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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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

As We Wait for Autumn's Forgiving Sun

It has been as hot as summer in Florida this week. We enjoyed a refreshing cool down a few weeks ago but it only lasted a short few days and we are right back where we started about 5 months ago with very humid, warm weather.

Usually by October we can count on the softer angle of the sun to keep us at least a little cooler. ... in the evenings and mornings anyway. Only this week we have steadily seen temps of over 90 degrees. That means it is still very warm in the overnights. That means the soil temps in the veggie garden are not cooling down enough for the veggies to be satisfied.

It all makes for such fun trying to figure it all out! We wait as long as we can to get the seeds started in soil we know is too hot for good growing conditions. Certainly we will get relief soon, we think, as we chance the timing for cooler nights and yet plan for a harvest to arrive before the possibility of a quirky frost.

It's all a guess even with the best charts and planning data. Looking toward when once we experience a little less humidity and a bit of consistency in a cool down the veggies will take off in a growth spurt happily and gleefully welcoming the autumn season.

In the meantime, some random photos taken this week at Hoe and Shovel will keep us occupied.

... of blooms and foliage and gardens growing like mad as if the summer will never come to an end.

There are projects in the works and just good ole maintenance that keeps us outside at least part of the day most days, if not, all day. When you garden in Florida you just learn to keep gardening even when the weather would say to most to run for cooler cover.

We are grateful for the shady garden in this kind of intense heat and prolonged summer stretch. There is a slight variance and relief in temperature (not humidity) offered by the arching branches.

Gardening under the canopy of oaks is a welcomed and saving grace to full sun gardening.

The southerly shift of the sun makes our days a little shorter even down here closer to the equator. And oh, how we adore the shadows that fall a little longer teasing us with thoughts and wonderings of changing seasons.

It's been a long, long summer and we are more than ready for a transition.

As sultry as this kind of climate can be, I'd still much rather be outdoors enjoying the peaceful calm my garden affords my soul than indoors.

Here's to a shift in the season soon. In just a short couple of months, maybe sooner, we will be in a winter paradise. In the meantime, we'll happily garden while we wait for Florida to catch up with the calendar.

Have a happy weekend to each and every one no matter where it is you garden!
Blessings, Meems


  1. meems...we had a few very warm days here. i got to cut most of the grass...some areas are just to wet. what different climates we experience. i am thinking the cool front we feel today you will get either tomorrow or the next hold on it's coming. i always find these fluctuating temps so intriguing. i hope your veggies that have been planted are doing well in the cozy black gold you provide them. it is always "fun" trying to figure out what to do...when.
    happy autumn...just keep will come.

  2. Well said! I stuck some herbs in the ground today to replace the poor souls that didn't make it through the heat and/or humidity this summer. I am hoping that it cools somewhat before the new ones decide to bolt.

  3. I wouldn't mind the lingering heat if the humidity wasn't so high. Temps in the 80s, humidity in the 70s, I thought I'd melt outside. My glasses steamed up, even.

  4. 19 degrees here last night means witner has already arrived! I love your pink orchid photo at the top. Your tropical garden is a fun change of pace from our going-to-sleep gardens around here.

  5. Your garden looks so fresh and lively. My garden is getting the bedraggled and worn look. Our high today was 55. I brought in my staghorn fern last night because it was to be in the lower 40's again and it pouted the last time it got that cool. It won't be getting any warmer any time soon anyway. You will have to keep us northern gardeners happy with photos of your lovely garden to get us through the winter.

  6. A happy weekend to you too Meems! You have worked hard this summer and I can't believe that it has gone. Your garden has flourished under your talented hands. I wish I can see it now. Down here it is still tooo hot to garden in the day so I am gardening by moonlight LOL. Take care my friend and hugs to you.

  7. Hi Meems, it is so weird to sit here with a 39F this a.m. and a high of 51F today to read about your temps. Only a month ago, we had the same. We're sending slightly cooler temps your way my friend.~~Dee

  8. Autumn is usually a bit depressing here in London, but this year we are truly having a gorgeous Indian Summer. It has been beautiful, but the plants will get a real shock when the cold does set in...

    Hope you don't mind the mention on my latest post...

    Also very jealous of your Aechmea blanchetiana - I have been after one of these for years now!

  9. Great photos of the garden!Looks wonderful! Looks very lush and uplifting as well.. Enjoy it!
    Lovely post!

  10. Hard freeze warnings for my gardens tonight. I brought in a few tenders but will let the rest go. It is October and time for me to take a gardening break for a few months.
    Your flowers look so pretty. The Zebra Longwing on your header is my all time favorite butterfly...beautiful photograph.

  11. Hi Meems, My cousin from Florida (Melbourne) is here visiting me this weekend. She was really complaining about the HEAT in Florida right now. She said it was 92 a few days ago. GADS--I would hate that!!!

    It's gotten quite cool here---but we've had SO much rain!!!! The good news is that we are getting a little color around here finally.

    Have a great Sunday. Your flowers are still gorgeous.

  12. Meems, you can give a part of your long, long summer to us! We have beautiful Indian summer, but everyone knows that rains are not so far... Your garden pictures are lovely as always. Congratulations again with your award!

  13. Yesmam, it's been so hot and sweat just standing still...

  14. Meems - your random shots show so many beautiful flowers and vignettes. I always love seeing the different garden areas. It seems as though you are on a lot of land.

    I planted crepe myrtles along the outside line of the cottage garden fence. I'm trying to grow some shade. I realize that when they mature (probably 5 years before a concern), the KO roses will be too shaded, but I need shade more than roses... and, then I can grow a shade garden!


  15. I just told my husband last night that I want to move to Florida or North or South Carolina. Our winters are coming sooner and staying longer each year. But, since our family is here, here we will stay.

    I enjoyed your post. It's one that could not be written here.

  16. Your blog is always such a treat with the great posts and pics.

  17. Marmee,
    I sure wish every cool front you get made its way down this far... so many times they make it to north Florida but not central... at this point any amount of cooler air would be welcomed.

    Got back from a weekend away and everything was drooping from the heat. Ack. What do we do? We make the best of it and hope it all evens out eventually.

    Dreaming about autumn is all we have right now. Happy Monday, sis.

    The herbs really don't like our heat. Except for oregano,thyme and chives it seems. They made it all summer but I'm replacing the others as well. We really need a break in these temps for the herbs to be happy.

    I am SO with you! The heat I can stand ... it is the sweltering humidity that doesn't let up that is harder to bear.

    I think somewhere in the middle of you and me would be a happy medium as far as temps go. Ha. Of course I'd want that perfection to happen right here in Florida. LOL

    The orchids you mention are great little perennials that grow in the ground and bloom many months out of the year. Can't beat that!

    Oh, we have bedraggeld and worn here, too. The end of summer is always a challenge... too big, too dry, too spent, ... the list goes on. Although we won't see highs of 55 but a few times in the dead of winter ... so you are way ahead of us for autumn OR winter.

    It has been an endless summer and the work has not stopped as you say. To have you visit now would be much different but you know what that means? You will just have to come back. :-) I always wonder??? Do you have bugs at night like we do here??? Happy moonlighting and hugs to you.

    I guess this is that transitional time when temps fluctuate drastically trying to find the season norm... send those cooler temps this way... I'll hug you for it!

  18. Rob,
    So happy for your Indian Summer... always nice when the weather holds out for you. Sounds like it was perfect for your last garden tour. Let's hope that Blanchetiana likes it here as much as I am thrilled over IT!

    Thank you for stopping by... the garden is truly a place of restoration and peace.

    I LOVE, LOVE the Zebra Longwing, too. It is our state butterfly but mostly I love it for its unique shape and softly fluttering wings. Thank you for visiting and here's hoping all your tenders make it until next season when you get warm again.

    Your cousin picked a good time to get out of Dodge... a visit up north would be perfect right now. It has been 95 degrees here for too many days in a row... but it's the high humidity that makes it feel intolerable. I DO envy your color... enjoy it.

    It's too bad we can all mix up our weather and share a little of this and a little of that and all come out with the perfect gardening temps. Ha. Enjoy your Indian summer while it lasts!

    Oh, my... we thought we MIGHT get some relief up your way this weekend but NOT SO... at least you have been getting rain... we are hot AND dry as a bone. Maybe this week we'll get some relief???

    Not a lot of land but enough to keep me busy planting away. LOL I think your crapes will be the perfect thing for that area. I wonder which month do they put their leaves back on for you? Maybe the KO roses will be okay afterall since they don't require full sun???

    I would move to Florida in a heartbeat if I didn't live here. LOL But I wouldn't leave my grand-kiddos no matter where I lived so I totally understand your thinking. I'll keep you in sunshine through the winter...

    And it's a treat to have you for a visit... thank you.

  19. I'll drink to that! Extra ice cubes in my tall glass of tea, please. The weatherman (or is it a woman?) is promising relief by this coming weekend. I sure hope so!

  20. If we take your long summer and add it to our too short fall we might get the perfect mix of weather! I loved this post and seeing your garden, meems, but this sentence got me thinking about the need to plan a vacation to Florida~~In just a short couple of months, maybe sooner, we will be in a winter paradise.~ Paradise sounds so good right now! gail

  21. Thanks, Meems, I'd appreciate that sunshine.

  22. Loved looking at your garden again. It's always so healthy looking.
    It's been hot here & the humidity has been awful. 10 mins. & I'm done for. I have so much to do but I can't take the humidity or the heat anymore.

  23. You are defintly stronger then I am. I must confess my garden hasn't really been touched sinc early June. I can't take the heat at all and I am at my boiling point.


  24. Susan,
    Let's hope they are right whoever they are... the relief will be more normal and with temps in the 80's we'll think fall has arrived won't we?

    Miss Gail,
    Would SO love for you to plan a vacation here in the winter... you probably have forgotten how perfect it is. :-) It is what we hang in for ... during the summer we keep reminding ourselves of winter.Ha.

    You are probably glad you don't have the heat we've had here for two weeks... record breaking high's while you all are feeling like the north pole. lol

    It's that humidity that challenges the gardening spirit... soon... very soon all will be glorious... right? Then we will be so happy and glad we garden in Florida. lol

    I think you already have one foot out the door... and that's okay... you are going to be much happier where it is cooler. Can't wait to see what you do with your garden when you get settled.

  25. Meems, I didn't know how to get you this message any other way so here goes...craigslist ID 1406239830 has Coonties for $7.00 per 3 gallon. These are in Crystal River. Thought you or your subscribers might be interested.

  26. I couldn't do it Meems, I tried as we lived in California during our AF days. I need seasons or it drives me nuts.

    When I look at your gardens I think--Jungle. A decorated and well planned Jungle of lush flowering beauties--but still it's so full of big huge flowering and colorful things.

    Makes me want to yell---quiet down for a minute would you. Oh just kidding--it would be fun to have that and have my seasons too.

  27. Hi Meems, thanks for the great post and pics - they're inspiring as always. congrats on the award - yours is the only florida blog i eagerly visit every time i sign on so i'm not at all surprised! i'm waiting for november to put in some amaryllis bulbs. meanwhile, its leaves and more leaves - oh well, great mulch and compost! Kay

  28. TGM,
    Thank you for the information... that's a great price.

    Ha! You easily evoke smiles... jungle is how I feel today... lots to trim back and rein in. But it is peaceful and calm so I look forward to my chores. If I could change one thing it would be to have more significant seasons... but then again we wouldn't have our glorious winter weather ... so I visit where the seasons are changing and I come home... to garden. :-)

    Hello Kay,
    Thank you for taking a moment to let me know you enjoyed your visit. You probably know that our Amaryllis stay in the ground all year. I use them as a border plant in some areas for their leathery greenery all year long. Enjoy your planting... and yes, we have to love the leaves for great mulch!


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway