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!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Clean Slate

Having just completed building a new home, I now have a clean-slate of a yard in which to begin the fun of landscaping. This is the first time that I won’t have to assume an existing yard full of bushes that need trimming. Trimming bushes is my least favorite thing to do in the yard, and I’m not good at keeping up with the trimming at all. Personally, I like my garden to look a little soft and free-flowing. Yards that look pruned and manicured to the max leave me a little cold.

But now, with such a clean slate, I find myself constanly lost in thought about what to plant. I know I want simple, low maintenance shrubbery around the front of the house, lots of flowering plants and colorful foliage. Pathways with butterfly plants, in the back. Plus plenty of large formosa azaleas, bromeliads, sitting areas and a "real" vegetable garden.

Currently there is only one straggly maple in the front and two nice big Live oaks in the back. Two cabbage palms that came up from seed are a nice size and, fortunately, are located in a good spot alongside the driveway. We had to bring in lots of sand (the builder’s type) to build up the site for the home, so I have soil that is absolutely devoid of any organic matter of any kind. I feel sorry for the plants that will be forced to endure this beach sand (minus the salt) environment.

My dream garden is one that embodies that “old Florida” look with large oaks draped abundantly in Spanish moss, towering palm trees swaying in the breeze, large curvy beds stuffed with tropicals, roses, azaleas, childhood favorites (angel trumpets, 4 o’clock s, yellow-candlesticks, etc.), and blooming butterfly-attracting plants, all outlined with lots of thick robust border grass (liriope).

As you can see by the photo, I have a real challenge ahead of me. Patience will be the name of the game as I wait for my new garden to take on an old established look.


Rosengeranium said...

Congratulations! Gather inspiration from the gardens nearby; that's a good way to set practical ideas in motion.

Meems said...

oh the thought of a clean slate and starting over sort of gives me a back ache. :-) my hubby and i talk about moving to some place with less maintenance but i always say it will be harder to leave my yard than my house.

congratulations on your new house. at least you can be certain to acquire exactly what you want now. i will watch for the progress.

Susan said...

Hi Meems,

I can see why it will be hard to leave your yard behind - it is gorgeous!

Susan said...

rosengeranium... Thanks for the advice. I love to pour through garden magazines for ideas. Actually, I'm addicted to those magazines!

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