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!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November Musings

November is one of the most perfect months in Florida. As Summer’s unfaltering heat and oppressive humidity have finally faded away, it is replaced with balmy Chamber of Commerce weather. The kind of blissful days that draw even the most homebound person outdoors to soak up every minute of perfect weather.

I grab my bucket of garden tools and plan to start in the side yard pulling weeds and clipping back plants as I work my way around the house.

The bromeliads are in desperate need of thinning as they are encroaching on the brick walkway. The peacock ginger is slowly fading away until next spring and I can finally see my small collection of ceramic mushrooms again.

I discover this nasty little weed called Heartleaf Drymary is popping up in various parts of the yard where the grass is sparse from too much shade. If I ignore it, it’ll take over the yard in a heartbeat.

I spread some mulch and then decide to take a break. A large glass of ice cold water and an apple seem the perfect snack to enjoy while I sit on the deck and overlook my backyard.

I’m not seated long…more weeds to pull…potted plants need relocating…one idea after another pops into my head and I MUST do it now!

I grab some apple slices and stroll to the other side of the yard. The hibiscus seem to relish this time of year with an abundance of blooms.

This morning glory has decided to use this hibiscus plant as a trellis. They actually make quite a nice pair.

A pretty pink begonia dangles in the wind.

And a couple of Brown Turkey figs are ripe for picking. The day draws to an end, and...with a BIG smile on my face...I make plans for another "perfect" day in the garden tomorrow.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Mount Dora Plant Festival

It was the perfect weekend for the Mount Dora Plant Festival. A breezy day in the 80's made it even more enjoyable. There was a good variety of vendors, and lots of customers loading up their carts or carrying bags of plants.

There were your usual stands of orchids, bromeliads, tropicals, and some really unusual plants like this hanging pitcher plant.

And, there was plenty of color around. Perennials and butterfly plants could be found in abundance.

My first intention was that I really didn't need anything, but I would go "just in case" their might be something out of the ordinary. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Then I remembered the tillandsia guy and the begonia vendor from last year, and I got a little excited thinking about picking up one of each.
Well, I did end up finding two tillandsias and 3 begonias. I must admit that when I'm confronted with numerous choices (especially plants), it's very hard to select just one. Plus the begonias were 3 for $5. Who could pass that up?

And, of course there were a few other plants I just couldn't pass up either.
Like this dazzling leopard lily with leaves that feel like a succulent and whose blooms are a pretty violet color. They had this plant potted in a hanging wire basket and the plant had surrounded the entire basket. It was stunning!

Oh, and this very unusual variegated fern. I've never seen one like this before, so "I just had to have it." You know the feeling, right?

Oh yeah, and this really cute crinkly-leaved fern and this beautiful red-colored bromeliad. I did, however, display some self-control. There were about 3 other ferns I wanted but I was determined I wasn't going to spend every penny I came with. So now, I'm looking forward to next year's festival. :-)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Dad's Garden

My dad has never been much of a gardener but he is big on keeping things looking nice. And since he retired and moved to Alabama he has taken more of an interest in gardening. The woman who built their house did a great job in establishing the garden.

This is a gorgeous ornamental grass. I don't know the name of it because we don't grow it here in Florida but he has lots of it in his sideyard.

Another beautiful plant (or should I say tree) we can't grow in my climate is the Japanese maple. I can see why people love these small artistic looking trees. The color is fabulous, too!

Luckily, we can grow River Birch trees in my zone 9 garden. You just can't beat that flaking bark, and you can't walk by it without grabbing a piece.

Flaming Heavenly Bamboo. It puts on quite a display in the fall.

A well-known plant in the south, this Confederate rose blooms white on the first day and turns to pink on the second day. It's quite a conversation piece as the plant generally has both colored blooms on it at one time.

There's lots of natural rock in his yard of which I am very jealous since we have to pay for rock here in Florida. Here's a huge flat boulder, just perfect for displaying this potted ivy.

And, lastly, this is a great (and I mean GREAT) piece of garden art in the yard. The previous owner had this face carved into a dead tree trunk. If only I could carve wood!!

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