Monday, October 18, 2010

The Serenity in the Garden....

Like this bunny perched upon the tree stump, I think that I continue to find my serenity in the garden. I continue to be amazed by the wonders of nature and it's ongoing display of magic. And, to think maybe I did have something to do with all this. So what's happening in the garden? With the cooler weather and nights here in Florida finally, some changes are obvious.
Here is a flower on my Bird of Paradise, or Strelitzia. Strelitzia is a tropical plant with spectacular flowers reminiscent of an exotic bird. Plumage is another word used to describe Strelitzia as the flowers resemble a bird’s beak with spiked head plumage. The Bird of Paradise is an evergreen plant with leaves similar to the banana plant only much smaller.

As the evenings get cooler the "edibles" in the garden have become rejuvenated and are again producing. My Native Wild Florida Everglade Tomatoes the size of a marble are incredibly tasty. If you can locate the seeds for this teeny tiny tomato, these delectable tomatoes have now been grown in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico as well as several Caribbean islands. Plant them in your ground or plant them in pots or plant them to grow on your porch or patio, these tomatoes perform amazingly well with minimal care.

The Japanese eggplants, good producers during the hot Florida summer, continue to produce. They are smaller than American eggplants, and the skins are thinner. They can be grilled, steamed, simmered, fried, pickled, and so on. I like to prepare them sauteed with ginger and lots of garlic in a soy and sesame oil sauce and serve with brown rice.....healthy and yummy.

My red Salvia one of the slow to recover plants from the brutal cold of last winter is finally flowering. The butterflies and dragonflies love this plant.

My very interesting Giant Kalanchoe Gastonis Boanieri, or Donkey Ears, sometimes also known as the Life Plant is filling in and growing daily. This is one of a few babies that I was able to salvage from the "mother plant". I had photographed and followed the incredible journey of going to flower last season on another post, before the cold weather destroyed it. Note some babies forming on the tips of the leaves.

A water garden can add a striking new dimension to your home's landscape...mine is little, but my water plants are thriving. My Cyperus Papyrus, or paper plant, stands proudly surrounded by floating lettuce plants.

On either side of the bird bath in clay pots partly sunken in the ground are Variegatus or Red Bird Cacto Cardenal. With the weather cooling the leaves are beginning to turn red in color and they will become a beautiful fall display.

Look how big the Gossypium Barbadense, or cotton plant has gotten that I started from seeds not too long ago. It is over 5 1/2 ft. tall now and
just taller then the Shepard's hook that the bird house hangs from.

The following plant I started from a cutting that I got from a home participating in the Garden Walk that the Seminole County Master Gardeners put together. It produces a large spike like purple flower on a plant that can grow several feet tall. The homeowner stated that it is in the family of the Clerodendrun, or Shooting Star, but did not have a name. If anyone reading this recognizes the plant and can give me the name, I would appreciate it.

Another orphan plant with no name. I started this from a plant growing in the yard of a home that I sold several years ago to one of my Buyers. The home belonged to a lady named Leota, so I affectionately refer to it as Leota's bush. I know someone out there can help me do better then if you recognize it please fill me in.

For me, everyday in my garden brings a new gift. Are you looking for peace and serenity, look in nature......


Susan said...

I totally agree with serenity is found in the garden, too. And, your garden is looking great. I've got to find me some seeds for that Everglades tomato. I've never heard of it sounds yummy, and I like the fact that it's native.

I like your kalanchoe and I remember the post you did on it previously. It's very unique looking. You know I was thinking the other day that none of the Florida bloggers have a water garden...and, then there you turn up with one. It's small but adorable and quite manageable I would guess. You have many unique plants which makes your garden very interesting.

Permission to Mother said...

I will get some of the tomatoes at the farmers marke, than I can plant a seed from the fruit. Maybe your local friends can take a seed or two.

I like how the veggie plants you have are leftovers from last year.

The thai restaurant served grilled(?) marinated eggplant. It was delicious. If I secretely ordered eggplant and grilled(?) tofu and told the boys it was fish and chicken they would have found it beleivable. BTW- we liked the thai restaurant

Meems said...

The garden is my place of peace and healing in many ways. Yours is looking fabulous in these beautiful autumn days we are enjoying.

The first clerodendrum is a glory bower... possibly pagoda flower and the last one you were asking about looks like a philippine violet.

Love that kalanchoe... I have one from a friend but I think it needs more sun than I'm giving it... yours is stunning.

Orlando Realtor said...

Thanks so much, I knew someone would have a name for those plants. Now I can look them up and know what to expect of them. So many of the plants that I have I just started from cuttings that I got from yards that I get into. I guess that being a Realtor does have some perks.

Permission to Mother said...

The everglade tomatoes are also called sweet million. Scott planted some in the Sq foot garden. We also have hummingbirds. :)

Jeffrey said...

Great pictures. I'm going to give eggplants a go next year. They should be ok in our Texas heat, but I'm always worried since it gets so hot during the summer over here.

Jeff | Quality Garden Cloches

Orlando Realtor said...

Jeffrey, My eggplants were actually from the spring garden. During the heat of the Florida summer they did not do much and did not produce much either, however as soon as it got a bit cooler the plants just spiked and had lots of new growth and are doong some major producing now. As did my Everglade tomatoes. Give them a try.