Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
move over, flowers
blood leaf, caladium, variegated schefflera,
jewels of opar and persian shield
in this area the color foliage is croton, persian shield,
variegated schefflera, cordyline, purple queen
and bright green potato vine.
when flowers are at their peak they are colorful and beautiful. not news to anyone. but in the extreme heat and drought of coastal florida, keeping up with watering, pests and dead-heading can be cumbersome. i know it is hot in other parts of the country but what is more stressful to our landscape is that there is not much relief from the heat even at night. while the sun is not beating on our annuals and perrenials in the moonlight the temperature drops typically only 10 or so degrees. consequently our plants and our humans don't get much respite for several months in the year. we are fastly approaching our hottest season if we aren't already there.
a fews years back, i began finding ways to create colorful layers without using trays and trays of annuals and perennials. every one who has ever had a single plant anywhere whether in a pot or the ground knows how much maintenance and attention flowers require for them to flourish. it became my 'fun' to discover brightly colored foliage that made my garden areas 'pop' without all the maintenance. i have already posted about my love for caladiums. my joy and enthusiasm at experiencing caladium varieties making my yard pretty for the summer months was inspiration to experiment with even more types of foliage. caladiums only bloom during the spring and summer. my goal was to find some colorful foliage and mix and layer in a way that looked like someplace i'd want to sit and read a book (only i don't have time to read a book because i am too busy gardening... and posting). could i create areas where there was enough depth the eye wouldn't pick out the flaws of my garden? while i am still discovering, i have found some foliage that works wonderfully in my shady front yard and shady areas in the back yard. there are also some brightly colored plants that work together wonderfully in the sunny areas. i encourage readers to experiment with some new plants and mix them with your shrubs for easier maintenance and beautiful eye catching colors. i still plant flowers because there isn't anything that replaces their variety and beauty but lately i don't plant as many.
pink ladies and coleus
ginger, pink ladies and variegated schefflera
pink ladies in foreground,
azaleas in background (of course they are
flowers- but not annuals)