"Summer afternoon ~ summer
afternoon; to me those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the
September is in full force. Husband and I spent this afternoon walking around the garden talking of that dread Old Man Winter, whose annual visit is growing nearer and nearer. We made plans of trash cans and blankets and frost-cloths...and even outdoor heaters...and talked of why we should search out cold-hardy evergreen trees, which seem to be so few and far between in our Zone 9 world. I felt the worry creeping into my soul. Worry of the beige days of winter. I will miss the green lushness of my garden. I will miss the bulbs that fall into their dormancy. Before long, my beloved curcumas will be growing sleepy. Already, I am seeing the caladiums blinking their eyes with the lull of a winter's nap. Hopefully, the 100 new bulbs we planted after the Caladium Festival will fool Mother Nature for a few months. But I should not be rambling on about the Old Man, here today, on September 7th. It will yet be many months before he arrives. For here in Florida, summer yet lingers. Heat, humidity, sunny days, green grass, and loads of color.
Gloriosa lilies are one of my favorite blooms of summer. They will bloom on and off until the days get short and the nights grow cool.
The Siam Tulips are still doing their thing, which is just being incredible and fantastic. Yes, I am a bit partial to these Curcumas. This specimen clearly should've been divided this past spring. I think I could get three plants out of this clump. I'll probably divide them up next month.
The tropicals are the plants I worry about when Old Man Winter visits. This Medinilla was purchased not too long ago, and it was placed in a container so it can be brought into the lanai on frosty nights.
The Australian Tree Fern continually puts off its fiddleheads. But it has turned brown in some winters past. Please be kind this year, Old Man Winter. There is nothing lush-looking about a brown tree fern.
And oh my, the bromeliads we have in this garden! We have collected them to the point of insanity. I truly don't think I could number them if I tried, and I'm having difficulty keeping up with their names, even being the nomenclature freak that I am. I don't have a lot of winter anxiety for all of them, just those special (and very expensive) acquisitions we've made...and those ones we had the gall to place in fully exposed locations. They will certainly be getting frost-cloth this year. The above photo is Neoregelia 'Cotton Candy.' I bought this in 2011. Had to have it because of that very-unusual-for-bromeliads pink hue and, of course, for the awesome name. She gave me several pups this summer. Anyway, she was not really pricy, but I still wouldn't want the frost to take her away. Yes, truthfully, I worry about each and everyone of my plants.
And oh, the ti plant anxiety! I know some of you think I'm crazy for planting Zone 10 plants in a clearly Zone 9 garden, but I just love these guys. They are at least root hardy here; well, actually, they even have partially live branches after a frost. It's just that they look so burnt and raggedy. Above is one of my favorite ti plants, Cordyline 'Willi's Gold.' It's been in the same spot for many, many years, so of course, I shouldn't worry, but it does take many months for it to return to glory after a frost.
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