Plant Spotlight

What’s that purple flower vine?

What’s that purple flower vine?

On our recent trip to Florida I was literally stopped in my tracks by this purple flower vine in Winter Garden. I’ve been familiar with Petrea volubilis, or Queen’s Wreath Vine, but I’ve never seen it like this. Driving down Plant Street in Winter Garden, there is always something beautiful to see. This town does a great job of maintaining and growing their green space for residents and tourists to enjoy. But this. This was too much for me! The purple flowers were dripping off of the trellis. Petrea volubilis is sometimes called “Florida Wisteria” and it is easy to see why. Wow. I can’t tell you how many people I heard talking about this plant. How often do plants get this kind of attention?… Read Full Post

Farfugium as a houseplant

I’ve had a love affair with Farfugium for a long time. When we moved from Florida to Iowa I brought one along to try the lovely farfugium as a houseplant. The good news is that it is flourishing! The big, bold leaves of farfugium, also known as Leopard Plant, are the main attraction. It is a member of Daisy family, so while it does send up spikes of yellow flowers, to me these seem out of place with the large tropical leaves. I’ve even heard farfugium referred to as Tractor Seat Plant, and I can certainly see that in the broad leaf shape. I first referenced Farfugium on here back in 2015 in my New and Underused Plants post. Back then it was really hard to find.… Read Full Post
Hop Poles and Trellis Design for Your Garden

Hop Poles and Trellis Design for Your Garden

In lieu of upcoming Spring and Summer vegetation, homeowners are using hop pole and trellis designs for their gardens. These items in the garden manipulate vines and other hanging plants with garden wires, hop poles, and pre-made trellis structures. Landscapers and homeowner enthusiasts often explore different ways to use these designs, which we’ll talk about in this article. Hop poles and trellis designs are a combination of wooden logs, wires (small ropes), and plants. The hop poles are the logs used to hold up the wire and rope. Plants twine around the wire and rope known as a trellis. When the plant develops, the trellis will have a canopy of leaves and blossoms. Utilizing Arbors and Trellis in Gardens Trellis can be purchased in their completed states.… Read Full Post
5 Ways to Boost Productivity in the Office

5 Ways to Boost Productivity in the Office

We are all looking for ways to improve our business, especially in the office, which is the heart of every organisation. Your employees value this space and it should be designed with style and functionality, facilitating work activities in a pleasant ambience. If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency in your office, here are a few ideas that might do the trick. 1. Introduce Nature We all love being surrounded by nature and with the latest generation of artificial plants, you can transform your office space without much effort. An artificial solution can give you the look you desire without worrying about who will take care of maintenance. 2. Involve the Staff Hold a meeting to get your employees on board and announcing that you care about their well-being and are looking at ways to brighten up the office.… Read Full Post
Weeping Redbud

Weeping Redbud

If the plant gods are listening, I would like to mention my love of weeping redbud trees. I’ve found that once I put it out to the world that I am trying to find something specific, it seems to happen!  Okay, let’s look at some images of weeping redbud trees and see if this works again!  Remember when I wrote about Purple Bell Vine?  I found one within a few weeks! I fully admit that I love the form of a weeping tree. Does my entire garden need to be filled exclusively with them?  Probably not, although I would love to give it a try! Weeping redbud trees have it all. Flowers in the spring, fabulous foliage all summer and even an interesting skeleton of branches for the winter.… Read Full Post
Amazing Mulberry Trees

Amazing Mulberry Trees

Imagine the surprise in my eyes when, while trying to follow a map to the next garden on our tour, I looked up to see these unusual trees! Like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, these “trees” were sprawling and climbing across the front yard of a historical two story home.  This just shows how the citizens of Buffalo, New York are so passionate about their gardens (learn more about their showcase at https://gardensbuffaloniagara.com/events/garden-walk-buffalo/)   What could these strange forms possible be?  While not part of the garden tour, it should come as no surprise that a group of us started exploring these unusual features. The surrounding garden was packed full of flowering bulbs and perennials, so I hope that the owner appreciated our interest in this unique garden.… Read Full Post
Rhodochiton atrosanguineum- Purple Bell Vine

Rhodochiton atrosanguineum- Purple Bell Vine

Sometimes I feel like if I put out to the universe what I am looking for then these things tend to show up. Okay, universe, you’ve been alerted, on the top of my “plant wish list” is Rhodochiton atrosanguineum, “Purple Bell Vine”.  Are you familiar with this plant? The first time I saw Rhodochiton atrosanguineum was during a garden visit as part of the Garden Writers Association conference in Buffalo, New York last summer. As I toured this homeowner’s garden taking photos I literally stopped when I saw this plant. It doesn’t happen too often that I see an entirely new plant. Well, new to me, that is. What could this be?  Where do I get one? The Purple Bells Vine was being grown on a small obelisk structure and had completely engulfed the metal frame. … Read Full Post
Will my orchid bloom again?

Will my orchid bloom again?

As the last bloom falls from my orchid I find myself asking the important question, “Will my orchid bloom again?” How do you know what to look for and is there anything you can do to encourage another flower? This lovely little miniature orchid was an impulse by from a visit to Home Depot. I am a sucker for all of the things near the checkout line, so a display of small orchids for $6.99 wasn’t even worth fighting.   Large or small, you can get an orchid bloom again. I find that most orchid flowers last 3-4 months in our house if they were purchased in good condition with a several of the balloon-like blooms yet to open. What a deal these orchids are compared to cut flowers!… Read Full Post
2017 New Caladium Varieties

2017 New Caladium Varieties

Each year caladium growers from around the country reveal their new caladium varieties for the public. Okay, caladium growers from Florida reveal their new caladium varieties. You can see a quick tour of their fields in this previous post. During a quick visit to Orlando we made a point to stop by the Florida Flower Trials at Harry P. Leu Gardens to take a quick look at the newest varieties being tested. I would certainly admit to being biased with my love for caladiums, so seeing these new caladium varieties was a top priority. I was excited to see some of the new colors and shapes, with more lance leaf caladiums entering the market. I fully admit that I have weird “plant geek” tastes for plants, so I was instantly drawn to the new ‘Tinkerbell’ from Bates Sons & Daughters.… Read Full Post
What does poison ivy look like?

What does poison ivy look like?

What a way to start a blog post, eh?  “What does poison ivy look like?” has been heard a few times around here lately. We are clearing out an area of old trees, shrubs and underbrush and my lack of familiarity with some of these plants is prompting this question.   So, what does poison ivy look like? Leaves of three, let them be… Leaves of five, let them thrive.  This little rhyme is keeping me in check these days with my poison ivy “sightings.”  Look for plants with leaves in groups of three as an initial indicator. Not to get too technical, but I have to put in here that technically these are leaflets, comprising a single leaf. As a vine, look for hairy roots that are holding on tightly to a tree or wall.… Read Full Post

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My name is Keri and I am as comfortable speaking to a group about color in the garden as I am covered in dirt.

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