It was a gut-wrenching, heart-aching goodbye. As we drove north on I-95, we watched spring disappear, its greens and blooms falling away with each passing mile. And now, on a very cold spring day on Long Island, I am once again looking at a world of brown with only a few patches of green growth — a far cry from South Florida’s lush jungle. So as I re-acclimate to my climate, I am thinking of a post from last year when I gardened in two zones in one week.
Please, forgive me for this repost, but I am a sad gardener. Just days ago, I tasted renewal — and this morning, I scraped ice from my windshield. It hurts. It really hurts.
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?
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.
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).