~photoblog of a WNY zone 6 gardener

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cottage Garden ~ Key Largo Style

It's been awhile since I posted about the Upper Keys Garden Walk, and I really need to show the last two gardens since they were wonderful to visit.
My second to last stop was on Sunset along the bay. It was the closest to a cottage style garden as I suppose you would see down there. The plants were different, the house was too grand to be a cottage, but the plants were growing together in joyful exuberance.
The heart of a tropical cottage gardener was there.


Though the house was big and built near the water, it had its own personality, and was welcoming.

The patio matched the house!

It was so reminicent of... oh... I don't know.... this?
LOL! My front porch colors are the same color scheme. Nice to know I've got the same taste as someone who owns a multi million dollar home.
If you want to see more pics from this garden click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Little Blue Lovelies....

Are starting to pop up and join the purple irises! The rest of the place looks dreary, and they are so welcoming.

I started with only a few bulbs years ago. I think I bought 25, but maybe it was 50. They have readily multiplied. The pic only shows half the area I planted them in, and you can see there are many more than the original amount.
I hope there are no overly warm days soon so I can enjoy them and the crocus that are popping up everywhere for as long as possible. Though if they only bloomed for a day, I would still be a very happy woman.
If you want some cultural info please see my first post about the purple irises.

Monday, March 23, 2009

For Better or Worse, the Tomatoes are Planted

Aunt Ruby's German Green
Sorry 'Aunt Ruby's German Green', I won't be growing you this year.

I was a few days late of St. Joseph's Day, and it took awhile to move my plant jungle out of the greenhouse window to various spots to live out the rest of winter, but I got it done. I decided on 40 varieties out of the hundreds I have. I also planted a few tomato relatives, 8 pepper(To a certain person, I have misplaced the peppadews!UPDATE 3/31~ I found the seeds and planted them!) and 3 eggplant varieties.

Today was also an interesting day since I met the Garden Guru from Sirius radio. I went to the Buffalo Botanical Gardens for a volunteers meeting, and it was a meet the new director get together. To my suprise, David Daehnke, the Garden Guru, is the new director. He seems like he will do great things for the gardens, fresh, new, full of promise, and he has nice eyes.

More for my memory than anything:
Amish Potato Leaf
Azoychka, sm. yellow, early beefsteak
Bear Claw, beefsteak
Berkley Tie Dye, multi-colored
Burracker's Favorite, bi-color
Carbon, black
Cherokee Green
Depp's Pink Firefly
Earl's Faux
Early Glee
Eckert's Polish
Gajo di Melon(Slice of Melon), bi-color cherry
Golden Queen USDA, sm. yellow globe
Grosse Cotelee, red globe
Guernsey Island, red striped w/bronze
Hellfrucht(Hell Fruit), red globes, unusual growing leaves like flames
Huge Black - from my deceased trading friend, Spider/Bert
Kentucky Beefsteak, orange
Little Lucky, sm. bi-color
Magnus, pink, old Livingston variety
New Big Dwarf
Orange Flesh Purple Smudge
Polish Dwarf
Polish Giant
Polish Pastel, unusual bi-color paste
Prudens Purple, large pink beefsteak
Purple Hillbilly
Red Shaker -from my deceased tomato friend Norm
Roughwood Golden Tiger, unusual striped plum
Rozovyi Flamingo(Pink Flamingo)- for Babci
Sabre - for my Buffalo Sabres loving husband
Silver Fir Tree, dwarf
Snow White, cherry
Stump of the World, sm. deep pink beefsteak
Victorian Dwarf
Zogola, huge fruit
humm... I seemed to have gone heavy on the Polish, maybe I should have honored St. Stan.

Chichiquelite Huckleberry
Ground Cherry
Naranjilla(Solanum quitoense)

Listada di Gandia
Ping Tung

Banana Bill, sweet hybrid
Early Niagara Giant, sweet bell
Fenton's Red, very sweet, saved from a farmer who got experimental seed from unknown company, probably stokes
San Salvatore Calabrese, sweet sheepnose
Beaver Dam, mildly hot
Korean Dark Green, hot for kimchee
Pizza, mild hot
Trinidad Seasoning, mild hot, hab type

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Key Largo Garden Walk, Condo A-1

Inlet at Buttonwood Bay.

My next stop was to Buttonwood Bay Condominiums. Unit A-1, was different than the rest and absolutely A 1! The entire front walk is landscaped. Each entrance and small yard is a compliment to the adjoining ones.


This wonderful cooperative effort was started by the gentleman who lived at the end of the condo block. He owned a nursery up north at one time and was obviously a plant lover. When he first moved in, the whole area was barren except for the trees. He got permission to do some planting, his neighbors saw the difference it made, and they all caught the gardening bug! The residents I met were very proud of their condo walk, and I don't blame them.
At the side of the building, the gentleman who started it all had built a beautiful shade garden.

Around the back, the patio side facing the inlet was just as nice. The collective effort to beautify was refreshing. Too bad more condos and homeowner association type neighborhoods don't welcome this type of landscaping effort.

Again since I promised down in Key Largo, if you wish to see the rest of the pics click here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

We Interupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog Posting To Say

I'VE GOT FLOWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a happy woman.
Looking down at my pretties.

Those are glorious little Iris reticulatas. If you live in the northern half of the country and don't grow them, you should. They blooms so early, earlier than the crocus. If they get snowed on, they will be there still blooming when the snow melts. The royal purple ones always come first. The drop dead beautiful blue ones will be coming soon.
I've found them easy care. I've even gotten lucky and had a few pop up across the walk from seed. They clump up after a few years. Excess moisture is they only thing that they dislike I believe. So raised beds/well drained soil is best for them.
Plant them where you will see them at this time of year like near your front walk. Out back, where you don't venture while it is cold, is not the place for them. Plus when people come to your home, they will be amazed that those little purple blooms are indeed real, not plastic!
In case you didn't get a good look the first time, here they are again from the front, lol.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Leg Two of the Keys Garden Walk

Waterfall at the end of the Dolphin pool.

My next stop was at Island Dolphin Care. The gardens here were planted by a couple Girl Scout Troops!
I think they did a wonderful job. There were a lot of natives and butterfly attracting plants.
If you wish to see the rest of the pics click here.


The next stop was on Seagate Blvd. This home was planted with natives fairly recently. It looked great for a newer garden, and it will only become better with age. The mass plantings of Ruellia looked wonderful.
Mass Planting of Ruellia

Not actually part of the garden, but I loved it just the same, was the canoe sandbox.Boat Sandbox
If you wish to see the rest of the garden pics click here.


From here I stopped back at Dad's and then stopped at Beach House Gardens Nursery. They had free snacks and water which was well appreciated. I had a guava turnover, interesting and yummy.

Hibiscus at the nursery.

Very interesting gardens to come soon...

Friday, March 13, 2009

First 2 Gardens on the Key Largo Trail

Orchid in a border at the Pompano garden

The first garden I stopped at was the house on Pompano who backyard was a pool and then the ocean.
Like a mini-beach resort of your own

Yes, there were quite a few dream homes/locations on this tour. My father joked about his humble Key Largo abode with no water but his garden hose, joining the garden club, and then being on the walk so people could see how the other half live. He does have some great plants though; his rosemary is the most amazing I have ever seen. Anyway, back to Pompano. This garden was perfectly manicured and matched. It was beautiful especially to the OCD people. My friend Andy would of been in heaven.
Entering to the right

As I wrote before, I left a note in Key Largo that I would be posting pics so if you want to see the rest of Pompano, click here.

The second home I stopped at was on Shaw Drive and it was park like with its 1.3 acres on the bayside.

There definitely was a gardener who lived there as once I got deeper into the property and found the garden shed and orchids growing in trees.

There of course was the gorgeous bay view.
I saw that for sale sign and wondered how much for this home. I think it is out of my budget for now, lol.
If you wish to see the rest of the Shaw pics click here.
Island Dolphin Care and Seagate Blvd. will be coming soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Upper Keys Garden Club Garden Walk 2009

Spathodea campanulata, AFRICAN TULIP TREE
Spathodea campanulata(African Tulip Tree)

I just happened to luck out with my vacation this year that the Upper Keys Garden Club was having their garden walk. Their garden walk was a bit different than the way we hold them around here. Around here we have long lists of places to stop at and it is near impossible to see them all, so then you are left to chose by the descriptions. Down there they have a small list of gardens to see, but then you get to see and enjoy them all. Plus they had a central meeting area at the Garden Club Frances Tracy Center. It was very well done.
Front Porch of Frances Tracy Garden Center

At the Garden Center, they had assorted cookies, brownies, etc. and iced tea(sweet tea down south.) Being I can never get enough sweets,I was happy! They had tables set up outside to eat at, and a local musician playing. I won a CD of his by answering his trivia question correctly. He sang Daydream Believer and asked who wrote the song. No one could answer. He then gave the clue - it is not Stephen Colbert. So I guessed John/Jon Stewart and was correct.
There was a local nursery selling plants that were gorgeous.

There was also sales tables of the local garden club selling plants that were just as beautiful.
The orchids were to die for. I wish they were an easy care plant up here.
In the back, the garden club had the super sale plants, leftovers from a sale before, maybe?, including NOID plants. This is my area of course. I got a NOID and Donkey's Ears(I've since confirmed it is Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri) for $2!
I left a note on the Garden Club's sign in that I would be posting pics of their gardens so if you wish to see more pics from the garden center click here.
I'm going to make a new posts of the gardens visited on the walk so as to not overload this post.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Sanctuary

Great Egret

It was a wonderful trip to Key Largo and no trip there would be complete without a visit to the bird sanctuary. I think most gardeners are birders on one level or another and hopefully will enjoy this post. Visiting here is always fun but it is especially fun around feeding time. The birds all come in for food around 3 or so and the pelicans are very brave birds.
They will hang out right on the walkways and are not fearful of humans. Watch out for the ones hanging out on the roof, they might poop on you! This happened to me one year and let me tell you it is nasty. Pelicans are big so wet rotten fish smelling poo comes out of them in large quantities.

You never know what bird you might be lucky to see. This male Yellow Crowned Night Heron comes every winter to visit and doesn't seem shy about getting his photo taken.

There were lots of White Ibis about this time.

It is hard not to come away from the sanctuary with lots of great pics that you want to share.
Last one for now, I promise : )
Snow Egret(I think)

I have a lot more photos to go through. Besides the normal array of vacation and floral photos, I went on a garden walk sponsored by the Garden Club of the Upper Keys. I hope to post pics of that adventure soon.

Favorite Garden Blogs

Favorite Tomatoes

  • Humph - Green
  • Stump of the World - Pink, my absolute favorite
  • Little Lucky - Small Yellow Bicolor
  • Prudens Purple - meaty Pink
  • Carbon - Black


About Me

My photo
Plantaholic, from annuals to perennials, from tomatoes to roses. You name it; I love it! I often get very busy with my business and life and don't post as often as I would like.