June 16, 2017

Summer Blooms ~ Central Florida

Ah, summer.  Love it or hate it?  I love summer!  Summer means Daylilies are blooming their heads off and there's nothing more cheerful than yellow blooms in the garden.  Yellow mixed with blue Agapanthus just make me smile.

And first success with them.  I finally gave up on buying plants and started these from seed and they've rewarded my efforts.

Especially pretty with an under planting of Joseph's Coat.  I believe this is 'Purple Knight'.

My entire garden is created with common plants, more so this year than ever before.  I have failed with roses so often that now I stick with a few 'old garden' varieties and Knockout roses.  I'm finding my garden much more enjoyable and just as lovely without the labor intensive, fussy flowers.  Pagoda flowers are super simple to grow, but as with many easy to grow plants you have to stay on top of the seedlings or you'll be quickly overrun.  

The flower heads of these plants are easily over a foot tall.

Thryallis  shrubs are another easy-peasy plant for Florida gardens.

All my daylilies are common, old sorts too.  Nothing fancy, but they all bloom and rebloom, lasting a good part of the summer.

I can't talk about plants that are carefree without giving Firebush praise.  Attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds...this plant's a winner.

Tibouchina shrubs have intense purple blooms that I've never been quite able to capture in a photo.  They bloom in shade or sun, perhaps a little heavier in sun.  This one is in full bloom while my other two are just beginning to bloom.

The shade garden Tibouchina is beginning to show color.  The large 'Disney' ginger on the left will be blooming soon - she's worth waiting for.   Since the summer rains have begun, the shade garden is a little on the wild side.

I hope you are having a great summer...happy gardening.

May 30, 2017

Sun Lovers

Hell-o!  So, our weather forecasters are predicting rain for my neck of the woods over the next few days.  I hope they've got it right this time!  I'm watering so much and feeling like I'm just keeping plants alive, but they're not as stunning as they would be with a normal rain pattern.  The hardy, sun lovers, like daylilies, agapanthus, coneflowers, and firebush aren't batting an eye at this weather, but some others are not at their best. These photos were taken during this week in my full sun front gardens.  Desert Roses love both the heat and the sun.  It's hard to capture the intensity of the red in their  blooms..

I've had both these Desert Roses for several years and have repotted them a few times, but these pots will be their permanent home.

The canes are normally very erect, but this one is bowed down from the weight of its blooms.

Lovely white Crinum Lily blooms only last a few weeks and are often destroyed by lubbers.  We've been vigilantly watching over them this year.

Firebush  is unfazed by our high temps.  I have some that are Florida-native shrubs and some non-native.  Hummingbirds and butterflies love both kinds.

Another hummingbird favorite, Pagoda Flower.  If you have one, for sure you'll have many more because she's a spreader.  They bloom throughout the summer when most plants have given up, so I don't mind pulling their offspring.

Thryallis, yellow daylilies  and Agapanthus...must haves for a summer garden.

Hands down, my favorite border is by the front porch.  Tithonia, coneflowers, salvias and volunteer zinnias to name a few...

One more great summer bloomer, Natchez, Crepe Mrytle.  This one shades the entry to my vegetable garden - smells delightful, light refreshing scent.

Gingers in the shade gardens will be blooming soon.  Until then...happy gardening.

May 13, 2017

Central Florida Spring Garden

A beautiful, much needed, rainy day in Central Florida!  Finally!  I've run out of things to do inside so I'll take a few minutes and share what's been going on in my gardens this week.  
I have a variety of ginger plants, but Variegated Shell Ginger is always one of the first to bloom.  The foliage is wonderful year round, so I consider the blooms "the cherry on the top".  These are rather large plants and do a great job of  screening my chicken coop. 

The garden by the front porch has erupted with color.  The Amistad Salvia is doing it's part to draw in hummingbirds - love this plant!

Just beginning to bloom, Tithonia is going to mix well in this bed.

'Belindas Dream' rose is doing well here of the easiest care roses for Florida.

A large flowered Clematis by the porch...

A smaller flowered one on the arbor...

This one is so dark, almost black on overcast days.

On the brighter side, daylilies are also blooming.  These are wonderful plants for all gardeners, with or without green thumbs, nearly carefree.

A seldom seen 'for sale' plant that I just love.  I've spread it all over my shade gardens and the hummingbirds are always visiting them.  Hardy red gloxinia...

'Climbing Iceberg'

The vegetable garden is producing mouth-watering, sweet onions and summer squash.  Tomatoes, possibly by Memorial Day.

Still lovely, behind the vegetable garden, Mexican flame vine and yellow bells.

Close by the vegetable garden, this birdhouse is home to a pair of Eastern Bluebirds _ Mama...

Daddy, watching from the shop roof...

Hope you're all having a delightful spring.  Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!

April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!

I've not posted in a while...just been too darn busy.  Today seems like an appropriate day to share some of the beautiful visitors to my garden.  This cutie, a Flycatcher, has chosen a different birdhouse this year.  She usually nests in a box out front with the Bluebird population.

 "Close enough", she says.

Bluebirds are always welcome visitors.

A frequent guest for dinner!

Checking out an abandoned Wood Duck box...

A lovely Cardinal enjoying a shower in the vegetable garden.  We've been terribly dry so many birds are attracted by the sprinklers any time they're on.

This shy Ground-Dove has found itself a quiet, shady spot to get a drink of water.

Sandhill Cranes are also welcome in our yard.  He can have all the grubs he can hold, with my blessing.

My Mexican Flame Vine hasn't slowed down for two years.  I originally put it behind the vegetable garden to cover a pile of firewood, but, oh my, it's taken over!  I hope it continues as it draws in so many butterflies!  We often just hang out in the veggie garden to see what's visiting  our vine.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Gulf Fritillary


The Gulf Fritillaries love this Passion Vine that is also planted by the veggie garden, so I expect to see it being consumed by caterpillars any day.

I'm going to close with just a couple photos around the garden.  Then...I'm going to catch up on some of my favorite Florida garden bloggers!  

Happy Earth Day...Happy Gardening!