I often think January can be a bit of a dreary month no matter where you are. All the lovely decorations have been safely stored away for another year and there are a few more weeks ahead before we can begin to safely say its spring. Early mornings here have been a little chilly but no frosts yet, although I think we may have come close on a couple of occasions. At this time of year I always look at the nighttime temperatures for the week ahead – just in case!
Despite it being fairly mild I still put food out for the birds as I enjoy watching them when I am outside. The berries around the garden which they normally eat are still on all the bushes and I haven’t seen the flocks of robins which often pass through here in winter stripping the bushes and the pyracantha in minutes.
Male Cardinals are always bossy at the bird feeder
The occasional Woodpecker gets a look in. You usually hear them before you seem them!
Carolina Wrens are another noisy visitor although I had to look carefully to find this one as it was well hidden against the old palm tree.
The vine that is creeping up this tree is a Passion Flower. People find them aggressive but this one seems to be keeping itself contained to this one area and with blooms like this I have no choice but to secretly love it.
There is still plenty flowering in the garden and many of the perennials and container plants are loving the cooler temperatures.
Salvias such as this Salvia Amistad are really flowering prolifically as is a new Salvia I am trying this year – a paler blue Salvia Uliginosa.
The flowers that I really relish at this time of year, however are the orchids. I am definitely not an orchid connoisseur and I am still trying to commit the different ones to memory, but I have really started to take an interest in them of late. They seem to be such a reliable plant in Florida with just a little care. Mine bloom in winter and early spring. Over the years I have added to the collection and they reliably send up a flower spike or two year after year, as long as I can protect them if it gets too cold. Most of them are Phalaenopsis or Moth orchids but I have started to collect a few Oncidium and Dendrobium too.
During the summer months I put all the pots outside in semi-shade. They love the summer humidity and the rain, as long as their roots can drain freely. Occasionally they get repotted into bigger pots and perhaps a little sprinkle of orchid fertilizer but other than that they require little fuss and attention. I have even started attaching some to trees in a small area of the garden, making a little mossy ball around the roots and attaching it with wire or string to a tree branch. As the orchids attach themselves, I simply cut the anchor free.
Orchid roots growing around the branch – it’s quite an amazing sight.
I love these pictures taken after a passing rain shower. The whites look so lovely and refreshing with the rain drops.
I usually forget which colors are which so it’s a nice surprise when a bud finally opens to reveal the color inside. I rather like this soft lemon color.
The different colors just seem to glow in the evening light.
This one is a new Vanda orchid, a little more tender than the others and very striking.
Another Phalaenopsis and some Oncidiums potted up. Some of the Oncidiums smell like chocolate!
If the weather is not too bright outside they can certainly add some color to an indoor display and once they are done flowering can go back outside again to wait for next winter.
Hope you enjoyed a little orchid color for January!