Predominantly Pink

Once again there never really was winter in Central Florida this year, which is a blessing in many ways because I don’t have to rush out with frost sheets to cover tender plants but it also means that before we know it the hot and steamy season is upon us.  We have had lovely spring weather recently and I am hoping it continues for as long as possible!  I think the azaleas flowered even earlier this year than last.  The garden suddenly bursts into a riot of pink and white when they flower.

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The garden around the gazebo is filling in nicely and I have planted many azaleas and camellias in here as well, so I expect this will be a wall of pink in years to come too!

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The fence that you see here encircles the whole of the back garden now and should be disguised in a year or two as everything grows up.  You can see how dense the woods are behind.  The fence keeps the deer out and at least makes a bear think twice before heaving itself over.  We did however have a panel completely bent and twisted the other day so something large was evidently trying to get in!

The roses were pruned and fed this month. I give them a cup of alfalfa also and they really seem to respond well to that.  Most are in bud and ready to pop open, but Le Vesuve is the main one flowering  now.  I usually leave this rose to its own devices as the thorns are a bit intimidating.  It is a China rose and maybe has some Tea rose heritage and actually grows better with little pruning.  It is turning into a bit of an octopus but as it has plenty of room in this bed and is barely without flowers we coexist quite happily!

 

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Another pink rose which has done quite well this winter is a climbing rose called Climbing Pinkie.  It does get some black spot but grows quickly so it seems to shed leaves and grows them back again.  I don’t spray any of my roses with fungicide as I like to grow everything organically so some blackspot is something I have to live with.

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I’m picking a small posy of sweet peas every week now and they are really taking off with the warm weather we have been having.

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I made the mistake last year of choosing a heat tolerant variety as opposed to a winter series variety that would flower earlier before the very warm weather sets in.  I have been quite pleased with how this winter series is performing, but as they are only just starting to flower heavily now I might try to get them going even earlier next year.  I believe these went into the ground as small plants in November.  The trouble is in Florida you never know how the temperatures in autumn are going to be and October might just be too warm.

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I have only dedicated a small frame to them so if I these continue to do well and flower strongly I will give more room to them this winter.

 

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I spend a lot of time in my little cutting garden in the early morning when the sun is just beginning to peep over the trees.  I’m getting impatient for everything to flower now as I was so late getting everything sown this season.  Everything is very lush and green and there are one or two flowers beginning to open.

 

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Fragrant stock

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Statice is almost in flower and the Strawflower is getting huge

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A few tall Snapdragon are opening (more pink!)

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img_8718Anemones are on their way

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Nasturtium “Moonlight” is a lovely soft yellow

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This is an heirloom variety and has been another lovely winter plant

Out in the front garden I have to plant with deer resistant plants.  This bed has been looking very pretty as nothing got cut back with frost so it has continued flowering right through since autumn.

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Lots and lots of yellow milkweed and salvias

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It is a haven for pollinators

I’ll be over in England for a visit in March so I will be anxious to see what is flowering when I get back and I will be sharing all that with you in my next post.

Happy Spring!

-Kate xx


27 thoughts on “Predominantly Pink

    1. Yes! They lay eggs all over the milkweed and then they get eaten down by the caterpillars and grow up again just in time for the butterflies to feed off of them and lay eggs – such an amazing plant. I wouldn’t be without them (well actually its impossible to be without them as they self seed everywhere – lol!)

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    1. Thank you Lavinia! Yes I found out about alfalfa meal on someones rose info page and use it every time I prune now. A cup (or two if it’s a big rose) just worked into the soil lightly. I notice a big difference. I think there are recipes for an alfalfa tea as a foliar spray too! xx

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  1. Dear Kate ~ Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful blooms. You are so right about us not having much of a winter, not much spring either as it is already starting to feel like summer.

    Bear? Yikes! Glad you do have that fencing around your property.

    Have a lovely day and a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you Lorraine! A very warm winter for sure – we will pay for it at some point I think! We have quite a few bears around here. A bit intimidating if you see one but not really a threat – they like to get to my bird feeders if they can!

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  2. How lovely to see the freshness of the pinks and whites and greens in your beautiful garden, Kate! I’m at the cheerful yellow stage over here, with daffodils just opening and everything still gearing up for spring, so it’s a joy to see your photos and get a taste of a whole different season. And I’ve had to have a bit of a chuckle because here I am worrying about rabbits while you’ve got bears to contend with!!!

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    1. Hello Jane! Its lovely to hear from you again. Thank you so much! People are often a bit shocked when I mention the bear! I’d actually rather have a bear than rabbits because at least they don’t eat the plants!! Lol! Are you back blogging again? I will pop over soon to take a look. I’m sure your garden is looking gorgeous xxx

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      1. Hi Kate, I’ve decided to forsake Instagram which was beginning to do my head in a bit and concentrate on my blog! I may live to regret it but the plan is to write a weekly post about my garden for this year so that I have a record of what’s going on there. It’s definitely not looking as gorgeous as yours at the moment! xx

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  3. I love the colours in your garden, Kate! It is also good to see flowers this early that in my garden won’t put in an appearance until June at the earliest! The fence looks good and if it does keep the deer and bears out that will be good. I don’t think there is any way we could keep deer out of our garden but at least I don’t have bears to contend with! Safe journey next month!

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    1. Hello Clare and thank you so much! I always look forward to our trips over and I am quite happy even if it is rainy and cold as it’s something different for me! its always lovely to see family and to have proper English tea! I always load my suitcase up with lots of English biscuits too!

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      1. My uncle worked for the Civil Service and lived out in Sri Lanka for four years. We used to send all sorts of food to him in the diplomatic bag! There’s always something that you can’t get when you live in a different country from where you were brought up – usually comfort food!

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  4. Bonjour Kate,
    C’est la vie en rose ! Comme tout est beau, plein de promesses, de couleurs tendres ! C’est le printemps à n’en pas douter.
    J’adore la gloriette. Je la trouve extrêmement élégante et en accord parfait avec l’esprit de ton jardin. Tu as un vrai talent pour organiser les volumes, les couleurs, créer une ambiance, offrir un espace de bonheur et de contemplation. Et cela, même à – très grande – distance ! car à chaque fois que je contemple tes photos, je m’y arrête longuement pour savourer tel ou tel coin de ton jardin, une rose, des couleurs et c’est alors comme si je me transportais chez toi. D’ailleurs, à chacun de tes nouveaux articles, je me dis toujours “ah ! de nouvelles photos du jardin de Kate”. Je me fais une tasse de thé, m’installe devant l’ordinateur et me télé-transporte en Floride, là où je sais qu’un jardin-paradis est niché.
    Merci Kate !

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    1. You are just so lovely Virginie! I am so glad I can send you a little Florida sunshine and spring to have with your cup of tea! Thank you so much, as always, for your lovely and very generous comments! You are a delight! xxx

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  5. Hi Kate, Everything looks so lovely in your Florida gardens! It’s so nice to get a preview of spring before ours arrives — although ours is early this year too. Such beautiful pink flowers, and your cutting garden is so well-planned to yield lots of blooms for bringing inside. Boy, sweet peas sure are tricky, aren’t they? Unless you live in England or the Pacific NW, that is. Our spring is too short and summers too hot to plant them outside in spring, and winters too cold to plant them in fall. I’ve been experimenting with starting them inside in mid-winter and some more in late winter — we’ll see…. Anyway, I hope you have a nice long spring to enjoy in your gardens before the heat arrives. Best, -Beth

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    1. Hello Beth and thank you so much for your kind comments. I really do enjoy my cut flowers and have started to expand another area of my garden as I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to try! Yes those sweet peas are frustrating – I have been pleased so far with this variety but I still need to figure out best planting time. For some reason I would have thought you would have good success with them but I see now that if you have a short spring then that is tricky and planting in fall is just not an option. Mmmm well you have only one option…You need that English greenhouse to grow them in!! Now that would look spectacular in your garden! xxx

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  6. Hi Kate, your beautiful garden sincerely takes my breath away each time you post. The setting for your gazebo is wonderful – in the woodland behind you what species of tree are there? Would you expect more shade later on? I had not appreciated you a have Bears in Florida before now, do you ever see any?
    All of your plant choices are lovely and gorgeous photos too, such a lovely spring post. Best wishes, Julie.xx

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    1. Thank you Julie! You are very generous to leave such lovely comments especially as I aspire to one day be as good a photographer as yourself. I have a lot of practicing to do! The area where we live used to be ranch land and there is still evidence in the woods of old fencing. I would imagine at one time that this area was clear cut for the big live oaks that grow here as we have one or two but not many. The trees that then filled back in are pines and sweet gum trees that grow fairly quickly. The understory is a thick mass of saw palmettos as tall as my head – certainly not a place to walk but it is wonderful for birds and other wildlife. This winter we had flocks and flocks of American Robins and I couldn’t understand why there were so many. Now that spring has sprung I see masses of little Sweet Gum seedlings popping up everywhere so I think it must have been a stellar year for those trees. It always amazes me how birds know these things! We do see bear occasionally but they are not aggressive unless they have cubs. It still makes my hair stand on end when I see one though!! Usually they just break fencing and flatten bird feeders which is annoying but you can’t really blame them as they like sunflower seed too! xx

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      1. Your location looks and sounds wonderful for wildlife Kate and quite exciting too. I have seen your posts on Instagram and I hope you are having a lovely time in the UK. (Sorry about the weather!) xx

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  7. Hi Kate,
    The garden around your gazebo is so beautiful! I love all your roses and azaleas. And your lovely white birdhouse. I truly admire the romantic spirit that pervades your garden.

    I would imagine you could have problems with deer, but I never dreamed bears could be an issue! No wonder you have a good, sturdy fence, though it is quite attractive and I would not worry if it were not covered!

    As with you, everything here is blooming about a month early this year. I hope this means a long spring and not an exceptionally long summer! I am also aware that in my area we could yet have a hard frost.
    Best wishes, and have a great visit to England!
    Deb

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