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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Happy First Full Day of Summer!

Today's the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. While the days will slowly be getting shorter form here on out, the days will only be getting warmer and warmer for the next few weeks and the tropicals will really start to explode with growth! 

Here's a few palmy shots. Livistona and bottle palms make a good pair.

This view never seems to change and that's ok with me!

My largest plumeria goes through a lot of trouble to go outside every spring. It's recovering nicely and should look great in a few weeks. I am thinking of mounting bromeliads and orchids over all the branches so stay tuned!

Southern Magnolia flowers are a sure sign of Summer! 

My Magnolia has lots of buds but unfortunately it's a bit bare in terms of foliage. It has been transplanted so many times which it did not respond well to. 

Eastern Prickly Pears are native and yet so exotic looking. They require no care and are so rewarding. My front steps are filled with yellow blooms for the whole month of June.

The plant has a bit of a creeping habit which makes it a perfect addition to my large brick planter bed by my stairs. 

Speaking of blooms my Plumeria "Jenny" is blooming really well right now. 

My Plumeria "Crazy" will have a ton of flowers in a few more weeks.

 I've noticed my plumerias seem to all bloom at the same time. Last year they were all blooming and this year only a few are. It will probably be a quiet year for plumerias but I'll sill have some blooms all summer long which is perfect for me!

It's been years since I have seen blooms on my "Color Guard" yucca. It's a nice addition to the yard!

My oleander is getting ready to bloom.

Hibiscus "Mandarin Wind"

Hyacinth Bean

Salvia "Black and Blue". It survived its first winter with flying colors and is spreading beautifully.

Cucuzza is the easiest edible I've ever grown. The vines are beautiful and the gourds are very tasty especially in sauce. This section of the yard is dedicated to Cucuzza and Basil both for tomato sauce!

Remember when I said these vines were beautiful? They are also VERY FAST growing! These were in 4 inch pots earlier this month. Now they are pushing 14 feet long and are setting fruit This one is growing in an "Earth Box" which - although expensive - really do keep plants healthy and happy. 

I also have some zucchini growing in an earth box and it's about 3 times the size of the same zucchini in the ground. Now all I need is some fruit. I also highly recommend stuffing zucchini flowers with basil and cheese, it tastes great!

My sabals are looking a bit better now that they've had some heat. They finished pushing out their first damaged leaf of the season and are working on their second fronds.

My Trachys are growing much faster already on their 3rd frond of the season and the fronds are pretty big!

In a shadier spot of the yard I get to mess around with different tropical foliage textures. There is still a lot more growing to do here!

You can see my needle palm in this shot!

My blood banana needs to pick up the pace. It's put out about 3 or 4 leaves this season which is pretty good but it hasn't gotten a lot of height yet. It should pick up in speed soon!

Passiflora Incarnata taking a break from blooming and setting fruit. I'll definitely be trying out these seeds.

Can't wait for my cannas to grow large enough to block the ugly machine in this part of the yard. Hopefully this will be looking much nicer in a month!

My Ensete is looking a little beat up from the wind this past spring but once the old leaves are cut off it's going to look AWESOME. Patience is key! 

I love these fuzzy blooms and the butterflies do too!

I'll end with this AWESOME home depot purchase from last week - a Frostproof Gardenia. I already have 1 frostproof gardenia but it died back severely during our bitter cold winter 2 years ago. I was in shock to see Home Depot selling hardy Gardenias. They also had Kleims Hardy Gardenia for sale but they only bloom in early summer so I figured Frostproof was a better purchase!

That's all I have for now but summer has just begun! Thanks for looking!

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