Just returned from sunny Florida where I spent a few days visiting family for a wedding. I was on the Gulf Coast and literally and figuratively, soaked in the turquoise-colored water lapping up onto pristine powdery sand, edged by a colorful backdrop of lush foliage.
As we drove around small beach towns and well-known cities like Sarasota, I begged my sister to drive by both gated estates and smaller beachy homes that were bedecked and bedazzled with bougainvillea, mandevilla and hibiscus.
Honestly, I couldn't believe the visual treat of brilliant colors that reminded me of enormous Tiffany jewels.
My sister has a small pool. Unfortunately, the on-again, off-again daily rains attracted little critters from the man-made lake that borders their property. Scores of tadpoles and one big ole' mama frog decided to enjoy the benefits of swimming sans cranes lurking nearby. What a hoot!
So, as we sat around the pool I asked her about her plants. "I'm mainly growing tropical shrubs like hibiscus and wanna' get some mandevilla to climb up the fence," she remarked.
I suggested she should check out the array of Sun Parosal mandevillas from Costa Farms and TradeWinds Hibiscus that have gorgeous colorful blooms and are great for her containers and range in size from two inches to one foot. And, they're available in retail stores and perfect for any patio or deck.
I mentioned that they're great for even the toughest summer heat, and are one of the best blooming plants for her summer patio.
"Hey, you'll think you're in a tropical paradise- right here in your own backyard," I declared somewhat all-knowingly.
"Um... great idea but... I live in paradise, Lynne." Of course ... what was I thinking!
Photos: Mandevilla Sun Parasol, Pretty Crimson on trellis from Costa Farms and Tradewinds Hibiscus in containers