snapshots from an early spring garden

Hello, again!

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted. Because fall, winter, and spring are basically one BIG season (with minor variations in temperature) here in Southwest Florida, I’m still just going about the normal, daily tasks of the garden.

The big change for us is light- right now the days are “short”, but because we’re in Florida, we still get a lot of direct and warm sunlight. So the plants actually flourish quite a bit, despite the brevity of the day.

Here are some snapshots from the garden. As usual, I change things around quite often, adding and pulling out plants and they come and go.

Pool-eye view of the back corner of the lanai. I got the  Quan Yin statue for Christmas (described as Wikipedia as ” bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female”, and I’m not sure if she’s going to live in that spot yet, but for now that’s where she is. She sits across from my Buddha statue, and if you happen to glance back at the right time, you’ll see a pair of lizards, one on the top of each statue.

My coleus is VERY happy at the moment, and my shrimp plant is coming back. I have a few geranium seedlings in the smaller pots.

Another Christmas gift from Tom – a beautiful orchid. Just as I remarked to him on Christmas Eve that this was the first Christmas in years I had NOT asked for a live plant, he pulled it from behind the couch. I Love it, and it smells heavenly.

And, on the top left of the photo, you can see an eggplant. I found the PERFECT spot for them, and they seem to flourishing and growing eggplants like crazy. There are eight “in process” right now.

One of my bromeliads bloomed, and even though the “parent” plant of this particular pup was more of an orange-y color in the center, this bloom is a deep crimson.

I couldn’t resist planting a *few* Nasturtium this year, even though I thought I might now. Renee’s Garden came out with a brand new mix (called “Aloha”) so I planted six seeds, and three have sprouted. Unlike my usual tendency to plant 40+ (yes, FORTY) nasturtiums during the winter, I think I am going to stick to three this year and just try to take excellent care of them.

I got this Appleblossom geranium last summer and when it arrived, it was in pretty terrible shape. But over the fall it really grew in nicely and a few weeks ago it started to bloom. It’s *beautiful*. I knew Geraniums are considered sorta boring, but I’m obsessed with them. They are a whole lotta bang for the buck, bloom wise, and they withstand a lot of the weird weather we have down here. They are great “filler” for the garden when some of the other plants struggle or go dormant.

Hibiscus in bloom. We actually have a SERIOUS whitefly epidemic on the island right now, and even though the plants are screened-in on the lanai, the whitefly can still get in and regularly causes major issues with the hibiscus. I lost a very hearty hibiscus to whitefly earlier this fall so I’m trying to be vigilent with misting the plants and removing any leaves/buds with any pests on them. It’s a relief to see a few buds last long enough to open.


As usual, I have 40586 million things I want to get done in the garden (and around the general landscaped area of the house) but I’m trying to take it one day at a time and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts. I’m trying not to think about the summer ahead (summers here are DARK, WET, and DREARY and super hot, so it’s not a fun time in the garden- for me OR the plants!)

Comments 1

  1. Misti wrote:

    Wow, the garden is doing great, Chel! I love your hibiscus and that orchid—dude! Oncidium?

    LOVE your photos, I’m glad we’re blogging again!

    Posted 03 Jan 2014 at 10:32 pm

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