Hello, I’m LouAnn and welcome to Luluseeds.com!
My childhood nickname was Lulu and it seems to fit me, this combined with my love of plants created and ‘grew’ into Luluseeds.com.
This is my corner of the internet where I have decide to claim stake to and cultivate it with you. Follow along with me as we explore different types of gardens, plants, and have a little fun along the way.
If you are interested in any of the products that we review or highlight please let me know, or want to ask any questions please do so in the contact form.
Thank you again and please enjoy your time here as we grow together.
It’s officially summertime, the kids are out of school, the heat here in FL is kicking in and we have been very active in the gardens.
Today I want to write about one of my favorite plants…bleeding hearts…AKA glory bower, bleeding heart vine or Clerodendrum thomsoniae.
This sub-tropical plant is from Africa. It needs a inter rest,but easily covers a large area if you
let it roam. It has been an absolute delight as it produces hundreds of flowers. To get so many blooms it does need several hours of strong light, but hot Fl. Afternoon sun makes it droop.
I’m surprised at the really shallow root system. We planted it in a bad with a max of 6-8 inches of rich composted soil and horse manure. It loves the afternoon rains and will tolerate several days even a week of drought. Very important here since who knows for sure what we’ll get. (What happens to our set your clock everyday at 3:00 rain?)
It has been especially pretty because we mixed it with red passion vine. Wow our rampant run away child..another story.. Another time. I was shocked to see the unusual seeds the vine produces….really looks like fall. Each flower products the potential of 4 seeds, but usually only 2-3 mature. We allowed the seeds to dry for a few days and then planted 9 seeds and within one week 5 of the nine germinated and are becoming small plants.
Instead of a trellis for the plants to climb on I chose to do a string art. I ran black nylon string (NOT cotton rots too quick) from a lag upper limb toa lower limb probably 8 feet apart. It has been a good idea, but I haven’t pruned the vine to see the strings which are ½ inch apart in the shape of 4 large hour glasses. It will give interest in the garden in the winter months when the vine dies back and rests.
After a long delay, Bob and I are back and anxious to share some of our latest adventures in the dirt. We finished our master garden course through the University of Florida. It was a lot of work, 50 class hours and a minimum of 75 volunteer hours, including the Brevard Botannical gardens and working at the different Master Garden Information desks at varied locations around the county. Whew!!! But along with the work it was a lot of FUN too. Talk about humbled, we thought we knew a lot about gardening (50 years tends to make one self assured), but a lot of corrected ideas (later) and new ones too. We have experienced some great perks such as our invitation for a private tour of Sun Harbor nursery in Indian Harbor Beach, Fl. They have some of the only colors of plumeria in the WORLD!! wow!!! It was like paradise. It dwarfed my 30+ colors. Enjoy the pictures, we will be back in touch with more soon.
How interesting! We bought a funny looking squash that had a small sprout at a local produce stand. Just for kicks we planted it in a 5 gal bucket (Be sure and have drainage holes). Quickly a vine appeared (see pic of vine below).
Chayote Squash Vine
It grew and grew and made us think that maybe jack and the beanstock was based on this plant. We have vines everywhere, but that was it. For several weeks even into a couple of months nothing but lush vines, huge leaves (see pic of leaf below), 8-10 inches across.
Chayote Squash Leaf
Suddenly small clusters of insignificant flowers everywhere. Finally fruit set on and grew at an unbelievable rate. We commented that they reminded us of Mosquitos. Find one, but because of lush, dense vines disappear and then have to search again to find. Fast growing 3-4 weeks to mature fruit. A beautiful fruit (see below pic of fruit), truly looks like a vegetable pear (common name).
Chayote Squash Fruit
Don’t peel, just wash and eat. Prepare any way you would cook a potato. We served it in wedges at the master gardeners luncheon as fresh slices with garlic or roasted bell pepper hummus for dipping. BIG HIT!!!! Try sautéing with sliced onions and garlic in olive oil. YUMMY did you like it? See you soon in the garden!
It ‘s winter in zone 9b (80 degrees?) and we have been busy trimming and dividing plants and starting and harvesting our winter garden.
I am learning more and more of tower gardening. At first I didn’t like. I am a hands on person and it seemed just not much involvement. But with time and learning to daily watch for bugs check ph, and keep track of nutrients starting to be a challenge. I love a challenge.
This fall a wild peahen adopted our garden. She had 2 babies. Well she didn’t seem to bother anything so we didn’t discourage her. Then out of blue mom and one of babies vanished. The last baby has continued to hang around and now she is getting quite large. We bought her wild game bird food. Now she shows up every am and sits in her dish and honks for room service. If we drag our feet she comes up to screen room and honks. We named her goober. Thoroughly enjoying her visits.
Did You Know???
Every day we provide a unique tip for gardening! These are our personal experiences and may change as we learn more, or you may have different results, but isn’t that part of the fun in gardening? Come along with us and get your hands dirty.
Check out the right sidebar for the tip, or sign up for a daily email with the tips below. Plus, email subscribers are entered into monthly drawings for all kinds of gardening supplies. One month it may be an assortment of seed packets, a custom-made small acrylic tower garden, garden supplements, worms for your garden,you just never know what kind of great things we will be giving away! Let your friends know too!
Today’s Daily Garden Tip:
January 4th, 2015: We apologize for the lack of garden tips over the past few days, the changing of the year gave our servers a little bit of an issue, but we think that we have it all straightened out now. If you notice anything amiss, please let us know. Thanks!
LouAnn of LuluSeeds.com
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Wow! Here it is Spring, Already!
We have had several days this week of unusually cool weather (Brrr 48-50 degrees) for East Central Florida. But, who can complain after watching the never-ending winter in the North?
Raised Bed and Keyhole Gardens
Our raised bed gardens have survived the cool months in great shape. We are experimenting with a variation of “Keyhole” garden this year to keep the free-roaming chickens from decimating ALL at ground level. See the picture of the gardens taken earlier this week and come back for a future post outlining our construction methods and results.
Neem Tree Farm
Several months ago, we attended an open-house at the Neem Tree Farm in Brandon, Florida. They carry a number of plants used in “Ayurveda” health systems. In addition to Neem trees, they have Gotu Kola, Bacopa Monnieri, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Chaya. We will post much more on these unusual plants and their recommended uses in the next few weeks.
The red wigglers made it through the cold in good shape. The worm bins and all of the marvelous benefits of using worm tea and worm castings were the “star of the show” when the local gardening club came by for a tour of the “Keyhole” gardening beds we are using. We later, shared information in their monthly newsletter on the importance of building your soil through composting. Of course, our goal was tostress the use of worm castings and worm tea.
As in all other aspects of life, the more you share of your time and talents, the more you will receive. With that in mind, we hope you will enjoy our sharing some of our ideas and experiences, both success and failure. The definition of a “Gardener” is “some successes and many failures.” So, let’s get DIRTY- it’s SPRING!
Lulu and Bob