LOL...no..last year. Just posted those in my relation to' looking forward to spring'. We've had two days of cold weather and I am already tired of it. Supposed to be 37 tonight...yuck!! I just hate to see things all brown and ugly! Thank goodness for my GH or I think I would have severe depression not seeing anything bloom.
Hi Drew...got all your babies tucked away?? Where is AeAe?
Aww, Drew...you didn't!!!Couldn't get it in the house this year? Is that a pup next to it? Have you cut it back before? I would be worried to death it wouldn't come back. I bet that was hard to do!! All the others look great. I have Big Boy in my family room. Hope he'll like it there for the next four months.
That's pretty cool, to have online Aunties and Uncles. Thanks all, yes she is our first grandchild, and the first for the other grandparents, too. As you can imagine, it was a real Event for all of us.
Not much new in my garden - except !! My Brazilian Red Cloak that has been in bloom literally all summer lost its last flower head a week or two ago, and now there are new flower heads coming! Can't believe it. Either it is really happy, or it's saying sayonara. We shall see!
Red cloak new flowers
Blue Thunbergia blooming away
Uh oh, poor confused nanner. That's a cool picture, though. Maybe it will warm up again, long enough for it to flower. You'll have to rent a really huge greenhouse to keep it warm enough to get fruit, though.
Yes, I almost wish I lived closer, but . .. I'll see baby and her parents again at Christmas, and they are coming for a visit here in January. I forsee even more travel in my future.
Gosh Drew...slow growers,huh? Maybe now that mama is cut back they will grow more. Can you eat those bananas?
My MIL has banana trees here and they've had actual bananas several times, but seems like they said they wasn't good to eat. We have one down at our house on the coast that has bananas, haven't checked on it lately. How long does it take them to mature?
Yes, They are quite good from what I hear Paula... 2.5-3.5 months depending on the variety to ripen. If it is near a freeze you can cut off the fruit stem and place in a bucket of water to finish them off.
Alice, I have had many that bloomed late in the season. Hate it, but might as well make compost with it! Babies making the WORLD go round!
Here are some of my favorite tropical plants for winter - veggies in Earth Boxes! Tomato 'Momotaro' are in bloom already, grape tomatoes, eggplant 'Purple Rain', peppers and two kinds of broccoli are coming along like gangbusters. Basil 'Cardinal' will have great big red flower heads as well as tasty leaves. Trying for some celery this winter, didn't work last time I tried, though. We shall see! They used to grow it commercially in this area so it can be done, depends upon the weather I'm guessing.
Starting some seeds of nasturtiums this week to keep color going through the cool days. Maybe try some zinnias next spring to carry through until the tropical flowers take over again.
Heliconia 'Lady Di' still putting up flowers out front.
Sorry Drew, they are usually cooler than we are during the summer. It is just not fair is it!
I have a heliconia I got from PDN last year. It is living and seemingly healthy but it has not bloomed for me. It is supposed to be hardy in Raleigh so it should be fine by you. I forget which variety it is but PDN carries it.
The heli's like lots of water and shade in the summer, although they are getting morning sun now, and loving it.
Heat year 'round?? Where?? I had to close the windows last night, it was so chilly. Perfect today, though. I am wearing long pants and will put on my sweatshirt before I go out again this evening.
I do have to cover the veggie plants if the nights get too cold, to keep them from going dormant. Last year we had tomatoes and peppers right through winter. Hoping for more this year. I'm helping with a school garden at the local elementary school, too. Wish us luck with the weather! We're trying for Stone Soup in December.
We really are blessed with great weather here, although the soupy nights in summer are a bit hard to take. It never got over 93 all this summer. Considering how hot it got elsewhere, we really can't complain. And it's so lovely the rest of the year . . .
My friend sent me this orchid division - Gerberara Snow Ballet - a month ago, and it is still blooming and beautiful. She just calls it "the weed".
LoL, Kay she's given away so many divisions of that orchid, it's a wonder it's not in the Invasives list.
Where the heck is everybody gone? The weather must be really good and they're all out in their gardens. I guess that's where I've been, too. Although I have the excuse of visiting family, and beach/boating days to fall back on.
Here's an orchid growing in a "living wall" which I must admit I'd never have thought of, but it sure seems to be happy.
I have been busy getting all my plants in...very tiresome job. I will take pictures when done. I am packing them in there like crazy...I do hope they do ok. I've just got to get some air circulation in there. I've got one blowing on my orchids, but need one at the front. My other one bit the dust, they are only good for about a year or two. Between the moisture and running 24/7, it wears them out.
On that living wall, the shiny round leaves near the top on the right were on a begonia, and yes, Paula's right the ones lower down are peperomia, I think. There was an amazing array of plants on that one section of living wall, nice texture contrast.
It was at the Botanical Garden in Salt Lake and the plants were not labeled. Nice way to humidify your home (or large atrium, in this case) in that dry climate, I think.
I saw one recently and they used an old pallet for the frame. They stapled weed block cloth over the back and bottom and layed it flat to fill with potting mix. While it was flat they planted it between the slats and as soon as the plants took root they hung it, they water it from the top which was left open. Such a fun project!
Ho, I wish, Paula. Google "living wall systems" and you will see there is a huge array of different living wall components you can buy. Or, as Alice points out you can make one of your own out of recycled materials. It's become the "nouveau" art form in recent years.
If you ever get down to Orlando, the display at Epcot is the most gorgeous living wall system I've ever seen. This link has the best pictures of it, and others. http://greenecowalls.com/ OF course the Epcot people spend an enormous amount of money on plants there and change their plants out all the time to keep it fresh and looking beautiful.
I have some interesting things I found in the garden this morning, including a bloom on my little "wild" Monk orchid. Spathoglottis orchids still blooming away, and putting up new spikes. Flowering maples, looking like little hibiscus flowers are loving the cooler weather.
After beefing about it's boring color all summer, my Colocasia 'Blue Hawaii' is making smaller leaves now with very vivid colors, and 'Dipt in Wine' coleus that I got as cuttings from Mj are coming on brilliantly.
Heliconias are still appearing, although the nights have been pretty cool.
Red-leafed hibiscus is blooming, the flowers are not quite so purple as the picture shows.
Red-stemmed philo I got as a cutting from Cassie back in May is happily climbing this oak stump.
Lady Margaret passion vine blooms non-stop.
Tomatoes on the vine, our reward for suffering through the whole summer without tomatoes.
Love that brassavola, Mj. The hoya is really pretty, too, and those are big flowers - the buds are cool looking as well. I miss my Mex. Sunflowers, had to yank out the big clump I had back by the fence corner as it was competing with my dwarf Poinciana. It does seem to seed itself, though so I doubt it will be gone long.
Crinum blooms at Selby last weekend.
Some really neat plant hangers or mounts for orchids, tillandsias or bromeliads, made out of vine wreaths wired into tiers.
Screw pine cone, I think I'll make this my holiday card this year. The cones were huge, must be all the rain we had.
Pretty, large ground orchids - Spathoglottis- with stems at least 3ft long, and have been in bloom since I was there last - in May!
I took this picture when we were on Longboat Key last year and I didn't have a clue what it was. Thanks Elaine. :-) My mother grew a huge pandanus in the house when I was a child but we never had any fruit on it.
Martha, how do you keep your Cape Honeysuckle so neat and shrub like. Mine wanders all over the place I am forever cutting it back so I rarely see enough flowers to make it worth my while.
my cape honeysuckle is blooming still downstairs. I love it.
70's here record high yesterday at 74, here we are with all the plants inside even tho they could have stayed out and braved the cold a few more weeks.
Have no clue why I am up, but My sister DROVE herself with her lil dog sadie, in the 96 buick park avenue I gave her two years ago. She brought sadie for us to get Used to her, since we will be inheriting her when sister is gone. SHe has lost 20 pounds, the chemo was making her sooo sick, the decided to give her a ten day break from it. She is now drinking the essiac tea and also taking soursop fruit caplets. She has eaten more here in one day ( last night( than she has all week. I had made a big ole pot of chicken and noodles, and some tuna cassrole and some linquini, and she ate a bowl of each. She also ate 5 of the two kinds of cookies joanna and joe made. I am so glad she made it here. I had to work yesterday and willl work tommorrow and saturday while she is here, but kids and hubby are doting over her well enough. Joanna made white bread and pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies with chic chips, Joe made some kind of stuffing with cornbread and apples, sister and i made pecan pies and dressed a bone in ham with brown sugar, pineapple and cherries. We are going over to Joes lil brothers house this year. Kids are meeting us over there.
Sister told me last night she expects this to be her last thanksgiving and i started crying. then we were both crying. Today we will all be thankful for all of us standing.
I love you, my net friends. Happy Thanksgiving and take care.
PS: Joe and Sadie are getting along.. he knows we will be inheriting her some day and he is actually good with that. She is a cute lil boxer/beagle mix. 5 years old. Joanna took to her right away. Sadie gaurds Sherry like a fierce mama Bear. LOL
Hey guys! Sorry I've been rather scarce around here, but as you know I've been having problems with buying my house and such... Well yesterday, my wife and I finally got the house (still need to see what's up with the heating system, but still we got it!), so we definitely have something to be thankful for!
Hopefully it's not too late to plant some of the plants I've had waiting to be moved... I'll probably keep the more borderline stuff in the garage until spring, but the Tamarisks (hardy to zone 4) and the lavender (hardy to zone 5) will be planted once we get everything else moved into the house.
Thanks! BTW, the previous owners seemed to have been fans of Spiderwort: They had the purple flowering variety planted all over the place... There is also some weird kind of plant along the back of the house that looks kind of like a calla lily, but it had to have been in the ground since LAST winter, so I'm sure that can't be it, and there is also a HUGE trumpet vine trellis in the back yard. There also is an abandoned and overgrown water garden that I'm thinking about converting into a Koi pond sometime next year as well.
I actually have aspidistra, and it doesn't look like that... For one thing, its leaves are a bit too thick and for another, all the leaves come out of a central stem rather than popping up at different spots individually. One thing I've seen on Dave's Garden that it MIGHT be is an "Italian Arum", but it came up at the wrong time of year.
If it comes back next spring, I'll post pictures, but it was rather puzzling, to say the least.
Nice photos everyone.
Debra, I am wishing your sister, better days ahead and may God bless you all.
Dyzzy, as of late, I've become a bit interested in purchasing an Orchid. Can you enlighten me on any in the genus of Dracula?
oh, Ho! Rachel, welcome to the club of orchid addicts! Once you get one, you can't stop collecting the darn things. I'm certainly no expert, but I'm having fun experimenting to find the ones that will grow outside in my yard here. If you take the plunge, get on the Orchids forum and you'll find lots of people more knowledgeable than me.
I don't have any Draculas myself, but my favorite orchid book has a page on Dracula and the (too cool!) picture they show has a flower with a face that looks exactly like a monkey = Dracula marsupialis or Dracula simia. Looks like you've pretty well got to hang them up to show them properly because the flowers hang down from the base of the leaves. They can grow in a pot, or on a mount, but might be somewhat high maintenance because it says "keep the medium moist at all times". Other than that, cool to medium temperatures, humidity and shade.
C'mon, I can't be the only one here who still has something blooming? Where's everybody gone?
Three colors of Abutilons loving the cooler weather, it seems.
Funny little NoID brassavola orchid I got at a Master Gardener plant sale a year ago. This is the third time it's bloomed so I'm not complaining, but this time it has spots on its lip which it's never had before! The red petals fade to orange, and the lip turns yellow so it's a fun one to watch.
ps. for Rachel, don't pay a lot for your first orchid - I went looking at Draculas and the one site I found with lots of them has very high prices! It's best to learn your orchid culture on a couple of inexpensive plants, so if you mess up you won't feel so bad. It's a whole different ball game from growing 'regular' plants.
If someone would send me a white and a black bat plant, I'd be glad to share pictures as it grows! LOL
Your flowers are beautiful, Elaine - keep them coming.
I have shown pictures of all the plants I had in bloom. Some are still blooming:
Passiflora 'Lady Margaret'
All the Clerodendrums - blue, red, shrubs and vines
The Daffodils are coming up
The Saffron Crocus have been up for a while, but no blooms
Thunbergias are all still blooming
Klanchoes are budding
Pink trumpet vine is blooming
A couple of the Brugmansias are blooming
Nothing in the greenhouse is blooming
Stictocardia is LOADED with buds - none open yet
Cassia - pop corn variety - is in full bloom
My new Grandaughter is in bud and will bloom on Dec. 4, via C-section!!!!!
Here's what's blooming in Marco Island--
Hawaiian Sunset vine
Mexican Bleeding Heart
White bleeding heart
Heliconias (Okay so some of them came from Jesse Durko's in Davie, but they ARE blooming!)
Lots of orchids and I will send pix when I take a few more
Hybrid Hibiscus that was on the markdown rack at Lowe's
all of the other Hibiscus
Night bloomimg jasmine(just a little)
and of course the ixoras!
I may have missed some and will take some pictures this morning. I dug up shoots of a Florida Hydrangea at a house that is being demo-ed around the corner. I am also buying from them--at least I gave them the check yesterday and now they have to deliver-- 20 or more HUGE coral stone rocks.Even the sewer construction men don't want to tackle them, so hopefully when they bring in the "CLAW" to tear down the house they can bring them over. It's just on the next street over. A gorgeaous lot with a view out to the Gulf with a dreadful house-sold for $1.2Million. What a gorgeous lot--I hope they leave the spectacular Royal poinciana tree and don't rip it out.
Okay--off for breakfast and some pictures
Had the worst time loading pictures!
The Dutchmans's pipe is blooming away It gets the east sun and is on a chain link fence.
The lobster claw has yet to be planted--that's next week when we rip out the macho ferns and plant lobster claws and a ginger for full sun
The orchid has attached itself to the tree, and yes, in the background is the monster stag horn! One fell down and we cut it up and attached to lots of trees--we'll see how it does!
The next picture IS dark, but it's the Mexican bleeding heart growing on to my new trellis/pergola between the house and the outside garage.
Finally, the Hawaiian sunset. It just doesn't take a good picture, but it stretches about 75 feet now, and we hack away at it all summer. DO NOT plant unless you have a lot of space.
Yes, all those would not make it outside. They are all tropical...some may be borderline, but I wouldn't risk it. I also have probably 50 or 75 different plants in my house. Do I have an addiction???...Nah!
Hi Rachel...question for you...My anthurium has 2 or 3 old blooms on it (pic) what would the seeds look like and could I plant them or are they very particular like orchids?
Those do indeed look like ripe berries Paula. You can peel the fleshy part away along with the membrane and plant them to see if they are still viable. As far as them being picky to germinate, that would depend upon the particular Anthurium but in general it's the time frame that is important.
When my Aunt passed away this past summer I found this plant in her garden, very neglected. I hung it in a more filtered spot in my garden and it looks so much better now. My mom says she remembers it had beautiful flowers. Does anybody know what this is? I'm thinking some kind of orchid cactus . It is just in one of those three level wire hangers with no soil so it is a Epiphyte of some sort. But I've searched through so many photos and can't find anything that looks like this stemming. No flowers since I've had it.
Thanks Kay, I have the Reed stem Crucifix orchids, but they have a much thinner stem than this does. However I do see how the leaves are quite similar. I took some more photos so you can see what I'm talking about...the first one is my Reed stem orchid and the last three are my Aunt's plant. It sure looks to be a Epidendrum, but don't think it is the reed stem radicans.
It's an Epidendrum, but I don't believe it's radicans, probably going to have to wait till it blooms. I have several that are similar, but with the thicker stems. They are out in the greenhouse, so I'll have to wait till tomorrow to check the tags. One's a baby girl pink and the other is pale yellow with pink and white, and the blooms are very different fromradicans. Keep them in very bright light short of full sun, and allow to dry out, and FEED. ( I grow radicans here in full blazing sun here, which to me is another indicator that your's is not radicans if it's not happy in full sun.
I'll dig around my files to see if I can find a bloom pic.
I appreciate you taking a look, but you're probably right about waiting for the flowers to bloom. It certainly appreciates the shadier spot I have it in now. My Aunt was a gardener and loved the unusual and unique plants, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it is something spectacular.
That's a cool story, that you rescued it from your Aunt's garden. You should pop over to the Orchids forum, and post your pictures. I'll bet one of the wonderful orchid geeks over there would know what it is.
I only have one Epidendrum, and it is radicans. Doesn't have those fat stems.
Get a pump sprayer and keep some very weak orchid fertilizer in it - mix about 1/4 strength - and spray it with that a few times a week, and every day in the summer. It will bloom, and we can't wait to see it!
Thanks dyzzy, I'll do just that...I did post in the plant ID forum and so far nothing. I'll get some orchid fertilizer and keep it sprayed.
I rescued a few things from my Aunt's garden and she was my mentor, so having pieces of her all around my garden is a real treasure. She lived until mid 90's all alone here in Florida and gardening was her passion...I always feel it kept her healthy and young.
Just for fun I posted some pictures of items from her garden to mine ☺
Chair and wood bucket, tin watering can (got a few of these), succulent in pot, zebra in strawberry pot, and heavy cement bird bath.
Well I received and ID and looking at the images on Google this is it... a Dendrobium Nobile (cane orchid). How exciting, and now I just need to not kill it. ☺
I'll certainly post photos if I ever get some blooms. Thanks to Kay, mjsponies, dyzzypyxxy for your help. And of course OCCAROL for the plant ID. Love love this website. Worth a million to me... oops, better be careful, they might raise the membership fees. ☺
I just love the zebras in the strawberry jar, too. Your Aunt sure had some neat plants, Sherri.
I have brugmansia Charles Grimaldi putting on another flush of bloom thanks to the wonderful weather we are having. Even though the rain barrels are empty, I'm afraid to wish for rain because it would mean a cold front and the end to this fabulous run of highs 80, lows 60 - perfect weather. I've even got full size tomatoes ready to ripen, and broccoli ready to pick.
Charles's blooms start out almost white, and slowly shade to orange over about 5 days. The scent in the evenings is just lovely.
Another of my brugs from Debra has a big cluster of buds, but I'll be out of town next week when they finally open. Hope my bro will remember to take pics of them for me. He'll be here cat-sitting for the week.
Elaine you are so fortunate... my wife would kill for those tomatoes right now.
Paula those Anthurium seeds will germinate very well in peat moss, just barely covered, in a Chinese type takeout container with the cover on under a warm light kept moist not wet. Punch pin size holes in the cover so It can breathe.
Drew! What about that upstairs bathroom with all the grow lights in the fixture where you had baby AeAe at first?
Start a tomato plant or two in August from seed, and grow them over winter in that bathroom of yours! You'd have to pollenate with a little paintbrush, but heck, for fresh tomatoes??
Also, doesn't that atrium of yours with the wonderful tall windows get sun? You could grow tomatoes there, too, with a little help from some grow lights to lengthen the "days" for them. Put them at the foot of the AeAe giant mama plant?
Just had 20 monstrous sized coral stone rocks delivered--dumped in the front yard to be put in in front of the monkey puzzle bed--monkey puzzle has crowded everything out so will have the boys start moving some of the daylilies etc that's in that spot. They were at a house that is being demo'd--people paid $1.2 million and don't even have the plans for the new one--on the next street over. Got a great deal and would love to hose them off, but am afraid they'll really sink into the grass even more!!!! The shells embedded in them are spectacular!
My macho ferns and old ixoras get yanked out tomorrow , to be replaced by gardenias and jasmine, lobster claws and ginger-- can't wait for the change!! My mast tree finally gets planted and the leather ferns also get yanked out.They are under my bathroom window and there are way too many noises in them at night!
OT, but went on line looking for "grow lights" for a small area where I am trying to protect my tropicals this winter. (80 today, forecast 27 by Sunday night). Was surprised to see that most of what was on-line specified that they were for marijuana plants. Someone told me that the NEA has sensors in helicopters to pick up "grow lights" for that very reason. I am sooooo sheltered.
Bet the greenhouse and grow light biz will pick up in Washington state now that pot is legal there! Debi, would love to see pics of the new rocks in place there. We've missed seeing your orchid pictures, too.
I know this is a repeat, but I just love the color change on these funny little orchids, pink/white to yellow/orange in about a week.
I also have coral salvia and porterweed still blooming their hearts out with the fabulous weather we've had. Lucky for us, the cold fronts just have not come this far south, except for the very edges of the one that followed TS Sandy.
Some fun with foliage in the last pic, heliconia, coleus, hydrangea and Begonia 'Don Miller' putting on a little flower.
Many of the stores that specialize in organics are really specializing in growers equipment. They have these cool pop up tent thingies that are black on the outside so they can't be detected through windows and silver on the inside for reflecting the halogen or gro lights. I would love one for my attic, it would make a great indoor GH. Seriously though, this is a lucrative business so these stores only carry the best supplies and fertilizers. They are not cheap but the quality and variety are great. My gardening buddies and I who are always looking for the perfect fertilizers or potting mediums joke that we are probably the only little old white haired ladies whose pictures are in the DEA files for frequenting these places.
I use 4' seedling heat mats under containers on my open porch and deck during the winter months. It seems to just raise the temp a few degrees and that is usually all I need. On really cold nights I can throw a blanket over the whole thing. Since the porch and deck floor is wood slats, I use one of those reflective foil emergency blankets under the heat mat so I don't lost any heat down through the boards. The blankets are inexpensive in the outdoor stores, usually around $3 and I can cut one in 3 pieces to use under 3 mats.
Great score on those coral rocks, they sound wonderful. I was shopping for new tile yesteday and noticed some very expensive tiles made from slices of natural coral rock, there were shells in them and they were drop dead gorgeous. We took a lot of old pampas grass out when we bought this house, There were rats nests in the centers and the snakes loved it, it was like a free buffet for them. When you live near the water it is always a challenge to keep the rats away.
Lots of camellias blooming right now, some roses are loving the cool weather and the beautiful salvia involucrata or Rosebud Sage. It will stay in bloom all winter now. Love it.
On the tiles-- we were shopping for tile this past month and found tile that looks like wood! Loved it years ago when it was SO expensive--downright cheap at Home Depot now--thank goodness as we need 1100 square feet for the living side of the house. And I love the pebble tile--that's going in a shower floor.
As far as rats-- I always will remember when we lived at a condo hiring the men to clean out the palm trees. One fellow said--you know there's rats in those trees--and I responded, and that's why we pay you do do that work! Back then it was $15 a tree--this year we paid $40 to $60 a tree/ Well worth it as the coral snakes love the palms as well.The people who bought my parents house down the street placed a dumpster in the driveway for the renovations and yard waste ONE YEAR AGO and it hasn't been cleaned out yet. Don't EVEN want to think what is in there!
Debijaynes, so now I'm learning that rats live in Palms and because the coral snakes like rats that they are in the trees, and here all I thought lived in them was that monster palmetto bugs... so what is good about palm trees, please someone tell me before I decide to rip them all out of the yard?
My son has a mess of Queen palms at his home in JAX and I could listen to the gentle sound they make when the wind blows through their fronds all day. They are beaituful when they sway in the wind too. I don't know if Queens harbor critters or not. When they first bought that home they had lava rock in all the beds including the foundation plantings. The snakes liked to sun themselves on those warm rocks and they found many, many - all non venomous thankfully. They removed the rocks and have had few snake encounters since they did that.
Rocks or not, we have snakes! As long as you keep your trees and shrubbery trimmed and neat, I think for the most part you can keep the population down. No bird feeders that's for sure! Pine straw attracts not only snakes but fleas love all things pine! Marco Island mows on a regular basis all the vacant lots, carefully avoiding the gopher tortoise and owl nests(burrowing). I also find that keeping plants away from the foundation is a help.
We have bird feeders, about 6...and live on 11 acres, that backs up to 3500 acres of St. John's Wildlife management,We occasionally have snakes...sometimes venomous, but more often than not, just good old Black, Blue, or Rat snakes...you just need to know the difference. Do your research...
Good on ya, Mj. Hey folks, you want a balance of nature in your garden. If you evict the snakes, you will have rodents until the snakes come back. I do have more rodents and snakes since I put out the bird feeders, but I also have a lot more birds that eat bugs and caterpillars that harm my plants. I welcome the snakes and never ever kill one on purpose. (ran over one with the car once, sadly) Never seen a venomous snake in Florida myself, but I do know they are around and know how to ID them, too.
Yes, we have or have imported, every bug and critter on the face of the earth in Florida, but well, mosquitoes are a bother, and raccoons - which are not indigenous - are a pain in the patootie but I'm not bothered by anything else in my garden, in general. They're all living here for the same reason we are, which is great weather. I can sure live with them, the trick is to just be aware. When I lived in Vancouver, Canada - a very large and sophisticated city - we had to be aware of black bears raiding our gardens, birdfeeders and garbage cans. What's more scary?? They have coyotes in the streets of NYC, not to mention dangerous people all over the place. There are scary things everywhere that you should be wary of.
Jan, if you rip out all your palms the critters will live in any other tree or shrub you plant. I have a few palms and they are beautiful, easy care and not messy. Mostly I have huge live oaks that harbor an amazing ecosystem. You make a beautiful garden for yourself, but because you nurture and water it, it's beautiful to all the other living things, too. Even if you make a desert out of your yard, you will have critters you don't want. Scorpions love it hot and dry. May as well have a lovely lush garden and learn to live with everybody you attract.
I've been here in Grand Cayman diving all week. Saw a hammerhead on Monday that swam by 20ft from me, scores of invasive poisonous lionfish, green moray eels, stingrays, sea urchins. Tons of things that could hurt me but didn't. The cars on the street are more of a threat to me than anything in the sea or my garden, I think. Statistics back me up, too.
Same here. Even though corals, copperheads, diamondbacks and cotton mouths are indigenous to this area, I have never seen even one here at my home. I often wonder about my yankee neighbors who see them all the time, I suspect they don't stay around long enough to get a real ID. I do have bird feeders, quite a few of them actually, and they do invite the rodents but, to me, the birds are worth it.
One thing I have changed however is to remove pampas grass. This introduced plant harbors rats nests around here. As the plants age, they develop an opening in the center at the base, this turns out to be a toasty warm spot for the rats to nest. Short of dividing the grasses each year it is inevitable so we chose to remove the pampas. When we first moved here we could actually hear the baby rats at certain times of the year and we saw many more (non) venomous snakes prior to the removal.
I do keep all plant material and my pine straw well away from the foundation - at least 4' - and that helps with the palmetto bugs.
All that being said, I think the snakes are there and you just don't see them unless you go looking.
Yes, I forgot to say, agree about keeping plants and mulch away from the foundation and keeping irrigation away from the house, too. When the weather is dry we do have snakes and other critters like various frogs come into the pool cage after the water. I've taken to putting out a tub or two of water (c/w mosquito dunk) for the critters so they won't feel it necessary to visit the pool. We also have a little water garden in the front yard that I'm sure a lot of animals drink from.
As long as I know the snake is nonpoisonous, I have no problem with them.
at the other house there was always one that lived in my GH. We had to have a few 'conversations' about wraping around the hanging baskets (and scaring the daylights out of me). So far here, I don't have on in the GH, but plenty in the yard. I was finding one about every week or so for a while. Found the 'Mom' laying in the yard a couple of months ago, but I relocated her, because the cats kept circling her and wouldn't leave her alone.
Here is one that was at the front door. Almost grabbed him when I went to move the plant.
I'm thinking the only reason I haven't seen the rats is because of my two collies who patrol the yard. However, I've seem more than enough snakes, I don't care how wonderful snakes are, I will never care for them! But those palmetta bugs are the worst thing (to me) about living in FL. The rental house has mulch all around the house (I am trying to educate the owner, to the fact this attracts those darn bugs) but he like the looks so we have to deal with those darn things. His solution to get rid of them is to keep spraying the chemicals. Why is it that folks think, spray the chemicals and everything will be alright, shaking head over this type of thinking.
So on with life here in my beautiful FL with all the snakes, palmetto bugs and what ever else makes it way into our home bubble...LOL
Home from our dive trip, to a very happy kitty cat and lush garden that got a couple of good rain showers while we were gone! Yay.
Dirty little raccoon paw prints all around the edge of the pool, too. I think this one likes the smell of my brugs. Charles Grimaldi is in full fragrance right now. If the cat is fighting with the 'coon tonight, he's getting trapped and removed tomorrow night!
A few pretties from the botanical garden in Gr. Cayman. Rainbow gum tree had the prettiest 'painted' bark. Begonia odorata alba still lush and blooming in a sunny spot over top of a hedge. Poinsettias - huge ones 7ft. tall with bracts 18in. across. Little orange butterflies loved them. Cool leaves and flower bud on a breadfruit tree. Lovely pink-flowered mandevilla (I think) vine climbing 35ft. up a column at a shopping mall.
Gotta love that rainbow gum. If I ever lived somewhere warm enough I would have a whole grove of them. I saw a huge one in HI on a mountain where it regularly dropped to the high 30's at night. Had to be the mild days and abundant water perfect growing conditions.
Debra, just wanted you to know you and your sister have been in my thoughts and prayers.
Oo, sweet baby! I can't wait for my kids to come visit in January c/w my new granddaughter.
Found some pretty colors still hanging on in the garden:
- Matchstick brom I got as a start from Mj - so pretty, thanks again!
- crazy Brazilian Red Cloak blooming again, after being in bloom all summer and fall!
- faabulous colors on Coleus 'Dipt in Wine' another start from Mj
- purple firespike slowly reaching its full glory despite a low of 41 this morning
Then we had to go to the Borg (big orange retail giant) and I snapped a couple of shots of their gorgeous array of broms there. Such a treat to see these beautiful colors at this time of year. Too bad they were so expensive, I would have bought a whole bed full!
My coleus "Florida Sun Rose" is never the same color twice.
I have seeds of my pale yellow Abutilon if anyone would like some.
Elaine, great pics...we went down to 28º yesterday morning. Heavy frost coleus are for the most part mush now. Glad I saved cuttings !! Brugs are all wilted, as well as a lot of other tender leaved plants. Had a lot covered tho or up in the barn or greenhouse and those up in the Oak hammock area fared pretty well.
Hope all have a Great Holiday !!!
Hoya imperalis var. rauschii
Love those amaryllis, Paula. I have some Black Pearl too - they are a wonderful rich dark red. They were what I call a "two-way gift". I gave the bulbs to my daughter in Salt Lake three years ago, and she forced them at Christmas time. Then when they were done, she gave them back to me for my birthday (in March) and I planted them out in my garden. They bloom every spring in early April now, and have increased to a nice clump, too. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving, huh?
btw, some of the websites that sell premium amaryllis put them on sale after the holidays for up to 50% off. I've scored some great buys on huge bulbs that way, and they are perennials here. I've got my eye on some more of those Cybister hybrids like La Paz.
I went out to "learn" my fancy camera this morning. Got some interesting shots I couldn't get before (using my phone).
First and second, huge Begonia odorata alba from Alice, which I had to prune back to half the size before we left for our trip. It's still 5ft. high and wide. Still blooming, still fragrant in the mornings, what a great plant! I have lots of cuttings starting if anyone wants a start?
Third, Brug. Charles Grimaldi blooming away on the patio. I broke a little end off a branch when I was covering him against the cold, and the flower on that cutting has opened nicely in a vase.
Fourth, Begonia Don Miller (another from Alice) with its sweet little blooms hiding under the pretty leaves.
Last, my "pet" cardinal on the birdfeeder. He lets me get within 5ft. before he flits into the bamboo. Of course he showed up after I took off the telephoto and put on the macro lens.
My goodness, Paula, they're teenagers! Let's plan to make a begonia trade when there's a warmer weather window, maybe in Feb. ?
KayJones, your Christmas Angel is just wonderful. Those bat plants are big and expensive! Didn't you put one on your wish list for your kids to buy as a gift? My kids love it when I keep a running list of plants they can give me - I just send them links. Easy, reasonable gifts for them, and plants that are a bit pricey for me. It's worked out very well for years now, and they love seeing the plants they give me when they come to visit. Nowadays, they are buying me orchids.
Happy Holidays to all, and we wish you many glorious blooms in the new year! Pic is Brassavola 'Little Stars'.
This cute little geranium has been blooming outside for years, nothing stops it.
Seed heads from the H. Horsefeldii
Lots of Camellias right now.
Noid banana that i had been told was a fruiting (edible) variety is blooming and it sure looks like a M. Basjoo to me. Bummer, I have been babying this one thinking it would be real bananas. It iwill be compost soon.
Lovely, Alice. Sure doesn't look like you've had any freezing temps.
I love the color and flower on that yellow impatiens. Burpee used to carry those, and once I finally made up my mind to order some, they had sold out.
I have a few orchids in bloom, and more coming. The Brassavolas have a fabulous spicy scent at night. I've been obsessively rescuing Phals from the "death rack" at Lowe's and every one of them either has a new spike - or one even popped a flower for me!
Wild weather going through today - hope Drew is OK up there in NC right now. Tornado warnings there!
We have a squall line on the tail end of the storm coming through here, but not expecting much except some rain, then cooler air. It's sunny and 80deg. right now, but the clouds are in sight to the north of us.
I'm ok Elaine! It was just rainy here (what I ordered). We were 10'' short for the year and have had about 2''. Little brother in Mobile was not as fortunate. They had a 2x4 from a neighbors house fly like a missile through the Living Room window...Thankfully they were in a bathroom closet. Mobile was fortunate for only the three blessed lives lost.
Hi all, love all the photos and glad everyone is ok. Sure is cold here, I am about to hop a plane and move! LOL ( wishful thinking)
So excited, I have 4 bloom stalks on my ginger from KayJones. I am about to go crazy since I have yet to see ANY of my gingers bloom for me.
just all the hibiscus, sticto and mgs blooming here right now.. oh the lantanas are blooming, these seem commmon to yu all but so very special and tropical for me LOL
Love the Fiona and Sean blooms the most so far :)
Oh, love the yellow impatiens, too , tried to grow some of those out, they didn't take.
Did I say it was cold here? *shiver* If I am to be cold, I just want some SNOW!
Need water bad.
Don't know about living in Gr. Cayman, Sherri. It's lovely to visit, and we love to dive so there's no place better but . . . sort of a one-dimensional place with not a lot going on. Plus the soil is terrible, and very sparse. A lot of work to grow anything and they get a lot of hurricanes. (bet you can tell I've given it some thought)
I have a confused papaya with blossoms. Deb, did you get those pink salvia seeds to start for you? They are still blooming here, so should be giving you some joy about now. I still have a few flowers on Brug. Charles Grimaldi but having to protect him from the cold, he'll stop soon. Orchids are a joy in the winter - they start putting up flower spikes as soon as the first cold front comes through.
Well good to know about Grand Cayman...guess a nice place to visit... but...
I was over my mom and dad's yesterday and their angle trumpet is covered with blooms again. Crazy year this year for the tropical plants. Wished I had my camera with me to photograph it.
Hey are these going to be flowers on my Aunt's orchid? If you can see the little buds...I hope so. I've been taking into my makeshift green house on the real cold nights. It has these popping out all over the healthier looking stems.
Thanks, Debra - both of my Grandbabies are precious blooms in my Garden of Life! Here's Sean using the new broom I got him for Christmas - he loves to help his Mama sweep:
Elaine, my Papaya is blooming, too - poor, cold plant! My Passiflora 'Lady Margaret' and my Passiflora ' Vitafolia' are both blooming like crazy. My Senecio confusus (Mexican flame vine) has decided to start blooming - we are getting down to 31 degrees tonight, so it will go bye-bye!
My lady Margaret has gone to sleep, but there are still three Gulf Frit caterpillars chomping on what they can of it, but my Crimson passiflora is all over the place and blooming like crazy, we've dipped to 35 for well over five hours last week and I saw some damage but most still blooming. Those cold nights didn't faze my Senecio at all.
Love those red Passi's, Sherri. Yes, I think that is a bloom spike on your Aunt's orchid. Nice going!
I have a bunch more coming along, too. Orchids are a great fill-in for flowers at this time of year. New spikes coming along nicely, but I'm not likely to see flowers for at least 6 weeks. Durned orchids sure are slow!
These little Spathoglottis are so-called "ground orchids" and they've been blooming for months now!
Oh yea! I'm so glad.
The ground orchids are pretty, I have one that I've had form many years now, but it never bloomed again, I'm pretty sure it is white. However this year it has more foliage than it ever has, always freezes back to the ground...still no flowers or signs of any though. My Christmas cactus did very well this year.
hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have a prosperous new year! I have been so busy I didn't even notice my subscription to daves expired. I took a few pictures this morning. I have quite a few bromeliads flowering. the angel trumpet is at least 12 ft. tall and loaded with flowers. they always seem to flower around the full moon.
So many pretty things, Cassie! That musa 'Tani' is going to be gorgeous.
Always love the brugs, don't they smell great? I had not put together the full moon/bloom connection before, but I think you're right. My yellow one was blooming this week, too. Just gave up from last nights cold wind. Let's hope the cold doesn't last . ..
Alocasia longiloba "Watsoniana" Sport with inflorescence... I do believe. Oh so much different than my regular A. Watsoniana. I am glad so many of you guys live in the great State of Florida...keeping all those beautiful flower pictures heading our way. Saaaaluuuute!
Thanks Elaine! Before you know it Kay! Way to go Cassie... great job...can't wait to see more pictures, nice variegation also! Alice, seems one of those three is always around wanting to be in the picture!
I've been doing the "tent city" in my yard the last two nights as well even though we didn't get below 40 yet . Thank goodness it's warmer today, and supposed to stay above 55deg. for the next few days at least!
Not only protecting my orchids and tender tropicals, I have veggies going that will just go dormant if I let the cold air git 'em. Tomatoes ripening on the vines, crookneck squash coming along, peppers just getting started . . . If I can just keep them warm enough, they'll continue to ripen and produce. Two kinds of broccoli could care less about the cold, but it will slow them down a bit as well.
Last toot for Charles Grimaldi's trumpets. We'll see if the next full moon brings them along again - depends how warm it is, I'm guessing.
Poor old Brazilian flame wishes it was back in Brazil, I'll bet! The whole plant has flower heads getting started.
My one concession to Lantanas - this one is called "Butter & Sugar".