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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

christmas spirit in the garden

don't forget the garden when it comes time to decorate for Christmas. the garden is actually where i start first. as a matter of fact just about anytime i'm supposed to be doing anything else... you can find me in the garden... because it is where i'd rather be all the time. so on the first day of december when it came time to begin rearranging furniture to make room for the tree, i was outside all day long doing what i love most. does it count that rearranging pots and plants is much like rearranging furniture ... only i get to be outdoors on a beautiful florida december day?

it was time to spruce up the garden containers with sights of the Christmas season. redesigning several of my potted planters i added poinsettias for a bright pop of red and a colorful Christmas focal point. it's a simple way to integrate Christmas with what you already have in your garden without too much expense.

this hanging planter had an overgrown bromeliad i removed and with its pretty new red colors is adorning the entry way leading to the front door for a cheery Christmas hello to guests.

you might remember this urn had fall colored croton planted in it for autumn. now it is all dressed for the holidays.

this is the display on the front walkway. the sunlight catches the red leaves in the afternoon and the brightness of them is delightful.

a bonus of working all day in the garden is that not only do i get to enjoy digging in the dirt and designing but nature is all around and i would venture to say enjoying our great weather too. the sights yesterday included some interesting guests.
this wasp (have no idea what kind) was eating a monarch caterpillar from the milkweed plant. first of all i didn't know wasp enjoyed this kind of dinner, secondly i got SO close it could have stung me but it didn't care it was so intent on its meal.

i planted milkweed about 6 weeks ago to attract monarchs. yesterday i spotted this monarch caterpillar from the ground just beneathe the milkweed. my plan must be working. only i hope the wasps are not plucking them off one by one. i'll keep checking back to hopefully find a chrysalis or two.
while i was persuing a monarch and failing at my attempt ... out of what seemed like nowhere this swallowtail floated along right in front of me. it was a bit more cooperative as it put on a fluttery show among the pentas.


  1. We all know red is your favorite color, so no wonder you love Christmas season flowers. I love the way you rearrange your planters, like an everchanging floral vase. I must get out to the garden shop and buy some poinsettias too. Like you said, so colorful and cheery. I did pick up some red impatiens today, to put into a couple of hanging baskets. We also got some outside lights and trimming done today. Christmas is such a beautiful time of year, indoors and outdoors.

  2. I love Christmas decorating and you have done a wonderful job spicing up the garden with the bold red. It looks great and really ties into the season.

    I really like the blog background as well. Looks like Christmas. I love this time of year.

  3. Your recent handiwork and your new blog digs (colors and new photos) are wonderful! Is that first pic from my neighborhood? It looks so familiar?! Ebear was happy to see what looks like a Tiss Tee!

  4. Meems,
    Your BLOG looks amazing!! I finally took the time to actually look at it and read. Thank you for so many good ideas to plagiarize (does that work for gardening??)for fixing my pots up for my new front porch. After you teach me :) how to do this wonderful BLOG stuff, I will send you a cute photo of Mikala helping me to garden this weekend. She loves helping and I love getting muddy and dirty with her. Your talent is one of God's many gifts to those of us who get to share it!
    Much love,

  5. I like the Christmas look. About a gazillion poinsettias were planted last week at my apartment. It definitely does add a nice December flare for Florida.

  6. Meems: I'm completely smitten with your blog. Florida gardening is so radically different from Nova Scotia, and I've never been there either--but I feel already, after just looking at a couple of your posts and reading your thoughts, that I'm learning lots about gardening in the sunshine state. If you need some snow....we're getting lots tonight!

    I've added your blog to my list, and hope you'll also sign up for Blotanical if you haven't already. More readers need to see your blog!

  7. i love all the new pictures of redness. my favs so far. i'm living in snow and ice-covered streets so it's hard for me to imagine crickets, bees and caterpillars are still living somewhere.

  8. sg: red impatiens will perk up your baskets nicely in the spirit of Christmas. My thinking IS much like doing a floral arrangement when I tend to my containers... hmmm... I need a tall thing here and shorter thing there... and a trailing thing on this side... too much fun.

    nt: Me too, NT. All the spicing up seems to get us going in the spirit of all things sparklee and festive.

    mlm: Thanks, I'm glad you like. The oranges pic is from my trip to Lake Wales where I got so excited to see healthy acres of groves I pulled the car over to take several photos. I just had to show case one since they are a winter fruit in florida.

    P- thanks so much for visiting AND commenting. I think it's called imitation where gardens are concerned and feel free. My ideas are almost always a mixture of resources I've gathered over the years... not much new under the sun. :-)

    Jane: I've noticed complexes and subdivision entry ways that put poinsettias in the ground by the gazillions... it gives such a striking impact. It always makes me wish I had a landscape license so I could get my plants wholesale too. sigh

    Jodi: Hi. Thanks for stopping in. I've not been to Nova Scotia either but would love to visit - in the summer would be a good idea. :-) While I LOVE snow I've been watching the weather reports and I think right now you might be getting more than this florida native I could manage. Stay warm and safe... it must be a good time for writing! :-)

    ML: Believe me... they are ALL here.One of the down sides to hardly ever freezing them out. I love the way red makes its appearance in every way this time of year.

  9. meems, you've really outdone yourself! Absolutely stunning plants and flowers and arrangements and the photos that show them at their best. When I visit your blog, I realize you're in a warm climate, yet somehow it doesn't seem typical "Florida." I've been there many times, visiting relatives, and I'm always in awe of the colorful native flowers, but most of what I see in the way of personal gardening is ho-hum, in light of the possibilities there. Your gardens, however, are far from it. You have taken advantage of the unique growing conditions there and used them in creative ways that are anything but typical. My hat is off to you for accomplishing this.

  10. kylee: thanks for all the kind words. florida gardening definitely presents unique challenges with our extreme heat, droughts and year-round demands--which as you pointed out --- makes for a large percentage of ho-hum landscaping.

    fortunately, i love learning to master the challenges and just keep at it through all the trials and errors... and believe me, there have been many- errors that is! :-)


Have a blessed day,

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