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 25, 2013

Non-Stop Veggies

It's been a wonderful winter for growing veggies. The cold-season crops such as kale didn't seem to mind the milder temps, while the pepper plants, that won't tolerate a freeze, have kept producing peppers all winter long. 

 The raddichio (above) and the Red Sails lettuce (below) have been excellent in not bolting through some mid-80 temps.

Florida onions are coming along nicely in the background while the adorable little nasturtians are adding a happy note to the front of the  veggie beds.

Georgia collards are great for eating and for adding beauty to the border.

Swiss chard 'Bright Lights' is keeping company with the parsley beside it.

I've lost control of the arugula which long ago decided to spill over into the walkway. I've just recently read that this plant is a perennial. Not sure if that holds true for Florida, but I'll give it a haircut at some point and wait and see if it makes it through a Florida summer.

Broccoli 'Packman' was very prolific this winter but has since gone into bloom.

 One nice surprise has been fresh tomatoes all winter long due to temps remaining above freezing and no frost. This Early Girl was a bit of a disappointment. She was a prolific producer but the fruits took forever to redden and, I'm guessing, it's a meatier type which isn't juicy and remains firm. It was however, good for making fried-green tomatoes of which we made quite a few.

But the Black Cherry (above) and the Sungold (below) kept our salad bowls filled with sweet, juicy little tomatoes. This spring I'm planting only these two varieties. So easy and so delicious! 

The sweet little strawberries are ripening and fortunately the birds have not discovered them ... yet.

 We had a nice supply of Eureka lemons and ...

'Pink lemonade' lemons, too.

And, now that winter is ending the citrus is in full bloom and as you can see below, the cycle begins anew with tiny little lemons already setting beneath each spent blossom.

I definitely could get used to winters like this!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Wintering Poolside

During the winter months my orchids get relocated to the patio where they bask in the morning sunlight while lounging poolside. Hey, they are tropical beauties after all. But the best part about having them in view is that I get to enjoy all the wonderful blooms they produce. And, this year they did not disappoint. Perhaps they appreciate their winter home . . . or could it be the extra "tlc" they get because they're so close at hand. Whichever the case, I am always in awe of their perfect beauty and certainly appreciate having them near.

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