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Moving from Illinois

Port Orange, FL(Zone 9b)

I am moving in the near future to Port Orange and I have all sorts of questions!!??
Here, I have cottage gardens, butterfly bushes, coneflower, phlox, bee balm wild indigo, butterfly weed, coral bells, peonies, HOSTA and many others. From the posts, it sounds as if you are planting now. I was recently down ther for a vist and we stopped to get mulch for my MIL and I asked him what types of flowers grew well in FL and he said just about anything but when it gets too hot they just die off! Say it isn't so!!!!
If you could let me know when your perennial garden season is and also tomato season.
Any information would be appreciated.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Welcome aboard kayos.
Just look through some of the threads on here and you will see all the beautiful plants that grow here. Some that i had up in Conn. will not grow here but many will. Depends largely on which part of Fl. your in. I have a fabulous winter garden for vegies but again some vegies do thrive in our hot summers. There is also a forum on here for just tomatoes you may find helpful.
I am in central Fl. about 23 mi. from Orlando and we have been having some wonderful rains almost every day so my shrubs and flowers look like a jungle which is fine with me. Hydrangeas, cleradendrum, dutchmans pipe are blooming profusely. Also angel trumpets and alamanda.
If you are a died in the wool gardner you will have beautiful gardens down here too. I kid you not. Gardening is done a little differently here but never-the-less its gardening and you will see beautiful results. I learned one of the main ingredients is water. Up north we never watered a garden but then we also had loamy soil and not sand.
Everyone on here will be very glad to help you with any questions you might have. I have a wonderful book called Perrennials for Fl. and it has been a huge help to me.
Happy gardening,
Bonnie

Port Orange, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Bonnie! Can't imagine not being able to get out in the flower garden! Great therapy. Getting a lot of info from this site.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I moved back home 2 years ago and I so miss my perennials. You can grow some here but nothing like up north. I don't mind the tropical, there are some incredible ones, but to a die hard perennial lover they are a second best.

Tomatoes, you don't grow them during the summer, you plant your seeds in August, tomatoes for Thanksgiving and beyond, the plant another crop in January so as to get another crop before June. Hard to get use to, but not too bad.

What part of FL are moving to? My cousin lives in EPeoria. Small world.

Jan

Port Orange, FL(Zone 9b)

Jan, I think I will miss my perennials. Hollyhock and phlox are a favorite. Bee balm and peonies coming up in the spring. It is a small world, your cousin in E. Peoria and I used to live in Bradenton!!!
Happy planting!

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Oh I wish yall were coming to Bradenton.... yes the world does get small at time, just amazing.

I wish yall much success in your move.

Jan

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Port Orange is a nice area and I'm sure you'll love it, we have friends that have lived there for well over 20 years. I know Beebalm grows wild in Flagler county, not far from Port Orange so I know you can still enjoy it here. You may also have luck with phlox, it grows wild from central north FL all along the roadsides in April and May, wonderful eye candy. We have a gardener on the FL forums that just posted a photo of the giant phlox that is blooming now in the same zone.
There are hollyhocks and Hosta Varieties for FL climate, I have one hosta that comes back each year, but hardly flowers because it does wither away once we get into the rainy season.
You may find this helpful: http://www.ehow.com/info_7996075_hosta-varieties-florida.html
I wish you luck in your move. You can ask away in our several FL forums and will find lots of friendly folk to help you out.
Sherri

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

There is a trick to growing hollyhocks here. Of course I wasn't really listening when the gardener was telling me how she did it. And they bloom much earlier here. The Extension office in St Augustine had a bed full of Hollyhock this past spring.

I've discovered that if you use the micro-climates the yard tends to have you can get some differnt plants going quite happily.

Add container growing so you have better control over soil & sunlight and you can keep even more plants happy longer. My pots of tomatoes have moved around the back yard as the days have gotten hotter and are still producing.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Qwilter, you still are getting tomatoes, oh my I need to come live by you.....LOL

Jan

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

Welcome back, Kayos,
I agree you will have a wonderful time gardening. Many of the plants you know will just love it here. (I am currently sitting in Port St. Lucie, about 100 miles South of Port Orange.)

Since my sister-in-law lives in E. Peoria and just had her basement flooded (again) by the beautiful river in her backyard, I really think you are doing the right thing in coming to FL!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Yep..........................the Cherry guys are really BIG this year. Have lots of the full size heirloom green ones out there. Half in pots & half in the ground.

Need to cut the ones done producing back & see if I can get a new plant for the Fall.

I kept the plants in my plastic GH till they were ~3' tall & then moved them out. Planted them ~1' into the ground. Find that gives them a better "footing".

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