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Colors bloom in our March gardens

By DEBORAH HAGGETT - Garden Club of Cape Coral | Mar 2, 2023

Colorful flowers, from left to right, top: Hawaiian Ti and Perennial Peanut; middle: Blue Daze; Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow; and Blue Tea Vine; and bottom: Jatropha and Pink Tropical Sage. DEBORAH HAGGETT

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow!”

— Audrey Hepburn

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, March is known to “come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.” This drastic weather change is not typical within Southwest Florida in March. For us, dramatic weather strikes in the heat of the summer as it did almost six months ago when Hurricane Ian devastated our landscapes.

This six-month marker is another recovery milestone which invites us to reflect on where we are now and what we learned from Mother Nature. Fortunately, our gardens are persevering and providing a model to help us move forward. The lovely flowering plants and budding bushes are ushering in the signs of spring, leading the way toward hope and optimism while demonstrating the resiliency of native plants in our landscapes.

A “walk-about” in our local native and Florida friendly yards reveals inspirational bursts of color. In my neighborhood, the brown, storm-torn trees, shrubs and grasses have been replaced by a resurgence of color replicating the many hues of the rainbow. We can enjoy the stunning red flowers of the Jatropha bushes which are complemented by the red and pink flowers of the Desert Rose and Tropical Sage bushes.

The array of colors displayed continue with a fusion of red, orange and yellow colors found in other emerging blooms. Among those are the striking tubular flowers of the Firebush and the Blanket Flower with its sequence of red/orange centers encased by red/pink petals with yellow tips. Bright hues are highlighted by the orange spikes of the “Florida Sunset” and “Orange Marmalade” varieties of Crossandra, also known as the firecracker plant. Our eye is then drawn to the Florida state wildflower, coreopsis, which engages us with its showy, daisy-shaped blossoms bringing a cheery yellow note to our yards.

The yellows continue to pop in our ground covers, including the perennial peanut and the Bulbine plant. Both paint our yards with splashes of yellow blooms within a green blanket. The Song of India bush, with its whimsical branches and variegated yellow and green leaves, brings our eye to the assortment of green tints and textures which add depth to our gardens.

Our palate shifts from the deep greens of our many trees to the gray-greens of the Silver Buttonwood, and to the blues and indigos of the rainbow. The Texas Sage plant, the Blue Tea Vine and the Blue Daze are just some of the plants complementing this portion of the color spectrum.

The colors progress from purples to violets, with the tiny deep-purple flowers of the Golden Dew Drop, the lavender tinged petals of the Wild Petunia, the collage of colors of the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow bush and the vivid red-violet leaves of the Hawaiian Ti plant.

The month of March delivers the final touches of the rainbow spectrum to our own flowering native and Florida friendly gardens reminding us that perseverance, strength, and beauty surround us, inspiring hope and optimism.

Happy Spring!

Deborah Haggett is a Lee County Master Gardener Volunteer and a member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral. Visit us at gardenclubofcapecoral.com.


Schelb, J. (2018, March 28). What’s flowering in March. https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/polkco/2018/03/28/whats-flowering-march/

‘Intro to Florida Friendly Landscaping’ program March 25

An “Intro to Florida Friendly Landscaping” program, sponsored by the Lee County Master Gardeners, will be held Saturday, March 25, from 10 am. to noon, at Rotary Park in Cape Coral.

This is a free class. Please register at eventbrite.com.

Rotary Park is at 5500 Rose Garden Road in south Cape Coral.