February 17, 2009

February in Bloom

Despite all the cold we had over the past month there are still quite a few things flowering in the landscape. The azaleas are just beginning to pop and the redbud trees are starting to show color. You may have to look a little harder at this time of year to find the color, but there is still plenty to see. Enjoy.

Bright Pink Poinsettia Still in Color

White Poinsettia

White Asiatic Lily - This was a Valentine's Day gift. It really is brightening up the breakfast nook.

Walters Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) This hardy native shrub is a great addition due to its spring color.

Mixed Pansy Bed (I wish there were more colors!)

Coral Bells Azalea

Crown of Thorns

Redbud about to Bloom

Colorful Aechmea Inflorescence

Tropical Bulb (I am working on an ID)

Coontie Seeds (Zamia floridana)

White Shrimp Plant

Red Buckeye New Growth (Aesculus pavia)
While not in flower, it is a sign of spring!

White and Pink Camellia japonica

White Camellia japonica

Southern Charm Azalea

Formosa Azalea

Camellia japonica 'Pink Perfection'

Red Camellia japonica

Pink Camellia spp.

Vinca major 'Variegata' This easy to grow groundcover is one every gardener should try. It roots very easily and has never had a pest problem.

Small Purple Azalea

Hybrid Crown of Thorns

Hybrid Crown of Thorns

New Guinea Hybrid Impatiens

Vanda Orchid

Clivia miniata

Scilla peruviana

February 5, 2009

How Crazy is This!!!

The above picture shows the campus Horticulture Sciences fruit research area iced-up to protect the trees from the freezing temperatures we experienced last night. I recorded 18.9 degrees Fahrenheit at my home in S.W. Gainesville. While the ice was beautiful, I could not help but think what damage all our landscapes were experiencing from the cold.

February 4, 2009

This Is Why I Hate Winter!!!!!!!!!!

Large Leaf Begonia Damaged Under a Cover

The 2008/2009 winter season has been a very bad one. Plants that froze early and began recovering have been damaged again by extreme cold temperatures. I have recorded a low of 19.8 F at my house in SW Gainesville. Tonight it is forecast to get down to 16F. This is not why I live in Florida. The following pictures are of some of the devastation in my landscape. I hope that spring gets here soon!

Canna Lilies in Large Container

Cycas taitungensis Damage

Crinum asiaticum var. procerum After Freeze

February 3, 2009

Another First Time Bloomer

I am very excited to see that my Scilla peruviana or Cuban Lily is blooming for the first time in my landscape. I first saw a flowering Scilla four years ago in a friends landscape and had to have one. I searched all my local retailers for a bulb and was never able to find one. So I ordered one online and planted it three years ago. The first couple of years it would come up with strap shaped foliage in the fall and go dormant in the spring. While the plant did not flower, it did grow and multiply. This year the plant has seven bloom stalks and is gorgeous! The clusters of purple-blue flowers are real showstoppers. The foliage gets about one foot tall and references say it can grow from zones 7-10. You can propagate it by division and seed. I plan to collect seed and see if I have any luck. I am very interested to see if the plant flowers again next year, so will leave my plant undisturbed for at least another year. I have also seen reference to this plant being used as a foliage plant, so may give this a try in the future.