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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.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Show Your Colors

Today is the day when the calendar tells us it is officially that wonderful season of the year called autumn. Even though in Florida we don't get much of a "season change" in terms of cooler evenings and leaves changing colors, we still really like to dream about it!

We DO notice shorter days and that wonderful goldeny-yellow color cast on the earth as it revolves further away from the sun causing the shadows to elongate.

In honor of the welcomed new season we took a little walk around the back garden this morning to capture some autumn colors.

All year long we make use of various colorful foliage to add interest and contrast to our evergreen tropicals. But somehow hues of red, orange, yellow and purple seem to grab my attention in a new way as they work at dual duty this start of our warm autumn season.

Bush daisies have bloomed continually since April along with the super-stand-by blue porterweed. The crotons, coleus, caladiums, dracaenas, potato vine, fire spike, lantanas all perking up today for their opportunity to help me celebrate the happy shades of autumn.

The coleus front and center in this (above) photo is the most luscious shade of limey orange. For the past several weeks I have aggressively clipped off cuttings and stuck them in various places in an effort to preserve it as well as multiply the plant that was so strategically placed in early spring. You may remember it is in a low-lying bowl container in perfect view from my back porch and my kitchen window. Its brightness stands out even when it's cloudy and when the sun shines through its leaves it appears to be on fire with brilliance. Definitely it has proven to be one of those choices that each time I look at it evokes gardener's glee!

On another autumn note

I've been working on my fall veggie garden the past few weeks. It is all planted out with pole beans, green beans, lima beans, carrots, radish, tomatoes, leeks and some seedlings have emerged with healthy happy leaves to get us going. I tried very hard not to overcrowd this season. I also resisted adding more beds. This is my first fall garden so after this experience I'll know what it's like to have a summer garden and a fall garden.

It felt so much more comfortable getting started this go round after having the summer garden. Not that I don't still have loads to learn but it isn't quite as intimidating.
Planting seeds and watching them grow is so much fun it's difficult to explain the thrill of it.
Happy Autumn! Meems


  1. It's only autumn during the nights here at C&L, the days are in the mid 80s! If we had some humidity, it might feel like Tampa! Not! Meems the garden looks lovely! The fall garden bed is going to be wonderful and we will all be here watching nd learning with you! Gail

  2. It's funny with all the talk of least the temps stayed in the 80s today. Thanks for sharing all your varying shades of oranges and made fall a little more real here in FL.

    I was wondering what you were going to plant in your fall garden. Can't wait to see all those yummy veggies!

  3. Lovely, as always, Meems. I hear we will have lows in he upper 60's later this week. I cannot wait. I take photos of my orange and yellow marigolds and imagine that it really is fall. =)

  4. You still have many lovely combinations. I like the first photo with the grass-like foliage, sheltering under the broad leaves. There are so many different leaf colours in your shots, yet all coordinating.
    Enjoy the fall vegetable garden.

  5. Meems, your colors really do show fall even though you are not getting the cooler temps that we are. I will think of you has we dip into the low 50's! Your garden is still so lovely and the coleus is gorgeous. I don't blame you for taking cuttings. It seems so odd to hear of you planting a fall garden. I am anxious to see how it does-along with you. The only things we are thinking of planting are bulbs for spring. :)

  6. Meems, your photos are lovely. The leaves are slowly turning here but our autumn colours vary year to year depending on what sort of summer we have had. As this summer has been cool and wet the leaves will not have a lot of colour. Thank you for showing us your lovely autumn garden.

    I am looking forward to hearing about your vegetable garden. I can get just as excited about someones garden plans as my own, not sure what that says about me!! Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  7. gail: our humidity was right back to greet us after our couple of days of relief last week. We are used to it and we know it is the way it goes. But that drier air is heavenly at any temp isn't it?

    mlm: 80's into the night. we were out last night and it was still surprisingly balmy at 10. I started my tomatoes from seed (back in August) this time so it will be REALLY interesting to see how they turn out.

    Patricia: Floridians have to figure out ways to fool ourselves into the autumn mood don't we? Marigolds would work wonderfully. Our weather reports aren't forecasting 60's but I would surely welcome it.

  8. northern shade: The combination in that first photo is in a low lying bowl container. The liriope grass visible in front is the border (in the ground)around the entire bed. I am currently quite in love with that container planting. The dark green on the upper side and deep purple underneath elephant ear plant was given to me by my neighbor several years ago. I moved it recently to the pot where it gets just a little more sunshine and wow! has it taken off with larger and more profuse leaves. You gotta love it when something works out that way.

    beckie: Do think of me and try to shove some of your cool temps this way pleeeeeze. Funny you say that about the spring bulbs. I keep getting the e-mail ads from the garden companies advertising them ... but of course we don't plant daffodils, tulips, crocus, or so many other bulbs you will have fun getting into place. Instead we will be dividing a transplanting perennials like crazy in the next couple of months. Ever the busy garden down here.

    Sylvia: I think it says you are a true gardener. We like what we do but we like to share it and learn from others what they do. And I'm happy about it because it means you will come along with me while I experiment on the fall garden for the first time. It will be an interesting experience... I won't be as compulsive about it this season since I know now it doesn't really need for me to "watch" the seeds grow. :-)

    Enjoy your fall colors as your leaves turn.

  9. It was in the 60's this morning, felt great.. Love the way you have combined all of your different plants. Beautiful.

  10. Your garden is so tropical and full of lush color. And your fall veggie garden list is inspiring me ... sure wish I didn't have to pull out so much to plant new things!

  11. When I think of Florida, I don't think of fall, but you do have some lovely shades of autumn in your garden. I love the coleus--I planted several this year in the garden. There are so many new varieties this year that I had a hard time choosing among them! Mine won't last through the winter like yours, of course, but I plan to take some cuttings to keep for next year. Your vegetable garden looks great--can't wait to see how they all turn out.

  12. Hi Meems, your garden still looks so lush and beautiful! The fall colors are so pretty.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the progress of your fall veggie garden!

  13. Hi Meems, can I ask a couple questions. First photo, what is the grass in the forground? It looks silvery in the photo? Second, all your lovely caladiums, are they affected by slugs and snails?

  14. meems your garden is lovely in every season. i love the highlights of the autumnal colours.
    we are still warm here, too. the nights are cooling off though(we felt it while camping.)

    it will be great to watch your veggie garden as it sprouts!keep me up to date on what is developing.

  15. Love the color in your garden Meems even if it doesn't change in a dramatic way like it does here after frosts etc.

  16. I have my fall garden planted also. I have cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I also have spinach, turnip greens, collards, and kale. Everything looks great so far.

  17. Your garden looks so fresh and lush with all the greenery. Just beautiful! Happy autumn, too. Cameron

  18. Hi Meems, your garden looks gorgeous as usual. I really like your pics--they show me what different plants I could consider in my garden. I will have to replant some of my veggies as they didn't come up. I fear it may be getting too late here in North Central Fl. Will just try & see. Keep us informed about your veggie garden.

  19. Here in Sweden the trees are changing their colours and the leaves are falling... Quite sad really, but on the other hand, all the more fun when Spring finally appears.
    Your garden looks so nice with all those interesting plants! Happy Autumn!

  20. Meems, your raised beds look lovely. I'd like to have some myself.

    It looks like there is a very real possibility that I'll be taking my grandma to Florida this winter, probably around February-March, for a week. If so, I'll let you know and hopefully I can visit you and your fabulous garden!!

  21. Our days have cooled off some, mostly in the early morning & at night. Your garden still looks lush & beautiful Meems! I like your raised veggie beds, that is what my hubby is building for me for next spring. Can't wait!

  22. darla: Thank you... combining and color ... two of my favorite things in gardening. They say it is suppose to be 68 in the morning... it will be our first morning in the 60's... I surely hope it comes true.

    diana: the fall garden will be a completely different experience than the summer garden. It's small so it is manageable... I hope to increase it's size next spring.

    Rose: you are correct to leave Florida off your 'autumn wonders' list. We do not have a change of season for the most part. We are very happy right now with temps in the 70's at night. I have really enjoyed being in the garden in the morning hours without perspiring profusely (gross, I know, but it's a big deal here :-).

    Linda: my garden is surprising me this month... hanging in there in so many ways and yet definte signs of decline. I guess all that hard work all summer is paying off.

  23. Marnie,
    This one's just for you. Of course you can ask questions... you know I love to talk. :-)

    In the first photo the grass is variegated liriope. It is planted in the ground in front of the container and actually it is the border plant for the entire curvy bed. I use it in abundance for that purpose at Hoe&Shovel. It is so easily divided and transplanted which keeps me from purchasing new plants... I just use what I have. Although my newly favorite border plant is flax lily... looks a lot the same but has wider leaves.

    And yes, caladiums are on the menu for slugs and snails. Although the Eastern Lubber grasshoppers often times get to them first. GRRRRRRR!!!!

  24. marmee: okay... you know me well and with that I'll say... I'm NOT going to obssess about this fall garden! I will take it in stride, do the best I can, and let God and the elements do the rest. There, it's all out in the open now.

    I'm leaving to go out of town for a week and my neighbor will be helping me out with watering. I'm trying to figure out how I can ask him to check on the little green sprouts more than once a day to be sure the grasshoppers haven't found them. Oh, but see, that would be obssessing so I'll lay that thought down and come what may... I'm going to enjoy being gone. :-)

    Lisa: We do have to fake it here for some seasonal color. There is nothing like the real thing... all those breathtaking trees on a mountainside...

    Valerie: sounds like a wonderful garden ... and many veggies I wish I was going too. Next year I'll have more room hopefully. thank you for visiting.

    Cameron: Thank you... very kind words... glad you stopped by.

    Lola: You know what I've figured out about seeds? Just go ahead and give them a try... not much to lose... mostly just experience and knowledge to gain even if they don't turn out like we wished. I'll keep you posted on the garden.

  25. Katrina: I hear what you are saying. But here we are always very happy for any change in weather by the end of summer. We are entering into our best weather of the year ... the winter.

    Kylee: I surely hope you do end up coming down with your grandma. You are picking THE very best time to visit Florida as far as the weather goes. It would be my thrill to meet you and have you come by Hoe&Shovel... even though in February and March the garden is not nearly as lush... we'll manage.

    Raquel: Thank you. You will love the raised beds. Containing the garden makes it so handy for so many reasons. I'm hoping to add more to that area by spring. Two is just not enough... but I have to say it was perfect to start with.

  26. What lovely photos - it's amazing what plants do in different locations! I use varieties of carex to do what the liriope won't here - it's currently flat on the ground, and obviously dreaming of being in your Florida garden.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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