Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Flowers and Plants of Winter Park, Florida

If you read Wednesday's Travel Post, you would know that I was in Florida last week.  Every morning my husband and I would get up before dawn and take a long walk through the neighborhoods and streets of Winter Park, Florida.  I don't know how much cardio exercise I really got, because I think I stopped every ten seconds to take a picture.  

So for this week's garden post, instead of featuring my own garden flowers, I wanted to show you what I discovered on our morning walks.  Now I didn't want to walk carrying my heavy DSLR with me, so all these pictures were taken with my IPhone, hence the quality of the photos isn't quite as good.

Being born and raised in Wisconsin, I have no experience or knowledge whatsoever of tropical plants so I am not even going to attempt to 'educate' you on the names or habits of these plants.  However, if I have readers who do live in warmer climates that recognize some of these plants, I'd love to hear from you!  If you identify some of them for me, I will go ahead and edit my post.

 Knowing what a flower lover I am, when we were in Florida my son asked me how I felt about the landscape.  He said "There's a lot of greenery, but I don't see a lot of flowers.  Do you like that?".  I replied "True, I don't see hanging baskets, or mass annual flower plantings, but there are still flowers everywhere, and the foliage of many of their tropical plants is very colorful and interesting.  They also have a lot of flowering trees and bushes that we don't have in Wisconsin."

The purple flower in the picture above was a bush right in front of my daughter's house.  The flower reminded me of a phlox.

Next to the house next door a grapefruit tree was growing.

 This flowering bush reminded me of the Vinca Flowers we grow in our neck of the woods.

 I absolutely love palm trees, and they are everywhere in Florida!  Some of them can get kinda shabby looking if not pruned.  The one in front of this home was absolutely perfect!

 Just look at the gorgeous flowers on this large bush!

 A lovely flowering Cacti.

 These flowers look like Petunias, but they were on a dark, scraggly bush.

 Sphagnum Moss is everywhere in Florida.  I love the way it looks, but a homeowner informed me that it needs to be removed regularly or it will destroy the tree.

 A gorgeous yellow bush.

 We found a lot of interesting succulents and plants that we usually grow as houseplants in the north.  Many homeowners created interesting landscapes just using colorful and interesting foliage plants, cacti, and flowering bushes.

 The leaves of this plant were so huge I had to have my son stand next to it for scale.  These are so gorgeous!  I think I tried growing this plant in a pot one year, and it did o.k., but it never got this big.

 A gorgeous mix of tall palm trees with shorter ones, and a lovely colorful hedge assortment in front of this neighborhood sign.

We visited a mega church in Orlando and although we didn't care for the church, we loved the entrance to the church.  It had beautiful water fountains, benches, and flowers gracing each side of the walk way.

 Just look at the color of this tropical plant.

 I have no idea what this flowering bush is, but they are everywhere in the south.  We started to see them from the highway in Georgia, and thought they were absolutely gorgeous.  If anyone has anymore information on this lovely plant, I'd love to know!

 You often see this bush planted en mass like we grow lilac bushes here in the north.  But sometimes they will prune them to have more of a tree shape like the ones below.

I know places like Disney World grow annual flowers and have them on display, but I didn't find them in the landscapes of any local businesses or homes.  I don't know why.  It does rain almost every day in Florida, but very briefly.  Maybe it's too hot or too hard to keep up with the watering?

So what about you?  Do you recognize any of these tropical flowers?  Do you grow annuals in the south (I suppose in warm climates, you don't even call them annuals for they would be perennials for you)?  I'd love to hear from you?

Have a great day! Amy

Linking up with these fabulous blogs HERE!


  1. Wonderful post. I miss Florida so much. I am not totally sure but I think the big pink flower/plant is called a bird of paradise. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Beautiful flowers and love the palm trees! I think I'd like Florida a lot more if it wasn't known for its humidity. Will have to plan a trip in the off season, because it looks so pretty there!

  3. So many beautiful flowers! I have a few very similar ones in my garden too. I noticed the same thing when I was in Mexican this spring. I have the same plant but never seen that big in my yard. ;)

    Take care and keep in touch!
    Please stop by every Wednesday for Color and Grace Fashion link up! :)


  4. The first plant with the periwinkle flowers on it is plumbego. The bright, delicate yellow flowers look like a thryallis, which I have growing abundantly on my east side yard. I also recognized the white vincas and the plant with the huge green leaves is elephant ears, aptly named. The trees toward the bottom of your post are crape myrtles, which grow with relish in the south. Sorry I am not sure about some of the others.

    So glad you enjoyed your visit to our neck of the woods. Thanks for joining The Maple Hill Hop this week!

  5. I have only been able to visit florida once but hopefully will have more opportunities. The time we did visit we saw an orange tree and many other beautiful trees and flowers. thanks for sharing your pictures very nice
    come see us at

  6. Lovely flowers and plants! I hear Florida grows just about anything!

  7. Great plants! Love the blue Plumbago, which I used to have myself.

  8. Great post. That plumbago is a delightful colour.
    Thanks for taking part in Floral Friday photos!


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