2008 Updates

5/22/2008 - Build it and ... they will surf. Central Florida Garden is now two years old. Happy Birthday! In its first month of operation in 2006, it managed to attract all of 27 visitors. A year later, the visitor count had grown to 800. During the second year the site hit its stride and now experiences over 3,000 unique visitors a month. Wow!

What mystifies me is that the most popular single page on the site continues to be the Jasmine page. It receives about 600 visits a month. Why? There is nothing markedly different about it compared to the other pages on specific plants. But the world seems to be beating a path to its doorstep.

5/17/2008 - We just returned from a trip to Greece where I took far more pictures than I expected. The scenery and ruins were so stunning, I must have spent half the trip with one eye looking through the camera lens. I was particularly entranced by the bright red poppies that were everywhere. I put together some pictures that you can find here.

Naxos Greece

4/18/2008 - Nature does not disappoint - the Butterfly Garden is recovering nicely from the freeze. While one of the Pentas was killed to the ground, it is slowly coming back and the other Penta is more than making up for the loss. The Passionflower is spreading everywhere, above and below the ground, and already has several blooms. The Blue Anise Sage, after a disappointing summer and fall last year, has sprung forth with some striking flowers. Then there is the Bronze Fennel, which has tripled in size.

Butterfly Garden

To demonstrate how much the garden has changed in the four months since the major freeze on January 3, look at the pictures below:

The Tibouchina right after the Freeze:


The Tibouchina today:


The Butterfly Garden right after the Freeze:


The Butterfly Garden today:


Why did I ever doubt Mother Nature?

4/14/2008 - It's spring time in Central Florida - a time to revel in the spectacular blooms in the garden. Like:

Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'

Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'. A prolific bloomer. I bought this from The Southern Bulb Company a year ago as a bulb and it's already bloomed three times.


Bird of Paradise We have not had great luck with Birds of Paradise. We planted two 'Birds' last year in front of the house and both withered away. The third time proved to be a charm - the plant has already sent out three blooms.
Brazilian Iris It is nearly impossible to grow Bearded and Dutch Iris in Central Florida. There are substitutes, but they do not compare to the regal beauty of a vase full of Dutch Iris. One interesting replacement is the Brazilian Iris. Granted, its flowers last only for a day and you can forget about cut flowers. However, they are tough plants and the blooms are gorgeous.
Blue Anise The Blue Anise Sage, after a disappointing summer and fall in the Butterfly Garden last year, has sprung forth with some striking flowers.

3/30/2008 - Once in awhile one of the local Red-shouldered Hawks appears out of nowhere to remind me that our house now sits where, but a few years ago, the bird likely had its home.

Red Tailed hawk

1/5/2008 - "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." There is nothing like a hard freeze to remind a gardener of the truth of that adage.


But Nature is always ready to tell us to stop whining and appreciate what we have, like this morning's Amaryllis blossom:


1/2/2008 - Partly to protect my plants and partly to see how much I could actually accomplish, I tried to put frost protection fabric on all my sensitive plants in anticipation of tonight's hard freeze. Whoa, did I overestimate the time and materials that were required! It became such a monumental effort that I've recorded it all on a separate page.

1/1/2008 - Happy New Year! Now go break out the blankets (for yourself and your plants), 'cause we are in for a major cold front on Thursday morning:

Cold Front

If you need help deciding what to do to protect your plants, there is a page on this site dedicated to Cold Protection of Plants along with a page on some suggested materials you can use. Also, there is an excellent discussion on the cold front going on over at Garden Web.

Past Updates