Brain Plants and Pot Heads…

Brain Plants and Pot Heads…

Brain Plants and Pot Heads?  How can you be anything but intrigued by this title? My now infamous “pot heads” all started because of one plant. This guy, an Echinobivia cristata ‘Rainbow Bursts’ that we came across at a nearby Lowes. It was so awesome that Mike actually found it! AND wanted to buy it!  As you might guess, we have a plethora of plants at our house and it is very rare that he thinks we need to buy a plant. It certainly looks like a brain plant, doesn’t it? Even the fissure down the center just screams “brain!” at you. As we were walking around the store looking for a few other odds and ends I offhandedly mentioned that I could make a pot for this where the face would be the bottom part and the top would be open for the “brain plant” to stick out the top.… Read Full Post
Pruning Crape Myrtle

Pruning Crape Myrtle

The controversy of pruning crape myrtle is heating up. Do you need to prune? Can you just let it grow? Read on my friends. It’s the time of year when I find myself cringing when I drive around town. It’s begun. “Crape Murder” is running rampant through our neighborhoods. Where did it start? Who decided this was a good idea? If you get anything from this article: Do NOT cut your crape myrtles to nubs! The process of turning the naturally beautiful vase-shaped growth of a crapemyrtle tree into a deformed stump with little nubs is a practice that has no scientific basis. In fact, the University of Florida writes, “Properly placed, crapemyrtle is a low-maintenance plant needing little or no pruning.” That pretty much says it all.… Read Full Post
Lipstick Tree, Bixa orellana

Lipstick Tree, Bixa orellana

Bixa orellana, or Lipstick Tree, isn’t supposed to grow in Central Florida. It is extremely tropical in nature and shouldn’t tolerate temperatures near freezing as we occasionally experience in Orlando. Don’t tell that to these lovely Lipstick Trees! With the right care and a slightly warmer microclimate, Bixa orellana is a very interesting small tree for the home garden. Lipstick Tree, also called Anatto in some cultures, can be grown as a large shrub or as a small tree. Grown from seed it naturally has a strong stem to support the tree form, but can be pruned to a multi-branch shrub easily. The large heart-shaped leaves are almost 10″ from top to bottom and form a dense canopy up to 20′ tall.… Read Full Post
Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida

Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida

The Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History is an amazing place. I should be embarrassed to write I just visited for the first time!  As part of a board retreat for the Florida Wildflower Foundation we spent a day at the museum, discussing future plans for the Wildflower Foundation. It was a special treat to be able to enjoy a tour of the facilities with Dr. Jaret Daniels before beginning the meetings. Visiting the Butterfly Rainforest The Butterfly Rainforest is a 6,400-square-foot screened exhibit exposed to typical Florida weather conditions. On the day we visited the temperatures were cool and the butterflies were not quite as active as on a warm day. Since I wanted to take photographs, I actually thought this was a wonderful thing!… Read Full Post
Adding a Garden Mirror

Adding a Garden Mirror

When I visit other gardens I am always looking for “take away” ideas. These are the ideas and things I can see myself adding to my own garden. It is one thing to visit an elaborate home or public garden and see ideas you know you will never be able to afford or have the space to complete, but it is another thing to look for small pieces for your own private space. In this case, adding a garden mirror was my take away from a recent trip. Why Add a Garden Mirror? In the case of my aunt and uncle, they added their garden mirror because it both held sentimental value and made their space look larger. This divided mirror was originally in the home of my aunt’s family cabin.… Read Full Post
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