I have some fun news: Today Roses and Gargoyles Gardenscapes got approval from my neighborhood association to sponsor a quarterly “Prettiest Garden” contest for the Colonialtown South neighborhood I live in! I had a ball doing the contest when I had the garden boutique in Lake Helen, so I’m very excited about getting the opportunity to start one here. People in downtown Orlando love to garden, so I was surprised to learn there wasn’t already a contest in place in CTS. Lots more info to come after I get all the details together. This is gonna be so fun!
Gonna be busy busy busy today adding more plants to R&G’s online unique garden boutique! Be sure to keep checking back cause more plants are added daily. Don’t see what you’re looking for? No problem, let me know and I’ll see if I can find it for you.
Delivery of the plants is twice a week to customers within a 50 mile radius of downtown Orlando. Delivery fee is only $5 per order. Shipping to customers outside of that area will come at a later date.
Well, it looks like Florida might be in Irma’s path. Which means we could get anywhere from just some wind and rain to Cat 4 or 5 wind and rain and storm surge and flooding. Thankfully hurricanes don’t move too fast which gives us plenty of time to prepare. Get your hurricane supplies together, I did that yesterday, then make sure your outside area is as hurricane proof as it can be.
Hurricane proofing our yards/gardens is pretty simple: anything that can fly away needs to be put away. Chairs, tables, charcoal grills, yard art, light strings, lightweight bird baths, bird feeders, small container plants, lightweight border edging, etc., should be stored in the garage, shed, or house. Never ever store propane tanks in the house. Those should be secured outside.
As for our plants, there’s not a lot that can be done to protect them. I do a heavy pruning on any large roses. This keeps the long canes from whipping in the wind and minimizes damage of the plant. Prune back any large shrubs that are directly in front of windows to reduce the chance of branches breaking the glass. Any tree limbs/branches overhanging your house or ones that are dead or damaged should be cut off.
If you need pruning done, call me at 386-310-9969. Call, text, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions on how to hurricane proof your garden. I’ll also be available for clean-up after the storm passes.
Hello there, my flower freaks. How’s everyone doing? Y’all surviving our lovely hot and humid summer?
I thought we’d play a game of “Name Those Bugs” today. Here we have a hibiscus bud that’s loaded with all kinds of good and bad bugs. Which is pretty cool cause it shows that if we leave the bad bugs alone, the good bugs will come and do their thing of eating the bad bugs. No muss, no fuss, no spraying of chemicals. It’s a win all the way around.
Identification is job #1 before spraying for bugs or diseases in our gardens. I’m a huge believer in Integrated Pest Management, which means letting the good bugs come into our garden to do their job of getting rid of the bad bugs. Here’s a good article about mealybug destroyers (good bugs): “Don’t Spray Me, I’m Not A Mealybug.”
Spent yesterday visiting my suppliers to pick up plants for my latest gardenscape installation. Look at all those beautiful butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants! There are tall pentas, porterweed, ‘Wendy’s Wish’ Salvia, angelonia, bush daisy, fennel, parsley, African iris, muhly grass, milkweed, and trailing white lantana all tucked in there ready to go to their new home. Now if I can get the weather to cooperate for a few days, that would be good. Definitely do not want to complain about all this wonderful rain we’re getting though cause we sure need it.
Butterfly and hummingbird plants!
Butterfly and hummingbird plants!
Will post before/after pics when I’m finished with the project.
You ready for your own butterfly garden? Well, give me a call/text, 386-310-9969, or email, email@example.com, to set up your free consultation.
Tip of the Day: When rain is in the forecast, I try to get my organic fertilizer spread either on rain day or the day before so it can get watered in by Mother Nature. My favorite general purpose organic fertilizer is Milorganite. It’s slow release, has nitrogen and iron in it, won’t burn the plants it it’s not watered in right away, and enriches the soil as it gives the plants the nutrients they need. I use it on everything … yes, even veggies.
If your Milorganite stash is running low, let me know, 386-310-9969 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll deliver more to you!
It’s Plant Of The Week time! This week’s special plant is the beautiful and exotic looking Mona Lavender.
Isn’t she pretty! Regardless of what her name says, she isn’t related to lavender. She’s called ‘Mona Lavender’ cause of the pretty, light lavender color of her flowers. Her botanical name is Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’, and she’s in the Lamiaceae family, which means she’s actually related to Swedish Ivy. She gets extra points for being on the Florida Friendly Plant list. Yes!
To keep ML happy in your garden she needs part shade, well drained soil, and water on a regular basis. She’s a tender semi-evergreen perennial in zones 9b – 11, meaning if it’s a normal winter she should overwinter with no problem. If we get one of the rare cold winters, then she’ll probably die and you’ll need to replace her in the spring. No special fertilizer is needed on ML, just whichever general organic fertilizer you use. Personally, I like using Milorganite on all my garden beds.
Her pretty little flowers all perky on their upright stems repeat bloom quite frequently. The flower stems are above the foliage so from a distance it looks like a little cloud of lavender puffiness. Very pretty. Deadheading does make her look nicer and helps her to rebloom quicker. The flowers last a good while on the plant. The ones in theses pictures have been blooming for about two weeks. I’ve never tried them as cut flowers. If you have, do they do well?
ML grows to about 3′ x 3′, so give her room to mature! I planted this one in front of the Hawaiian Ti plants where she’ll fill in that whole area. She’s been in that bed less than a month but already has new growth on her. Can’t wait for her to fill in. I think the pink Ti leaves will be beautiful growing through the purple and dark green leaves of ML. Did you notice that the backsides of the leaves are dark purple! How cool.
Mona Lavender, Foxtail Ferns, Hawaiin Ti
ML does great either in containers or in the ground. She does have somewhat brittle stems, so don’t plant her where she’ll be brushed up against, like next to a walkway. Oh, and she does attract bees, which is a very good thing … unless you’re allergic to them. Here is a pic of a mature ML (how awesome is that!) and one in a container with Creeping Jenny (both pics courtesy of the internet).
Mature Mona Lavender
Mona Lavender in container
Now that you’ve learned all kinds of cool things about Mona Lavender, I’m sure you have the perfect place for her in your garden! Let me know how many you want and I can deliver, install if needed, and/or create a container garden for you. Call/text, 386-310-9969, or email, email@example.com, to schedule your delivery.
Spring is here, y’all! Time to plant new beautiful flowers, enjoy the ones starting to pop up from the earth and the ones leafing out again. It’s also time to do spring maintenance on the garden beds: new mulch, fertilizing, pruning, etc. I can do all that for you! Call/text, 386-310-9969, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to set up your appointment.