Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year New Plants???

The year 2011 is here and it seems like a good time to rethink garden plants that really took a hit during the freeze we Floridian gardeners grimaced through.
The first plant Id like to remove is my hubby's fave the Christmas Palms. He loves Christmas Palms and purchased several amazing ones with four trunks each and placed them close to the road to showcase them. None still have four trunks and they had just gotten looking good after last years freeze when along came Jack Frost who wiggled in under the heavy blankets we secured to them.Maybe they will find a spot around back,in a more sheltered area.
Thinking my native plants would be immune from ANY Florida weather that could be dished out (HAHA) I was disappointed to see my firebush and firespike look like additions for the compost heap!
As I am pulling out dead zinnias, a plant I love to seed for the butterflies(and because I love the colors and varieties),I noticed my Black Eyed Susans are getting a start for their spring showing.
My double knock out roses and Old garden roses along with geraniums are laughing at the cold and allowed me to create a gorgeous bouquet to bring my ailing mother. Note to self. ADD more!
The tomatoes that had been staked took a hit next to a row we had not yet had time to stake and those look just fine. The ground had kept them warmer. They were all covered with a sort of tent that my husband made.
The butterfly bed lies along the side of my house in a low lying area near the pond and sheltered by some trees. Since so many Sabal Palm fronds had managed to cover my yard I decided to use them as insulating cover. The result was wonderful! The butterflies were up and nectaring the next day.
Lettuce, onions and radishes covered with a light sheet did great and tasted wonderful.
Since many pots and garden decor had been brought inside due to high winds and freezing temps it was also a great time to move some things around. Just like my interior I like to move my pots and touches of whimsy around on occasion. It adds life to the garden and it is so fun to see the grandchildren discover something they never saw before just because it had been moved.
Many times people will say Oh that's new isn't it? When they just never saw it because in all honesty, there is just too much to look at! I love going to other peoples gardens but know I cannot possibly take it all in so I take many photos. That way I can enjoy them at home and I always see something I did not notice while I was there.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Surviving Florida Frosts with a smile!

The plants are covered the third time this winter.
We have used every blanket, throw rug, painters tarp, cardboard box, plastic bin and 5 gallon bucket to cover delicate outdoor plants.
An entire tent was made to cover my tomato plants just starting to get ping pong sized fruit. The Asian Hollyhock, now about 20 inches high is hiding safely under a 5 gallon bucket. I am trying to save some Pentas so the butterflies have something when the freeze is over. A volunteer tomato is covered by an empty paint can. Christmas Palms( Adonidia merrillii ) resemble the shepherds in the Christmas story with their blue sheets billowing in the wind,
A trip to the office store yielded a great big box of office clips, much stronger we learned than clothes pins from the dollar store!
We had decided to cover the plants after our movie date to see the Little Fockers, (not enough Dustin Hoffman if you ask me and way to much sex and punching) anyway as we drove behind the K-Mart store we noticed the Dumpster FULL of poinsettias. Someone probably decided since it was AFTER Christmas they would just toss them . Hubby graciously turned the car around and we filled our trunk with the beauties. I promised Hubby I would keep them inside awhile so we wouldn't have to cover the new dumpster dividends we acquired.
Once at home I watered them and set them out as a decorative touch. Being of Russian decent I still have Russian Christmas in January to stay decorated for!
As for my outdoor plants I am thrilled to see the old garden roses and double knockouts blooming their heads off and laughing at the cold. I am sure my native plant lovers won't be happy but I am thinking of planting more. After all my poor native firebush is a frazzled mess!
Don't worry though I continue to add natives to my habitat with more native plants then you can imagine but it is still nice to have a rose or throw away poinsettia to smile at!