Today’s photos come from Audrey Powers.
My husband and I have been gardening for almost all of our lives, so sharing this hobby is very rewarding and fun. We have lived in many states along the East Coast and currently live in Tampa, Florida. When we moved 15 years ago there was very little in the small garden beyond our pool, and I commented, “Let’s turn this yard into a tropical paradise.” With much trial and error, we have done just that.
At the end of February, different areas begin to bloom and release their lovely scents and brilliant colors. Various plantings in different areas of the garden take their turns being the star of the garden for several weeks. The scent travels around the yard approximately every two weeks as new blooms begin to burst open.
It is difficult to capture the beauty of the whole yard, because there are pockets of blooms at different times and I tend to focus on shots of flower close-ups. Here are a few of our beauties.
A stunning variegated bromeliad. This is a variegated, ornamental version of a pineapple (Ananas comosus ‘Variegatus’, Zones 10–11).
Close-up of the variegated pineapple bloom spike, with the distinctive tuft of top leaves beginning to develop. This showy plant is well worth growing as an annual or a houseplant in colder climates.
A gardenia (Zones 8–11) in full bloom. Gardenias have to be one of the most fragrant flowers out there, with each white bloom filling the garden with its rich scent.
The dangling blooms of a shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet, Zones 8–10).
Another ginger, this one a variety of Curcuma (Zones 8–10).
A collection of herbs (and a few flowers) growing in pots.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) are commonly grown indoors in cold climates, but they can be planted out in the landscape in Zones 8 and warmer, and some varieties are even hardy to Zone 7. Indoors or out, they are beautiful flowers.
A magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora, Zones 6–10) bloom.
These lemons are ready to harvest.
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