Tag Archive | florida gardens

Mexican Flame Vine

I have an annoyingly blank and ugly stretch of privacy fence along the side of my yard.  It’s absolutely necessary, due to the traffic on the other side, but it sure ain’t purty, as they say.  I’ve tried for almost NINE years to get something growing on it that would hide the whole thing. I’ve planted every kind of sturdy, easy-to-grow vine you can think of.  Some that can be downright monsters.  All have failed over time. (I’m thinking they salted the earth along the fence line when they installed it!  Gack.)  Anyway, I finally tried planting several vines in huge pots along the fence, hoping the enriched potting soil would fix the problem.  One of the vines was a wisteria vine.  Wisteria!  A vine that has been known to swallow entire HOUSES in some parts of the south. Ha.  The Fence of Death wasn’t impressed. 

But a few months ago, I noticed that a Mexican flame vine I planted over three years ago had decided to grow.  Keep in mind, this vine had died back to about 3 leaves and was maybe 6″ tall all this time.  And brown and unhappy looking.  Now, the flame vine has risen up in rebellion against the evil fence, and in doing so, swallowed up the pathetic wisteria and finally, finally begun to bloom.  In a fiery splash of day-glo orange, it is something to see right now.  And since we haven’t had a freeze this year, I’m thinking (though I wouldn’t dare voice this out loud) that it might be here to stay, this time. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…tada!…Marcia’s Mexican Flame Vine!  Um…sorry about the sad pictures. The light was bad, and I can only do so much with an old, outdated iPhone.  But you get the idea. It’s splendid!

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Mexican Flame Vine On The Fence Of Death

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More of the Same, On The Same

I tell you, folks. Life is good. And life with a thriving Mexican Flame Vine is even better! What kind of problem areas do you have in your yard?  Anyone else got a Fence of Death to deal with?

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Roses In The Garden

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

     –Emma Goldman

Belinda's Dream Shrub Rose

BELINDA’S DREAM SHRUB ROSE

I have no use for diamonds, either, but roses, I can’t live without!  Growing them in Florida is always a challenge, with our extremes of weather and the constant humidity.  Plenty of sun, but plenty of wet weather, giving blackspot and powdery mildew a foothold every summer.  But still, for me, it is worth the extra work to have roses in my garden.

I no longer delude myself into thinking I can keep an entire bed of roses looking good, but I have found if I scatter the roses here and there, with plenty of other plants around them, it works.  The surrounding plants will disguise the rose when it is not performing at its best, thus giving me a chance to prune it back, feed it thoroughly, and wait for it to return to glory.  Roses have amazing recuperative powers, and 99 times out of a hundred, like a certain terminator we all know, they’ll be back! 

Here are a few pictures of some of my current favorites.  (Click on the picture to see a larger version).

All American Miracle Floribunda

ALL AMERICAN MIRACLE

This rose is smallish for me, and struggles with blackspot, but the spectacular red & yellow striped blooms fade to pink & white, and are worth the effort.

Don Juan Climbing Rose

DON JUAN CLIMBING HYBRID TEA

An old standard for years, Don Juan has a wonderful fragrance, and an exceptionally deep red color.  It’s hardy, and seems to be less prone to disease and pests than many varieties.

Abraham Darby David Austiin Rose

ABRAHAM DARBY

This is a David Austin rose, and one of the most beautiful & fragrant roses I have in my garden.  Austen’s roses have the look & vigor of old roses, and are so easy to grow. 

Florida Home Run Pink Rose

FLORIDA HOME RUN PINK

The Home Run series of single roses with a wild rose look was developed by the popular KnockOut Rose folks.  So far, I love this little rose, and it blooms constantly.  We’ll see how it performs as it gets bigger.

Belinda's Dream Rose

BELINDA’S DREAM SHRUB ROSE

This is definitely the most dependable and consistently beautiful rose I grow.  It repeat blooms all year long, and the gorgeous pink flowers have a terrific fragrance. They last a long time in a vase, too, making this one a winner all the way around.

Do you grow roses in your garden?  I’m interested in hearing which perform best for you, especially if you have a Florida garden?  Or if you grow under similar conditions.