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!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Island in Summer

A year ago, I wrote about our sunny island bed in the front yard of our new home. Well a lot has changed with that garden bed since then. As we all know, it doesn't take long for plants to mature in our Florida gardens.

One year later the garden bed has just about doubled in size, and all the original as well as the newly added plants have grown substantially.

Here's a view of the left front side of the bed.

And, a view to the right...

The majority of plants are cold-hardy perennials and foliage plants, but I do leave room in the front center of the bed for some colorful annuals...especially in winter. Below clumps of African iris and flax lily are surrounded by lots of red pentas, angelonia, black-eyed susan, coneflower, blanket flowers, and periwinkles.

Blanket flowers take front stage in the the center of this bed. They bloom and look great all 12 months of the year. Behind them is a mix of butterfly-loving perennials.

These coneflowers...planted last year were the first ones I've ever planted. I was delighed to see them return this spring in a slightly thicker clump. You know what that means don't you? Yep, I'm adding more coneflowers to the backside of this bed...the part I see the best from inside the house.

Bush daisies and dwarf heavenly bamboo frame red pentas, white angelonia & blue torenia for a little patriotic red, white & blue action going on for summer.

African bush daisies provide wonderful winter color and are joined by the daylilies which bloom from April through June.

Two roses were added to the bed for year round color. Here's a double knock-out...original color...next to its neighbors...Mexican petunia (sterile variety), Russian sage and purple fountain grass...

And a double pink knock-out sharing space with more African bush daisies on the opposite side.

And, now a couple of views from the backside...

flowering maple, purple fountain grass, Mexican petunia and daylilies.

along with some agastache, milkweed and sweet almond adding a bit of fragrance to the bed.

The sunny island bed is the heart of our front yard and its colorful mixture of flowers work hard in the blazing Florida sun to brighten our day...and hopefully others who pass by. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


To a gardener who's barely received a half an inch of rain in the last 60 days...these water droplets from last night's rainshower are a precious sight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Candy Colors

Part of the fun of gardening for me is flowers and all the colors they come in. I love color...all colors, so I plant beds by color...different colors...in different beds. That seems to satisfy my inability to stick to one color scheme.

In this shady bed off the back deck these PINK (caladium), PURPLE (impatiens) and ORANGE (crossandra) flowers are a pleasing combination in my eye. They remind me of the bright colors of candy.

A splash of white...which is the unifying color all around my garden...is so cool and pleasing in summer.

This tangled web of foliage and flowers is a treat for my eyes on a hot summer day!

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