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 28, 2008

Now Take A Deep Breath

The fragrance of this antique tea rose known as Sombreuil (1850) will make you want to linger a little longer. She's a tall, leggy French gal with a hint of soft pink blush in the center of her creamy white petals - a real beauty! And, she's one of my favorite roses. I never miss the opportunity to stop and take a deep breath when she's in bloom.

I'll take an antique rose over a hybrid any day. The scent is better, they require less work and they bloom in profusion. They don't require spray and the plant keeps its overall shape a lot better. I couldn't ask for anything more!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

"The Earth Laughs in Flowers"

These hollyhocks at the local library seem to echo the quote above by E.E. Cummings. They appear to be laughing out loud with their towering stalks waiving in the wind. You don't see hollyhocks growing in people's yards here in Florida, but here's proof that we can grow them as a winter annual. They're fabulous!

This proud mom and dad are protecting their 4 little goslings.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A New One for Me!

I wouldn't say that yellow is one of my favorite colors, but I am attracted to yellow flowers. They just stand out in the garden and grab your eye, and they look good with purple, orange, red and blue flowers. Plus, yellow is a very cheerful color.
This adorable little miniature-looking petunia is a new plant for me. I was searching for something different for this fern pedestal when I discovered it. It's called calibrachoa. I don't know if it has a common name that is easier to say, but it is really cute. It looks larger in the photo because of the up-close shot. I'm not sure if they will survive the summer heat, so I'll just enjoy them while they last.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Getting Used to the Wind

My new garden has a challenge that I've never faced in Florida before - WIND. It's not just a soft breeze that dances across your skin or lightly lifts your hair up. Oh no, as you can hear in this video it is a powerful north wind that scatters Spanish moss all over the entire front lawn every time a cold front blows in. We burned two mini-mountains of Spanish moss this past winter, and the trees are still full of it. So, I can’t plant any delicate debutantes like my favorite angel trumpet or banana trees whose leaves would be in shreds in no time at all. Fortunately, the winds are at their strongest during the winter months only.
The good thing about being on the south side of the lake is that it keeps the temperatures a wee bit warmer in the winter, and it seems that we get more rain in the summer. And, in Florida, these days that’s a good thing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Strollin' Along

My daughter and I took a stroll around Lake Hollingsworth a few weeks ago on a lovely spring day and here is what we discovered:

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

Here's what's blooming in my April garden:

A pass-along daylily from my step-father

Society garlic and knock-out roses

A hula girl hibiscus from my mother's garden

and, the best for last, lots of knock-out (so appropriately named) roses.

What Kind of Day is This?

We were well on our way from spring to summer when winter unexpectedly returned. Our northern friends experience "Indian summer" when hot weather returns in the fall, but as far as I know, there is no name for winter's chill creeping into our spring/summer weather. The bright sun lit up this stand of oak trees along the water's edge on this crisp, clear morning of 46 degrees.

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