The classic conifer is given a subtropical twist in the Bunya-Bunya Tree (Araucaria bidwillii). A native of Australia, the Bunya-Bunya thrives in my Zone 9 Central Florida garden. It is a tree that grows to massive proportions in its native environ. This tree was honored by aboriginal Australians in annual festivals to celebrate the ripening of the nuts that come from its enormous coconut-shaped cone.
This evergreen Autumn Fern is a bright splash of green in a bed where caladiums and gingers have gone to sleep for the winter.
The knockout roses were unfazed by our "Arctic Blast" and are loaded with buds. This is Rosa 'Radtko.'
Not real sure if this Aechmea bromeliad is cold-tolerant, since it hid under a blanket and a beach towel for the past week and a half. It has a scape rising up, so I had to protect it just in case!
The Neoregelia bromeliads all survived these frigid temperatures. Those under tree cover were not protected.
'Red Ruffles' Azalea is Florida-friendly and offers splashes of color in a winter garden. Just really slow growing, though. This is growing in the shade of an old oak tree.
This was my first year growing Indian Blanketflowers. I wasn't sure if they would go dormant at the first sign of cold or what, but they are still green and lush after our worst winter in years.
Camellias are clearly the stars of my winter garden. I look forward to their bloom every year, with their 4- to 6-inch layered blooms and sweet-tea-like scent. Above is Camellia japonica 'Kramer's Supreme'; below is Camellia x williamsii 'Blue Danube.'
The African Iris buds dropped and flopped all week, but the plants are still all intact and green.
The Florida Cracker Rose ('Louis Philippe') is one of my favorite garden plants. The ones in my garden have been evergreen and everblooming (in flushes) since I planted them years ago. Definitely a winter winner!