Gardening in the Near-Tropics

Listen: I have a Key Lime tree.


I’m realistic and therefore don’t have high expectations for my lime tree (especially since they can take multiple years to produce), but it’s currently covered in white flowers that smell like lime, and therefore I’m pretty hopeful about it. Now I just have to get the chickens to stop malingering near it and making me nervous.


The planters that Bill and I built are being put to very effective use here. You can’t put anything but native plants in the soil because of the high salt content – and even that is difficult, because have you tried digging in coral? – so these containers are perfect conditions for tomatoes and peppers. I planted those within the last 3 weeks. They’re already the size of most of my end-of-the-season plants in Minnesota.


My hibiscus looks a little sad – I think it needs water daily, not every other day. We have kale on the left and lettuce on the right. Note the empty spot, which is where Granny the chicken likes to roost. I don’t know.


I have herbs hanging on the fence because they’re semi-protected from the sun there. It’s hard to see, but there’s an orchid in a little hanging basket,too. Do you know how obsessed I am with growing orchids?? I want my own tree so I can plant them all over it.


This is my aloe plant, in a pot I bought at the State Fair right before we moved. You’ll appreciate me having this when you fall down on Duval Street, or get a sunburn while you’re visiting. It’s plant medicine!

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