This is an awesome time of the year for gardening in South Florida. Check out my Butterfly, Bee and Hummingbird garden. I ordered the plants online from High Country Gardens in September. These plants do not require a lot of water and are recommended for areas in full to partial sun, Zones 5b to 10. The flowers are beautiful, do not have a noticeable scent, but because they are members of the mint family, the leaves do have a light mint scent.
What I planted here (western exposure, receives sun from noon until sunset, humusy and well-drained sandy soil) are Salvia Indigo Spires, Agastache aurantiaca 'Shades of Orange', Agastache neomexicana, Agastache 'Ava', Agastache 'Blue Fortune', Agastache 'Desert Sunrise'®, Agastache 'Acapulco Salmon & Pink' (USPP 16,023), Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' PP#16308, Gaura lindheimeri ‘Pink Cloud’, and Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing'.
For whatever reason the Agastache Acapulco Salmon & Pink and Agastache Acapulco Orange failed by October. No problems! I contacted HCG and the next day received a credit for the two plants from Maureen McCarthy, HCG Customer Service Representative.
Have you ever seen those “The Following Presentation is a Paid Advertisement” advertisements on TV? The ones selling the fancy tomato grow kit-basket-watcha-ma-doodle things? Have you been amazed by the perfect shiny, ripe-red tomatoes all over the plant? Thought it was too perfect to be true, but got suckered into buying one of their products anyway? Well, you thought correctly. What you saw was a bit of “Hollywood Special Effects”. How did they do it? Simple, they bought a few beautiful tomatoes from the grocery store and hung them on the plant with green pipe cleaners stuck in the stem end of the fruit. It is a good effect, although it looks a touch too real. Look at the image below – you can hardly see the effect.
The Largeflower Mexican Clover aka Largeflower Pusley (Richardia grandiflora) is back blooming in full force. Bees like the flowers, butterflies visit them too, but not like the bees. The busy B-girls get totally covered in Mexican Clover pollen which is why the plants are spreading like wildfire – the bees are doing a good job of pollinating them. Read more about this weed.
Speaking of pollination, there has been some going on in my tomato garden. The plants are big, green and healthy, blooming and setting fruit like crazy. Now I know what to do with the caterpillars I find eating my plants – straight to the Carnivorous plants terrarium – hah! They eat the plants and the plants eat them. Seems fair to me…
I have an eggplant too. Hopefully it will make it to eating size, like you find in the grocery store, without being attacked by bugs, fungus, or animals. This is the first time I have tried growing eggplant. It is not as easy as tomatoes although they are from the same family, the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshades and relatives).
Happy Gardening & Happy Holidays!