I enjoy gardening as one of my hobbies. I started gardening about 7 years ago in Colorado. Colorado has very rocky and clay based soil and it’s hard to do in ground gardening so I had an herb garden in containers. I started with one, then 3, then 5.
When we moved to Florida almost 5 years ago I was instantly able to grow year round and grow all kinds of new plant types. It’s been a huge learning experience and I have had some wins and plenty of losses.
We bought a home on half an acre. I have slowly been adding to my garden since then I started with a an herb garden again and then I planted a citrus tree to add to the mango tree that was on the property. I have added: dragon fruit, passion fruit, pineapples, a banana tree, peach tree, blueberries, rasberries and blackberries, and a bottlebrush tree. All young so just starting to produce. I have four 4 x 6 raised beds for vegetable gardening I do green beans, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, potatoes – still learning though so I don’t get too much harvest yet but it’ll come.
This Season I have added a Bayleaf shrub and a miracle fruit tree, an edible ginger, variety of flowers, I’m working on new herbs like amaranthe. I really enjoy rare or different types of plants. The list goes on and on. Below are a handful of the active plants right now:
Bromeliads – the foliage of these is so gorgeous. Shade and water lover.
Baby lemons on the lemon branch of my fruit cocktail tree. This tree is a mini grafted fruit tree with 6 types of citrus. Lemon, lime, ruby red grapefruit is the base, Honeybell oranges, clementines, and navel oranges. Tastiest and most seedy citrus ever. When the tree flowers everything around smells like orange flowers.
Baby oranges on a different branch
Baby mangoes. We usually get around 400 mangoes. It’s a big crazy tree. First year we gave them away in buckets. Second year we did purée and frozen and gave them away in buckets. Third year we did all of the above and dehydrated some. This year we are going to freeze dry, dehydrate, can,freeze, and purée. Lotta work coming. Ohh and the squirrels eat plenty!
Night blooming jasmine. Just replanted out of a container. It’s a vine and they can grow up to 40 feet long so the guy is just a small one so far. They bloom at night with these white flowers and they smell incredible.
This is my bottlebrush tree. It will get to be about 15-20 feet tall. Very pretty foliage and these flowers called bottle brushes. It’s actually a vine that can be trained into a tree, that’s what I am doing in my front yard. I love this tree, the hummingbirds like it too. Its a pollinator friendly tree so the bees and butterflies love it. The squirrels eat the seeds in the brushes. But also it is in the bay leaf family and you can dry the leaves and cook with them anywhere you do bay leaves. The brushes can be made into a tea. I have not tried either but I think it’s cool and I just may someday. Until then I will feed the critters that visit and stare at it as it blooms all spring/summer.
Dragon fruit. This gave us one fruit last year. So I expect more this year. Very pokey.
Peppers – jalapeno, poblano, green bell, and yellow and orange bell. And a random tomato plant that showed up and has cherry tomatoes on it.
Everyone loves green beans!
Baby pineapple. The pineapple plant grows one pineapple and one pup and then it is done with its cycle of life. This is the pineapple phase. The whole cycle takes 18 months.
Another bromeliad. Bay leaf shrub. This will get to be a fairly sizable shrub but will remain in the pot. Currently it is just sitting in there in a smaller pot. It is almost ready to be replanted to the pot it is sitting in. You dry the leaves (traditionally or in a dehydrator or slowly in the oven) and you use them in cooking, and in incense.
Edible ginger. As this plant grows the roots are harvestable for ginger for cooking. The plant is not pulled out of the ground, the root is exposed and a sliver is harvested and then the root will heal itself. I hope to be able to harvest something this year but I expect this plant to put on size over time which is why it got a large flat pot. The roots grow outward, not down.
Miracle fruit tree in the front row left – this fruit apparently can make lemon taste sweet. And on the bottom right is a cardamom plant. I hope I can harvest from it this year.
This behemoth is an aloe. Actually its probably 4 or 5 of them. They grow off shoots to propagate. Pups is what we call them. The pups can be pulled off and replanted, I have done that once. The leaves are harvested as needed for burns and sunburn. I mix it with Young Living lavender essential oil and apply on burns and have had some success calming the burning sensation and healing it with minimal scarring. I used this when I slopped boiling water onto my stomach. (Do your homework, don’t take my word for it, I am not a doctor, I am just sharing my experience.)
A jade tree. This will grow like a bonsai over time.
We think this is called Russian sage or parsley. Its an interesting plant, I thought it died off but once I took all the dead leaves it started growing branches where the leaves had been.
Last one for tonight…..Banana tree. This one started as a leaf with a root about 4 years ago. I might actually get bananas this year.
Whew…I’m tired now. I forget how many plants there are sometimes. This is only part of my garden…and I just keep adding to it over time. Its so much fun to see what the earth provides.