Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Gardens Within The Garden
Three Swallowtail plants (Christia Obcordata) positioned in containers at the curve to the tropical pathway were the cause of many Florida gardeners swooning in late summer. Oh, there is no question they were worth the few extra dollars spent. Swaying lightly in the breeze and reaching taller than the bordering flax lilies. Their movement mimicking butterly flight was a lovely view for these last few months.
Alas, as the autumn weather waned-on they became less and less swoon-worthy. Faded leaves and lanky stems called for their removal.
Out with the Swallowtail and in with Philodendron 'Rojo Congo' and Macho Fern, Nephrolepsis.
Gentle digging around hibernating caladium bulbs and trailing Golden Globe Lysimachia was in order to replace the central focus of those three containers.
There are so many advantages to container gardens. Smaller plots of soil, much better regulated often times. Each one with the capability to grow its own unique garden within the garden.
I have long been a fan of gathering a few plants together and snuggling them side-by-side in their very own habitat. Can you tell how many of these plants are in containers? It is the best way to grow Rosemary in my garden.
Truth be told, creating containers is a gardening habit I've attempted to curb. It is no use.
The down-side to these mini-gardens (if there is one) is the extra attention of watering needs they often require.
Potted up plants can perk-up a patio or walkway. They lift colorful focal points in height among foundational plants when placed within the landscape design.
And they warm-up a cozy seating area just the same as a proper accessory does in an indoor design.
Who is that pretty flower in the pink and white dress? Why that's my friend, Helen, from Barbados and author of My Rustic Bajan Garden. This was her second visit to Hoe and Shovel. We had a delightful afternoon together once again. Helen, thanks especially for the laughs!
In an effort to work around that eensie-weensie problem of containers requiring more hand-watering than time usually allows, my recent goal has been to stick with drought resistant and hardy(er) combinations. Especially in the pots furtherest away from the water source.
The idea for containers located in the screen-enclosed lanai has been to eliminate flowering specimens which shed petals attributing to an unnessecary extra mess. Foliage varieties and colorful glazed pottery make excellent substitutes for short-lived annuals and shedding blooms.
Succulents do especially well in their own specific containers where the soil can be left to dry out in between waterings. Placed in the sunniest positions their locations are rotated as the lighting often changes as the seasons shift .
Autumn is the perfect time to review conditions of container plants. Often summer takes its toll on these small gardens that live in limited soil with competing nourishment.
The inspiration for the Philodendron 'Rojo Congo' replacing the Swallowtails? The Philodendron 'Autumn' that have been great performers in a large center pot since summer began.
They've been consistently brightening the circle garden seating area with simple foliage, miss muffet caladiums, and green airy Macho Fern, Nephrolepsis.