Saturday, July 25, 2015

July in the Garden.........

July and August are not the favorite gardening months in central Florida - zone 9b.  Because of the heat and humidity, often too much or not enough rain, it can be quite difficult for both garden and gardener.  So far, my summer garden is looking better than some past years. But I am definitely looking forward to the time for our good fall season to begin.


 
I was pleased to find at least one bloom on this little salvia plant.


 
Over in the shady front corner I see a good bit of moss, you know how I love it, and it's always nice to have the resurrection fern green instead of dead-looking brown.
 

 
It can change to green in one day after a good rain.
 
 
 
In the same area of the garden is purple Persian shield which gets leggy because it doesn't get much sun at all, but it cannot take much sun at this time of year. It adds a bit of color to the mostly green side.


 
This week I noticed the shapes on the HUGE staghorn fern, high in a tree, also in all shade. Thought a close-up might be good for a change. Because it is so big I have to be far away when I picture the whole plant.


 
I took this picture out the window since I started this post. LOVE my dragonflies.
 
 
 
This was a great sight for me one morning this week. I knew that a nearby area had been the recipient of a lot of these Chinese beetles, hoping they will get rid of the much unwanted, air potato plants. That happened a year ago. I have talked on here about my next door neighbor's air potato "plantation" which makes it a real challenge for me not to have the same kind of "plantation". They are making his leaves look like a sieve so, I hope  it will be the answer. Just so they don't start eating my pretty chartreuse sweet potato vine too!
 

 
This is my newest plant. Saw it in Home Depot and loved the color, and the leaves which have the same pretty color stripe down the middle of a wonderful shade of green. It took me years to like any tropical plants. I guess that has changed.


 
The same blossom days later and in the sun instead of shade.


 
It is here just outside my front window in the tall pot. The pot had been sitting empty - another good excuse for buying one more plant!
 

 
Another discovery, this week - the developing pinecone ginger.  The cones have just now sprung up, long after the plants. And, I don't know how I had missed it in other years, but I didn't even know that they bloom like this! The cones eventually turn a pretty red.

 
 
The turkeys have been in my yard so much this week I thought I would include her here.
 

 
The same begonia plant that has been in the window box for years is still going strong.
 


 
I have been looking at this stem on the plectranthus plant, just outside on the window ledge, hoping to get a good picture of the hummingbird, that has come to it. No luck so far. You will be sure to see if I get a good sharp picture.
 
Well, I have included too many pictures again. And, my apologies to my Facebook friends who had already seen a couple of these pictures.  Since I am only posting once a week lately, maybe this many pictures is not too bad?
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Simple in the Garden

 
 

Here we are, Wednesday again! You know what that means.  You see quite a few pictures and get very few words. 

 Simple can be beautiful.  I like simple very much. I hope you do too and will enjoy these shots of simplicity from my July garden.......

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Small and simple geranium.
 

 
One tropical Blue Pea blossom.
 

 
 

 
Grey Dove seems to have a set time to visit my garden every day - late afternoon.
 

 
Mexican Bachelor Button.
 

 
White Whirling Butterfly flower.
 

 
Blue porterweed.
 
 
 
Dwarf Pomegranate.
 

 
Blue Daze
 

 
Wild Mushrooms
 

 
Penta
 
 
 
 

 
Marie Van Houte Rose
 

 
Crepe Myrtle
 
 
 
Single-petal Knockout Rose

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Showing My Colors..........

Several of my recent posts have been a little on the colorless side so, it's time to bring in some color.  For myself, I don't need a lot of bright color to be content. I tend to go for neutrals with just a pop of color in decorating, dressing etc.  In fact, I often think bright colors can sometimes look cheap.  I use to agree with Martha Stewart that there is no place in the garden for bright reds. I have pretty much gotten over that and have quite a bit of red.  After spending several years trying to get my color scheme to grow here in this garden, I threw the color plan away and decided I will like ANYTHING that will survive, no matter what the color! I had a white sand lot here and still pretty much do but with amending the soil and trying many different plants, I now have plenty of healthy plants and plenty of color......



 
One of my newer ones is Blue daze in this big pot. So far it is doing great. This picture shows about half of it. It is really becoming a "spiller" but the bottle brush plant in the middle is slow in being the "thriller".

 
 
Butterflies help me out with color. I see several kinds on a regular basis all year long. The swallowtails are probably my favorites for color. This is the Eastern Tiger and I see the Eastern Black, too.
 
 
 
I have a hard time getting any good sharp pictures this year.  They just will not be still long enough. This one is feeding on a Blue Plumbago. I have a new White Plumbago too. By the way, White is one of my favorite colors.
 

 
Pentas help bring in butterflies and add a little color themselves.
 

 
Not much color here but, wanted to show this before the next picture which is of the flower in the pot.  I have had this plant in this same pot for at least twenty-five years. It is my oldest plant. Here, where the pot is sitting, is an indented area made by hard rain running off of the valley of the roof above. I will have a pool of water for a few days after one of our inch or more rainfalls in a short time. It was a problem area because the nearby mulch would be all out of place and float. This spring I hauled these egg rocks and lined the pool and I love the result. I didn't mean to show it until I bring about two more bags, but decided to go ahead and show since it is taking me so long to get it finished.
 

 
This is the Hibiscus plant. I will show a full shot later when I complete the project. I DO like these red blooms.
 

 
Over on the other end of the house which is mostly shady, this Clerodendrum  has been very colorful lately. There is also a Persian Shield in the bottom front with nice purple and dark green foliage.
 

 
A close-up of the flower.
 

 
Most of my repeat-blooming roses, which is the only kind I have, seem to have smaller blooms in our hottest months  but are still colorful.
 

 
 

 
This ground orchid is in a big pot and it is in continuous bloom except for a little slow down in the coldest winter weather.
 

 
A Louie Philipe rose here in more shade than sun (not ideal) still blooms pretty well.
 

 
Along side it is a big pot of Wendy's Wish salvia which is a great humming bird attractor. I haven't been able to get a good picture lately but will keep on trying. I see at least one every day.
 




 
I could keep going with lots more color but will save the rest for another time.
 
Thank you for stopping by. Please visit often.
 
Anyone with Pinterest boards are invited to use the "pin it" button at the beginning of all posts to save any of the pictures.
 
 




 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In the Spotlight........


..........My garden has more shade than sun but, some days, mostly early mornings, even the shady areas are dappled with bright sun spots.  I just love to see how the sun lights certain areas and often just one plant or garden ornament.  This is what I am featuring today. Nothing that a lot of you haven't seen before - just shown in a special light. But first, especially for any newcomers, let me show a couple of long shots........


 
Looking across part of the back yard you can see "spotlights" here and there.

 
 
Another from a little farther on. You might guess that the pictures are not all taken on the same day. Even in this landscape photo a very pronounced area of sun, lights up the bench, caladiums and  part of the blue-eyed grass.
 

 
Straight on back past the bench we see the little patio with my table and chairs, partly in the sun but surrounded by heavy shade.  Notice the spot of orange color in the back......
 
 
 
It is this Pagoda flower being spotlighted.
 

 
Now getting to some more specifics, this is a cluster of Peggy Martin roses. The whole bush is in the sun later in the day.
 

 
 In a slightly different area my potted paddle plant often gets chosen by the sun.
 

 
This angel statue had only one wing being really lit up.  I zoomed so close that it doesn't show in the picture as it did to the photographer.
 

 
The first time I have ever been able to grow a healthy hosta for any length of time. I have been dumping coffee grounds around it and they are helping to keep "the chewers" away. The grounds work like diatomaceous earth. Snails, etc. don't like to crawl over them.


 
Here is another spot that is almost always the one that gets lit up out here by the side street on the east side.
 

 
Another angel in it's natural setting of Benjamin Ficus, trees and resurrection fern. Not in the picture but, a good bit of moss really adds to the look here, too.

 
 

 
It wouldn't be for everyone but this is a favorite spot for me. It is amazing what interesting things are growing on the old, rotting tree stump which was the only thing in the sun in a big area here.
 

 
A very large bromeliad blossom. It is such a bright red anyhow and especially so when the sun hits only it.
 

 
Just last week, with the help of a native plant group, I was able to identify this native wildflower, Vernonia gigantea (tall ironweed).
 

 
One more ornament. They stand out the most to me because it looks like they were definitely hand-picked when all else around is in the shade.
 
 
 
Ending with this area which is the first to be blessed by the rising sun in early morning.
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