Tag Archives: Florida gardening


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?


In the Spring garden,I think I just might have over planted kale.
No….I know I did.IMG_1956Curley leaf Kale.I planted over 8 plants.Perfect for salads,as long as you massage it first with olive oil,and good for sautéing.Seems to take the heat well.I planted this last year and it did well,so I tried it again this  year.I’ll plant this variety again.IMG_1957 Russian Kale.It’s not heat tolerant,at all! I think I will try it again,in the Fall garden.I think the heat,here,has given it a bitter taste.So,it shall wait for Fall.
Notice the grape tomatoes taking over?

IMG_1955This a straight leaf variety(I forget the name).It doesn’t seem very heat tolerant,and takes a lot of water.It’s growing under an arbor thingy – is that a gardening word? that I made for the pole beans to grow on (I’ll do a post on that,later).Which gives it some shade.But it seems like something likes to gnaw holes on it.I’ve looked for whatever bugger it is,but I can’t find it.It still tastes good,though.But it might do better in the Fall garden.I’ll try it again.
Soooo,what to do……
After using some in salads,adding some to Spanish Bean soup(which is amazing, by the way),sautéing some with a ham steak and adding black-eyed peas(I got the recipe from Michael Symon on The Chew and it makes for a great,quick dinner!),
I figured I’d make some kale chips.
When it’s 93* out …I think they call that hot as Hell… and no rain  in sight,what else can you do but cook? It’s too hot to garden,after all…

I used the straight leaf kale,making sure it was very dry.I’ve made this with the Curly Leaf variety,but the straight seems to do better with this.After cutting out the center vein-that is way too tough to eat,so make sure you cut that out-I spread it on a cookie sheet.Sprinkle it with olive oil,garlic powder,and parmesan cheese.Put it in the oven at 300* for 30 minutes or so.Make sure you keep an eye on it and take it out just as it starts to get crispy and sprinkle it with kosher salt and if you prefer,more cheese.
Makes a great snack,and crumbled up and added to a salad.

So,how’s your garden growing?
Have an over abundance of anything?
If you do,how do you deal with it?


Today,the first so called cool front passed through.
After a day of rain,we were left with much lower humidity,and a forecast for lower night time temps.
But….there’s always a but this time of year…..tomorrow is to be in the 90’s,but with low humidity.By this time of year,I’ll take what I can get.
If the first front passed,can the next real one be far behind?

Already,the garden is showing signs of Autumn.
Even though the plumeria are still blooming…


….the first signs of rust are showing up,and leaves are dropping.It’s a problem for we Florida plumeria growers,but it’s almost self-correcting.The rust shows up,leaves drop,the plumeria goes dormant,and then comes back in the Spring.

The Beautiberry Callicarpa americana L. is exceptionally beautiful this year.

As is the Yellow Top Flaveria linearis ….


After it is done blooming,I think I will take divisions,and in the Spring,plant the divisions around the garden.It seems to like all types of conditions.

The vegetable garden has been planted.
The collards are up already…IMG_1529turnip seedlings in the background.

The Cat’s Whisker’s Orthosiphon aristatus IMG_1524
seem happy with the weather change.

And,of course,Buddha is happy….

….just smelling the Wendy’s Wish Salvia….

How’s your garden growing?
Is it ready for Fall?


Plumeria update~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fall veggie garden has been solarized,had compost and manure added to it,and is now sitting,basking in the late Florida summer sun.
Resting,until next week,when the seeds I ordered,and plants that are started,can go into the ground.I’m so looking forward to fresh,home-grown salads and vegetables,again.

But in the meantime,a little plumeria update is in order.
The pink and white  pink and yellow has totally stolen my heart…


Can you see why? Great scent,beautiful blooms.What’s not to love?

The white plumeria has put out a seed pod,again,this year.IMG_1492

It did the same thing last year,but I didn’t know how to deal with sprouting the seeds. Meaning,that I totally goofed it up.But after much research,I’m going to try it again this year.
There is a certain way to plant each seed.
and if you screw that up,w-e-l-l you’re totally screwed…..
I,also,found out that each seed can have up to over 54 chromosomes,so you never know what you’re going to get from a sprouted seed.It can take from 10 months to 3 years to get a bloom,so this should be fun….


….around TheGreatWall….
Not much…..
Outside of no rain –thought this was rainy season?– for over a week,
and temps in the 90’s,
and humidity to match.
Meaning if you have gardening to do
….and who doesn’t at this time of year?…
you had better have your butt outside,
working in the garden by 7:30AM.
And be done by 11AM,
and soaking that butt in the pool for the rest of the afternoon.


After 4:30,or so,it just might be cool enough to take the camera out and see what’s going on…..

The plumerias are blooming like crazy….
The red never ceases to amaze me.

The first year the pink and yellow has bloomed!I’m in love with this one!

The yellow carries on.The original cutting for this came from my dad’s garden in St.Petersburg,before he passed.

The white has gotten so big(over 10’ tall),I can’t take a good photo of the blooms!

Both wild coffees are blooming….
Jamaican Wild Coffee psychotria undata,Zone 9-12

Florida native Wild Coffee psychotria nervosa,Zone 10-11
-pushing the limits on this one,but so far,after 3 years,it’s still doing great!

Zebra Long Wing on the Jatropha-sometimes they will pose!

Blackberry Lilies are blooming already,this year.Kind of early.Mine are the freckle-less ones.

Self seeded Blanket Flower.

Cats on the parsley.I always plant extra just for this reason.

How are you doing in this Florida heat?


…or just floating in the pool?
I vote for floating in the pool…..