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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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 2: Twelve Days of Christmas in a Florida Garden

Day 2: New, Old Things

Finding the 'just-right' bird bath for an additional element to the front lawn renovation project was very exciting. It was tucked away in one of the beach shops I like to poke around in when eating cinnamon buns is in order.

Old, tall and made of solid cement it has been duly sited close to the giant crinum lily.

And ... celebrating caladiums still standing in December! Merry Christmas to all, Meems
(Scroll down for Day 1.)

Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
Charlotte Carpenter


  1. I really like the way that birdbath looks. I have one, but birds never really visit it. It is just a cement one from Lowe's.


  2. Meems, finding a nice bird bath is not easy, I have been looking for one for years! Yours is very nice, I could find a spot it!

    We had so much rain yesterday that the road was flooded on the way to work, it took my over twice as long as usual - I am enjoying a cup of coffee! It is sunny today, now if it could stay dry to the weekend...

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  3. This is a beauty. I love seeing the caladiums peeking over the edge of the birdbath.

  4. well i am late to the 12 days party but i love the idea too. i might try to join in...i am thinking it might be a good way to share some outdoor decor.
    love, love, love the chair...way to go gigi for getting it for you.
    the birdbath is also great...the cement ones work great because the tend to stay put...with critters and grands.
    one of the ones i brought back from fl got broken by the dogs but dh glued it back together.
    happy december.

  5. Jake,
    Don't forget to position your bird baths where the birdies can find shelter close by. They need to feel safe when visiting their favorite watering spots.

    You are so right... that is what was so thrilling. I am so picky about my bird baths. I found it by chance soon after I completed that projected. Yay for sunshine and coffee, dear Sylvia. Hope it holds out for you. We have rain for the next two days but I don't mind we are usually quite dry this time of year.

    Thank you.

    The bird bath is just over 3 feet tall just to give you perspective. I get the feeling the caladiums and the bird bath like each other. :-)

    Hugs to you my Florida friend. Stay warm this weekend. ;-)

    Never too late, dear sister as long as you make a grand entrance LOL. I'm with you on the weight of the cement ones. Yay for glue... do you remember the one I had to mosaic back together after the squirrels tipped it over and broke the top piece. I can barely tip over the top of this one to get the old water out... nice and heavy. Happy December to you, too. We are going to cool off a bit, too, after all this rain passes us by.

  6. Meems,
    I was walking around my garden this morning after .8 inches of rain last night and admiring the Sasanquas, Pinwheel Jasmine and Eranthemum pulchella(Blue sage) blooms and think of your background border plants for your new garden expansion. I know you were thinking of natives but these are really good carefree tall bloomers for the amount of shade you have. The Blue Sage and Jasmine can freeze the tops on hard freeze years but they always pop back.

  7. Rick,
    Always value your thoughts... these are some good suggestions. I've had pinwheel jasmine on my list of additions (can you believe I don't have any?) but hadn't thought so much about the blue sage. The sasanquas would go very nicely in my new space (when I get it dug out). I'm thinking I'll have to wait until January to get started on it at this point. Probably good to give my back a rest anyway. :-) One of the native plant ideas is anise... any thoughts on that one?

  8. Very nice birdbath. It just seems like the old ones are the best. My caladiums are pretty much done for the year. Yours still look great.

  9. Love your 12 Days of Christmas idea, Meems. I already checked Marmee's.... Great idea.

    Love the birdbath... It fits perfectly in your garden.

  10. Lovin this twelve days of Christmas.
    It pays to poke around. It is a lovely birdbath and looks wonderful in its spot.

  11. Susan,
    There are two places where the caladiums are still putting on a show. Both were planted in July... it's been fun to see how long they would last.

    So happy Marmee is posting, too. Her photos are always a treat to the eyes.

    Hocking Hills,
    Finding something just right makes those old haunts even more seasoned favorites. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. I have had the native anise Illicium floridanum in a partially shaded spot for 21 years and I have never been impressed with it other than the fact that it has survived droughts and El Ninos through the years. It needs more water than I am willing to give it. Not much on flowers and structure. The only pace I see it is in nurseries that sell native plants. Look at this new one if you are thinking about trying it (with irrigation)

  13. Mail order source for Haley's Comet.

  14. Rick,
    Great suggestion. Did some googling on it ... always amazed at the varied and sometimes conflicting information given for plants.

    This new bed will be used as a sort of screen between us and the north-side neighbor's yard. I'm envisioning a mix of specimen trees and shrubs for the back layer ~ none growing over 12-15' tall. Those back plants will need to be freeze resistant. It will be a deeply layered bed probably
    15-20' deep and about 40-50' long. And if I have the energy I want to create a slight berm. Fun stuff! If any more ideas float through your head I'm open to all suggestions ... I've got lots of time to dream before I can get started on it. Thanks again.

  15. Meems, I was reading some of the comments and was again struck with how fortunate we bloggers are to have friends give us suggestions, offer support and admire our gardens!

    I like the birdbath and didn't appreciate what a statement they can make until I added them to C&L!

    Happiest of days to you!


  16. I know you might think I'm contradicting myself when I usually recommend Florida Friendly Plants and now I suggest you think about tall Indica Azaleas. I have lots of 18 year plants that did take some watering to get them established in unimproved soil. I used plenty of oak leaves and drip irrigation. Now they are enormous plants that I never water. I do pile on the oak leaves every year and I can't recall the last time I fertilized them. They are mostly shaded by oaks and cabbage palms and pines. They get the size you need, are evergreen then they put on that amazing show in spring. I don't want to corrupt your thinking as I know you are leaning native but it sort of fits your need and you are good about improving the water holding capacity of your soil. After they are established you have to be able to resist the urge to water them when you see them in a bad need of a drink but they always somehow pull through. You see huge plants at old homesteads that have not had anything but rain water in 50 years but are under the right amount of high shifting shade.

  17. Gail,
    Gardeners are just the most special kinds of people. Even in cases where there are no other common interests somehow gardening/plants will pull two folks together in meaningful ways.

    Birdbaths are a favorite garden addition around here. There are several and all are used frequently by my critter friends... even a stray cat once in a while. Besides that, they are so attractive!

    No, I think we learn to garden with the plants we like and we make it work. Those wonderful azaleas are 'almost' Florida friendly. LOL I have the G. G. Gerbing, Formosa, and George Taber in other parts of the garden. I'm going to consider your thoughts for the new space. They might mix in quite well with the natives and others I have in mind. I've always wondered about what I've heard and read that their roots do not like to share their space. I'm not sure about it but my neighbor swears by it. Re: resisting the urge to water... mom and I saw some very wilty masses of Indica azaleas in March last year at Rainbow Springs. If they were mine I probably would've had a hard time not giving them a big drink. Glad you mentioned the fact they will survive without it. Geez, that sounds very Florida friendly to me. Thank you again for your helpful (and knowledgeable) input. Always appreciate it!


Have a blessed day,

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