Rain Brings Flowers

Late fall through late spring is the dry season here in central Florida.  Some years we still have a decent amount of rain, but most years it is not often enough.  My yard has some tropical plants, like tropical hibiscus, that with rain will burst into blooms year round.   One such hibiscus is my peach double hibiscus.   Most hibiscus are single hibiscus with 5 leaves.  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. They grow in semi-tropical and tropical growing zones here in the U. S.  (zones 9 to 11)

 

 

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My Favorite Flower & Nature Photos of 2020

Last week we looked at the top posts of 2020 in terms of visitors and link party features.  At the end of the first year of my little blog, I did a post of my favorite flowers from the year before.  Traditionally I have only included flowers in the garden or in a bouquet.  If you’ve visited me before you probably know flowers are one of my great loves.  Last year I also included a few nature shots, another great love. Today’s post is some of my favorites photos of flowers and nature  from 2020.  I hope I included some of yours too.

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Beutiful Begonia

With 1,831 species, Begonia is one of the largest genera of flowering plants. The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs, and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia.  Begonia x hiemalis is a tuberous type, sometimes called Rieger or winter-flowering begonia. As a houseplant, they prefer a bright area, which is necessary for continued flowering. Keep them near a sunny window, but avoid direct sunlight.  Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 to 11, Rieger begonias are usually grown as houseplants. Many people buy them in the fall to have flowers in the home all winter.

 

 

Last week I put on a mask and went to Publix Supermarket for the first time in 3 months.  The first place in the store I visited was the garden section. I looked at all the fresh bouquets and potted plants.  I decided I wanted something new that would give me flowers for a while and selected a bright pink begonia in a pot.

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Deep Pink Tropical Hibiscus

In warmer climates, tropical hibiscus is grown as a perennial garden plant and is used as a woody shrub for hedges and screens.   It can be grown as a potted plant up north and has to be brought inside during cold weather.

 

 

In May I started visiting a new chiropractor in New Port Richey.  She’s a very nice young woman and has an office building to herself.  We both wear masks and I am not near a single person except for the doctor. Honestly, getting an adjustment each week helps me stay healthier, and I hadn’t had one for 2 months.
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April Yard In Central Florida

Most of the yards in my neighborhood are overgrown now as the small business men who cut yards are not working.  It’s been hot and we’ve had rain which means everything is growing.  It doesn’t mean I have a pretty lawn of grass though.  Grass isn’t really natural to a semi-tropical area; what we call grass here in Florida you would call weeds. Normally I don’t mind that between cuts a few weedy flowers pop up. The butterflies and bees enjoy them more than the cultured flowers people like.  The reality is with no mowing my little yard is a little tiny field of flowering weeds and loads of bees. I was bitten last week walking through the grass. With my allergies, I was afraid of a bad reaction but minimized it with Benadryl and steriod cream. Read More