|Fruits and Nuts
Our native flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) trees are loaded with fruits this year. For a few short weeks the scarlet drupes add color to an otherwise bare landscape. They are just now ripening and already flocks of migrating birds are stopping by to snack on their way south. If you grow food plants like wax myrtle, holly, and Carolina cherry laurel, you will attract hordes of feathered travelers to your yard.
Click here to download a large version (800x600) of these dogwood drupes for your desktop.
I have a satsuma tree up on The Hill that has flourished but never produced any fruit. Last weekend I noticed 3 bright orange tangerines (another name is mandarins) dangling near the top! I love these things, they should be ready to eat by Christmas. Click to download a large version of this picture.
Decorate with holiday-hued amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) like white 'Moonlight' and 'Red Lion'. The huge bulbs are easily forced into bloom and make great holiday presents. In warm winter zones you can plant the bulbs outdoors when they finish blooming where they will rest for a year and resume flowering in the spring. You can view and download dozens of images from the Amaryllis Wallpaper page to decorate your desktop.
The Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) blooms on and off all year long and cultivars are available that are vary in size, flower stem length and flower form. Best of all the Gerbers are available in a rainbow of brilliant colors including pastels and multi-colors.
I'm living in the Cincinnati area so I can stay with my Mom for a while. I'm having a good time photographing "northern" plants but at this time of year I get homesick for my place near Tallahassee, Florida. So in this space I'll post pics and links to profiles of plants that I miss from back home down south.
Not the fussy tropical houseplants, but tough, hardy shrubs that light up gardens as far north as Zone 4 with flowers up to 12 inches across! Click here to read about hardy hibiscus.