Saturday, June 21, 2008


Yesterday I went to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, one of the nicest things ever to come out of Gainesville. (Sorry Gators, as a die-hard Nole, I have to poke fun.) It was lovely morning, even as the threat of a nasty thunderstorm loomed. I've been to Kanapaha several times before, but often later in the year, when much of the foliage has faded. It was nice to come in
June and see so much in its peak.

Orange Cannas and White Cleome. While all of the variety names are very clearly noted on all of these plants, I was not so diligent in recording them- Sorry! Cleome has just come into my radar this and I've been noticing them everywhere. I really like this combo, and think I'll be trying it in the garden next season.
We had a tour guide - her name is Willow. Willow followed us everywhere, showing each of the gardens, lagging behind, then catching up with us through a secret short cut only she knew. She was so charming, and really took a shine to my daughter.

This is the herb garden. Willow is patiently waiting for us to catch up. This garden in particular has looked a bit lack luster in previous years, but today was gorgeous. It is split into medical herbs and scented herbs. Everything is labeled very clearly and has detailed info on how each plant is used. It would be easy to spend hours in this garden.
I love this picture of an anchor in the middle of the jungle for no apparent reason. It totally screams 'Lost' to me.

Kanapaha is known for its bamboo garden.

Namaste, Buddha-Man.

More Cleome with Canna. I really do like this combo.

Kanapaha does however have a serious bug problem.

Now, regular readers must know how happy this little sign makes me. How did I miss this before? I guess I only really discovered crinum flowers last summer, and when I have visited the gardens in the fall, the show was not as spectacular as it is now.
This area is probably week from really going crazy.

This Crinum Augustum 'Queen Emma' is a real stunner.

Note: If you go to Kanapaha, bring bug spray. We forgot it, and although they typically keep a supply at the entrance desk, but they ran out yesterday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not Nice to Make a Girl Wait . . .

It kills me waiting for these crinum to bloom. I have neighbors whose plants have been blooming for a week. Aaaarrrggghhh! I've been meaning forever now to take a walk and snap pics of some of the plants in my neighborhood. I'll have to work on that - and actually meet some of my neighbors!
This garden "feels" better than it looks. That's the only way I can describe it. I enjoy being in it. I guess I don't notice the dead grass so much. It hasn't recovered from two months with no rain. When I did water, I didn't waste it on the grass.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Expectations

The propagation station is rolling and I am taking cuttings of everything. Above are some yucca seedlings - thanks Vanillalotus! Below makes me very happy - it is a new crinum bud!
Check out what was going on in the garden on June 18th last year!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

. . . and then the rain came.

After a month and half without a drop, the rain finally came back. It brings with it its own set of challenges, such as fungal diseases and slugs, but I haven't had to pick up the hose once this week and my plants seem to be enjoying the daily afternoon showers. Mother Nature is far more dependable than I am.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Update of the Corner Garden

And this garden is potentially over updated . . . but it changes the most. I filled in the circle with some ginger and sweet potato vine to make it a bit less smiley face looking. I still can't wait for it to grow in.

Here is one of the vinca flowers that make up the "smile". I love how crisp and fresh vinca looks after a very brief rain shower this afternoon.
My orchid is a two-fer!

I'm getting spoiled. This canna has been blooming for weeks now and I haven't even stopped to take a picture. It doesn't even excite me anymore. I did find it interesting how much the color changed from the picture above to the pale yellow later in the afternoon:
I don't know it is the change in light or if the color actually faded, but it surprised me.

Update of the Front Garden

I realized that it has been a long time since I've updated this garden, so here you go.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Major Surprise

Look what I found in the garden tonight!!! Talk about a MAJOR surprise! 'Cause here is the rest of the plant:

It was ready for the compost heap a week ago. I guess that just goes to show you - never give up. The plants don't!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Propagation Station

So all of this probably old hat for most experienced gardeners, but it is what I've been doing this weekend, and maybe there is a newbie or two out there who might benefit. If you are like me, maybe you just like to see what other people do. I've been cutting back all of plants, especially in the butterfly garden, to make sure everything looks nice and lush for July 4th. As a result, I've started A LOT of cuttings this weekend. In addition, I've been gathering seeds and dividing plants. But first I thought I'd show my new little trick this season, a Propagation Station!

Even though I have rooted plants in soil for years, I'm only just realizing how crucial humidity is. Without sufficient humidity, water transpires out the leaves quicker than it can take it up through its new roots and plants wilt. Some times they bounce back, sometimes they don't. To increase humidity, I've put my plants in a large, clear plastic bin, which seems to be working well. I strip off most of the leaves and as soon as new leaves start to appear, take the plants out to harden off on the table. If you want to do something similar, be sure to keep it in a shaded area where the plants won't over heat and air out daily, or drill circulation air holes.

With certain plants I just get lazy. The ruellia (left) and the sweet potato vine (right) easily root in water or soil, so I often go the easy route and throw them in some water.

When I feel more ambitious, I will collect certain plants. Here is some of the salvia I was offering. (1.) I'll wait for a dried stalk on the plant and put it in a baggie, collecting several. (2.) After pulling out the stems, (3.) I'll smoosh and smash the baggie until the seeds separate and fall to the bottom of the baggie. (4.) I put the pile on a white piece of paper to clearly see the seeds and pull the flower husks out. Wa-La! Seeds.

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