Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Let's Go for a Walk...

It's sunny and 64 degrees outside, which makes it a great day to venture out. So, come for a walk with me and we'll see if we can find the "cold-hardiest" plants around. Make sure you put on a good pair of walking shoes, 'cause we may have to walk a bit to find some plants that aren't brown and shriveling up. :-)

Let's start with my yard...Hhmm! Oh, over here. This variegated Cast Iron plant is an old-fashioned, staple of the south, and it made it through completely unscathed. Very dependable and great looking, but it only likes shade. Plant it in the sun and you'll be extremely disappointed.

Two more favorites of mine. First is Nandina a/k/a Heavenly Bamboo...which is the name I prefer. It just sounds...well, so "heavenly."

and, Holly fern. This fern doesn't go crazy and spread like other ferns. Instead, it develops into healthy looking clumps of lush green. And, right about now, "lush green" looks really, really good.

My Daylily (pictured below), Society Garlic, and Agapanthus a/k/a Lily of the Nile (one of my favorites) came through like troopers. They're not blooming now, but come spring and early summer they'll put on a great show.

All of my Iris....African (pictured below), Brazilian, Flag, and Walking...also look great. These plants should be considered staples in everyone's yard. They're easy to maintain, they multiply, and they bloom their little hearts out.

I've mentioned Indian Blanket Flower (Gallardia) before, as a "favorite new" plant of mine. And, now that I see how well it did, I'm an even bigger fan. The top flowers were wilted but the buds still look great.

Here's a new plant I tried for the first time this past October...Gold Mound Sedum. The tag said it was hardy down to 26 degrees, and it looks like it passed the test. It's succulent-looking in nature, and I really love the chartreuse color. Looks like I'll be planting more of it.

Some other plants that did well in my garden are...
African Bush Daisies...yellow flowers
Roses...I'll be incorporating a few more antique varieties for sure
Thryallis...yellow flower
Lorapetlum...leaves turned slightly darker
St. Bernard's Lily...white flower
Rose of Sharon...another old southern favorite
Bulbine...yellow flower
Gardenia...shiny leaves and deliciously fragrant flowers
Beautyberry...native plant with purple berries
Brazilian Plum Pink Flamingo...shade loving plant

All my tropicals are toast for now, but the dependable plants I mentioned above are all in good shape and should brighten up my spring and summer garden.

Now, let's head down the road to see what else we can find. About now, I'm looking to replace some of my tropicals with some interesting and productive cold-hardy varieties.

Right away this Camellia jumps out of all the brown. I don't know why more folks don't grow them...they're a great green looking plant and their flowers are lovely, especially in winter.

One neighbor has some great looking clumps of Lamb's Ear that did well. I lke the gray color, too. You don't often find grayish colored plants that look this good.

Her neighbor which is Nancy...I wrote about her in a previous post...reports that her black-toned Ajuga groundcover, her gray-toned Yarrow (blooms white), and her flowering Dianthus are all unfazed. Her Confederate Jasmine vine also looks great.

Down the road this Red Sensation cordyline is the only one of this family to look great, and the Rosemary bush also looks good as new...both add great texture to the garden.

Here's a plant I couldn't identify. It's some sort of groundcover with varying tones of green, burgundy and cream. I think it might be Joseph's Coat. What do you think?

Well, I think our little walk was very productive. We found a lot of "cold-hardy" plants...30 in all... that we can incorporate into our own gardens, and not have to worry about them next winter. Thanks for coming along with me.


NanaK said...

Susan, thank you so much for this post. Great plants for this time of year are just what I need to concentrate on planting this gardening year. Love the variegated cast iron plant. I have never seen that before. That and the camellia is high on my list. Beautiful photos.

Ami said...

Susan: Thanks for taking us for this nature walk! I also love to know what other plants are cold-hardy, so that I can include them into my garden. I love the gold mound sedum! Hold on buying more of that for now, since it will mutiply itself so quickly in our hot weather. I bought one 6-pack from HD last year, now they are spreading all over my garden as the ground cover, or as the spiller in my container. I even gave a lot to my friends. Your post made me thinking to include Indian Blanket Flower and Camellia into my garden.

I have been reading your blog for while, and learned a lot from you. I just recently opened a new blog myself. I am new to both gardening and blog worlds, so I am sure I will continue learning from all of you wonderful gardening bloggers out there. Thanks for sharing!

Here is my blog address, and welcome to stop by.

Susan said...

How exciting to hear from TWO NEW Florida gardeners in one day. Welcome to both of you. I look forward to visiting your blogs and will include you both on my blogroll here and at http://centralfloridagardener.blogspot.com, as well.

NanaK...You are welcome. It was a fun post to do, and a necessary one for me. I needed to renew my hope for a better looking garden with cold-hardy plants. That cast iron is an oldy, goldy. I can't remember where I got it, but I'm sure it's a passalong plant.

Ami...So glad that you've created your own blog...it's tons of fun, and very addictive! Thanks for the advice on the sedum...it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Definitely, get some Indian blanket flowers...they are great!

Kimberly said...

Susan, this is a great post! I'm going to add your list to my "staples" list...I can add some here and there whenever I find them available (and preferrably on sale!).

Susan said...

Kimberly...Thanks! And, I hear you about finding them at a great price. We're gonna have to get creative in buying plants this spring since we're all in need of so many new ones. :-(

Rick Brown said...

I think you might list Farfugium too. It is unharmed by 20 degrees.
All varieties are hardy here. They need some shade and are fairly drought tolerant in the shade.

Rusty in Miami said...

I never had to worry about cold hardy plants but I think from now it will be a consideration

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susan said...

Rick...Thanks for the plant mention..it sounds interesting. I will check it out.

Rusty...Let's hope you won't have to in the future!

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