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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.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

They Say It's Winter

I'm certain all my Florida gardening friends remember that awful winter of 2010 when we experienced an out-of-the-ordinary winter.  If you don't remember, state wide there were several back-to-back below-freezing days/nights. I think we all vowed to give up tropical plants and only replant with cold hardy evergreens after that winter. 

Seven winters later it's hard to remember how we felt when all our pretties turned black and melted away from that unusual spell in 2010. 

This winter has been like spring. More so than last year when we considered that one to be mild.



We've been able to have a few fires inside and outside, but not very many nights/days have been cold enough.

Mild mornings and evenings mean we spend a lot of time outside. We eat outdoors often. We prop our feet up and read and drink coffee. It is Central Florida's season to be completely comfortable outside.

Whether it's too cold or just right Florida's winter season is a time for Azaleas and Camellias. This garden has some ancient shrubs of each.  To see them flowering makes the front garden feel like spring.

There are other plants that offer color in Florida's mild winter. Bromeliads love our mild weather. Many varieties color-up just for this time of year.

Begonias mixed with bromeliads add lots of pizzazz along my back walkway.


Winter is an excellent time for seasonal veggies. This year I'm only growing some heirloom kale and collard greens. But, oh my, are they yummy.

Even the butterflies think it's mild enough to keep hanging around.

The hardest part about the weather being so mild is trying to resist the temptation to garden like it's spring.  I'm ready to cut every lanky and overgrown shrub back by February 1. It is advisable to wait until the last chance of frost date. I try to comply. Not so much because I think we might have some sudden freeze, but more so because the bushy shrubs protect the plants around them even when those temps drop into the 40's at night.

Truth be told, I haven't done very well adhering to those good practices with this spring-like weather. If all goes well, at least I'll be way ahead when spring does come around. Heck, it might be time to  cut back again by that time.

They say it's winter, but the only clear indicator around here is the calendar. How is your winter going?

Happy Gardening,
Meems


***** I post to my Facebook gardening page almost daily. If you'd like to join us there to keep up with Hoe and Shovel Gardening here's the link: Hoe and Shovel on Facebook or https://www.facebook.com/HoeAndShovelGarden/ if you need to copy and paste. ~~ If you've just arrived to this page as a new gardening friend or perhaps missed the back story about how we moved from our home and garden of 30 years to the house next door you can catch up here. All material (text and photos) © 2007-2017 is authored by Meems for Hoe and Shovel Gardening Blog. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Celosia 'Intenz'

I planted all this Celosia 'Intenz' as 4" single stalk seedlings in the back garden this spring. They self-seed year to year. I literally gathered them from the paver cracks (that's how persistent they are) to make this border.

All summer long I cut them back to encourage shorter, multiple-branching bushes.  Left alone they want to grow straight to heaven on a single stalk. I'm telling you, I snipped these guys constantly until they started budding in August.

My plan for sorta-kinda worked.  No question they ARE bushier and shorter than past years. Still, they are 5-6' tall. They are SO easy in a sunny spot and they don't require more than rainfall. Pollinators swarm them.


***** I post to my Facebook gardening page almost daily. If you'd like to join us there to keep up with Hoe and Shovel Gardening here's the link: Hoe and Shovel on Facebook or https://www.facebook.com/HoeAndShovelGarden/ if you need to copy and paste.

 ~~If you've just arrived to this page as a new gardening friend or perhaps missed the back story about how we moved from our home and garden of 30 years to the house next door, you can catch up here. 

 All material (text and photos) © 2007-2016 is authored by Meems for Hoe and Shovel Gardening Blog. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway