Late November Flowers

I love winter growing season in Florida–some of the prettiest flowers emerge this time of year.

My backyard Orchid Tree (aka Bauhinia Purpurea) is covered with showy and fragrant blossoms. Even after 5 years, they STILL amaze me.

Passiflora Lady Margaret has been a vine wall workhorse, blooming for the first time last winter and continuing through July. After a few months pause, it began budding again and seems off to a very strong start!

Passiflora Lady Margaret

November in the Sunshine State is all about the orange crop!  My backyard Honeybell tree has improved so much in the past few years. The fruit isn’t quite ripe yet, but getting very close. In a few weeks we’ll be juicing! 🙂

Florida Orange

Another local favorite is the ubiquitous Red Canna (a Presidential series cultivar.) Although sporadic year-round bloomers, they look best after rainy season when the temperature moderates.

The flowers of Mexican Donkey Ears (Kalanchoe gastonis bonnieri) won’t fully open ’til Christmas but the spikes and buds are already quite attractive.  Eventually, the buds will darken and become calyces holding reddish-pink petals with flared tips and yellow interiors.  The “mother plant” declines at the end of the bloom cycle, but the many plantlets growing along her lower leaves develop rapidly to bloom within 2 to 3 years.  K. gastonis bonnieri hails from Madagascar.

Kalanchoe Gastonis Bonnieri

This next one is a bit of a mystery: during August I noticed it poking above and through my fence. Now it looms 10′ tall and is surrounded by a wooden “cage” that I never saw anyone build!  Cute white flowers, yeah? Chime in if you recognize it!

Unknown Plant

And to end on a personal note:  I usually shop on Black Friday but today did something decidedly un-American: I deposited money in the bank instead!  In March, I’m headed back to Europe for several months…or until the cash runs out.  Adventure in my old age…who’d have thunk it?! 🙂 🙂

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar, 5/3/14

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

Spring in the sub-tropics feels and looks like summer. Most local gardens have moved beyond budding into the first (of many!) flower cycles.  This gaillardia, re-seeded from last year, seems to like it hot and sunny,

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Ditto my Florida cardinal Caladium, locally bred to produce thicker leaves for better sun tolerance.

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These are the days when temps and humidity soar to the 90s, and late day downpours are an everyday given.  This next photo illustrates our humid, hot, hazy Spring so perfectly, I almost tagged it #iconic. 🙂  Right now it’s 4pm, and you can see the haze is settling in:

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Don’t you just love those sherbet colors? 🙂  I sure do!

To see what Spring is like in other parts of the world, check out the Weekly Photo Challenge and  Zemanta related links below!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Finally! The wind died down this morning and I got outside to take pictures for the first time in a week.  Unbelievably, almost every image wound up working for this week’s challenge, yet I had NO idea the topic was layers until long after lunch! 🙂  Gotta love when the stars align like that!!

Anyway…here we go 🙂

The first photo shows an unidentified kalanchoe with layers of leaves in different shapes and sizes:

Unidentified Kalanchoe, 11/15/13

Next, Lady Margaret Passiflora is a study in multi-layered beauty!

Passiflora Lady Margaret, 11/15/13

Tiny roots form the bottom layer on this Kalanchoe pinnata leaf-plantlet.

Kalanchoe pinnata plantlet, 11/15/13

In a few weeks, layers of orange flowers will burst from this wild Sesbania bud.

Sesbania punicea, 11/15/13

Before I sign off….. If you can identify the Kalanchoe in the first photo, let me know!

For other interpretations of this week’s challenge, click on the Zemanta related links below.

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂