Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Creating a Tropical Garden Outside of the Tropics: The Miami Garden

Tropical plants waiting to be planted in their new home.

Growing tropical plants outside of the tropics is usually accomplished with sunny windows or greenhouses.

When you have a south-facing wall, however, and you're not TOO far north... it's more than possible to grow plants you never thought could survive in your region.

Here in North Florida it's supposed to be too cold to grow Key limes without covering them - yet that's exactly what I've done for the last three years ever since discovering the power of my south-facing wall.

This last weekend I finally got around to expanding the south wall's selection of plants. I added another six inches of width to the bed, plus some mulch and a bunch of tropical perennial vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Here's a short video I created to show what I did:

I've dubbed it "The Miami Garden" since it reminds me of growing up in South Florida.

If you have a wall that faces south, use it! Don't waste the space: it's precious. You could use it to grow plants you currently only dream about. Trust me - it works!

If you don't trust me, just ask the peach-growers of Paris.

The least cold-tolerant of the plants I placed along the wall is the coffee: the most cold-tolerant is the cranberry hibiscus.

Here's the complete rundown of the species in my new Miami Garden:

Black Pepper
Cattley Guava
Cuban Oregano
Eureka Lemon
Key Lime
Longevity Spinach
Malabar Spinach
Okinawa Spinach
Pearls of Opar
Ponderosa Lemon
Surinam Purslane

I'll make sure I update you all with details on what thrives and what doesn't. I think they'll all grow, judging by the consistently un-frosted Key lime tree and its younger pal the Ponderosa lemon.

We've had overnight lows of 12 degrees that haven't touched it. It's high time to take advantage of the Miami weather!

Now all I need to do is paint the wall pink and it'll be perfect.

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At February 12, 2015 at 6:49 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Beautiful gardening!... I have a small garden space back of my house... I am planning to get it organised... That's the reason from last 2 weeks m visiting different Plant Nurseries In Miami,FL to get the right plant so that I can make out a great garden. Thanks for the beautiful samples... Keep gardening.


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