Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Bulbs - Advice Welcome!

So this weekend the weather stunk once again, cold and rainy. Add to that a head cold that knocked me out yesterday, and I wasn't much for gardening this weekend. However, that didn't mean I couldn't go shopping! I went with the intention of finding more butterfly and pinecone gingers, but as almost always happens, I go in wanting one thing, and come out with another. Here is what I got:

2 Bags of six Stargazer bulbs. I already planted some of these last year in the butterfly garden, but I'm thinking of doing a mass planting on them this year.

2 Bags of 2 Peruvian Daffodil bulbs. I know nothing about these plants. It was a total impuse buy. But don't they look so cool? They reminded me of some of the more exotic crinum lilies I've seen. So, I had to have them.

3 Nerine Guernsey lily bulbs. Again, I know nothing at all about this plant. Again, it just looks so cool. The label says it is heat tolerant and drought resistant, so that really sold me. Any advice on any of these plants is very welcome.

My daughter was the cutest when we were buying these. She asked me what I was doing and I said "buying bulbs." She looked confused, so I gave her the bag with the little bit of dirt and the bulbs inside. She looked them over carefully and then asked "How do you make them light up?" Hee, Hee.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Flea Market Orchid

Since I've been posting primarily on the weekends when I have time, I realized I couldn't leave that depressing picture up all week. So here is one a bit more cheery. This is a super cheap ($5) orchid from the flea market that my Grandmother picked up for me. Thanks Grandma!! At that price, I'm kicking myself that I didn't pick up a few more. It is so pretty!!

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

This is What Depression Looks Like

So, I'm taking a vote. What is the most depressing thing about the above garden bed? The dead, frost killed plants? Or the Christmas decorations that still have to be taken down?

This the time of year that frankly, I get whiney. If you thought I whiney in August, you have not seen anything yet. I walk around my garden and all the thoughts come flooding back: Am I any good at gardening? Should I take up knitting again? (I was terrible at it the first time) Will any of my plants come back? Will another frost kill them if they do? Why did the frost kill all of my pretty plants and leave all of the weeds? Will it ever look like it did in June? Ugh. Add to it the fact that it has been cold and rainy the last few days and it all makes you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and finish up Season 3 of LOST.
This week was especially busy at work, and I've had my share of brushes with fame. Wesley Snipes! Willie Nelson! John Travolta! They have made work interesting. Did you know that Willie washes his own tour bus? Supposedly, because of the Snipes trial, all kinds of celebrities will be descending little ol' Ocala. I'll let you know if there are any more sightings. Well, with all hub-bub, I realized that I missed my own blogaversery!! I've been doing this for an entire year! I don't care what they say, folks. Miracles DO happen. I was planning on doing this lovely self-congratulatory post, full of ideas about the future of my gardens. Oh well, maybe I'll get to it by next year!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yucky Weather

Yucky weather today. Won't be doing much gardening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pink Rules and Yellow Sucks It

At this time of year, the dominate color in the garden is brown, and frankly, I really need some pink right now. So here are some shots of my Christmas cactus that bloomed last week. I was never much of a fan of pink until my daughter was born. Somehow, in my head, she made it okay to like girly things and love pink. She made it acceptable and even wonderful to be a girl just like her and proud to be her mother. It is sad that I had to have a baby girl to have that happen, but it is what it is. And she is the biggest girly-girl. All her clothes must be pink if she will be wearing them. I guess it rubbed off, because I now use it liberally in the garden and miss the color when it isn't around. I know that not everyone agrees with me. There was one garden book on plant colors that I found pretty useless and forgot the name of. The author insisted that pink should be used sparingly, if at all, in a "civilized" garden and especially detested the hot pink/fuchsia color I love. People seem to be very particular about their color choices in the garden. I happen to think yellow sucks it, but of course that might change. So, what are your favorite colors to use in the garden? Which do you hate? And this ain't politics or religion people; feel free to tell me exactly how you feel. You can even disagree with me! The nicey-nice stuff has gone too far on the gardening blogosphere. Being mean and nasty about totally irrelevant things ("Orange is obnoxious!!", for example) can be fun, and is certainly more interesting! Let me know what you think. Creative adjectives are welcome.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hey Mom, Read This!

Last night night my Mom came over and was asking about her Hawaii plant. My parents have a plumeria that keeps dying back before it can bloom. I've read that it blooms on old growth. So, about two months ago I took a cutting so we can plant one in a pot and keep it over the winter. Mom: Here it is!

Here is the exciting part: it appears to have a root. I followed the directions I found on . It says to plant in a clear cup with no drainage holes. Water at planting time, then pretty much leave it alone. The clear cup allows you to check the root development without disturbing the plant. It is looking good so far!

The Aftermath

Well, the good news is that the bird of paradise made it. It was pretty severely hacked, but the plant as a whole made it through. In the pool garden, the bananas died, but they will grow back. The hibiscus died too, as usual. Hibiscus will grow back, but not enough to bloom before the next frost, so I treat it as an annual. There are hardy hibiscus plants available, so I might try those this year.

The shed garden didn't fare as well. Everything but the palms died back. Not sure exactly what will come back this year.

This is a bit of a depressing sight.

However, the shell ginger, a plant that I thought would be highly effected by the cold, looks like nothing happened. I will have to use this plant more liberally this year. Note the hot pink coleus next to it is not look quite as pink as it once was.

The crinums are perky as ever.

I lost much of the lantana tree, the Mexican petunias, and about half of the sage. The crepe myrtle tree was cut back a couple of weeks ago. The passion flower vine, butterfly bush, and the pentas at the bottom of this picture still look pretty happy.

The pansies have earned their reputation as good cold weather plants.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Things I Like About the Cold Weather

1. Turning on the tap and getting ice cold water. You don't get that too often down here.

2. My daughter's hair. When she wears her little pink Dora the Explorer hat and when she pulls it off, the static makes all of her hair stand on end. It makes us giggle every time.

3. All of my potted plants are now inside and my living room looks decidedly jungle-like.

4. It makes a hot grande caffe mocha taste even better.

5. In two days it will be 70 degrees again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Cover Up

Happy New Years! To ring in 2008, the weather has decided to dip. We are forecasted to have a low of 17 tonight! 13 for tomorrow! And here I thought I lived in warm, tropical Florida. I can't remember the last time we've had a hard freeze like this. It is a complete guess about which plants will make it through the frost and which won't. One of my prized plants is the bird of paradise.

Here is what it looked like this morning:
I knew I'd have to cover it this evening, but it is getting too big for my sheets. So, even though it killed me a little bit, I hacked about 10-12 leaves off the top. The leaves won't survive the frost anyway, and my main goal is to keep the plant alive. So right now it looks like this:
There is a silver lining. I now have lovely table centerpieces:

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