My front yard comes alive in spring with Azalea blooms. It originally was more of a shade garden until the hurricanes in 2004 toppled two trees. But the azaleas continue to do well. The azaleas are accompanied by the blossoms of the Magnolia tree, Indian Hawthorne and African Iris. In summer, we enjoy the red blossoms of Glorybower Clerodendron, Knock-out roses, Ixora, crinum lilies, caladiums and bromeliads.
Around the sideyard is one of my prize possessions...this Angel Trumpet in soft shades of apricot. This plant is the offspring of a plant my mother grew when I was a child. It has special meaning to me, and I've planted one in every yard I've had. It usually sustains some freeze damage each winter, but returns in spring to scent the garden with its delicious fragrance. Planted around it are white azaleas, milkweed, Indian Hawthorne, Hibiscus; all edged out with Giant Evergreen Liriope and Variegated Aztec grass.
Our backyard slopes down to a lake that once was an old (about 100 years ago) phosphate pit. Nature has done a great job of reclaiming what once was a huge hole in the ground. It is unusual to have a yard in Florida that is not flat. The previous owner of our home planted a groundcover (name unknown) that has done a good job of preventing erosion and looks lush and nice. We are fortunate to have many Live Oak trees from which to hang our Staghorn ferns from.
Here's a view from a little further back. It is a very peaceful backyard where we enjoy watching many varieties of birds, herons, anhingas, turtles, possums, armadillos, alligators (in the lake only), and an occassional black racer or rat snake.
Here's my favorite perennial bed. Even though it receives filtered sunlight, I enjoy growing Agapanthus, antique roses, daylilies, bromeliads, impatiens, azaleas, Blackberry lily, and Amaryllis.
Here's a partial view of it from a different angle. From inside the house we can watch the birds on the feeder or birdbath. The birds attracted to our feeder include blue jays, cardinals, titmouse, wrens, sparrows, and goldfinches in winter.
As we turn the corner there's a brick walkway (thanks to my husband), where there once was a muddy path. This area is where I grow the majority of the bromeliads I have. It's a large round bed that I share with a neighbor. On the neighbor's side is Lady palms and Ti Plants. My side includes Bromeliads, Peacock Ginger Begonias, Crotons, Impatiens, Aloe and Cast Iron plants.
One end of the walkway is flanked with Peace Lilies and crotons. I love the crotons for their colorful foliage. Luckily, this area has done well during cold spells in winter...I think the trees are responsible for this.
At the other end you'll find my neighbor's Ti Plants and Lady Palms. And, some of my orchids on the right side.
Here's my favorite chair in the corner of the deck. Reason being...the chartreuse color. It compliments every flower color imaginable. This chair is slowly rotting away, so I must always warn guests not to sit in it...otherwise, they'll end up flat on their backs.
Right next to our backyard porch is the perfect location for our orchids...about 50 of them. They thrive in this partly shaded and breezy area. Plus, we can enjoy their blooms from inside the house. Anyone who grows orchids knows how addictive they can be.
Here's a great view of my neighbor's portion of the flowerbed (the hot pink Ti plants). To the right side of the photo are two large Snow on the Bush plants. These plants provide some pink and white color under the shade of the oaks, and they do a great job of hiding my compost bin.
Now, let's take a break, sit for a spell on our deck, and enjoy some tea and cake as we continue chatting about plants. But, remember, don't sit in the adirondak chair. :-)
Thank you again for dropping by to take a stroll with me through my garden. I have enjoyed it immensely, and I hope you have, too. And, now, as I promised, here are some parting gifts to you for your garden. In the South, it's not appropriate to say "thank you" for passalong plants...in fact, it's downright bad luck. Instead, you should smile and say, "I know these plants will do very well in my garden."