Hostas in Florida

Hostas in Florida

Hostas in Florida?  Well, I am sorry to say it really isn’t going to happen the way you hope it will. These are not hostas in Florida! I had the pleasure of attending the Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis and it opened up the wound on my sore spot for hostas. While some Florida nurseries may be selling hosta, they just aren’t the plants you think of from the midwest or the northeast. These puny plants would be quickly scrubbed from most gardens!  Below is a photo of the “hostas” being sold at a local nursery. They really don’t look like the beautiful plants in the other photos, do they? Dennis Carey and Tony Avent from Plant Delights Nursery shared information on the science behind our crappy hostas on their site.  … Read Full Post
Ixora hedges: Beyond the Basics

Ixora hedges: Beyond the Basics

What are those shrubs with orange flowers around Orlando right now?  These are ixora hedges! Easy to ignore most of the year, this is the time of year when they burst with deep orange flowers and it seems everyone is asking for the name of this plant. Ixora,  Ixora coccinea, is native to southeast Asia. It’s evergreen leaves make it an excellent hedge plant, but the real show for ixora hedges is when they bloom. There are many different cultivars of ixora, with a wide range of colors from yellow to soft pink to the vibrant orange we see most often. Most common is ‘Maui’ the form shown here. The leaves tend to be smaller, more like a boxwood when hedged.… Read Full Post
Dorstenia bahiensis- A plant you need to know?

Dorstenia bahiensis- A plant you need to know?

Dorstenia bahiensis is native to forested areas of eastern Brazil.  Its unusual flowers first caught my eye and it is noticeably different from any other plant I know. Is this a plant worthy of your garden? Read on to find out more.   I was first drawn to the unusual flowers of Dorstenia. The 1-2″ flowers look like an odd fungus held above the leaves. Varying in color from deep purple to a light lavender, the slightly cupped flower is hard to the touch although it looks as though it could easily be a slimy mass. With a nod to its fig relatives, the flowers look kind of like if you turned an edible fig inside out. Top Tropicals cites “At maturity, seeds shoot ballistically from the mature flower/fruit heads, and they germinate readily whenever the land on soil or other moist substrate.”  It sounds violent but these are not an aggressive type of spreading plant.… Read Full...
Creating a succulent container garden display 

Creating a succulent container garden display 

As part of the Great Yard Renovation of 2016 we created a special succulent container garden display area in our front yard. This was really the part of our landscape design plan about which I was most unsure. But I realize there are times when we all need to step out of our comfort zone (i.e. hedges and groundcovers) and try something new. This project is certainly that. In my mind this achieved several goals: – It cleared all (yes, all!) of my potted plants off our our back deck. This pretty much sold Mike on the whole thing. – It actually gives the succulents better growing conditions. Our front yard is much sunnier than the back. I make the argument that I have to keep these because of the presentations I give on growing succulents in Florida.… Read Full Post
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