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Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Showers and May flowers

After the craziness of the Green Thumb Festival last weekend, we were able to get up to our beloved Weeki Wachee cabin for a few days this week. We had a wonderful 4 hour paddle down the river, seeing lots of great foliage, some exotic, some native.   There was wild pink roses (not sure if native, but checking that out), that grew right on the banks of the river and smelled delightful.  Native rosin weed, lots of papyrus, water lillies and tons of ferns.  One of my favorite riverside plants, Spider Lily ( Hymenocallis latifolia) was blooming like crazy along the river and the large white blooms were a standout against the green lushness of the surrounding foliage.  The river was clear and it's quiet up there during the week, so you don't have to battle crowds.  We only saw one manatee, we are told that this time of year, they are keeping their young up in the side canals and in about a month will be bringing them out in to the main river more.
 If you have seen our previous posts from the last couple of years, the cabin we stay at is a place where Linda and Larry Roderick, the owners, and us, planted a lot of exotics and perennials, bushes and trees and vines into the existing garden and every time we go up there, we love to check out the progress of it all and can report that all of it is thriving.  The Pipe vine covers the wood border fence and literally had hundreds of blooms on it.  The weeping Bottlebrush tree has thrived from a small starter plant to over 7 feet tall already. 

The big leaf Tibouchina is a showstopper for guests sitting on the porch.  This baby started as 2 ft. tall 3 gallon plant and has thrived in a southern exposure spot, nearly 5 feet tall now.  She will soon be in bloom.

This is Tibouchina heteromalla, that we grow at our nursery.

Unfortunately, most of my pics I took over at the cabin turned out blurry (I must get some new glasses ! ) but I got some fabulous shots around Linda and Larry's place, where we also contributed a lot of great plants to their already awesome garden.   Linda loves orchids, succulents, exotics, you name it and has created some amazing little Fairy & Gnome gardens around the place. She has some blue bottle trees to die for !

Linda loves gnomes and has quite a collection. They made this bench out of an old boat cushion support.

The newest addition to the "Blue Bottle" Tree collection.  The base is wrought iron, painted a bright red.

This bottle tree sits in a river side garden that sport lovely Dwarf Cavendish bananas trees that are fast producers.

A lovely perennial potted garden dockside.

Linda has some of the nicest Cleome bushes going and she planted them in big pots and they love it.

Their lovely mermaid statue graces riverside.

I think nasturtiums are some of the happiest looking plants, don't you? The leaves are so lush and the dark hue of the orange blooms really stand out.

They are just waiting to get plucked for a salad !

One of my favorite spots on their property is the in the shaded area walking up to waterside.  Birds, gnomes, fairies and characters all very happily reside around the water garden.

The Giant White "Hairy Balls" Milkweed, reaches into the sky about 6 ft, filled with blooms, and soon to spout some "hairy ball" seed pods.

The area surrounding Weeki Wachee river is a micro-climate within itself and many plants thrive there due to the coolness of the river water, plus it's very close to the coast.  While they do get some cool weather once in a while, they hardly every get a freeze, so many plants thrive there that would do ordinarily do up in Hernando county in the interior.

Well, onto this weekend looks a little rainy we are watching the weather closely as to see if it will be a viable Saturday morning Market day.  Also, our annual spring plant show is coming up the following weekend and please note, I had the wrong dates on a previous blog post and have since corrected it and here's the info again:

Annual spring plant show in St. Pete  - time to have a garden party and clear out some stock before the summer:
Where:  1331 39th avenue north, St. Pete 33703
When:  Fri & Sat., May 9 & 10th, 9am - 5pm.

Also note, for those who did not get Vietnamese Hollyhocks before we sold out last week at Greenthumb, or for those of you who want more, we will have more this weekend !  We also have fresh herbs which we have been out of for a while.   We also still have a lot of general stock available, perennials, landscape bushes, tropicals and ferns for shady gardens/house/office plants, Passion Vines and Morning Glory Vines.  Our plan IS to be at the market on Saturday and play it by ear for the weather.  Sometimes on this forecasts, the market may have to shut down early due to rain and or winds, so plan on coming early and let's hope that Mother Nature is kind to us !

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