I’m in full garden obsession down here in Tampa. I’m talking a Burpee catalog perusing, zone 9 studying, spending all my fun money, sun measuring, seed buying, Lowe’s garden center stalking, Pinterest image gathering level of obsession. It’s all I can think of.
The best part? I live in subtropical zone 9, where you can start your garden very early and harvesting won’t end until late-December. I gathered stalk after stalk of basil until January, and the tomato plant I put into the ground as an end-of-season tester is still bearing fruit, albeit one sad little cherry tomato at a time.
Which means it’s time to start spring garden planting!
When we moved in last fall, our 3 bed / 2 bath ranch style home had little to no landscaping. Over the last five months, I’ve slowly added in flowers as I find them or they are given to me. It’s a mish mashÂ of everything from begonias to roses, petunias to gerbera daisies. It’s been great to learn what works in the sun v. shade, and what the soil needs for plants to thrive. Now it’s time to add in more formally planned sections each season.
I’ve started with a full sun bed against a southern facing fence line.Â This is what I’ve ordered so far for my zone 9 full-sun garden:
Zone 9 Full Sun Garden
Lisianthus Pink Bouquet CollectionÂ (left): Perennial, Zones 7-11. Blooms Spring to Fall. 12-14″ in height. 6-8″ in spread.
Sunflower Ms. MarsÂ (right): Annual. Blooms in Summer. 2o-30″ in height. 18-24″ in spread.
I picked these two plantsÂ because they make fabulous cut flowersÂ and are great bedding plants. I’ve never lived in a zone where Lisianthus can grow as a perennial, so it will be interesting to see how it grows in Tampa.
Monarda Fistulosa: Perennial, Zones 6-9. Blooms late Summer. 3-4′ in height. 20-24″ in spread.
Clematis Diamond Ball: Perennial, Zones 4-9. Blooms in Summer. 6-7′ in height. 2-3′ in spread.
We had several types of Clematis growing in our Kilkenny house. I’m interested to seeÂ how this vine looks in this heat. Will it hold up in zone 9? And, I added in a plant the bees will enjoy. This is the only plant I’m not sure I’ll like, as it’s more of a “wildflower” looking plant than the traditional cottage garden plant. So, we’ll see how it looks with it!
Claire Austin Rose: Perennial, Zones 5-9. Blooms in Summer. 4-8′ in height. 3-4′ in spread.
Freesia: Perennial, Zones 9-11. Blooms in early Summer. 14-18″ in height. 12″ in spread.
I’m a huge fan of David Austin roses, and this rose named after his daughter just looks beautiful in person. It’s been a feature in severalÂ formal gardens I’ve visited, and I can’t wait to see how it grows in my own garden. As for theÂ Freesia, do I even need to giveÂ a reason?