"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

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

Today, February 3rd,  is the Chinese New Year Day according to the lunar calendar.  It is the Year of the Rabbit.  If you were born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999, you could be a "Rabbit". 

The new year day of the last year, the Year of the Tiger was coincident with the Valentine's Day, I did a post about the auspicious plants used in China for new year celebration here

This year, my parents are here with me and my family.  Last time we spent the Chinese New Year together was eight years ago when they were also visiting us in the States.  I treasure the time we have with them, and I know it is very precious since kids still have the school around Chinese New Year, and we usually can not go back to China to visit them this time of the year.

I thought it would be nice to share the joy with my friends using the flowers from my garden. What else could be more appropriate for a gardener to express her happiness?

This Vanda is the Christmas Gift I received from my family.  It was the last to bloom, and it is so worth the waiting!  Although it is not as sky-blue as described by the seller, I love it!

Vanda Sawita 'blue'
My Bromeliad corner I started last June has been filled in quite nicely.  In my eyes, they are as beautiful as flowers.

I transplanted this begonia from the container to the ground after they were done flowering, and now they are taking off again, with more prolific blooming!  The nice scent it sends out in the morning is another bonus.

Begonia Odorata Var. Alba
Burbine's small flowers may not be that significant, but I just love their carefree characters, and the frost/cold front did nothing to them. 

While I am still searching up and down for those great rose performers in Florida, such as 'Louis Philippe' and 'Belinda's Dream', I am enjoying the flowers from my hybrid tea roses.  They love this weather much better than our hot and humid summer.

Perfume Delight

Perfume Delight

Double Delight
My Pink Angel's trumpet (Brugmansia) has been putting on her best show ever since I stuck a cutting into the ground last summer.  Their nice scent fills the night air so delightfully.

This blue Butterfly (Clerodendrum ugandense) plant in the container has been opening more flowers recently.  I really need to find a spot in the ground for her.  They do look like butterflies!

Oh, I think every Florida Garden should plant this Indian Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella).  I started them from seeds, and once they were established, they just could not stop flowering.  Drought/heat/cold tolerant, beautiful flowers, what else you can ask for a plant?

This cape honeysuckle was a newly acquired plant.  I just can not resist its brilliant red/orange flowers when I first spotted it in a local nursery.  Now I have done some research, it seems this could grow quite big if left unprunned.  Or I am hoping its cultivar is 'Apricot', a smaller and more compact one than the one with yellow flowers ('Aurea' ).  Anybody has experience to grow this honeysuckle?

Tecomaria capensis
Common Name: cape honeysuckle
Family: Bignoniaceae

Happy Chinese New Year to anybody who celebrates it!  For the rest of you, hope you enjoyed the flowers from my winter Florida Garden!


  1. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family Ami. Glad you are able to be together with your parents.

    Your garden blooms are wonderful. You have a lovely variety. I love all of your different broms, wow.

    I also have that begonia and thank you for telling the name of it.

    Your roses are beautiful.

    Have a nice celebration with your family and happy gardening.


  2. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family. How nice that you can spend time with your parents.

    Thank you for sharing your winter flowers with us. Love the bromeliad corner. It has really filled in. You have many pretty colors in there. Since this past year of seeing so many beautiful broms, I have been adding more to my garden as well. It's nice to see those roses doing well.

    Enjoy your celebratiion.

  3. Oh, your roses are gorgeous, Ami! I am so jealous! And that vanda is a dream, even if it might not be the sky-blue promised. I love vanda orchids and am waiting patiently for mine to rebloom. Your bromeliad corner is looking awesome. Makes me want to run out and re-arrange my own broms. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy for that.

    Have a wonderful Chinese New Year with your family! Did you at least take your kids out of school for the day?

  4. Hi Ami,
    Those roses are delightful. If I ever get around to rooting an LP rose I'll send you one. Your brom bed is as pretty as flowers to me, too. I love them and yours is growing rapidly. My trumpet plant was fried in the last frosts. It will return but there are no blooms to enjoy.

    So glad your family is still visiting and you can all enjoy your New Year together.

    Beautiful vanda, too. All the photos and colors are a joy to see. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. Happy New Year Ami,
    I have to agree with you that the Blanket Flowers do great here in South Florida. They are tough plants just right for our severe environment. I have more seedlings sprouted of the Blanket Flower to put out for this Summer.

  6. Flowerlady: Thanks! That begonia is wonderful, isn't it? I love every espect of it, the flower, the glossy green leaves and the scent!

  7. NanaK: I wish my bromeliad corner can be larger, so that I can stuff more into it. This is the corner always colorful, and yet without much of my care. Those bromeliads could be addictive :)

  8. FG: Hehe, I admit that "sky-blue" promise was the reason that I bought this vanda. The real color has some red tone into it, made it more like blue-purple. But I still love it :)
    Rearranging the Neo Broms won't be too hard, but I don't think I want to rearrange any of those broms with sharp leaves.

    No, I did not take kids out of the school. Have been in US for so many years, I adapted to have our big celebration on the closet weekend of the new year day :) But we did have a very nice feast with my parents and some friends together on the new year eve.

  9. Meems: Thanks for the offering of a potential LP rose! I must have been searching in the wrong places, since none of them has LP rose for sale. My area is a little warmer than yours, and all my trumpt plants are planted in a micro environment that got more protection. That is why they did not get much damage from the cold weather. They grow very fast once the weather warms up. I am sure you won't need to wait for too long to see the blooms.

  10. Sanddune: thanks!

    It did take some time fr those blanket flowers to grow to flowering size from seeds. But now they become non-stopping bloomers. I saw some seedlings around the plants too. Great for the summer. I found the seeds grow much better when the mother plants sow them themselves.

  11. Happy Chinese New Year, Ami! Your flowers are all so lovely and your broms look fabulous. I love seeing your angel trumpet. It will be a long time here before mine returns. After two years of cold weather...it may not. I completely agree with you about the Indian blanket flowers...they are as close to perfect as a plant/flower can get.

    How nice that your parents are here to celebrate the new year with you.

  12. Susan: Thanks! If you can find some cuttings of angel trumpt, it might be easier to root a cuttings instead of waiting for the new growth from the old one. The cutting grew very fast for me. All three of my trumpts are from cuttings of last year.

  13. aivenHappy Chinese New Year to you and family and thank you for showing this beautiful Vanda

  14. Hi Ami, hope you have a prosperous, happy, healthy New Year! Your garden flourishes and the variety of plants is spectacular. I love them all!! I am also a friend of Begonias in all their different shapes and flowers. I grow Tecomaria capensis. Just keep it pruning, it will produce more flowers. If you do not prune it, it can grow to a very large shrub with very long canes. It also suckers a little, but it is never a problem.
    I grow a soft yellow which I really appreciate weaving its flowers through other shrubs. From time to time I cut the long canes back.
    Hope this helps.

  15. Happy chinese New Year to you.
    Wow, you really got an excellent collection of all the beautiful plants.
    Really admire your broms.
    Was thinking of having a brom in my garden - just wondering if their cups breeds mosquitos.Broms are very expensive in my place.

  16. thanks for answering my questions.
    Does your parent brom plant dies after it flowers or gives pups.
    I have friend who told me all her broms died rotten over some time, so wonder what went wrong.


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