Tag Archives: Simpson’s Stopper

Jasmine and Honeysuckle vines.Oh my….

A sure sign of Spring in Florida-outside of the heat-is the blooming of the Confederate Jasmine Trachelospermun jasmiodes and the Coral Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens.

IMG_1899 The aroma is overwhelming….
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This vine is growing on a series of trellises surrounding the vegetable garden.
When I’m in the vegetable gardening,the scent is so incredible! As a double bonus, it brings the pollinators in as well.
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Also,blooming is the Coral Honeysuckle.

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This one is growing on a trellis hiding the propane tanks and the recycle containers.The hummingbirds love it!
Now,if only I could capture a photo of them feeding on it…..

The Simpson’s Stopper Myrcianthes fragrans is also blooming.

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The tiny sputnik-type flowers,on this Florida native,will soon be followed by red berries,which the birds will devour in a day.
The irises are putting on their Spring show….

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And the hibiscus have started their Spring bloom….

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But the surest sign of the return of warm weather is the return of the Caladiums….

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This is “Miss Muffet.”

Any signs of Spring in your garden?

Wax Myrtle…..

After TheTree went down,I planted the Sweet Gum tree.
Close to it,I planted a Wax Myrtle shrub Myrica cerifera.

Just because I wanted to introduce more Florida native shrubbery to the garden.
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I don’t know if this is normal,or the warm winters we’ve had the past few years,but it seems to be an early bloomer.
….
which I was not,but that’s for a whole other post….
It’s growing next to a Jamaica Caper Capparis cynophallophora
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a Simpson’s Stopper Myrcianthes,and a Beauty Berry Callicarpa.
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All growing by the water’s edge.
I’m aiming for a natural type hedge,by the water,which will provide cover and food for the birds,butterflies and bees.
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So far,along with the help of the feeders,it’s working…..
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6 Degrees of Shelling

I’m ChrisC and I have an addiction…
A serious addiction…
To shelling…..

I LOVE shelling!
I am addicted.
There,I said it.What a relief!
I go at least once a week to the beach.
And any chance I get to steal away to Sanibel Island,I go.
I can’t seem to help myself.
Any beach I go to,I look for shells.
I have shells all over my house….
In my kitchen….
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In my laundry room,even….
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Not to mention everywhere else in the house.Bedrooms,bathrooms,entry,living room,dining room,even the lanai at TheGreatWall….
I blame my mother.
Don’t we all?
She started me on this path….

So what does this have to do with gardening?
or 6 degrees of anything?
Bear with me….

Remember back here,I wrote about cleaning out the back of the garden?
It had become overgrown,and weedy with invasives.The past few years,I’ve been trying to replace the invasives with Florida natives.
Today,the bank by the water is replaced with Simpson’s Stopper…
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The old Bay Oak,which was damaged by TheTree,has started to recover and has been joined by a Sweet Gum tree….
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….and is surrounded by a Beautyberry,and a native Cassava.
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…a Jamaica Caper
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…and a Walter’s Viburnum
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So what does this have to do with shelling,you ask?
If you’ve followed me this far,bear with me…
Our lake has been considered as endangered,by Hillsborough County,but they have done nothing to help clean it up.The lake is fed by three springs,but areas of it are overgrown with hydrilla and invasive plants.A few of of us have taken it upon ourselves to do our part.Cleaning things out.Removing garbage,etc.Replanting with natives.
Already we have seen a return of an alligator and turtles.
By the way,what degree am I up to?

So,today,when I was walking back there,what should I see?
Egg casings of Florida Apple Snails!
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I found a few laying on the bank of the water.
In case you haven’t noticed,I’m not good at before photos…

But this is what they look like all cleaned up….
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I lost track,but did I make
6 Degrees of Shelling?

Spring is busting out all over….

My mother loved music.She was actually,quite musical.Not only could she carry a tune,but she could play the guitar(Hawaiian and acoustic)and the piano.Unfortunately,I acquired none of her musical talent.Another thing,besides bad knees, and a love of gardening,I inherited from my father.Though I think I sound great singing in the car.When I was in first grade,the music teacher told her I could sing,and my mother burst out laughing.”That girl cannot carry a note!”
That may have scarred me for life.Which is why  I can be found driving down the interstate singing Jimmy Buffet at the top of my lungs.And sounding pretty damn good,at least to me,so there!
She loved Broadway shows and knew all the songs.And all the words.Whenever a Broadway show was playing at the old Melody Fair music tent,or Prudhomme’s Theater,in St.Catherine’s,Canada,she’d drag my dad  to see them.And every Spring,when the first blooms would pop out,my mother could be found,in the garden,singing that song to herself.
So,today,in spite of it,I found my self doing the same thing…and then,I found myself thinking,”Oh Gawd,I’ve become my mother!”
….and,yes,I did hum her silly song….

The Sweet Gum Tree has leafed out….IMG_1070

as has the Vitex Vitex agnus-castus

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Soon,it shall be covered with purple flowers,reminiscent of hyacinths.For more info…..

Simpson’s Stopper myrcianthes fragrans
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I bought this one at SCCF,a few years ago,and it has grown into a large shrub.I have since found them in native landscape nurseries closer to home.I’ve even seen them at Lowe’s.It’s a Florida native and the mockingbirds love the berries that will follow the cute,little,Sputnik like flowers.

Wild Coffee Psychotria undata
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Another plant that I found at SCCF,but they have since become available at more nurseries.For more info….

Hidden Ginger Curcuma petiolata
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Caladiums are finally breaking through the ground…
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And the orchids on the lanai are still in bloom…
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Now,if you’ll excuse me,I think I shall crank up some Jimmy Buffet,or maybe some Train,and sing,at the top of my lungs,and dance around the house…….