Winter has been kind to us so far this year.
With huge blasts of arctic air from the north that dipped into Florida this past week we were hoping for the best. Just 15 miles East and 10 miles north of Hoe & Shovel temperatures dropped below the freezing point a couple of nights.
We took our chances counting on the micro-climate we've created with the oak tree canopies to keep us just above the 32 degree mark.
Although many of the plants here are bedraggled and worn from night after night of temps dropping below tropical norms, we aren't willing to use our audible voice for complaining. I mean considering what most of the country is having to endure... it just wouldn't be right.
I sense, however, my shivering plants are wishing, like me, that the threats were over. We'll be rejoicing when we can breathe that final sigh of relief knowing we've outlasted another winter. I mean, it isn't long now folks... we are almost there. Only a few more weeks for the risk of freezing and we will be home-free toward spring.
No, we won't complain, instead we will just keep thanking God for the chance to enjoy the sunshine, the greenery... the colorful foliage ... and the flowers we do have.
There are some blooms that really thrive in this cooler environment. The impatiens are just such a flower. This time of year almost a showy sort with their numerous variety of colors growing tall on watery stalks of deeply colored greenery. No, they don't mind the cooler-than-normal days or nights. Of course, there is a threshold they won't endure but we haven't dipped to the breaking point and so they continue to perk up so many garden spots throughout.
Others, like the dainty marble leaf perennials, are fading into the greenery now and we won't see their lavender flowers again until late summer or early fall.
The brightly colored red leaves of blood leaf iresine plants amid the greenery are a welcome sight in the dead of winter. They aren't what they used to be nor are they what they will be soon but still we have to be happy they are willing to hang on and share their pretty colors with us.
The red salvia has no problem becoming a focal point placed in the middle of the back garden for clear view from the back porch.
It's no secret around here the angel wing begonias are being used in container pots and planted in the ground. The more the merrier we've decided as we've succumbed to their easy nature. The majority of them continue to flourish but are noticeably slowing down in their blooming habits. Even so, here are some new blooms on this one (above) planted directly in the ground back in November and showing happy signs of life.
The pink firespike callistachyum is an unquestionable standout in the side yard right next to the vegetable garden. It is located on the north side and still the winter temps haven't fazed its blooming branches. This plant grows very quickly at the rate last year of six feet tall and just as wide in a few short months. It propogates extremely easily by cuttings in good soil. AND... it blooms in December/January!
If I could hug it I would. I've started several new plants from this one and they are blooming too! Baby plants... blooming! I must say it has been put on the list of favorites. I'm going to do my best to refrain from over using it. You know how it is when gardeners find such compliant performers!
I hope every dear reader has enjoyed a wonderful weekend. And I wish you warm and cozy winter days. Here's to counting the days until spring with happy faces.