Visiting Classic Caladiums

Visiting Classic Caladiums

Have you seen photos of Dutch bulb fields and been amazed at their beauty?  Florida’s very own version of that spectacular scene can be found in the caladium fields at Classic Caladiums. Most of the world’s caladiums are produced in Florida among a handful of growers. Unique to Classic Caladiums is the breeding program that produces new and exciting varieties of caladiums.  The photo below shows a test field at Classic Caladiums, featuring thousands of crosses with varying colors, habits, and vigor. Among the thousands of beautiful plants seen here, only a handful will pass the rigorous testing to make it to the market. Probably the most exciting part of the this visit is seeing these test plots and knowing the future of caladiums is going to feature such beautiful plants.… Read Full Post
Polyalthia longifolia ‘Pendula’ or Mast Tree

Polyalthia longifolia ‘Pendula’ or Mast Tree

Polyalthia longifolia ‘Pendula’ or Mast Tree, has been on my mind lately. This tall, narrow tree caught my eye last year and I have been plant lusting for it ever since. I first saw it at the FNGLA Landscape Show and then I started to see the Mast Tree everywhere. Okay, not quite everywhere but I have seen it more and more.   During a trip to Miami I saw it several times, tucked into narrow areas where it provides the perfect vertical accent. This spot at Viscaya Museums and Gardens in Miami is a perfect example of planting the Mast tree in a narrow area. Mast Tree Characteristics Mast trees are an extremely upright, columnar tree with leaves that hang in a weeping nature.… Read Full Post
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! 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
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