I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a display of vibrant colors, a site for eyes sore from the dreary grays of winter. Even South Florida, often accused of not actually having a change of seasons, wants to get in on the spring act.
Perhaps I’ve been here long enough to notice the subtle changes as winter slips into spring. Perhaps I’ve been here long enough to feel that 83 degrees in spring is warmer than 83 degrees in winter and cooler than 83 degrees in summer. Whatever it is, though, there is something definitely in the air. Orchids and flowering subtropical shrubs and a book that’s perfect for all seasons are all putting on a show.
Since moving to Florida, I’ve noticed other gardens where orchids were tied to trees, their colorful, showy flowers cascading downward. This past year, I gave it a try.
The first step was to choose orchids not in flower. I selected plants given to me by friends or the ones I found after raiding the clearance racks in the garden center of the box store where I worked.
I used floral tape to secure an orchid to the tree, packing some moss around the roots of the plant and making sure the plant would not be in direct sunlight. Then, I had to be patient.
If the orchid is happy, its roots eventually take hold of the trunk — creeping downward and around, absorbing moisture from the air and rain.
This spring, I was rewarded when one of the plants bloomed.
In a nearby tree, another flower spike appeared and a white orchid opened.
On a shepherd’s hook, an epidendrum orchid also decided to send up a flower cluster of miniature flowers.
Orchids, though, were not the only plants putting on a show for spring. In a recent post about my aging green thumbs, I mentioned that I’m using dwarf varieties of flowering shrubs.
And the gout plant also decided to share its waxy cluster of flowers.
Pineapples — both ornamental and edible — all seemed to have the same idea this spring.
Perhaps the biggest news I have for this first full day of spring is that I have self-published a book of some of my most favorite blog posts and photos, Seeing Green: Life Learned In The Potting Shed.
When I first thought about compiling blog posts into book format, my hope was to create a book that I would like to read. I wanted something that could carry a gardener through the frozen days of winter and the sultry days of summer. I wanted a book that could inspire, a book that could make readers laugh and nod along — and I wanted it to have pictures.
For self-publishing, I decided to go with Blurb, a format known for photo books. The quality of Blurb’s print-on-demand service is clearly evident on the 144 pages. The pictures are clear and colorful, and the words are easy on the eyes — and in the end, I think I accomplished what I set out to do.
Now for the fun stuff — the nitty gritty, if you will. There are two ways to get your own copy of Seeing Green, which is available in hardcover and softcover.
To win a copy of Seeing Green, just leave a comment about spring. What do you love about it? What are you looking forward to doing? How do you prep your garden? Do you have a spring gardening hack you would like to share? What is your favorite spring memory? If it’s about spring, just let me know — and you have until April 16 to do it. A winner will be randomly selected.
To purchase a copy (or more) of Seeing Green, please visit my Blurb store.
Thank you for your support and encouragement, your wisdom and comments — and thank you for following me in my New York garden and for joining me on my new adventures in Florida.