Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flowers in Key West, Florida and at home

In 2010 and again in 2013 we visited Key West in Florida and really enjoyed the city.  When our youngest daughter told us that her family was driving from Nashville to Florida around Memorial Day then keep on driving all the way down the Florida Keys to Key West we decided to take a flight and join them there.  They were going to spend five days in Key West but we opted to stay almost 10 days.  We just came back - my laptop computer had a small problem, so I did not take it with me.  It was very warm in Key West and the tropical plants and flowers were dazzling.

Key West is one of my favorite US cities - a magical place full of charm where one has the impression to be at the end of the world.  It has a unique casual atmosphere, quaint Caribbean and colonial style houses with enchanting tropical gardens and walkable streets.  The sweet fragrance in the air, from the subtropical flora, reminds me of the French Riviera.  The Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia) trees, also known as Flame Tree, were in full bloom.  The tree has vivid orange flowers with dense foliage - it grows in many gardens there.  I took the close-up view below outside our lodging.

We passed often by a house with exuberant bougainvillea adorning their white gates.  The plant was classified by Philibert Commercon, a French botanist who accompanied French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation in 1789.  The magenta red of the flowers is so bright that it is hard to photograph under a bright sun.

Another colorful tropical flower tree is the cordial sebestena, also called "Geiger Tree" of the borage family.  It was introduced into the Keys from Cuba.

Below are more lush flowers and flowering trees - I don't know all their names.  Could the tree with the yellow flowers be a Trumpet Tree?  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)

These little orchids looked like they were growing out of a palm tree.

A restaurant close by had bright yellow hibiscus flowers all around its facade, giving it a cheerful appearance.

One evening, walking back from eating at a Cuban restaurant, I saw many pink flowers laying on the side of the road.  They were coming down from a tall flowering tree.  My husband picked some flowers up from the ground - they were very fragrant.  We took them home and placed them in a bowl with water.

The above are Plumeria flowers, named in honor of 17th century French botanist Charles Plumier (1646-1704) who documented many plant species during his voyage to the new world.  They are also called frangipani.  They come in various colors, from white to yellow, pale pink to dark, almost red.  Their delicate and refined scent is most fragrant in the evening.  In Hawaii they use the plumeria flowers to make their popular garland called Lei Necklace.  My photo at the top of this post shows the yellow plumeria, as well as below.

Coming back home, we checked to see if our flowers in planters had survived.  It must have rained as the flowers looked healthy including our begonias, heliotrope and all the others.

Last Friday we went to the gardens near us, the Smith-Gilbert Gardens.  The Chinese Evergreen Dogwood was in full bloom and striking.
Lilies, in a variety of colors, were also in full bloom.  Some were fragrant.

After the warm and humid weather in Key West the 80 degrees F (26.6 C) temperature and low humidity in Cobb County felt cool.

Most of the roses had bloomed in May and the spring flush was gone but there were still some stunning roses left.

Before we left for Key West in late May I had seen some pretty pink single roses in our eldest daughter's front yard.  We also had a couple of roses in our yard.

Honeysuckle vines grow wild in our yard and cover many hedges but I like to smell their sweet fragrance when a soft southern wind passes through the pine trees.

My first tea rose blossomed in mid-May.  As I tried to take its picture in the kitchen, I placed the rose in a vase, on a trivet, on the cat's stand near the window, to catch some natural light.  I used two cameras.

Cody, our cat, came to inspect what was on his window stand.  He sniffed and did not look very happy to have his place taken.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge and read the captions.)


Cody did not share my delight with my first tea rose.  He meowed, hissed and almost threw the vase on the floor.  I moved it away.

We did see many pretty cats in Key West ... that will be for a future post.


42 comments:

Cergie said...

Quelle luxuriance ! J'imagine qu'il faut en plus de l'eau en abondance une bonne terre pour avoir de si beaux frangipaniers, des bougainvillées et des roses en même temps... Ce serait pour moi la définition du paradis terrestre de pouvoir être entourée de toutes les variétés possibles que l'on a aussi bien au nord qu'au sud ; car lorsque je suis je regrette de n'être en même temps ici....

Joli le banc individuel... Dans notre ville des Vosges, Epinal, il y a un ancien jardin privé converti en parc public et où l'on peut se promener (il est à l'écart de la ville et un peu difficile d’accès cependant). Il est en pente et de ci et là sont disposés des petits bancs pour deux... C'est touchant d'imaginer les tendres promenades d'un couple....

Elephant's Child said...

Love the garden glory you showed us here. Both of our cats object to flowers in vases. They either drag the flowers out, and drop them to the floor or simply push the vases over. We have lost rather a lot of vases that way...

DJan said...

Such absolutely beautiful flowers, VB. I remember those flame trees from the time I lived in Puerto Rico. They are such beautiful trees, but the flowers you shared here are wonderful. And I laughed at the cat's captions, definitely caught his essence. Grumpy. :-)

David said...

Vagabonde, Great flower photos both in Key West and back up in Georgia! We really like Key West too... Its so laid back and otherworldly. Love your cat. It looks like he rules the roost! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Jenny Woolf said...

Ah that Florida brightness. And what an amazing looking cat Cody is with those intense green eyes. Lovely pictures of him with the lovely rose!

Jeanne said...

Loved your photos and mosaics of this beautiful area. Key west is an area that I have never been to, but see that I need to go check it out. Looks amazing. Also really enjoyed your shots of Cody!

Frances said...

Vagabonde, I have finally found enough relaxed minutes to fully enjoy this Key West post and the prior Parisian post. Each was so beautiful in its unique way.

When late May and early June finally do arrive, the flowers and green leaves just burst into exuberant beauty, don't they.

I would love to see the Parisian Palaix-Royal gardens at this time of the year, and might not need quite as much sunscreen to appreciate their beauty as might be required for Key West. Everyone whom I know who's stayed there in any season has had a fabulous time.

It was also very amusing to see how your brilliant feline Cody appreciates floral beauty taking over a favored sunny spot. All nature is beautiful.

xo
Frances

Linda said...

How gorgeous! You just made my day with your beautiful photos, thank you so much for sharing!

Shammickite said...

A whole post all about your flowers.... some seen on your holiday in Florida, and some more when you got home to your own garden. Such beauty and fragrance, such intense colours. Thank you for showing me this!

Kay said...

Oh wow! I see most of the tropical plants here in Hawaii. We have them in abundance. What gorgeous photos!

Paris Rendez-vous and Beyond said...

Gorgeous! Those tropical plants and flowers look so familiar. We have them all here in Brisbane, Australia. Your photographs look VERY Australian! Maybe not so many roses.....roses are quite difficult to grow here in the hot and humid conditions. But yours are very beautiful...well done.

I also happen to just love frangipani....a gorgeous tree that looks fabulous in Summer or Winter. They're quite numerous in my neighbourhood....which is an old one so we have many spectacular old trees to enjoy.

My new garden will be mainly green + white. I'm going to try growing some white hydrangeas....as it's quite a shady garden. Wish me luck.

Ciao

R

Ginnie said...

Believe it or not, Vagabonde, I have never been to Key West or the Florida Keys!!! I know. It's a sin! Maybe one day. But you've definitely made me think of Hawaii, where I HAVE been, so there's at least that.

Beautiful images of many wonderful flowers. You do such a magnificent job with these posts!

Nadezda said...

Hi, Vagabonde!
I see you had a nice time in Florida. I love bougainvillea as well and it seems for me sun, heat, beach..
Your flowers survived, it's good news. Lovely heliotrope!
The Smith-Gilbert Gardens are wonderful, especially lilies and roses. I'm waiting for my rose blooming, they wintered well.
Cody is very curious, isn't he?

Things and Thoughts said...

Quel plaisir pour les yeux, quel ravissement a sentir en ragardant ces photos de fleurs.Dans leur majorite ces plantes me sont familieres vu qu'elles poussent dans les zones temperees.Quelle beaute a saisir!Un bisou a Cody!
Amities
Olympia

Miss_Yves said...

Quelles belles fleurs! On se croirait sur une île exotique.
j'adore la couleur de la fourrure de votre chat, et ses photos "en action"
Aujourd'hui, j'ai exposé sur mon blog, quelque chose susceptible de vous intéresser!

Miss_Yves said...

http://photograff.blogspot.fr/2015/06/multitude-de-petites-pieces.html

Jeanie said...

I was all set to tell you how much I was loving your flowers of the Keys and then boom! I saw Cody and my heart melted and most thoughts of flowers, no matter how exquisite, went out the window! He's so beautiful -- what a wonderful coat, and of course you know my passion for orange boys! He looks like quite the character! I know I would love him!

Vicki Lane said...

I love those flowers in Key West! We had man of them when I was growing up in Tampa -- till a freeze killed them, including the Ponciana tree.

And now your cat is talking, along with all those other critter -- I don't know how Angelins and Cory are going to feel about that. He is such a handsome boy!

Shell Sherree said...

I have several bougainvillea in my yard ~ they are so gorgeous !! And robust ~ which is handy since I'm not a gardener. It's a very luscious selection you've gathered, Vagabonde. And I'd have moved the vase with your pretty tea roses back out of the way, too, if my kitty wasn't so fussed with its location. Seems the rightful order of things. :)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I LOVE your Animal Dialogue.....lol......Your Cat is so sweet----!
Beautiful flowers!!!!!Both in Key West AND in your Garden.....
I LOVE LOVE LOVE PLUMERIAS.....I spent 15 weeks on The Big Island, many many years ago and their were Plumeria Trees everywhere. We would make Leis for the lovely people who came over to visit from the mainland.....The smell is divine, Isn't it? A lovely Post, my dear!

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

What a unique name, for a lovely and unique blog!!!

Thank you for commenting in my blog, and thus, I could find yours.

Beautiful... Beautiful... Beautiful... Your photography is marvelous.

Tessa
(upper NE of the US)

Dewena said...

I have never been to Key West and loved the pictures here. I can't imagine how wonderful it would be to live there among all that beauty. Even the names of the flowers are romantic--frangipani!

But your own home has such lovely flowers too, and the gardens near you. Your tea rose in the kitchen is lovely but Cody's eyes are stunning.

(And thank you for telling me about the chickens free-ranging in Key West! I would love that!)

Dewena

Al said...

It looks like a beautiful place. I'd love to visit Key West, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to leave.

Pixel Peeper said...

I love all your beautiful flower photos! And I agree, Key West is a fun place - I always say I want to go back. I just need to do it! I want to go to the cemetery to get a picture of the gravestone that says, "I told you I was sick!"

Your cat is too funny...aren't cats just like that? Wherever you put something, that's the spot they need to occupy.

Glad you stopped by my blog; made me discover yours!

sweffling said...

You did make me laugh with the animals' comments!!
What a delightful post: after reading and looking I feel bathed in sunshine, fragrance and beauty:) I almost feel as if I have been on holiday,thank you very much.
Oh yes, and I love Frangipani.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I so enjoyed to see those amazing flowers from Florida, so exotic and different from what I'm used to.

Reader Wil said...

Merci de vos belles fleurs. Je suis maintenant en Tenerife et ici il-y-a aussi ces arbres comme on appelle des Flametrees. Ils sont très beaux!
Les autres fleurs et plants se trouvent aussi ici.
Wil, ABCW Team.

sandy said...

Loved the photos and blooms - Key West sounds like somewhere I would love to walk around and take photos and enjoy the smells - ....You're so fortunate to travel so much - what memories you must have.

stardust said...

With such brightness in the lots of sunshine, with the colorful blooms of various flowers and charming cats, Key West looks like a paradise. “Key West” reminds me of Hemingway but didn’t have clear images about there. Thanks for this post. Last but not least, your Cody is so adorable.

Yoko

Linda P said...

A wonderful array of exotic flowers in Florida yet those in Georgia are equally beautiful. How fortunate to be able to drive to Florida and Key West. Cody is a charmer.

Friko said...

A brilliant collection of wonderful blooms. I wish I could have such splendid plants in my garden but that’s not really ever going to be possible. Such exuberance, such colour, such profusion can only be found in the sub-tropics and tropics.

I hope all is well with you.

Glenda Beall said...

Your posts are always wonderful, but this one was even more so. You really make me want to go to Key West. Maybe one day. Your cat reminds me of the cats I've had over the years. They are unique beings and I love the dialogue. Your photo essays take me to places I have never been and spark my interest to travel. The photos of plumeria take me back to my trip to Hawaii where I fell in love with that flower. I bought some earrings that look exactly like the flower and enjoy wearing them.
Thanks for sharing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful flower filled post. Of course I love Key West and you captured the flowers beautifully and the atmosphere too (still exotic to me even tho we now spend most of our time in Florida)... But how wonderful that your flowers at home are so beautiful and that they survived your absence so well. (Hooray for the rain ). Love your kitty and the amusing thoughts he is sharing ))))

EG CameraGirl said...

Your photos make me want to visit there too!

Arti said...

A beautiful post! The flowers in your garden are as brilliant as those in Key West. I'm wondering what birds were there in Key West when you visited. And, with your cat around the house, you probably have few birds in your backyard. ;)

Pat said...

Key West - what an evocative name. Alas I have never been to Florida but one of my sons is an aficionado.
The flowers and descriptions are magnificent. I have never seen a yellow hibiscus.
I love the animal dialogue and your cat is a scream:)

bayou said...

Hello Vagabonde, very late to catch up.What a beautiful collection of colour and fragrance, I can smell the frangipani and the heliotrop right through the screen! It looks all very exotic and it is astonishing that most of your roses have already flowered in May - here it is now in full swing. It seems to be a year for roses, they give all they can. Food for the soul.

DeniseinVA said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Incredible photos! Thank you so much for visiting my blog while I was away. Have a great week.

Denise Covey said...

Welcome home! It must have been a relief to see your own garden doing so well. What a lovely trip to Key West. Those flowers are magnificent. Hemingway had one of his homes here, now I see why. Your flowers look gorgeous too. Love your pink rose, well photographed.I can understand Cody's perplexity. Love the captions. Beautifully presented Vagabonde.

Denise :-)

Denise Covey said...

Oh and thank you for the info on New Caledonia. We leave in a few hours. Up up and away!

Nadege said...

I've never been to Florida but would love to go (in winter).

joared said...

Lovely flowers in your spectacular photos! Miami is as far south in Florida as I've been & that trip was for a very short overnight stay just before a hurricane blew in. What I recall is the heavy humid air as I walked outdoors the evening before the storm. Your account convinces me I should return and visit the Keys.

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