Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wet and Hot as Firespike

It's definitely summertime in North Florida.  Last week was extremely hot and dry while this week we've had thunderstorms every afternoon.  On Sunday, I still was able to get a lot of work done between storms.  I've been re-potting many cuttings that have taken root and also started some seeds for summer crops and flowering plants.  One of the coolest plants that I have growing from cuttings are Firespike (Odontonema cuspidatum).  These plants bloom in late summer and fall with tall red spike flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.  I plan on growing these all along our back porch and selling the cuttings once they grow larger.

Here are many firespike, red maple, and spiderwort.

This is a picture of a firespike from last fall.  They are a lot taller this year!

Marlin enjoying the Firespike blooms last fall.

Crape Myrtle from cuttings.  Probably a third of the original cuttings took root but still very cool!

This Gardenia cutting was taken for the flower and while in the vase it grew this roots!

Seeds and Seedlings:
Over the last month or so I've made some seeds purchases through eBay and Botanical Interests.  Sharon's Florida Milkweed post I wrote about in a previous post guided me to her eBay store and I ordered seeds for some native plants from her... beautyberry, sabal palm, blueberry, and some wildflowers.  Through Botanical Interests I ordered many more flowers and some vegetables:  yellow squash, butternut squash, cone flowers, marigolds (although I'm learning to save seeds from some I have blooming), sunflowers, and more.

Here are the seed packets from Botanical Interests.

Newly planted seeds such as black eyed peas, herbs, beautyberry, okra, and butterfly milkweed.

Rose cuttings, amaryllis, sweet potato vine, goldenrod, and garberia.  

I have lots more to plant and need more space!

Elsewhere around the yard:

The orange cherry tomatoes are growing out of our compost bin.  

Beautiful Bleeding Heart Vine.

Ox-Eye Sunflower

Friday, June 17, 2016

Angel Trumpets Everywhere!

My yard is being taken over by Angel Trumpets (Brugmansia).  When we moved in a year ago, these were little sticks in the ground with some leaves.  They grew large during the fall but died back to dead sticks in the winter and then I cut all the sticks back to the ground.  Once Spring came, these Trumpets started their crazy growing cycle.

Here's a picture of how big the plants were when we moved in:

Now look below to see these same bushes...

Almost as tall at our screen porch.  

The flowers on these Angel Trumpets are massive with some yellow, some white, and some white with yellow lines.  I'm not sure if these are all the same variety or different.  They were planted in 3 different areas of the yard when we moved in so they very well could be different varieties.

In the picture below we have two large clumps growing back after I recently cut them back to the grown.  As you can see, these are right next to our double gate, so I accidentally drove over them with my boat trailer.  Angel Trumpets grow back like champs but I definitely need to move these to another part of the yard or sell the established clumps to clear up this area.  We actually had 3 large clumps but I pulled one up so the fence could be installed.  That clump lasted a month or two above ground before I replanted it by our butterfly garden... that was a mistake, it's so tall now that I can't see our bluebird's nesting.

Angel Trumpets are extremely easy to propagate from cuttings.  Basically, just cut a stem into 8-12" or bigger lengths and put them in dirt.  They root quickly and the roots grow through the bottom of the pot, so it's best to put a barrier separating the pots from the ground.

Look at those roots!

Large pots getting ready to be sold.

Around the yard:

The drift roses are starting to fill out.  The pale green one is going through some shock and hope is recovers.  We also have hydrangea and plumbago planted on the end.  

These roses are growing very quickly.  I need to take more cuttings and grow more of these along our garage.  We've also decided to plant a yellow hibiscus on the other end to go along with the red hibiscus.

My new cutting bench.  Right now I'm working on fire spike, spiderwort, and obviously angel trumpets...

A few weeks ago I posted how all the milkweed I had blooming were yellow.  Apparently this is the same species but different variety of scarlet milkweed (Asclepias curassavica).  I plan on starting native butterfly milkweed seeds soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

June Garden Update - It's Hot Outside...

It's been a busy couple weeks with school getting out and some traveling.  We had to deal with Tropical Storm Colin's flash flooding and now we are back to 90+ degree heat.  The following pictures are what's going on around our yard.

Tomatoes growing everywhere.  The seeds came from overripe fruit that I sliced and placed in the garden.  I thinned out the seedlings once they began growing.

These tomatoes grew out from our compost bin.

Beautiful sunflowers that grew from spilled bird seed.

Our hibiscus flowers are big and plentiful.  

Before and after pictures of removing the boxwood hedge and planting peach drift roses.  As you can see, the boxwood bushes were dying back.  My hope is for the roses to fill out and cover the ground.

The squash died back because of the heat, so I planted some watermelon seedlings in the big garden.  The carrots and pole beans are still growing well.

Our first oranges!  The lemon tree keeps blooming but the fruit fall off before getting any size.

I sold my first angel trumpets!  Now it's time to expand the nursery!

Ox Eye Sunflower blooming tall.

These orange day lilies are the prettiest in our garden.

Any idea what this is that grew from birdseed???