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Garden Photo of the Day

Florida Flowers

Scenes from a tropical garden

I’m Jennifer from Cape Coral, Florida. Here are some views of my Zone 10 gardens. I started from scratch, so everything is less than three years old except for a few palms saved during renovation.

We are not allowed to fertilize in the summer due to run off and red tide in our river and the Gulf of Mexico. My soil isn’t great, so in the winter I prepare soil using organic fertilizer and compost to create a better environment.

Enjoy!

Zebra long wing butterflyZebra long-wing butterfly on a Jatropha

ruelliaI was so surprised that these ferns (probably Nephrolepis exaltata) could handle more sun than I thought. The pool cage gives them some protection from the afternoon sun. I added ruellia (Ruellia britooniana, Zones 7–10) and Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus tropical or as an annual) to this fern flower bed.

Persian shieldClose-up of the purple foliage of the Persian shield mingling with the ferns.

Angel trumpet (Brugmansia, Zones 9–11) with the neighbor’s ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) straight up behind it. (In colder zones, Brugmansia can be grown in containers and overwintered indoors, and ponytail palms are popular as houseplants.)

royal poincianaThis royal poinciana (Delonix regia) is not in my yard, but it is spectacular, so I had to share. I have planted one but no blooms yet.

young royal poincianaHere is my royal poinciana. It has a long way to go!

blue plumbagoCanna, lavender pentas (Pentas lanceolata, Zones 9–11 or as annual), and blue plumbago (Plumbago auriculata, Zones 8–11), with plumeria in the foreground.

huge AgaveAnother view of the bed with magenta pentas, a huge agave, and blue daze ground cover (Evolvulus glomeratus ‘Blue Daze’ tropical or as an annual).

 

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Comments

  1. Carolyn3134 08/05/2020

    Lovely! Stay cool and safe in Florida!!

  2. User avater
    Cynthia2020 08/05/2020

    Hi, Jennifer. The Zebra long-wing photo really drew me in to your set of photos! I especially liked seeing all the blooms you had on your Ruellia plus the photo with the combination of the Canna, Pentas, and Plumbago was interesting to look at. Your text on fertilizer gave me something to think about, too.

    1. SWFLgardener 08/15/2020

      I just planted milkweed and have really gotten more interested in butterflies. Amazing creatures.

  3. User avater
    SimpleSue 08/05/2020

    Wow you've done a lot in only 3 years! Love seeing the Ruellia Simplex (aka Ruellia britooniana aka Mexican Petunia) growing in Florida. I'm growing some in Pittsburgh and trying to push the growing zone with it. And Oh! Those Angel's Trumpets you're growing- wow! Love your garden design- very ellegant!

  4. BTucker9675 08/05/2020

    You've done a spectacular job in only 3 years - this is a really pretty garden! How exciting it will be when your poinciana blooms...

    1. SWFLgardener 08/15/2020

      We have a few streets in Ft Myers where the Royal Poinciana flanks both sides, they are stunning. Mine is supposed to be a dwarf. It has really put on a lot of growth since that spring photo. It’s going to look great!

  5. cheryl_c 08/05/2020

    Loved your pictures - especially of the fern garden and ruellia. We have a wild petunia here, ruellia humilis, that I've thought about putting into my flower beds - your success is an inspiration to become more intentional about doing it!

    1. SWFLgardener 08/15/2020

      I always see the ruellia in parking lots and office parks and had never been interested, but my husband likes it and I thought let’s try, and I’m very happy with it In the flower bed.

  6. Acaruthers 08/05/2020

    I love the Poinciana! I had no idea what those were until my trip to Cairo last summer - such beautiful trees! Here's to yours growing big and beautiful!

  7. user-5117752 08/06/2020

    Oh, you're doing a great job! That butterfly pic just won my heart! I love your colors and combinations. I just looked at the plumbago in my favorite nursery. Simply don't have room for another annual but it would definitely be my first choice if I did.

    1. SWFLgardener 08/15/2020

      I feel like I’m running out of space here too! It’s so confusing here to know what is an annual because Everything seems to grow all year long. I love the wildness of the blue plumbago, but if you like a more manicured look it’s not the plant for you.

  8. SWFLgardener 08/15/2020

    Thank you for all your nice notes. I was unavailable to reply when my GPOD came out. I enjoy reading all your comments. Thank you Fine Gardening Community

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