Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Visit to Nancy's Garden

Last weekend a few of us made a visit to Nancy's garden in Lakeland. Nancy has a BEAUTIFUL garden. She is very creative and gifted when it comes to gardening, and everyone who sees her garden is truly amazed.

As you can see, she loves bromeliads.


But I noticed that her bromeliad varieties are getting larger. Look at that specimen of a bromeliad in the background.

She likes other kinds of plants, too.






She has a cute potting bench . . .

and, a greenhouse. 
I have total green house envy!

She has lots of clever ideas for displaying plants.

A bromeliad on top of a cut off palm tree trunk looks like a work of art.

Clever container ideas, too (notice the little stool it's sitting on).



Lots of brick pathways meander through the garden beds.

She also loves begonias and grows many varieties.

I'm in love with the vibrant fuschia-colored stems on this alocasia.

Instead of creating a bromeliad tree on a tree branch, she made one on a living palm. How cool is that?

Hope you enjoyed the tour of Nancy's garden. Listed below are the previous posts I've done on her garden in the past. 

 Nancy's Garden (2008)
Afternoon Tea ((2011)

By the way, I think I should tell you that Nancy's been gardening on this piece of land for 21 years. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

This Week in the Garden

This morning I saw a wonderful thing! Daddy Cardinal brought one of his young uns' to my garden to show him where the food is. After feeding him a safflower seed, the little one followed him to the feeder where they ate breakfast. Dad then flew to the fountain to show him where to get a drink of water. That's the first time I've ever seen that, and I was so in awe of it all that by the time I got my camera they were gone. You can bet that I'll have my camera ready tomorrow!!!!

A new bloom in my garden. This little red hummingbird plant (can't remember the  name) is a shade specimen. It grows to about 3' tall with a loose habit. It very much reminds me of the Firespike plant. What do you think of my purple and red combo? I love using bold colors together that you wouldn't expect. Another favorite color combo is burgundy and apricot.

Finally, caterpillars are taking advantage of two large parsley plants in the garden.

 While I do love having fresh parsley available, I really planted them for the caterpillars to devour.

This red epidendrum orchid is really showing off in the garden these days. They are so easy to grow and once they start blooming, it's non-stop for at least 9 months. They delight in our full summer sun and humidity. 

Here's a close-up view of one of the red balls of fire!


The weatherman promises rain this week. We shall see! Hoping that a healthy dose of it falls on your garden this week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hmmm . . . let's see. 
Words of wisdom you're looking for today. How about this . . .

                                                           Sidney Sheldon


Happy Earth Day!!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's All About the Roses

While there are many Spring blooms happening in my garden this week, it's becoming very apparent that the next 2 weeks are going to be "all about the roses!"


Everyone who grows roses in Florida knows they are prolific bloomers and they produce the largest blooms in Spring and Autumn due to the warm but mild temperatures. Unfortunately, the summer heat puts a damper on the whole bloom process. But not to complain, because they make up for it in spring, autumn and winter, which all together is as long as summer.
 Don Juan pictured above

 In the front yard the Double Pink Knock-out is the first to get the show started. By autumn she will be 5' tall and covered in roses.

In the backyard her cousin the Double Red Knock-out is not far behind her. She, too, will be coming in around 5' tall by autumn. I have 3 of these (2 new and very small ones) planted near each other and can't wait to see their autumn display (there I go being impatient again). 

One of my old time favorites is Sombreuil. She's a bit behind due to a more radical spring trimming. This French beauty is loaded with buds!

Every garden in Florida should have this Louis Philippe a/k/a Cracker Rose. He's easy to grow and is the most carefree, large growing and practically thornless rose around. He sits below the patio wall but by Summer I'll be enjoying his blooms from inside the house.

Not to be left out by the show-stealing big roses, the "little but mighty" Drift roses are making their own statement.

I was able to find a place for the 9 roses bushes that I brought from my previous garden, PLUS find room for 3 full-size roses and 12 Drift roses in my petit' space. Happy? Yes, I am !!!!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Waiting is SO hard!

A slow and reluctant learner, I would now consider myself a relatively patient person. This hasn't come easy! Over many years and many "lessons in patience" sent by the universe, I've had no choice but to learn this trait. 

Gardening is definitely a hobby that includes many of those lessons in patience. Every time I see a new bud forming on one of my plants I get all excited and can hardly wait for it to open.

orchid cactus


But as the days go by, it seems like it's taking that tiny bud FOREVER to open up. Of course it doesn't help that I keep check the buds a couple of times a day! The amaryllis' seem to be the worst when it comes to taking their sweet time to open their gorgeous trumpet flowers.
Apple blossom amaryllis


Oh, the painstaking patience it requires to be a gardener can sometimes be frustrating!
Black-eyed Susan


But, when the day comes that I check the garden and . . .


discover this . . . I am truly rewarded for my reluctant patience!
Sombreuil - old garden rose

Monday, April 06, 2015

Spring Amaryllis'

Nothing says "Spring" quite like the amaryllis. We may not be able to grow tulips here, but amaryllis' are right at home in our early spring gardens. And, who can resist these beautiful large blooms. 

Mostly, I have a variety of red bulbs that family and friends have shared with me over the years. I purchased the Apple Blossom (middle right photo), and Nancy (a gardening friend) gave me the unusual burgundy and green bulb (upper left photo). The orange and white stripe (lower left photo) was grown in a neighbor's yard when I was a kid. The flowers on this variety are particularly long-lasting.

Last week I purchased a solid white bulb, and I will look forward to seeing it bloom next spring.

As spring moves along, the daylilies have already started blooming and the agapanthus are sending up bud shoots all according to their natural rhythms.

Love, love, love Spring and all it's beautiful flowers!

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