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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, December 5, 2009

Day 5: Twelve Days of Christmas in a Florida Garden

["Just for fun and also because we just keep right on gardening through December here in Florida, I'm going to challenge myself and post something from my garden everyday for twelve days. Think of it as 'excerpts from Hoe & Shovel.' It may just be a flower (or two) or it may be an informative post or it may involve a give-away. It may include lots of thoughts or none at all.

If you'd like to join me and post your own 12 days ... feel free to jump in any time, any day. Just leave me a comment and let me know you're doing it also and I'll come check out your 12 days too."]

Day 5: Colors of Christmas

Wasn't it good timing for this extra large bromeliad (sorry don't know its name) to bloom its grand profusion of red prettiness just in time for December's garden!

Stromanthe sanguinea 'Tricolor' I am dividing this plant like mad to increase its presence in some borders in the shadiest places in my garden. The smooth blend of three colors in one foliage plant makes a nice addition in the filtered light.

Do you love the rich, deep colors that say Christmas is here as much as I do? Trends come and go with combinations of colors we use for holiday decorating. Today, though, we stick to traditional Christmas hues of plants found in the garden.

Container plantings allow for pieces of this and that pulled from other places in the garden for a mix of whatever colors a gardener's heart has a whim to plant. The one above combines Talinum paniculatum 'Variegatum', Variegated Jewels of Opar with Begonia 'dragon wing' (or maybe it's angel wing) and Iresine herbstii bloodleaf (so bright and super red), a caladium leaf straggler left over from summer and a Cordyline red sister towering above them all (not visible-sorry).

The Hibiscus sabdariffa maple leaf hibiscus continues putting out her wave of repeated blooms each day. The weight of all the rain has her bowing down a bit today. When once the sunshine reappears all her 7' limbs will reach for the sky again.

One of my favorites this autumn season is the Clerodendrum thomsoniae bleeding heart vine with its brilliant reds and deep lavenders combining into bursts of outstanding color. Planted in the spring it has covered one end of the fence that surrounds the veggie garden.

Hopefully I'll still be as thrilled next year when it might decide it wants to take over the garden. They can be aggressive when sited in a good location. Oh well, we'll deal with that when we get there. For now I just keep redirecting its tendrils to wind through the fence. Merry Day 5, dear readers.

"At Christmas, all roads lead home."
Marjorie Holmes, American writer.


  1. Pretty Christmas color, Meems. I love that clerondendron. There are so many beautiful plants in this family. I have a red one (can't think of the name right now) and it is extremely invasive. It even crawled under the sidewalk to another bed. I have to lay down the law with it, and pluck it up to keep it under control.

  2. I also like the Clerodendrum thomsoniae-I had one that died, but another small one appeared-either self seeded or grew from a piece and is now blooming. You do have lots of "Christmas-y" looking plants, all the better to get into the season. i would have loved to join in the 12 days but as I am travelling the next two weeks I feel I might not be able to keep it up.

  3. Meems, This is my first visit i think... and I am wowed by all your blooms... it is all white outside here... beautiful but it will last a long time... I will look forward to visiting your gardens. Lovely photos! Carol

  4. Lovely Christmas colour! I've been enjoying your 12 Days of... posts. :)

  5. Red is my favorite christmas color. You have so many hues of red. Wonderful. That big ole bromeliad bloom will be spectacular.

  6. That Stromanthe 'Tricolor' is gorgeous! What a beautiful plant.

    Your garden is so beautiful and we've got a frozen 22 degrees this morning.


  7. Mmmm! That was a very timely Christmas gift of colour courtesy the bromeliad.
    I'm quite partial to the Clerodendrum too. I have the white and red version brightening up my garden.

  8. As the Christmas days are teaching me what to add to my garden and the garden of life. Cheerio...

  9. hopefully all those wonderful christmas colours outside is making you feel the wonder of christmas on the inside.
    you have the best eye for mingling just the right combinations of plants. oh how i wish you were a tn gardener...
    happy day 5 in december.

  10. the bleeding heart vine. i grew the nonvine type this year and loved them.
    also love you new layout.
    love, marmee

  11. i'm having a hard enough time preparing the inside of the house, while you are doing wonders with the outside! i do love the few plants i've added to the landscape ... my very large red poinsettia graces my entry (in its red tub), my red petunias in their hanging baskets, and my favorite red geraniums perking up the front yard and back patio. nothing exotic like your garden, but i have gone wild for red this year too! you are so inspiring with your 12 days idea! kind of a reminder to keep busy getting it all done! your blog is beautiful!

  12. Susan,
    I am getting quite a collection of them but not that glory bower I think you might be thinking of ... I try to stay away from the invasive ones.

    Not to worry about the 12 days... we'll see you here when can visit and enjoy your travels... that's more fun than blogging anyway.

    Oh, my white outside would be hard for me to manage... unless I was skiing in it. Then I don't mind at all. Come back anytime... we'll give you a good 'green fix'.

    So glad you've checked in for the 12 days. Thanks.

    I got away from red in my Christmas decor for a long time but I've eased back into to it recently. In the garden I am partial to it always.

    Accckkk! 20 degrees in your beautiful garden already. So sorry to hear it.

    Those bromeliads are just too much fun... and the big ones with big blooms are captivating me lately.

    Do you live in FL? Thank you so much for visiting again.

    You make me smile... TN gardener? hmmmm... maybe we could get you to be a FL gardener again! Thanks for the sweet words about my container plants. Merry 12 days.

    I'm still procrastinating with the inside believe me... but getting there finally. I'd much rather be outside though. I can't wait to see all your new 'red additions' in their pots. I know they are going to be just right!


Have a blessed day,

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