Last spring a concentrated effort was made to increase the middle story volume in the garden. The level between low-lying shrubs and the very tall canopy of oak trees. By adding several specimen trees with a mature growth habit of 10- 20 feet in height the middle story will eventually fill out and complete a much needed design element.
Two young 7' Raphiolepis indica Indian Hawthorn 'Majestic Beauty' standard trees are putting on their pretty pink blooms for winter. Majestic Beauty is cold hardy through frost and drought resistant in summer and attractive to all sorts of wildlife. Slow growing but worth the wait.
One of my most loved salvias is the Mystic Spires. The elongated spikes of blue-purple are also a bumble favorite. This one does better for me in cooler months. I usually re-purchase a few each year. This one is planted in the center pot of the circle garden.
Tropic Snow Peach Tree
Another addition to the middle story last year was the Tropic Snow Peach tree. This variety provides a sweet white flesh and only needs 200 chill hours which makes it good for zone 9. Last year I was amazed at the sight of real peaches.
Several doses of organic compost, aged horse manure, and seabird guano have been its food of choice over the course of the past year. Fingers and toes are crossed for a peach harvest in May.
Often I look up from the family room couch to see this view in the distance. It is even more visible from the back patio looking directly southward beyond the length of two neighbor's yards. It is an inspiring view with the morning sunshine illuminating the background of cypress trees edging the conservation area while the foreground remains shadowed by dense shade. (Photo from December 2010)
This weekend it was a dreary view. Rain fell lightly for most of Saturday. Sunday remained cloudy although no precipitation as predicted which made for a nice afternoon to get lots of gardening accomplished.
Small but Powerful
Do you know that feeling when you walk through the garden and a wonderful fragrance wafts through the air to surprise your senses? That's the way it happens with the Osmanthus fragransTea Olive blooms. They always catch me off-guard.
They aren't especially attractive shrubs. I'd even go so far to say they are rather non-descript. For that reason three of them were sited on the back side of the berm last spring. Evergreen and cold hardy (as well as fragrant)they withstand frost and freezing temps which carries all kinds of weight in my garden. They've grown about a foot in one year.
The bloom clusters are very tiny. But the light, lemony fragrance is fresh and extremely potent. So much so that when it wafts past me from several feet away I have to try to remember what it is that smells so divine. What a treasure they are for the winter-weary garden!
Cold Hardy Files
A single white-flowering yarrow was given to me a couple of years ago when I attended a library talk on day lilies. At first sight I loved the foliage on this plant.
Two springs and summers have passed and it has not once bloomed for me. I suspect lack of enough sun is the reason. With that in mind I rooted several small pots of it last summer and moved it to the sunniest place possible.
It has spread nicely in the front lawn renovation next to the street. I'm happy with the airy, feathery, limey-green foliage that stays bright in summer and winter. But I have to admit white blooms would be a thrill, too. Hopefully we'll get some this summer with the increased sunshine-dosages provided.
More on the Louise Philippe roses to come. But wow! What a show off he is being right here in the middle of winter.
Here's to the winter garden adding joy to your day. Thank you for dropping by, Meems
Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.