January Winter Gardens in Florida

This month, Jude is asking for photos and stories about winter gardens. Here in Florida, ours looks pretty much the same all the year round. We have a flower bed out back with four palm trees, and we’ve gone for plants which don’t need a lot of attention, and which multiply rather than having to be replaced frequently.

We love the vivid reds of this Croton.


Bromeliads, which are related to the pineapple family, are also easy-care. Their waxy leaves form a bowl in which rainwater settles, and I read that inside these bowls are whole ecosystems containing such delights as small beetles, crane flies, spiders,ย  scorpions and woodlice.


No wonder the Great Egret spends so much time inspecting their contents. Some of you may remember that he ate my poor little Lizzie when she ventured over there. We still haven’t got a replacement. I saw a tiny one on the insect screen a couple of days ago, but it didn’t take up residence.


Bromeliads are epiphytes, which means that they can grow quite happily on another plant. They attach themselves to the trunk of our palm trees.

DSCN6383They can be anything from bright green to dark maroon.

DSCN6380 The Staghorn Fern is also an air plant, and we are very thrilled to see it doing so well.


Just for good measure, I thought I’d show you our neighbour’s garden just a short distance away across the water. His plants are nothing to write home about, but he does have a rather interesting garden ornament.


Happy Wednesday to you all.

88 comments on “January Winter Gardens in Florida

  1. The colours in your garden are such a visual relief for those of us in the greyness of winter. It’s a bonus if they are easy to maintain as well!!
    I’m not sure about the lawn ornament though. I prefer something with less teeth ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Scorpions? Yikes, Sylvia – do you check your gardening shoes in the morning?

    I love your garden and the Staghorn Fern is one of my favourites. I found one that had fallen from a large mango tree in the yard last week and ‘attached’ it to another tree. I hope it survives ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. You have beautiful plants in your garden, Sylvia! And I’m sure you don’t need an ornament like your neighbor’s. I hope you get a replacement for Lizzie soon, and when you do, remember to train her to stay put and catch insects on the screen ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Helen. My neighbor is very welcome to his garden ornament, but I’m always happy to see Mr. A stretched out there enjoying the sunshine. I keep looking for another Lizzie, but no replacement as yet. ๐Ÿ˜•

  4. Hi Sylvia, well I’ve leaned one thing .. Never go to north fl. In Jan;) I’m freezing. I’ve been keeping busy, but…. Cold. Where ever we go.
    So this week end we r taking the boat to key west, in hopes of some heat;). And btw, a gator was at my fiends door to meet us when we arrived on Monday….. To be posted after I get home;) just wanted u to know as cold as it has been here..its even colder at home;)

  5. Those are some beautiful plants. I love the photo with the swan. Quick question – what camera do you use to take your photos? They are so sharp, clean and clear. Do you edit the photos after taking them?

    • Thanks so much, ZL. The ‘Swan’ is actually a Great Egret, but I won’t tell him you got his name wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have an expensive camera. It’s a Nikon COOLPIX P520 18.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 42x Zoom Lens. I’ve had it for about three years. I know there are much better cameras out there, but I find this one adequate for my purpose and it’s not heavy or bulky. Sometimes I edit the photos in iPhoto on my Mac, just to brighten them up a bit if the lighting wasn’t quite right. Mostly I don’t need to though. Thanks for asking.

  6. For the past few weeks I haven’t been getting any of your posts and I couldn’t figure out why you weren’t showing in my reader, So this is me coming to your blog and noticing that I wasn’t following anymore? Ugh I think I’ve been hacked! :-\

  7. I smell Spring is in the air Sylvia with all your beautiful floral shots, even the alligator is enjoying the warm sun (as long as he stays across the pond).

    • This one is about 10 foot long. Pets aren’t allowed outside except on a leash. And most people don’t walk out back. He’s been lying there all day, and hasn’t moved a muscle even when surrounded by a flock of White Ibis and some Egyptian Geese. I wouldn’t like to take my chances to get so close though. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  8. A very interesting ornament indeed, one to keep the other side of the lake for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lovely to see your January Florida garden Sylvia, so colourful and bright compared to ours right now. I’ve got to think what to photograph for Jude’s challenge. The only thing that worries me is the thought of scorpions lurking in the undergrowth – they terrify me ๐Ÿ˜ฎ xx

    • For sure, I don’t want to see any scorpions, Sherri. I hope Mr. A doesn’t suddenly decide that the grass is greener on the other side. ๐Ÿ˜• I’m sure you’ll find something interesting in your garden for Jude’s challenge. Do you have any birds? xx

      • Ha, let’s hope not Sylvia! I do have lots of birds at my feeders, but they are so quick I can’t get any photos! I do have some of my Sweet Robin from a couple of years ago when it snowed. But that would be cheating! I’ll have a think… ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  9. Gads….I’m not even a “Florida-type” girl and your garden shots look magnificent and have me wanting to hop on the next plane! I’m really glad you put in that shot of your neighbour’s garden ornament at the end…..that reminds me why I’m quite happy up here watching the snow fall outside! Gorgeous shots, Sylvia!

  10. Oh dear, what happened to my comment? (Please delete if I should appear twice, thanks)
    I had to laugh as I saw the ornament in your neighbour’s garden! Once, in your beautiful and so sunny Florida, I had the pleasure of taking a closer look at such an ornament, quite exciting!
    Thanks for the peep into your winter garden. ๐Ÿ™‚ The first image reminds me of the work of Dale Chihuly. A few years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to a very special botanical garden in the south of Miami. The whole garden was filled with the work Chihuly, a most impressive sight.
    Rainy greetings from the Rhine Valley,

  11. So lovely to see your garden! I can understand why you’d want plants that manage themselves given all the travelling you guys do and what’s not to love about a Staghorn Fern! I saw an enormous one in Sydney, here’s hoping yours grows that big (assuming you can take it with you when you move). As for the garden ornament. I’ll leave that at the neighbours… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks Sylvia!

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