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Tag Archives: gardening

  • Gardening: Gaillardia, Gazania and Pentas

    To my surprise the annual greenhouse is packed full today!  We just got a shipment from one of our local nurseries.  There are plenty of flowering plants for your garden beds.

    We’ll start with the Gaillardia Daisy or blanket flower.  The beautiful combination of orange and yellow petals reminds me of sunflowers.  The Gaillardia Daisy will grow up to 2 inches in height and can spread up to 3 feet in width.  They are sun loving so they’ll be just fine in our high summer temperatures.  For more info, check out the University of Florida IFAS Extension.


    The Gazania Daisy or treasure flower is also a sun loving plant.  There’s yellow, white, purple and orange varieties so they'll make wonderful color displays in your garden.    The Gazania Daisy is an annual, perfect for zones 8b-11.  Typically Gazanias are annuals, but can live 18 months or more if no freezing occurs. (Source)


    Another great sun-loving plant is the Penta.  If you are looking for beautiful butterflies to come to your garden, then you must plant some Pentas.  Pentas are sun loving, but will do okay in part shade.  Just remember, the more sun they get, the more blooms they'll produce.  Pentas are perennials (in zones 8-10) so they’ll keep flowering for years to come.

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  • House and Bedding Plants

    Tuesdays at the market are always very special.  And that's because we receive a truckload full of flowers for our garden.  There's always the regulars such as Peace Lilly and Zebra.  Peace Lilly is a very versatile plant.  It works great inside your home or outside in the shade.  Another great quality of the Peace Lilly is that it doesn't need much attention.  The Zebra plants require a little more hands on care, but the rewards are worth it.  Zebra plants thrive in bright, filtered light, high humidity and never allowing the soil to completely dry.  Here's a great video on keeping your Zebra plants alive.

    And then, there's the show stoppers: Celosia and Mona Lavender.  Celosias have a very bright showy color which makes them perfect for annual beds or edging in your garden.  They love full sun, so they do great in our Florida weather!  Mona Lavender is also a Florida Friendly Plant because it can tolerate our heat, rain and humidity.  They flower year around and they work great in the garden as a bush or in a container as the "thriller".

    Are you planning any gardening for your house this Summer?

  • Backyard fruits and vegetables

    Last summer I decided to grow some fruits and vegetables at home as a teaching experience for my two little girls.  I think it's very important for children to know where their food comes from.  It all started with a trip to Lowe's.  They had a raised bed on display at their garden center entrance.  As soon as I got back to the market, I couldn't wait to tell Jim about my "summer project".


    These "raised beds" are fairly inexpensive if you are handy.  There are lots of raised bed tutorials online.  I wish I had pictures of Dad and Jim putting together our raised bed.  I have asked them to build me another one, so maybe I can do another post on how to build one.

    I filled our raised bed with the potting soil we sell at the market and picked some fruit and vegetable plants right from our market: blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes.   We also planted sunflower seeds.

    Late last year, we tried broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, swiss chard, strawberry onions and peppers from starting plants.  We also planted carrot and lettuce from seeds.  I take a very relax approach to my garden.  I mostly leave it alone.  I let the sprinklers water the plants unless it was a real scorcher of a day.  I can say we had good success with the broccoli, cauliflower, and the swiss chards.  The pepper plants died in the first freeze we had, but at least they were fun to pick.

    We've eaten a few "baby" carrots and some "mini" strawberry onions (nothing like you see at our market).  A few weeks back I saw this and could hardly contain my excitement.

    Those are raspberry flowers!  I couldn't believe the "wait" was over.  You see, we planted blueberries too and had enjoyed a few of them already.  But it has taken the raspberry a year to bloom and produce these beautiful berries.

    But the best part of it all, was having the girls come rushing in last night to tell me we had raspberries growing in our backyard.  To hear their little voices filled with excitement and accomplishment is priceless.  Have you tried growing veggies or fruits in your backyard?  Were you successful?



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