Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Planting Away

Now that the inside of the house is squared away, I've been spending my days outdoors planting away to my heart's delight. And, what a delight it is! With days in the 70's, beautiful blue skies and lots of sunshine ~ ~ it's the perfect time to be outside in the garden.

The plants that spent the summer in pots were really starting to get to me. They were screaming for me to get them in the ground. So, I got busy and moved them to the areas in the backyard where they will probably be planted, and I repotted some plants which I decided to over-winter so they wouldn't freeze. I really missed not being able to plant my vegetable garden, so I did the next best thing and got a few vegetables going in pots. Better late than never!

The pathway through the backyard (which will be finished in bricks) has been established and I started planting around the large oak. A few garden items have found their spots like the bench (mid-way in the photo), the fountain and compost bin (back of the photo). Slowly, but surely, the garden is beginning to fall into place.

The walkway to the back  patio been completed because I got tired of dragging dirt into the house.

More plants are waiting their turn to be planted.

Earlier this summer I purchased 4 Sioux crape myrtle trees, and while they haven't been planted yet, I am in love with the red color their leaves have turned following our recent low temperatures. I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing them in the back garden next autumn when they are a little bigger.

This American Beautyberry, along with several others were already on the property when I purchased it. I made sure to mark each one, so that the builders would not destroy them. It is loaded with berries and is a real beauty!!!! Yes, that pun was intended!

So, while progress is slow . . . I am enjoying spending my days in the garden finding just the right spot for all my favorite plants. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getting Settled

A lot has happened in the last 3 weeks. We're settling into our new home. There's still a lot of boxes to unpack, but that all takes some time. At the end of our first week, I worked quickly at getting the front yard landscaped so the house looked a little more completed.

Luckily, the section between the road and sidewalk, also known as the "hell strip" is only about 18 inches wide. This is a positive in my book because why waste ground on a tough-to-garden area with numerous limitations. Opting to keep things simple . . . and because family and friends rave about it . . . I went with the Asiatic jasmine groundcover. Hopefully, it will fill in quickly in this small area.

As far as grass goes, this and a very small section on the right side of the driveway is it. A small, almost circular, patch of zoysia grass. Zoysia because the city gave me two choices: zoysia or bahia - no St. Augustine allowed anymore. I opted for zoysia because I've grown bahia before, and I didn't think it would perform well in this much shade. So, there will be a learning curve with this new turf, but at least there's a minimum amount of it.

In the last week and a half, I've been feverishly moving plants from my mother and sister's homes. This is a narrow strip on the side of the house, so I'll be doing a walkway and some vertical gardening here. I'm hoping to hang my orchids from the trellis once some vines are established. 

 There's more plants just hanging out in the backyard waiting to be planted, and 

also on the other side of the house. I've definitely got my work cut out for me from now until May when the weather starts to warm up. My plants are not very happy with me after hanging out in pots over a long, hot summer. I'm going to need to work quickly to get them in the ground where they'll be happy once again. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Simplifying


One thing that is certain in life is "change!" A lot of change has happened in the past 2 years, and the time had come to simplify my life... a smaller and more manageable home and garden. A place where I can live for many, many years . . . grow old and still be able to manage my home and yard. So, a small lot was purchased, home plans drawn up and 5 months of construction ensued. 

Before I moved from my previous home which was located on 6 acres, I potted up 125 plus plants for use in the new garden. These potted plants were temporarily located at my mother's and sister's homes while my new home was built. My mother kept saying, "I don't know where you're going to put all these plants in your new yard." Sometimes I had doubts about that, too. But I have this vision in my mind. You know. The kind of visions that gardeners have when they're dreaming up their new garden.

The only problem is every time I would walk around my new home being built, I noticed that those visions weren't matching up with the reality of "the small garden" that would soon be mine. If they don't all fit... no problem, I'll share them with other gardeners. But, I'm going to do my best to get all my favorites in my garden. Now, all I need to do is finish unpacking all the boxes so I can get my garden going.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Late Summer Sunrise

I noticed there was an unusual layer of fog hovering right above the ground this morning.

It was sheer enough that I could just see the horse feeding out in the pasture.

But what really caught my eye was the brilliant sunbeams flowing through the Live Oak.

Up close, the scene looked more like an abstract painting than an actual photo. 

 The brilliance of the sunbeams were amazing. It looks like the tree and ground are on fire. 
What a majestic and wondrous sight!





Saturday, August 23, 2014

California Dreamin'

This summer we took a trip out west to visit a friend in San Diego and then headed north to San Francisco. The weather was wonderful compared to our July weather, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Hope you enjoy a view of the flora and fauna of California ~ ~

San Diego (La Jolla) ~ along the shoreline















My friend Peggy has an adorable storybook home and a garden to match it.


Here's a look into her private back and side garden.




Here's a close-up of that succulent you can see hanging in the previous photo

She had numerous hummingbirds constantly flying back and forth between this Pygmy date palm and her feeder.



Here's a few lusciously landscaped homes in La Jolla.


Heading north on the train was a great way to see the center of the state ~
California has been experiencing a severe drought for a number of years as you can see by this photo. This area normally is a lush green color.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park ~





After we walked through the redwood forest we hopped on board an old-timey train and headed up the mountain side. The redwoods are amazing!!

Monterey/Pebble Beach area ~
More beautiful drought and salt-tolerant plants growing alongside the Pacific Ocean.


The infamous Lone Pine at Pebble Beach











San Jose - Winchester Mystery House




San Francisco






Sausalito






































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