Spring has sprung in the Darden Garden

I’m interrupting the SGI saga to show pretty pictures of flowers. šŸ™‚

Typically when Spring arrives it is a very subtle thing. Not this year. While I need to finish the last few days of SGI, upon returning home we had a plethora of things blooming.

With that short introduction………here you go.

Tabebuia chrysotricha – what? How do you pronounce that? It’s tough even I will admit. Much easier to call it a yellow Tab. Another common name is yellow trumpet tree. Hopefully that’s obvious once you see the flowers. Ours was planted in the backyard and I’m guessing approximately 15 years old.

This bougainavillea was also being grown in the back yard. Watch out! Those branches have long thorny spikes.

Looks really bright and colorful – yes? The true flowers are seen in the photo below. That little tiny white thing. The hot pink color that is the most striking are actually bracts.

Another backyard blooming thing is this peach tree.

This is not a typical fruit tree you would expect to see in Florida, but this newer variety doesn’t need as many chill hours to bloom and product fruit. Got to love photos taken with an i-phone!

Terrestrial Orchids. They are also referred to as ground orchids since they are grown in the ground – duh. A great deal of orchids are consider epiphytes and they grow on trees. Years ago I bought a plant – probably at a local plant sale, can’t remember – and it’s kept growing and growing and growing.

You might notice that I have them growing in a pot – 6 pots to be exact. Usually once a year, after they bloom, I repot them since the bulbs get overcrowded and the older bulbs eventually die. This may be the year I finally plant some in the ground. Holy cow! I’m still amazed at the shots from my (old) i-phone.

There’s one more plant(s) blooming in the backyard – azaleas.

After moving in, we wanted some separation from our neighbors, not necessarily a fence. This was a perfect solution.

Onward to the front yard.

Chickasaw plum, also known as Cherokee plum, Florida sand plum or sandhill plum – who knew? I just wanted to double-check my spelling and this popped up. Mr Google says it is a North American plum-bearing tree, cultivated before the arrival of Europeans.

I’ve been cutting a branch and putting them in my weekly floral arrangements that I take to work. It adds a different shape and interest in my bouquet.

Couldn’t resist a shot of these Johnny Jump ups – LOVE the name.

I mean really, most people would think they were pansies. However, the flowers are much smaller, probably about an inch in diameter. Unless you get a close up……….such an interesting pattern of colors.

I always, and I mean a.l.w.a.y.s have at least one pot of geraniums. They are great plants for the Florida winter. I’ve had pretty good luck keeping them through our hot, muggy summer if they’re placed in a shady or north-facing spot.

You’ve got to cut the stems and add them to your bouquets! It is a game-changer.

For years, we’ve called this plant Russian Sage – it’s not. Yes, it is a sage plant, but the name has stuck. Eric knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Here’s the best thing (besides the fuzzy flowers) it is v.e.r.y. easy to propagate new plants. Cut growing tips 4-6″, strip off the bottom leaves, stick into a well-mixed potting medium (ie, soil) and place in a spot that has filtered light. It roots fairly quickly and can be planted.

A year ago, we discovered a pair of nesting hawks was hanging around the neighborhood. Drinking my coffee one morning, this guy showed up. Nope, not a flower, but for me………it’s a sign of spring.


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