January in the Garden


A few cold nights this month left us wondering if there would be many plants to write about! Temperatures dipped down to the 30s but felt colder due to wind chill.  We covered the citrus trees, hoped for the best and were happy to find that damage was minimal!

This month Tampa also celebrated Gasparilla.  It is a tradition somewhat similar to Mardi Gras but unique to Tampa.  Pirate boats descend upon the bay demanding the key to the city.  The mayor puts on a show of saying he will fight for it.  Ultimately gives the key over in exchange for a parade.  Swarthy pirates and their krewes throw beads to the crowds playing along with the charade that they have pillaged the city and are now sharing their spoils.

Here are a few pictures of what’s growing this month…



New leaves and bud on a Tea Olive bush (Osmanthus).  The small, white flowers that will grow on this plant have a sweet and powerful fragrance.  They are often planted near doors and windows for this reason.








An abandoned bird’s nest.




So many pomelos! Pomelos are a citrus similar to grapefruit but larger and sweeter.




Bottlebrush (Callistemon).  This beautiful tree is loved by bees and grows on a lot nearby.




While driving through Georgia this month we were briefly stranded with car trouble but used it as an opportunity to take pictures and learn a bit about the area.




Ultisols or red clay soils are common in Georgia.   They are found in humid temperate and tropical areas.  These beautiful soils are apparently high in acidity but support robust forests.  The red color comes from iron oxides.



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What we are currently reading…


One Straw Revolution is not just about gardening, but also a philosophical text and spiritual memoir.  It examines the balance of the natural world and the way we grow food.  Fukuoka promoted a method that eliminated the use of harmful pesticides and wasted energy.  He was a leader in the natural farming movement.  This book is full of wisdom to be shared.
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Civil Disobedience was written by Henry David Thoreau after being briefly imprisoned for refusal to pay taxes.  His act was a protest against governmental policies he did not want to support.  The experience motivated him to write this thought provoking essay.
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For more about Thoreau’s views on civil disobedience take a look at this animated film we found from Alain de Botton’s School of Life and made available free through Open Culture.



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This Article Has 2 Comments
  1. wanderlustplusone

    I thought my bottle brush was confused, seeing that your neighbours is flowering as well makes me less worried.

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