Check Out These Pages, Too!

"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meanwhile... What's a Little Heat in Florida!

Taking a little trip to Western New York is a nice break from Florida in July.
Coming home to the garden it only takes moments for reality to set in.

It's July and we are at the height of our hot and humid season.

Still, the garden calls. We mustn't be wimpy about our weather. There is much to do in the summer garden.

Warm colors of the Belamcanda Chinensis dot the midsummer landscape. These sweet additions are a first for me this year. Love the unique twist of the buds after they bloom.

Three separate gardening friends recently passed along this widely popular species. Sited before they flowered in dappled light they are now all cheerily blooming at the same time.

Sometimes called Blackberry Lily...

or Leopard Lily...

or Candy Lily... they can sport fancy dark freckles or ... none at all as in the previous photos. I'm a fan of their upright grass-like foliage just as much as these delicate, small blooms. Each one only lasting only for a day.

Even the bees get thirsty in summertime. Add a rock or pile several of the smaller flat ones to your birdbath. You might be surprised at the tiny critters that visit for a drink.

Mr. Meems deserves extra hugs and thanks for keeping the container plants irrigated while I was away.

Not one drop of rain came down to offer him a rest from dragging hoses to numerous pots throughout the garden. All plantlife was chipper and happy even in my absence.

Only a few Agapanthus orientalis, African lily or Lily of the Nile remain in bloom at this juncture of summer. But they've been offering outstanding ornamental features since May.

We are happy to have any blooming this late and I'm pretty sure the butterflies join us in our thankfulness.

The brightly hued red Pentas lanceolata are another year round Florida-Friendly favorite.

The butterflies just can't resist them. Somehow I seem to like red as much as the pretty fluttering swallowtails. For those reasons we've sited them in several places throughout the garden.

Side note for Florida gardeners: Pentas is one of those plants that easily roots from cuttings. Just keep cuttings moist in some good soil until roots are formed. This is a good time to take cuttings. Keep them in a partially shady spot while they get established.

Caladiums are becoming the stars of summer once again. The shady areas are packed with the variety White Queen. The center red vein is a stand out against the white leaf and shows up nicely against all the foundational green foliage.
There's much more to see of Buffalo. I'll get back to sharing those photos as soon as regular life permits. It's summertime and the grandkiddos get first priority while they are out of school and we have some extra hours with them.

Happy summer gardening! Meems


  1. Everything looks so pretty in your garden. I have those blackberry/candy lilies, too. They are very sweet flowers in the summertime!

  2. Good Morning:

    Your pictures are lovely! The lilies that are in your first series are beautiful! Where can I purchase those? I would love to add some to my garden. Also, are they cold sensitive as we may be moving to Virginia and I am already collecting ideas for a new garden.


  3. meems,

    love the new additions to your garden this year. that combination of corral, yellow and red on the belamcanda chinensis is incredible and such a bright pop of colour against your greens.
    the other lilies are so great too.
    way to go mr. meems for being a great caretaker.
    your containers are always such a presence in your garden.
    things around here are still very dry we have had one shower since i have been home.
    i think i am going to try to put my new caladiums in pots today.
    hopefully will be seeing you soon...this waiting on babies is hard.
    hugs and love.

  4. Pentas are one of my main annuals for color, bloom and feeding butterflies.
    They bloom forever and never disappoint. Yeah Mr Meems! Mr I also did a stand up job on watering plants while we were all in Buffalo, too. Thank you for the caladiums! I love having a little bit of Florida in my TN garden~xxgail

  5. I have a candy lily, like the first one. I'd like to find a 'freckled' one. Very pretty.

    Glad your garden was well tended, while you were gone.

    Summer has, indeed, arrived


  6. Meems ~ I'd say your garden definitely survived under Mr. Meem's care, everything looks great!

    Agapanthus did not do well for me, and has gone to plant heaven obviously, because it is no longer in my garden. It had blooms when I bought it, but never bloomed again.

    I love my blackberry lilies. I do not see any seeds forming though at all. I love your top lily, I guess that one is the candy lily. Very pretty.

    Your butterfly shots are wonderful.

    Enjoy being back home, try to keep cool, and don't work too hard or long outdoors these days. If you do, take breaks and drink plenty of water. As if you didn't already know these things. :-)


  7. Hi, Meems. Great idea about the rock in the birdbath. I'll do that as soon as I post this.

    I love your comment about not being wimpy. I feel positively freezing when the a/c is set to the mid 70s in some buildings. On the other hand, it has been hot enough for me to experience the beginnings of heat exhaustion. It turns out, per the NWS, that June was the hottest month ever, so it's not surprising.

  8. Looks like the Mr.s did well all around...things were well watered here too! My agapanthus is just coming into bloom...and once again I am smitten by your caladiums. Some year I'm getting some!

  9. I have had blackberry lily in the past. It didn't ever do very well here for some reason. After seeing yours it makes me want to try again. That Mr Meems is a good fellow. Your pots obviously did well during your absence. They look beautiful.

  10. Welcome back. The Florida heat is an adjustment after cool northern New York temperatures, isn't it? (Although my son says Lake Placid has been Florida-hot this week!) ... I'll put some rocks in my bird bath tomorrow. What a good idea.

  11. What a co-incidence, I was checking out seeds online today for both Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry Lily) and the Candy Lily so its nice to see how cute yours look. The belamcanda is the original orange freckled one. The other colors are the candy lily, which is derived by crossing Pardanthopsis dichotoma and Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry Lily) Its a Parks seeds original.

  12. I sure did enjoy your trip, your descriptions and pictures covered it so well that I really got into it. Thanks for sharing your trip. Now on to caladiums. I have a lot of them now for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it is one of the few things I have that the deer do not eat. The other reason is that they grow so easily for me. They really are pretty and my friend got me started on them a while back but your pictures of all of the caldiums in your yard spurred me on to more. So thank you for the inspiration.

  13. Carol,
    I first saw blackberry lilies on northern blogs a few years back. The range for growing them is quite expansive.

    I don't think I've ever seen them for sale in the garden centers. But the comment from Nicole mentioned purchasing seeds from Park seeds. Virginia? Wow. That will change your gardening possibilities.

    Putting your caladiums in pots is your best best I think. It warms them up quickly for sprouting and it is easier for digging them out before winter sets in. Yes, see you soon ~~ surely!

    Our Mr's are getting used to this watering assignment me thinks. Do get your caladiums in the ground (or a pot)I'm counting on them coming up for you in a hurry.

    I think the freckled one is adorable, too. It's the last one I was gifted. What a nice surprise.

    In the days before I left for Buffalo we had enjoyed some ample rain. What a lifesaver it was which meant Mr. Meems only had to be sure the containers and what's left of the edibles didn't dry out. Thank you for the reminders on the way to avoid heat exposure. I can stay outside for long hours because I follow the shade around to garden.

    I'm sorry to hear about your Agapanthus. There are different varieties. I DO hope you give them a try again as some are hardier than others but sadly I can't tell you which.

    It is so easy to give in to the heat and just not go out. But I'm an outdoor girl and just can't stay inside. June did seem hotter than some of our July days. In one of my birdbaths I have several smaller river rocks stacked on top of each other and I see all kinds of flying buzzing critters making use of them.

    Caladiums would do well for you. I'm going to enjoy when you start to get hooked on them too.

    I put color coded flags in the containers for Mr. Meems so he knew which ones needed what and how often. It worked like a charm.

    It was hot in NY part of the time we were there. But in the shade of a tree or a covering it was an escape from the heat. The humidity (after the first day there and we got rain) was nothing like it is here. THAT was a nice break.

    That is so interesting. Thank you for that information. I never see them in garden centers but its nice to know seeds can be purchased.

    Oh, I have so many more photos of Buffalo. It was a wonderful place. I just hope I can get around to pulling together all the images and sharing them.

    So happy to hear you love caladiums, too. They are the simplest plants for summer in this heat aren't they! Great varieties offered for bargain prices if you buy the bulbs.

  14. I love the blackberry lilies, and I'm surprised at how many different varieties that are about. I invested in a Claber Oasis watering system about 5 years back to water my plants when I was away as my husband is home even less and doesn't think of plants as much as I do. I love it. I've pondered leaving it set up to water the lanai container plants. I was looking for a drip irrigation book on Amazon and just found the Claber system. Apparently, their popularity is growing; they've doubled in price! Welcome back to a very humid Florida!

  15. Thanks for continued inspiration. So glad you enjoyed your trip and are back safe and sound. Thank you for the tip about rooting the pentas. I will be doing that this week. I'm like you, I need to be outside, no matter the weather!
    Enjoy those grandbabies!

  16. The garden seems to have fared well in your absence. My blackberry lilies greeted me with blooms when I returned from my trip as well. They are a first for me too and I am really enjoying them. Keep enjoying those grandkids! I think they grow even faster than "regular" kids.

  17. Hi Meems! I wish I could show you my caladiums---I had absolutely NO idea they got so huge! My red flash leaves are 30" high and about 20" long! I ordered another 100 miss muffet bulbs and put them in the ground over the weekend. Can't wait to see their jolly leaves push up. Thanks again for your inspiration. My mom and I are hooked! ;) One more thing: When to sow zinnia seeds in SW Florida? It's so confusing- everything I find is for the North! Trisha

  18. Hello Meems, I love that Caladium! The candy lily reminded me of a plumeria at first.

    Last year while at a nearby nursery a gazillion honeybees invaded one of their water features. A knowledgeable person told me they were thirsty. It was very interesting to watch them. I like the shallow dishes of water anyway but why not do it for the bees?

  19. Meems, I need some of those blackberry and candy lilies ... I know just where I could put them. It was great to meet you in Buffalo and I look forward to seeing you again!

  20. Meems - your containers did well under the care of your hubby.

    I love candy lily and was so excited that my seeds sown two years ago finally produced plants large enough to flower this year....until a bunny ate three of them! I have two larger clumps that they haven't yet found. I am so disappointed as the deer don't bother these and I was planning to grow more.

  21. Meems - I had a chance to visit your neck of the woods last week for an annual 'Girls get-away'. My FL visit is now filled with whiplash as I look for how commercial and residential areas are landscaped! It was great!

    I hope you don't mind, but in my latest post - I recommend readers stop by your blog as a great reference for FL landscaping. Thanks for sharing your experiences. -Shyrlene

  22. Very pretty. I have seen a few photos of you in Buffalo on other blogs. I know you all have a lot of fun and the gardens there look fantastic!

  23. I have become enamored with those Blackberry lilies, but still don't have any in my garden--maybe next year! Those freckled faces are such a cheery addition to your garden. Kudos to Mr. Meems for keeping all your containers watered while you were gone; not every husband would be so diligent:)

    I'm loving all the butterflies in your garden, Meems. I agree pentas are a great magnet; I just wish they were perennials here, too, instead of annuals.

    I enjoyed your tour of the visit to the Shadrack's outside Buffalo--great photos! I've seen a few photos on other posts about this unique place, but nothing as complete as yours. This definitely would have been a favorite stop for me, too. I'm so sorry I missed Buffa10, but I'm enjoying it all vicariously through everyone's posts.

  24. Hi Meems, your garden always looks so lovely! Last yearI got some Blackberry lily plants from the house where I grew up. I love the way they curl up after blooming. Now I want to be surrounded by plants that I'd grown up with and these lilies top the list.

    Your caladiums are spectacular!

  25. That rock in the birdbath is a great idea! I'll have to try that, since I have a lot of bees and dragonflies in my garden. Thanks for the photos of the blackberry lilies, since those are kind of like my billbergias and spiderlilies: impossible to obtain without divisions of friends. Hope you're getting some rain down there!

  26. There is so much going on in the garden right now because of the heat! So many of the tropicals are just jumping out of the ground. Certainly seems to be the case in your garden.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway