"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, March 10, 2011

Spring Fever

My garden is definitely having a Spring Fever! Almost everyday I discover something new blooming.  Come to discover them with me...

This Gazania flower is almost too pretty to be real!  I started some seeds last fall, and only two seedlings eventually made it.  This week I discovered the first bloom, and it is not like those common yellow/orange tone flowers often seen sold in the garden center.  Isn't it a beauty?  Since the seed package I tried is a mix, now I am wondering what kind of flowers the other plant will have.  We shall see.

This is a real surprise to me!  I bought two yellow African Iris (Dietes bicolor ) when I just started my brand new garden almost two years ago.  They look like ornamental grass with their waving green sword-like leaves, and have multiplied nicely over the the time, but never bloomed. See what I found hidden in all green today?

Dietes bicolor 

Oh, my first Nun's orchid blooming!  I ordered this from Internet last November, and did not expect I can see a flower this soon.  It is still young, and only developed one flower spike.  I hope next year, it can bloom as prolific as what has been shown in other blogs.  Am I being greedy?!

Phaius tankervilliae
Common name: Nun's Orchid
I love the foliage of Variegated Devil's Backbone (Euphorbia tithymaloides 'Variegatus') since it adds nice texture and variation into the flower bed.  I did not know it even can bloom.  The flower is small and red, not very significant, but surely is showy and unique!

Euphorbia tithymaloides 'Variegatus'
Variegated Devil's Backbone
Remember how I whined about I missed my first bloom of Neomarica Caerulea 'Regina' (Giant Apostle's Iris) due to the busy schedule?  It quickly opened another sets of flowers to reward me! The flowers only last for one day, but surely worth the waiting!

Neomarica Caerulea 'Regina'
Giant Apostle's Iris
I bought this Proven Winners Senorita rosalita Cleome Hybrid  last summer after I encountered the mass of blooming of the classic Cleome in China.  This one is much smaller than the classic one.  I have to say even it is "Proven Winnders", I don't think it is really made for South Florida.  It has been attacked by a stem borer twice.  Each time, the  stem tip wilted and appeared dead.  Cutting them back to almost the base of the plant seems have saved it both time.  This attack has not occurred during the winter, and finally gave it a chance to bloom again! Hooray! 
Senorita rosalita Cleome Hybrid  
Yay, my ornamental pineapple bloomed too!  Just love this intense red on both leaves and fruit.  The leaves only turn to this bright red when the plant in blooming.

This Inca Lily (Alstroemeria) was one of those plants that I bought when I didn't  know much South Florida friendly plants (not I know it all now) at all.  After finishing its flower period last spring, it quickly melted away in the Florida heat.  Fortunately I did not throw away, and kept the pot in a shady place, and gave some occasional irrigation.  Once the weather cools down, it develops the new leaves, and now finally rewarded me with its flowers!

AlstroemeriaInca Lily
My Double Delight Rose still occasionally opens some flowers to reserve its spot in the garden. Yes, you are here to stay!

So much Spring Fever in my garden, contagious enough to spread to this gardener too!  I can feel so many ideas dancing in my mind to wait for me to execute!

Is your garden having a Spring Fever?


  1. That Gazania is off the charts awesome! Actually all of the photos are incredible. Nice to see this time of year.

  2. Oh Ami ~ What gorgeous blooms you have there. All of them are wonderful, and worth the waiting for them to open up and share their beauty with you. Thank you for the photos. The blooms of the Devil's Backbone are loved by hummingbirds.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. How fun to have grown that Gazania from seed and now see it blooming. Your Nun's Orchid is stunning. I have a bloom spike on one given to me as a small offset. I sure hope it looks like yours, but I have a feeling it is not those large flowers. Time will tell when the bloom finally opens up. Enjoy this spring weather.

  4. Wow, that gazania is gorgeous! What beautiful colors! You're right, it looks nothing like the typical gazanias. You hit the jackpot on that one! Makes me want to go buy a mixed pack of seeds and try my luck. ; ) Oh, my, I'm jealous of your Nun's orchid. That has been on my wish list since I saw them blooming at Bok last year. I have found out where they sell them locally, thanks to a Bok horticulturalist, so it's just a matter of getting up there now to get one.

  5. Of all the Gazania seeds I started I only had two to make it as well. Hope they do well this year. Your gardens sure are showing wonderful signs of spring.

  6. Re: Rex Begonia...mine is in a container and has been left outside for a year, winter burned it all the way back..it has bounced back nicely though. It grows rapidly and needs division. I just break some of the root and pot it up. If it does not receive a few hours of morning sun it will not bloom for me. I'll be housing it in the greenhouse this coming winter...I hoping for an extremely large specimen.

  7. I love seeing new plant choices, and you have plenty here! I had good luck with gazania seeds last year, but I expected the plants to last a lot longer than they did. I love how the blooms change color as they open.
    Anyone know -- are these commonly treated as annuals in Florida? I'm in Central Florida.

  8. That's a gorgeous gazania. And, your other flowers are so lovely, too. You are definitely ahead of us. I've been waiting for my nun's orchid buds to open for weeks now. and, it looks like it's still going to be awhile. Have a great weekend, and enjoy your spring garden.

  9. You have lots of blooms Ami. Your gazania is way ahead of mine, which are just now putting out buds. I love the color of yours. I like the African Lily too -- I have a couple of those in the garden, that the builder put in. I don't see any flower stalks on mine yet.

  10. ONG: Thanks! Glad to show you some Florida Spring flowers. I am sure you will soon see the sign of the Spring in your area too!

  11. FlowerLady: Thanks for letting me know the blooms of Devil's Backbone are loved by hummingbirds. I should keep a close watch on that. I really love hummingbirds!

  12. NanaK: Yes, it is fun to grow flowers from seeds. I so wish I can have bigger success rate though. Looking forward to seeing the flower of your Nun's orchid, although I don't think the size will have any difference, maybe some color difference?

  13. FG: You are lucky to be able to find a local nursery that sells Nun's orchid. I had to search over the Internet, and bought it online. Wish somebody could have given me some local info.

  14. Darla: I wish that I have tried more gazania seeds now seeing its beautiful flower. I saved some seeds though, maybe try again this fall.

  15. Penlyn: I also tried grow Gazania last year from store bought, and they did not last long either. I think it might not like extrem heat and humidity of Florida. I also read that some type is considered annual, and some are prennial. We will see...

  16. Susan: Those buds sure took quite some time to open, but worth the waiting! :) When your flowers open, mine probably is about to end, so I can continue enjoy its beauty from your garden :)

  17. Jayne: I think living south of you does make some difference in terms of blooming time. Those Aftican Iris seem take a long time for them to start blooming. Since is the first year for me to see its blooming.

  18. so many beautiful blooms.
    Truly a moment to celebrate in your garden!

  19. Ami you do have beautiful blooms to share today. wow it is hard to choose a favourite but that nuns orchid is very special. It looks as though you are in for a wonderful summer there.

  20. Hello Ami and sorry I have not visited for so long - had a bit of a blogging break! Looks like spring is well and truly under way in your garden. My Double Delight is just finishing its last flush for the year!

  21. Awesome blooms. Gazanias especially.


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