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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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Gentle Tug of Spring

The slightest bit of rain and the African Iris perennials burst out with bloom. Last week, the first we've had in too long, was too slight *sigh*and no more on the forecaster's horizon any time soon but the Irises responded in step with their character.

We are very thankful the goldfinches visit the south for a few months. What a delight their sweetly-voiced chorus is to my ears. Perching in the branches of the oaks and gathering by the dozen at the feeders they entertain me while working.

The males are just beginning to get their bright yellow feathers. This year they are eating the sunflowers as much (or more) as the thistle. hmmm... they've not done that before.

Signs of Spring Are All Around

Brown oak leaves have fallen to the ground gifting me with lots of good mulch and new, lime green leaves have pushed out filling in the very high branches.

Isn't spring just the most fascinating time of year!?
What better way to greet the refreshing change in the earth and glorious days of spring than in the garden!

Every growing thing is signaled that it's time to come out and there's no stopping the natural circle of life.

Spring calls and every living thing answers.

Our typcial spring is a smooth transition from winter. Really not much change except maybe faster growth rate, longer days, the arrival of the goldfinches, and much warmer afternoons ... but nothing else too drastic.

This spring we are noticing the changes more than ever.

After two hard freezes in January randomly leveling parts of the garden we are as eager as my northern gardening friends to see restoration and revival in the garden.

And It Is Beginning!

The day the Lord created hope was probably
the same day he created Spring. ~Bern Williams

Xanadu, once 3 and 4 feet tall and the ground not visible for lushness of leaves, for the first time ever, were stripped completely naked of foliage after the freezing frosts. Already they are working very hard with spring's push to be fully clothed again.

Like this.


In just the last two weeks new growth on just about everything is responding to spring's gentle tug. Tiny shoots at every notch are bursting on the scene.

It was only a few days ago there wasn't a hint of green on this very large split leaf philodendron. Today their giant leaves appear almost awkward standing sentinel in singular form. As spring growth would have it, it won't be long and there won't be a view to the neighbor's yard through the trunks.


One lone unfurling branch on the Australian fern.
Every single one of its fronds were removed and only the trunk left after frost damage. (Yes, that's a golf ball behind it . I just this second noticed it. The little one was playing while I was snapping photos. Or I should say, I was snapping photos while the little one was playing.)

Confidence is growing that it will return to its stately position (photo from December 2008) very quickly with spring's assistance.

American Beauty Berry

Last, but absolutely not least, are the sprouts already popping out of the ground as spring warms the earth in the vegetable garden. Growth is happening so fast now there is visible change from morning's first peek at the garden to the evening walk through.

Is spring calling where you are? If not, it won't be long. No matter where you are, no matter how long your winter lasts, spring is guaranteed to follow. One day you will see the slightest little tug on a branch ... new growth ... and you will know it is well on its way!
It's only a matter of time.
In the spring, at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood


  1. It is so exciting seeing all the signs of spring approaching. Every time I go outside there is something new to discover.

  2. Hi Meems, I just got caught up with your posts. I wonder if the peacocks have been captured yet. You did get some great captures with your camera! I hope your barricade to your garden is still working.

    It seems weird reading you talking about winter being almost over, as you barely experience it, but experience it you did with those cold temps over a few days. I just hope when April gets here, the temps will be mild here in Nebraska.

    Keep us posted on the birds, blooms, and veggies!

  3. I noticed a few green spots here in Middle Tennessee as well over the weekend...they aren't anything compared to what you have going on in your garden. Enjoy all the new growth and the rebirth of everything!!!

  4. Just beautiful, spring is so close! Do you have any pineapple sage, if not, would you like some? It will grow and grow, blooms beautifully, it has to be in the teens to kill it back. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it. You can prune it and make other cuttings until July 1st. If you cut it after that you will cut the fall blooms. I'll be happy to send you some. Could you give me some tips on how you grow your red salvia?

  5. I agree, Spring is a magical time of year!

  6. One of my all time favorite plants is the tree fern, probably because I don't have it. It's only marginally hardy here and $$$. Your photo from December is breathtaking. And bless its heart, it's making a comeback.

    Spring has sprung.

  7. Loving this weather!!It is perfect!
    Our garden has sprung anew,also.I love walking around and seeing the signs of life(especially after this past winter).I'm like a proud parent,yelling,"Hey,come see,the plumeria are sprouting!"

  8. Wasn't the weather great this weekend? One of the first weekends that I've been really motivated to garden this year.

  9. Hi Meems,

    I'm sorry I haven't visited your blog lately. I've really missed so much.

    I have to tell you I cannot believe that split leaf philodendron. I've never seen one with a base like that. Until I enlarged the picture it looked like suckers on an octupus.

    I have that spring disease you talked about. I go out to my garden almost every day and pull back mulch to see if any green is showing. It's silly but my heart almost skips a beat when I find a little something popping up. It's always fun!

  10. We enjoy watching the goldfinches during the winter and early spring too - but this year, we only have a couple and they aren't feeding at the feeders . . . Rats! That means I have to go in search of them instead of just look out the window at the thistle feeder. I'm so jealous of yours!

  11. Meems,
    It doesn’t look like you had a “gentle tug of spring” to me. It looks more like spring grabbed you by the arm and said come on gurl let’s go! You got all kinds of wonderful things going on you garden. It’s like Mother Nature on Caffeine!

  12. i love your two quotes, when you smell like dirt you know you've been gardening, yes. dirt has magical qualities!
    it is so good to see all your new growth. blow some southernly warmth this way so we can get on with it. i love seeing your new sprouts so new, beautiful and full of hope. my sprouts are all peeking out and that colour green is wonderful to see here at dash home farm.

  13. Dear meems, I am so glad to hear that your sweet beauties are rebounding. At first I thought the frost might have outright killed them...whew! The wonderfulness of living in an almost tropical garden is the quick growth. I remember the rains in Tampa...where are they? We had rain forecast for all this week..they never materialized. It is already dusty....but the workers are here finishing the re-hab! Meems, I love both the quotes...they are perfect!


  14. Meems,

    Yes, spring is just wonderful! A true reason to celebrate.

    I have been playing blog hooky – it’s been so sunny and warm (85 degrees today) that I’ve not been on my computer much at all during the day!

  15. I went out of town this weekend, came home and there was spring! Just like you say, it is tugging all things out of their winter slumber. Very nice post with lots of green things coming awake.

  16. Meems, your yard is just gorgeous! I was wondering if you're in a low lying area or do you have water restrictions the way we do here in Tampa Bay? We're down to one day a week watering schedule and so I can't really plant many of the plants you have featured here. I see you have a lot of shade that helps! My garden gets too much sun to handle the amount of water they would need.
    Good luck in planting your new garden for spring!

  17. Meems, beautiful, beautiful photos. There's a lot of new refreshing-green leaves here too. And although the transition from one season to another isn't as pronounced as yours, or other northerners', the season is still looked forward to.

    Always wonderful taking in the sights of your garden..

  18. It's been a crazy winter hasn't it? And for you to have all that damage is surprising. I hope everything rebounds quickly and looks lush again soon. I am patiently waiting for spring. It teases us, here one day and gone the next. But I know it's on its way...

  19. Hi Meems....I love to study your photographs......and have great appreciation of the difference between your garden and mine....your tropicals take my breath away but I love my bulbs and hellebores at this time of year.
    I chanced to notice a beautiful child strolling you gardens. Is that a grandchild?

    I hope you get some much needed rain.....we have had plenty here today......

  20. Your beautiful photos show all the hope of spring, Meems. So glad to know everything is growing rapidly. All will be lush and lovely before you know it.
    And are those bean sprouts? Yay! Lucky you!
    We're quite a way from there yet, but at least we can see bare earth :) And yes, the birds are singing sweetly and chasing each other :) I too love the goldfinches' sweet song...and the chickadees', and well, so many :)

  21. Darla,
    I do not have any pineapple sage. My first exposure to it at Cheekwood Botanical last year in TN visiting Marmee. Not sure it likes my humidity but I will do a little research. It is a lovely salvia. Is it seed you are offering? Tips on the red salvia? I can't say I have any really... Loves the sun ... it is quite hardy here and needs very little attention. Sorry.

  22. Hi Laura,
    Thank you.
    I am in the Tampa Bay Area, too. We have the same watering restrictions. I am not in a low lying area but I must say my yard is mostly shady. Without the shade I couldn't garden like I do. It saves me and it saves the garden. The spring garden gets about 5-6 hours of sun but I had to remove a tree to maximize that corner of the yard. Thanks for stopping by. do you have a blog?

  23. Kerri,
    Thank you. Yes, lima bean sprouts. I also have pole beans and green beans. Mr. Meems likes the limas so I had to make room for them just to surprise him.

    You will soon be frollicking in the spring growth and forget all about the winter for a while. Thanks for all your kind comments on my other posts as well. God bless.

  24. Cheryl,
    Your hellebores are certainly to be envied. I guess the saying goes... " you can't have everything" (sigh). Yes, you caught a glimpse of one of my favorite garden helpers... the 3 year old of my one and only daughter. He is much cherished around here... was over this morning digging away in the dirt while I planted. It is a great age for adventure!

  25. I love seeing the lushness of your gardens, and so happy to see your frost damaged plants coming back!

  26. Meems: No not seed, haven't been able to locate that. I am offering to send you a potted piece of the Pineapple Sage. If someone can tell me how you package it. I'm sure UPS knows how!! Hey, it's worth a try. Just let me know.

  27. I LOVE THIS ENTRY... it is so warm. We are still freezing up North so your warm blogging is appreciated. Can't wait to see what the rest of your spring holds. LOVE THOSE carrots... great photo!

  28. The Williams quote perfectly describes the arrival of spring; it's definitely my favorite time of year! This year seems to be have been a year of extremes in weather all over the world; I hope things begin to level out.

    Your garden looks beautiful as always; the hard freezes don't seem to have had too many negative effects.

  29. It's nice to see all the growth beginning...things are warming up here too. I'd never heard Dietes called African Iris but thought they looked the same. We call them fortnight lilies as a common name. Mine are just starting to bloom also!


Have a blessed day,

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