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!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Autumn Joy

The days of autumn are pure joy!

My garden is happily transitioning into autumn, as evidenced by the changing color of the foliage and berries on the Heavenly bamboo. This plant looks good in all four seasons.

The hibiscus that were so severely damaged last winter have returned to their full glory. I have missed their gorgeous flowers, and am so happy to have them back.

So colorful are these tropical beauties basking in the sunshine.

This cordyline...a passalong from my neighbor...is sporting some creamy white flower spikes for the first time.   

And, the very unusual Dutchman's pipe is loaded with buds and flowers. Such an odd sight...but the butterflies love it.

Getting back out in the garden means visiting my favorite nurseries for some replacement plants. I was pleasantly surprised to find this flowering maple and leopard plant at my local Ace hardware...they aren't plants that you find everyday. They make a great combo...don't you think? Unfortunately, one prefers sun while the other needs shade, so I'll have to find other companions for them. 
I've admired the leopard plant at our local public garden for a number of years, and knew I would search for one someday in the future. The leaves remind me of begonias, and the soft yellow spots add nice color to the garden.

The humidity-free days of autumn, along with the cool morning air and the warm sunny afternoons are pure joy to a Florida gardener!


Kimberly said...

Hi, Susan! The weather is absolutely glorious, isn't it? As are your photos. Love the hibiscus and your pipe vine...mine is full of gorgeous blooms too! Woo Hoo!!

Meems said...

Hi Susan,
Like you, I am relishing the outdoor life this week. Lower humidity and true cool in the morning is SPLENDID! I've spent lots of time in the garden.

Your photo collages are great combinations. No more hibiscus here. Just too tired of the merry-go-round. But they are hard to beat when they bloom. They shout tropical in every way and yours are gorgeous.

I've been eyeing the leopard for a while at my local nursery. I had the same thought... begonia. I'll watch yours to see how hardy it is!
It's a real eye-catcher for foliage lovers.

TheDutchman's pipe is on my "want" list. Where do you have yours sited? I was thinking about putting one on the back wall and let it roam. What do you think? Of course I have to find one first.

Autumn JOY is a great title. It came a little early this year... but summer hung on forever so it is a great relief.

Have a great weekend.

daisy said...

Autumn in Florida is a wonderful thing...
Love the contrast of the broad leaves of that cordyline with the delicate blossoms. Nature is amazing! daisy

NanaK said...

We are experiencing "Autumn Joy" indeed here in central Florida. I've never seen the cordyline bloom like that. That must be a special treat. I have flowering maple in my dappled shade area next to a drippy spot from the roof and it is getting ready to bloom any day. Is that the one that is supposed to need sun? Mine is very tall and was just a little cutting last fall. Maybe you could put the leopard with it after all. I haven't ever seen leopard plant before.

Susan said...

Hi Kimberly...It is sooooo nice outside that I can hardly drag myself indoors these days.

Hi Meems....The leopard plant is supposed to be hardy to zone 8. The 2 at our public garden survived last winter, so I'm going to give it a try. The Dutchman's pipe is draped over a low wood fence...not the best place for it, but the only one available when I planted it. It has attached itself to a sugarberry tree and the pipes look like they're hanging from a clothesline...it's kinda funny. It was damaged last winter but came back strongly. It definitely would work on your back wall. I will see if mine has babies or if I can root it for you. It is a neat plant & flower, and is carefree.

Hi Daisy...I really love that cordyline, too. It gives me a calming feeling everytime I look at it. The funny thing is, when I neighbor gave it to me, I thought it was kind of blah...but now I love it.

Hi Kay...Thanks for the info. on your flowering maple. I definitely think I can find a place where it gets a good dose of sunlight as well as some shade. Then I can plant the leopard plant beneath it...oh, goody!

FlowerLady said...

Susan ~ I love your collages. You have some real gems growing there especially that Dutchman's Pipe. It seems like I might have some seeds of this is my stash. I tried them before and they didn't even sprout. I do want to go through all my seeds and use them up, flinging them here and there for the most part, and potting others.

This cool weather that we are having is such a wonderful treat!!! It makes us feel alive again.

Have a wonderful weekend ~ FlowerLady

Floridagirl said...

Your title certainly caught my eye today! These are some of the same joys of my garden right now. Crazy, but true, the hibiscus seem to be a FALL feature this year, thanks to that awful freeze. I have a couple though that have come back with the prettiest, full form. They would have looked much leggier had winter not pruned them for me. : ) My cordylines are not blooming yet, but are starting to color up nicely, which means it will be soon. Love your new plant purchases. I've wanted an abutilon FOREVER! I hear you speak of your local nurseries...please, please share! I think you live closest to me out of all the garden-bloggers out there. I have visited your Peterson's Nursery you posted about twice now. I can certainly take that route home when I have appointments in Lakeland. Do you know of any other Lakeland area gems? Sounds like your Ace Hardware is a gem...Ours has never, ever, ever had a single plant for sale.

Susan said...

Hi Flowerlady...Autumn makes me feel alive again, too. It's amazing how the weather can affect our moods. I know I would be a grumpy northerner...cause I DO NOT like cold weather. Anyway, I need to go through my seeds, too and do something with them.

Hi FloridaGirl...Sorry to hear your Ace doesn't carry plants. Ours doesn't have many, but I always check. Peterson's is kind of hit and miss...depending on the season. Generally, I can find something there...recently, a couple of pink, green and burgundy coleus, black fennel, and a neat LARGE leaf plant who's name I can't recall. We don't have many good nurseries here...and none that I would consider outstanding. There is Cleary's on Cleveland Heights Rd. and The Nursery (real creative name) on S. Florida. I also visit the farm stands on Branch Forbes Rd. Sometimes I find something different there, too. Between these and the big box stores I manage to generally find what I'm looking for. There's a super nice nursery in Lake County (when I visit my mom) that I always can find something at.

Next time you're up my way let me know and I'll be happy to share some cuttings or extra plants I have with you. I don't live too far from Peterson's.

Penlyn said...

I'd love to see a post on what your secret is with the hibiscus, Susan. Those are gorgeous! They've been so hit-and-miss for me. I finally got a big pass-along blooming happily -- after TWO years! -- and the January freeze wiped it out. I would try them again if I knew the sweet-talk they like.
Love your Dutchman's pipe -- I've had the I-wants for that. Do the fritillary caterpillars eat it up?

Janis "Pumpkin" said...

Susan, Its Sunday morning after a long week and this is Autumn Joy! Your blog is always so beautiful, thank you much for taking time to share with us. Janis

Susan said...

Penlyn...I really can't give you any adviced on hibiscus. I don't do anything special...other than plant them in a sunny location and fertilize once in spring. They generally sustain some freeze damage every winter, but seem to recover pretty quickly. This past winter I lost 2 large plants unfortunately.

The cats don't devour the vine down to nothing, but they are attracted to it.

Hi Janis...Thanks for your kind words. The weather is so wonderful lately, that I can't make myself stay indoors.

Orlando Realtor said...

The Dutchmen's pipe is a great looking plant, very unusual which peeks my interest.

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