August Orchid Mania

Photos are courtesy of my friend Beverly in South Florida. I personally can not grow orchids. They always die. I do love orchids and enjoy flowers grown by friends.

Today I’m sharing four more photos from my friend Beverly. It is a blessing to see beautiful orchids growing in tropical Florida . One began to flower at the end of July and several others joined in in the last week. Beverly calls it her orchid mania. She has so many beautiful orchids. I hope you enjoy the exotic flowers.

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8 Ways to Make Your Garden Relaxing

This summer has been incredibly hot for many of us.  The weather has been extreme in many locations. I’m praying that when fall comes, we’ll all have cooler temperatures and rain in the dry areas. It’s the rainy season in Florida, and we’ve had rain luckily. With the heat index in the 100’s F and 92% humidity, I don’t spend much time outside right now. I’m thinking of cooler weather when relaxing in the garden is a perfect end to the day. Unfortunately, sometimes our gardens are not as relaxing as we would like them to be. If your yard is cluttered with outdoor structures, furniture, and children’s play equipment then it’s harder to relax. The backyard is a versatile space that can tantalize you with beautiful images and invite you to spend time out there. Here are a few ideas to create your garden sanctuary.

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Tropical Double Red Hibiscus

hibiscus flower usually has five petals (a single hibiscus). Thanks to modern cultivation techniques, some varieties can produce flowers with more than five petals – called “double hibiscus” – in a dazzling array of colors, sizes, and shapes. 

Single Hibiscus

My tropical red hibiscus in the front yard produces not only an occasional single hibiscus but also gorgeous double hibiscus flowers – it looks ruffled!

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Aloe Flowers in July

Aloe is a genus containing over 560 species of flowering succulent plants. The most widely known species is Aloe vera, or “true aloe”. It is called this because it is cultivated as the standard source for assorted pharmaceutical purposes. Aloe plants are tropical and originally from southern Africa. Their flower clusters are tubular-shaped and come in many colors.

In my backyard, I have lots of Aloe plants. I have a few Aloe Vera plants which stay small and do not flower, and another type with nasty thorns. I have not identified which thorny species I have, but it blooms every July. Their flowers are a lighter color than the deep orange or orange-red of most aloe flowers. It is more a coral with a showing of blue-green on the tubular flower. (A visitor using an app has identified it as Aloe Maculata.)

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Leu Gardens, Orlando, Florida

Leu Gardens. 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, Florida
Leu Gardens
Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Christmas)

This post was originally shared on July 5, 2018. I have updated it with current information. Photos were taken over several seasons.

The next time you visit Central Florida and the Orlando area, take a day to visit beautiful Leu Gardens.  The gardens are an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further the mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. The garden and historical home were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane.  Admission is a reasonable $15 for adults, $10 for children 4 – 17, and free for children 3 and under. You can purchase admission tickets online. The following first Mondays will be Free Admission days at Leu Gardens:  July 4, 2022 – August 1, 2022 – September 5, 2022 – October 3, 2022.

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