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, February 22, 2016

Winter Happenings!

 On the warm days between recent cold snaps, I've been relocating plants to better locations. Better to catch these mishaps sooner, than later, while I can still make the adjustments easily.

Even with two steady months of chilly weather, Old Man Winter has been good to us this year. There were a few mornings in the mid-30's with light frost, but fortunately they did not damage my tropicals. Hopefully, we'll get some bananas this year. 

Luckily, the tomato bush, Bella Rosa, was able to escape damage from the frost. Another day or two and I'll be enjoying the first fruit of the season.  

Louis Philippe has grown so large that he's intermingling with the red pentas and the milkweed. Soon, I'll need to get in there and tame him back a bit.

It has been a joy to watch the large flocks of Robins that visited our Camphor tree twice in the last 2 months to feast on the berries. I pulled up a chair to watch them snatch a berry and dart back to a neighboring tree to eat it. The tree canopy was alive with action, berries were falling to the ground, and I decided I better take cover to avoid being splattered with bird poop in all the mad frenzy.

I know that "the experts" say that Camphor trees are invasive - and, yes they are prolific, but they feed large flocks of visiting birds in winter. I keep reminding myself of that, as I pluck up every berry that pops from the ground. 

 My daughter and I visited Harry P. Leu gardens this past October and then again a few weeks ago on a beautiful Saturday. This area captured my attention. It was a mix of green and white with some bronze foliage thrown in the mix. There's just something about a super large Live Oak with different leaf sizes and textures beneath it. It's definitely a winning combination!

I'm glad that we'll soon be closing the door on winter, and that it was a mild one. Now that I've cut the ornamental grasses back, I'm eager to get started on the roses and plant a few new additions to the garden. And, I'm looking forward to watching the plants and trees in my young garden grow taller and wider in their 2nd year. 




7 comments:

Leslie Kimel said...

Hi, Susan. Your garden is so lush and green--I'm really envious. And how nice that you've got tomatoes in February!

I've been moving plants too this winter--because I'm terrible at planning. I always plant things too close together and too close to my paths; I never learn!

Your Louis Philippe sure is looking pretty. I love it with the pentas and milkweed. Rob started pruning our roses this weekend. I can't watch him do it because I always think he gets carried away!

daisy gurl said...

What a treat it is to watch the birds. I've always wanted to visit that garden. I believe it's in Lakeland? Spring is almost here!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I look forward to seeing your gardens growth this year. It already looks great to me for such a young garden.

Maybe someday I'll get to see the Lew Gardens.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

Janice Taylor said...


I remember the post when you laid out your garden, mostly with potted plants, my how it's grown! Everything is just beautiful, and you still have Pentas blooming. Mine finally surrendered to winter.
The last photo was gorgeous! Wouldn't we all love to garden under a Live Oak like that one?
Enjoy your Robins. _Janice

Elizabeth said...

Laura mentioned Leu Gardens this week too . . . I'm going to have to check it out.

I've spent the past few weeks removing plants out front ~ where I randomly planted things with no rhyme or reason. I'll be starting with a fresh slate once I'm done in the back garden - IF I'm ever done in the back garden. :-)

I am ever so thankful for another mild winter. I'm impressed you have ripe tomatoes already. And luck with the bananas!

Susan said...

Hi Leslie - I've got to get busy on my roses this week. I have a tendency to put plants too close together, too. I think it's easy to forget how quickly and how big plants grow here. oh well, it's fun to recreate the garden again.

Hi Daisy - Leu Gardens is in Winter Park. You'll enjoy it!

Hi Lorraine - I'm so eager that I'm fertilizing everything this week. Ready for things to grow but not for hot weather.

Hi Janice - it is amazing how how quickly my garden has filled in. I'm anxious for my little trees to get growing. I need that mid-level canopy. Sorry you lost your Pentas. It makes trimming them back easier. Mine are blooming so nice that I hate to trim them, but they're also falling over.

Hi Eli- I got your Everglades tomatoes started so I can keep the tomatoes coming. You'll enjoy Leu Gardens - very peaceful place. Good luck with your clean slate. It's always fun to have a new landscape project.

Linda said...

Beautiful photos!

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