10 April 2012

Flowers: a Blog Off post

Every two weeks the blogosphere comes alive when bloggers of every stripe weigh in on the same topic. This week's topic is flowers.


Most of the Let's Blog Off staff live in climates more temperate than mine and they're out every afternoon enjoying the riots of tulips and daffodils that explode across the north at this time of year.

I remember well those spring flowers and I'd be lying if I said I don't get a pang for them from time to time. Things like tulips and daffodils can't grow in places where there aren't true winters. I live in such a place and if the price I have to pay for not having to endure winter is that I have to give up spring bulbs then so be it.

Ponce de Leon landed in Florida on Palm Sunday in 1513 and named my adopted state "Pascua de Florida," that means "The Feast of Flowers" in Spanish. He certainly named this place correctly.

Though we may not have tulips and the rest outside of a florist, those of us in this part of the world get a consolation prize that's nothing short of one of my favorite things about life down here. Namely, there's always something in bloom. And I mean always, year-round.

Between the orchids I grow on my patio to the jasmine and jacarandas, I'm surrounded by flowers now in ways I never knew were possible when I was a kid in Pennsylvania. Despite the fact  that I've been a Floridian for 20 years, every time I come across something blooming in January or February I react to it as if it were the most exotic thing I'd ever seen.

The novelty of tropical plants never grows old. Nor for that matter do the flowers I see every day. Here are some photos I've taken of my neighborhood over the last few years and flowers are forever figuring into my photo safaris.

So put me down as a fan of the flower.


As the day wears one, a list of participating bloggers will materialize below. Give everybody a read. And while I'm telling people what to do, leave a comment below if you have a good flower story or observation.


  1. I always feel smarter after I visit your blog and just a little bit embarrassed at my own #letsblogoff post. Dandelions?? Seriously? The most common of all flowers.. errr.. weeds and I write a post about them. Like celebrating breathing or waking up in the morning... Like I put no effort whatsoever into the assignment.... I can't even pronounce jacarandas :-)

  2. Great post Paul! Yours also Rufus :)

  3. Thanks Sandy! And Rufus, have you ever seen a jacaranda in bloom? They are nothing short of amazing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacaranda

  4. Great post Paul and you're right there is a slight price to pay for year round flowers. I do miss lilacs in the spring though. The 6th photo down- What are those called? We have them here too.

  5. That's a bauhinia, commonly called an orchid tree.

  6. Those are fabulous.

  7. We have many of the same flowers here in San Diego as those you photographed. And our weather is equally mild, maybe even milder, as I’ve read about frost in Florida from time to time. Bougainvillea is probably my favorite flower of those we see here all the time. Well, that and hibiscus. I fell in love with those when we went to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. I grew up in Helena, Montana, and the people next door had a lilac tree. Spring was something else! But so were the winters! I'll pass on the winters!

  8. The frosts are always well north of here Joe, I think the lowest temperature we had last winter was around 55 degrees. Florida is a very large state. If you include the Keys, it's 450 miles long and its northern reaches have a temperate climate. By the time you get about halfway down, it turns into a tropical climate. By the time you hit Key West, it's practically equatorial.

    I still get excited by the sight of palm trees and hibiscus. You can take the boy out of Pennsylvania, but you can't take the Pennsylvania out of the boy.

  9. Here on Vancouver Island right now, the cherry trees are going crazy. We've had a chilly spring up until about a week ago, and now the flowers are erupting into bloom all over the place. My personal favourite time though is when the lilacs bloom in May. The air is thick with the scent of them.

  10. Get a nose full of jasmine sometime and you'll forget lilacs exist!

  11. Oh, I love jasmine too, but lilacs and I have a connection. Plus, I don't think that people grow jasmine here like they do with lilacs. There's probably about 25 lilac bushes that I pass by on my walk to and from work every day!

  12. I always loved lilacs when I lived in a temperate climate but alas... I notice that I forge connections with different fragrances here though. At this point in my life, spring (which starts in late January and early February)smells like jasmine and citrus blossoms. Summer smells like cattleya orchids. Autumn smells like brassavola. Winter smells like lilies. Where would we be without flowers be they lilacs or jasmine?

  13. Having been born in a tropical countries these flowers you have featured on your post are fairly common sight to me. They remind of the beautiful things I had as a child. I don't get to see these flowers too often anymore. I feel nostalgic all of a sudden.


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