Monday, December 13, 2010

New Traditions for the Holiday Landscape

It has become somewhat of a tradition here in South Florida to fill our landscapes with colorful plants for this holiday time of year. There are ways to get that dash of color without having to replant the landscape every year and without planting something that requires a lot of water.

The best choice would be to establish new low-maintenance plants during the rainy season that will bloom or have colorful foliage in November and December.  Remember this idea for next year!  We will be holding workshops throughout the year to help you make plant choices that will work for your landscape. Workshop dates will be posted on our calendar starting in January.

Below are photos of some beauties that are blooming right now. The first three photos are bromeliads.
The photo below and to the left shows a crown of thorns hybrid we planted here at the Extension office.  To the right of that photo is one of my favorite ground covers for filtered light areas, Acalypha pendula or kitten tails by the common name. You can find information on these plants on our website using the links below.

For now you might consider new ways to keep those same plants you buy each year beautiful and easy on the water. You could plant these vivid red impatiens, perhaps one of the thirstiest plants, in a decorative pot and hand water or use drip irrigation to establish beds. Use a rain barrel with a soaker hose to irrigate bedded areas (rain barrel workshop calendar for 2011 is online now).  Another great solution would be to create a separate irrigation zone just for irrigating bedding plants.

Don't forget to plant something for our yearly visitors wishing to escape the cold winter.  They will arrive like many guests...hungry! 

Cedar wax wings at J.D. Barnes Park, Native Plant Day 2008.

We may be facing a dry winter so contact us to help you learn how to save water and have a beautiful garden.

Extension publications: 

Barbara McAdam 
305-248-3311 ext. 245

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