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...
Sarracenia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Sarracenia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Scrolling through my photos I couldn’t believe just how many images I’d taken of the sarracenia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. I mean, I probably could have guessed, but these plants were just so beautiful that I couldn’t quit taking photographs! While in Virginia to celebrate our friends’ Grace and AJ’s wedding, this was a great way to spend an early morning before the festivities began. After visiting Norfolk Botanical Garden we even had time to visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. Two gardens in one weekend!  This is where my inner plant geek starts bobbing up and down with excitement! 242 We usually make our annual pilgrimage to Richmond each year during the week of Thanksgiving. Their holiday light display is awesome, but the chance to see the summer perennials this time of year was a delight.… Read Full Post
New Caladium Varieties

New Caladium Varieties

These new caladium varietes are sure to impress with their new colors and habits. Most of these are part of the Florida Flower Trials this year and are just making their debut to the industry. After a very warm fall left production a bit of a mess, these new caladium varieties are now starting to take hold and really put on a show.  It is amazing to see the development of these new caladium varieties in recent year and leaves me looking forward to what is coming down the line in the future. The varieties are from Classic Caladiums, Bates Sons & Daughters and Happiness Farms. New Caladium Varieties by Grower: Caladium ‘Fiesta’ from Bates Sons & Daughters. What a color combination!  … Read Full Post
Agaves and Aloes at the South Coast Botanic Garden

Agaves and Aloes at the South Coast Botanic Garden

Agaves and aloes are two of the toughest groups of plants for a dry garden. In Florida we can use these plants for punctuated form and interesting textures. In California agaves and aloes are becoming increasingly essential as water supplies are limited and plants and landscapes need to be more drought tolerant. Lucky for me, I love these plants and couldn’t wait to explore more when visiting southern California recently. The South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes, California has a wide variety of plant collections and amazing plants where you could spend an entire morning or afternoon exploring the meandering paths and discovering trees and plants from around the world. There was so much to take in on a recent visit I just couldn’t decide where to start! … Read Full Post
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