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.

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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,  scorpions and woodlice.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Happy Wednesday to you all.

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Floral Friday: A Glamorous Epiphyte

Last Saturday we met some really special friends for breakfast at the Makaranga Lodge up in Kloof. The gardens, where I photographed the amazing ‘Soul Mates’ sculpture for my Silent Sunday’s post, are so beautiful. This orchid growing on the trunk of a Coral tree, just caught my eye, and I had to snap the memory.

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Wishing you all a very happy weekend.