Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Just a Little Sharing "Over the Fence"

Summer arrived early this year in central rural Florida, so I'm sharing a few photos to answer questions.

Bunny wanted me to show her before and after photos of the Chinese Fringe Bush. First is the photo taken on March 24. Notice that the blooms are high above the top of the pool cage:

In mid-April, I drastically pruned the bush 6-8 feet so the sun could get to the interior of the bush and clean out any infestations or heal branches. I said the foliage would grow back in a burgundy color. So, Bunny, here is what it looked like on May 10 after it had begun growing back. All the new growth looks pink-burgundy. They grow quickly and make a great privacy hedge (for perspective, one of the last 2 photos also shows the plant proportionately with the screen enclosure):

Lisa asked about the blooms on my angel wing begonias. These are not the same as the dragon wing begonias, which have smaller blooms. Right now, the new growth is popping up, and the "left over blossoms" are looking a bit straggly. This is what I mean about the Smile - The angel wing begonias have a giant smile. This is a small smile with a bloom that is several months old:

In a few months, it will be laden with 10-15 smiles per plant. Usually each smile consists of 18-36 individual blooms. I took the photo below yesterday. These are blooms left over from winter, so they are bedraggled, but it gives you an idea of how prolifically they bloom:

Here is one that has been severely pruned in Mid April and is just beginning to "smile" again. I have had some plants grown to 4 feet tall:

Hindu Rope Hoya Plant - we trimmed some damaged ends off this plant. The roots had grown into the clay of its pot. After trimming around the edge with a knife, I replanted it into a ten inch "azalea" pot. These are the "squattier, fatter" pots in comparison to traditional clay pots. The plant immediately began blooming, so I knew it had gone into shock. Standing on a 3 foot ladder, looking downward, I captured these 4 blooms trailing down one vine:

The leaves have lost their shiny, waxy luster, but we're hopeful it will recover without requiring a severe pruning. Looking upward at the same strand to show you how the "closed" waxy flowers look before they burst forth with their velvety elegance and fragrant scent (the 10" azalea pot is inside the wire basket):

Hoja's velvety stars:

The tiniest of baby blooms emerging (center below). You can also see the discolored leaves. Gone is the lustrous, deep green from the shock of being transplanted:

Have you seen a Swiss Cheese Philodendron? This plant belongs to the Monstera family because the leaves will become gigantic the taller it grows. This is from a little cutting made 3 years ago:

this is why they named it Swiss Cheese:

Finally, our tomato experiment - the plants are damaged from being tossed around in the outskirts of the tornado, but we have propped them up and are hoping they will produce. Each day, more green tomatoes drop off from broken branches like these, but some cling and are beginning to turn red:

Remaining bushes and herbals on top (Chinese Fringe in background):

and yes - in the background that is next winter's fire wood, freshly chopped and split, from a downed tree last November:

We're going to continue experimenting with tomatoes like this throughout the summer. Our squash has finished making - the worms are here with a vengeance because of the warm winter. Our cucumbers and green beans have also finished. We have done 4 harvests of black-eye peas (these are normally grown in the summer because of their heat tolerance).

Thanks for asking about our little life here!



Lisa said...

I am so in awe of your beautiful gardens, Donna!! The flowers and plants are all so gorgeous...they're one of my favorite things and they make me so happy!! Any plant...all plants!! I love them!! Thank you for sharing your paradise with us!! Have a great evening!! Big hugs :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

aussie aNNie said...

Delightful post De, such an amazing garden full of nature and love.xxxx

Sue said...

Hi Donna, Thanks for sharing photos of your lovely plants.

I hadn't realised you were in an area that got Tornados. Do you have a shelter you go to when there is one in your area?

Hope you have a lovely day. Sue

Wendy L said...

Wow you obviously have green fingers Donna, amazing plants and lovely to see them, xxxx

Jackie T said...

Oh wow Donna you have an amazing garden. You have some fantastic plants. Thank you for sharing. Take care. Hugs Jackie

Chris said...

Donna, I really enjoyed reading this post about your wonderful plants and garden. Fascinating to see the kind of plants that flourish in your part of the world! Some of the species are of course familiar and grow well here too (not as big as yours do though!) but some I have never seen. Tomatoes are looking good, it's great they survived the trauma of the storm.
Thank you for entertaining me this morning.

brenda said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos Donna and my how advanced everything is, for example our tomatoes is their little hot houses in the conservatory ahead of being transplanted to the greenhouse, are still no more than 6" tall. Nowhere near as forward as yours but I also took lots of photos as shared on my blog this week, comparisons eh

B x

KraftyKoolKat said...

Such gorgeous photo's De of your very beautiful garden.

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing garden with us xx

Linda Simpson said...

Your garden is awesome, I love the gorgeous foliage and pretty flowers. Thank you for sharing.
Linda xxx

KarinsArtScrap said...

fabulous photo's Donna love your garden

Gr Karin

cuilliesocks said...

Gosh Donna your garden is amazing, such wonderful plants, you surely a fantastic gardener,thanks for sharing your photos, Kate x x

Aimeslee Winans said...

Donna, how smart of you to use your pool enclosure. :-) We had one of those Chinese fringe bushes here in Texas until a few weeks ago, Honey cut it down. It was taking over its spot and then some, lol. Guess the spot wasn't big enough! It was next to his beloved Hummingbird bush. I enjoyed looking at all your lovely plants. xoxo

Verna Angerhofer said...

How beautiful is your garden and yard decor with all those pretty blossoming plants and trees. It must be smelling wonderful there too with all the flowers in bloom. So far all we have had bloom is some tulips. Thanks for sharing your photos with me.

Stampsnob. said...

What a treat to have a walk about through the beautiful garden . Lis

Leslie Miller said...

How interesting and delightful to see the pictures and read about the plants. You have an entirely different garden from those of us up north, but a whole other kind of beauty. I really love the Fringe Flower bush. It just keeps on giving whether in bloom or not! Your tomatoes look great to me. I don't do well with them as I have to grow in pots, which should be okay, but somehow they don't thrive. Not enough sun, maybe. Beautiful begonias and Hoya. Best wishes for his health and recovery!

Conniecrafter said...

It was so interesting to hear about all your plants as I haven't seen many of them, how wonderful to have all those blooms around. We are going to share our extras with another family and they are going to share their extra's with us, so it will hopefully have some fresh goodies this year.
Hey I used one of the stamp sets I got from your blog awhile back, I posted it on Monday 13th.

Shona Erlenborn said...

You've got a tropical paradise there! We've just experienced another three days of rain and very cold temperatures. They say it is going to improve and the bees are hoping it will! Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us Donna - just stunning!

Beebeebabs said...

Wow thanks for sharing the lovely photos - also send me some tomatoes lol thanks for sharing!!!

Louca por porcelana said...

Amazing garden!

Bunny said...

You and your husband have green thumbs and all of the rest of your fingers. Your pictures are grand. Oh, it must be wonderful to walk about your property. I love the Chinese Fringe Bush.

If my mama was still alive she'd want to come spend a day and dig in the ground. Or maybe eat a tomato sandwich.

Thanks for the pictures, Donna. I love them.

*Vicki* said...

Oh my what a very dreamy place you have my dear!! Love all of the wonderfu flowers, shrubs and pretty blooms! You've got a nice harvest coming along as well!! Thank you so much for sharing your little place of paradise with us my friend!! Looks very relaxing!! :) HUGS

Mac Mable said...

I so enjoy reading your posts and seeing and learning about plants from a different part of the world. You sure are what we call green fingered and lets hope the tomatoes thrive...I love tomatoes and if we live closer I would be popping in!!! Sending hugs from Scotland x

crafty-stamper said...

Love all the pics and you have some fabulous bushes and shrubs-our tomatoes have only just been planted in the polytunnel.Hope the Hoya plant recovers am sure this is a house plant here as is the swiss cheese plant
Carol x

Loose Stitches said...

Oh how beautiful everything is Donna, thank you for sharing!
Crafty Hugs, Sherry xx
Loose Stitches and Unraveled Threads

Donna Phelan said...

Oh wow! What a lovely walk through your gardens! Glad my coffee cup was full, this is how I love to spend my early mornings, thank you! I can't believe how far ahead of us you are ( I bet I say that all the time!). I think winter finally ended here just last week lol I am off to the local nursery (after many chores) today. I will leave my wallet there and take home what I hope to be a show of color and JOY to plant next weekend--should be safe by then!!! That Swiss Cheese Ph. is crazy cool! Have a HAPPY day! xo~

Sue said...

WOW, your flowering trees and plants are gorgeous. What a beautiful yard. Of course, with our harsh winter, everything is late here. Lilacs are blooming now and smell sooooo good. Bought plants today at the nursery for hanging plants and planters. Small raised garden not even planted yet, as cold nights with threat of frost made it too risky to put plants in the ground. Thanks for sharing these stunning photos, very beautiful.


Lori Kobular said...

Your plants all look gorgeous and so healthy!! You have quite the green thumb my friend!! Love seeing all the plants! Hugs!!

Monica C. said...

Beautiful plants! Looks like you really have green fingers. I have two black thumbs that is for sure. I rather create than garden lol
Hugs Monica

nwilliams6 said...

Amazing plants, flowers, and vegetables. I am so impressed!!!!

Karen Dunbrook said...

gorgeous...can't wait to see that in my part of the world.
x Karen


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