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"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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Majestic Beauty

It's a magnificent name to appoint to a plant. One that surely requires characteristics to match it.

When the first streaks of dawn's brightness beam through the oak tree branches towering over her she appears to be on a stage all her own. Her pale pink flowers illuminated in full glory and calling for the center of attention.

Evening sunshine results in her blending with the companions she resides next to in the back garden and reminds her she is but a humble tree of small size.

Not yet so majestic as her name implies.

On the sunny side of the front lawn renovation her twin stands tall and works hard to live up to the name 'majestic'. We have faith in her. She will eventually earn her name as she matures.

Rhaphiolepsis indica Indian Hawthorn 'Majestic Beauty' ~~ both trees were purchased and planted a year ago when in full bloom. These two trained as standards but it is worth noting thier counterparts make great shrubs for any Florida garden and require little maintenance.

It's one thing to purchase a specimen (of any kind) and plant it from the garden center while it's displaying all the goods that drew me to it in the first place.

In my book it's quite another thing for that specimen to flourish and come full cycle in its new home to bloom again. They first started putting on their spring blooms in mid-winter. Now as spring arrives flowers are bursting out with abandon on both trees at the same time.

Intended as filler in the middle story she is fitting in perfectly there. Losing our ginormous and far reaching limbs of the drake elm last year left a noticeable gap in the back garden.

Now that the oak tree canopy is quite high in both the front and the back there is room between the shrub-filled underplantings and the limbs above for middle story plants to catch the eye's attention.

Majestic Beauty's other characteristics include being cold hardy in winter and drought tolerant in summer. Once established she asks very little of the gardener while clusters of pink blooms draw the pollinators to her. She is full of promise even at her small size.

A couple of other beauties that caught my eye on this lovely morning are the nun's orchids flowering in the tropical garden.

They are complementing spathiphyllum blooms and Giant apostle's iris 'Regina' in bloom next to them.

Ah, there's the apostle's iris. What stunning markings this hardy little 'Regina' sports. I'll forever be intrigued by her glorious detail.

Just amazing. I could study her for hours... and that's about all she gives us.

Each opening of each flower only lasts a day. Thankfully there are many buds opening in succession.

The native Sisyrinchium augustifolia blue-eyed grass calls for my attention daily in springtime. What a sweet flower. This tiny bloom ... part of the iris family also only last a day.

Opening in the morning and closing back up at sunset. Don't they exude happiness dotting the ground in delicate tufts of blue. So cheery. So spring!

Happy gardening and happy spring,


  1. They are all Queenly! Your garden mus look royal now, doesn't it!

  2. Oh Meems, your garden is filled with beauteous wonders, that leave one wanting to see more.

    Happy Gardening and Happy Spring,


  3. That Indian Hawthorne is really pretty. I like the idea of having it as a standard. And, I love pink blooms. Your sunlight really does spotlight that little tree doesn't it? Beautiful.

    I have a Nun's orchid that will be opening blooms soon, I can't wait. Yours is lovely. Do you have it in-ground? Mine is in a container on the porch.

    Such lovely days we've been having lately, great for being in the garden.

  4. Beginning my morning by reading your wonderful descriptions of the glorious Majestic Beauty accompanied by your outstanding photos is a sweet pleasure Meems! Your talent for marrying photo and text totally draws the reader in to your magical world of flora and fauna! THANK YOU!

  5. Hi again-you probably remember that Chadderdon Reunion is Sherry Louer! I keep forgetting that I need to somehow change that name!

  6. I've been thinking about acquiring some Indian Hawthorne shrubs. Haven't seen one like yours though!
    That Regina is spectacular!
    Love the blue-eyed grass. It has a wildflower look to it.
    Enjoy all the wonders of your garden. You've earned it!

  7. I adore my Majestic Beauty too! I bought mine a year ago after it had bloomed so I have been waiting a year to see the spectaclar blossoms. It was worth the wait! The bees think so too.

  8. happy spring to you Meems, those Indian hawthorns look lovely and I like the way you are training them as a standard - it does make them look more regal. Sometimes we lose a plant and find something better to take its place.

  9. Lovely pink hawthorn and love that 'Regina' iris! But of course, the nun's orchid is what I'm salivating over. Ooh, I wonder if I could squirrel away some grocery $$ to get one. Yours looks darker than the ones I've seen. Is it a special cultivar?

  10. I couldn't begin to guess what tree that was, then was surprised when you revealed the name to see how elegant the common (in California, at least) Rhaphiolepsis looks in standard form. Love that soft pink!

  11. Majestic and Regina. So much royalty in one garden, Meems. The orchids are fantastic. -- Bom

  12. spring is a time to happy that your garden is doing it for you. what great little trees are those majestics. well placed...both of them. i love the one in the back taking center stage in the morning light. your garden has so many entrancing would be hard not to get caught up in observing them. i love when i get to visit and see all of the beauty it holds.
    hugs dear sister.
    happy springtime blossoms.

  13. Hello dear Meems,
    It's been a while since I visited so it's been fun to catch up with you.
    How lovely it is to stroll with you in your early morning garden, albiet virtually (ah, the wonders of technology!). You've created a little bit of heaven.
    The Indian Hawthorn blossoms bring to mind the apple blossoms which will grace our northern gardens and countryside before too much longer. I love those pink blossoms!
    A blog friend from Maine sent me seeds of Blue-eyed grass and I'm looking forward to having those sweet flowers in my garden. Yes, the do indeed exude happiness :)
    I can't wait for warm spring mornings when I can enjoy strolling our garden with my camera. Yesterday brought more snow, so we'll have to be patient a while longer.
    Happy spring dear friend.

  14. I was lucky - my Nun's orchids were here when we bought this house. They are blooming like crazy!

    That apostle iris is gorgeous!! That goes on my want list.

    A red admiral butterfly flew through the garden the other day. That is the first one I have ever seen. The Monarch caterpillars are munching away. It is amazing where you find chrysalis hanging! I now have to be careful watering one of my potted plant. One is delicately hanging from the lip of the pot.

    Isn't Spring wonderful!

  15. Chandramouli,
    The garden is certainly taking off with so much abundant warmth and sunshine. Thank you for your visit.

    It is a happy time of year in the garden... so much to see and so much to do. Thank you for your sweet comment. Enjoy your beautiful garden while the weather is good for you.

    No need to change your name I always know it is you. Thanks for the drop by and your 'always' words of encouragement. I know you are loving your wonderful world in your beautiful garden this spring!

  16. Kay,
    I have two (split one whole large plant) nun's orchids and they are in the ground in the tropical pathway by the retaining wall. I decided not to baby them... I think they might be tougher than we think. Got it at Pine Lake for a mere $15.95... cheapest I've ever seen them.

    The blue-eyed grass is sort of wild as it can be seen along roadside in some parts of the U.S. But it isn't wild in terms of spreading. It is a lovely plant that would do well in your sunny garden.

    I'm wondering if yours is in more shade than mine??? You are right. It is thrilling to see the buds that seem to hang on for so long and then all of a sudden the whole tree is full of pink flowers... the bees are all over it.

    I actually bought these as standards ~~ I doubt I have the ability to train such a plant but it would be fun to think about trying someday. I really miss my drake elm and wonder sometimes if I should've just left it alone... but she's gone and we will move on and make due.

  17. FG,
    I can't tell you anything about the cultivar of the nun's orchid as there was NO tag whatsoever in it. Typically of so many of our Florida growers. Grrr.

    Common here, too. Although we don't see the pink flowers as often as the white. But the standard form I can't say I've seen in anyone's garden. They are just coming into popularity around here and I think they make a lovely substitute for some of the flowering trees I'd love to have but don't that are not as reliable in my area like crabapples and redbuds.

    Regina is sort of royal sounding, too, isn't it. She is certainly a majestic specimen when in bloom! Thanks.

    Dear Sister,
    Ummmm... and about that visit??? I know your spring garden is keeping you busy right about now. Lovely to see you here.

    Hello Kerri,
    So VERY lovely to see you. It will be a while before you realize spring on your amazing farm but OH. WHEN. YOU. DO! It will be a stunning show. I can only imagine a spring so delightful as one patiently waited on for so many months. You are going to love the blue-eyed grass... one of the rare plants that do well here and all the way of the eastern coastline.

    Siesta Sister,
    Well, I'm assuming that means your nun's orchids made it through the freezes of the last three years. And that is good news to my ears. I have SO many milkweed plants this year that have come up as volunteers. I've seen monarchs laying eggs all over them but no cats or chrysallis yet. I hope something is not eating them. Hmmmm??? I'll check again today. :-)

  18. What a feast for the eyes! Your majestic Indian hawthorn sure beats the boring groundcovers planted in parking lots... I absolutely love the second photo. It really does look majestic. Any idea if the Apostle's iris would overwinter in zone 9a? I see them for sale all over the place but the literature tells me that they're zone 10 only.

  19. Incredible beauty! What treasures you have there!

  20. Steve,
    The irises do well in the shade-cover even down to freezing. I don't know what to tell you exactly for where you are. They are certainly worth giving them a try... you could always put them in a container and move them indoors.

    Thank you. I'm really enjoying spring in the garden this year. We got warm very early and the garden is responding.

  21. Meems, I didn't know that Indian hawthorn was anything but a ground cover; I use one with white flowers in the front of the house. Your standard looks beautiful, especially in the first light of day. (Much as I would love to be up and about then, I'm a night owl. I can't remember the last time I saw dawn!) Anyway, I must keep an eye out for Majestic Beauty.

    My nun's orchids are almost over, and I read somewhere that the flower stalks can be used to propagate new plants. Have you tried, and if so, did it work??

    Love those Neomarica irises. Mine get better every year. I must post some pix, but I "must" do so many other things first. Sigh.

    -- Penny

  22. Regina = queen, doesn't it? Your garden is definitely fit for royalty, your Highness Meems(?). :-D
    -- Bom

  23. I'm clicking the LIKE button, Bom!

  24. Well, that didn't take long. I bought a "Regina" yesterday. It has a bloom on it. Hope it is still there this morning. ♥ it!

    And my caladiums are starting to pop up after all that rain we had Monday. Can't wait to get out there this morning to see what else is new. Oh yes, noticed a couple of blooms on my new Indigo Sprires.

    Have a great day Meems!!

  25. SiestaSister,
    Yay for you... glad you found one. Lots of good stuff going on in your spring garden.


Have a blessed day,

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