Garden Photo of the Day

Kimberly’s Florida Garden

A tropical paradise

bright yellow and pink orchid flowers on a tree

My name is Kimberly Pruett, and I live in Cape Coral, Florida. Gardening is my passion. My family moved into our home about three years ago, and the yard had nice trees but was otherwise just grass and a chainlink fence. My husband and I have worked very hard and spent endless hours transforming it into a relaxing and scent-filled garden. It is always a work in progress. We have lots of edibles, flowering plants, over 30 varieties of Plumeria and over 500 varieties of bromeliads. Have a beautiful day!

garden at duck with a spotlight on a outdoor tableGarden lighting and torches make this an inviting place to linger as the sun goes down.

garden path with interesting foliage plants on both sidesAt first glance, this could be a garden anywhere in the country—then you look closer and see that many of the plants growing here are ones that Northern gardeners are used to seeing only as houseplants!

large pink flower with a fly pollenatingA bright green pollinating fly comes in to visit a passionflower (Passiflora sp.) bloom.

Beautiful bromeliads! The bromeliad family is huge, including many species that live as epiphytes in the wild—growing on the branches of trees in tropical rainforests. They make great landscape plants in warm climates and great houseplants where temperatures dip below freezing in the winter.

bright yellow and pink orchid flowers on a treeA hybrid orchid grows on a tree. Many of the tropical orchids so popular as houseplants in cold climates are epiphytes in the wild as well.

bright pink tropical plantHere is a beautiful Curcuma flower. The rhizomes of one species of Curcuma are the source of the spice turmeric, but they also have incredible flowers. The showy pink bracts make a long-lasting display, while the actual flowers—which are golden yellow—open sequentially up the spike.

pink and green bromeliad with water collected in the middleI believe this stunning bromeliad is a species or hybrid of Neoregelia. The cupped leaves collect and hold water, a critical adaptation for a species that evolved while perched on the branches of trees.

pink, yellow, and multicolored tulips in a potA pot of tulips in bloom. Tulips require a cold period in order to bloom. In Northern gardens, that is accomplished by planting them in the fall. In Florida, the bulbs have to be chilled in a cooler to give them an artificial winter so they’ll bloom outside.

small lizard on garden sculptureA lizard visitor to the garden is perched on a garden sculpture amid the bromeliads.

pineapple grown in the gardenAnother bromeliad in the garden—a pineapple! (Ananas comosus, Zones 11–12)

blue and white flower with interesting patterns in the petalsWalking iris (Neomarica gracilis, Zones 9–11) is a tropical iris relative with beautiful blooms.

 

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Comments

  1. user-7392754 07/27/2022

    Stunning!!! You have truly created a tropical paradise! You’re right that many of your plants are my houseplants! The bromeliads are breathtaking! The curcuma flower is something I’ve never seen. Thank you for sharing!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 07/27/2022

    I love seeing your garden lighting with torches as twilight sets in- so beautiful and inviting!
    Love the way you have your potted bromeliads in groups around the trees...and I had no idea pineapples were bromeliads!
    Your flowers are so tropical and exotic...things I have to pay to see in Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory!
    You've created such a nice garden!

  3. moyra_b 07/27/2022

    Wow! Absolutely stunning!

  4. PhanYa 07/27/2022

    Wow! What a beautiful garden!. I always want to have orchids blooming on trees like yours but couldn't make it happen. Could you please share how you do it?

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/27/2022

    Well done!

  6. wildthyme 07/27/2022

    Kimberly how fun it was to see this tropical garden . . . so different than anything here in Montana! I especially loved the lizard. We don't have them here, but did back in California when we lived there. Our dog loved to chase them! You've created a true oasis there! Thank you for sharing.

  7. btucker9675 07/27/2022

    I grew up in Florida and couldn't wait to get away from the constant heat and humidity, but you sure have created a beautiful garden! Your collection of bromeliads is very impressive indeed.

  8. Catasetumkid 07/27/2022

    Lovely Cattleya! Always love to see orchids here! Love bromeliads, too. They are terrific "houseplants" for us up here in the north.

  9. madcosta_7 08/07/2022

    Beautiful plants, thank you for sharing. I have to know how you keep insects from coming into the house when you bring in all of those Bromeliads? I had orchids out one summer and ended up with bees. Yikes!!

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