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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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Aggies Light Up Spring/Summer Garden

That's my affectionate name for Agapanthus Orientalis. My love affair with these plants is a long running one. I've sung their praises and extolled their easy-growing characteristics numerous ways on this blog over the years
I put some of them in the back garden also!
As with so many of the plants in my garden, my sweet elderly neighbor gave me my first one. That one plant multiplied on its own rhizome and I divided it and transplanted it. But that was in my old garden. In my new garden there is another similar story to tell. 
The same elderly neighbor who gave me my first Aggie also gave the previous owner/gardener that lived in this house before me her first one. Only the previous owner NEVER divided hers. When I moved in here there was a ginormous clump of them in the front garden. 
Prior to our decision to stay in this home/garden permanently I dug up that gargantuan clump and divided it into about 40 individual plants. In an effort to help beautify the curb appeal here (because we were planning to sell this house). I filled in an empty spot by the street with some of those divisions. They looked downright awful for about 6 months. It was hard to look at those pitiful plants every time I pulled into the driveway.  Gradually they started putting out new leaves and looking like they weren't mad at me anymore for taking them out of their cozy corner. 
Phone photo

Even before the individual flowers open up, those tight buds are adorable. They will keep you in a state of anticipation for weeks prior to their full-blown flowering. From tight buds to open flowers the display lasts a solid 8 weeks. I even let mine go to seed to enjoy the dried heads in late summer/fall.
Phone photo: One Aggie stem mixed with devil's backbone, purple queen, cast iron leaves, bird of paradise leaves and coleus in a tall cut glass vase.

Cut stems make a nice statement in mixed fresh arrangements. I never want to cut too many though. I like them best out in the garden. *smile*.
I just HAD to get out my ruler to see exactly how wide those big flowers are.
The giant umbels of glorious color atop slender stalks rise 4-5 feet above the foliage. Wherever they are growing they create a dramatic flare. 

My excitement over Agapanthus plants intensifies at this thought. In Florida we just don't have many options for this type of showy perennial. 
Full with buds of promise in mid-May.
This cultivar that my neighbor shared with me is unlike any others I've seen elsewhere. The strappy, leathery leaves are thick, shiny, and wide. In the winter the foliage sails through our harshest weather. Gotta love that.

The green stems with purply-blue trumpets at each end are a magical duo.
A tiny pollen-covered bee the same size as the stamen .

Pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds are frequent visitors.

I grow mine in partial sun and partial shade. Partial sun means they get morning sun, filtered sun, then full on sun for a brief part of the day. Partial shade means they are never in full on sun, but lots of high filtered sunlight most of the day. I haven't tried fertilizing them although I've read reliable information that suggests they don't mind some extra nutrients. After they bloom their foliage won't look quite as robust as it does while blooming. That isn't really very noticeable except to the most observant onlooker. Overall this plant is a must-have for a Florida garden. It's one of my favorites EVER in case you hadn't already figured that out. 

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  1. Love your Aggies! I too call them that, don't know where I first heard them referred to as such. It looks like yours are still going great guns, while mine are winding down. Each year they get taller and the flower heads larger, what's not to love.

    1. This particular variety blooms a little later than the ones I see around town Janice. The blooms are still looking lively late June although beginning to show signs of decline.

  2. Wow, your Aggies are beautiful! I love blues/purples in my gardens.

    Happy Summer gardening ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you Lorraine ... blues and purples are always fun in the garden.

  3. They really are magnificent things. I've never tried growing them, but I'm certainly tempted now after seeing these beauties.

    1. You should try them in your lush garden Bernie especially if they are readily available down there. :-)

  4. These are one of my favs as well. They are SO dramatic! How could a gardener ever have enough of them? Thank you for sharing your lovelies.

  5. It's true Daisy... a fun way to add drama to any Florida garden.


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September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

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