Early October Garden

A hibiscus flower usually has five petals (a single hibiscus). Thanks to modern cultivation techniques, some varieties can produce flowers with more than five petals – called “double hibiscus” – in a dazzling array of colors, sizes, and shapes

This last week hasn’t been one with drives or walks to enjoy nature. These photos are from the archives of my garden in a past October. In the present, there is still debris in the yard and several plants are looking tired from all the flapping in the wind from Hurricane Ian. Within a few weeks, it will be back to normal and I’ll share newer photos. Let’s take a look at the tropical double red hibiscus with its multi-layered ruffles.

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Periwinkle in the Fall

Vinca is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae, native to Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia. The English name periwinkle is shared with the related genus Catharanthus.

September in central Florida is still bright, sunny, and hot. The high temperatures are a little lower than August, but it still gets in the 90’s. We continue to have almost daily showers in the evening as fronts filled with moisture come ashore from the Gulf of Mexico.

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Crepe Myrtle After The Rain

Crape or Crepe Myrtles can be grown in zones 7 to 9 in the USA in any soil type. The site should be in the bright, hot sun: full or partial sun (6hrs min). No heavy shade for Crape Myrtles. It’s very popular in the southeastern USA. Crepe Myrtles are originally from Asia.

When summer comes here in central Florida, I always look forward to the crepe myrtle trees flowering. I see them everywhere as they are very popular. The second year I was living in my home, an old dying tree was leaning toward my neighbor’s home. I had it cut down. The next year I planted a small crepe myrtle tree with hot pink blossoms in the old tree’s spot in the front yard. Several days ago after a morning rain I took photos to share.

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April’s White Amaryllis Blooms

I live in Central Florida, growing zone 9B which is semi-tropical. Amaryllis is a subtropical bulb that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and is native to South Africa. It is grown as a potted plant in most parts of the United States but can also be grown outdoors year round in warm areas like Florida. The red amaryllis you buy at Christmas are FORCED bulbs.

Last week I shared my first amaryllis blooms of 2022 with my variegated pink and white flowers. My photos showed large buds on the white amaryllis next to it. Today is time for large white amaryllis flowers!

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My First Amaryllis Blooms of 2022

(Amaryllis is a subtropical bulb that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and is native to South Africa. It is grown as a potted plant in most parts of the United States but can also be grown outdoors year round in warm areas like Florida.)

Rosemary:  If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 or below, rosemary will only survive if you bring it indoors before the arrival of freezing temperatures. On the other hand, if your growing zone is at least zone 8, you can grow rosemary outdoors year round with protection during the chilly months.  I live in zone 9B, semi-tropical, here in central Florida. I can grow amaryllis outside while northern climates can grow traditional spring bulbs like daffidils and tulips. I cannot grow those.

Friday began at 2:00 AM as a thunderstorm raged over my house. By 2:30 AM we were under a tornado watch for 15 minutes. Then the lightening and thunder passed followed by quiet rain. I was wondering if my amaryllis buds that I shared on Thursday survived the wind and rain. Luckily they did. At 8 AM I saw a pink flower opening. By 4:30 PM, 2 flowers were open and 1 bud was starting to open. Photos were taken Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. I cannot grow northern spring flowers like tulips as Florida is too warm. Amaryllis is a semi-tropical bulb that flowers in spring in warm climates. You see them in homes at Christmas and they are forced bulbs. I hope you enjoy my first amaryllis blooms this season. This pink and white plant is right by my expanding rosemary bush.

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Blue Skies & Spring Blossoms

Last year in my neighborhood I discovered a beautiful small tree with spring white blossoms. I shared it in a post on March 7th.  I talked to the home owner, and he didn’t know the name of the tree.  It  was a gift from his uncle a few years ago.  I studied the size, shape, and blossoms of the tree and I believe it is a large azalea grown as a tree.


Spectacular flower masses and colors, plant form, and evergreen foliage are among the reasons for the popularity of azaleas. Florida azaleas bloom from late February to early April, depending on cultivar and seasonal variation. Many azalea cultivars grow well in north and central Florida.

University of Florida 


This last week I’ve gone to see the tree’s blossoms 3 times. The skies are blue and the white blossoms are beautiful against the sky.



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