When it is 78 degrees at 8:00 AM, I know it is going to be a day to stay in the shade. Lately, many days have been much too hot for any heavy outdoor labor. The usual temperature peak at mid-day on these June days has been in the 90's.
"Tough as Nails" - Walking Iris, Neomarica longifolia, gracilis, and caerulea along with Artemisia 'Powis Castle', Red Firespike, Odontonema strictum and Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica
"Tough as Nails" - Bromeliads, Purple Heart, Tradescantia pallida, Lotus Begonia, Begonia nelumbiifolia
"Thirsty" - Caladiums
|"Tough as Nails" - Gulf Fritillary butterfly on Purple Heart|
"Tough as Nails" - Forsythia Sage, Salvia madrensis, Flowering Maple, Abutilon, Starburst Clerodendrum, Clerodendrum quadriloculare
"Thirsty"- Coleus and Caladiums
|"Tough as Nails" - Crossandra 'Orange Marmalade'|
|"Tough as Nails" - Bromeliads, African Iris, Dietes iridioides, Azaleas, Liriope|
|"Tough as Nails" - Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana 'Fruit Cocktail'|
Florida is a place where drought conditions can be experienced for a few months and then torrential rains can come the next few months. Summer brings blistering heat and oppressive humidity and winter brings periods of freezing temperatures. Our gardens have to be able to take it all in stride.
It would be a boring garden that had one plant that could take all the extremes. My goal is to have a mixture of plants for all the seasons of my Florida garden. That's the unique thing about gardening here in the "Sunshine State" - four gardening seasons. It's challenging, but I'm going to keep trying to pull off a year-round garden.
Wherever you garden, what are your favorite "tough as nails" plants in your garden?