Looking Forward

January is over and even the word February evokes a lovely feeling of spring.  Evenings are getting a little lighter, bird song in the early morning is getting louder and it’s lovely to be outside in the freshness and get a head start on tidying and weeding.  The strange thing about Central Florida is that we have to go through a kind of late fall before spring finally arrives and everything greens up.  Many of the trees hold on to their leaves for so long and really only turn color when it turns cold.

 

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As we were close to a frost twice this week, they suddenly all decided to drop their leaves and the lawn now looks very autumnal!

I have been taking some of my forced bulbs out of the refrigerator and putting them outside as it has been quite cool and so not too much of a shock for them.  It’s probably a little early as they could do with a few more weeks of chill.  However so many of them were sprouting I decided to take a chance.  I have gradually bought them into the house.

I have really been loving the Hyacinths.  Even before they are fully up and open they are so pretty.

 

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For some reason I completely forgot to buy Hyacinth bulbs to chill back in the Autumn but I was actually able to get hold of some pre-chilled ones on line and after 2 more weeks in the fridge they seemed happy to cooperate and bloom.

 

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I heven tucked a few into a few little mercury glasses.  Even just one gives of such a powerful fragrance.

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The tulips that were planted into pots are up.  I have completely forgotten which color I planted now so I guess that will be a surprise if and when they flower.

 

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I have added some silver birch twigs into the pots too because Tulips tend to get a bit floppy.  A pot of pre-chilled bulbs has already flowered and were a lovely bright display inside for a while.

 

Outside, I have added a few spring flowers to my containers at the front.

 

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I can’t grow English Lavender in Florida as it turns to mush but I do sometimes grow a Lavandin or Lavendula Intermedia in the spring and it does quite well until the humidity sets in.

 

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I’m interested to see which (if any!) of the flower seeds I sowed in the autumn will flower soon.  I have a nice patch of Ammi Majus or Bishops Flower which I am hopeful will come into flower fairly soon.  Its white frothy flowers are pretty in bouquets.

 

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The English Marigolds or Calendula succumbed to a caterpillar onslaught – live and learn. I will try them again next fall and check them carefully.  I only use organics so it is a bit of a challenge sometimes.  Cornflowers, Orlaya Grandiflora, some Freesias, Gladioli and Nigella are at various stages of growth and appear healthy.

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I love having little strawberry pots of violas.  They fade quickly once it starts to get warm but they are pretty for a touch of spring.

I’m off to New York next week which will be a shock to the system in terms of temperature but it is such a fun city to visit.  I’ll be packing plenty of layers!  Looking forward to sowing some more seeds when I get back.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Kate xx


35 thoughts on “Looking Forward

  1. some gorgeous images of spring in your garden, Kate. I adore the heady scent of hyacinths too and you have displayed them beautifully. Is that Mustard ‘Red Giant’ in the pot with the violas?
    Enjoy your trip to New York!

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    1. Hello Ann! Thank you so much for popping over and for your lovely comments – I really appreciate them! Yes, that is Mustard Red Giant or Mustard Greens as it is called here. I love putting salad and veg in containers as the colors are so pretty. I know people like it in salad but it is a bit too peppery for me so I just enjoy it for looks!

      -Kate

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  2. Hi Kate. The hyacinths are lovely, I particularly like the display in the mercury glass cups. Your spring arrangements outside just make me want to get outdoors and plant something! My eye was drawn to the Sweet Alyssum in one of your pots, and I could almost smell it. Does anything have a sweeter fragrance?
    Enjoy New York! _ Janice

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    1. Aww! Thanks so much Janice – you are always so kind. I really love Alyssum too and you are right it really smells heavenly! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a tall variety?!
      Have a lovely week!
      – Kate

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  3. Hello Kate, Quel bonheur de vous lire ! J’ai découvert votre dernier article ce matin et l’ai lu avec délectation en prenant mon petit déjeuner. Une théière, des tartines de miel et le jardin de Kate ! Belle façon de commencer un dimanche ! D’autant qu’ici le ciel est resté désespérément gris. J’ai donc doublement apprécié les si belles floraisons et couleurs de votre jardin. J’adore vos jacinthes bleues dans les petits pots en verre mercurisé ! Et l’ingénieuse idée d’associer tulipes et branchages pour éviter que ces dernières ne s’évanouissent trop vite … J’ai été très surprise d’apprendre cette particularité climatique qui, en Floride centrale, met l’automne à la fin de l’hiver !
    J’attends avec impatience des nouvelles de votre jardin au printemps ! D’ici là, je vous souhaite un très bon séjour à New York (le choc climatique risque en effet d’être rude !) que nous suivrons peut-être sur Instagram (?).
    Bon séjour !
    Virginie xxx

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    1. Hello Virginie! Thank you so much – you are always so kind. I’m glad the spring flowers brought a little joy to your breakfast table! It is very strange how we get fall now – It means a lot of sudden clearing and raking of leaves and in a couple of weeks the trees have little buds of green again! I will definitely post some pictures of NYC to Instagram. First I have to find my winter coat and some warm boots!!
      Enjoy your week!
      – Kate xx

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  4. Hi Kate, I love the hyacinths in mercury glass! Your spring blooms are intoxicating in their spring promise. Enjoy your trip to New York!

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  5. I was so pleased to see that there was a post from you in my in-box!
    I am always happy to say goodbye to January for another year – you are right – February means spring is on the way! We have quite a few early spring flowers in the garden because of our mild winter but I keep thinking that bad weather will come eventually and the flowers won’t last. The birds think that spring is coming and have begun to sing their lovely songs so perhaps I am being too cautious!
    Your hyacinths look so pretty, especially the ones in the mercury glasses. I love the way you have put little fairy lights round them to make them sparkle.
    I try to garden organically but this does make for extra work. All our fruit trees were badly attacked by aphids last spring and they looked awful for months so I do sympathise with your problems caused by the caterpillar infestation.
    Enjoy your trip to New York!
    Clare

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    1. Clare, Thank you so much! Your comments are always so lovely and this one in particular was very heart warming. I often wonder if perhaps I am talking to myself out here in Blogland so I was extra chuffed to read yours! xx I do hope that England gets a nice dry spring. I can think of nothing more lovely than spring time there – but with the very strange weather pattern it seems that nothing is normal this year. I think the reason I have had so many caterpillars is our warm winter. Organic gardening is really hard work isn’t it? – I do spray but just with soaps and such. It is hard to strike a balance!
      Wishing you a lovely mild February and lots of walks.
      – Kate

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  6. What lovely pots of flowers you have blooming and almost ready to bloom! It’s so nice to see them at this wintery time of year. And what a pretty idea: the strawberry pot with violas — I’m going to have to find a pot like that and copy you unashamedly. Thanks for the breath of summertime that I needed! -Beth

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    1. Hello Beth! Thank you so much! I would be delighted that you copy my strawberry pot idea – I am sure that I will be copying plenty from your lovely garden!! I can’t wait to see all your lovely English flowers you grow and get some tip, as I am on a mission to add more cut flowers to the garden this year. I know that people get very fancy with the strawberry pots and put a piece of plastic pipe with holes drilled into it down though the center which makes it very easy to water. Every year I keep saying I’m going to do that but never do!
      Have a lovely week!
      – Kate xx

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  7. You have such a beautiful garden! I need to perfect container gardening– that’s one thing I end up not succeeding at–probably because they need to be watered so much more! I love how you say that lavender “turns to mush” in Florida. I actually bought lavender at the end of the season last year, so I’m hoping it will do something this year. Yes, enjoy New York–it’s always fun to go there!

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    1. Hi Wendy! You are so sweet – Thank you! I hear you on the container gardening…Somehow you would think it would be easier keeping flowers looking lovely in containers but I think you are right it really comes down to good watering – and I get a bit lazy about it sometimes. This time of year its fine because its cool, but in the summer sometimes they need to get watered twice a day and that doesn’t always happen!! No joke on the “mushy” lavender – really! Its quite disgusting!! A lot of other things turn to mush too!! Lol! I’m excited to be in NYC. I’ll actually be there a full week and am wondering if I might get lucky and have some snow. Not too much, but a little would be fun!

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  8. Hi Kate! Whenever I see a hyacinth at the store, I have to bury my nose in it and get a huge sniff. It is one of my favorite fragrances. Yours are so lovely and you pot them up so beautifully! I love that you’ve got Freesia planted. When we lived in Hong Kong, I could get a huge bunch of white freesia (which I think has the most intense fragrance) for well under ten U.S. dollars. Talk about being spoiled! They sold them on the street – so fabulous! Anyway, I haven’t tried freesia here, but I did try lavender and I completely understand your “mush” statement. Oh, well…wouldn’t be any fun if we didn’t try new things! Very lovely post and pictures!!! Enjoy your NY trip!

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    1. Hello sweet Lynn! Aren’t Hyacinth the best?! I can’t get over how these ones are perfuming the whole room. I wonder if they are a different variety because they are really pungent so I will order them from the same place again for next year. It must have been fabulous to have lived in Hong Kong. I feel that we have been very lucky to have lived in so many different places, but Asia eluded us and I always feel that it would have been a great experience. I have no idea if the Freesia will work out but they look very happy and from the research I did it seemed that I would be able to grow them fine so fingers crossed. I so agree – you have to try new things, many don’t work but its great when they do.
      – Kate xx

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  9. What a lovely uplifting post Kate, I really like the silver birch twigs with your Tulip foliage, I am going to ‘pinch’ that idea. We garden organically too, any caterpillars would hopefully be eaten by foraging birds and any emerging moths and butterflies would be a welcome sight and possibly pollinate other garden plants. I hope you have a great trip too!

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  10. Aww thanks Julie! Very kind of you! Please pinch the twig idea – I think I pinched it off Pinterest and it actually looks really pretty because a pot of tulips leaves isn’t very inspiring until they flower!! I know that I shall be picking your brain for organic gardening tips. I know that we are in different climates but I am sure the practices are universal. It’s hard here because so many people use a lot of pesticides in their gardens and on their lawns that it makes it difficult for the few people who want to use organic methods. People always remark on how many butterflies I have and seem amazed when I explain that it’s just a few of the right kind of plants and no spraying!

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  11. Oh, I missed your post for so long! Love the bulbs and must think harder about setting up our mini refrigerator for forcing next winter – you make it look so easy! And the violas in strawberry pots are marvelous 🙂 Just yesterday I found the first buds on a few narcissus (N. x odorata, just the single variety) and freesias, so I’m delighted at the thought of having some bulbs in bloom…

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    1. Hi Amy! No apologies needed – It is so hard to keep up. Thank you though! I shall be excited to see your narcissus blooms and the freesias. I planted some freesias too and they look good but no buds as yet. I have been pretty pleased with how the bulb forcing has gone so I hope you get to do the same. I will definitely put them in earlier though as I think some I pulled out could have done with longer chilling time. The crocus and hyacinth have definitely been the stars so far!

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  12. As a lover of all things Brit, I can’t help but point out that Keeping Up Appearances was recently rated one of the most popular British sitcoms of all times…Hyacinth Bouquet (B-U-C-K-E-T) – your post reminded me of her. 🙂 Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures! ❤ I am in love with your garden – I was up late the past couple nights reading through and checking out your photos! As someone who lives in Central Florida, too, I can only aspire to get mine to such a state some day – you are an inspiration! Keep it coming, please! 🙂

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    1. Lol! Hyacinth is hilarious! I still enjoy watching that show. Thank you for your lovely comments and I’m glad you liked the photos. I promise I am way more down to earth than Mrs Bouquet!

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  13. Kate have you tried growing lavender in large pots? It doesn’t grow very well here either – if we get too much rain they “melt”. But I have been quite successful with French lavender (my favourite) in pots. They are in very sunny, hot spots and they need some water every day. And I snip off the flowers when they loose their purple. This seems to help as well. After a bit of trial and error I am now quite happy with my lavender.

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    1. That is so good to know…I will certainly look into getting some French lavender here. Thank you so much for the tip! I would really love to be able to grow it and miss it a lot from England. Thank you!

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