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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, January 26, 2011

Green Is A Color, Too!

Ornamental cabbage planted in circle garden container.

GREEN. I'm a fan. Of just about every shade. [Save the kelly green jackets worn by Masters Tournament winners. Just saying.]

I like green in fashion, I like it in interior design, and I especially like it in the garden. (If my painting teacher reads this I know she will be laughing ~~at me ~~she knows how much I make use of green at every chance.)

Bromeliads at the back of the tropical pathway.

It's helpful to be a fan of GREEN in Florida. Especially in the winter time. The majority of the color palette after all the frosts we've had is ... you guessed it ... various shades of GREEN... and brown, of course.

Spots and dashes of color here and there are much admired as well.

I'm not certain how this ti plant survived without any help from me during all the frosty nights but I'm really proud of her for being so hardy.

Begonias offering veins of red for color are sending out new leaves already to replace lifeless ones taken by this harsh season.

I have to say we've made progress this winter maintaining more green in the garden than ever before. Cold hardy plants are increasingly being added over time. Although we have suffered some hard hits. All is not lost.

Rosemary has withstood our hot summers and frosty winters. 

As I walk around the garden I'm struck by what stands out ... and the many shades, shapes, heights, forms, textures, leaf sizes of ... GREEN ... is what I see.

Muhlenbergia dumosa, Bamboo Muhly Grass
Lacy tufts of fern-like grass, bamboo muhly, waves softly in the breezes. Cold hardy, tough, and a lovely shade of GREEN. Additional sites are being carved out for this versatile, textural grass.

In utter contrast bluish-green columns of stiff and prickly Juniperus chinenis 'Blue point' juniper shrubs in containers mark the entrance to a winding flagstone path.

Surviving the cold nights without extra covers are containers overflowing with textures and mixtures of GREEN.

Green is soothing and restful don't you think! Do you love it or do you overlook it for bright and bold?

Australian tree fern hanging in all on its own thankfully. Red banana in the background... not so much. But it will return. As a matter of fact new leaves are emerging from the center already.

Birds nest fern has come through winter so far with flying colors.

GREEN colors.

The farthest back pathway is lined with GREENery of all sorts. Still lush and full, it is protected mostly by heavy tree cover.

I even left the staghorn fern to fend for itself hanging from the limb of a live oak tree. Its underside a fascination of soft GREEN hues resembling the sea.

We'll end with a stalwart summer and winter bloomer. The old fashioned, easy to maintain Louis Philippe rose doesn't seem to notice our wide range of temperature fluctuations. I wouldn't classify this one as overly-showy but it is consistent and trustworthy in every season. For all those reasons more of them are being added to spaces where tender plants once occupied.


  1. Thanks for sharing the hardy greens. These are some of the favorites in my garden too. I am facing the same dilemma with using captja. I have 12000 spams per post now so it is unlikely I will ever read the comments unless I institute a word verification screening scheme. I will be switching to Wordpress this week to implement that and let you know how it works. We have a new farm in Seffner we have started and I want to get you to visit us later this spring and show you some new concepts and Florida Friendly plants we will be introducing. You are a wonderful inspiration to all of us. Thank you.

  2. I knew my rosemary would be fine because when we temporarily lived in NC we had a giant one in the ground. That one bloomed every year. The one here is Sarasota is in a pot. In three years it has never bloomed. Any ideas why?
    My 2 staghorns in the back (one on the "y" of the tree and one hanging from it) are just fine. The two hanging on the edge of the courtyard in the front did not fare so well 3 frosts ago. They got a bit of brown, so the last two times they went in the garage.

    It's not that long until more winter month.

  3. Louis Phillippe is also known as the "Florida Cracker Rose" hence its great ability to do so well in our zones! Not to mention its fragrance is wonderful, the petals are great for bathtime or a lovely surprise on Valentine's Day on crisp white sheets!

  4. The contrasting red and green in that bromelaid are certainly striking! And that bird's nest fern-oh, I gotta have one of those.

    Any suggestions on native grasses that can act as a privacy screen in our backyard? I'm looking for at least 4 feet tall.

    Yes, the green is looking better and better as the winter drags on...

  5. Dear meems, You do green well~So many shades of green and so much texture. It's a treat to see your garden anytime of the year~One of my goals is to make the best of textures this year. Thanks dear for giving me a nudge. xxoogail ps I totally understand~spammers are a pain.

  6. You have some greens that are browns in my garden. I think your tightly packed areas offer more protection. Someday, I'll have tightly packed areas too:) Love the bamboo muhly grass.

  7. Green is a wonderful color...and makes a great last name if I may say so. Your Ti plant withstood the harsh winter frosts as to say, look at me, look at me, I'm not green! Nice post.

  8. Green is a great color. We are beginning to see a bit of green now that the snow is melting. It is exciting to see. Your garden looks to have survived the brutal part of winter.

  9. I noticed my phils and shell gingers and arboricolas stayed much greener this year than last. They were tragically toasted last year and took months to look good again. The bird's nest fern has survived 25 deg. with flying colors in my garden. Great plant! I need to plant more....

  10. At this time of the year green is definitely a welcome sight. And, it really is amazing how many different shades and textures. Rosemary is becoming one of my favorite plants. You are so right about it doing so well in both summer and winter, and it gives that cottage flower look when surrounded by tall flowering perennials. Each winter affords us the chance at creating a good-looking four-season garden. That's definitely been the silver lining in the cloud. Looking good!

  11. I'll take some of that green, Meems! So sick of white right about now. Lovely post and photos.

  12. Rick,
    Sorry to hear of your spammer woes... such a pain. Congratulations on a new facility in Seffner. Look forward to the invitation to visit. Very exciting.

    Siesta sister,
    I've got rosemary in pots and in the ground. It does better for me in pots because I can let it dry out better. Mine has never bloomed either but it is only a little over a year old.

    That Florida Cracker Rose sure does come in handy!

    The fakahatchee grass gets at least 4' tall and almost as wide. It does better if you cut it back each year though. It returns quickly but it is a consideration since you want it for privacy. I have lots of it (and love it) but some people don't especially favor it as it is just everGREEN. Oh, it also divides easily which is how I've gotten so many in my garden. I started with 3 and now have at least 30 in just 18 months.

    Have you thought about using clumping bamboo? A shorter variety like golden goddess? Anyway, you can e-mail me if you want to discuss it further. Happy to help if I can.

  13. Gail,
    With so much green in winter texture does make a difference. It's not as crucial once spring/summer rolls around but still just as much fun.

    I was with you when I first spotted that bamboo muhly at Pine lake... I'm in love. It might not appeal to everyone since it is only GREEN but the texture is making me swoon. I'm just hopin it won't get too tall. :-)

    I agree on the last name, Mrs. Green and the ti showing off.

    Yay for green in your winter garden. Spring is almost here.

  14. FG,
    The selloums in this photo have never died back. But I have them in two other (more open) places and they are burnt in places. Also not as badly as last year. Last year we had so many days straight of frost and below freezing. This year it has been happening since early December but each time not lasting as long. I would never have thought the birds nest would be so hardy.

  15. Susan,
    There are so many characteristics of rosemary to be lauded. A pinch of it followed by a deep breath is enough to life anyone's spirits. Its tall erect form with tiny leaves adds structure but softness. Winter is definitely the best time to assess projects for improvement.

    Carolyn Gail,
    You are a trooper living through those white winters. I'll share my green with you anytime. Always glad to see you. :-)

  16. Oh wow! I am so impressed by your rosemary! It looks so amazing!

  17. Hello meemsnyc,
    Pleased to meet another meems. Thank you for your visit. I'm loving the rosemary in the midst of winter.

  18. Yay! Another chloro-phile (is there such a word?). :-D We also have green in our interiors (1 and 1/4 wall of our dining room, and sections of two walls in our living room). Around our house it is also mostly green with the occasional burst of color. Your garden looks so much more lush and verdant though, so I'm a bit envious especially of your ferns. -- Bom / Plant Chaser


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway