"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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December Florida Garden and Merry Christmas Happy New Year

We are having the best weather this December in Florida!  Last year December we had a cold snap and left gardeners lots of work and brown leaves. This year, the weather in South Florida has kept at 60s and 70s, and my garden is just loving  it!

Started last week, I have been taking my year end vacation.  This vacation will be stay-home vacation.  I hosted a big party with 18 families coming to our house last Saturday.  Before that I spent some time to clean my garden, put on some fresh mulches, removed the old/dead plants, planted some winter annuals.  The garden looks lovely, at least in my eyes :)

Let me just show you some pictures of my December garden.  If you are in the winter up north, hope all these flowers can give you some warmth and colors in your cold winter days.

First, I need help to identify one new plant.  I got it from a local nursery.  The owner did not know the name either.  The next two pictures shows both flowers and leaves.  Anybody recognize it?

Update on 2/27/2012:  Autumn Belle at "My Nice Garden" identified the above plant as "Strobilanthes hamiltoniana", common name: "Chinese Rain Bell".  Thank you, Autumn Belle!!!

The following is Schaueria flavicoma, also know as common name "Golden plume".  This is a shade or partial shade shrub, and first time blooming since I got it from Flamingo Gardens Member Day in May this year.

Schaueria flavicoma
Golden plume
This is the second year that Amazon Lily bloomed for me.  This year it was early though.  Last time it bloomed in February.

Amazon Lily
Eucharis grandiflora

Two types of matchstick bromeliads are blooming.

Bought two new bromeliads recently.

Looks like this year the Christmas Cactus are on time for Christmas.  They just started opening last week. 

Kalanchoes have been in my garden for three winters, and they never failed to bloom in winter time.

My favorite red and white combinations for Christmas.

Even cordylines are in blooming...

Cordyline fruticosa 'Kiwi' 

Hawaiian Ti

I got these mums from clearance rack in bad condition, after one month of care, they rewarded me with these.  Feels so good to be a plants rescuer!

Love the color of this Aster, and it is almost done with blooming.

Cuphea melvilleaCigar Plant 

Begonia Odorata Var. Alba

My Dear Friends in the real world and the gardening world, I wish you a very
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Florida Garden Update

Have not been posting anything for a while... Being busy and maybe also a little bit lazy explains this long blog break very well.   Now the hot summer is behind us,  we Floridian are in the best weather of the year.  I love this cool weather, and I got more energy out of it.  I found myself enjoying working in the garden again, although the gardening time is even more limited after daylight savings time ended.

I have been doing lots of gardening chores, most of them were related to cleaning, trimming, removing the dead plants.  After a long summer, lots of plants are either growing huge, or looking sad. However, there are lots of plants  seem enjoying this cool weather as much as this gardener.

Here are some pictures from last month that I would like to post here for my own record keeping.

Roses perform much better in this cool weather than they were in the hot humid Florida summer.

Josephine's Land
Queen Elizabeth


Belinda's Dream

Belinda's Dream

Firespike (Odontonema strictum)
 My friend gave me one small cutting of pagoda flower early this year.  Since I have not found the proper spot, I kept it in a one gallon pot.  As young as it was, it surprised me with its first flower cluster last month.
Pagoda Flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum)

Bridal Bouquet (Plumeria pudica)

The following are more recent pictures from this month's garden. 

Bromeliad Corner is now more filled in.
Does anybody know the name of the bromeliad below?  This one performs very well in the full sun.

On the other side, Neoregelia Zoe could not take much sun.  Too much sun will burn its leaves and fade the color.  This clump is located in a partial shade area, and kept its showy color.

Neoregelia Zoe
Matchstick bromeliad multiplies itself quite fast.  This is one of a few flowers.
Aechmea gamsepala
'Matchstick Bromeliad'
Various ground orchids are putting up shows in this fall garden.  Over the past two years, I have bought, divided the ground orchids and they are now all quite happy in the different flower beds.  

These are other orchids that are blooming now...

Here are more recent looks of the east side garden I opened during the summer.  Comparing them to the picture in August post , the bed looks much more established although I still have not finished planting at the further end.  Except some bushes as foundation plants, I used lots of free plants from other parts of my garden.  Those colorful coleus, impatiens, and Vincas are all volunteer seedlings from last year's plants. White and purple Angelonia angustifolia are from the cuttings. Don't you love the free plants? 

Some other plants in this flower bed:

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Brunfelsia pauciflora

Mealycup sage

Dwarf Mussaenda, White Wing 

Blue Butterfly
Clerodendrum ugandense
Sorry for a long post, but feel much needed after a long blogging break :)

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