Giant Water Platters at Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville

August 10, 2011 by admin

 

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.

Giant Victoria Water Lily

The hybrid Giant Victoria Water Lily at Kanapaha in July 2011

Giant Victoria

 

Santa Cruz Water Lily

The Santa Cruz Water Lily at Kanapaha in July 2011

Santa Cruz

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.

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Lupines? in Florida? Yes Indeed

March 5, 2011 by admin

Sky-Blue Lupine c floridafriendlyplants.comSky-Blue Lupine c floridafriendlyplants.comSky-Blue Lupine c floridafriendlyplants.comSky-Blue Lupine c floridafriendlyplants.comSky-Blue Lupine c floridafriendlyplants.comSky-Blue Lupine c floridafriendlyplants.com

I captured this Sky-Blue Lupine, Lupinus diffuses across the street from the gate of Sun City Tree Farm where I was meeting J.C. Tort and picking out some olive trees for our office landscape project.

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Rows of beautiful Olives grown on drip irrigation that pulses according to need determined by probes that sense moisture. Olives are drought tolerant and will thrive here as an ornamental. We plant them to remind us of Italy. Such a beautiful place. Olive trees stay relatively small and will provide shade while staying in balance with the structure. Right Plant Right Place. This variety will not produce fruit but they have others that will even in Florida.

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Sun City Tree Farm has won many awards for their environmental practices and stewardship of the land. They have the largest selection and best quality trees that I know of. If you bought a magnolia recently in Florida there is a good chance it was grown at Sun City Tree Farm.

A Few Links on Florida Lupines:

http://www.wildflorida.com/wildlife/plants/Sky-blue_Lupine.php

http://hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com/2010/01/scrub-lupine-lupinus-aridorum.html

http://www.easywildflowers.com/quality/lup.per.htm

http://myfwc.com/getinvolved/Volunteer_Ridge_Rangers_Lupine.asp

http://goo.gl/YtZub

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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

Discovery Graden 0 

as the Master Gardeners did a spring cleanup and planting.

Discovery Graden 4 

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

Discovery Graden 2 

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.

Discovery Graden 1

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.

Discovery Graden 10

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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Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Plant Selection Guide

December 11, 2010 by Rick

Hot off the press, the new Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Plant Selection Guide.

You will be very impressed with this downloadable publication that shows you in great detail how to design and implement a Florida Friendly Landscape. The experts at the University of Florida Extension Service have combined their talents and years of experience. The links are missing to the numbered EDIS publications for the critical proper planting of trees, turf and landscape plants so you will have to do some further searching on the Home Lawn and Landscape Section of the extensive EDIS Site to complete the implementation of your plan.

I consider this knowledge essential to professionals you may hire and a valuable resource for you to check the credibility of a contractor’s knowledge. Too often folks tend to trust a ‘yardman’ to select and properly install the Right Plant in the Right Place only to later find that the selection was inappropriate.

Bookmark these references and turn your garden into a functional Florida Friendly Landscape. Here are the 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping.

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Categories: Design | Drip Irrigation | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | Turf Substitute | Mulch | Design | Drip Irrigation | Environmental Awareness Education
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A Florida Garden Treasure - Casa Phippsberger

November 20, 2010 by Rick

 

Casa Phippsberger is a private Palm Beach garden and part of the legacy of the Phipps family that once owned much of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach including 25 miles of South Florida ocean front property in the early 1900’s.

Horticulturist Karl Gercens shares many images from around the world on Flickr and these images are a real treat and give us a look inside a tropical paradise garden. Bullis Bromeliads offerings will give you a sense of what you might use to create a bit of Phippsberger in your own landscape.

 

 

Robert Bornstein writes for the Examiner in Miami and has a series on Secret Gardens in Miami that makes you wish you could go on a garden tour with him some day.

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Categories: Design | Container Gardening | Florida Friendly Landscape | Plant Production
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Fragrance and Beauty for Your Florida Garden

November 5, 2010 by Rick

Burgmansias fill the garden with delicious scents in the evening. They are very undemanding plants and fill the space given in a home garden. With their big leaves able to capture light energy they are capable in growing in partially shaded settings. Burgmansias send their roots deep and are quite capable of surviving in our sandy soils on rainfall alone once they are established making them very Florida Friendly. Mulch them heavily once or twice a year and you can fertilize them only if you want them to grow faster or larger. Even after the extreme winter of 2009-2010 all the Burgmansias sprouted back from the roots and were in bloom by summer.

Check out Fred’s Blog for some of his new hybrid Burgs that may amaze you.

 

Another hybridizer, Alice Harris has some beautiful success stories to share too. Check out the availability of many Harris and Karchesky hybrids on their site.

Here are some Google images to show you the diversity of the new hybrids becoming available.

 

Check out some images and what Ewa is posting from Europe on Burgs.

If you really get into Burgmansia breeding and history there is a Registry of Hybrids to show who has done what. Enjoy and share gardening with friends.

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Categories: Florida Friendly Landscape | Cold Hardy Perennial
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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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Florida Friendly Pumpkin Patch

October 20, 2010 by Rick

Gardeners are getting so clever with pumpkins these days. In Florida it is tough to grow pumpkins of any size with our summer heat and rain. A clever idea I have seen is to grow Ornamental Sweet Potatoes as a permanent easy to care for ground cover and place your pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks as if the vines had actually produced your crop. These imitation pumpkin vines contrast nicely with pumpkins or gourds and easily fool the untrained eye. For even more contrast you can add a colorful border to contain and frame your pumpkin patch by edging it with SausEdge.

Let your imagination run and look at some of these Links:

 

Pumpkin 1                Pumpkin 2                      Pumpkin 3                              Pumpkin 4

 

Another idea is to grow your Ornamental Sweet Potatoes in large containers as SPILLERS and arrange them on your front porch or patio with pumpkins and other colorful containers of Crotons as FILLERS and ornamental grass as THRILLERS. Try orange or black coleus for additional seasonal color that last longer than mums.

 Ornamental Sweet Potato Persian Shaield Combo

Add some Muhly Grass to your display and later plant if in a sunny spot in the garden. I also have a wonderful friend and great gardener, Janis, whose nickname is Pumpkin and here is her Blog.

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Categories: Cool Season Gardening | Florida Friendly Landscape | Design | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept | SausEdge get the edge on your beds..
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American Beautyberry

September 9, 2010 by Rick

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If you live near any wooded or open area, chances are you have volunteer Beautyberry seedlings that have sprouted in your garden periphery. It is one of the natives we recommend for your perennial and butterfly gardens on our Florida Friendly Plants website. Birds drop the seed everywhere so the chances of having them are high. If not, you can poke around in the woods or fence rows and find seedlings just about anywhere to transplant to your perennial border. Here is a link to all the images on the web to help you ID this wonderful native wildflower.

Eat the Weeds writer, Green Dean, has a website filled with information on what you can eat right from the wild. Check him out and bookmark him in case your fridge is looking a little bare or your feel like an eating adventure on your next trip to the forest.

Consider a large bed of Beautyberry to replace thirsty turf. The beautyberry will become a permanent garden plant that only requires an annual layer of oak leaves or other mulch to keep the bed more weed free and self maintaining. Cut the plants back hard in late winter and your garden chores will be reduced and the butterflies and birds will be stopping by for regular visits.

 

You can see Beautyberry on display at the University of Florida’s Teaching Garden in Plant City along with many other native, landscape plants and vegetable garden techniques. Here is the Florida publication on Beautyberry from Dr. Ed Gilman.

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Butterfly Garden | Butterfly Garden | Florida Friendly Landscape | Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute | Turf Substitute | Mulch | Mulch | Environmental Awareness Education | Environmental Awareness Education
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