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**Fairy Lily Zephyranthes candida
The small bulbs of the fairy lily multiply quickly adding to their always green eight inch tall grass like foliage. That alone would make them a plus for border or sloping garden plantings, but they also have delightful white flowers reminding me very much of the crocus in my New England spring garden of long ago.
From: Southerly South America in swampy or marshy areas.
Photographed: In our wall garden by the driveway at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Plant the small, less than an inch in diameter, bulbs just about an inch below the soil surface in a sunny or semi shady area. It is said that they like regular watering or rainfall, but that has not been our experience. The plants did very well with very little water -- doubling the number of plants and producing lovely flowers too.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008
 
False Sunflower, Asahi Sunflower, Oxeye Daisy Heliopsis Helianthoides "Asahi"
This perennial is a delightful addition in the garden. It is easy to care for and blooms continually for months.
Benefits: Heliopsis is a butterfly attractant.
From:
The United States.
Photographed: At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013
.
Planting and Care: Plant heliopsis in full sun in cooler climates. In hot places it probably would prefer receiving only morning sun. It is adaptable to a range of soils, but it does like it on the moist side.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014
 
False Spirea Astilbe chinensis var. pumila
This is the low growing variety of a very attractive perennial.
Benefits:
From:
China
Photographed: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: False spirea loves moisture, but in a well drained soil. It prefers semi shade even in northern climates.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

**Fan Palm See The "P" Page -- PALM TREES -- Fan Palm

 
 
FENNELS

Photographed: In our upper garden at our former home in Montserrat.

**Fennel (1) Foeniculum vulgare
This was one of my favorite plants in Montserrat and not just because it is impervious to volcanic ash and acid rain. I also tried to grow the bulb variety, hoping that it would be as happy there as the one we had that produced wonderful seeds and tender sprays of fine leaves for our salads.
Benefits: Fennel seeds have been used in many medicinal situations primarily relating to digestion. Chewing a few now and again also gives your breath an appeal.
From: Primarily coastal areas of southern Mediterranean countries.
Planting and Care: Take seeds from your organic grocery herbal jar of fennel seeds and plant about four feet of a row in your garden. Plant the seeds about one inch below ground and keep them moist until the plants appear. They will grow to be about four feet tall and will appear as you see in the photographs. Snip a sprig or two for a salad every day, let the flowers go to seed and harvest them for your Italian cooking. With no further work on your part, you will have a lifetime of fennel plants -- they self seed like nothing you have ever seen.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2009
 

Photographed: In our upper garden at our former home in Montserrat.

 
**Fennel (2), Bulb Fennel F. vulgare var. azoricum
I was very surprised when first growing fennel that there are two varieties and only one creates the bulb that makes such a wonderful addition to the dinner table. I had the seeding variety in Montserrat and now have the bulb variety in Guatemala. They are both beautiful plants.
Benefits: Aside from the bulb being a delicious vegetable and the soft leaves being a wonderful addition to salads, fennel is said to provide a whole host of curatives. In fact from what I've just read, if you have a problem, fennel is the answer. BUT, talk to your doctor about it and use it in moderation because "some is good and more is not better.
From: Primarily coastal areas of southern Mediterranean countries.
Planting and Care: This fennel can be planted and cared for the same as the one above, but be sure you have seeds for bulb fennel. With its feathery foliage growing to be about 3 feet tall, it makes an especially appealing backdrop for flowers. It seems to me to be a relatively long season crop so it's perfect in the flower garden.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: This photograph was taken in the Vucciria Market in Palermo, Sicily, on a visit to Italy in 2012.

 

Photographed: By the roadside in Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

Photographed: By the roadside in Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

Photographed: By the roadside in Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

 
 
 

FERTILIZER

Before buying property in the Caribbean happily thinking you will have a year round productive vegetable garden you may want to do a bit of study on tropical gardening. If you live in the US, Florida is a good place to start your studies, but the Caribbean will confront you with soil inadequacies and viral and bacterial infections unlike anything you have ever seen. In every garden I ever had I used organic materials exclusively. In Montserrat the soil is of such extremely poor quality I can't imagine having a garden without the use of commercial fertilizers though I do draw the line at using commercial pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. We have added truck loads of sawdust and manure and we have used every bit of unwanted greenery we could get our hands on all buried in the garden -- still, it is not nearly enough.

Soon after settling in on the island we became members of the Farmer's Co-op where for an annual fee we received a discount on farming supplies, mostly fertilizer and occasionally seeds as we don't use any their many types of very popular pesticides, herbicides and the very commonly used animal poisons.

Usually we buy bags of unbranded 12-24-12 from the Co-op along with Miracle Grow. When the 12-24-12 is not available we use their only alternative 12-12-17. What the numbers mean is the percentage of nitrogen (which gives vigor and a lovely deep green color to your plants and lawn), phosphorus (which encourages root development and blossoming), and potassium (which gives plants strength or hardiness and which encourages blooms and fruit development).

What is most wonderful about natural material compost is that it contains all the trace minerals and nutrients that commercial fertilizers sadly lack. So, in a tropical environment use as much natural material as you can find and manage and make up the difference with commercial fertilizers as we do.

 
FICUS

Council Tree Ficus altissima
I don't include many trees in this site, but this one caught my eye and came home with me in my camera. Ficus trees are known to be greedy which would normally put me off, but they are also striking in almost any landscape.
Benefits:
From:
NE India throught to SW China and there abouts
Photographed: In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 

Ficus, Variegated
Ficus trees are lovely with dense amounts of shiny, leathery leaves. They are great trees for shade and beauty, but they demand all of the water in the area and very little will grow under them. If you have the space for one of these beauties, think about making a sand set brick patio underneath with decorative plants set in pots to avoid competition.
Photographed:
At the entrance to the Hotel Riviera on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

 
**Fig Tree Ficus carica
This very appealing small fruit bearing tree will grow to be about 30 feet tall, though most of those you will see in gardens or on terraces have been trimmed to keep them even smaller. I am trilled to finally have one growing in the garden and it already has figs.
Benefits: Figs are high in calcium and are good sources of dietary fiber, not to mention fig bars made in New England bakeries and commercially produced "fig newtons!" I just found a recipe for homemade "fig newtons" and will include it here if it works out.
From:
The Middle East
Note: The green parts of a fig tree may be skin irritants although I have not found them to be so.
Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Fig trees prefer a fertile well drained soil and routine rainfall or watering, though there are varieties that will live well on a lot less, even tolerating an extended dry season. Ideally soil should have a pH in the 6 to 6.5 range.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

 
 
Fireball Lily, African Blood Lily, Blood Flower Scadoxus multiflorus
Benefits and Risks: This plant is poisonous.
From:
South Africa
Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013
Planting and Care: This plant likes to live in relative shade, but will probably handle morning sun okay. With regular rainfall or water and abundant fertilizer, it should do just fine.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Photographed: At the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, RI, in the USA in 2014.

**Firecracker, Coral Plant, Coralblow, Fountain Plant Flowering Bush Russelia equisetiformis (red flowers), Russelia equisetiformis aureus (white or yellow flowers) or Russelia juncea
The firecracker looks more like an underwater plant than a land plant with its long thin stems and many tiny flowers. It was a special favorite of our hummingbirds in Montserrat until it was lost to the volcanic eruption in July 2003 when four inches of wet volcanic ash covered our former home and our entire property. With a bit of luck and a neighbor's generosity we planted another firecracker and it was doing very well when we sold the property.
Blooms: More or less continuously the year round.
From:
Mexico
Planting and Growth: Plant it in full sun in a space that will accommodate its ultimate size -- about four feet high and three feet wide. It will grow happily with or without regular rainfall and occasional pruning will encourage more flowers. The firecracker is a sloppy sort of plant that should find a home in the garden where formality is not essential. It might be at its best planted so that it "falls" over a low wall.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014
 

Photographed: In the city garden in Malaga, Spain, in 2012.

Photographed: In the city garden in Malaga, Spain, in 2012.

Photographed: In the Jardin Botanique in Tahiti in 2013.

 

Firecracker Flower, Crossandra Crossandra infundibuliformis
This is a very appealing bush/shrub with interesting foliage and very attractive yellow flowers.
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2010

This is no longer one of my mysteries thanks to Beth in San Antonio, Texas.

 
Firecracker Hibiscus See the "D" Page -- DWARF MALLOW
 
Fire Dragon See the "J" Page -- JOSEPHS COAT (3)
 
Fire Fingers See the "G" Page -- GOLD VEIN PLANT 
 

Firespike
Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
Fishbone Cactus Epiphyllum anguliger
This is a plant I bought at the market here at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. It came home with me in its coke bottle pot and has been living in my still fragile cactus garden. I didn't know until now that it is normally terrestrial, but it seems okay on the ground so far. Its blossoms are said to be glorious.
Benefits:
From:
Mexico
Photographed:
Planting and Care:
Text Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014
 
**Fishtail Palm See the PALMS AND SAGOS PAGE
 

**Fit Weed, Coriander, Cilantro, Ram Goat Bush (in Montserrat) Eryngium foetidum L.
This is an attractive very sharp edged plant growing wild in Montserrat and used by the local Indians as fresh coriander and by folks from Santo Domingo as fresh cilantro neither of which is regularly available in the island's supermarkets.
Benefits: It is commonly used as a digestive tea and in cooking as a flavoring almost equal to cilantro.
Photographed: In our herb garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Fit weed can be found growing wild in semi shady moist areas. If you bring it into your garden provide it with a similar environment -- light shade and moisture. It spreads wide rather than grows tall, never reaching more than eight inches in height. Be careful touching this plant as there are hidden sharp edges that can be as surprising as they are hidden. Happily it will self seed with no help from you.
Reference: See The "C" Page CILANTRO
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008/2010
 
**Flamboyant Tree See The "P" Page -- POINCIANA TREE
 
Flame Vine See the "T" Page -- TRUMPET VINE
 
**Flaming Glory Bower See the "J" Page -- JAVA GLORYBOWER
 
Flapjack Kalanchoe See The "K" Page -- KALANCHOE
 
Florida Cherry See the "S" Page -- SURINAM CHERRY
 

**Florida Royal Palm See the PALMS AND SAGOS Page

 
Floss Flower 'Blue Horizon' Argeratum houstonianum
This is a flower I remember well from childhood school days. One of our youthful projects was to plant seeds in the soil filled bottom half of a milk carton and see what happened if we took care of them for a week or so. I remember being terribly disappointed at the show the flowers made and wished that the teacher had chosen something more exciting. When I saw them growing at Thuya, I was reminded of those early years of gardening.
Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
 
FLOWERING MAPLE

Flowering Maple, Chinese Lantern, Weeping Maple Abutilon bella or Abutilon x hybridum
This isn't a stunning plant, but it is lovely with its gently drooping flowers and its appealing foliage.
From: South America
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan and the Hotel Regis at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This easy to care for plant will do well in full sun or semi shade with regular rainfall or watering, but don't let it sit in wet soil.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Variegated Flowering Maple (2), Abutilon 'Savitzii'
This perennial beauty has pale peach colored flowers and will grow to be 4 feet tall or a bit more. It will be about as wide as it is tall so give it room to grow. It will bloom best in spring and fall.
Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand
Planting and Care: Abutilons like reasonably warm climates and are not winter hardy. They like fertile soil, lots of moisture and will do best in a place where they receive only morning sun.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

With my appreciation, my #32 plant mystery was identified by Peter from Auckland, New Zealand.

 
**Fountain Grass Pennisetum 'Princess Caroline'
This delicate purple hued grass grows to be up to three feet tall with feathery fronds of seeds topping the foliage. We used this grass as a foundation cover for part of our home in Montserrat. It was perfect. It grew heartily in the full hot sun of the Caribbean and didn't ask for too much attention. I remember once a year cutting it down to about 6" as if mowing. That little care ranked it as one of the best plants in the garden.
From: Originating in Africa and/or Afghanistan, fountain grass is now widely distributed in the world.

Planting and Care: Its ability grow in just about any soil with good drainage and its ability to thrive in full sun on short water supplies makes this an ideal decorative grass.
Landscaping ideas:
Fountain grass makes a beautiful soft foundation cover for any home or small office building. It requires almost no care and thrives in terrible conditions -- full sun in tropical climates with low water requirements.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008 and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: At a roadside plant nursery in Maine, 2013.

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 
**Fountain Plant -- See Above -- FIRECRACKER
 

**Four O'Clocks Mirabilis Jalapa, Mirabilis lindheimeri, Mirabilis dichotoma, Mirabilis odorata
These flowering plants have bright light green leaves and are covered with flowers which open in the late afternoon. The flowers come in a variety of very appealing colors and all together the plants make welcome additions to the garden--easy to care for, continually blooming and very appealing.
Benefits:
These abundant small flowers attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. And, perhaps more importantly, the plants have multiple applications in herbal medicine around the world.
From: Tropical America
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care:These 18 to 24" shrubby plants are common in summer flowering beds in cold winter climate places. In the tropics they are perennials.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
 

Photographed: In the Naples, Italy, Botanical Garden, 2012.

Foxglove Digitalis purpurea
This is a beautiful biennial flowering garden plant as you can see in the photographs, but it is not without its downside as you can read below.
Benefits and Risks:
         Eating any part of this plant will be very dangerous to your health. Symptoms may include severe stomach and intestinal distress, but may also be more life threatening beginning with hallucinations ending in delirium and maybe death.
          "Twenty minutes after a little nibbling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea set in. Depending on the amount ingested, untreated poisoning leads to death by bradycardia (lowered heart rate) or ventricular fibrillation (a rapid, irregular rhythm in the lower heart chambers). Keep in mind, however, that children have died just from sucking on a part of the plant."
From: Southerly western Europe and Asia and northwest Africa.
Planting and Care: Plant it in full sun and give it routine watering or rainfall. It is not a difficult plant to grow.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring 2012, 2013 and 2014

Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, 2013

Photographed: Below in the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013

 

Photographed: Below in the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013

 
Fragrant Glory Bower See the "G" Page -- GLORY TREE
 
 
Freesia Iridaceae
I remember freesias well from my working years in Washington, DC. There the freesia is a coveted and expensive cut flower often used in extravagant floral bouquets. They are equally beautiful growing in a field.
Benefits: If you would like an added bit of happiness in your life, buy freesia flowers or essential oils. I'd opt for the flowers as just looking at these photographs makes me a little happier.
From:
Southeast Africa
Photographed: On the left in our apartment in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, and on the right in a field in San Jose del Pacifico high in the mountains of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Planting and Care: Freesias are not frost hardy though they are a little fussy about hot sun in warmer climates. Plant them in rich loamy soil in a place which receives lots of moister and is shaded from mid day sun. You won't be disappointed.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014
 
**French Kiss See the "G" Page -- GINGER -- RED BUTTON GINGER
 
**Friariello Pepper See The "P" Page -- PEPPERS - ITALIANELLE PEPPER
 

FUCHSIAS

Fuchsia "Dark Eyes" Fuchsia hybrida
Some years ago I had a wonderful opportunity in a small town outside of Taxco, Mexico, to see what a fuchsia can turn into in the right hands. The lady of the house we visited sells flowers in the Taxco market on Saturdays. The rest of the week she is at home in her true wonderland of flowers. She has one of those special characters that plants respond to as if they were under Eve's care in Eden. Her fuchsias were not only covered in blooms, but covered almost the whole front of her house -- remarkable!
Photographed: In Tenerillas, about an hour's drive outside of Taxco, Mexico.
Planting and Care: They like moist well drained fertile soil and will grow well either in full sun or in a partly shady spot. They need shelter from hot winds and like to be pruned after flowering.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008

 

Fuchsia Variety #1 Unknown
Photographed:
At the Hotel San Buenaventura on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Fuchsia #2 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

 

Fuchsia #3 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

Fuchsia #4 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

If You Know What This Fuchsia Is, Please Contact Me
#5 Fuchsia Mystery
Photographed:
At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand

Fuchsia #6 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Fuchsia #7 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

 

Fuchsia #8 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Fuchsia #9 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

 

If You Know What This Fuchsia Is, Please Contact Me
#10 Flower Mystery
Photographed:
At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Eland

If You Know What This Fuchsia Is, Please Contact Me
#11a Flower Mystery
Photographed:
At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Eland

 

Fuchsia #12 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Fuchsia #13 Variety Unknown
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

Fuchsia Fuchsia magellanica
From:
Peru, Chile and Argentina
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
 

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