Plant Spotlight

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
Formal Double Form Camellias

Formal Double Form Camellias

Camellia season is starting to wind down and I am left with images of beautiful camellias in my mind. Mostly, I picture the formal double form camellias. These little showstoppers are my favorites. Not always the largest, but with amazing form that only formal double form camellias can achieve. When I was first introduced to camellias, I was unaware of the different flower forms. I saw only beautifully saturated flowers of all different colors and sizes. It wasn’t until I saw one of my first formal double form camellias that I understood just how important the flower form is to camellias. Camellia ‘Pink Perfection’ Camellia Forms Camellia flower forms are divided into six categories: Single: One row of not over 8 petals and having conspicuous stamens.… Read Full Post
Yellow Flowers? Tabebuia Trees

Yellow Flowers? Tabebuia Trees

Tabebuia Trees are starting to steal the show… again. It seems like each March the most commonly asked question is, “What are those yellow flower trees all over town?” Those, my friends, are Golden Trumpet or Tabebuia Trees. Well, maybe that isn’t entirely true. The name “Tabebuia” has now been replaced with “Handroanthus.” Just when people were starting to learn real plant names they went and changed it. This is why people stick with the common names! According to Wikipedia, “the name Handroanthus was established in 1970, but was not generally accepted. In 1992, its species were included in Tabebuia in the most recent revision of that genus. Handroanthus was resurrected in 2007 when a comparison of DNA sequences by cladistic methods showed that Tabebuia, as then circumscribed, was not monophyletic.”  Huh.… Read Full Post
Add the Best Office Plants to Your Space

Add the Best Office Plants to Your Space

Is your work office feeling a little stale these days?  Let’s liven it up with the best office plants. The folks at Quill.com have created this great infographic to get you going. Hmm, perhaps you could just leave this sitting on your boss’s desk? I have to admit, I love the ZZ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia.  This plant has glossy, shiny leaves, grows upright and actually thrives on neglect. The fastest way to kill this plant is by giving it too much attention (i.e. water).  Chinese Evergreen, or Aglaonema, is also one of the best office plants for adding a pop of color. New varieties of this old plant are now introduce bright pink, red or even orange into the leaves. Aglaonema prefer bright light, but don’t really need direct sun.… Read Full Post
Best Winter Flowers for Florida Gardens

Best Winter Flowers for Florida Gardens

What beautiful weather!  Now is the time to enjoy the outdoors and get some flowers planted for the winter months. Not sure what to plant? Here are my top five best winter flowers for Florida gardens:   Geraniums: Large balls of flowers held high make this one of the most catching of our best winter flowers. These are easy to see from a distance, so areas like the mailbox or front yard are great places to plant. Plant geraniums now and they will last well into May. Sweet Alyssum: These flowers will fill the air with their soft, sweet fragrance. Reaching just 6” tall, alyssum work great in containers or in the front of a flower bed. Although flowers are small, about the size of a pencil eraser, there are so many it will look like a patch of white.… 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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