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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April Orchids

When looking back at the orchids that were blooming in March and April of last year, I noticed that many of them are late in blooming this year. I can't help but think it's due to the amount of time they spent indoors this past winter and the cooler temps in February and March.

One orchid I can always depend on to bloom for the entire month of April is Jewel Box. I've had this orchid for more than 20 years, and I can't remember an April when it didn't bloom.

Three phalaenopsis decided to join Jewel Box and have been slowly revealing their pretty blooms.

But the star of the show this month is the Nun's orchid. With its tall stalk it stands nearly 5 feet tall, and it has showered us with blossoms for weeks.  It's easy to grow...give it a good spot with filtered sunlight and it will reward you in spring. My mom was generous enough to passalong this plant to me when she divided hers.

Here's a close-up view of the beautiful flowers which darken as they age.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Favorites...this month!

Some of my favorites this April are (from top left) fresh herbs...dill, oregano & basil...and green onions from the garden, the sunny blooms of the tabbebuia tree, and native flag iris.

Serissa's tiny white blossoms are an added perk on this beautiful green and white variegated shrub, amarylis and heaps of salad greens and radishes.

(Click on the photo to enlarge it for better viewing)

With spring comes an abundance of blooms and perfect weather. It seems that the majority of plants are geared to bloom in spring, making the garden look like a veritable non-stop flower show, but summer is just around the corner, and Florida's oppressive heat and humidity make it a little harder to keep the flower show going. Fortunately, we do have some tough plants we can depend on.

What are your favorites this month? If you'd like to join me in posting your favorites for the month, please do...they don't have to be in collage form...but do leave a comment, so I can drop by and see your favorites.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

"The Earth Laughs in Flowers"
                                                             --E.E. Cummings

These brightly-colored California Iceland poppies cheerfully welcome visitors to Hollis Gardens in Lakeland.

Thanks Nell Jean for the correction on the poppy variety.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Garden Blues

My garden doesn't have the sad, down in the dumps...B.B. King kind of  "blues." Instead, it's singing joyfully with an abundance of blue-flowering plants these days. From a purplish blue to a hard to find true blue there is...
A LARGE clump of native flag iris.

Here's a close up view of this stunning flower. It's a passalong plant from my neighbor, and it's thriving in a wet, boggy area of my garden.

Walking iris which is also a passalong plant from another neighbor.

Brazilian iris with its tall, stately leaves. It's a real standout in the garden.

Ajuga 'chocolate chip' is an excellent groundcover that produces short stalks of blue flowers in spring.

Native Blue-eyed grass which also does well in wet areas.

Blue Sage...an old-fashioned passalong plant from my brother-in-law's grandmother.

And, last but not least, native spiderwort which can be seen growing in damp ditches along the roadways.

My garden may be blue, but it makes me delightfully happy!

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