May 14, 2010

What a Plant

I have really fallen in love with oak-leaf hydrangeas. These native plants thrive in shady areas of north Florida, and are better referred to as Hydrangea quercifolia. These large growing shrubs are deciduous and cold hardy , reported growing through zone 5. In late spring they are coverened by large clusters of white flowers. The blooms persist and add interest even after browning. As they get ready to drop their leaves in the fall, the foliage will provide some fall color in shades of yellow and red. They naturally sucker from the roots, so if you want a single speciman, you should plan for this maintenance task. I find them to be virtually pest free and drought tolerant once established. If you haven't added one to your landscape yet, what are you waiting for?

May 12, 2010

A Real Winner

Here is a perennial that everyone should give a try. I brought this Rudbeckia maxima back from Oklahoma two years ago and didn't really expect it to perform very well in Florida's wet weather. This plant has performed way beyond any hopes I might have had. It has a basal rosette of powder blue leaves through the winter. Once the warm weather hits it shoots up flower stalks to heights over six feet tall. The shoots are topped off with tall coneflower-like blooms with yellow petals and a brown center. I am told that these flowers are great for cutting, but haven't tried this yet. The plant is propagated by division and stem cuttings. Plant yours at the back of a perennial garden in full sun in a well drained area. You may need to watch out for snails, as this is the only problem I have had. Plant one today and be prepared to be wowed!

May 11, 2010

One HOT Daylily

Last year I purchased a new daylily from Plants Delight Nursery. The cultivar is 'Freewheelin'. I planted the plant in early October and hoped for the best. Yesterday the first bloom opened and it is HUGE!!! The flower is 10-12 inches across and is absolutely gorgeous. I am told the plant will get almost three feet tall and is a very free bloomer. I love this new addition to my garden and know that it is sure to be a focal point for years to come.

October 14, 2009

What a Show!

I was climbing into my truck to head to work and had to pause as I got a glimpse of something blooming in a nearby garden. The culprit was this Persekia aculeata that I recently received from a plant give-away. This unusual looking spiny plant is known by many names including West Indian Gooseberry, lemon vine, sweet Mary, leaf cactus, blade apple, Barbados gooseberry and many others. The plant is an erect woody shrub becoming vinelike with age. The plant is deciduous and has waxy leaves. The greenish white flowers are about one to one and one half inches in diameter and are quite numerous. The small tart fruits have a yellow to red leathery skin. This plant thrives with very little care and is very drought tolerant. If you find a neighbor that has one, you can propagate it from seed or cuttings. This is a tropical plant, so keep it protected from freezing.

August 27, 2009

What More Can I Say!!!!

The Angels Trumpet plant in my back yard is now in flower and is absolutely gorgeous. This plant was grown in a container for one year and was added to the landscape in the fall of 08. It is now 6-7 feet tall and across.

These plants belong to the genus Brugmansia and make great container plants or permanent landscape plants in warmer parts of the state. In north and central Florida, plants in the ground are often damaged by cold weather, but they are quick to recover. They come in a wide array of colors and even variegated forms. A little searching online will turn-up a great selection.

Brugmansia plants are fairly easy to start from cuttings so don’t be shy about asking your friend for a small clipping to start your own. There are a few select municipalities that prohibit the planting of Brugmansia plants, so be sure to investigate this prior to adding this plant to your collection.

August 25, 2009

Holy Hoya Batman!!!!!

My Hoya carnosa “Variegata’ has just started blooming in my office. This large hanging basket has grown by leaps and bounds and is threatening to chase me out of my office space. I think Hoya plants are easy to grow foliage plants and should be used in the interiorscape more often. There are a wide variety of species and cultivars to choose one. Visit your favorite nursery in person or online today to add to your collection.

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