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, April 30, 2012

So Long April...

I'm always sad to see April end because the days are so pleasant and the garden is filled with flowers.

Here's a look at what's blooming in the island bed.

Vintage seafoam rose and daylily from my aunt.

From the rear forward: Mexican bush sage with kaleidoscope abelia, Indian blanket flower and milkweed.

Love the soft purple blossoms of Mexican bush sage contrasted with the yellow dill blooms.

Here's a close-up of the dill covered in yellow flowers. It's been in full bloom for two months now and bees of all kind are lovin' it as much as I do.

This puff of white...Diamond Frost Euphorbia...is devouring some daylilies and amaryllis.

My step-dad's daylilies are blooming away. They obviously love April, too!

I planted bulbine for the first time last autumn based on recommendations from other Florida gardeners and I haven't been disappointed. After planting them...I watered them well and haven't watered them since. The only water they get is from the irrigation system...honestly! They looked great with the blue flag iris in early spring and now they look equally as nice with the orange flowers of the Tropicana canna. I, too, am a BIG fan of bulbine!

And, now the Agapanthus a/k/a lily of the Nile are adding some more needed bluish purple to the front garden. 

The side-garden is looking colorful, too, this April.

The caladiums are coming up nicely and blend well with the red leaves of the Lorapetlum.

This spring I decided to add some Dusty Miller to the side garden and I must say that I'm quite pleased with the color combo. It's been a long time since I planted this plant. The blue and silver are so pretty together and the soft yellow 'Holy Spirit' daylily adds a spark of brightness.

The chrysanthemums are blooming again. You get a lot of bang for your buck with these plants as they bloom several times a year. So, if you buy them in autumn stick them in your garden when they're finished blooming.

The Turk's Cap is blooming early this year since it didn't freeze back and the blackberry plants are in bloom.

I'm really liking this plant combo - fern, pink pentas and Miss Muffet caladiums. I think I've mentioned before that pink and green is one of my favorite color combinations. :-)

And, here's some more pink and green...Ti plants, Louis Philippe and a native fern that planted itself.

Sombreuil (pronounced: som-bray-el) is a highly fragrant vintage rose. This particular plant has spent time in 3 different yards in the past 16 years. I planted her in 1996...moved her with us in 2001 and then moved her again in 2007 when we built a new house. That's one of the great things about roses...they don't seem to mind moving so long as you do it during winter.

Here's another combo I really like in the foliage garden. I'm a flower person...but I have a garden bed that is predominantly foliage - various shades of green, burgundy and white and a tad bit of yellow. It's a new experience for me and I'm enjoying playing with textures and colors. This burgundy colored grass is pleasing to me paired up with the variegated privet and leopard plant.

In the same bed...looking through the variegated privet I can see the English dogwood in bloom. It doesn't bloom very long but it's a real eye-grabber when it does. 

Here's a continuation of that same foliage bed...ferns, variegated cast iron and caladiums.

Summer is right around the corner and hopefully more rain is, too!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Comes in all Colors

In my garden Spring is all about flowers...in all colors!


Predominantly my frontyard is composed of three main colors: purple, yellow and orangey-red.

But, an occasional pink flower and definitely some white flowers can be found.

These colors were chosen because of their boldness. You see I have a pretty large frontyard and if the colors weren't bold they'd be barely noticeable from the street.

Purple...orange...yellow - such an eye-pleasing combo to me!

The local garden club in our area surprised me with this. It was very sweet of them to bestow this honor on my hardworking garden. I do the planting and weeding...but the plants create all the beauty!

I've never seen a group of the green grasshoppers...Lubbers, yes. They look like little plastic soldiers all perched on these liriope leaves.

And, this butter yellow dragonfly adds a little more sunshine to the garden.

But what about this fella...brown is not my favorite color in the garden but he is part of the habitat. He is a brown water snake and not a water mocassin...don't you think?



Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh, How I LOVE Pink!

Pink and green are one of my favorite color combinations, so when I see pink flowers my heart skips a little beat. This double pink Knock-out rose is a fabulous bloomer.

Not only do they bloom well and sport blooms 12 months out of the year...their foliage is also disease resistant in Florida...and that's not an easy achievement in our heat and humidity. You're probably thinking that the Knock-out rose folks are paying me to praise their roses...but that's not so. I'm just a girl who loves roses (and pink ones at that) and these carefree beauties make it easy for me to fill my front cottagey garden with lots of rose blossoms with minimum care and without the need to battle diseases with toxic chemicals.

Aside from the Knock-out roses the only other ones in my garden are the carefree modern shrub or vintage varieties...again because they require minimum care and no chemical sprays. Belinda's Dream is definitely a dream rose. Looks at her large soft pink blossoms...who can resist such a beauty. Right beneath her grows a baby blue native petunia. Two beauties that paint a pretty pastel picture in the garden.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Bold and the Beautiful

Oh, YES, the orginal Knock-out Roses 'Radrazz' are BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL! And, I can't stop looking at them...admiring them and loving them...especially in spring.

After a later winter haircut...a tasty organic cocktail and lots of Florida sunshine...six weeks later they are showering me with an abundance of flowers that are simply...knocking me out!
Love their bold red color with yellow flowers...simply stunning!

And, now another fantastic rose from the same maker of the Knock-out line. These miniature...yes, they're small little bushes (12" x 12") are small but mighty. This orange variety looks nice paired up with the Florida-Friendly sedum that's blooming in the background.

And, for a few other blooming beauties in the garden. The amaryllis are just now coming into bloom. I'm trying to stay ahead of the little lubbers that love to devour their foliage. Periwinkles are reseeding throughout the garden. They reseed as freely as impatiens. Once you buy one you'll never need to purchase another.

Lastly, my bi-color African Iris are blooming early this year thanks to a mild winter. In fact, even the caladiums are waking up early.

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