When I was here at the first of the month I was so busy with house tour business that I had no time to just mosey around the yard and take a closer look at the developments of the past summer and fall. Today, after resting up for a day and putting away the stuff we haul down for seasonal use (more and more as this house feels more and more like our home- sort of like our “home away from house”) and going to the Saturday market for produce and cheese I took the time to walk this small but interesting yard. You’ll recall that I ran out of budget completely by the time the addition was done because we had to do all new systems in this old house. Landscaping was a make-do, haphazard affair where I endeavored to create a low maintenance yard that required minimal irrigation. A lot of my plant materials came as bits and pieces from other yards. Some from neighbors, but I also became relatively shameless about biking around the neighborhood and accosting people as they worked outside, asking for cuttings or starts of things that looked interesting for a Florida, mostly native, yard.
January will mark one full year and, by and large, things have grown enthusiastically. Succulents and cactus have taken on new interest for me because they are so sturdy and forgiving. The succulents make babies in madcap fashion. This one must have gotten broken off when Christmas lights were going up and no one told me (smart thinking, there) so it is just moving ahead where it fell.
It has another way of reproducing itself. I started this one in a pot and now I just take a leaf with offspring and place it where I want it in the yard. All of these succulents send up flower stalks that have dozens of bell shaped flowers in shades of red and coral.
Here are some similar plants that grow lower and I’m hoping they’ll fill in the easement next to the street before the weeds do. Clearly I have to get out there and do some clean up, even though the crushed shell has kept down a lot.
I’m not sure what this odd looking plant is but the last time I looked it had leaves and no flowers,; now it has flowers and no leaves.
The orchids seem to thrive on neglect in this state. I have them hanging all along the fence in pots with their roots dangling down and these vandas get their nourishment from one a week irrigation and some time release orchid food I throw on them a couple times a year. They reward me with more than my fair share.
This orchid hangs near the staghorn fern and gets nothing but seasonal rain.
It looks common and boring but on closer inspection I find eight or nine flower spikes beginning- and each spike will have well over a hundred small and pretty yellow orchids.
I wasn’t here 24 hours before I found something really cool in the alley where someone had dumped it after cutting it down (gasp). It’s about eight feet long and Rich was rolling his eyes but I have plans for this puppy. I know that’s hard to imagine but I’ll post pictures in about a week.
Here are some Florida natives that have sprouted and seem to be doing well. These coontie seeds were sent to me by a Cracker and he said to be patient. Now, eight months later it looks as though I have 10 healthy seedlings.
Another thing I did today was clean out the vases full of paperwhite bulbs. They were planted November 15th and right in time for the house tour they started doing their fragrant thing. They were really big bulbs and had dozens of delicate white flower heads that brightened up the Christmas decor nicely. They have impressive roots, yes?
I also started ten amaryllis in pots on the first of November and of those, only three white ones were in bloom for the tour. Now, however, it looks as though we’ll have these beauties for the next number of weeks to enjoy while I watch and wait for datil pepper seeds to sprout.