Winter Warming

Everyone is saying it,  but it really has been exceptionally warm!  Northern hemisphere gardens have been looking more like spring gardens than gardens in a winter hiatus.  Florida has been no exception.  Green grass, perennials about to flower, roses growing and beginning to bloom, weeds a-plenty.  I am enjoying it while it lasts as I am sure there is a big surprise around the corner to remind us that this is an anomaly!

A few weeks ago I was showing you some lovely Monarch butterflies enjoying all the flowers that are blooming.  They are still here in abundance and it has been really lovely to enjoy their fluttery company and many others while I am outside.



This Cloudless Sulphur butterfly has really been loving the Desert Cassia which is blooming prolifically in the back garden.





The back patio is shaded by big white Crepe Myrtles in the summer but now that they have lost their leaves I have a lots of sun loving plants in the pots and containers here for winter.  This lovely little Long Tailed Skipper was just beautiful on the spikes of Veronica in one of the pots.







Its lovely blue iridescent back just looks so beautiful with that purple flower spike.

Roses are really enjoying all the warmth right now.  I don’t have many mature rose bushes as most of mine have only gone in during the last two years.  They are mainly the old fashioned type, Bermudas, Noisettes, old Teas and Chinas and some of the tougher Earthkind roses.

This one below is Clotilde Soupert an antique Polyantha rose.



It has lovely old fashioned cabbagey blooms.




Others that are enjoying the sunshine are Le Vesuve







and Georgetown Tea





This one has the most unusual petal arrangement but I rather like it as well as the lovely shading on the petals.

La Marne rose in the courtyard garden got tidied a few weeks ago and is off and flowering again.  This rose is truly the ever-blooming rose!







Still a lot flowering in the courtyard with various Salvias, Plumbago, Gaillardia and ornamental peppers






Camellias are still throwing out flowers



….and there are lemons still to come.



Hopefully this little frog is keeping all those insects that like to tuck into all this fresh green growth, under control.



Despite the spring feel, I do have a few festive plants outside.  I was happy to find different colored Poinsettias this year which look nice blended into some planters at the front and I won’t be in such a hurry to pull them out once Christmas is over.



I’m glad I planted a succession of Amaryllis for inside.  They continue to amaze me with their different colors and huge number of blooms.






After Christmas there will be orchids to enjoy which are beginning to bloom now outside on the porch and can be brought inside to enjoy as well.



I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday and a fabulous New Year too.  I also wanted to thank you all so very much for your kind and generous comments over the past few months.  I am very new to this whole blogging phenomenon but I have really enjoyed getting to read all your posts and seeing all your lovely photos, not just in the States but many other parts of the world too and it has been so much fun!

23 thoughts on “Winter Warming

  1. I have really enjoyed reading your posts and admiring your photos too Kate! This one is no exception! Your garden looks just like a summer garden looks like here! I am amazed at the variety of plants you have still flowering. The butterflies are so pretty too. Have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clare, Thank you so very much for your lovely comments. It really is very warm here at the moment and I think will be hot for Christmas day! We are very fortunate to have so much flowering during the winter but we do occasionally get some cold snaps which turn everything brown very quickly! I do sometimes miss a cold and grey English winter day though – and a real log fire! Wishing you a very happy Christmas with your family and a bright and wonderful New Year too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Kate, J’ai adoré lire votre dernier article et découvrir les floraisons hivernales de votre si beau jardin ! Ici aussi, dans le nord de la France, le temps est trop doux et les hellébores par exemple sont très en avance (en fleur depuis novembre !). Je rêve de neige et de froid pour un vrai Noël !
    J’adore aussi vos amaryllis et votre superbe décor de Noël. Très belle et chaleureuse ambiance !
    Je vous souhaite, chère Kate, un très joyeux ¨Noël !!! et de partager plein de très bons moments en famille !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Virginie! I do hope you do not mind me replying in English…I read your beautiful French and I feel that my attempts at written French would do a great disservice to your beautiful language. Please, however continue to write in French as I so love to read it! Thank you so much for your very warm and lovely comments. I really do appreciate it. How lovely that you are able to grow Hellebores and how amazing that they have been flowering for such a long while already. It really is a very strange winter. I hope that it doesn’t mean that we will all get a cold spring. I hope that you have a lovely time in France – Do you have family there? I wish you a wonderful Christmas and many good wishes for the New Year.

      – Kate xx


  3. Oh Kate, that Christmas tree is just stunning! I was loving reading all about your garden and oohed and ahed my way through the beautiful butterflies and the little frog, the camellias and the roses and then you took us all inside and to your amaryllis and there in the reflection were some twinkling little lights and next photo….well, just beautiful! Unseasonably warm though it is over here too, you’ve just made me feel proper Christmassy! Thank you! Happy Christmas to you and a wonderful 2016 with lots more stories and trips to your Florida garden. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Viv!! I just blush when I read your comments…oh goodness! Thank you so much for being so kind and generous. I’m glad you enjoyed a trip around bits of the garden and inside too. I went a bit overboard on my inside floral faffing this year but it has been so much fun. We have very tall ceilings in this house so we have to get a tall tree. However a tall tree usually equals a tree with a wide girth – suffice to say it fills our front sitting room! Haha! I do love it though. I hope you have an absolutely fabulous Christmas. I’m so glad I got to meet you through Instagram this year. I will also enjoy reading more wonderful stories on your website.
      -Kate xx


  4. Hi Kate! What a lovely post. Your gardens portray a summer bounty, and here we are in the latter part of December. I too, am a little concerned that we may have to pay for this gorgeous weather, later in the season.
    Your roses are certainly thriving, all beauties, The Amaryllis and orchid, both splendid!
    I’m new to the blogging world also, and finding it such a joy to visit with other passionate gardeners. I’m always inspired by your gardens, and those of our other Florida Bloggers.
    Merry Christmas~Janice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janice, You are always so very generous and kind with your comments – thank you so much. I have my frost blankets at the ready just in case we get a dose of reality in January! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.


  5. We have a warm unseasonal December here Kate, thats confusing for nature and people alike. Your home and garden are both beautiful, I enjoy the glimpses into your life in Florida. The light is quite inspiring and different to our winter light, even in a mild year, its more overcast and drab over here. I hope you have lovely Christmas and very Happy New Year. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Julie! Thank you so much for your very generous comments. You are right to point that out about the light in Florida as I think we just get so used to things here. It is definitely bright and uplifting even on a cloudy day. Im not sure how I feel about this warm winter…I just have a nasty feeling that we are going to pay for it later with a cold spring. Hopefully we all get lucky! Have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a fantastic New Year too.
      – Kate xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So pretty! Your patio must be a joy this time of year. Not too hot but with all the blooms and butterflies to enjoy! I especially love the pastel pink and white poinsettia. I have not seen that coloration before. The amaryllis with the same pastel pink and white is also stunning. I wish I could enjoy the warm weather we are having, but we are experiencing heavy rain and thunderstorms today. I think we are in for the same for the next week or so. Your roses are wonderful. My old knockouts are blooming away and all sorts of other plants are beginning to put out buds. This happens all too often here. In two weeks we will probably have another hard freeze like we had last weekend.
    I am grateful you have entered the blogosphere! Yours is one of my favorite gardens. Best wishes! Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Deb! I had heard about all the rain that was to the north of us. Now I’m hearing about tornadoes in Dallas – this is definitly more reminiscent of spring! I hope yours has or at least will stop soon so you can get outside. I think this has been the first December since moving here that I had to give up and come inside to the a/c! Thank you again for your lovely comments and a very happy 2016 to you!


  7. It’s such an abundant December in the garden there, Kate! I was ooohing over the amount of bloom on your desert cassia; my little threadleaf cassia is about to open its first buds so I’m quite excited, of course 🙂 Your roses are marvelous and keep reminding me how special the antiques are. Like Vivien, I find your tree and interior decorations just splendid. I do hope you don’t get a nasty cold snap as everything looks so happy to be blooming right now! Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas… I’ve so enjoyed meeting you here and on Instagram and G+!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Amy! I so appreciate your lovely comments and you are always so very kind on Instagram. I hope you will enjoy your cassia – I always think its funny that this desert variety does so well here but it seems to love it. I like it because it doesn’t seem to get too big which is always a bit of a problem here. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Wishing you much success with your pottery and garden in 2016!


  8. Dear Kate ~ As always it is a joy to visit your lovely blog and seeing your beautiful blooms and reading about your gardens. Glimpses into your lovely home are always a treat too.

    Living down here in s.e. FL, the warmer weather isn’t all that unusual for this time of year. We rarely have freezes, and things grow year round.

    Your roses are beautiful! Makes me want to visit Rose Petals Nursery online. 🙂

    I love your desert cassia. I had one once that I grew from seed. I need to see if I have more seeds that are viable. I really need to go through seeds and get rid of old ones. I procrastinate.

    Thank you for visiting my humble little gardens and your kind comments.

    Have a wonderful 2016 ~ FlowerLady

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I’m glad you like Rose Petals too. I really want to visit the nursery as I am sure it is beautiful. However that is also very dangerous because I just know that I would come home with too many and I am beginning to run out of rose space! Wishing you a blessed New Year for 2016.


  9. Chère Kate, Une petite réponse (très tardive) à votre sympathique dernier message. En français (désolée)…, car vous avez pu constater que mon anglais est assez catastrophique ! Je comprends l’anglais beaucoup mieux que je ne le pratique. Et vous lire est toujours un plaisir ! Donc je pense que si chacune de nous écrit dans sa langue, c’est parfait 🙂
    J’espère que vous aurez passé un merveilleux Noël entourée de votre famille, vos amis et de vos deux adorables chiens ! J’ai passé Noël dans la maison de campagne de mes parents (dans la belle région du Boulonnais, dans le Nord de la France, à deux pas des côtes de la Manche et de l’Angleterre ! J’adore d’ailleurs, dès que je le peux faire
    une ballade dans le Kent tout proche). Je profite de la campagne, du jardin et du calme avant le retour au travail début janvier et de regagner la métropole lilloise où je vis (je ne suis pas belge mais française) et à mi-temps à Bruxelles (où travaille mon “monsieur” qui lui est un pur bruxellois !). Je suis “à cheval” sur trois maisons !…
    Je termine mon long message en vous redisant combien j’apprécie votre blog, l’ambiance chaleureuse et le raffinement de votre maison et de votre si beau jardin ! J’espère lire beaucoup de vos si intéressants articles en 2016 !
    Bonne fêtes et … à l’année prochaine !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Virginie! Lovely to hear from you. How wonderful to spend Christmas in the French countryside. It must have been so relaxing to leave work and city life behind! That is so interesting that you take little trips over to Kent as well. It is a beautiful part of England to visit. I wonder if you have been to Canterbury because that is a beautiful and old city. I can see how you are definitely “a cheval” between the three places. Its funny but I can’t come up with the right phrase in English but basically you are shuffling between the three – The French phrase sounds much better! That is nice however because you have three lovely places to appreciate.
      Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my blog and my home and funny dogs – I appreciate your kind words immensely. I look forward to reading more of yours as you have beautiful taste in cuisine and literature. It will be lovely too, to read about Brussels as we enjoyed our time there so much. Your English is perfect by the way – If you read my written French it would make you cry!! I read your comment out loud 3 times because it was so lovely to hear French again – even with my very poor accent!! Wishing you a wonderful New Year!
      Kate xx


  10. Kate, this is absolutely lovely! Your photos have such clear, beautiful light – they are outstanding!!! I love to see your flowers, they’re all a delight! Happy New Year!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lynn! You are always so kind. Hope you have a wonderful and healthy 2016 and I really look forward to seeing more of your great photos. You are an inspiration!


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