Monarch Life Cycle

January 21, 2013 by Rickb

Videos you can share with your children before you take them outside and show them what is going on in your garden. You can plant Milkweed in a sunny spot around your home or in a container on your patio and the female Monarch will find it and lay eggs.

Egg hatching
Metamorphosis

 

Emergence

Milkweed plants are always available at your Florida Home Depot Garden Centers.


Inspiration on the Tampa Garden Tour

April 15, 2012 by Rickb

Have you heard of the term pique assiette? Becky is a master. Her masterpieces, garden, gardening skills and magical home were on display today.

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Becky uses lots of the super tuff Sedum Florida Friendly Gold and succulents in her plantings and planters.

 

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Above.  Our famous garden newspaper writer and blogger, Penny Carnathan, was busy with her camera snapping images of Becky’s Love Lies Bleeding.

 

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pique assiette done so perfectly in so many places in Becky’s garden and home.

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Queens Wreath on an arbor adorns their beautiful custom home.

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Giant Water Platters at Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville

August 10, 2011 by Rickb

 

This chromolithograph by William Allen Sharp of Victoria regia was published in Victoria Regia: The Great Water Lily of America, 1854.

Water Lily Victoria regia

Today the Water Platters are approaching the 7 foot size they were in 2008 when Kanapaha produced the largest water platters ever grown in North America.

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The hybrid Giant Victoria Water Lily at Kanapaha in July 2011

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The Santa Cruz Water Lily at Kanapaha in July 2011

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There are many different gardens within Kanapaha and they will surprise and amaze you with the plant diversity and display. This has become a garden paradise and a true treasure in Florida. If you have visited there 10 years ago and are remembering it as a spectacular garden then, prepare to be surprised with all the new gardens within.


Southern Coastal Home Landscape

May 17, 2011 by Rickb

We recently visited Stephen and Kristin Patagas, Landscape Architect and Designers home.

Patagus Florida Friendly Plants

Together they call their design company Hortus Oasis. Visit their website for a look at their extensive body of work.

Southern Coastal Home Landscaping Patagus Florida Friendly Plants

They have a new book, Southern Coastal Home Landscaping, you should check out if you have a home in Florida and enjoy your outdoor spaces and rooms. It is filled with great ideas and technique. The Table of Contents hints at what you will find but only hints as the images and illustrations and the clarity and depth of the ideas are a culmination of their life's work together making great outdoor spaces.

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The Patagus landscape features primarily drought tolerant plants in unirrigated areas and no lawn.

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Long time friend, Randy Knight joined us for the tour. Randy is the Director of Horticulture at The beautiful Polasek Sculpture Gardens and Museum in Winter Park that we will feature in an upcoming post.

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Low maintenance, drought tolerant containers were used to feature their collection of containers and artifacts from Bali, the place where they have drawn much of their inspiration for their design.

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The back yard is filled with raised beds of vegetables, a grape arbor featuring the Southern Home variety and butterfly garden plants.

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That’s the neighbors lawn you see in the backdrop of this turf free property.

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A look inside shows a designers talent and taste for collectables from around the world.

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They are very fond of using Succulents and Bulbine for low maintenance, long lived and drought tolerance.


Butterfly Explosion in Riverview

May 4, 2011 by Rickb

With so many spring flowers blooming and perfect weather the butterfly population is out in force. Every native butterfly species can be observed this month around the state.

The Monarch butterflies are out in full force nectaring and egg laying on our milkweeds. ScarletMilkweed&Monarch&QueenButterflies

You will enjoy NanaK’s  Monarch blog post and all her butterfly images.

Over at Meem’s Hoe and Shovel blog you will see some beautiful butterfly and larval images.

Zebra Swallowtail on Spreading Purple Lantana

Zebra Swallowtail on Spreading Purple Lantana. Lantanas in gallon pots are on sale 4 for $10 at Florida Home Depot Garden Centers along with other perennials until May 4th 2011. Zebras have been very active in the last month. They lay their eggs on the numerous Paw Paws in the pastures around the farm in Riverview.

 

Salvia Wendy's Wish

One of the butterfly favorites on the farm is the new Salvia Wendy’s Wish. This plant is nearly 3 years old and growing without irrigation at the base of a tall Native Cabbage Palm next to a driveway with western exposure. Hummingbirds are commonly seen throughout the day as we walk by it entering our growers office at the farm. It is never out of bloom and came through the freezes these last 2 winters with minor damage. In this setting they maintain their size at about 4’ by 4’. More on Wendy’s Wish here.

Red Admiral on Batfaced Cuphea

A red Admiral (above) and a Painted Lady (below) are nectaring on our new large flowered Batfaced Cuphea.

Buckeye on Batfaced Cuphea Florida Friendly Plants


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Florida Friendly Demonstration Gardens - The Discovery Garden

February 19, 2011 by Rick

This week I visited The Discovery Garden at the Hillsborough County Extension Office

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as the Master Gardeners did a spring cleanup and planting.

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It should be ready for prime time Monday but call before you go or check the status on their web site.

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They decided to employ the Pot-in-Pot method for their most colorful plantings of seasonal flowers.

In the Pot-in-Pot containers they have selected Voltage Yellow Osteospermum which is the first truly Florida Friendly Osteospermum. Voltage Yellow is available most of the year at your local Florida Home Depot Garden Centers. As a permanent border they planted Sedum Florida Friendly Gold which is becoming one of the most popular chartreuse groundcovers and combination container plants.

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At the Discovery Garden you can see the 9 principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping in action and learn how they can help you design and maintain a home garden and landscape that is easy to maintain, beautiful and has a positive effect on the Florida environment.

There are many of these similar U of F Demonstration Gardens around the state and much of the funding comes from Florida Yards and Neighborhoods programs and the plants are usually all donated from growers like Riverview Flower Farm.

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Rocky was captured that morning at the Discovery Garden and is ready for transplanting elsewhere.

 

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Design Your Florida Garden for Success

January 7, 2011 by Rick

 

Head over to Florida-Friendly Landscaping before you start your planning process. Use the web to gather images and data and to decide what appeals to you and what is easy to maintain. Determine what will thrive and grow into a planned mature landscape that is in scale with your home.

 

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The University of Florida’s Extension Service and their science based research are the source of the 9 Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping. It is helpful to us them and their trusted information and resources.

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The Water Management Districts of Florida provide most of the information you need to plan and implement a successful design. Micro Irrigation is something to consider and it will ensure success when properly installed, operated and maintained. Fortunately that is simple and straightforward.

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Search the web for more videos, blogs, Facebook pages for ideas and design help like this.

Learn the principles garden design and combine them with the 9 Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Try to get a big picture and then select plants and systems that are Florida Friendly.

Garden Coaches can also be a huge help and inspiration. They can save you many more dollars than you will spend on the trial and error method. You can also go to your Garden Center and get inspiration and prices so you have an idea of what is in season and popular for gardens now.

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Spreading Lantana, Durable Butterfly Garden Groundcover

November 24, 2010 by Rick

Spreading Lantana is available in Purple or Pure White at your Florida Home Depot Garden Centers year round. Find out about it and more at Floridafriendlyplants.com

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Spreading Lantana - Lantana montevidensis blooms best Fall through Spring and is a more prostrate grower than the New Gold and mounding types. This South African species also comes in white and both are hardier to frost and freeze than other Lantanas. Few pests bother it once it is established in a well-drained site. It tolerates salt air and poor sandy soils but, for continuous blooming, fertilize and water it more frequently or just wait for fall when it puts on a spectacular display.

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Filoli Gardens and Mansion near San Francisco

November 12, 2010 by Rick

Beautiful photography from Jill Clardy you should check out.

Enjoy this slideshow from Jill and you will see why this is a national treasure.

I enjoyed Jill’s San Francisco Bay Area Aerial Tour to give some perspective to what was voted the top tourist destination in the world.

Set this to full screen, turn on some music and sit back and enjoy these excellent images of Filoli.

 

I hope this inspires you to enjoy the beautiful weather and get out into your own garden.

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Leu Gardens, Always a Spectacle

October 29, 2010 by Rick

Harry P. Leu Gardens is owned by and located near the Downtown area of Orlando. This Florida treasure is worth supporting and maintaining. Quite a few Floridians have either been married at Leu Gardens or attended weddings there is this serene and beautiful setting. Check their schedule as they are booked up to a year in advance for weekend weddings.

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Google images show lots of wedding activity along with beautiful vistas and flowers.

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See hundreds of amazing Images of Leu Gardens on flickr.

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Take a camera and make some design notes. Most of the plants are labeled. They have home, butterfly garden and garden and vegetable demonstration gardens set and have much information to share and take with you. Look for new plants I recently left for the garden, Salvia Wendy’s Wish, an amazing hummingbird magnet that blooms year round with lipstick colored flowers.

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