They’re waking up! (Lilies, Amaryllis, etc., etc.!)

A week ago, I was bemoaning the late arrival of my amaryllis spikes and starting to think they might skip a season. This is my 5th spring of Florida gardening and always they’d appear during March, with a few of the early blooming varieties opened wide by now! Then suddenly yesterday, the Mead Amaryllis varieties shot up:

The Mead Amaryllis is the result of a USDA breeding program that took place in Central Florida during the early years of the 20th Century.  Drs. Theodore Mead and Henry Nehrling tested and crossed more than 3000 orchids, calladium, and amaryllis plants in what was to become Florida’s first experimental botanical garden. Of these, over 300 new and beneficial plants were introduced into Florida’s landscape. The amaryllis hybrids seen here are two such pass-alongs, and although not as showy or tall as modern Dutch hybrids, they are uniquely suited to our local conditions.  Walk down any Florida street in March (….ok….April! 🙂 ) and you’ll see red and white beauties popping up all over!

This next amaryllis,  Hippeastrum cybister “Evergreen”, woke up FAST too!

Purchased as an indoor “force” for the 2012 holiday season, I planted H.cybister evergreen in the Ranchero when its bloom cycle ended.  All I can say is WOW!  It must prefer the outdoors, because it spiked MUCH taller than 2012!  I counted 8 separate blooms atop this first inflorescence and as I recall, it produced 2 more before going dormant last time. I’m curious what might happen this year, but Clarisse isn’t quite so enthusiastic. 😉


The first daylily of 2014 also arrived on April 1, waaayyyyy later than anticipated.

Hemorocallis hyperion, 4/1/14

Hemerocallis hyperion is a rebloomer and one of my original garden purchases.  When winters are mild, I’ve watched it flower sporadically all year, but that didn’t happen THIS season. Better late than never, yeah?  I’m happy to see it heralding spring!

Although technically not a “bloom,” I’m heartened by new shoots on this Dracena marginata.

This plant was so leggy, forlorn and cold damaged, I cut it in half so the upper portion could root near the original stem.  As you can see, both segments have adjusted and seem to be thriving!

Fortunately my orchids were in containers, so I brought them inside for the worst of our cold snaps. They’ve been back outdoors and shaded for the past month, and look just about ready to say hello.

Late winter is typically orchid time in Florida, so these phals are seriously behind schedule!

Spring is here, and it’s fantastic to be out in the yard and digging again!  Winter was tough all around, and I’m glad to see it go!

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂


Enhanced by Zemanta

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

For this week’s photo challenge, WP demands, “Show us your curves!  😮  In an effort to keep the challenge “clean” and give you a rare glimpse inside smallhouse, I present to you the perfect curvy subject:


The plant above is a Madagascar Dragon Tree, aka Dracena Marginata.  Although mine is solid green, varieties with pink/white/red stripes are also available.  As you can see, 4 slim stems curve upward from a central trunk, winding this-way-and-that as the plant matures.  This amazing indoor specimen thrives in low light environments!  4yrs ago, I placed it dead center in my open floor plan house, and it still looks as heathy as the first day. 🙂

Now let’s adjourn to the garden, for a different set of curves:


A week ago, this croton aka Codiaeum Varieagatum was a mere tip cutting, a rootless “stick” with the tiniest hint of budding at the very top.  Through the miracles of copious rain and good potting soil, fresh leaves are now curving and curling nicely!

Crotons are bio-genetically unstable with an ability to “sport.”  In layman’s terms, this means they often mutate and produce offspring that look nothing like themselves.  Judging from what I’ve seen so far, my new little croton will be much like the Ram’s Horn variety from which it came:


Now that’s what I call lots and lots of curves!!!

As always, be sure to click the Zemanta links below for other interpretations of this week’s challenge!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

Both sides, now!

We’ve been having a nice stretch of weather, so today I got outside to take some pictures and do a bit of digging and repotting. Because winter’s been quite warm, growth in the Ranchero is a good month ahead of what I’ve seen during my previous two winters here…..take a look:

Ranchero, Feb 2, 2012

This is a side of the garden from which I rarely take photos, and I’m surprised by how full it looks!  In years past, the curly croton (foreground) and dracena marginata (left-rear) have died back to ground level; the amaryllis had 2 leaves at most, and the cosmos were nowhere near blooming.  Ditto for a sunflower located on the other side of the purple oyster plants….see?

Cinnamon Sunflower

An open sunflower on the second day in February?  Surely this is a sign the ground is ALOT warmer this year…. and here’s another one, from a part of the vegetable garden you haven’t seen before:

Thai Peppers

Pick me!! Pick me!!

Thai Peppers! Red, HOT and definitely ahead of schedule….we’ve been pulling these off (and eating them) for the past two weeks!

Maybe the planting “zone creep” announced last week is real, or perhaps recent events in my garden are randomly anectdotal. Only time and scientific data will tell, but I guarantee this last example will have you thinking about both sides, now!

Just before Christmas, I took a cutting from my very well established almond bush, dipped it in root hormone and placed it directly in my rear cutting garden instead of a pot.  I’ve noticed this past month how big it’s grown;  in the past week it even set some small buds!.  Today I dug it up to have a look:

Almond Bush Cutting

Holy Canoli, Batman!!!!!  You are looking at the cutting (with extensive roots!!) being held above the spot on the branch from which it was snipped.  I was so completely astounded I decided to pot it up for a friend:

New almond bush

Tomorrow I go to Ivana's house!

I hope she likes it!

Until next time!