November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Garden

Hell-o everyone.  It looks like Central Florida is going to have some seasonable weather for Thanksgiving.  Marion County, where I live,  has two nights of 44 degrees expected, but those temperatures won't hang around long.  I took these photos yesterday, before the rain came.  The veggie garden was dry, and no, I didn't trust the rain prediction, so the garden while being watered...

The cabbages are starting to make firm heads.  I am so thankful for the raised beds that my Honey made for me.  I have never gotten such bountiful yields when I gardened in ground.

Broccoli is just setting heads.

This years fall crop of tomatoes is the best I've ever had.  Fall tomatoes are generally a little stingier with their fruit...

They're in cedar boxes, so they can be taken into the shop if the weather acts up.

Out front, our 'Louis Philippe' rose is flourishing once again.  This is a great rose for Florida.

Burgundy-leafed, Loropetalum is just beginning to flower.

Euphorbias,  like this Crown Of Thorns, all have one thing in common...milky white sap that is sometimes toxic.  Poinsettias belong to this genus.

We've been doing some fall clean up, trying to tame the wild growth of the Confederate Jasmines.  I hope this will be the last trimming they need before spring.  They're worth the work though, because there's nothing else as fragrant when they bloom, and they're evergreen.  

Archway in the back requires a ladder...

The Sasanqua Camellias are over their big flush, but there are still blooms every day.  Pollinators were swarming them.

While we're in back, come see the shade beds.  They really none the worse for wear, and here we are, late November.  Toad lilies, Curcuma Gingers, and some Caladiums are done, and yes, I already miss them (lol).   I love my shade gardens.  

They somewhat give my gardens a look of fall...

Combo, summer and fall...

All the Knockout roses are thriving in this cooler weather.  This photo was taken in April, the month before I began this blog.  I planted 9, gallon size, Knockouts and 4 hybrid teas.  This space was a rock garden for years, grasses, aloes, and sedums.  I was ready for a change, but I needed something that could handle full sun, ten hours a day.  The Knockout roses have not been perfect, they did suffer during the hottest part of summer, but I'm not aiming for flawless.

In six months time, they have filled in nicely.  A few hybrid tea roses have been removed, but all of the Knockouts remain.

Just one more...

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Thank you for visiting.

November 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day~November 2015~ Central Florida

November, and yesterday was the first day it didn't feel like summer in Central Florida.  We had a lovely taste of autumnal weather, but it's going to be a short reprieve.  The forecast for next week is the mid to upper eighties, and dry.  There are plenty of blooms, but not the camellias that I thought I would be sharing in November.  My Sasanqua Camellias, which started blooming late September, have nearly bloomed themselves out.  Our hotter than normal temperatures accelerated, and deteriorated the blossoms.  But, I do have roses...

Like red velvet, Don Juan.

Autumn Sunset

Gene Boerner

Red Cascade


Some folks don't think of Knockouts, as 'real' roses, and that's fine.  Instead of comparing them to roses, think of them as a shrub.  Many of us in the South grow azaleas, and they only bloom a few weeks in the spring, if a late frost doesn't lay waste to the blooms.  How much better, a shrub that blooms ten months of the year?  My Knockouts...

On to something completely different, Turks Cap.

They show up like a bunch of  little lipsticks, standing straight up.

After a few days, they begin to nod, hence one of their common names, 'nodding hibiscus'.

Around the gazebo, Gloriosa Lilies are still blooming.

Tibouchina, too.

Aloes are still blooming also, but the hummingbirds that visit them during summer have left us.  The little bird you see on the plant, I believe, is a Palm Warbler.  They're winter residents of Florida, but the interesting thing is that he drinks the aloe nectar just like the hummers.  I couldn't catch him in the act, but he got his fill...

Black Eyed Susan Vine on the front fence.

This ginger is new to me this year, I only know it's a 'spiral ginger', so called because of it's leaf placement.  I don't know the variety, and haven't seen it in bloom...

...I soon will though.

Until next time...happy gardening.

November 7, 2015

Summertime In November ~ Central Florida

Central Florida has been so hot and dry!  Predictions of rain over the next few days don't have me all that excited...kind of reminds me of the boy that cried wolf.  The 10 day forecast has us in the 80's every day, with little chance of rain showers.  I hope your gardens are receiving some liquid sunshine.  It could be much worse, so I'll just keep watering what's wilting, and enjoy summer in November.  This morning's heavy fog turned the garden into something magical...

Have you noticed how the fog insulates your world, and it seems to say 'hush', to everything around you?

As I was taking these photos, I was thinking how beautiful the Knockout roses have become this fall.  I'll be perfectly honest, even though I grow them, I've made some derogatory remarks about Knockouts over the years.  Perhaps, my next post will be in defense of them.  

Clerodendrum 'Ugandense', common name, 'blue butterfly bush'.

Flower of the blue butterfly bush...

Coleus are still beautiful, and will be, until a frost or freeze.

The dew on these rose leaves, almost looked like ice (shudder).

Petal drop from a camellia.

 Sasanqua camellias begin blooming in Central Florida, in October, and continue for a couple of months.  They too, like Knockout roses, are often maligned.  Some growers of camellias
 prefer only the larger flowered, Japonica camellias.  I have both, but I prefer the Sasanquas because they can take more sun, and bloom early enough to avoid freeze damage.  It's frustrating to have a Japonica shrub, heavy with blooms, suffer freeze damage in January.  Sasanquas that are blooming in my garden now...

In closing, this photo was taken Halloween eve.  My husband was just coming back from the vegetable garden, when he saw something moving around in the duck box.  We have a couple boxes on the property that Wood Ducks have used for the last several years, but they only nest in the spring.  Anyway, he got a pole and opened the clean out door...

This photo looks a lot cuter than the possum was...we left the door open, and it disappeared.  I hope you all are having a lovely weekend.