Today’s photos come from Gayle Spinell-Gellers.
We lived in our home for 26 years. When we moved in, the garden included Robellini palms (Phoenix roebelenii, Zones 9–11), ixora bushes (Ixora, Zones 9–11), a large royal poinciana tree (Delonix regia, Zones 9–12), and a huge bougainvillea. It was befitting a hacienda-style house, but time, plant diseases, and climate change impacted the garden. About ten years ago, I went in search of a solution to add some color and texture to the garden. I stumbled into a meeting of the Bromeliad Society of Broward County, and the rest is history. Thanks to the society and the generosity of club members, the gardens now include Tillandsia, Neoregelia, and Aechmeas.
Over the years we also added an agave, which grew beyond expectations and kept sending up shoots. Despite being told it would only do so once, it sent up three enormous flower spikes, which grew daily until they dwarfed the house. We put in a butterfly garden with a Jatropha (Zones 10–11) on the north side of the home and a mahogany tree (Swietenia mahagoni, Zones 10–11) in the back. There is a wonderful mango tree (Mangifera indica, Zones 10–12) in the backyard that we are cloning! The new homeowners are also intrigued to see if that works out.
Now we live up the coast, and the process of redesigning a garden begins all over again but with plants suited to Zone 9.
The massive flower spike of an agave. Agaves grow for years before flowering, then produce these truly enormous flower spikes, and then usually die after flowering. It is quite the display!
Gayle’s former home, perfectly complemented by the tropical landscape around it.
The beautiful mango tree in the backyard.
The south garden, growing happily in the shade of some palms.
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