September 30, 2016

'Egg'citing news!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted anything!  Lately, most of my time in the garden has been spent taming  the wild growth of summer.  Some roses have been removed and some Florida- friendly shrubs have taken their place.  I even downsized some of my gardens - removing a few layers and allowing more lawn to return.  Not to worry, there's still too much!  I'll get to that happy medium one day.  As for now, one of my favorite gingers is blooming...Blue Ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora).  

If you look closely, you'll see that only one of the many flowers has actually opened.  Blue Ginger blooms will last for weeks!

This stand of Heliconia was lost in my tropical border before I began the Fall clean up process a few weeks ago.   Hell-o Heliconia!

A few wild orchids are showing up in the shade gardens for one last show this season...

Night blooming jasmine never gives up!  I have several of these that get pruned nearly to the ground several times a year just to keep them in bounds.  Their lovely fragrance in the evening is worth the effort.

 Farfugium Tractor Seat plant has been a great addition to my shade garden.  Gorgeous in bloom, but great, unique foliage even when not in flower.

Clerodendrum Pagoda Flowers have bloomed all year.  They can be a little scary - meaning they will get away from you if you're not willing to pull up their many offspring.  I do love them though, mainly because Zebra Longwings enjoy them so much.

Now for my most exciting 'girls' began laying eggs a few weeks ago!  They have a couple nesting boxes, but they all use the same one.  They're so silly to watch clambering over each other to get possession of the box.  Here's this mornings offerings...

We get all sizes and colors!  It's a thrill each time we go out to collect eggs.  The 'girls' free range each afternoon - it's become our favorite time of the day to sit together outside and watch their antics.

Until next time...happy gardening!

August 21, 2016

August Garden

Hell-o everyone!  I've been running in and out of the A/C today to get a few photos so I could share a post with you today.  I've been enjoying a number of post vacation, and 'new adventure' blogs from you guys.  My world has been pretty static this summer - awaiting cooler weather, like most everyone else.  I didn't spend much time out in our Florida sunshine, but I ventured out there just long enough to photograph my Purple Coneflowers... 

A Gulf Fritillary wandered by and landed on one of the least attractive flowers, but I didn't wait around for him to move to a prettier one.

The Pagoda Flowers and Firebushes are visited by hummingbirds throughout the day, but not when I am holding a camera...

The only other sun loving plant I photographed was one of the Beautyberry bushes.  They have been dripping with fruit this year, bowed over with the weight...

I retreated to the coolness (or less hot) back yard, under the oak canopy.  The shade gardens are as colorful as any flower garden, and best of all, they need little attention once planted.  I have caladiums everywhere and as they return each year they keep getting larger.  I've got pots of single varieties...

Pots of mixed...

Simple green and white caladiums...

Little guys that look as though they were splashed with paint...

A rainbow of colors...

Across the yard, in a tropical plant border, there's freckled faces...

Another favorite shade plant of mine is the Toad Lily, which like caladiums. return each year.

   I noticed today the Camellia shrubs are chock-full of buds.  That's one of the wonderful aspects of gardening...there's always something to look forward to.  I hope you're all having the BEST summer ever!

July 19, 2016

Some Like It Hot

My roses are pathetic this time of year, not so my gingers.  While gingers can't tolerate much sun, they handle our nearly daily 100 degree temperatures unfazed.  I've only grown most of my gingers for three years, but I'll continue to add varieties.  I find them easy to live with, needing little care, although some do need a good bit of elbow room.  'Dr. Moy' Ginger is a large plant that needs growing space, but her blooms are exquisite...she's just begun.

Another large ginger, 'Disney',  has been blooming for several weeks.  She still has new buds developing.

Curcumas, or hidden gingers, are a much smaller plant, rarely over two feet tall.  They make themselves right at home with caladiums, coleuses, ferns, and so on.

Out front in my full sun yard, there are a few daylilies on their second or third round of blooms,  The old fashioned yellow and oranges always repeat bloom.

The wild hibiscus love the heat...they bloom from July until frost.

I have lavender ground orchids that bloom in spring, but these yellows wait for summer.  They're planted in an area that gets only morning sun.

Desert Rose, it's name implies it can take heat, and it will.

Two more lovers of our summer heat, a  Thryallis bush, and the blue butterfly bush, Clerodendrum 'ugandense'.  Perfect shrubs for a full sun garden.

Coneflowers are also unaffected by their spot in the sun.

Tithonia is a magnet for butterflies, and stands up to the heat.

Hamelia patens, Firebush, also draws in many butterflies and hummingbirds.

That's what's blooming here in my 'Garden On Fourth Street'.  I hope summer is treating you and  your gardens well.  Thanks for visiting!

July 6, 2016

Gingers Are Blooming

I love ginger lily plants!  They can color up a shade garden all summer long, never minding the heat.  The blooms on my 'Disney' ginger lily are seven inches tall and the plant itself is six foot.  This one is planted in shade, getting only dappled sunlight.

Curcuma, another ginger lily, also blooms all summer long.  They multiply rapidly, and should be divided more often than I do. 

My purple blooming curcumas are making me wait for their blooms, they're just getting started.

A nearly white bloom...

Hostas are blooming too...

Bleeding Heart Vines on the fence, white and purple.

My favorite new plant of this year is my Blackberry Lily, Iris Domestica.  Tiny flowers that remind me of toad lilies, about an inch and a half across.

I started these purple coneflowers from seed in February.  I'm thrilled to be getting my first blooms...

The coneflowers are planted in front of another summer bloomer, Tithonia,  Mexican Sunflower.

I'll save the rest of my blooms for a later post, and give you an update on my chickens.  They're about 12 weeks old now...half way to becoming egg layers!  We let them out to free range every evening, but 'free' has it's limitations.  No, they are not allowed in my shade gardens, but they have plenty of area to roam.

This one looks mean, but she's a sweetheart...they all are.

They rarely stand still when they're out, unless they dig up something good, so this is what most of their photos look like.

Until next time...