May gardens...

whgille(FL 9b)May 10, 2014

May started with a Brown Derby party and I got to use some of the blueberries from the farm, I also have blueberries in my garden but I need a lot more...

We went to the spa near my house and the plantings look different, no more citrus in the pots and everywhere begonias.

We went to Nehrling gardens for a fundraiser and here are some pictures that we took with Cheryl's new gifted camera that was so generous given to her...

I am keeping up with the harvest in my garden...Last year when we went to visit our friends in Tampa I bought a peach but it was a nectarine, what a good mistake! it is so flavorful!. Tomatoes and beans are so productive and I am getting the tomatoes over a pound now.

Some flowers blooming in the garden

Silvia

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thonotorose

Beautiful! Love the blues the best, especially the upholstery.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 12:51PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Oh Sylvia, your daughter looks adorable for the party! And the blueberry thing looks delicious. And all of those healthy vegetables. Why do you always have to do that?! Someone on here one time called it "food porn", LOL! I read one of your posts and I run straight to the kitchen...

Mmmm, the begonias and wisteria or is that Queen's Wreath (?) are gorgeous.

Love the last shot. Those begonias are terrific! So happy and healthy. Yes, I am a big fan of begonias. What is the darker one on the back left? Do you know the name?

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:03PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Thank you Veronica, I love blue too, it is such calming color.

Thank you Carol, I had a yellow hat for the party and that blueberry buckle that I made was a big success!
It is a Queens Wreath in the photo, I planted 2, one on each side of the fence this way they are holding together and look nice from both sides.
Mark has being so generous sharing with me his begonias, I have them in different sides of the house but the one that you are asking I don't know the name and Anna shared with me sometime ago...
We went to the garden festival in Epcot today and I saw some interesting things, here are some pictures.

Root crops

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:51PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope that you are all having a good day, I know that I am. Went to the spa again and saw these beautiful roses next to the grapes.

Have to pick the tomatoes today, one of my favorite varieties this season is Sweet Treats and my new tomato cages are working great! no more fallen branches.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 1:45PM
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morningloree(9b)

Happy Mother's Day. I still think about the wonderful garden party and how beautiful and organized your garden is.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 5:58PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Good morning Dawn, thank you for your kind words. Hope that we can have an even better fall party next time...
My small garden is very productive, always have something to eat. Now we are getting some fantastic nectarines! I wish that I know the kind they are, they are just wonderful, I am having a nectarine pie for breakfast.

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:14AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Unbelievable. I don't know how you do it. I love anything with a crust. :)

Carol

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:38PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Carol, I saved a piece of the pie just for you.:) The nectarines are so sweet that we had to cut the sugar in the recipe in half.

Tomatoes are also very sweet and I have some good varieties to make oven dried tomatoes, Marizol, Sweet Treats, Black Pearl and the Sungolds will go in another batch.

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:41PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Oh I bet those nectarines are good. That is so funny that you were hoping to buy a peach and ended up with the nectarine tree accidentally.

About the tomatoes - that is so interesting - I've never heard of oven-dried tomatoes. What do you do with them after they are dried: freeze them? Are they like tomato jerky? Can you still put them on a sandwich? In a salad? Or do you eat them for a snack?

Carol

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:37PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Carol, Tom is my witness that I bought a peach in the Greenthumb festival, this is the first year planted and when I saw that they had no peach fuzz, I knew it. But I am so glad with the mistake, I didn't know that there was such a good variety of nectarine.
I have a dehydrator but I like the tomatoes dry on a low oven, after a few hours when they are dry but still a little soft I put some in the fridge to be used in salads, recipes or snacks. If I have a lot like now when the harvest is good, I freeze them in ziploc bags or canning jars.

Walking tonight in the garden, some gardenia blooms.

I know that you like pink flowers, this one is blooming for a long time...

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:14PM
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petrushka

i noticed in the pic with blue flowers you have a variegated cassava bush, Manihot esculenta? at least that's what it looks like to me.
it clearly has a trunk, so survives winters. i thought in your area it would freeze to the ground in winter?
i love how they look. as it happens - in roots photo from epcot i can see it too. are they easy to get? do people grow them often?
i know the root is cooked, etc but i just love the foliage!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:33PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Petrushka

You are right it is a variegated cassava bush, I got it in one of my garden parties from a very nice gardening friend from South Florida, I know that gardeners in zone 9a are growing so I guess it can survive, mine was never covered from the cold and it lost the leaves but they came back when warmer, the tibouchina next to it didn't lose any flowers and was not covered either. In Disney a lot of the plantings are staged and removed very quickly when they don't look good, the booth I think was fresh from Florida and the root crops were planted in a wheelbarrow, I actually saw some potatoes taken out.
I am just growing for the foliage too, there was a thread long time ago that they were saying that there was also the ornamental kind only, don't remember exactly....

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 6:47AM
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petrushka

thanks, it's good to know. i'll be on the lookout in so-fl for them.
you have very healthy plants and gorgeous flowers!
by the way, i eat sun-dried tomatoes that we buy all the time - they are great in salads with goat cheese or tofu or any unaged white cheese (mozzarella, queso blanco, oaxaca, farmers, etc) or just chopped with olives and pine nuts on the greens or grilled veggies.
i also chop some as garnish in all sorts of chowder/cream style soups.
i am curious, at what temp do you 'bake' them in the oven?
your tomato 'bushes' look great! i am envious!
i don't have a garden - so we go u-picking in aug here.
i can eat cherry tomatoes like candy!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:04AM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

Oh what lovely pictures. Your garden is always so beautiful it just floors me! I'm just happy when I manage to get the yard cut and the veggies planted. LOL. Harvests are just a bonus around here. (giggle)

I got your email and replied.

Barbie~

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:56AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Petrushka, thank you for your nice words, I just notice that you are in zone 7b, you can probably keep it in a container and when it gets colder move it inside.
And you are just like me, I love cherry tomatoes especially oven dry. If I am going to be busy I just put them in a 170 oven for a few hours, if I want them faster in a 250 oven but I have to keep on eye on them so they don't burn. They can be used on anything just like you said. All my big tomatoes were used in salsa today, always make some hot and some mild for all the tastes.

Hi Barbie, thank you and I am glad to hear from you, I already reply to your email...

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 6:20PM
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amberroses(10a)

Everything looks beautiful and delicious Silvia.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:41PM
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kcg1231(9b)

Wow Silvia - those tomatoes (and your beautiful flowers, of course) look amazing!

I'm thinking of putting mine in pots next season instead of the raised beds (they just don't seem to be thriving). If you don't mind, what size pot do you use - 10 gallon? Bigger? I think I might have room for 4 or 5, and I figure its worth a shot!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:45PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Amber! I miss your postings, hope to know how is your garden doing? any new activities, please let us know...

Hi kcg - Thank you. For me tomatoes do better in pots unless the raised beds have a new soil, it is easier to change the soil in the pots. The sizes in my pots are 13 inches wide and14 1/2 inches deep. I get them when they go on sale either Walmart or Big Lots, they last me a long time.

This morning tomato jungle, some of them are 8 feet+

Peppers for salsa

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:25AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Mild, for me, Silvia. Applesauce can be too spicy.

Your pink mandevilla is so lovely! You know how everybody has that one plant that won't grow for them? For me, it is mandevilla. I just can't get it to go for me. So thank you for the picture of yours looking so happy!

The gardenia is fantastic. I think Jacksonville is about 2-4 weeks behind you. My gardenia is loaded with fat green buds... it's a young plant and this will be the first year for flowers. 3/$10 promotional at Home Depot last year... I bought one for $3.33. (Man, my yard is going to be incredible in about 10-15 years, LOL.) There are many threads about how fussy gardenias can be so I just gently put mine into the ground, walked away and haven't watered or fertilized it since in fear that I'll make it turn on me. So far, so good.

Have a great Wednesday!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:01AM
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kcg1231(9b)

Thank you so much for the info! I am going to give those a try for the fall :)

Your tomatoes and peppers look amazing and seriously put my pathetic little guys to shame! I find it so hard to grow anything down here in Florida, but especially tomatoes (having moved down from up north 2 years ago, I am definitely still adjusting to the Florida specific issues). I've been shamelessly stalking your posts to pick up tomato tips and have spotted many pictures of your beautiful garden here - you are definitely very skilled at vegetable gardening down here! So much for me to learn :)

-K

This post was edited by kcg1231 on Wed, May 14, 14 at 9:18

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:17AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Good morning Carol, happy Wednesday to you too!

I love the smell of the gardenia and mine is happy in that corner. About the mandevilla, mine is the parasol series, the flowers are smaller than the other ones but they bloom for longer time, maybe you should try that one.

This morning blooms

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:18AM
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wallisadi

garden is rockin' :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 4:16PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

K, I gardened in many, many places, sometimes up north also.:) everywhere is different but once you learn what works for you, success will come. For tomatoes to work here, the soil has to be good because of the nematodes problem. Once the garden spot gets used the tomatoes growing in the same place decline. Using new soil each season half the problems are gone, then you have to deal with insects and fungal issues, if the plants are healthy, you will have less. My vegetables are all organic and from all the crops that I grow probably the most versatile is the tomato. I am happy to know that you like my posts and welcome to the Florida forum! I have learned a lot from the gardeners here, you will too.

Hi Mark! Those are some gorgeous pictures and that pink bloom is awesome, picture framing worth.

My orange blooms

And for the winter squash lovers I am growing a pink pumpkin porcelain doll, soon to be eaten with all the other winter squash.

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:05PM
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writersblock

Love the colors in the cactus flower, wallisadi.

Silvia, your photos/plants/food are always so impressive!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:39PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Good morning Writersblock, thank you for your kind words.

Remember the Italian themed place that I posted some time ago and they were having some financial issues? Well, it seems that they are still there and doing better, the decor inside and out is still beautiful, I am sure a lot of the men are enjoying the wonderful settings for golf, I personally like the tranquil surroundings and the spa services.

Daytime

Later

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:59AM
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chance71

Sylvia....what do you use to keep the bugs and fungal issues at bay on your tomatoes? Also how do you get a higher yield? I want so badly for my tomatoes to succeed this year.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:13AM
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writersblock

Thanks, Silvia. Glad to hear they're doing better. My friend from Windermere has gone a few times and liked it very much, but the facility more than the services, I think.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:33PM
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flowerladylorraine

Wow Silvia ~ I love seeing all the wonderful things you have growing in your gardens. What an inspiration.

FlowerLady

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:08PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Chance

Your first goal is to keep the plants healthy from the beginning, try to grow the seedlings yourself or get them from a good source, always inspect them daily for signs of trouble. For fungal diseases I use Serenade and Neem fungicide, usually I spray after constant and heavy rain. For worms I use BT, I like the dust Dipel because it sticks to the leaves where I can see it. Sometimes I use Spinosad but not too often. The yield depends on the variety, some are prolific others are not and sometimes it changes from season to season.
What varieties are you growing and what are the conditions? what tomatoes do you like, over many years of growing I tried a lot of different varieties, I like a lot of them but sometimes tastes to a person are very specific.

You are welcome Writersblock, in my case I only like the spa but the restaurant not too much and the membership even less.:)

Thank you FlowerLady!

More orange blooms

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:14PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

We aren't as far behind you as I thought! This is my $3.33 gardenia from Home Depot last year. I know it is hard to tell proportion in photos - it is about 2' tall by 3' wide.

(And dang... I had to go through all of those food pictures again!)

Carol

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:11PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Carol, your gardenia looks good! and I am sure that you are enjoying the scent. The blind dog that I watch Merlin is like the pac man, he is always thinking for something to eat in the yard, peas, beans, broccoli. When he smelled the gardenia, he thought for a moment and he said no, that is only for smelling not for eating.:)

And I was looking at my tomatoes that are next to my neighbor's peach trees and look what I saw having a meal...I am happy that they don't like my garden, my tomatoes and fruit trees are safe.

My tomatoes, plumeria and the peaches, a 6 foot fence is in between...

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:45PM
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kcg1231(9b)

Silvia - thank you so much for passing on those tomato tips!

I am finally getting a bit of produce from the garden! I planted so late, so most of this month has been a few beans and a bit of lettuce here and there to add to meals, but I finally got enough kale and beans for a side dish. I just did a quick pan fry with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a bit of tarragon and a dash of lemon zest. It was so tasty!

Then today, I realized I had a squash blossom that was ripe for picking. I stuffed it with a bit of mozzarella, parmesan and tarragon and dipped it in a bit of egg and flour before frying it up. Delicious! I can't wait for more!!

This post was edited by kcg1231 on Wed, May 21, 14 at 13:22

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 12:30PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi K

Those dishes look delicious! congratulations on your harvest, it is all good. Try to keep a journal so you can refer to it next season, I don't keep notes but by now I know about the times of planting by heart.:)
I still have kale and beans, we use it almost daily, soon I will be harvesting the winter squash.
The tomatoes are coming non-stop, after giving a lot away, I still made a marinara sauce for the freezer.
Yesterday I picked a lot of beans that are already in the shelly stage, put them in the fridge for later.
And today I picked cucumbers, I think 3 plants is a lot!

I picked the last of the carrots before the hot weekend, they are still sweet and perfect. Shredded them for the freezer, made Moroccan carrots for today and still have the vegetable bin full with them, time to share them...

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 6:19PM
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castorp

Your garden is gorgeous as always, Silvia.

And as always I have a question for you. What's holding up those tomato cages around around the pots? They seem to be magically suspended. Whenever I try something like that, everything topples over.

Is there a secret to growing Mandevilla vines? I always consider planting one.

Always a joy, looking at pics of your garden.

Bill

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:38AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Bill

Thank you for your kind words, I just came back from Delaware, beautiful 80 degree weather, sunny, no humidity or bugs. Perfect weather for my brother's wedding.
On Saturday we visited one of the most beautiful gardens that I have ever seen! The Longwood gardens in Pa.

Here is a little of what I saw, I will have to work in my garden on my non artistic abilities to group the plants together.:) I was happy to see a lot of familiar plants in the conservatory.

The cactus and white garden

The water garden

Outside everything was in bloom!

Topiaries

My brother has the woods for a backyard, so beautiful and peaceful!

And now about your questions, the mandevilla is easy to grow, I just put it in the in the raised bed, the one that I am growing is the parasol series and it blooms non-stop. I finally found the perfect cages, easy to put, fold flat for storage and with the extensions they go higher than 8 foot, perfect for my heavyweight tomatoes. They are the Texas tomato cages, pricy but they stand the worst winds that we had.

And I came back home to pick tomatoes, this one is Red Penna beefsteak and it does not fit in the container for weight, it is huge!

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 5:56PM
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castorp

I'm envious! I've always wanted to go up there and see those gardens. Thanks so much for the pics.
And thanks for the tips. I'll check out those cages. That tomato is incredible!! Congrats to your brother.

Bill

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:39AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Bill, those gardens should go on the bucket list of places to visit. They are a great place to stay all day, at night they had fireworks.

Some more pictures for you to see....

The trees trimmed square

The fruit trees were growing in espalier, here is a fig

Palms

Bonsai were beautiful! this one looks like a miniforest

Some orchids

The vegetable garden look so well arranged, they planted tomatoes already, here is one in the cage

Thank you for the congrats on my brother's wedding, it was beautiful! they got married in a 200 year old church and the ring bearer was their lab dog, I have never seen such a well behaved dog in my life!.:)

Today I harvested the first winter squash of the season, one of my favorites a kabocha Delica, it was delicious!

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:51PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Silvia, those pictures are fantastic! It looks like it was the perfect day. I think it is always fun to see plants you have not seen before (of for you, in a long time).

Wow, those hanging fuchsia baskets and the alliums are beautiful. When I was a brand new gardener, I was dumb enough to buy an allium bulb because one of the big box stores was smart enough to be selling them here in Jacksonville. Of course it did not grow or bloom. I was so disappointed. They looked so pretty in the gardening catalog!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 10:08AM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

Silvia-

Congrats on your brothers marriage! His yard is beautiful- so serene. Now I know why you were busy for Memorial day!

I see you didn't wait long to open that squash and get busy eating it. I don't blame you. Winter squash are wonderful things, but that tomatoe picture? WOWSA. You certainly have a wonderful way with them. It's one of the last veggies that just tends to elude me. I always end up with either a ton of vegetation and then it dies or a ton of fruit and then the worms and birds get mine. Doesn't stop me form trying every year though. I love them too much not to keep at it. ;-)

Barbie

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 1:42PM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

Silvia, thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures with everyone. I really enjoyed them. I just wish I had some of your energy. Girl, you just go and go all the time. You have certainly been blessed.

Luther

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 2:26PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Thank you Carol, the garden is really big and we just covered a little bit in a few hours, first on the list was the Conservatory, after that some of the outside plantings.
The combos were really pretty, the garden was spotless, they must employ an army to maintain the grounds.:)

Some more pictures, hydrangeas

Fuchsias in water

Outside the most seen color was blue

Love this combo in the cactus garden

Thank you Barbie, we had a very busy holiday with the trip, the garden, the walk at night around the college town and the restaurants, next day the wedding...
The garden is so beautifully designed and into categories, we went around different areas outside.

Pomegranate bonsai

Nectarine espalier

I like this croton

We got this one at the garden party!

Thank you Luther! I got my beans today, what a nice surprise! I am keeping busy with the harvest at the house, making sauce today.

Here are some interesting water features for you...

Outside there was a water fountain show that we missed, we didn't do the fireworks either because they were too late, next time.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 6:18PM
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wallisadi

Wasn't it just snowing up there a month ago.......incredible garden! Your garden looks great too, getting my usual five or so tomatoes here....:).

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 8:16PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Mark

You would enjoy to visit the garden, it is so beautiful! I thought the same about the weather, the locals said that the temperature was great that day, that is usually colder or windy. It was a good omen for the wedding, I was happy about that.

Didn't we get the caladiums showing up recently? theirs were in the beds already up and outside.

This vine was blooming, I have one in my garden and it bloomed before the party.

I like this entrance

The palm garden it reminded of your garden

Outside going to the cafe

Going to the Conservatory

The herb garden

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:06AM
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petrushka

did you see giant red rhododendrons blooming outside 'in the forest', next to the meadows? it's the only place i know that has them on the east coast. the lavender ones are most common, but reds are so-o much more beautiful and rare.
we usually drive down there ev 2nd year around memorial day, but sometimes they already finish blooming by that time. guess this year was quite cold everywhere, even here azaleas are just blooming now, very late.
i just love longwood gardens!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 4:32PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

That pelican statue, with the fish in its mouth, is too cute! I don't usually like a lot of garden "stuff", but that gets a big thumbs up from me. I don't get where all those broms in full bloom came from - do they have an enormous greenhouse where they overwinter them? They must. Fantastic pictures!

I love your bro's setting, too. A+!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 4:33PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Petrushka

The gardens are a must see for sure and you need a long time there to see everything. There where a lot of rhododendrons blooming in town, a lot of roses, even walking through the campus saw a lot of blooming plants. I also noticed a nice scent through the air...

I know that I missed a lot of spots but is this what you are talking about?

Hi Carol

They had some movie about the gardens but I didn't see it, I was trying to cover as much area as possible, probably there they explain a lot of things. I love the gift shop! I could of buy a lot of plants there if I was local. They had some beautiful things, a little pricy but worth it, a lot of great books too.

Thanks about my brother's place, he is very handy and made so many things in the backyard, one of them was the "man cave" he has all sorts of tools there, his computer, etc, looks really nice. The backyard has a stream running and no neighbors, they had a lot of flowers in the front yard and delicious wild strawberries.

Thanks to you and your threads we have been keeping up with what is going on in our gardens, here are some more pictures...

Caladiums in the outside bed

Remember this dark begonia?

I like this going down the stairs

We got the staghorn ferns from Doug at the garden party, this one is growing in a pot, I also saw mounted on the walls

And I am keeping up with my garden, today is tomatoes, beans and another squash harvest

Marina de Chioggia squash. it is so big that half we will eat it and the other half is going to the freezer roasted and will use for soups and breads.

Squash roasted with onions from the garden, served with tahini sauce, pine nuts and zaatar.

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 6:24PM
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petrushka

i love kabocha and calabaza! try goat cheese on it with sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts or sweet dried cranberries... olive oil and balsamic vinegar...
o-oh! i'm getting hungry!
the red old rhodies are in the 'woods' between pierce house and italian fountains on the edge of the big meadow.
but there are some also on hill walk 'inthe glen' between the lakes in front of conservatory.
the reason i asked, they made such an impression on me the 1st time i was there! but since i only manage to catch the end blooming..
i think they finish earlier then lavender ones - which are still blooming always on memorial.
their reds are very old and are over 10' tall and wider still. like flowered hills!

This post was edited by petrushka on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 12:26

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 7:39PM
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