Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's January?

This is the warmest January we've had in several years and the garden is loving it!  There are plenty of growing and blooming plants to enjoy  for the first winter in recent memory.  A few overnight freezes did take down some of the most tender tropicals but they will return as soon as we experience reliably warm weather.

Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'

Now is the perfect time to do all those gardening jobs that require heavy physical labor.  The temperature is cool enough that the gardener won't melt while shoveling amendments into the soil yet warm enough that there will be butterflies and other garden creatures to provide companionship.

Orchard Orb Weaver

Several late winter blooming shrubs are still holding on to their budding flowers.  A few of their branches were nipped by the cold but there is hope in my heart that this will be the year I can see them in full flower.

Eranthemum pulchellum 'Blue Sage'

This January's garden has plenty of foliage left in it unlike the last few years.  This is partly because of the mild weather not killing everything but the hardiest evergreens down to the ground and partly because more cold-hardy plants have been incorporated into the beds to give winter structure.

Odontonema callistachyum 'Purple Firespike'

Having most of the garden spared from the ravages of winter is a wonderful treat to enjoy.  Along with that enjoyment comes responsibility however.  There is more to trim, weed, edge and feed.  Less down time for the plants means less down time for the gardener.

It's wonderful to be back to year-round gardening in central Florida!


  1. Hi Kay...I think we all really appreciate this year's winter after having had so much devastation the past couple of years. It's definitely a nice change of pace. I really love the white flowers on the purple knight, and I'm glad to see that Meems shared some of the blue sage with you. It's a great passalong plant that needs to be propagated and shared with as many gardeners as possible. Enjoy the great weather as you work in your garden.

  2. I,too,am enjoying this weather.I love the Blue Sage.

  3. Love your pictures, I am new to gardening. I recently redid my over-sized yard in the hopes of learning to create an oasis like yours in my own back yard. i I live in the Tampa area and this is a wonderful Blog.

  4. Love your pictures, I am new to gardening. I recently redid my over-sized yard in the hopes of learning to create an oasis like yours in my own back yard. i I live in the Tampa area and this is a wonderful Blog.

  5. Beautiful pictures, Kay! You are absolutely right about this mild winter being the perfect time to do the hard garden labor. Thanks also for the ID of different butterflies. I've seen so many in my garden that I don't know the name of!

  6. It has been really warm up here for Jan. I bet we will see a different story for Feb. and March. Do you have red Firespike? I would love to have a cutting of your purple Firespike...if you have the red maybe I have something else to trade with you if you are so inclined.

  7. Susan - Actually, I got that blue sage from you! Isn't it doing well in my garden? I definitely want to root some to place around my garden as well as give away.

    ChrisC - I can't wait to get caught up on reading your blog to see what's been happening there along the Great Wall. I've gotten a little behind in my blog reading (and writing.)

    Taxhappens - Thanks! I'm glad to have you stop by. It's always nice to "meet" other nearby gardeners.

    Janna - I have really loved seeing butterflies all winter long. Certainly different from the past few years. I know it's time to do the heavy work, but I really haven't done that much. I talk a better game than I play :)

    Darla - We often have some pretty cold weather in February, but I'm hoping not this year! I would be happy to send a cutting of the purple firespike. I'll e-mail you.

  8. I don't remember giving you some of the blue sage...but I'm glad I did. Perhaps I brought it to Meems house. It does root extremely easy. My mother always had hers place up next the house and it has never frozen there. I have mine near the house under a small tree and it hasn't gotten much cold damage. Maybe a little frost on the top leaves. Any, enjoy it as they look so beautiful in the winter garden.

  9. Thanks Kay for posting the picture of the Purple Knight. I have it, but had not gotten around to researching the name. Who knows where it came from but I am glad it landed in my yard.

    Isn't this winter great! Reminds me of how winter was before the last couple of winters.



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.