Sunday, August 30, 2020

Weekend Projects

Dombeya wallichii

I  was visiting the Edison and Ford Winter Estates a few months ago and saw the most incredible sight - nicknamed the tropical hydrangea, Dombeya wallichii is a stunning shrub/tree that smells like cupcakes. Now that I have my own garden and no crazies in it, I decided to see if I could track it down. Real hydrangeas are not happy in South Florida, and this is a wonderful alternative. I did locate it close by in St. Pete and am having it shipped.

As you might have surmised by my post on Saturday on Duranta, I tend to be a bit of a plant collector and love tracking down the exotic as well as heirloom plants.

A close up of "Tropical Hydrangea"

For any of you gardener friends, I now have the perfect location to start growing Brugmansia (Angel Trumpet), something I have wanted to do for ages. I would love a white, a pink, and an apricot/peach. Any cultivar suggestions?

For those of you who do not know this plant, here are a few pics.





I am aware of the genus' toxicity, these will be in the side yard away from the puppies.

I am enjoying gardening here beyond words. I love learning new things, and gardening here is like I moved to Mars. Or perhaps Venus since men are from Mars and women are from Venus. LOL

Most of the plants I knew and loved in NOVA do not grow here since the zones are very different. I knew little of tropicals and that's what loves it down here.

And the Master Gardener program which is connected with the University of Florida seems really first rate. It is on hiatus now with the pandemic, but I hope to get involved down the road. Interesting story - a supervisor from my lawn and shrub care was out this past week and "alerted" me to a "very serious" issue in the garden. I was polite but didn't believe a word. I called Extension and a lovely MG called me back and we had a delightful conversation and she agreed with my analysis. I sent photos and a second MG reviewed them and agreed the guy was completely wrong. Once again, Girl Power!!!!

More work planned in the garden this morning - I am getting it ready for an exciting transformation starting this week that I will share.

On another gardening topic, I mentioned my love of topiary - I came across this and think a succulent alligator would be a hoot. You are not going to believe this, but you can glue gun succulents to the moss and it does not hurt the succulent and they take root and grow. Wild! I think a large one in the garden would be fun. I have tracked down frames already.



I think this sounds fun. Anybody want to come over and glue gun succulents? (I am sure if I do this project I will use the tried and true method of making a hole in the moss and securing the plant and soil especially to get them to survive and spread long term).

26 comments:

  1. My reblooming hydrangeas are actually doing pretty well in Sarasota - but wow this tropical hydrangea is beautiful!! Would you mind sharing the name of the nursery in St Pete?

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  2. Your garden is going to be as spectacular as your home. I love that you are doing posts on gardening, wardrobe, and food/drink. You have amazing style.

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    1. Thank you so much. So glad you are enjoying it.

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  3. OMG, how fun it all looks! Garedening has alway been my one sustaining passion and I can imgine how exciting it is to try new species and new ideas in this new territory. Like Settlers from the mid west arriving in CA to see the orange and lemon trees, palms and all the new flora. Might as well be Venus.

    I remember the Angel Trumpet tree from the Amalfi coast. Just glorious as is the tropical hydrangea.

    The aligator would be a true jewel to try. Like quilting circles you can host the aligator cirlcle. A few of those alligators would also be fun to have around the club/pool area. You can organize the residents and kids to work on it as a way of having a neighborhood function and get people to meet one another.

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    1. What a great idea. I think he will be a fun project.

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  4. I love that succulent alligater!
    Did you know you can tie orchids to trees and they grow?
    https://www.miamiherald.com/living/home-garden/article222755295.html

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    1. Yes, someone else sent me this as well and I am definitely trying this. Thanks.

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    2. In Singapore, the Philippines and Hawaii it is typical to wire half of a coconut husk with the fiber side snuggled up to the palm tree. The orchids will easily grow in it. We had 20 or so orchid "pots" on our patio palm trees. Since orchids only bloom a couple times a year...more is better so that you will always have some in bloom. This is a very tropical look. Add some moss and have fun. Nan

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  5. Pray tell.... where would one find the the alligator frame and succulent project?? I would love to do this on the low country river where I have a water garden.

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    1. I promise to do a post on it since I got several emails as well asking about it.

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  6. The angel trumpet truly reminds me of your upside down Xmas tree, one of my favorite CC posts!

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    1. Guess where my tree and ornaments are being held hostage? Don't get me started.

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  7. I have not been to the Edison & Ford estates in years! I need to go again. That tree from there looks fabulous!

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    1. It makes a nice day trip and I get free admission with my Marie Selby membership. They have a wonderful garden store with their plants.

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  8. Well, that tropical and fragrant hydrangea is new to me but looks like the perfect choice for your garden.

    The succulent-covered 'gator is too darn cute and the only 'gator you will want to see on your lanai!

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    1. Alligators are quite shy - we had three in the lake at the Sarasota house. I loved having them there.

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  9. Be careful of the Angel Trumpet plant. It is a poison for the dogs. It happened to me once with my little Pekingese. I love that succulent alligator. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Yes, I discussed their toxicity and dogs in this post.

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  10. I love the dombeya too and they can become massive shrubs. Another that you would probably like is Angel Wing Begonia and Alba Begonias. The Angel wing are pink and as tall as 5 or 6 feet, mostly shade/filtered sun. My Albas (white) remind me of hydrangea and get waist high. I start both from cuttings. Angel trumpet can start from their branches just by pushing them into the ground. They can have a strong nighttime scent and bother my allergies so I keep them away from bedroom windows. SO fun having another gardener in our state because it really is radically different. Pamela

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  11. I have grown many different colors of Angel Trumpets here and the most prolific bloomer for me was a variety called Dr. Seuss that I purchased on eBay, of all places. I am on my phone and unable to read all the previous comments ( no reading glasses with me) but in case anyone hasn’t mentioned this, you can cut down your brugmansia in the winter and cut the main stalk into 10” lengths and stick them in a bucket of water. I put my bucket in the garage and changed the water periodically when I thought about it. All rooted. every single one. The following spring, I planted in the garden and in pots. I had Angels Trumpets everywhere. You can get carried away with them. So easy to grow and so gorgeous.

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