First Impressions From My Florida Garden


Leaving behind my thriving Colorado garden when moving to Florida 2 1/2 months ago was especially sad because it was in late spring, just at the cusp of summer. Everything was just coming back fully, starting to bloom or already showing first fruits. With some envy, I watched friends purchase new plants (tomatoes!) that they'd be able to watch mature. I dug up my herb garden, which I had nurtured for four years, and moved those plants to a friend's yard. This way I'd know someone else would enjoy my plants - as long as they survived all of this summer's hailstorms.

The backyard at the new house on the Florida Gulf Coast, between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete, was hot mess - quite literally. There was more brownish-grey sand than grass. The yard was surrounded by shrubs and hedges which had been chopped up by a "yard care" company. A few palm trees were overgrown and more brown than green. The flowerbeds were full of weeds.

 Ladybug feasting on aphids.
Ladybug feasting on aphids.

But I wouldn't be my mother's daughter if I didn't embrace this as a personal and rather enticing challenge. So I got busy researching, weeding, trimming, planting, seeding and lots of watering. The rewards have been quick and plentiful. This isn't just thanks to time, effort and money. It's also because the right plants grow incredibly fast and because quite a few of the shrubs surprised me with beautiful blooms.

These are a few photos I took over the last week or two.
All images are available for purchase here.


Purple Queen - also known as Wandering Jew.

Red hibiscus I planted.
Red hibiscus I planted.

Probably my favorite backyard surprise: Bougainvillea.
Probably my favorite backyard surprise: Bougainvillea.

The delicate, yet sticky blossoms of the Blue Plumbago.
The delicate, yet sticky blossoms of the Blue Plumbago.

Shiny new leaf on the False Roselle aka Red Leaf Hibiscus.
Shiny new leaf on the False Roselle aka Red Leaf Hibiscus.

Male brown anole lizard.
Male brown anole lizard.

Female brown anole lizard.
Female brown anole lizard.

Pink Morning Glory: from seed to bloom in about four weeks!
Morning Glory: from seed to bloom in about four weeks!

Side view of the Boatlily aka Moses-in-the-Cradle that I found hiding on the side of the house and moved to the front and backyards.

Side view of the Boatlily aka Moses-in-the-Cradle.
Side view of the Boatlily aka Moses-in-the-Cradle. I've already seen it bloom, which shows the connection to the name. Just wasn't satisfied with how the photos of the flowers came out. Next time.