Monday, July 19, 2010

What a Difference a Zone Makes

 It would seem that I have been spending a lot of time away from My Garden Path.  It is summer after all and time for a change of scenery and a change of pace.  While I love my Zone 9 garden, it is interesting to see what a difference in plants and wildlife exist just an hour drive south. 

This past week I started each day with a beautiful sunrise.

Hubby, all the kids, grandkids and even the family dog spent a wonderful, lazy week all together at the beach.  Of course, I had to take some walks around the neighborhood to see what landscaping in a coastal zone 10 really looks like. 
Sea grape trees that reached up to our second floor balcony allowed me to see  they really do bear sea grapes!

Lovely specimens of palms that did not show any signs of freeze-damage graced almost all the yards.

Plumeria trees, tall enough to provide shade, scented the air with their blooms.

And the yellow poinciana trees!  Oh my!  So gorgeous!

There was a rookery for black skimmers right outside our door.  The little chicks look nothing like their parents but blend in with the sand in perfect camoflage. 

As I contentedly ended each day with an awe inspiring sunset I was thankful for all the diverse beauty God has placed here on Earth. 


  1. It looks and sounds like you and your family had a wonderful, restful week together at the beach. Just one zone away gives you a different outlook, and an appreciation for what you have growing in your own gardens.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  2. What a wonderful relaxing way to spend your vacation, especially with family. We are so lucky to live a short drive to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When we lived in Pinellas county, I was always amazed that as you drove south from Clearwater you could see a dramatic change in foliage once you got to St. Petersburg. It was like the dividing line between zone 9 and 10.

  3. You're right.It's that time of year to take a break from the garden and refresh and renew at the beach.
    I can never take enough photos of sunsets.We are blessed here on the west coast of Florida with glorious sunsets.
    Where were you?That sunset looks like a Captiva Is. sunset.

  4. Oh I love sea grapes so much! We had a big container of them on the front porch til someone stole it in the night. We were so devastated, since it represented all of our camping trips to south Florida together. The bizzie palm looks great too! There are actually a few of them here in Jax if you know where to look.

  5. Sounds heavenly, NanaK. What fun to have the whole family together and still be able to get away for some quiet walks. Love the sea grapes... must have a million photos of them. The sunsets on our coast are just not like anywhere else. Love all the photos.

  6. Flowerlady - It was fun to see all the different plants that really won't make it through winter in my zone growing HUGE and beautiful. One thing I didn't see was roses. You do so well with yours in zone 10, must be your special touch:)

    Susan - It's funny how just having different plantlife around me made it seem that I was a long way from home. Only 1 zone difference still makes quite a difference. I could get used to a coastal zone 10 garden.

    ChrisC - I'm with you on the sunsets. We were on Anna Maria which, though not far away, is still my favorite beach. Sanibel/Captiva is, of course, also beautiful. I remember having to go to Captiva to see the sunset because of Sanibel facing south. That was a surprise to me. We are so lucky here on the west coast to have so many great beaches.

    RFG - Thanks for the ID on that palm. You might have noticed I said "palms ... graced almost all the yards." That's because I had no idea what any of them were. Who on earth would steal sea grapes? Maybe it was the container they liked??

    Meems - It was great to be all together and easy for me too. The parents were all there to take care of the children. This grandmothering thing is the BEST!

  7. The Sea Grapes love zone 10 and 11 and are growing all over here. The State of Florida plants them alot in the highway medians here in South Florida.Nice photos from your trip .

  8. One zone, one world. Amazing! The plumeria is the fullest I've ever seen. I've lost so many in freezes, I gave up. (Although I've since learned I should have just pulled them up and stuck them in the garage for the winter and they would have been fine to replant in spring. Maybe ONE more try!)


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.