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, August 10, 2007

Off to a Good Start

I usually don‘t garden too much during the summer months, with the exception of mowing the lawn. And then I only do that in the evening or early morning hours. But this year I’m eager to get our new house landscaped, so I’m outside sweating away.

We’re not living in this house yet, so I plant in stages because the rain has been unreliable and we can only irrigate twice a week. I plant a small bed and then use a soaker hose with a timer to water real good for two weeks. And then I move on to the next section. So far, this system has worked really well. It’s a little slower going but we haven’t lost any plants which really surprises me. The areas that I’ve planted are wide open with no relief from the hot, searing sun. I’ve always hand-watered new plants everyday for a couple of weeks thinking they needed the extra water but I’ve discovered that plants are pretty tough little survivors. You learn something new all the time.
My goal is to use plants that do not need regular pruning - no hedge plants. In front of the porch I want low growing shrubs, and of course there must be colorful flowers or foliage everywhere. I have a really difficult time planting a plant that doesn't produce some kind of color. It seems like such a waste to plant something that is only green all year long. I want my plants to do double duty - be green and colorful!

The first of the front yard beds are planted in nandina (reddish orange leaves in fall), Indian hawthorne (white flowers in spring), fashion azaleas (reddish orange flower from fall thru winter), African irises (white, blue & yellow spring & early summer flowers), bush daisies (yellow flowers year round), blue daze (blue flowers year round), giant evergreen liriope and Aztec grass. I also planted a tabbebuia tree for it’s striking yellow spring color. I’m trying to stay with a color scheme of reddish orange, purple/blue and yellow. That sounds gross but the colors really look nice together. Really, they do!


Meems said...

it won't be long and all of your plants will be filled in and producing beautiful color and giving you great joy to look at. i don't envy your having to work in this heat ---i have the same method of operating --only lawn maintenance early or late and not much else during the summer. i am eagerly awaiting some cooler weather to get started on some bigger projects.

congratulations on all your hard work. it's looking great.

Susan said...

meems...thanks! We'll have some relief in another 6 weeks. A little less humidity. Thanks goodness the hurricanes have been non-existant this summer. Let's hope that keeps up.

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