When I bought my house nearly 2 years ago, there was a little flower garden under the trees out front. I neglected it and it became overgrown very quickly. I’m not inclined to work outside in the heat, but the other day I decided a quick fix was in order. The garden is small, so the work would be minimal. We had brick pavers leftover from the building of the patio, so I used them to create a new border to hold the additional dirt needed.
I’m not yet very good with my Florida plant names, but the ones with the colorful, pointed leaves are Caladium. The link to Eden Brothers calls them “bulbs”. Mine came out of a pot so didn’t look like bulbs to me.
The white leaves are called “Florida Moonlight”. I don’t know the name of the pink-leafed one, but they add lots of interest in the yard. They love heat and humidity, which explains why they do so well here.
Also in the background around the tree are the thin leaves of the Variegated Flax Lily. I spent a lot of time removing lots of dead leaves from them. Even without attention they continued to grow, so I would say they are very hardy plants. Now that I have given them some attention, the lily is blooming. Each plant has tiny white flowers on stalks among the leaves.
When I first moved in here I bought a bunch of New Guinea Impatiens and put them in the garden by the front door. The brightly colored flowers add continuous color to the landscape. It turned out those annuals lasted nearly a year. The very cold nights in January finally froze most of them. Because they did so well, I bought a few more to put under the tree.
University of Florida plants list for the shade.
The purple flowering plant which is now under the tree is still in the short fabric pot. It is a Mona Lavender Plectranthus. I bought it because it was pretty, and I especially love the deep green of the leaves.
Now that I am researching this plant, I have discovered it needs some shade and is a perennial in warm climates. It seems that I have chosen a good spot for it to grow under the tree. I moved the fabric pot and did not dig up this plant. The potted Mona Lavender is now part of the shade garden and no one can tell it’s in a pot!
Because planting around the base of a tree can be difficult because of roots, fabric gardening pots can be super helpful.
All my new plants were purchased at the Home Depot. I also bought more organic garden dirt, and added blood meal and black mulch.
In my part of central Florida, plants can be killed in winter. When freezing temperatures are coming overnight I will have to cover all these plants to keep them from dying.
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