Bloomin’ Update 18: One Week In Two Zones

One day, you’re on vacation in South Florida, gazing at the pattern of a banana leaf sunlit from behind (above) — and the next, you’re bundled up against the wind chill of Long Island.  After arriving home, I went through some random Florida photos and then walked around the yard on Long Island to make a comparison.  Can you guess which photos came from which zone?

Leaf Clean-Up:

Brown and brittle oak leaves litter the flower beds (above) — and that means weeks and weeks of raking (unless I cheat and hire a lawn service to do the spring clean-up).

This is a single frond (above) from a Royal Palm.  Once the frond has aged and served its purpose for the tree, it breaks away and crashes to  the ground — a process which happens each day on palms.  They constantly grow and shed — you just don’t want to be standing underneath when it decides to drop.  A few cuts, and the frond is manageable and brought to the curb for pick-up.


These Hyacinth crowns (above) were not visible prior to getting on the plane.  But there they were when we returned.  It amazes me that all winter, bulbs are hanging out underground just waiting for some warmth to make their move upward.  I can’t wait to smell their flowers.

I’m on the fence when it comes to Pine Cone Ginger (above).  I love the waxy blooms, but when I see it in the landscape, it looks like it can take over.

Color Conscious:

I am eagerly awaiting these crocus blooms.  They’re purple with white streaks — the only thing is that the temperature swings are playing games with them.  On mild days, the grass-like leaves emerge from the ground.  Then, the temperature drops, and all growth slows down.  “Soon,” I tell myself.  “Very soon.”

I love red flowers, and this Hibiscus was screaming to be photographed.  Far be it from me to ignore the demands of a plant.

The picture above is the same banana leaf at the top of this post — only I used a color enhancing filter.  The result is an acid green with a radioactive glow.

Like a vacation, this post has come to an end.  And like a finished vacation, it’s time to unpack.  You know, unpack the shed, the garage, and the tender bulbs — and get this zone ready to be that zone (if only for a few months). 

To check on the little ones, visit “The Seed Monologues” page. 







21 thoughts on “Bloomin’ Update 18: One Week In Two Zones

  1. I’ll bet vacationing in Florida just made spring fever worse, didn’t it?. About those leaves, I’d have to cheat and hire someone to take care of that, so I could spend my time on more creative endeavors. 🙂 I’ll be weeding the main daylily bed next weekend though. That’s a pretty pic of the red hibiscus. I love red flowers too … have lots of red daylilies in my collection. I’m in southeast Alabama and have been standing over the tall bearded iris bed trying to hurry them up … lol.

    • I hired a landscaper last year, but I feel like I missed out on something. Yes, I missed out on the aches and pains — but I also take greater care in cleaning the leaves out of the beds. Enjoy your weeding!

  2. Those purple-striped crocus are called Pickwick and they’re my absolute favorites. I must be a dyed-in-the-wool New Englander because I actually find the changing seasons an essential aspect of gardening. How can there be Spring without a Winter? Do I prefer warm weather to cold? Absolutely, but Florida to me is just an interesting place to visit, preferably in the fall. That said, I don’t relish the weeks and weeks of raking oak leaves that lie ahead. It helps to imagine what lies beneath their dull brown weight.

    • Yes, they are Pickwick! And they are my favorite. As for those oak leaves — it is a natural joy to brush the brown leaves aside and see bits of green.

  3. This prompted me to check out our tiny terrace beds on south side of house for the daffies. OMG they’re three inches tall! Winter simply can’t mount a head of steam this year in Vermont.

  4. Each time I read your blog, I like it all over again!

    So interesting that my southern Colorado garden and your Nor’easter are at the same degree of emergence. What a difference a mile-plus of altitude makes.

    …almost as much, if not more, than a mile of attitude!

    • Cheryl, thank you so much for your kind words. By the way, when you say Nor’easter in my area, people shiver and quake. It’s a term used for a specific storm which is equivalent to a kind of winter hurricane. It usually results in high winds, lots of snow, street flooding, and beach erosion. I’d rather garden than deal with one of those. 🙂

  5. You have the best of both climate zones Kevin. I love the Hibiscus. Just gorgeous! There is quite a contrast between the tropical leaves and those fallen oak leaves. Oak leaves just never fall apart. I mow them up but with the winter winds they always end up blowing in from the woods and into my beds again. One of those large fronds could knock a person out. LOL! Have a wonderful week.

    • Lona, the oak leaves are everywhere. In fact, because of the location of my house and the winds, my yard is a resting place for all of the leaves in the neighborhood. I’ll be raking until August! Be well.

    • From reading your blog, you probably have a very similar experience with gardening in two vastly different zones and altitudes. Enjoy your day!

    • Well, I’m not surprised that you spotted the zonal differences. From your blog, it’s clear that you also have experienced seasons in different zones. Cheers!

  6. What a difference a couple of hardiness zones make! I don’t mind raking, especially since my husband does the bulk of it, but I would think twice about those giant palm leaves. That looks like heavy work!

    • 🙂 I do enjoy raking, but it reaches a saturation point and I feel like I’m doomed to rake for eternity. The palm fronds are bulky, but we cut them into four foot sections and the town picks them up. I guess it’s either many, many lightweight bags or a few heavy bundles. Whoever said there was such a thing as a low maintenance garden?

  7. Yep those King Palms can be formidable. I have 5 along a slim path.and I always gaze upwards before venturing! But last weekend a Dwarf red mulberry that I’d ordered (Natasha, my departed Companion Animal’s memorial tree) ages ago, arrived. For some absentminded reason i placed it nearish to path. I heard The Crash..thought..ohoh!!!…but amazingly it fell to miss hitting Mulberry by about 60 centimetres! I was so grateful to the Palm, I can tell you. So they are tough, but considerate, it seems.

    • The size of the fronds are amazing — something very prehistoric about it. By the way, I think it’s great that you’re honoring Natasha with a plant. We did the same thing for Tabitha, our dog, after she passed. I get the sense that you’re very much like your palms — tough, yet considerate (and so much more).

    • Glad you enjoyed them — it might be interesting if we picked zone day, and all of the bloggers snapped a photo of life in their zone during a specific season. Might be interesting to see the differences and similarities. Hmmmmmm.

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