Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trading Brown for Green

Many areas of the country have been experiencing hard weather the past few weeks, terrible snow, scary ice and numbing cold. One of the reasons some have chosen to live in Florida is that such kind of weather is rare at this latitude. At least for me warm works better, humid, tropical weather not at all disturbing or debilitating. But don’t be fooled, because Florida north of Miami is not always bikinis and volleyball on the beach. Been mentioned a few times in these pages how cold weather has affected the look and feel of things in my corner of Florida. Since the freeze we had last week, there isn’t a single Sea Grape tree anywhere that doesn’t have crispy brown leaves, most of them blown off.

We’ve had our own problems here where I live, and to be honest, the grounds are looking pretty beat up. Lots of brown and very little in the way of flowering shrubs. For that reason the Board of Directors has been weighing the options of putting some life back in things, considering a ‘face lift’ of sorts. It’s not too unusual in cases where a board, committees and concerned owners are involved, and where budgets rule not too unusual for decisions to take time. Happily, we got over that hurdle today and help is on the way. Hopefully, the residents here will see spring arrive in the shape of newly landscaped grounds blooming with Birds of Paradise, Chinese Fan Palms, Pineapple Guava, Giant Agave, Juniper and Blue-Eyed Grass.

A landscape designer studied the problem and came up with a design that, with minor alterations gained approval. The downpayment made, work should begin as soon as the 193 new plantings arrive at the local nursery. Doesn’t sound like such a big thing, but around here at least excitement is high.

For me personally, it is probably blessing enough that I am able to live on the edge of the ocean in a place of abundant natural beauty. The thought that it’s now going to all get even more beautiful…Well, life is good.

Since I had a small part in the selection of trees, shrubs and grasses that will color the new look, access to photos was possible. The photos here are a few from the incoming wave of green, members of the soon-to-be new look outside my windows.


  1. In the top photo - the plant on the lower right? What is that? It looks interesting and I'd love to know if it could handle a Phoenix environment.

  2. I hope they are going to wait until late Feb to do the work or there may be more brown to replace :-D

  3. Can't wait to see it finished. These are beautiful selections. I know you will be happy to see it completed.

  4. Joni, that’s a Pineapple Guava and we chose it to replace the frost damaged Sea Grapes. It’s a warm-temperate to subtropical plant that will also grow in the tropics, but it needs chilling to produce fruit. It is both salt air and frost tolerant.

  5. I can't wait - it's going to look beautiful! Good job on getting it all organized and finalized.


About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America