As a native Floridian who has never lived anywhere else, I remember cold winters like we have been experiencing these last few years. However, I had been lulled into forgetfulness by the decade or so of milder winters occurring prior to 2008.
|Bamboo, Multiplex 'Fernleaf'|
I've lived on the same piece of property for 25 years now. When the children were still small my gardening efforts were limited to a few hedges of ligustrum, viburnum and lots of azaleas. All of those plants are cold-hardy and have never been fazed by winter.
A few hibiscus bushes and pass-along bromeliads were in the landscape but I don't remember winter ever ravaging them like it has recently.
|Native Saw Palmetto|
The last four years have afforded a slower lifestyle that fueled a new interest in gardening. Yep, just in time for a cold winter cycle to hit.
All the beautiful tropicals and butterfly nectar and host plants that drew me that first spring of 2007 gardening have taught me much. Old stand-by plants once considered "boring" are now appreciated for the structure they provide during just such times as these.
Oh, the tropicals and other tender perennials will always be loved and grown in this garden, but more thought is being given to a reliable frame-work to define the garden during the dormant months.
This thought began after last January's eleven days of freezing temperatures. By April, the thought was hidden beneath the exuberance of seeing those tender plants returning. Soon, the thought of providing a form that would be cold-hardy was completely forgotten, or at least, ignored.
|Sasanqua Camellia 'Yuletide'|
A few reliable garden residents are rewarding my initial effort and refueling my resolve to follow-through better this next gardening year.
My blog title says "Learning and Growing in a Florida Garden" and, albeit slowly, I am.