Sulphur Caterpillar on Senna ligustrina.

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Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly:

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Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Zinnias:

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Pipevine  Swallowtail Butterfly on Firebush:

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Black Swallowtail on screen porch:

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For more Six on Saturday posts,  hopefully from drier gardens – follow this link to The  Propagators blog  More SOS.

Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday – Harvest Mood

 

img_20191103_135728It has been a rainy, overcast, blustery weekend in my garden. Feeling like a somewhat warmer and more humid version of fall further north. I went searching for some vegetation to fit the moody weather. The plants in the arrangement speak of fall in Florida – fruits from flowering and shade trees and “fall” leaves.

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The green fruit is from a White Geiger tree (Cordia boissieri) a smallish white flowering evergreen tree. The berries are from the Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba) a native shade tree affectionately called the Tourist Tree because of its red, peeling bark is similar to sunburned skin. The fruit is not edible from either tree. The “fall” leaves are from “Louisiana Red” Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana) they are this color year-round. This is a recent addition to the garden and has just started showing color.

Here is a more edible fall fruit, my first Corkystem Passionfruit, something other than me ate it. I planted it as a larval butterfly plant, the butterfly caterpillars have been eating the leaves, not sure who ate the fruit.

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Happy Gardening!!

Six on Saturday – Screen Planting

My husband and I moved to Florida almost eight years ago, it took seven years and a lot of dedication to clear our back property line of what could be politely called ‘unwelcome vegetation’. A mass of invasive Brazilian Pepper and as weird as it seems Snake Plant/Sansiveria/Mother In Law’s Tongue. It takes heavy equipment to get rid of the Sansevieria. It was so dense we couldn’t tell what was behind us.

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While this may not look that bad, the guy that lives behind us keeps a semi-abandoned boat on the property line. It is past time for a screen planting. I dithered, uh debated a lot of different plant material, and combinations but finally settled on these:

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Clusia (Clusia rosea), a fast growing Florida native sometimes called the Autograph Tree as you can scratch your initials into the leaves and they last for years. These usually get about 20 feet tall.

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Java White Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana ‘Java White’) a variegated yellow, white and green shrub for a 6 – 8-foot hedge at the end of my vegetable garden. The hedge will tie into the taller screen plantings.

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Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus ‘sericues’). Another Florida native, these silvery trees reach about 20 feet and the wood is good for smoking fish.

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The anchor plants screening the worst view – Traveller’s Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis). These are not palms at all but related to Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) These should reach 30 feet tall and grow very upright and retain their fan shape at the base. Called Traveller’s  Palm as a thirsty traveler in the tropics can cut into the base and find a drink of fresh water – I have not tried this.

 

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Yet another Florida native, Thyrallis (Galphimia glauca) these flower off and on year round and reach about six feet.

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Now, all I need to do is plant this.

For more Six on Saturday follow this link to the Propagator’s blog MORE Six on Saturday.

Happy Gardening!

 

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Nearly Perfect

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Today was nearly a perfect fall Sunday in South Florida. Clear blue skies, a light breeze, the native flowers blooming luxuriantly in my pollinator garden buzzing with green bees and butterflies. Unfortunately, it was 88 degrees Fahrenheit/31 Celsius. Too hot to hang around outside very long. Summer can last seemingly forever here. Endless Summer is not just a Beach Boys song. Though the vegetables and what the rest of the Northern Hemisphere considers summer flowers are thriving in the heat. I am hoping for bouquets of Zinnias and baskets of radishes, herbs, and tomatoes later in the season.

A closer view of my native flowers:

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I love the striking green stems with blue flowers, these are a native (according to some, the native plants’ people get tiresome to me), I think they are Stachytarpheta jamaicensis- Blue Porterweed, maybe the latin means they are native to Jamaica, I don’t know. These flowers are well behaved in my garden and flower nearly year-round. Orange and red daisy-like flowers are Gallardia (Gallardia pulchella) these change with the pollinators and reseed producing different flowers, fun to watch – last year I had some pinks. The pink flowers are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea) in a lighter shade; purply pink grasses are Muhly Grass (Muhlebergia capillaris), my favorite Florida grass. Greenish white spikes are from Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa) Ferns are Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata). The bowl vase is a handmade thrift store find I love.

In my garden, we are hoping for cooler weather and the fruit already out to ripen. Papayas and Passionfruit:

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I hope to catch a Passionflower soon! Happy Monday and Happy Gardening. For more vases, follow this link More vases. Cathy hosts the vase extravaganza every Monday.