Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tornado Damage

Sorry I haven't blogged, but TS Debby spawned a tornado here in New Port Richey that messed the neighborhood up. The roar was so scary. A lot of damage in the area, including my yard. This is just an example. The cleanup is taking forever. Most of my fence is lost. The shadehouses are a mess - the plants not too bad. I guess they were lower to the ground. More later.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vanda orchid

Here is a Vanda blooming happily in the yard. It stays outdoors in lots of sun unless it is really cold, then it comes inside. Look at that root system!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It was a wonderful visit to West Palm Beach and see my old friends with the Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches. Virginia is doing better, Frances was a spectacular hostess and hospitality-in-charge as I was so comfortable, and even treated to a wonderful breakfast - and even better, great conversation with her hubby, Keith, there too. The program I did was on "Tricks of the Trade" as I offered little tidbits of information in growing begonias. I brought a Hyundai full of plants and sold every one, and donated a nice 'Honeymoon Island' for their gardens. It will get huge and look wonderful. Thanks to everyone at the BSPB. I look forward to a future visit!

                                           Seal of Palm Beach County, Florida 
                                         BEGONIA SOCIETY
                                                    OF THE
                                             PALM BEACHES

B. 'Aripeka' - sister seedling to 'Honeymoon Island'

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Begonia 'Silvermist'. A rather aggressive cane that can reach 5 feet or more, if allowed. The silver streaks and patterns against the apple green leaves is stunning, and those FRAGRANT clusters of bright pink flowers just make it special. An easy begonia to grow, too.

B. 'Silvermist'

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I also grow variegated Plumeria. It was imported from Thailand and the leaves are just beautiful. This variety is called 'Maya'. The flowers are rosy-pink. It grows slower than regular PLumeria, but grows easily. Enjoy!

Variegated Plumeria 'Maya'
This is Begonia U521, and unidentified species from Thailand. When begonias are newly discovered, but not named or recognized, they are given a sequential unidentified number. The American Begonia Society is in charge of these listings.

This rhizomatous begonia gets quite large, as my specimen is outgrowing a 12" pot, and has nice light pink flowers on upright branches. It is quite beautiful, and the darkness of the green is amazing against the silvery patterns.
B U521
This is "Storm". He is the guardian of the yard. No squirrel, raccoon, stray cat or unwelcomed bird gets through his watch!


This is Jay, his companion in watching!

Hank RIP 6/2/12 He is missed!

B. 'Irene Nuss' - One of the easiest to bloom. Large clusters all year, very fragrant, can reach 5 feet here in Florida but easily managed much smaller. Did I say it just keeps blooming?

B. 'Irene Nuss'

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A purple Epidendrum orchid in full winter bloom - inside during a cold snap as they do not like anything under 32F. I have never been able to positively identify it....perhaps E. secundum.
Epidendrum Orchid
This is B. 'Careless Whisper'. It is my hybrid between a rhizomatous and a thick-stem. You can take stem cuttings OR leaves, and the white blooms come in profusion during spring. Awarded Best New Hybrid 2000 A.B.S.

B. 'Careless Whisper'

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

B. 'Withlacoochee' - A Florida hybrid that is a trailing begonia. This older begonia grows easily, has beautiful, small clusters of white flowers and works well in a basket and as a ground cover in shady conditions.
B. 'Withlacoochee'

Pro Mix HP - This is my standard potting mix for Begonias. I add some additional perlite and small charcoal bits to the mix for better drainage. For nutrition, I also add bone meal (0-10-0) that helps with blooming, and magnesium sulfate powder to help keep leaves green and lush.

Pro Mix HP

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

B. 'Talynn Flaherty'

B. 'Talynn Flaherty' - Another cane hybrid of mine, 'Talynn Flaherty', named for a friend's daughter, is a beautiful rather compact cane that is everblooming with stunning leavs of dark green heavily spotted. Yes, those blooms just glow!
N. 'Rio'
NEMATANTHUS - Also called "guppy" plants, these Gesneriads are so easy to grow. They thrive here outdoors without much care, just occasional feeding and protection from extreme cold. Nematanthus have tolerated light freezes in my yard without damage and can bloom all year long!

N. 'Black Gold' - my favorite!
N. Plum Pretty' - gets very large and is real showy!

Aeschynanthus micranthus

This is the Lipstick Vine, a Gesneriad or member of the African Violet family. They grow easily here in Tampa Bay and can bloom all year long. Requiring protection during very cold weather, by spring they bloom and bloom.
Chirita 'Diane Marie'

B. 'Aiko'
These are Chiritas, members of the African Violet family. They grow much like Violets do but tolerate freezing temperatures. Chiritas look and bloom best during our cooler weather but do just fine in summer. They are available all year here at the shadehouses.
B. 'Confederate Pride'
This is B. 'Confederate Pride', my cane or angelwing hybrid. It is not too tall, maturing over time at about 3-4 feet, full and bushy, and almost always in bloom.

B. 'Arabian Sunset'