Last week, I was on a business trip in Phoenix when the first cold front hit the Florida. Since I lived in south Florida, and the forecast showed the lowest would only go around 37 Fahrenheit, I did not worry too much. I did bring all my orchids indoors though, and dug one clump for each color of my ground orchids from ground, and potted them up so that they can stay in the the garage. The rest of the ground orchids were left in the ground. I just could not take any chance on those beautiful ground orchids since they are supposed to be frost tender. Parents also watered the plants during those coldest days for me to keep the overall health of the plants.
When I came home last Friday, I was happy that my garden looked fine, except for some cold tender plants, such as coleus, sweet potato leaves, and pentas had leave damage. That was fine with me, coleus was about finished anyway, and sweet potato leaves will bounce back in no time once the weather warms up. I also found that my Tropical Lilac's (Cornutia grandifolia) leaves were fried to crispy and fell off even with only two near freeze days. I guess it was called "Tropical" for reasons.
Early this week, the temperature went down around 32 degree Fahrenheit, I covered the Agaves, tender bromeliads, ground orchids that are still in the ground, and the Tropical Lilac with old sheets. I am happy that they seem have pulled through just fine, and the weather will warm up the rest of the week.
As a token of small celebration, I decided to join Garden Bloggers Blooming Day, hosted by May Dreams Gardens, for the very first time.
This coleus is planted under an Angel's Trumpet tree and next to the house wall. Seems the protection of the tree and the warmth reflected from the wall did help this one survive. The leave has more red than it had in the warm weather.
This Cigar Plant (Cuphea melvillea) also shows more red color in the cold weather.
My all time favorite in the garden, dragon wing begonias. It is tougher than it looks, and the cold weather did not do any damages to it.
Another Dragon Wing Begonia... Even when it is not flowering, I love its foliage.
This hawaii Ti is supposed to be cold-tender plant, but since it is planted against the house wall, and behind the Plumeria pudica bush, the leaves were untouched, and is still showing beautiful bright pink foliage.
The red salvia is perfect Christmas color, don't you think?
I noticed this pentas showing different shade of pink on the flower pentals, not sure if it is because of the cold weather, or the age of the flowers.
This is my newest ground orchid, purchased two weeks before the last week's cold front. I left it in its container, so that it can be brought indoor easily for protection. Now I have four colors of ground orchids. I can foresee this collection will grow more in the future.
Indian Blanket flowers don't seem mind the cold weather at all. They brighten my Agave garden corner so beautifully.
Kalanchoe is the cold weather bloomer. I had three colors last year, deep pink, light pink double, and golden yellow double. This year, I couldn't find the pink double anywhere. I wonder if the pink double turned to yellow double somehow.
The geranium is another cold weather bloomer returned from last year.
This is my first year to grow Dianthus, and they are quite happy to grow in the ground. I did not do any covering for them in the cold weather, and they proved themselves as such little tough plants.
The red-orange flowers from Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia (Gloxinia sylvatica) are giving the welcome warmth to the winter garden and this gardener too.
My roses are obviously enjoying this cold weather. They hardly bloomed during the summer, and now they came back to life, with bigger flowers.
Snapdragon loves the cold weather too!
Impatiens looked quite comfortable tucked in the container. I love to have some bright color in the container, especially in the winter.
Hope you enjoyed my first GBBD post. For me, it is nice to have a record for the plants survived our first two rounds of cold weather. Although I hope the rest of the winter (or should I say the up-coming winter?) will be mild, I know I have to be prepared, and enjoy what I have now.