Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some That Survive

The gynura procumbens we planted this past summer really thrived. It outgrew the buckets and got leggy, so we harvested about 5 gallons of the leaves, cut all the plants way back, and propagated several more buckets of them by simply sticking some of the cut branches into soil, where they took root. Here are the young plants from the propagated cuttings. They are more vivid in color in this cooler season, the stems showing magenta and the leaves edged in similar hues...lovely! We will continue using these in salads for blood sugar regulation.

One of the baby malangas, whose corms we hope will mature into large enough sizes in a few months, to eat in soups or a hot buttered mashed side dish, similar to potatoes.

This is a coconut from which is growing a coconut tree. It didn't like the dip in temps a few weeks ago and the leaves are stressed. We think the plant will bounce back.

Here's our latest acquisition from two weekends ago...the jujube tree sapling we purchased from ECHO in Ft. Myers. The little greenish fruit at maturity should be to be the size of a small apple, with a crisp, appley flavor, good for eating out of hand or substituting (we think) in recipes calling for apples. We don't yet know of an apple tree that thrives this far south, so this may be a welcome addition.

These are some vagabonds from the lettuce that went to seed. These are growing around the buckets, in the grass...perfect for picking straight from the lawn, ha!

Hello, beautiful! These beautiful blooms are on our citrus. Not sure if this plant is one of the lemons or limes...
a closeup...

Here's another...I believe these are on the Meyer Lemons (I could be wrong, didn't check the labels)

one of my favorite closeups... :)

And here's the pineapple sage in bloom, amongs the more dormant herbs nearby...

I love the touch of scarlet, and the scent of the leaves is wonderful! The pineapple sage really perked up during the milder temps...they were kind of stressed and crunchy in the summer months.

This is our first Florida winter to have a garden, albeit in buckets, and it's an experiment in plant survival. Which ones will over-winter? Which are too stressed by the dips in temps now and then (to the 30s sometimes) ? I'm just not familiar with the Non-Four-Seasons climate enough to get my head around the fact I can be growing a lot of things right now.

There are tomato plants at Home Depot...and eggplants, peppers, and other veggies. SO strange to be able to plant those now...but hey, I'll adjust!
Seed catalog madness update to come soon. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, I love you...


Pam Croom said...

Wow, lovely plants for Dec! I love salvias! Do you have a visqueen tunnel to move your buckets in? I've read they lower you one growth zone. When I lived in east Tn the commercial grower used tunnels a few feet high ( no additional heat) they'd grow tomatoes. I would be interested to know if you could garden year round with those in FL.

I've ordered mountain papaya seeds (inspired by your papayas!) Did your papayas fruit well or not? In pots they might do better than in the ground. On the east coast of FL the root knot nematodes were so bad, and I think that slowed the papayas down a lot!
Good luck with the garden!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

It's so mind-blowing to me to see all these delicate-looking green plants growing this time of year at your place. What a joy visiting your blog to see such beautiful flowers and plants. :)

New Mexico

Shelby said...

The plants are spectacular - especially here in late December.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Robbyn and Jack, thank you for the last couple of posts. The sun and warmth of your words and photos warm me to the core! But, all that aside, I'm kinda jealous ;)

Just kidding - thanks for sharing your corner of the world!

Stephany said...

I think I am beginning to understand why my husband enjoyed growing up in the South. I am envious of the length of your growing season. Not much is blooming around here, right now...

jayedee said...

just stopping by to wish you a late merry christmas and an on time happy new year!
your christmas card was beautiful! thank you soo much! oh to be that creative!

Robbyn said...

Pam, we don't yet have any cover for our plants...we're slow-moving and easily distracted by ongoing projects. We really do need to look into it. At this point we're just beginning to get a feel for our seasons, since neither of us have ever gardened much beyond a few potted plants before. I think gardens here can be grown in any season, depending on the plant rotations, if they're covered when in danger of frost now and then. Wow, you got papaya seeds! Jack planted our papayas in the middle of the summer last year and they grew but didn't bear, but did flower. We're hoping they bear this year. They look rather pitiful in the winter. I'm not sure about the do I find out if we have them?
Keep me posted on how your papayas do!

Lisa, it's mind-blowing to me, too...I'm not a native to this climate :) Keep in mind these little jewels are inhabiting some pretty homely looking five gallon paint buckets...functional but not exactly your english garden, heehee

Shelby, I'm delighted some of them are surviving well :)

Nita, I feel the same way when looking at your pictures of your beautiful snows while we run the AC down here. It feels very strange to be sweating in November. If we ever get any fruit going, we'll send you a jar of sunshine during your cold season :)

Stephany, I'm from TN originally and we have a great four seasons there, but not much growing season in the winter ever. Florida's a new ballgame for me...has its pros and cons. Growing season? Pro! :)

Wrensong Farm said...

Robbyn! Thank you for those mentally rejuvenating pics! Makes me yearn for Spring that much more.

I'm going to have to look into that gynura procumbens as my DH is a diabetic.

I love the coconut....made me visualize one washing up on a tropical island and starting to grow!

and the Meyers Lemon! I SO wish I could smell those blossoms right now!

Happy New Year!!