Garden Pic Wednesday: More Florida Winter Color!

There's plenty of winter color to be had in Northwest Florida--if you know what to plant or where to look. Last week I featured Firethorn, a shrub that lights up with bright red berries birds love and brightens up the drab evergreen landscape!

This week I'm featuring Dwarf Nandina & Asparagus Fern!
First: My Dwarf Nandina:
This shrub brings fall and winter color to the Florida landscape and stays small. Max of 2 feet. I only have the one. I love that it's orange in the fall and red in the winter!

Dwarf Nandina

Next: My Asparagus Fern Thick with Red Berries:
It's not actually a fern, but is in the Asparagus family. It's scientific name is "Sprengeri." (pronounced "Springer-Rye)
This is both a good evergreen that has tiny white flowers in spring and bright red berries in winter that birds enjoy.
 It thrives southern zone landscapes and, anywhere, as a houseplant.

Here, it's planted in both shade and sun.
It's upside is it's long-lived, drought-resistant and nearly indestructible. The deep freeze last winter froze all the branches off, but not the roots. This growth is the photo was new this spring!
It also adds interest to vase arrangements and, in the floral shop I used to work in, we used it all the time arrangements.
It's downside is it's thick with tiny thorns and all those berries, once eaten by the birds, spread it easily. For this reason, it's classed as slightly on the invasive side. (Believe me, there's worse.)
I had to laugh when I read in article about it that the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants apparently "recommends" Florida residents not purchase, propagate or plant Asparagus Fern.
Apparently greenhouses and landscapers didn't get the memo because it's sold by every greenhouse every spring and planted in hanging baskets, outdoor planters and landscapes everywhere.
I just pull up any seedlings I spot or move them to a suitable location.
News From My Local Newspaper Police Blotter:
Apparent there's a mystery at our local Express Holiday Inn: 
a dead body was found in one of their rooms on Nov 24th. It's still under investigation.  Holy Columbo!
Stop back tomorrow to see what's up for Mama Kat!


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