Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flowers and Plant Stakes

Flower Garden

A lot has happened since my last post.  I just had to have a red flowering Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea) after getting the Coral Nymph cultivar a week before.  I ended up picking up this Sage at Tallahassee Nurseries.  Now our rain/flower garden area has lots of different colors!  We decided to use leftover bricks for the border of the garden and now that looks a lot nicer.  We also had a female hummingbird visit one of the Amaryllis while we were out there, first one I've seen this Spring.

The mornings are the best with blooms from the purple spiderwort, yellow milkweed, red Tropical Salvia, white/pink Coral Nymph, red Coral Honeysuckle, and all the different Amaryllis showing their colors.  We also have Ox Eye Sunflower, a vine that I haven't seen bloom yet (it was definitely planted by the previous owner), and some Four O'Clocks looking healthy.

Morning picture with all the colors!

These Amaryllis blooms are almost too heavy for the stem.

The dogs think this is their garden too.

Right after the red blooms opened and before the heavy ones...

Plant Stakes

One of my wife's coworkers, Jonathan B., works with pottery and I had her ask him if he could make us some vegetable stakes after seeing this post on the blog, Garden Therapy.  These stakes came out great!  

Here are all the stakes I had Jonathan make.

Our carrots like the new plant stake!

Herbs (still haven't sprouted), beans, carrots, and squash.

Wakulla Springs Field Trip

I went along with my kindergartner on her field trip to Wakulla Springs.  Here are some of the beautiful plants and animals that we came across...

American Alligator

American White Ibis

Massive bald cypress tree, the tour guide said this tree is the oldest in the park.

Rest of the Yard...

Our squash is growing like crazy and some fruit are almost ready to harvest.  The pole beans have also started growing out of control, so much that I had to build another trellis to give the vines more room to grow.  The daylilies and knockout roses along the driveway are blooming like crazy.  Sunflowers from spilled birdseed are also opening up.  It's too bad that we lost two of the bigger flowers, the flower heads just fell off.  

Sunflower just about to open.

The perfect daylily bloom?

Female yellow squash bloom with male flower forming the fruit.  

New pole bean trellis.

Hopefully by the next post we will pick some squash!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Springtime Tallahassee

It's definitely Springtime Tallahassee.  My vegetables are growing strong, our bluebird eggs have hatched, and blooms are opening everywhere.  I visited Native Nurseries last weekend and came home with a native Florida Azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) and pretty Coral Nymph (Salvia coccinea), a cultivar of Tropical Sage.  Now I'll have to add red Tropical Sage to our our flower garden and Pinxter Azalea to the Florida natives section of our backyard.  Plants need companions!  The Mountain Laurels (Kalmia latifolia) were blooming at the nursery and this shrub is definitely on my wanted list.

Here are some pics of our new additions and beautiful blooms that we want:

Florida Azalea

Coral Nymph along with some Tropical Sage

Mountain Laurels

Now for what's happening in our yard:

Coral Honeysuckle, Amaryllis, Milkweed, Spiderwort, and the newly planted Coral Nymph all blooming.  I made some cuttings of the spiderwort and milkweed that are beginning to grow. I also have some Four o'clock seeds sprouting in this garden and our butterfly garden.  


Hello Yellow Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

I cleaned up the nursery section of the yard and would like to start adding a lot more in the near future.  Here I have lots of Angel Trumpets, Crepe Myrtles, Firespikes, and a section of miscellaneous plants that started on their own.  

Yellow squash, pole beans, snap peas, and carrots are all growing well.  I have also planted a section of herbs that have yet to sprout.  In our other garden we have red potatoes and tomatoes growing.  

Look at that little squash growing under the bloom!

Our new garden truck!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring, Questions, and Research

This past week has been beautiful.  Azaleas are blooming everywhere, the mornings are cool, and blue skies throughout the day.  With everything growing so well, I find myself with lots of questions.  I've been reading a lot about plants online, checked out some books from the library, and bought a couple books off Amazon that I know I want around as references.  Here are some books that I have enjoyed.

These books have been helping me get ideas for my vegetable garden and with identifying which plants I can take cuttings from.  I've also been starting a lot of random seeds lately.  One example is Red Maple seedlings from seeds I've found around my yard.  I also plan on taking some Japanese Maple cuttings from a tree at work during the early summer.

I emailed my locate agriculture extension today asking about the Wisteria blooming around town.  I'm not sure if it's native American Wisteria or highly invasive Chinese Wisteria.  I'd love to start some native cuttings and plant them around my ditch.

Here's what's going on around my yard:
Yellow prolific straight-neck squash about to bloom

Very healthy Red Potatoes and tomato seedlings

Seven sister rose bushes growing rapidly and starting another bloom (last week I wrote about how I start these from cuttings)

Day lilies starting to bloom

Neighbor's amaryllis by their mailbox

Giant swallowtail butterfly on our massive dianthus

This Eastern Redbud was a stick for months

Bald cypress growing needles

I found this 3 gallon Coral Honeysuckle in a "make offer" section of a local garden center.  Hope I can get it to bring in some hummingbirds.

And our male bluebird catching bugs for his babies...