"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Am I Ready To Go On My Vacation?

I am leaving for China tuesday morning for a three week vacation with my husband and two boys.  This would be the first time I leave my garden for this long time since I had this garden.

While I am excited to see my parents, sister and other family members again in China, I have also been very busy preparing the garden for my absence.

Although this is the raining season in South Florida, rain has been rather unpredictable these days.  I just can not take that risk to depend my plants' well being  on the natural rainfall, so we have been examining the sprinkle system.  Husband switched and adjusted some spray heads to make sure the water is spraying to the flower bed, not the pool!   My friends also will help me to hand water some plants that sprinkle system can not reach. 

For the plants that are still in the pots, I either planted them in the ground, or repotted them in bigger containers and mulched them so that they don't dry out quickly.  They are also repositioned to a spot that sprinkle system can reach.

Some plants were fed, trimmed...  Flower beds were weeded... 

Am I ready to go on my vacation? hmmm, I think so.... 

Before I leave, let me walk around the garden one more time to see what I can show you ...

Oh, first I must show you this zinnia flowers!  This was brought home by my eight year old son from the school, as the Parents' Day gift.  (Here, the school often combines Mother's day and Father's day together at the end of the school year to have a party that invite parents to join.)  After I planted it in the garden, my son keeps asking me when I can show the flowers on my blog, "Mom, Please tell them, I gave this  to you." , this was his words, very proud of his gift! 

I was kind of waiting for the plants growing a little bigger and having more blooms.  But now I want to show you first, I always can show you again when it is bigger, right? :)  The flowers are yellow/peach color, fit quite well in my Agave/Bulbine flower bed.

I bought this Variegated Canna Lily 'Pretoria' about two months ago.  When I bought it, I thought it would bloom very soon since it was quite big already (2 feet tall).  I had no idea if it is a dwarf type or the standard one since this is my first time to grow canna and did not have any knowledge about the cannas.   Only I found it kept growing taller and taller after I put it in the ground.  I almost thought I did something wrong  to promote growing the leaves only, not the blooming.  It is now almost 5 feet tall, and finally several days ago it had two flower spikes emerging, just on time for me to see before I leave!

Canna americanallis var. variegata
Common names: Praetoria, Bengal Tiger, Austriostriata
Isn't it gorgeous?  I love it!  Worth the long waiting...  Well, even it does not bloom, I will keep it for its variegated green/cream leaves. 

You might still remember how I whined about my milkweed munched by Monarch caterpillars to the bare sticks.  Now the leaves grow back, and bloom again! Yay!

Gardenia is setting the new round of flowers again.  I just can not get enough of this heavenly scent!

Can I show you one more time  my Blue Fox Tail Orchid?  Hope it is here to stay when I return!

Different purslanes in my garden are loving South Florida's heat, even this gardener prefers cool weather :)

Loving the soft pink color of this Vinca (Periwinkle)!

Cats' Wiskers (Orthosiphon stamenis) seems adapting my garden quite well.  After the initial blooms faded since I brought it home early this month, now it is setting the new blooms all over again. 
Cats' Wiskers (Orthosiphon stamenis)
The rosa ixora bushes in the front garden are finally blooming again after experiencing the unusual freeze weather in South Florida this past winter.

This skipper is enjoying the sweet nectar of 'Dipladenia pink'...

Although the Desert rose has passed its peak time, it still has lots of flowers.

This dwarf Allamanda was killed to the ground in the winter freeze, and it took half year to grow back to its original size, and now finally showing the flower buds all over again.  I am sure when I return, this bush will be full of bright yellow trumpet shape flowers!

Ok, I better go to finish my packing now...  (Am I really ready to leave my garden?)

You all have a wonderful summer, or a beautiful winter for my friends in south hemisphere!

Happy gardening!

**  Since I might not be able to post anything in China (blogspot is blocked over there for some reason), I have prepared three posts that will be auto published on scheduled time, so this site won't be completely "cold" during my absence :)  I will be able to read the comments, but not able to reply.  I will reply to you if the comments are some questions that need a answer from me either by visiting your blog, or on my post. I am sure I will have some pictures I take in China to share with you all once I return.  **


  1. Dear Ami ~ Have a wonderful time in China seeing and being with your family and friends. Have your children been there before? I hope your gardens happily survive while you are gone. They look wonderful as always and I love the color of the zinnia that your son gave you.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Flowerlady: Thanks! Yes, we are going back to China every two years, so my sons (12 and 8 years old) have been in China quite a few times. But they learn to appreciate more of the trips and the cultures when they grow older... Have a good summer, stay cool!

  3. I hope you have a great time! Be sure to take lots of pictures for us... by the way, what province of China? Thanks for the photos; I really love that orchid... a dendrobium I think?

  4. RFG: I am sure I will take lots of pictures! I am going several places, Shanghai (one of the biggest city), Jiangsu Province(East coast of China) and Sichuan Province(Southwestern of China, that is the origin of Szechuan cuisine). Yes, that orchid is dendrobium.

  5. Have a wonderful trip to visit your friends and family Ami. Thank you for taking the time to give us a quick tour of your lovely garden before you go. I hope everything is in good order when you return.

  6. Have a great trip to China, Ami! Tell your son that is a beautiful flower he gave you! I hope to add some zinnias to my garden this summer. I really love that orchid as well! What a pretty color.

    Enjoy your trip and don't worry about that garden. Sounds like you covered your bases pretty well.

  7. Jayne: Thanks! I guess you can tell I am a little concerned about my garden, but I have done as much as I can to prepare, hope everything is fine when I return :)

    FG: Yes, I will tell my son your words. He usually does not care much about my garden, but he knows I have a blog to talk about gardening, and see my love (or craziness) about the plants, so when he brought me back that zinnias, he really wish I like it (which I do), and wish I can blog about it! LOL. Zinnia is very easy to grow, and self seeded easily. The only thing I am not crazy about is if I don't keep dead-heading it, the faded flowers look kind ugly with the rest of the plants. But they really blooming months, and return next year (everywhere)! Will visit you once I return.

  8. Have a nice lovely vacation Ami.
    I'm pretty sure your garden will be able to handle well as you have totally devoted to its care.
    I'm sure they will in turn reward you with many blooms to welcome you once you return.

  9. Hey Ami your garden are really healthy..i think u gave a great care to making these lovely..
    flower china

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  11. So many beautiful flowers Ami! That zinnia is very special and it is lovely to hear how proud your son is of it! Have a wonderful time in China - I look forward to some photos :)

  12. Well, please tell your son that those are the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen. He must love his mom a lot! :)

    How exciting that you'll be able to visit for so long. The closest I'll get to China was watching The Karate Kid last weekend.

    You'd done a lot to care for your plants. It'll be good to see what makes it. Expect some to not, and don't worry about it. :) Have a fantastic time!!! I'm looking forward to your China photos.

  13. I think it sounds like you are all set to leave your lovely garden for a time. It's nice to see a post of all those blooms. Your son's gift is so pretty. Love that color of zinnia. Enjoy your trip home and DO show us pictures (not necessarily garden related) when you get back.

  14. Your garden is blooming well. The babies are well taken care of. So do enjoy yourself during this vacation. Do bring back lots of photos yeah, and Bon Voyage!

  15. Ami, have a GREAT time with your family! I'm so happy for you! Although my family isn't nearly as far away as yours, I understand not living near them and looking forward to returning "home". Good for you!!
    I'm certain your garden will be fine in your absence. Between the rain and the preparation you've taken with your irrigation system, they should maintain nicely by themselves.
    Your canna is fantastic! I have this one too. They are very tall and expand rapidly. I love them! They work well with little maintanence in my garden. The rest of your blooms are lovely. You have a great variety!
    Again, enjoy and return safely!!

    PS - I'm impressed with your absentee posts!! Nicely done!

  16. Your garden is looking great...
    and the photographs are Awesome.
    thanks for sharing.


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