Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Inspiring Winter Edibles
Just a few short years ago framed beds were constructed and edibles were added to my garden for the first time. I'm not sure what took me so long to get serious about this aspect of gardening. But I can say now it was an experience that greatly escalated my well-established and already intense romance with gardening.
Right from the beginning it felt natural designing even more additional spaces to include herbs, vegetables, and ornamentals all mixed in together. Curvy borders intended to blend the edibles right in with the rest of the landscape gave me that cozy, comfortable feeling that "all is right with the world." That's important you know.
Spring-like freshness has been in the air for the past couple of weeks here in Central Florida. The crisp coolness during the day invigorates my soul and inspires me to make a big stab at winter clean up. A plant by plant decision is made whether to prune back the frost-bitten limbs. Each one done is a step toward a quicker spring recovery as new leaf buds are already pushing out everywhere.
Collard greens never cared how cold or frosty it got this winter. We've been harvesting tender leafiness from them weekly since November.
Although their leaves were rimmed with diamonds of crispy frost many mornings ~~ pretty shades of petite rouge romaine, cherry belle radishes, spinach, carrots, peas, and parsley didn't quiver under the weight of our cold winter.
Flat leaf parsley is popping up all over the garden from spreading its own seed. It is easily pulled up and added to container pots or moved around to more convenient locations.
Containers of rosemary, cabbage, daisies, violas, lavender, lobelia, and alyssum are grouped throughout to hasten the call to beneficial pollinators.
It doesn't take them long at all to respond as the warm rays of sunshine beam into the garden and brightly colored flowers lure all sorts of buzzing critters.
Broccoli and cauliflower have beautifully healthy foliage that thrived in the midst of frost. Now I'm still waiting on them to produce a harvest.
The edible garden needed some serious purging. All the lifeless remains of pole beans, tomatoes, green beans, and zinnias from early December frosts have been removed.
Space is now available for those same seeds to go in the ground in the next couple of weeks for a better chance at spring production.
Getting my hands dirty in the edible garden this time of year causes my heart to soar. In the cool winter air with sun shining brightly the whole earth and all of the wildlife inhabitants seem to come alive with the same joy and anticipation. Just take a moment to stop and listen to the buzzing sounds of tiny pollinators returning in numbers and birds' wings fluttering in the shrubs nearby.
It makes sense that the garden is where I spend a great deal of my time ~~ I can forget about everything else when I'm in the garden.
I know you feel the same way if you're reading gardening blogs. There are so many ways the garden inspires the gardener. What's the best aspect of being in the garden for you?