"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring, please stay a little longer!

Seems just not long ago, I was longing for the Spring's coming to wake up my garden.  Now it finally came, but why I almost felt it is summer already?  (The highest reported today is 87 F here in South Florida!)

Only when sun went down, we still have some cool breeze in the air to enjoy.   Okay, I guess we still can call it "Spring" :)

Let me show you some of my spring foliage/blooms in my garden.

I planted this African Iris last year after I moved to my house, and now it finally opened its first bloom.
African Iris (Fortnight lily, Dietes iridioides)
Orange Marmalade Crossandra is in full bloom again after experiencing the severe frost bite in the winter.
Orange Marmalade Crossandra and Diamond Frost
I did not expect this "Brazilian Red Hots" could recover after frozen to the ground back in January.  What could be a better way to have something this colorful back to the life to celebrate the spring?
Brazilian Red Hots (Alternanthera dentata)
This Bird's Nest Fern is the new addition to my garden.  After seeing so many beautiful pictures in different bloggers' posts, I just had to have it...  It is still a very young plant now.  Waiting for it growing to a nice impressive garden staple for me...
Bird's Nest Fern
Marigolds are one of my favorite spring/summer annuals.  I bought the yellow one from nursery, and the bi-color one is what I started from the seed (Dwarf Bolero, Ferry-Morse).  The picture on the seed package shows the bi-color double layered, not sure why I got the single layer bloom only.  The color did not disappoint me though.

I love this purple fountain grass,  and the way how all those soft arching purple plums gracefully waiving in the breeze. It is cold-hardy, and heat/drought tolerant, which makes it a perfect ornamental grass for Florida.
Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetumsetaceum 'Rubrum')
Newly planted Ground Orchids are gradually adapting to its environment, and setting the second round of the blooms.
Ground Orchids (Spathoglottis)

Even the Tillandsias is stretching its flower bud out to feel the spring...

Snapdragon is considered as winter annuals here in Florida.  This is the second set of blooms, more beautiful than ever.  These all started from two little plants in 3 inch pots.  Wondering if it can hold long enough to give me the third round of flowers before it melts away in Florida's heat?
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
Gazanias continue growing bigger and stronger, and it not only adds bright color for my winter garden, but also seems loving the warm weather as well.
Lantana yellow trailing finally started blooming following Lantana lavender trailing and Lantana camara.
Lantana Yellow Trailing
This colorful bush is one of those I inherited from the previous owner.  It lost all the leaves after the freeze, and now they also bounce back nicely.  Anybody knows the name?  I see the same kind of plants planted in some public landscaping as well, just have not found the name yet.
Even the sedum blooms out of my surprise! In the cold weather, this plant has reddish/brown color of leaves and grows low and hugs the soil tightly, trying to hold as much warmth as possible close to the body.  Now they change back to that chartreuse-gold color again, and they are all stretching talller and opening the little yellow flowers for the first time! I am so amzed by how plants change their appearance to different weather.

Sedum hybrid Florida Friendly Gold

Oh, how I am loving this spring!  Spring, please stay a little longer with us before that long hot humid summer comes!


FloridaGirl at Peace in the Valley has identified the unknow plant with colorful foliage above is: Acalypha wilkesiana, or copperleaf or Joseph's coat.  Thanks, FloridaGirl!



  1. Wonderful color in your garden, Ami! I think the unnamed plant is Acalypha wilkesiana aka copperleaf or Joseph's coat. I see them planted in commercial landscapes here as well. Glad to see you get your first African iris bloom! Mine are giving me smiles this week. And your bird's nest fern is beautiful. This has suddenly become one of my favorite plants after seeing it do so well this winter! Here's hopin' spring lasts just a little longer!

  2. Thanks for identifying that unnamed plant for me! I love all my plants having a name :) You are one of the person (another is Rainforest gardener) who made me want that bird's nest fern so badly. lol. I finally found it in Lowes house plant section. Can not wait for it growing bigger!

  3. Amy these are great photos. It never ceases to amaze me of what plants you have growing in Spring time in parts of the USA. We rarely get those temperatures in the summer for starters and your spring plants are our summer bedding plants. Cant wait to see what treats are in your garden for when its sizzling in your garden. Have a lovely weekend :) Rosie

  4. Hi Ami,

    I am with you! I love spring and want it to stick around longer. Hopefully, summer does NOT arrive early although my flowers will continue to bloom even when it gets hot - I won't want to go outside to enjoy them ;-)

  5. Good morning Ami ~ Beautiful blooms. You've really got some wonderful plants there.

    That is indeed a copperleaf as Floridagirl said. We have several of them and we lost foliage too, but they are doing good now. I love the colors in the foliage, pinks/creams/burgundies.

    That rain we got last evening is making it cooler here for the next couple of days. We need to really enjoy it, because summer is definitely on its way.

    More rain is expected too, but I hope to get out to play in the gardens tomorrow, today I work at my job, as I did the past two days also. I did a little gardening yesterday morning before work and that felt good.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  6. I can see why you love spring ... you have quite a variety of different blooms. I really like the purple fountain grass. Mine didn't survive the winter. Your ground orchid is very pretty. Is that a new header? pretty!...i like bulbine. Some of mine survived the cold and some didn't.

  7. Rosie: Yes, here is florida the spring is very short. The summer is well on the way already. Lots of plants love the heat, but not me :)

    Noelle: Thank You! I know Arizona might as hot as south Florida (according to my husband who went to Pheonix in the middle of summer for business, it is even hotter :)). Let's all hope the spring can stay a little longer.

  8. Flowerlady: Yes, I love the leaf color of the copperleaf. They not only has multi-color, and they also change when leaf ages. Beautiful back-drop plants in my garden. Nowadays, I welcome those occasional rains, which bring the temporature down, also water my garden. Happy gardening this weekend!

    Amy: When I say the purple fountain grass is cold-hardy, I guess I mean cold-hardy here :) It did fine during our January freeze, but I think your place may have cold weather a little longer than us.

    Yes, that is a new header picture (not quite new any more, changed about a couple of weeks ago). Actually these past a couple of days, I found the header picture will disapear after initial loading. Not sure if you see the same thing?

    Anybody see this comment, could you drop me a short note if you also see the my header-picture disappearing? I have been trying to fix it, but no use. Frustrating...

  9. Ami, I have not seen your header picture for a couple days. The site seems to load super-slow as well.

  10. I'm not seeing that lovely bulbine picture anymore either. Hope you figure out what's going on. I really love that purple fountain grass and bird's nest fern. Hope you are getting to enjoy the wonderful gardening weather this weekend.

  11. Wow, there are so many lovely flowers in your garden, so many colours too. At the moment I have 2 baby bird's nest ferns, gifts from the birds which carried them into my garden. I'm wondering where to put them as they grow larger.

  12. I agree Ami... please stay a while dear spring. The cool evenings and cooler mornings are priceless right now. Your southern Florida garden is way ahead of mine. My fountain grass is just now starting to send out purple shoots... no blooms!

    After all these years gardening I just bought my first bird's nest fern, too. It was more because they came in at my local nursery looking so healthy and pretty I thought I'd give one a try. Are you planting yours in the ground or a pot? My neighbor has hers in the ground which is what I think I'll do... although I was also thinking of re-designing one of my pots on the back lanai with it. lol

    Love your marigold from seed and of course the African Iris is a staple here. I divide it and use in for a border plant, too.

    Have a good Monday! Meems

  13. FloridaGirl and NanaK: Thanks for letting me know how my header image behaves for you guys. I now able to get the image back, but not able to have the title on at the same time. Still working on it...

    NanaK: I did get some time in the garden this weekend. Only we had rains almost the whole afternoon.... Very needed rain thoug :)

    AutumnBelle: How lucky for you to have birds bring your birds' nest fern as gift! I currently have it in a container, and thinking I will put it in my shade garden if I can have time to open one :)

  14. Meems: Our comments crossed :) I am currently having the birds' nest fern in a pot. Since it needs shade, and my current flower bed doesn't have any space left for it in the shady corner any more. I am thinking to open another bed on the side of the house where are quite shady, so I can have more shade loving plants. We just had people come to install the gutter last week, and now my community asked us to paint the exterior of the house. I guess I need to wait for that done to start my new shady garden project. So much to do and so little time, and yet summer is coming!!! :)

    Have a good week ahead!

  15. Your plants have come back great from our nasty winter. My African iris are still sad looking since I cut them back. It may be awhile before I get blooms. You mentioned on my blog that you'd like a Brazilian iris. I bought mine at Home Depot last year, but I noticed today that they have a lot of them in stock. Good luck finding one. p.s. I love that marigold you grew from seed. Seeds offer so many more varieties than those available in the nurseries.

  16. Susan: Thanks for the info about the Brazilian Iris. A trip to HD is in order :) I love the color of that Marigold I started from seeds as well, actually they even show some double layer of pedals now.

  17. It is truly beautiful to see all the flowering plants in your garden. Im sure it would be bursting with butterflies, bees and hummingbird.

  18. I hope you enjoy the rest of your spring Ami - it looks like your garden is making the most of it! I love your first marigold, it looks so cheerful and bright...mine never seem to do so well!

  19. Hi, Ami. I am in love with the orange marmalade. I saw it for the first time last year and have seen it increasingly since. Yours is beautiful...a must for my garden! So many nice blooms in your landscape! Interesting that your ground orchids are blooming. Mine are still recovering...taking their time!


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