Let's start with the veggie garden today. A big, hardy shout-out to my loyal (and kind) widowed neighbor who painstakingly listened to all my
Truthfully, the garden is my biggest concern when taking vacation time. It used to be the kids but these days they are all planning their own get-a-ways and enlisting ME to watch their kids when they go. To that I say ... yay!
Anyway, I came home to the newly planted garden well taken care of and pole beans already climbing their way up the poles.
I've been busily gardening everyday since we got home. So much to trim, prune, plant, dig and generally clean up.
One thing I notice every time I take a break from the garden. When I come back to it with fresh eyes, I see it differently than when I left it. Upon my return, I was pleased about some things and .... well, not so pleased about some things. It seems so all-of-a-sudden the caladiums are rapidly wilting. What's left in the bed (above photo) won't last too much longer. I'm determined to leave them until they bow their big-hearted heads in an attempt to stretch their use as long as possible. Not so fortunate were several other beds where I snipped and snipped away to remove wilted caladiums and impatiens too. The impatiens will bud and bloom right back but the caldiums are gone until next spring.
My clean up project started right here on the back porch trimming away at the container plants that were spilling over onto the ground. I know I've shown you this mona lavender recently but it continues to awe me how this originally 6" pot turned into the profusely blooming, falling over the pot plant you see in the foreground. Every time I think I'm ready to yank it out, I have to stop myself and remember to let it stay until this flush of blooms drops off. It may be too late to plant something else in its place by then but I'll not worry about that now.
Did you notice the angel-wing begonia in the corner? I thought to actually measure it today. The tallest stalks are 6.5 feet tall and the width of the planting is over 4 feet. I can boast about its beauty because honestly, once I planted the stalks, all I ever have done is water it. So by its own inherent power it has become what it has become over these summer months. AND it just keeps right on blooming its blush pink drippy flowers.
Speaking of huge. The deep orange lantana residing in the SE corner of the property is all of 4' tall and what is visible in the above photo doubles in size as it wraps around the corner and behind here. I hand pruned some of the heavier, woodier branches just to keep them from entangling around one another. It's also a good idea to pick up the branches from underneath and trim off whatever is touching the ground and some of the weightier bottom branches. Once I did all of this the unburdened plant perked up even taller and it will be ready now to keep on producing right through the autumn season.
The sulphurs flit about so quickly it is not usually possible to capture a photo of them. This one landed on the Raphis Palm and sat there just long enough for a snap in its momentary resting position.
My fresh eyes are still very pleased with the deeply green topside and magenta-ish underside hues of dragon wing begonias. They are happily standing tall above the fading caladiums and in between lily of the nile and mexican petunia towering in the background. The huge impatien in a container pot in the foreground was dotted with caladiums that I pruned out. It really should be cut back as well... maybe next week.
This view reveals the back side (if there is one) of the same planting bed. One does have to walk around the bed to see this view of two beds melded together and only divided by a small arbored pathway. Tall and still blooming are the pink pentas posing in the foreground. Across the swath of grass there's the contrasting purple of persian shield layered in front of the still taller mexican petunia and behind a layer of indian hawthorne and variegated liriope serving as the continuous border around both planting beds.
Above you can see still another side of the same planting bed. This corner home to carolyn wharton caladiums blending in with the colorful brazilian red hots.
October is a month that brings so many changes to the garden. In Florida they might not be as evident as in other parts of the world. Still we notice them and there is much work to be done. There are some empty places where annuals brightly flowered only a few weeks ago. I finally transplanted some cuttings I had rooted this summer filling in some of the bare spots here and there. Next week I will dig out and pot up some shell ginger, some dracaenas, and liriope to get ready for transplanting. Actually I have quite a to-do list for the next couple of weeks which I won't bore you with since I am sure you have your own. :-)
Happy gardening all. Enjoy your days of October while they last.