Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Early Spring in Florida
Sharing a few photos of our early Spring this year.
Photos were taken in mid-March.
First for Bunny, our early caladiums. In our area, we leave caladiums in the ground or potted all year. They are planted about 6 inches deep to prevent squirrels, mice and voles from digging them up. Our red caladiums pop up first, usually around mid May. But this year, the Miss Muffet's have been up since mid March, and some even tried emerging as early as December! Here are photos taken in mid March EARLY in the morning:
These are sun loving varieties and would not do well in shade. (White Wings on the right, Miss Muffet on the left) They are also dwarf size and will thicken up considerably as ground cover (for my Florida Friends, when we purchase bulbs we buy from Caladium World - shipping anywhere in the US):
Miss Muffet with Angel Wing Begonias (will prune begonias when other plants begin to flower but pollinators need food during warm winter months):
Miss Muffets emerging in 3-tier planter amongst the Pentas. I pruned the pentas down in February and they are coming back thickly. This photo is March, it is now April 24 and they are already blooming heavily:
Because of ants and certain night creatures, I have resorted to container gardening except for landscape plants. My Coleus below are already blooming just 4 weeks after this photo. The pots are 16 inches (40.5cm) across:
My friend Verna, lives on a far-to-the-north farm, so our little garden will seem like a play pen to her. But we planted our "summer harvest" in January and February due to the warm winter. A few times we had to cover the bell peppers and green beans with sheets to protect from a frost - no small feat - but then the next day, the extra-warm temperatures came back, so that's why we did it. A warm winter means early arrival of plant eating bugs:
Just after dawn when the sprinklers kicked on:
We even planted Black-eye Peas in February. They are traditionally a summer crop (growing June - September) because they tolerate bugs, humidity and heat. Cucumbers growing up the trellis way in the back center, Bell Peppers, Banana Peppers (sweet), Squash in the front, and Green Beans.
We have been feasting on green beans, Bell Peppers, Banana Peppers and cucumbers since the beginning of April. SO GOOD and fresh!
The big tree in center back is a blooming magnolia (you can barely see a few white blossoms on the bottom right. SO FRAGRANT I can smell it all the way down the hill to my house (sorry so dark - the sun was just rising):
An experiment this year. Our greatest problems are from squirrels and birds. This year, we are using some of our enclosed pool area for "determinate tomatoes". This means the bushes only get 3-4 feet tall (1-1.2 m) and they produce all at once (1-2 week span). This photo is about 3 weeks old - Jack planted 6 bushes and then 6 more 3 weeks later (still to move some of them in) - we had to move the bushes under the lanai for a few days before Easter because of the violent winds and rain, which caused us to lose power on two separate days. The sun is just coming up (old cow pen in the background):
And that's a little of what's happening here. It's crazy-wonderful how different our world is with plants that only grow in certain areas! How fascinating Life is!
Wishing you the loveliest of days!