FLORIDA THE SUNSHINE STATE

dmcamera
Diane Macdonald @dmcamera
· August 2019 · 4 min read · United States · #photography

LAND OF FLOWERS


Ah FLORIDA! What comes to mind when you think of Florida? Mickey Mouse? Harry Potter? Palm Trees? Beaches? Hurricanes? Oranges and orange juice? Key lime pie?

Do you think of flowers when you think of Florida? Many northern flowers are not able to survive the heat in our summers, and we don't have enough freezing temperatures to allow spring bulbs to become dormant, so we have no snowdrops, daffodils or crocuses popping up in springtime.

The climate is sub-tropical, so most of what grows here like hibiscus, ginger lilies and Caesalpinia (called Mexican Bird of paradise in the USA) can also be found growing in the tropical areas of the Caribbean and the South Pacific.


I live in North-East Florida in an area known as the First Coast, named because the area is so heavily steeped in history. About 23 miles from my home is Saint Augustine, the nation's oldest continually inhabited city. It was settled in 1565 – that's 55 years before The Pilgrims first set foot in Massachusetts on Plymouth Rock! And about 52 years after the city was founded, the famous Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon set foot in an area of the beach bout 10 miles from my home.

It is believed that Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in our area in springtime, and an abundance of flowers were in bloom. Hence he name the land he saw la Florida, Spanish for "abounding in flowers'. I like to think that's the reason he named our state, but historians tell us that it is more likely because he arrived either on Easter Sunday or Palm Sunday. Ponce de Leon named the whole land that he had set foot on, la Florida, but it came to be the name of just our state which in 1845 became the 27th state of the union.

Next time you visit Florida, take a break from all the theme parks and find a botanical garden where you can enjoy the flowers that grow here. If you are in the St. Augustine area, a neat place to visit is the Washington Oaks Gardens State Park near Palm Coast with its formal gardens, nature walks and beautiful beach area with sand and the unusual coquina rocks made from broken seashells.

In Jacksonville there is the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens and you can also enjoy botanical gardens as you walk through Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

Another neat place to visit in Jacksonville is the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens

If you don't want to wander too far from Orlando's theme parks though, there is beautiful Harry P Leu Gardens with 50 acres in Orlando to explore. Through September 30, experience the Enchanted Fairy Doors experience!

A short distance from Orlando in beautiful Winter Park, there is the Mead Botanical Garden and in neighboring Winter Gardens there is the Norfolk Botanical Garden


I photographed the majority of the following images in my own garden. The rest I photographed in my neighborhood. Not all of them are native to Florida, but they all have adapted well to the Sunshine State!


Monarch on milkweed with purple sage

Monarch on milkweed with purple sage
Monarch on milkweed with purple sage

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Indian blanket flower

Indian blanket flower
Indian blanket flower

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Black-eyed Susans

Black-eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Elephant ear flower

Elephant ear flower
Elephant ear flower

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Butterfly ginger lilies

Butterfly ginger lilies
Butterfly ginger lilies

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Canna lily

Canna lily
Canna lily

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Hidden lily

Hidden lily
Hidden lily

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Crape myrtle

Crape myrtle
Crape myrtle

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Lantana

Lantana
Lantana

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Penta

Penta
Penta

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Plumbago

Plumbago
Plumbago

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Powderpuff

Powderpuff
Powderpuff

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Red hibiscus

Red hibiscus
Red hibiscus

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Spiderwort

Spiderwort
Spiderwort

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Thunbergia

Thunbergia
Thunbergia

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Vinca

Vinca
Vinca

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved


Passion flower

Passion flower
Passion flower

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



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Thanks for reading!




Topics: PHOTOGRAPHYNATURETRAVELADVICESUBLIMESUNDAYSTEEMUSA

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So beautiful! Lovely photographs!


Thanks for your kind comments.


This post was chosen to be voted by THEUNION.

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Thanks. Much appreciated!


nelinoeva
Neli @nelinoevaAugust 2019

Honestly I did not think about flowers when Florida is mentioned. But, of course the name should suggest that. Interesting to know how the state was named.
This selection of flowers is so beautiful. :-)


Thanks, and thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for info on Florida and what grows well there and all those parks I have to admit I haven’t been to any of them

What gorgeous flowers all so beautiful

Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa


Most people don’t visit botanical gardens and art galleries when they come to Florida. Lol!


NO but if I lived there i would, most times i have bene there its been with the kids from NZ or family here and all they wanted to see was the theme Parks LOL


A lovely display of plants in this blog Diane! I've been to Florida a couple of times but this was nearly 20 years ago now and I'm trying to remember the flowers there. We went for theme parks around Orlando (Universal, Disney, Busch Gardens), Everglades (Powerboat trip) and to the quays as well when we stayed in Naples and Clearwater area.

If I go there again, I'll be paying more attention to the wild flowers on display as it seems I may have missed a trick! Thanks for sharing :)


You are welcome! Trouble is, if you come in the summer, it’s too hot and humid to trek around botanical gardens, but in the spring and fall, it’s a treat! Most towns have their own wildflower gardens too, and my town is no exception! I’ll write a post about our little park another time.


Yes it was pretty hot and humid when we went to Florida in August and can only imagine it must be more so in the Botanical Gardens! You should write about your local park for sure 🙂


You sure have way with the flowers, @dmcamera. Tagging @dswigle to come take a look. I lived in South Florida, but have been all over your area on vacataions and for US Navy trips to JAX. I really like it up there. Lucky you :)


Ah, yes. This is a navy town and a great place to live.

Thanks for your kind comments. 😊


kunschj
kunschj @kunschjAugust 2019

Spectacular images and interesting history. !tipuvote


Thanks for the kind words and the tip too!


kunschj
kunschj @kunschjAugust 2019

You’re very welcome Diane!


So many pretty flowers! I'm up in New York, and it's starting to get chilly here. I'm definitely wishing I had some Florida weather (hurricane season and all!) right about now!


Oh yeah, If ever I find the opportunity to be there, you will find me miles away from the theme parks in nature.
A beautiful post here my friend and very well detailed.
Blessings!


Yes, that’s what I imagine from you. Come and visit the squirrels in my backyard, although they are not quite as tame as yours. Lol!


Superb photography with most flowers I recognize also living sub-tropical.

Lantana is now treated as a obnoxious weed due to being invasive to our local plants. Crape Myrtle I do not believe I have seen, our Powerpuff is pink and more oblong. All flowers are beautiful bringing joy into our lives around each corner, thanks for sharing @dmcamera


Thanks for stopping by. 😊Yes, lantana is listed as an invasive plant here too. It has taken over along with Mexican petunias in many wild areas. I keep the lantana contained in a flowerpot.

Every year I rip out the Mexican petunias from the roots, and every year they just grow back from roots left in the ground. I didn’t even plant Mexican petunia in my yard to begin with. It just appeared one day. Butterfly bush is another invasive plant here. The butterflies do like them all, but they are replacing natural wildflowers.

At some point I will likely do a post on the flowers one French Polynesia. Many are the same as grow here too.