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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter is Arriving a Little Late

Camellia japonica
Who can complain about Florida's winter weather? Not me. It's my favorite season of the year. This winter, like so many others before this, we have had gloriously mild weather. Just the right amount of rain when needed, abundant sunshine and perfectly cool but not cold has been our daily report. Until now.
A view across the top half of the back garden. February 2015

Cold hardy Old Garden Roses 'Old Blush' in bloom February 2015
Tomorrow morning in most of Florida including West Central Florida where I am it all changes. That northern blast that has brought record lows to our friends north of us is bearing down this far south with all its might.
Not as much tree cover in this garden as my old garden. Philodendron 'Rojo Congo' are too big to move. Hoping for the best.

It's been predicted we'll see the temperature drop to 32°F and as low as 27°F for about 6 hours. Just long enough to damage the crops of farmers and certainly enough to turn Florida gardeners' tropical plants to mush. Does anyone remember the winter of 2009 or 2010? They were worse.
Lots of Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' will be wishing for blankets they don't have tonight. 
I'm a bit of a weather-holic. I watch the hourly forecast on a weather app and online. I've been hoping the forecasters were wrong or just exaggerating because, well, it happens often. Even if they are wrong by a few degrees or hour or so, it's likely we still get freezing temps (not sure how low) and for several hours.
These pots will be left out in the open. They are a mix of perennials, annuals and herbs. Most are cold hardy.
Still. We can't complain. There are far worse scenarios in life than a few plants looking brown and ugly for a while. Most of them will not die. They will come back from the root.
African blue basil will not like the cold temps. My beautiful Queen Emma Crinums and Cordylines will fold under the pressure also.
Selfishly, I wish this wasn't happening. Especially so late in the season when everything is looking so pretty. Selfishly, I wish I didn't have so many new plants. I started most of my herbaceous perennials from root cuttings and they've only been in the ground since last June/July. All of that can be overcome in the long term. 
Lots of cold-hardy oaks, palmettos, azaleas, Indian hawthorn and giant liriope in the front gardens. 

Looking on the bright side there are loads of great cold-hardy plants in this garden also. AND... since it is so late in the season, we won't have to look at brown for very long. We can cut it off in the next week or two. Our last chance of frost date is 2.15.15. Oh, wait. That was 4 days ago. Ha!!!
Front garden azaleas are blooming so pretty right now.
If this cold weather wasn't right on top of us we would have all been out in our gardens this week with pruners and loppers in hand cutting back overgrown winter foliage. Old Man Winter seems to be mocking us visiting us so late.

I hope you stay cozy and warm until we see better weather. Here's some reliable researched information on what to do for your plants when the cold weather comes

One thing for sure. My blue bottle tree won't freeze tonight. 

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All material © 2007-2015 by Meems for Hoe and Shovel Gardening Blog. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Brand New Year

The Bird House Garden January 1, 2015 You can see before and after photos of the Birdhouse Garden here.
I like the way 2015 is looking already.

The turn of the calendar to 2015 gives us a chance to reflect. As far as the garden goes, I find it fun to look back at my photo archives because they tell the story. 2014 will forever be etched in my memory as the year we left behind my garden of 30 years and started building another one. My initial reaction was to feel cheated. Cheated out of growing old with my garden. Cheated out of what I felt was my ultimate peaceful, private haven. Truth is, once I let go and embraced the change, my creativity for this new garden began to flow. As it did my vision was freed and my strength was renewed to accept the challenges of starting over. So without regret I can say today I am completely satisfied and even still very excited about the possibilities in this new garden. 2015 is going to be a good year!

There are many opportunities in this garden for lots of *before and after* photos. Many projects were undertaken in the last 6 months. I'll be back with more soon.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2015. Thank you each one for following along with my journey. Garden more, dream more, dig more, plant more ... tell me what you'd like to do more!

Come hang out with me and other gardening friends for daily updates from Hoe and Shovel on Facebook... here's the link:
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All material © 2007-2015 by Meems for Hoe and Shovel Gardening Blog. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway