Sunday, April 12, 2020

Watering on Easter Morning


Karen and I bought this property, in Central Florida, in 2006 both with an eye to having a place to downsize/retire to and so that we could have a sub-tropical garden. We met in 1982 in the houseplants department of Behnke's Nurseries in Beltsville Maryland. We both love plants and have a soft spot for tropicals. We've been planting since 2006 but since we were only here a few times a year for a few weeks at a time we were limited to plants that could establish themselves. Last year we moved here permanently and we've been adding plants ever since. This is zone 9a so we can't grow most of the true tropicals but there's a lot we can grow: a few epiphytic orchids, a few heliconias, many bromeliads, more tropical aroids than I imagined, and a host of wonderful sub-tropicals. 

Spring is funny here. It falls towards the end of the dry season and it's usual to receive essentially no rain from late fall to sometime in May. Over the last 8 weeks, we have received about an inch of rain. Still, spring happens somehow: the maples flower, the azaleas too, turf greens up, wildflowers come alive... Nurseries and garden centers overflow with plants. We want them all! The beds keep growing in size and number but the space is finite alas... Anyway, acclimating plants requires watering them all individually. I'm running the sprinkler because most of the plants in this bed have been in long enough to not require individual attention. Plus there's a 30+ foot longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, my favorite pine in the world and one I feel is sadly overlooked by designers, that seems to want more water than the site provides naturally. Plus it's Easter and seeing the water makes me feel good! 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Burbidgea, finally have a plant I've wanted for years


I love this smallish orange ginger. We bought this plant last December at a flea market in Central Florida with those others in the top picture: the salvias, Camellia 'Professor Charles Sargent', the red buddleia, the burbidgea, and the shrimp plant for, as I remember, for just under 40$. It flowered for a month or two, went out of bloom, and has been flowering since mid-September. (the bottom picture) I've lusted after it since I saw it for sale in Logee's catalogue about a zillion years ago and didn't buy it.

 Logee's is a wonderful institution; they've provided a wide selection of uncommon and wonderful tropical plants for my entire lifetime...and I'm not young! They regularly introduce or reintroduce rare and unusual tropicals that, until recently, you'd otherwise not have had access to. Of course nowadays you can track anything down online. That's such a sea change for those of us who, 20,30,40 years ago coveted plants without any hope of actually obtaining them. It's hard to explain how exciting it was to come upon one of those plants you'd lusted after for years. What a feeling!  It is easy to track things down now, but Logee's is still a place where you can see an incredible selection of incredible plants in one place.