Open Greenhouse and Plant Swap, Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
602 Ronele Drive, Brandon, FL 33511
If you want to learn more about which plants survive a freeze in Florida, drop by on Saturday to see what happened in our yarden. We knew the neem trees would die back when temperatures went below 28 (they will all come back) but it was still surprising to see some of the plants that came through with flying colors.
The elderberry, in particular, is thoroughly enjoying its new spots in the sun as its neighbors lost their leaves in the freeze. The native wild coffee still has berries, the Simpson Stopper didn’t slow down and the coral honeysuckle sill looks great. The spiderwort — one of my favorite wildflowers in spite of its name — is slightly dinged but not seriously damaged.
Some non-native surprises: the Brazilian red cloak, which looks like a very tropical plant, wasn’t fazed by the cold. It was chopped pretty far back for cuttings at our last Open Greenhouse but it rebounded beautifully and is ready to be trimmed again. (It is growing in a very protected spot though, I’ll try some cuttings in a more open area later this year to see what happens if we get another freeze in a couple of years.)
The flowering maple came through like a champ too and a couple of visitors have told us that it roots more easily than we thought so we’ll have lots of cuttings from it for people who want to grow a hummingbird favorite that blooms year-round .
The firespike and a deep purple salvia that had been blooming profusely got seriously dinged but didn’t die back entirely so we’ll have cuttings on them too.
Left-over plants from last month’s swap include aloe, spineless nopal and some ornamental succulents.
Other plants in the yarden this month:
Everglade tomatoes, very limited number, but we also have some rooted cuttings for sale and plenty of free seeds
Surinam cherry seedlings
Peanut butter fruit trees
Lady palms, a slow growing hedge that’s tough as can be once it’s started
Native cannas froze to the ground but they’ll be back soon
Sweet almonds are thriving and will be covered in bees soon
Dark blue salvia and lavender or red firespike
Jacob’s ladder is one of the few things we grow that doesn’t benefit wildlife, but it’s an attractive plant that came through the cold beautifully
Mixed greens — I bought too many seeds
Parsley, same as above 🙂
Blackberry lily, another native that came through the cold with blooms
Cosmos, the big plants froze back but the volunteer seedlings are still thriving
Gaillardia, or blanket flower, will be spectacular soon. It’s not blooming yet but the cold didn’t faze the seedlings that are coming up all over.
A nice selection of miscellaneous seeds that were gifted to us last month.
If you’re planting a garden this spring, we have a nice pile of hardwood mulch and a smaller pile of composted mulch, plus lots of bamboo to use as stakes.