Florida Gardening forum: Springs around the corner !

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Name: mj
Central Florida
Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Florida
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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mjsponies
Mar 5, 2015 6:30 AM CST
Daylight savings time change is this Sunday. And the first "Offical" day of spring is right around the corner.
I've been busy doing winter cleanup, moving plants out of the greenhouse, potting up seedlings, and slowly moving plants back to their summer digs.
Soon it might even be picture worthy ! Rolling on the floor laughing

I've got several projects, little and no so little in mind of how I'd like to group my plantings this year.

What's everyone else got going on ?
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Dragonflies Cut Flowers Dog Lover Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Daylilies Butterflies The WITWIT Badge Salvias Birds Hummingbirder
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gardenglory
Mar 5, 2015 9:02 AM CST
AHH spring. Well, its spring to me, because the citrus blossoms are just filling the air. I stood in a long line at HD yesterday and loved every minute of it. It was windy and their citrus was wafting up to the cashier.
When we bought our first house, off Livingston Ave. ( same as Melanie :-)), the orange groves were still plentiful out there. I lived on a little street that went back into the grove. I could not get enought of the fragrance, loved driving home with my windows down.

Ok yesterday I thought I would mix some new pine fines in some pots to spruce up the sooil. It wouldnt drain like the daylilies need, today Im going to dump all of that out, spread it around the yard, and start from fresh. Way more work than I wanted, but hopefully will reward me with some nice daylilies in a few months.
Thumb of 2015-03-05/gardenglory/5ce233
Not a good azalea season, but Ill take what I can get Big Grin

Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 5, 2015 9:21 AM CST
My phone says there's no chance of rain today but it sure does look cloudy. Still, I'll take rain over what the rest of the country is getting. My aunt in WV has been posting pictures of all the snow and ice. My cousin somehow made it to work; she said she went about 10mph and it took her 35 minutes to clean off her car! Ken, I don't envy you at all and I will wish for warm Florida weather to mysteriously drift upward toward you all.

Mom's getting "tortured" at physical therapy right now but we're going to the movies later. Mom's probably looking at a knee replacement, but they're trying everything else first. Dad's out in the garage woodturning with a friend that he's teaching.

My bosses at MOSI built a new exhibit; I'll have to take a picture of it on Sunday. Connected to the butterfly garden is our pond exhibit. We have these big collection tanks outside that filter the water naturally through the pond we have inside where we have various plants, turtles, and fish living. It's supposed to teach people how wetlands naturally filter our water or something. I need to read the signs we have posted; it's been a while. *Blush* But now they've constructed a mini-garden behind plexiglass that they're calling the "Savage Garden". It's hooked into the water filtration system and features wetland plants like a Toothpetal False Rein Orchid (Habenaria floribunda), various Tillandsias mounted on driftwood, some tiny Catesby Lilies (how big do they need to be to bloom, I wonder), and this week they added various carnivorous plants including my favorite Hooded Pitcher Plants! I'm going to have to get my books out and read up on all these beauties so I can educate our guests. I've seen most of these plants while hiking Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve so I'm somewhat familiar with them already.

The pond itself is looking rather spectacular as the Blue Flag Irises (Iris virginica) have just started blooming. I'm not much for plants that only bloom once a year, but there is something to be said for the joy of anticipation and knowing they will only last for a short time. We also have some of that White Ginger in the pond but it hasn't bloomed yet this year. It will soon, I'm sure. Here's some pictures I took of the Irises on Sunday (and I remembered to add them to the plant database)!

Thumb of 2015-03-05/mellielong/02f705

That orange thing in the third picture is one of our koi fish. If any of you ever want to tour the gardens at MOSI, let me know and I will volunteer as your personal guide. You don't have to pay admission if you don't go in the building so don't worry about that.

I just saw that Pam posted while I was typing so let me add that one (the only?) good thing about riding the school bus was riding around this time of year with the windows down and smelling the orange blossoms. Also, what are pine fines?
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 5, 2015 9:33 AM CST
That all looks so calming, Mellie. I wish I could visit one day, but I just don't like driving long distances any more. Sighing!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Mar 5, 2015 9:52 AM CST
@mellielong That's a wonderful invitation and DH and I hope to take you up on it one of these days. We won't be able to in the near future as we have to return to AR soon (oh, I do hope the weather has cleared up by then), but one of these days later in the year when we are here we would love to visit. Thumbs up
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 5, 2015 9:55 AM CST
I totally understand, Ken. But maybe you'll become a Floridian one day and it won't be so far away! I've been meaning to take some pictures of the exhibit so the people on the butterfly thread can understand what I'm talking about a little better. When I do, I'll be sure to post a link over here so you guys can check it out, too. And it is very calming. I have people that would sit in the flight cage all day long if their families would let them! And sometimes I get the people with the super huge cameras that will be in there for hours taking pictures. I try to help them out by pointing out where the various butterflies are hiding or by making sure they get a picture of each species. I'm helpful like that. Smiling
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 5, 2015 10:01 AM CST
Jean and I cross-posted! Honestly, later in the year is better. I always tell people if you can stand the heat, late summer and early fall are really the best time if you want to see the most species of butterflies. Of course, if a person wanted to see a particular species of butterfly, I would have to modify that answer. But really, when it's face-melting hot outside is when the butterflies like it the best. Most people assume spring, but you have to wait for the Swallowtails to stop overwintering in the chrysalis. Dad saw one the other day, but you don't get them in large quantities until at least May. And then, you have to match up the butterfly with their host plant. Like right now you're more likely to see the White butterflies and the Red Admirals because their host plants are sprouting. But come May, their plants tend to dry up and so the butterflies tend to disappear, as well. Similarly, the Sleepy Orange butterfly doesn't get going until late summer because that's when the Partridge Pea (one of their favorite hosts) really starts growing and flowering. Of course, with all this climate change, things could be very different in a few years. And the type of winter we have definitely makes an impact on which butterflies we see and how soon in the year.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 5, 2015 10:07 AM CST
I told you previously that you were our resident butterfly expert. Now I know you are! Hurray!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Mar 5, 2015 11:15 AM CST
Oh, I'm still learning things every day, Ken! Dad is outside in the garage doing his woodturning and he said he had a confirmed sighting of a Giant Swallowtail! Not that it hung around for me, of course. My Rue plants are just little babies but I checked them for eggs, anyway. No luck so far. But it's good to know the Swallowtails are starting to emerge.

The Florida Native Plant Society posted an interesting article yesterday. It's about how scientists using herbicides have been successful in getting rid of the terribly invasive Cogon Grass after three years of treatment and follow up. http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/compass/2015/03/03/good-news-for-...

It's definitely a dilemma and one that I'm struggling with as I try to decide how to rid myself of those Southern Sword Ferns (also invasive). Dad pulled what he could out of the trees and ground but didn't pull the ones embedded around my bromeliad. I also had to get on him a bit about not disposing of them properly. He left some laying on the ground because he ran out of trash cans, he says. The yard waste guys come by today so he should be able to remedy that problem. You really have to dispose of invasives carefully. Back when I used to compost, I wouldn't even add them to the compost pile. Not taking any chances! I hate to use chemicals, but I understand needing to use them sparingly. And if we could reclaim acres of land from Cogon Grass and restore natives on it, is it worth it? I'm no scientist and I don't know how much herbicide was needed and what the short or long term effects of its use on the land would be. But I think if it allows us to reclaim the land for natives in the long term, maybe it's the best solution we have for now?
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 5, 2015 11:22 AM CST
I totally took some pictures outside and got up on my soapbox instead! Where's the emoticon for slapping yourself on the forehead? Rolling on the floor laughing

My four Coontie plants have cones and I knew that there were male and female plants. It looks like I have three male and one female. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I think these are the male cones.

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And I think this is a female cone.

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Also, the Anoles (the good, native kind!) approve of the new fence.

Thumb of 2015-03-05/mellielong/57f1d9

Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter
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qwilter
Mar 5, 2015 4:53 PM CST
I opened the patio umbrella today to discover a family of tree frogs & 4 geckos had moved in. i told them they could stay - just not drop down on my head. 3 hours later, just 1 gecko remained.
My project for the next couple months is to get small raised beds in some sort of layout in the back yard. Then dig up & move the various plants into the beds. I think everything out their is either for hummers or the butterflies.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 5, 2015 4:57 PM CST
Good project plans, Jean.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Mar 5, 2015 6:22 PM CST
Gosh Melanie, I just Googled the coontie cones & read & read & read & saw numerous photos of each & I still can't grasp the difference. Confused Confused

mj, thank you for the new thread! I agree we should have a new thread to celebrate SPRING!

Ken, I'm so sorry about your weather -- it sounds like you guys (& much of the rest of the country) are really going to get hit again. I briefly looked at national radar early this morning & was shocked at the very wide swath of heavy snow. Please be careful outside as it sounds like you have or will have a thick sheet of ice under the snow. Dangerous, dangerous!

Well guys & gals I have been busy working on the master bath & am happy to report all the wallpaper is gone & this afternoon the dh & I finished up painting. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! The down side is that before the woodwork looked in good shape. It seemed there would only be a little touch up paint needed here & there but now that everything else is freshly painted the woodwork suddenly looks yukky. Sighing! Okay, it's on the to-do list but not right away. I need a breather before I tackle any more. Hilarious!

I have some photos from the last week or so. I took more this evening but haven't loaded them to my computer yet so for now will share those I have already uploaded to my photo program.

Last fall I planted around 400 or 500 jonquil bulbs. I wanted them all naturalized in the meadows & pecan grove. They are coming up! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

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They're budding up!
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This is a variety with very thin, narrow leaves so you have to look closely for the almost threadlike leaves. They are commonly called the Seventeen Sisters b/c they have 17 buds/blooms per. I can't wait to see them bloom!


These are Earlicheer and are already blooming -- wonderful fragrance. This was after a heavy rain & those heavy bloom heads are weighed down.
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The redbuds are blooming & the buzzing going on when you walk out there is enough to make you wish for ear muffs. The bees of all kinds are going crazy over the blooms.


Jane Magnolia is blooming and the fragrance blows me away.
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Cornus Florida - Florida dogwood is budding up


The lizards are thinking it's time to come out of hiding
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I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: mj
Central Florida
Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Florida
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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mjsponies
Mar 5, 2015 6:30 PM CST
Ann looks like spring has sprung there at your place. The Jonquil's will be beautiful. You just enough cooler than me to be able to get away with them !

I love the Jane Magnolia and the Redbud. Wish I'd planted a Redbud a long time ago. They take so long to get up and going.
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Mar 5, 2015 6:44 PM CST
Thanks MJ! The redbud was here when we bought the place but as far as I'm concerned you can never have enough redbuds .... or dogwoods. The Jane Magnolia puts on a display for sure but it's awfully short lived. She's worth it though.

It's going to take a little while for the jonquils to all settle in and begin blooming at the same time (per variety) so for now they will be spotty but all good things come to those who wait.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Mar 5, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Ann, looks like spring has arrived at your place. As to all the work on the home improvements, there always seems to be more to do. Still you must be very pleased with all that you have already done! I tip my hat to you. Hurray! Thumbs up
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Mar 5, 2015 8:51 PM CST
At the moment Rita I'm too tired to enjoy anything about the bathroom. Hilarious! Hilarious! Next week I will begin to appreciate it.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
Newyorkrita
Mar 5, 2015 8:55 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:At the moment Rita I'm too tired to enjoy anything about the bathroom. Hilarious! Hilarious! Next week I will begin to appreciate it.


I don't know how you have the energy for all the home improvement projects that you have gotten done.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Mar 5, 2015 8:58 PM CST
I feel like we have just crept along on them. In our minds all this & more would have been done a year or more ago.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Mar 5, 2015 9:03 PM CST
mjsponies said:

Wish I'd planted a Redbud a long time ago. They take so long to get up and going.


I received a Redbud a few years back...A "gift" from a bird or squirrel...don't know which...I potted it up, gave it tender loving care, potted it up again, and then finally found a spot in the yard for it. It's been in the yard for about 2 years now...I was beginning to wonder if it would ever bloom...I am so pleased to say that today, I see flowers and buds on this gift!!! Lovey dubby

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