One of my favorite things about our house in Fort Myers having a property full of fruit trees.
We have a lychee tree, a key lime tree, Barbados cherry tree, orange tree, and an avocado tree, along with an entire fence of passion fruit.
But we also have the benefit of “borrowed” fruit trees. The house directly next to ours along the water is a four-story, southern-style mansion, complete with a widow’s walk. Their entire yard is full of stately, mature mango trees that drop mangos over our fence. Another neighbor has an enormous patch of banana trees along the fence line.
Our avocado and lime trees are both covered with hundreds of blossoms now that are about to become fruit.
Fruit trees notwithstanding, I prefer growing ornamental plants to food crops. But one of the interesting things about living in the tropics is winter to us is spring to everyone else. If you want to grow a vegetable garden in South Florida, you get it started in the fall to bear vegetables during the winter.
The only plants I have that have dropped their leaves are the plumeria. We have twenty (yes, twenty!) plumeria trees around the property, and I am eagerly awaiting their return.
It is a ritual for us now to walk to a park down the street to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. We can see it from our backyard, but by going to the park we get to visit with neighbors. People fill up the park benches and break out bottles of wine to sip and share. Children chase each other around and climb the palm trees. I’d say this is a magical place to grow up, but it is also a magical place to be an adult.