Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
When Winter Decides to Pass You By
Spring began in December at Hoe and Shovel. I know some of my gardening friends right here in Florida were visited by some dipping temperatures this winter. But here we were barely noticed by winter.
Only two or three nights when we dipped below freezing and hardly a plant was affected. I always attribute my protective microclimate to the canopy of mature oak trees.
I've diligently worked to install cold hardy plants into every planting bed as insurance for harsher conditions. That way *if* I lose my tropicals the entire garden isn't devastated.
But WOW! this year has been so nice. And SO different than the last four winters when we had so many frosts and unusually cold nights.
When winter passes you by it means getting to see winter bloomers that haven't flowered in January or February or March in many years.
Beauty that inspires outdoor activities, playtime, gardening time, breathing deeply, meditating pauses.
With mostly spring-like days encouraging growth of all the plant life there are annuals wildly sprawling when ordinarily they would be knocked back by natural conditions.
Don't worry the fast-growing Lantana camara is contained in a pot. It hides the well pump in the berm.
I'm thinking the Musa Sumatrana that seems to take forever each year to come back from the cold will finally put on some good growth and look its best by the end of spring -- for a change.
Never has the spinach tree bloomed in winter. It is a tender one that my friend KH (hugs, My Friend)gave me from a cutting. This year it has a chance to actually look like a small tree.
The butterflies love the small white blooms it produces.
Tropical leaves of all sorts continue to stand tall and erect through *the winter that wasn't*.
Tropicals are happy.
Color and blooms abound.
It's been a bit strange I have to say. Instead of cutting back due to frost damage I'm cutting back greenery and even flowers just for the sake of pruning perennials for their health. I like it for a change. It reminds me of the mild winters this area was known for when I was growing up.
It will be interesting to see how different the garden looks by summer. Starting out with almost no set backs. Gardening is always full of surprises. Happy 'official' spring!!! Isn't it exciting!!!
*** For ID or more information on any photo just click on it to take you to the web album with captions describing each one (you'll have to back click to come back to the blog).