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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, June 16, 2010

The Skinny on Tropic Snow Peaches AND Thank YOU

Yesterday after I harvested almost all the peaches from my newly planted (February 2010) Prunus persica 'Tropic Snow' peach tree I was so OVER THE MOON (as I've mentioned previously but I like having a reason to be OVER THE MOON so I'm saying it again) with delight I hurriedly took some photos and thought I could get by with posting a few words to go along with the visual.

Being that I usually ramble on and on about plants
1) because it is easy to ramble about plants
2) because I tend to think since I want to know details EVERYONE must want details. Although I've lived long enough to know this is not necessarily true ... but that's another subject... for another time... or not.

So yesterday, with that quick entry, I thought I'd given you all a break from my ramblings and sufficed to exclaim my utter amazement at harvesting peaches.

Turns out:
1) There were lots of questions in the comments from (mostly) Florida gardeners which I will do my best to address in this post.
2) I actually DO have a few more words (and visuals, too) to say concerning peaches. If you can imagine such a thing... here we go.

Firstly, the photo of the peaches started out like this (above). So many of you commented about the photo I knew you'd want a detailed explanation of how it came about.

Each peach is a mere 2 inches or so in diameter. Piling them in a basket gave the photo the sense of the peaches being swallowed up. So I simply lifted them out of the basket ~cloth and all ~ and gave it another try.

Yesterday's photo (that I copied and included as the first photo on this post also) is the result. It just happened to turn out nicely with the cloth and the peaches piled on each other rather than in the basket.

But that's the fun of photography. Keep trying and you're bound to get a few good shots.

All in all there was a whopping total of 12 peaches harvested yesterday ~~ other than the two I plucked last week. There is a smattering ~ think: 3 or 4 ~ left on the small tree.

But ONE was more than my little heart ever imagined to harvest. So you can now understand better why I was OVER THE MOON for these few.

Secrets to growing? There are none really. My theory is the tree was too new for the bugs/critters to find it as it is planted among ornamentals. The TRUE test will be IF it produces fruit again next year. We shall monitor and report.

The tree was purchased at my favorite local garden center, Duncheon's Nursery & Landscape. They carry a goodly assortment of healthy fruit trees. I amended the area around the tree with aged horse manure and compost. Other than that I've only made sure to keep it well watered. I did not have to plant more than one tree for pollinating.

Here is a link with growing instructions for peaches (for Florida) from one of my favorite garden centers in north Florida.

As far as Pinellas County resources I suspect peach trees available at Jene's Tropicals.

These varieties for gardeners in subtropical areas are low-chill (150-350 chilling hours) peaches and nectarines you might find available in your area: Peach ‘Tropic Beauty’, ‘Tropic Snow’, ‘Flordaprince’, ‘Flordagold’; Nectarine ‘Sundowner’.

Even though peach cobbler is one of my favorites to make and to eat I won't be using these beauties for cooking. One by one each fuzzy orb is being peeled and sectioned and savored for all its worth. With each delectable bite its worth increases! The juicy, white flesh is deliciously sweet and flavorful.

Peaches have always been one of my favorite fruits!


Happy Blogiversary!

Lastly, today marks the beginning of my fourth year of blogging since creating Hoe and Shovel.

For the record... that's a lot of chatting about plants, folks.

When I wrote my very first post for Hoe and Shovel I had NO idea another single garden blog existed. Hard to believe but that is the truth.

What a remarkable world has opened up to me in sharing this passionate hobby of gardening with each and every one of you.

Today I'd love to give out heartwarming hugs to all commenters and readers who spend precious moments of their lives reading this blog. Feel free to read last year's entry to hear my heart regarding how garden blogging has brought more friends and connections than I could ever have imagined going into this.

Thank YOU for making this virtual 'extension of gardening' an extraordinary experience.
God bless,


  1. Meems,

    Your peaches look delicious! And congratulations on four wonderful years! Your blog and your garden both remain my favorites. Your sense of garden design is unparalleled.

    Next year, the squirrels may discover those yummy peaches. I thought you might like to see this "peach prison" posted on the GardenWeb. Although it is not attractive, it may save the peaces over the final month or two:


  2. The peaches look delicious, I love them too! Truly a beautiful garden you have. All your photos look great. Congrats for all the years of blogging, shows your devotion & passion for gardening! I have a very small rustic garden in the mountains with some flowers & herbs, I'm also new to veggies. Although they're growing well, I'm waiting for harvest...Seems to take forever! The only fruit I have at this time is strawberries, yummy!

  3. Four years of garden blogging, good on you and congratulations. Looking not a day older! The peaches look delicious, I love the white ones. We grow them but we have a menace, the Mediterranean fruitfly. The tree is kept small and covered with gauze, as we do not want to spray the fruit with poison when the fruit ripens. This works well it also keeps the possums and bats away. Everybody wants a bite.
    Happy weekend Meems. T.

  4. Dear Meems, I have been absolutely fascinated by this posting which has been so interesting to read and informative as well. The very mention of white peaches has set my mind straying to wonderful hot houses of the past, under gardeners delivering the fruit at the kitchen door, maids arranging it as dessert on the luncheon table....Oh dear, dreams are made of this and I need to get a grip of myself. Hey ho, off to the market in search of white peaches.

  5. Carol,
    Thank you so much for your always kind words and extra links to help me out. I need all assistance possible. With all the critters around here added to all that I have read that can possibly happen to the fruit ~~ my amazement at a peach harvest is increased exponentially.

    Oh, how I would love to grow strawberries. That's one I haven't ventured out to try yet. My dad grows them vertically and that might be a key for success without pesticides. Enjoy your rustic garden and tend it with all your heart. It sounds delightful. Thank you for your visit.

    So nice to see you. I'm really glad you've figured out how to save your peaches. Sounds like your gauze "fix" is a success against the pests that surely know your peach tree is there and producing. It will be most interesting to see how this tree performs next year. Thank you for your kind comment.

    Dear Edith,
    Your dreams and thoughts are certainly the things fairy tales are made of... maids, personal deliveries, hot houses tended. I have you to thank for taking my thoughts with you offering a reprieve from the ordinary. I do hope you find some white peaches to sweeten your palette and cool you on this almost-summer day. Thank you for your generous comment yesterday and today.

  6. I just love white peaches. They seem more sweet than regular peaches. I hope you have continued success with them.

    Congrats on such a long tenure in garden blogging. Although I don't garden in your zone I find it interesting to see what garden challenges you have and how you deal with them. The evolution of your garden, as we all are usually changing things and you have such a positive attitude I am sure it spill over into your life and I find that encouraging to me. I hope you have many more years of blogging ahead.

  7. Those peaches look juicy and delicious. Thanks for all the additional info.

    Four years of garden blogging is quite an accomplishment. Your entries are always so fresh and full of excitement. The new garden interests you find and share keep me reading and inspired. Four years - I think I need to peruse your archives.

  8. Meems,

    We never tire of your stories, photos and wealth of information!

    Those photos are mouth-watering.

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary!

  9. Meems: Happy Blogiversary! Four years are long time, but I am sure the fun go with it is also proportial. I only started blogging for half year, and I already feel that virtual extension to the gardening world, and the frieds I got through this blog world is just amazing! And you ARE the one of the bloggers who inspired me doing this, and getting me into the gardening!

    I love the white-flesh peaches the best, your photos are really mouth-watering... Thanks for the additional information.

    BTW: I read your comment about my tropical lilac and know that you love to get one. I read it is not difficult to start from seeds. I will try some myself. If I success, I can share seeds with you. I will let you know when it is the time, so that you can let me know your address and I can mail them to you.

  10. Meems,

    Sometime I would love to hear more about your ornamental red bananas (Red abyssinian banana or Ensete ventricosum). I am thinking about getting one, but I have read that they hate humidity. But yours look so good! What is your secret? Would you please offer any tips/tricks to keeping it happy?

    I have also read that they die after they fruit (a small, inedible fruit) and are primarily propagated through tissue culture. I read that the corm can be divided, but it must be done before they fruit - I don't know enough to know how to do that yet. They do not have pups so they cannot be propagated that way, and they do not grow true from seed. How long have you had yours? I wonder how many years I would have it to enjoy before...


  11. Thank you for sharing all of the things I feel about gardening. God has blessed you and allowed me to relish your gift. Happy blogiversary!!

  12. Beautiful peaches...the squirrels are attacking ours, sigh. Congrats on your have shared a lot of advice and experience we are lucky to have you blogging.

  13. oh. my. god. I made a stop at the right blog. THese peaches are so incredibly gorgeous. I'm not a huge fan of fruit, but I LOVE peaches.

  14. Happy Blogaversary to you too, Meems....Isn't that interesting that we both started on June 16.....

    Your peaches look fabulous... Made my mouth water. We usually buy GA or SC peaches --and I haven't seen them in the Produce Market yet. I cannot wait since I love fresh peaches... YUM!!!!

    Have a great weekend.

  15. Lisa,
    It is always a joy to interact with you and your easy-going nature. Thank YOU for your steadfast support over the years. If you ever make it down here to visit your relative... the garden gate is always open. *heart and hug here*

    To my astonishment the peaches were delish! But honestly growing fruits has always intimidated me. They seem so fickle and needy. But I'm learning, venturing out slowly on this one, and perhaps it is a misconception. Let's hope. Thank you for your generous words... always! Still welcome a personal visit! Anytime!

    It is YOU I thank and am grateful for your undending encouragement and listening ear. Now if I could just put YOUR house in the middle of MY garden... I'd be in dreamland.

    I cannot tell you how happy I am that there are so many Florida blogs and bloggers ... FINALLY. When I first started Susan (Simply Susan) was the only other consistent blogger. She was the PIONEER. She's been doing it a LONG time. Thank you for all you contribute here and on your own beautiful blog. It is most rewarding to learn together as we all try to tackle our unique Florida conditions! If you get seeds from your tropical lilac I would be honored to give them a go in my garden. Blessings to you.

  16. Carol,
    Ignorance is bliss sometimes in the garden! When I purchased my bananas last September they were scrawny and on sale at the garden center for $5 each. I didn't do any research on them before purchase as I had no pre-intentions (is that a word?) of purchasing them that day. When I got them home I did do scant research on how large they would get/how much sunlight they needed/cold hardiness... but I didn't run across any of the information you mention and honestly I am unaware of the issues you mention. No secrets here. Now you have me wondering if there isn't more or less I should be doing. :-) They haven't been pampered in any way except to keep them watered for their first 30 days after planting. Other than that they get rainfall and auto-irrigation once a week. I hope that helps. My thought: If you want one... get one. With all your knowledge and love for plants YOU could tell us a few things about how to make them work! Go for it.

    You are so sweet to comment occasionally. I wish I knew more about you. We love Dade City ... I think that's where you've mentioned you live. Sorry if I'm wrong. Thank you for adding to the enrichment this experience is for me.

    Oh, dear Darla! I am leary of the squirrels finding my peaches. I'm not sure how they have escaped their menacing ways so far. I've got my fingers crossed so the tree can get some maturity this year and hopefully produce again next year. Always trial and error around here. So nice to have you along in the Florida circuit ~~ keeping us entertained from NORTH Florida. Blessings to you, dear girl.

    So glad you made your way to Hoe and Shovel. Always lovely to have new visitors who take a moment to say hello. Thank you for the comment on the older post as well. Peaches are on the top of my fave list and I like a LOT of fruits. Harvesting my very own has been a wonderful surprise!

    This is about the time those GA peaches make it to market. Lots of peach cobblers on the way!

  17. Happy Blogiversery Meems! I enjoy reading your blog. Congratulations on those awesome peaches. I can only imagine how they taste.

  18. Hi Meems...I'm sure I left you a comment yesterday...perhaps I forgot the word verification. Congratulations on your 4 year blogiversary. Wow, time really does go by quickly. It's hard to imagine it's been 4 years. Your peaches look so yummy, I swear I can taste them. I know you are enjoying them immensely and I can see why you would be "over the moon" with delight. Enjoy your harvest and keep on blogging.

  19. Hey, Meems! First, happy blogaversary!! 4 years! Wow!! Second, double WOW! Your peaches are really tremedous. I never knew until recently that you could grow peaches in FL. I ate one harvested by a friend in Palm Beach...YUM!!
    Your images are beautiful (very peachy!) and your post is very informative. Wonderful addition to your garden.

  20. Your peaches look scrumptions; I can see why you are over the moon about this first amazing harvest from your tree.

  21. Nicolezmomma,
    Always nice to have you stop by... I really enjoy 'reading' your funny stories.

    YOU are the pioneer of blogging... especially for Florida. I'll never forget how you contacted me and encouraged me from the start. Thank you for blazing the path.

    I never knew either. I remember hearing someone talking about it a couple of years ago but I wrote it off in my mind to one of those people who do everything beyond the norm. But when the nursery got them in this winter they were so pretty ~~ full of blossoms. I thought I'd give it a good go and I'm so glad I took my chances.

    This has definitely been a fun harvest! Now we'll see how they do next year... the true test. Thanks for your comment.

  22. Happy Blogiversary Meems! And many more... Your blog is so cheerful and educative, it's one of my favorites. The peach post is oh so delicious. I am drooling...

  23. Happy Blogiversary, Meems! I love dropping by your blog and drinking in all those lovely photos. Oh yum! And what I love even more is how you show me the possibilities. From your garden I see just how much more is possible in my garden, especially since we share the same climate / heat zone. Thank you, Meems, and may your garden ever prosper and your typing fingers never slow down :)
    And peaches! I never knew I could grow them too. I thought it was a cold weather tree. You see what I mean about possibilities? You've really got me thinking ... and plotting! ;D
    Meems, I've e-mailed you today, okay? Please take a look.

  24. Tatyana,
    It was a small harvest this year and it didn't take long to enjoy their yummy flavor. Hopefully next year we'll have even more. Thank you for your visit and your generous words.

    You are correct in thinking they need some chilling time. Did you notice the chill hours this variety requires? I'm not clear if your Mumbai ever gets cold enough... but you would know and wouldn't it be fabulous if you could grow your own peaches!

    We happened to have more than our share of chill hours this year which might have contributed to the excellence of this harvest. Every year is different and unpredictable here so it will be so interesting to see what happens next year.

    Thank you for following along and I must tell you it is always my pleasure when you visit. Now I'm off to read my e-mail. Yay.

  25. What beautiful peaches. I'm sure they were enjoyed very much.
    Brother brought me a peach & apple tree from Ga. The little peach {Semi-dwarf Alberta} had 1 peach on it so I left it in it's container & babied it till the little peach did what peaches do. It was delicious. Now I can put it into the ground & hope next yr. it will have more.
    Isn't gardening the best?

  26. Howdy, I just bought a bare root Tropic Snow, and thought I'd google more about it. So glad this blog popped up! I live in AZ, and have a small orchard that keeps the family busy. I will definitely keep in touch and add you to my blog list. We are at, I suspect we have alot in common and I look forward to matching notes with you.

  27. Oh, Meems! I am a believer. I think I may have to call my go to guy, Tim Armstrong at Eat Your Yard Jax to get me some peaches. Now where am I going to put them? I'va already got an Anna Apple with a Dorsett and Fuji for company. A Valencia Orange and a Black Mission Fig. Hmmmmmmm, must consult husband.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway