Vive La Difference

Purple Oxalis in Floridian mode with Oyster Plants

Purple Oxalis in Floridian mode with Oyster Plants

I am from Tucker, Georgia USA. While I have titled the post in French, I do not and will not speak French and have a Southern accent that creeps up on me sometimes, mostly in colloquialisms that cause folks around here to scratch their heads. I said to the podiatrist I couldn’t “sit on my haunches” he was completely puzzled. That means squat down in Southern. Genetically bad ankles, I think. Or too much gardening.

“That dog don’t hunt” is another confusing Southernism. It just means it doesn’t work. More head scratching. I don’t really sound like Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind but Vivien Leigh was English anyway.

This past year I have been enjoying numerous gardening blogs; I have read about everything from Lupines in Australia to Roses in England to Daisies and Aloes in the US and Fall color just about everywhere but where I live. South Florida is a bit lacking in that regard.

What I have taken from all my reading is there is a lot of difference in the things people grow, but there are also a lot of similarities in favorites. Here is my take on some universal favorites:

Maples for Fall Color, Japanese Maples especially. Cherries and Deciduous Magnolias for Spring color. Everybody loves Cosmos and Hydrangeas and some type of Asters, Daisies, Mums, Lilies of all shapes and sizes, Roses. The UK writers like Sweetgums, which still boggles my mind. Southerners go searching for the chainsaw when a suspect Sweetgum seedling arises. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are very popular and the everpresent Viburnums.

Another interesting aside, gardening magazines will have you thinking succulents and tropical plants are all the rage in temperate gardens. I don’t read about as much of those types of plants as good, well suited garden plants. Of course, there is always something you must have that is a few plant hardiness zones away from reality. I had palms in my temperate garden, I am guessing after last winter they have expired.

While I couldn’t hope to grow many of the favorites in my garden, what was interesting to me to find out is there are some things that will grow just about anywhere. For example,  Oxalis and Viburnums will grow just about everywhere, even at my house. I have some fantastic Purple Oxalis my neighbor gave me. Who knows where it came from – maybe England.


2 comments on “Vive La Difference

  1. mattb325 says:

    It is amazing to see how similar everyone’s taste is in terms of the plants grown and cherished – I guess we are all still influenced by the English and European gardening trends of generations ago. But I am jealous of you being able to grow the royal Poinciana tree and Fishtail palms (and so on) – I have only ever seen those sorts of trees in Queensland (which has a similar climate to Florida). But as you say, vive la difference!


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