While many of you snuggle up by the fire, enjoy a break from gardening, or grow indoors, here on the Florida coast at the upper tip of USDA Zone 10b we find -

No Such Thing as an Offseason!

by Kit and Ben Knotts - Click images to enlarge

We live on the oceanfront in Cocoa Beach, Florida, with the Banana River close by and a lot of water in our garden. This keeps us warmer in winter and cooler in summer than our neighbors just a few blocks away. Even in the dead of winter, we experience only a few days here when it's not nice enough to get out and work in the garden!

N. 'Smoulder'
N. 'RSVP' x N. ampla

N. 'Amethyst Splash'
N. ampla x N. capensis

N. 'Wood's Blue Goddess'
N. ampla x N. colorata
At this time of year that we swear we will only grow waterlilies that keep going year round! On a dreary, chilly, blustery February day, after 36 hours of pelting rain, we took all the pictures on this page. Nymphaea ampla and its hybrids never stop blooming and lose little size from summer. Viviparous blues, several of the Charles Winch cultivars and some night bloomers are good performers too. We fertilize every few weeks right through the winter.

N. 'Tina' and a night bloomer

^ N. 'Senorita | N. 'Camelot' ^
Charles Winch

N. 'Caliente' >
N. ampla x unknown


In the summer, we spend most of our time hacking back rampant growth, tending the Victorias, grooming the 50-something ponds. We find time in the winter to move forward with new garden projects. This year, one of those projects is facing a new raised pond with stone.

For more about this, see the basics of how we do it here -
Building Stone Borders & Walkways Paradise Style
Stone Top and Face for a Raised Pond

This is also one of the times of year that we "turn" our tropical lilies. N. 'Floyd Wohlfarth' at the right, also an N. ampla hybrid, is an eight year old plant that lives in a pond that goes into full shade in the winter. The huge brown trunk-like rhizome sticking out of the water represents one year's growth. Each winter, we reorient the crown downward into the soil and anchor it with rocks. See also -
Repotting Overgrown Tropical Waterlilies

And our fish (top of page) never stop eating!

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