Category Archives: Florida gardening

Pine Cone Ginger

If you are following me on Instagram(check the box on the right of the home page,if you want to see),you will know I posted this photo of the Pine Cone Gingers that are growing at TheGreatWall


PineCone Gingers are also known as Zingiber zerumbet(botanical name),Shampoo Ginger,and even Awapuhi.
I wanted to create a floral arrangement with them.And this is what I came up with…


Just some palm fronds,Cinnamon Fern,and some leaves from the Cannas.Pretty good for a free floral arrangement and the house smells like ginger.
They are not a pretty plant.

IMG_2057 They tend to spread everywhere.And I am always digging up the rhizomes.
But they smell so good.Just like the ginger spice.And when  you cut them open,you find this …..
Rub it on your skin,and it works like the best body lotion you can buy.
Really,it does.
Plus,it smells good……

And you do,too…..

Read more here.



It’s rained all day,here,at TheGreatWall.
Serious rain.
The first real rain we’ve had in quite a while.
And we really needed the rain.So,I’m not complaining.
As my mother used to say,a real gully washer.
The day started off with a steady rain,progressed to thunderstorms,slowed down to a steady rain in the afternoon,and,now,thunderstorms again.
So,between the raindrops I ventured out,camera in hand,to snap a few photos.

IMG_2009 Pink and white plumeria.
It starts out like this and will mature to pink and white.

IMG_2010”Light Rainbow” plumeria

Yellow plumeria.
This one is from a cutting from my Dad’s original plumeria that he brought back from Hawaii.

Banana Shrub.For some reason it’s blooming again.

One of the many Buddha’s,at TheGreatWall.
I love them! They bring such a calming sense to the garden.It feels so peaceful to come upon one of them,when I walk through the garden.

Raindrops on the Jatropha.
The Zebra Longwings love this plant.Just not in the rain….

Love this as an accent plant.Does well in containers or directly in the ground.

Raindrops on a Fan Palm frond.

The rain is forecast to continue for another two days…..

…..more than enough rain for awhile……




It’s been cloudy all day.
Threatening rain.
In other words,a great day for photos.
So,here ya go….
Where TheGreatWall is at the almost mid-point of July…

Musical Notes Clerodendrum Clerodendrum incisum
So named because the open flowers resemble musical notes.
A close up of the flower…
Another view….


The white plumeria has burst into bloom….
If you only knew what it took to get a photo of this.
It is over twelve feet tall…
and yes,it involved a ladder,me grabbing a leaf and pulling the branch down….see my finger in the lower left?


After being decimated by the Lubbers the yellow plumeria is blooming…..
IMG_1994 This one comes from a cutting that I got from my Dad’s plumeria,that he brought back from Hawaii….
….and I gave a cutting from mine to Erich,the Younger,and it’s growing in his garden.
I love that gardening can connect generations.
A new pathway is going in….IMG_2003 Why I attempt these things in the heat of summer I have no idea….I still have some cleaning out to do…..
In the back ground you might be able to see the wild Cassava…
Behind the Cassava,you can see the Bay Oak that died from Laurel Wilt.It’s spread by the Ambrosia Beetle,which is an invasive species.I found out it can not just be taken down by just anyone.To keep the disease from spreading there are guidelines as to how it’s taken down and disposed of.

The Beauty Berry is starting to bloom…

…and for some reason the Carolina Jasmine is blooming again…..
I have no idea why,as it’s been so stinking hot,lately.But,I love the scent,in the evening,so I’ll not complain.

The Meyer Lemons are slowly ripening….
This should be its banner year (over 20 lemons on this small tree),so I’m anxious for all of these lemons to ripen.I have plans and recipes…..

That’s TheGreatWall is at the almost mid-point of July.How is your garden growing?

Random stuff…

Summer has truly arrived in West Central Florida.Zone 9B.(or whatever Zone,the powers that be,decide we’re in)
It’s hot and humid.Typical summer weather in Florida.
If I have any intention of gardening,I have to be out there by 7:30AM.And be done by 10AM.
Otherwise,I sweat to death.And we all know that ain’t a pretty sight…or smell….
Moving on…..
This past week,our afternoon rains have started earlier than usual.So,this afternoon,after the rain stopped,I braved the humidity and heat and took some random photos….

The Angel’s Trumpets,Brugmansia, are in full bloom.They seem to love the heat and all the rain of a Florida summer.Bonus points for the fact they smell heavenly in the evening.
…..a close up of the underside…IMG_1961
The Blackberry Lilies,Iris domestica,are starting to bloom.A little early this year.This is a “freckle-less” one .Some have spots that are reminiscent of freckles.
Jamaican Wild Coffee shrub is in bud…
This one is different  from the Florida native Wild Coffee Psychotria nervosa
plant.It is more cold sensitive,so I keep it close to the lanai,where the heat from the pool keeps it protected during the winter.The birds will devour the berries in a day.

Harley,our Chief of Security on TheGreatWall, keeping me company….
Had to throw that one in….

Lubber damage on one of the Queen Emma Crinums…
IMG_1968Two lubbers totally decimated this one,in one day.And that’s with me checking them every day!
It should look like this one….
It should be huge! And a deep purple.This one is growing in a planter,on the screened lanai…   @#$%  lubbers!!!!

On a happier note….
This is Plumeria Rubra “Light Rainbow”
Ain’t she a knock-out?

And the deep red is still in bloom…
This one comes from a cutting.I don’t know the name of the cultivar.But it’s a keeper! It has been blooming for over two months,and is covered in buds.

This is a planter by the lanai

Dwarf variegated pandanus,Pandanus baptisti.It’s supposed to take heat and full sun.We shall see.The snails are Apple Snails I found on the shore of the lake.And the sedum is “Florida Friendly Gold”

So,how is your  garden growing?Are you sweating,like we are,in Florida?

A day for the birds…..

A beautiful,Florida day,today.
70’s,sunny,low humidity,and a clear blue sky.
Perfect for gardening.
I,usually,don’t take the camera with me,but,today,I did.
I wanted to see if the tomatoes….
IMG_1834 IMG_1835

and the Meyer Lemons
were close to being ripe.But nope.Not quite ready.Another day or two….

But it’s been a great day for bird watching at TheGreatWall.
IMG_1820 Female Cardinal

I believe this is a Pine Warbler.But I’m not sure…..
Carolina Wrens were in abundance.


Two female Cardinals having a gossip session….IMG_1815 (2)
…. about this guy….


IMG_1811 Red Bellied Woodpecker

This guy was more than pleased to pose….
IMG_1807He/she stood on my neighbor’s old dock for more than an hour before flying off.
IMG_1807 (2)
How’s the weather,today,in your garden?
Sunny and warm?
Or cold and snowy?

Florida Fall Foliage………….

The weather is a tad cooler,here in Florida.
8o’s,not 90’s.
But the humidity has dropped.And for that we Florida gardeners rejoice.We can get out into the garden without sweating our asses pants off.
Having grown up  in Western New York,and then living in New England for four years before relocating to Florida for the past 40 years,I must admit this is the time of year I miss Fall in the northeast.

Here in Florida,our tank tops have been replaced with t-shirts,and we are still gardening in shorts and flip-flops.
But for all you Northern gardeners who are having fun filling up Facebook and Pinterest with all your photos of your foliage,we in Florida have Fall foliage,too!

It’s just different.




Duranta Gold Mound Duranta repens

Some trim this into a hedge form,but I prefer to let it grow  naturally.I just like like it that way.
IMG_1609 (2)

To be honest,I’m not sure what the purple plant is(I got the original cutting from Meems at Hoe and Shovel),but it is prolific,and roots quite easily.More Duranta Gold Mound,croton and a bit of the Jatropha in the background.



Firebush Hamelia patens

a butterfly and hummingbird attractor

Simpson’s Stopper Myrcianthes fragrans  (a true Florida native)is blooming with it’s sputnik flowers….soon to be replaced by red berries the birds will be feasting on.

Marigolds,in the veggie garden,blooming amongst tomatoes and Cilantro….


But the best color of Fall is…..IMG_1622

……Happy Fall ……

Florida’s change of seasons…..

The temperature has dropped.To the low 80’s during the day.60’s at night.
But most of all,the humidity has dropped.In Florida,that is a sign that Autumn is finally here!
The veggie garden is in full swing.


Yep,those are wine bottles in the raised bed.I’m going to use them to raise the beds up.Don’t judge….
Already,a few salads have been harvested.And there are baby squash to be found.
Thyrallis  Galphimia glauca is in full bloom.


Love that Autumn-like color!
The Lemon Grass is ready to harvest.


Meyer Lemon is in full bloom….


and with babies….


I have always heard that citrus have 3 year cycles,so I’m hoping this is the good year for production,as it’s had 2 slow years.And,already,it has 3 lemons on it.

Sadly,the plumeria are starting to go dormant.
The last of the blooms….

Bananas are still growing…

And Buddha is still happy….IMG_1593

….but the mosquitoes are still here……..