My Brother's Florida Garden

Star begonia
     During our recent Florida trip we spent a couple of days at my brother's home in Lakeland, Florida.  He and his wife have taken out all the grass in their back yard and have put in plants, bushes and trees, making this a wildlife-friendly area.

     These photos were all taken in their yard.  Most of these plants were new to me.

Bridal bouquet

     This Bridal bouquet bush has unique leaves that look like a spoon with a long handle to me.  It wasn't flowering while I was there, but it produces lovely white flowers that would make a beautiful bridal bouquet.

Nun's orchid
     I have never lived in a tropical area, so it was surprising to me to see orchids just blooming away in the yard.

     This Snowbush brightened a corner of the yard with its snowy-colored leaves.

Winged elm
     One of the trees they planted in the front yard was this Winged elm.  This tree was new to me.  If you look closely you can see corky wings along its branches.  This elm grows in the southeast US, and it is susceptible to Dutch elm disease.

Prayer plant
     Many gardeners grow this as a houseplant, but in Florida and the tropics it can grow in the ground outside.  It is also known as arrowroot.  There are many species of this plant.

Japanese blueberry
      This Japanese blueberry is in the front yard.  It is evergreen and grows in zones 8-11.  It produces a fragrant, creamy flowers and a blue-black, olive-like fruit. Older leaves can turn bright red in the fall before dropping.

      This bromiliad has purple flowers, name long forgotten.  Many of these plants were given to my brother and his wife from neighbors up and down the street.  Another surprise I saw was a beautiful, red stand of amaryllis blooming in their next door neighbors yard.  I have only grown them in a pot in winter.  Oh the things you can grow in Florida!


  1. Orchids growing outside, naturally, is definitely appealing. But, you can't move to Florida. Can you?

  2. Orchids and amaryllis growing outside caught me off guard since that has not been a possibility wherever I have lived. No, I am not moving to Florida. But I would like to spend several weeks of the winter there.