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Seasonal Changes

Yellow Tab or Trumpet Tree

Yellow Tab or Trumpet Tree

Contrary to popular belief, South West Florida does have seasons. We are just changing from winter here to a spring, things are beginning to bud. Some winter dormant plants are resprouting – including all the invasive vines like rosary pea, air potato or the green invasive commonly called cattle vine. Some other seasonal changes are the Yellow Tabebuia (Tabebuia chrysotricha) commonly known as Yellow Trumpet Tree are blooming intensely. There is a pink Tabebuia too, but it is not planted as often as the yellow. The beautyberry is putting on leaf. The live oaks and laurel oaks have quit shedding their leaves and their catkin type blooms are starting to drop – another season of growing is upon us.

This is an excellent time to plant a short crop of lettuce, radishes and other 60 day tender crops before the rainy season starts. I’ve recently potted dutchmans’ pipe, fennel, parsley and dill hopefully to attract and feed the variety of butterfly’s here. We see zebra longwings and sulphurs daily flitting around and want to keep it that way.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Zebra Longwing Butterfly


Planted a late bed of sunflowers, zinnia, sweet peas and marigolds with seeds from my own small seed bank and others donated by friends. Gardeners are the most generous lot of people to be around. Usually happy to part with a seedling, pups, bulbs or rhizome to start in your own garden. Even if you don’t have your own place to garden, there are options available. There are community gardens that offer plots to plant. If you are not up for planting your own and want to learn about gardening, opportunities abound. There are demonstration gardens in Ft Myers and Cape Coral that go begging for volunteers. You’ll receive lots of instructions, help with identifying plants, learn about the latest pests and what is blooming when. There are Rose gardens, FYN demonstration gardens, Herb Gardens, Fragrance Gardens and Butterfly Gardens just to name a few. Besides you’ll be working with experts in their respective fields – I learned more about SWFL butterflies, their nectar and larval host plants needed to sustain their population in one afternoon that I could have in an afternoon of classroom instruction. Being hands on in a garden is a lovely way to spend a morning and enhance your gardening knowledge. Contact Lee Co. coordinator Kathy Cahill @ kcahill@leegov.com or call 239-533-7422 for current opportunities.