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.” … Read Full Post
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
Bromeliads are one of the plants that I find to be perfectly Florida. I love the variety of colors and textures, sizes and heights, and different growth habits for every nook and cranny in the garden. Whether full sun or deep shade, there is a bromeliad for that part of the landscape. Why Plant Bromeliad Pups? One thing about bromeliads is they can be fairly pricey to purchase. But, if you can find someone with an old garden then there are often more bromeliads to share than they may have friends. But until you find that treasured neighbor with a plethora of plants to share, buying bromeliads can be expensive. One way to cut down on that cost is to purchase bare root plants or “pups.” … Read Full Post
Learning how to garden in the narrow strip between your sidewalk and the street can be a challenge. For my project, the most important step was installing narrow strip irrigation in this area (you can see the rest of the process here). I am happy to say this was one of the easiest parts! Narrow strip irrigation is most efficient with micro-irrigation and it worked perfectly in this scenario. Read on to learn how this project was done: Why Micro Irrigation? Very narrow strips are hard to water with spray heads. They tend to overspray, wasting water on the sidewalk and street rather than the soil. Even the most fine-tuned system is going to have a hard time on our 22″ wide strip, almost 35′ in length. … Read Full Post
Ugh. The dreaded sidewalk strip between the road and the walkway. Otherwise known as the “stupid strip,” the “hell strip” or even the “zone of death.” Okay, I made up zone of death, but maybe it is fitting? This pitiful area is usually not a gardener’s friend. In my case our sidewalk strip is 22″ wide. What in the world are you supposed to grow in here? Not turfgrass, most likely weeds, maybe some mulch? This sidewalk strip has brought so much dismay to gardeners and homeowners that it even has its own book! Author Evelyn Hadden recently wrote, “Hellstrip Gardening: Create a Paradise between the Sidewalk and the Curb.” The description of the book reads “The hellstrip — the space between a street and a public sidewalk, also known as a tree park, boulevard, meridian, and planting strip — is finally getting the attention it deserves!”… Read Full...