Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flowers for Valentine’s Day
You find me freshly returned from my backdoor garden this morning, where   both tropical and sub-tropical plants are springing back to life.  Sunshine and warm weather are paying off in spades. 

What’s blooming in my Florida garden in February? 

Well, let me tell you! 

Amaryllis, my friends…those showy amaryllis flowers!     

Everywhere I look, I suddenly have amaryllis!  The large trumpet-like flowers are appearing atop of what just last week were tall, leafless spikes.   

I see cardinal amaryllis growing near the sunroom window where I work throughout the day. 

I walk out the door and the brain goes dizzy from a cacophony of striped pinks filling the flower pots lining the pergola.  Blooms are the size of softballs, and absolutely stunning.   

Here in Florida, these Amaryllis bulbs are would be perfectly content to be planted in the ground and left to winter in place.  But I’ve always found amaryllis work best, and are at their showiest, when they’re planted in garden pots displayed around the ranch.  With a little care, some light shade and fertilization, amaryllises will flower all the way through our hot days of August.

Ornamental Ginger
Hay, Hammock & the Fragrance of Ginger Flowers
Ornamental ginger, another tropical plant, is once again taking center stage in my backdoor garden.  This beauty’s been quiet since November, but now sings forth with spring. 

Ginger’s tiny little vines of lavender flowers twist and wind around the nearby shrubs before reaching up to nearly touch the eaves.  If you get in close, you’ll find the air is filled with the exotic fragrance of ginger flowers.  

Hibiscus Flowers

My hibiscus shrubs made it safely through another winter in good form thanks to a limited number of cold winter days. 

They’re now in full glory--busy producing new flowers each new day.  I  glance up from my computer and see sweet tropical shades in red, pink and coral defining the edges of our gardens.  To me, hibiscus blooms always bring feelings of happiness into the garden landscape. 

It was 5 months ago that Betsy moved and left me with her rose garden.   She and her family nurtured roses on that grove land for 28 years, then last October before she left, Betsy dug them up and brought every last one of them to me. 

It was a wonderful gift, but one that brought fear and terror into my heart all winter.  If her roses didn’t thrive after this tough relocation, I’d feel responsible—and down right awful.   I have so much emotion tied up in one rose garden! 

But Betsy’s roses survived--and I found the first flowers are blooming this very day.   

Here on this privileged spot in our wide open landscape, the old grove roses raise their branches high and testify to the beauty of friendship.   

- Sanne Collins
   From the Ranch in Florida


What’s Been Keeping Me Busy Lately

Love Those Wide Open Spaces is a blog designed to follow my daily life as a freelance writer and rancher.  It’s a life full of constant change and a wide scope of interests.

Freelance writing, by its definition, requires the ability to write on a variety of subjects, to juggle many assignments during the times of plenty, and to fill the void when checks are slow.   That said, I’m always writing.

Much of my work is done for others such as corporations, websites, or articles penned under another’s name.  I’ve sold the rights to these works, so they can’t be shared. 

However, many of my projects are available under my own name and can be read right here on the web.    

 You can click on either the site or the story below to see them.

Check out what’s been keeping me busy lately!



  1. I am going to try your suggestion about amaryllis planting. Thank you

    1. Mine do very well in pots. I hope yours will too. Thanks for reading then saying hello!

  2. Pretty flowers! I'm looking at piles of snow myself :-(

    1. They are pretty, aren't they?

      Funny thing happened after I wrote this post, the worst cold weather of the season ended up coming into the region and sent me scrambling to cover all these beautiful flowers before they froze. Weather folks told us it would stay in the 40's but by 8PM we were at 28 degrees. Good thing I didn't listen to them or these lovely little ladies would have been dead by morning.

      Florida--we're back in the 80's today. Crazy climate here.