Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Could Someone Please Cue the Fat-Lady to Sing??
Ornamental cabbage in container gardens ~~ a tough winter planting even in low temps.
Winter is certainly making its distinct mark this December. Snow is falling (not here) in record amounts all over the country. The weather map seems to be covered in white reaching even as far south as north Florida (as Darla reports).
Tri-color Stromanthe is a very tender, colorful perennial which needs protection from freezing temps.
Gardeners in central Florida had our fingers crossed that the last two (early December)blasts of arctic air might have been a fluke. That perhaps our typically mild Decembers and winters would escape future dips into frosty temps since it came so early.
Understory of front garden planted with layers of hardy foundational plants mixed with natives, Florida-Friendly perennials and a few tropicals.
Alas, it is NOT over. Instead we are braced for more freezing temps along with windy, blustery weather the next few days. Not snow. But for this subtropical climate this kind of cold is a huge threat to crops and tender foliage.
Container planting in the center of circle garden ~~ mixed with hardy and tender plants. It is wrapped in a blanket because it is open and exposed to the elements.
Refusing to panic and scramble at each weather report (like I've done so many times in past years) I'm urging the majority of my plants to get (somewhat) hardened to this abnormal cold.
At this point the chances are increasingly unlikely. Wishing still ... after all if I spoiled them too much by keeping them covered and warm they might not be as tough right?
The vegetable garden has definitely taken a beating. Every vestige of warm season crop has been burned by low temps.
A few of the tender tomato plants were covered as there was no chance they would survive without extra care. Even so leaves were burned but the eager tomatoes remain. They are wrapped up tightly again with high hopes of a harvest eventually. IF things get back to normal.
At first sight of the overall winter damage one would not imagine to see perky lettuce, tasty spinach, thriving broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes. But a closer look beyond the brown and shriveled plants reveals the cool season edibles hanging in there. Continuing to supply the dinner table with freshness in the midst of these crazy weather patterns. We always have to look for the bright side!
Far back gardens underplanted (what's visible in this photo) with selloums, variegated shell ginger, saw palmetto, xanadu, variegated aztec grass~~ all of it mostly protected by oak trees.
Throughout the gardens there is damage here and there. It's kind of random and mostly to be expected. Green is looking very pleasing to the eye these days.
Tropical pathway in back gardens struggling to look perky.
The large oak trees in front and back serve as a cover of insulation allowing some of the tenderest plants to defy nature under its canopy. So far.
Others are simply suffering from a haggard and fatigued appearance as they struggle to stay warm enough to keep from fainting all together.
As much as we wish the fat-lady would go ahead and sing signaling this crazy winter is OVER ... reality check indicates we may be in for a long season.
All in all we're thankful for the stalwart plants that aren't giving up easily. It is winter!
And in typical Florida fashion we will endure these few days of freeze and frost warnings and by weeks' end temps will be back up to the 70's with plenty of our warm sunshine to live it up outdoors! That news has to brighten anyone's world!