Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Delightful Day

After far too long, an entire day was available for me to spend in the garden.  And what a beautiful day it was.

Cool temperatures and clear skies brought enjoyment to even the most mundane of gardening chores.  Florida Fall colors greeted me as I moved around tending to trimming and weeding.  The red berries of the native rouge plant, Rivina humilis, are so prolific they make up for the spots of fungus on the leaves left by the incessant rains of last month.

Tillandsias enjoyed all that rain and are now showing off their fall colors.  These have to be the easiest plants to care for in my garden.

The red firespike, Odontonema strictum, is at the height of its glory.  The fact that freezing temperatures kill it back is actually a good thing.  Winter weather keeps this monster from taking over the whole garden.  It always grows back quickly as soon as the ground warms in spring and is ready for late summer blooms that last until that first frost occurs.

Opening its blooms right on time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, is the Christmas cassia, Cassia bicapsularis.   When all the yellow blossoms are open this little tree is quite a spectacular sight.

One of the gardening chores urgently needed was righting the sweet almond bush, Aloysia virgata,  which had been blown sideways during a recent windstorm.  While propping and staking it, I decided to trim it up into a one-trunked tree.  Hopefully, that won't prove to be too much for it to handle all at one time.

These sweet smelling flowers are present all year but in the spring and fall they are more abundant.  The more this little tree is trimmed the more it produces its sweet perfume.

Nothing is better than a delightful day in the garden!


  1. NanaK: Your fall garden looks so nicely! My fire spike did not die back in the winter down here. Because of that, not is growing so tall and the branches are leaning down to the ground. Maybe I should give it a hard trim to mimic the freeze effect? :)

    Fall in Florida is my favorite season. Too bad I have been real busy recently that I did not have much time spending in the garden.

  2. What lovely blooms you have! I love the variety of colors and shapes. Are the cassia and the last bloom natives?

  3. Love the Cassia.It is on my "want" list. I never thought of pruning my sweet almonds into tree form.Great idea!

  4. Very nice Cassia - one of my favorites.

  5. That firespike is so pretty! Love the tillandsias on the birdcage too!

  6. Everything looks beautiful, NanaK. I love the birdcage with the tillandsias. What a clever idea! My cassia is also exploding with yellow blooms right now, along with the muhly grass. I think Fall may be my favorite season in the garden. I will get to spend a day in my garden tomorrow -- can't wait!

  7. Ami - If you trim your firespike back after the blooms fade it should get bushier instead of taller for you. I love this plant for the butterflies and hummingbirds it brings to my garden.

    Daisy - No, the cassia and the sweet almond are not Florida natives. They are both native to areas of South America.

    Chris C - The cassia brings in so many sulphur butterflies it is one of my favorites all year. The butterflies don't care whether it is blooming or not.

    globalchirp - Thanks. I love having this cassia bloom in the fall. It is always something to look toward in anticipation.

    Darla - The red firespike is so easy to grow and gives such a great reward I've spread it around from cuttings that I take in spring.

    Nanette - A day in the garden is its own reward. Hope you have a great time in yours.

  8. I love what you did with the tillandsias! I use a birdcage for my rhipsalis, but might have to add some tillies like you did. Beautiful!

  9. Beautiful day...thank you for sharing!! My cassia is not in bloom because something keeps munching on it?!?! Your tillandsia cage is a wonderful idea, and you have very pretty varieties. I had to laugh when I saw your "Psycho Path" sign. Very cute!

  10. I don't have any of the Cassia bicapsularis. Looks like I need to add it to my list. How does it manage FL winters? Does it die back to the roots and then sprout again in the spring?

  11. Such wonderful autumn flowers, Kay. The red firespikes you rooted for me are doing well here, too. I'm rooting more to add to the spring garden.

    These less-humid days have gotten me so inspired! I do love working the garden in this weather. Enjoy!


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