Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Ever-So-Slight Hints of Autumn and Butterfly Ginger
Dare I say it?
Could it even be possible?
Not in Florida.
Not at all likely.
Not in August.
Having a look at a garden overview wouldn't necessarily indicate any signs of a change of season.
No. But there has been just a tinge of change in the air the past few days.
Slightly less humidity. And any less is a grand improvement.
And then there was that gentle, steady breeze after the rains.
But ever-so welcomed.
With a closer look into the native gardens there are some subtle signals indicating summer is waning.
The Callicarpa americana, American beautyberry plants are beginning to turn from green berries to those marvelous magenta clusters the birds will be happy to clean off to the stems.
After the cold hit the acetosella or False Roselle/maple-leaf hibiscus so hard last winter I yanked every one of them out of the ground... roots and all. But several have popped up here and there anyway.
Their deeply colored leaves remind me of autumn when the buds will form and flowers will bloom. I'm glad now they decided to come back without any help from the gardener.
Leaving the spent scapes of Agapanthus A. africanus to dry and go to seed helps me imagine cooler, dryer days are surely on their way.
They add a touch of the autumn 'feel' to the garden.
Zingiber zerumbet, Shampoo gingers emerge from the ground after dormancy in spring. I'm especially fond of their elongated branches sporting creamy-edged green leaves. The way they arch-over sort of like a banner lightly covering nearby plants is a unique characteristic.
It is the pinecone-like bracts popping out of the ground at the base of the plants in late summer that indicates a new season isn't that far away.
It is early yet to get too excited about autumn.
Way too early for certain.
But don't you agree even the slightest bit of relief is worth mentioning after the summer we've had!
This philodendron 'autumn' mimicking the pretty shades of that season make it easier to ponder what it will be like when evenings turn cool and mornings are temperate once again.
The papery Oakleaf hydrangea petals evolving from white to pink to the rusty shades that resemble an autumn arrangement is a subtle indicator, too.
And always when the buds begin to form on the Dichorisandra thyrsiflora blue gingers I know for certain summer is coming to a close. The actual flowers never ever appear until autumn is here.
And the Butterfly Ginger is a late summer fragrance that fills the air on light breezes hinting to a season change.
Oh, autumn will be celebrated happily but in the meantime we'll patiently wait and watch for its subtle signs.
Am I alone or has anyone else noticed the changes?