Check Out These Pages, Too!

"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, July 20, 2008


Days' End

Every now and then when I least expect it the setting sun will back light the magnificent westward oaks. Friday evening was a such time. This kind of sky happens more often in the fall or the spring, but here we are in the middle of summer. From inside my home a glimpse of the brilliant orange and purples caught my attention through the front windows. Instantly, dropping what I was doing, I was propelled outdoors. These kinds of things call to me. It was impossible to watch from inside... I had to feel it, to give it my full attention and breathe it in. The balmy hour still filled with humidity, the trees silhouetted by the brightness and me with camera in hand trying to hold on to the simple wonders of God's handiwork.

Days' Beginning

Most of my mornings start out with me spending at least a few minutes on my back porch. It is fascinating to notice how the first rays of light shooting through the tall oak trees spotlight different plants at different times of the year. For the last couple of weeks I've been noticing the purple fountain grass is blooming quite happily which makes this gardener just as happy. Purposely placed in the back of the garden due to its height, it is a straight shot view, from where I sit to its location in the SE corner of the garden. Those first rays of the morning cause the dark purple leaves and burgundy-red, longarching plumes (12-15 in)to light up like little rays of sunshine themselves.

Purple fountain grass; Pennisetum setaceum 'Purpureum' is larger than other cultivars growing to 5 ft tall. At Hoe and Shovel it is placed between a large planting of plumbago to the left and 5 ft tall mystic (or indigo) spires to the right. The layers behind (not visible until one walks around to the back of the curvy bed) include purple butterfly bush, orange lantana, bush daisy, african iris and marigolds. We tend to crowd in every sun-loving perennial into this last of the sunny spots. In the foreground is the chartreuse colored potato vine I love so much for its vibrance but have to continually trim it back else it would be on top of everything. Then there is purple queen spilling over the barrier into the flax lily, what's left of the zinnias, and white queen caladium.


  1. Meems, coffee on your porch with that view is lovely indeed...a good place to start the day.

    There are moments in the garden that are often beyond description, but you have done a marvelous job of describing the reverence we all feel when see a sunrise or a beautiful flower or....the stars in the heavens.

  2. What a gorgeous sunset Meems!

    The fountain grass is glowing beautifully in the morning sun. The plumes appear to be lit from within.

    The caladiums our nursery sells aren't labeled, so I'm not sure which ones I've got. There are a couple of them though that look much like your White Queen. I wonder if that's what they are. They're very delicate-looking. This is the first year I've had this variety, and I just love them. They're very beautiful.

    I think I'll spend some time looking at your caladium posts

  3. Oh how I love a good sunset. Thought there would be a good one tonight, but not so much. Maybe later later in the week.

  4. Oh so beautiful. Don't you just love the way light illuminates things. It brings about a sense of peace.

  5. I love these photos. That shaft of sunlight you captured lighting up the purple fountain grass is just exquisite. There's nothing like morning and evening light in the garden.

  6. gail: On so many levels the garden is a sacred place and finding words to match our feelings is not easy... but we give it a shot at the risk of sounding melodramatic. For me, it is truly the place where I find my "center".

    Linda: I've been working on a caladium post of the current groupings in my garden. Hopefully it will post this week. I took a peek at your "Garden Greens" post again so I could remember the caladiums you had featured there. At least in those I didn't see the White Queen. But the ones you do have are very lovely. I especially like the frilly pink one with the green edges. I have (in the past) had one very similar- it was called Florida Sweetheart- just the name gets me excited. White Queen is supposed to be white with a magenta vein that runs through the center. Only this year for some reason all the WQ I planted have come up very pink all over... that happens sometimes.

    mjm: I thought about you Friday night when I was breathing in the beauty of that sunset... wondered if you were out on the water seeing the same thing.

    aunt debbi: thanks.

    chey: The very first ray of light that makes its way through the trees lands on the very same caladium leaves which are located much closer to my sitting place than the fountain grass. It is as if the entire plant is on fire with that peaceful light.

    Amy: Thank you.The fountain grass is actually much more interesting when the light catches the fuzzy plumes. Otherwise, the other characteristic I love about it is the graceful way the plumes drift about in the breeze.

  7. Your respect and awe of nature is so well expressed, not only through your beautiful garden, but in your words here as well. Love it.

  8. I WAS THERE! Yes, a delightful sunset, but I wasn't quite as "pulled" by it as you were. But I AM glad that you were able to capture it so well. I admit I had my doubts that your camera would do it justice, but bravo! And thanks for an awesome time away.

  9. Meems, that was lovely. I, too, love purple fountain grass, and I realized I didn't plant any this year. Here, it is an annual.~~Dee

  10. Meems,

    Your reverence for your garden and nature remind me to stop thinking about what needs to be done and just enjoy what IS.

    Thank you for sharing your fountain grass. Alas, it's an annual here, and I so wish it were perennial. I have some in a pot, but it's not the same. I'll enjoy my Calamagrostis 'Karl Forster' and my Stipa tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass) and my Pennisetum orientale. Oh, and the Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' which was a gift from my mail carrier. They are all lovely, but none are red/purple. What was I saying earlier about enjoying what IS? Maybe I should just go do that.

  11. I can see why you were drawn outside Meems. Just beautiful.

  12. Hi Meems....I understand completely your pull to the scene outside your window....the times this happens to me and I get lost in the moment.
    A lovely soft and gentle post........

  13. Sue: Thank you. When I was younger I wanted to take time to notice but life was just too fast- paced... it has only been the last couple of years that I LET myself drink in the moments.

    serious/silly/me: Sorry I left you hanging when I spotted that sunset and ran out on you ... glad you love me anyway.

    Dee: Even though it is a perennial here it isn't very pretty in the winter and in the spring I cut it back to about 1 foot high. The good thing though is that it can be divided and planted elsewhere at that time too. It takes up lots of space so I have limited it to only a couple of spots back there in the back corner.

    Nancy: I agree.

    Kim: Yeah... I didn't say I do THAT so well. :-) But it is a good idea and one I am learning to do a little better all the time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Lisa: It WAS a breathtaking scene - and they don't last long- the colors completely covered the western horizon...too bad I could only capture a small frame of it.

    Hi Cheryl: Thank you. I found myself wishing I could get past those trees to have a fuller view. It isn't possible with my trees and the neighbor's looming large in my view of the horizon but I was happy to soak up the magnificent colors even if through the oaks.

  14. Beautiful photos of your days beginning and end. Thanks for sharing. BTW, love the fountain grass!

  15. Connie: Good to have you stop by. Thank you.

  16. I know what you mean about being drawn outside to view the sunset. Its beauty beckons one to run outdoors to get the clearest view possible, no matter how many times we've seen one. Your garden looks great Meems.

  17. Susan: You are so right... and we have seen a few from our vantage point haven't we?... so many gorgeous sunsets from the gulf water's edge where they display God's creativity as far as the eye can see. Makes me want to go to the beach now... Oh wait... it's way too hot. :-)

  18. Your gardens and photography is awesome! I'm a gulf coast of central florida gardener too but my "plot" is tiny due to a pool and screen porch. I tend to do flowers, especially orchids.

  19. I love to start my days outside on the patio. I understand about being too busy earlier in life to enjoy these moments. Now I take the time to enjoy them and I drink them in too, if I capture the moment in a picture it is added joy.

  20. I've already appreciated this once. I must have forgotten to publish. I was thinking..I agree, I agree, I agreee on every succeeding comment. I especially like the last long shot of the garden. The plant combinations are wonderful. I can see why you are eager to get into the garden in the morning. Same here.

  21. my little family: thanks so much for stopping by... it's always really fun to find more Florida gardeners. When I first started blogging a little over a year ago there were only a handful of us. Love orchids but don't grow very many.

    Robin: I have a feeling you enjoy your morning meditation as much as I do. It is so freeing to get to the age where we 'really' discover who we are and then we take the time to enjoy it!

  22. mother nature: Thank you for popping over again and leaving your thoughts this time. That bed has become one of my favorite focal points. There are so many different plants in there and the bed looks different from every angle... so much fun in the garden! btw... I've just included it in my next post giving a broader view of it.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway