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. 




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