Bloomin’ Update 53: New Year, New Look, New Plants



It’s been some time since I posted a “Bloomin’ Update,” because — well — I had nothing bloomin’ in my garden because I didn’t have a garden in zone 10.

But as 2014 changed into 2015, so too did the garden change. Where there was once only lawn, there are now beds. Where there are beds, there are now plants and pots and paths. (Speaking of paths, I’ll describe the path I took to create this garden in a future post.)

With all of the changes happening around me, I decided to make some changes to this blog. For a while, I’ve considered purchasing my own domain — which I have now done. It’s official, I am now Nitty Gritty Dirt Man dot com.

And one last change — a new layout for the site. After exploring thousands of WordPress design styles, I chose one that “felt” right and would give me more options. Besides, the name of the format, “Hemingway Rewritten,” seemed appropriate for a garden and blogger who’s changing.

Now, without further delay, I’d like to introduce you to the new plants in my life.



Cocoplum, a Florida native.

Cocoplum, a Florida native.

Bromeliad, my new obsession.

Bromeliad, my new obsession.

Schefflera arboricola "Trinette."

Schefflera arboricola “Trinette.”

Meyer Lemon blossom.  At a moment like this, I wish the blog could be scratch and sniff.

Meyer Lemon blossom. At a moment like this, I wish the blog could be scratch and sniff.



Oyster Plant.

Oyster Plant.

Copperleaf  "Lousiana Red."

Copperleaf “Lousiana Red.”



Coontie, a Florida native.

Coontie, a Florida native.

Kalanchoe luciae "Flapjacks."

Kalanchoe luciae “Flapjacks.

27 thoughts on “Bloomin’ Update 53: New Year, New Look, New Plants

  1. Love. Love. Love. So jealous of the tropicals and I love the new format. Hope to relaunch mine soon too!
    The coloration of the Oyster Plant is fantastic.

    • Mario — always great to hear from you. Actually, not many people like Oyster Plant because it’s very aggressive. Still, when the light hits it . . . It was time for a change. Normally, I don’t like change, but if I thought about it much longer, nothing would be written. Remember, you have a friend in Florida. Stay warm!

    • My pleasure, Daniel. I admit it is odd to be in south Florida when other parts of the world are experiencing bitter cold. Cold seems to far away, although forecasters have told us to brace ourselves for a cold turn this weekend — and when I say cold, I mean night time temps in the 50s and no snow. I’ll take it. Stay warm.

  2. Kevin,

    Your garden reminds me of all the plants I grew up with that my mother would plant and grow in Alabama. You have embraced the changes very nicely and the photography is stunning. I love the new look of your blog also. Hey–with that temp dropping to 50–you might want to think about wearing a long sleeve tomorrow..haha

  3. I’m with Alesia, Kevin, the photos are stunning. Can’t wait to see pics of the communities these plants are making on your former lawn. The format is gorgeous, and really supports your beautiful photos. Well, and seeing as how Hemingway liked that little thumb of the globe, makes for another good choice. Now, tell us you compose standing up, and the rewriting will be complete!

    • Hi Cheryl. I’m glad that the link to the new site is working and that you’re enjoying the posts. Actually, I seem to be slacking in the writing department. I’m taking photos of lots of things, but I haven’t had the chance to get my thoughts in order. Like this blog, I’m a work in progress. 🙂

  4. Love the new site and all of your new, fun plants. My husband, (who never says much about my plants), loves the Kalanchoe ‘flapjacks’ I plant every year. I overwintered it successfully one year but it didn’t look as good the next season. I love the look of crotons as well. I always get antsy for warm weather this time of year.

    • Hi Brenda. Glad you’re enjoying the new look. I imagine after the winter you’ve had, antsy is putting it mildly! This is my first experience with Kalanchoe — one isn’t looking to well, but the others are doing nicely. Each day is a learning experience. Be well!

    • Hi Gwennie. Many gardeners here stay away from Oyster plant. It’s too aggressive, they say. In a way, it is — but my neighbor has a lot planted in a bed on the border between our two yards. I just figured rather than fight, I would surrender and encourage the plant to spread to make one larger border. It also gives me the chance to use my neighbor’s taller shrubs as a backdrop for my plan. 🙂

  5. Considering we are about to get 2-3 feet of snow, I’m envious of your tropical garden. Congratulations on your new “digs” and your new domain. I’ll be visiting you there.

    • Hi Lori. I feel your icy pain. I always found February to be the longest month when it came to winter weather. Hopefully, you’re almost of the snowy woods. 🙂

  6. Your new look is really nice, Kevin. I think it suits your photography well, too. I’m familiar with most of the plants in your new garden, but I’ve never seen Cocoplum. It’s gorgeous. You are obviously really getting into the vibrant colors and your garden will be spectacular!

    • Hi Debra. Glad you’re enjoying the new look. Cocoplum is a Florida native. Many local businesses and strip malls have it planted as a hedge — new leaf growth often appears with a red tint and then becomes more green with age. The plants also produce a “plum,” which is a food source for animals. I understand that it can be turned into a sort of jelly — but I’ll get back to you on that one. 🙂

  7. Returning from warmer climates, I love seeing the Bougainvillea and Croton. BTW, you mentioned on my post that you are following another blogger that just came back from Hawaii. I came back with her after visiting her in Seattle. She is my friend also – Alesia.

    • WOW! That is one small world. Like I said, I truly enjoyed your posts — and Alesia’s — from Hawaii. It’s a state that’s on my to-do list. Hope you keep some of that tropical warmth with you now that you’re home. 🙂

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