I have previously mentioned the native sea grape. Another very interesting and widespread plant on Anna Maria Island is the large crinum lily. Also called the spider lily, this large member of the amaryllis family can grow quickly to at least five feet high. The large white or burgundy ‘milk and wine’ flowers are very delicate and fragrant. When they go to seed and drop to the ground, new plants start easily, and the low-energy gardener can simply watch the garden expand, without doing any work at all. That’s my kind of gardening.
Although some instructions for how to grow crinum lilies indicates that regular watering and fertilizing are necessary, we have had them on our island property for ten years, and have only rarely given them any water or fertilizer. Crinum lilies are considered to have medium salt tolerance. Again, our experience has been better than this on our property, where the lilies are occasionally flooded when the tides are high. They may look bad for awhile, but they quickly recover.
When we first moved to the island, there were single crinum lilies here and there on our property. They looked almost too large for a small property, and we almost eliminated them. But then we decided to put them all next to each other, into a clump. The clump has continued to expand over the years, and it’s a very rewarding and beautiful part of our yard.
Continue reading “An Easy Plant for the Anna Maria Island Landscape” »
Growing flowers year round is so easy on Anna Maria Island that, even without a highly qualified landscape expert, nursery, or landscaping service, it’s still possible to enjoy blossoms throughout the year. As somebody who has very limited interest in spending the day doing the work of a landscaper, I have found some plants that give color in the yard with almost no effort, and almost no fertilizer or extra watering.
The bougainvillea that was already on our property has continued to provide color throughout the year, with almost no care. Every once in awhile, a caterpillar of some sort eats some of the leaves. I used to spray pesticide when this happened, but more recently I haven’t worried about it, and the plant seems to survive and periodically bloom, even with no treatment. Having grown bougainvillea years ago as a house plant, I already knew that they prefer to dry out between waterings, and I’m very glad to oblige by letting only the natural rainfall water the plant. Even during droughts, I have not watered our bougainvillea. I have fertilized it several times in the course of ten years, watering it then to soak the minerals into the ground. The blossoms on the plant come and go, and it’s particularly beautiful in mid winter, in cooler temperatures, as seen in the photo. Continue reading “Flowers in the Florida Landscape” »