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!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Glimpses of the New Garden

Starting a garden from scratch was something I looked forward to and dreamed about since we purchased the property in 1999. It was an opportunity to plant what I love, instead of working around an existing landscape. At first, it was a bit overwhelming as I tried to decide what kind of garden I wanted. My mind would jump from one area of the yard to another as a plan began to sprout in my head.

The front yard was, of course, the first place I started. As the builder was putting the finishing touches on the inside, I was busy outside placing plants in the ground...many of which I rooted or divided from my existing garden.

This sunny little spot is between the driveway and the walkway to the front door. It's a hot area, so it needs some tough...but pretty...plants. Rosemary, sagos, Indian blanket flowers, succulents and pentas join forces with a handful of rocks, that my mother collected from other states on family vacations, to form a small rock garden.

This is a view of the same flowerbed as seen a little further up the walkway. To the right of the sagos (babies from my mother's garden) are two Knock-out roses. There are 7 in this color altogether in the frontyard. This bed is bordered with Society garlic from my sister's garden.

Because the front yard is large, I picked bold colors...reddish orange, yellow and purple. This is a picture...from this past spring...of the bed along the front of the house. The beautiful pot (a gift from my mom) of bromeliads is surrounded by Indian hawthorne and fashion azaleas. And, the piece de resistance is the gorgeous yellow tabebuia tree.

The backyard has two large Live oak trees, so lighter colors were my choice back here. The west side of the backyard is a white garden...I've always wanted a white garden. However, hard as I try, I've not been able to be a purist. Some blue...at certain times of the year...has crept into this garden, as well as Miss Muffet caladiums. I should have planted white caladiums here, but I moved Miss Muffet here from my existing garden.

This back corner section of the garden is alight in white...Acoma crape myrtle and variegated ornamental grass. Other white plants include: sombreuill...white French rose, white guara, var. castiron, soft gray English ivy, tea olive, St. Bernard's lily and var. Chinese privet. Green foliage plants with different textures include: Australian tree fern, lady palms, Elephant ears, philodendron, holly ferns, asparagus foxtail ferns, sago and River birch.

Slowly, but surely, the garden is coming together. My planting beds are huge, so I'm waiting for the philodendrons, elephant ears, castirons and lady palms to fill in, and I've got  a few more favorites I want add. :-)


Ami said...

Wow, Susan, what a beautiful new garden you have! Yes, the thrill to build a brand new garden from scratch is just wonderful. Even I only have a small garden, but I am building it from scratch (almost) also.

Your front yard is very beautiful with those bold colors. My favorite will be your white garden! I just love the white. Now I know why you are sad to lose your white angel's trumpet. It would go very nicely in your white garden. Maybe you can get a cutting somewhere? I would have given you cuttings if I live closer to you. Also, I think the variegated devil's backbone I have in my garden would also look nice in your white garden :) Keep posting this garden progress, I just love to read the garden design!

Meems said...

Dear Susan,
I don't know how in the world you keep up with TWO large gardens! Did I miss that you have moved to the new house? Or are you just letting us see your handiwork there?

You have been hard at work back and forth for quite some time. I admire your new beds and think you've chosen some great foundational plants that will work double duty to keep things pretty as well as evergreen. What is the variegated ornamental grass in the white garden? I LIKE it.

Now I'm really thinking about how generous it was for you to give up any cast iron plants at our swap in February. Wow... how I love them in my yard but you could have used them I'm certain. Everything in your new garden is looking great!

Orlando Realtor said...

Thank you for the tour of your beautiful garden. Lots of ideas here.

Kimberly said...

You've done a great job at starting your garden! Great choices placed perfectly!

Floridagirl said...

Beautiful garden! It certainly does NOT look new! The rocks do help to give it an established look. I've wanted to sneak rocks on vacations before, but our car is always so packed, there's no room!

I remember being thrilled that I would have a blank slate when we moved here. This was my fourth garden in 20 years of home ownership, and I thought it would be so refreshing to not have to work around someone else's mistakes. Unfortunately, I've made a few blunders of my own! I think of my tab tree planted in way-the-wrong-place, among other things. Your tab tree looks splendid and perfectly placed!

Actually, the whole garden looks very well planned and lovely. I'm glad you cannot be a purist (I've never liked white caladiums personally). And, hey, variety is the spice of life.

Susan said...

Ami...I really enjoy the white garden, too, especially in summer. I am definitely on the hunt for a white angel trumpet and the devil's backbone. They make a great pair.

Meems...No, we haven't moved yet and probably won't for awhile yet. The new garden is starting to take shape and keeping up with two is definitely challenging. I have to stay organized and on top of things. I do not know the name of the var. ornamental grass. I bought it 2 years ago at HD and wasn't sure if it would do well here, but it has. You might try Santa Rosa gardens to see if they have it.

Orlando Realtor & Kimberly...Glad you like my work so far.

Floridagirl...I've made lots of mistakes so far, and spent the spring relocating many a plant. I try to think things through, but there's always something I miss..but hey, that's the nature of gardening. It definitely is fun to have a clean slate though.

Penlyn said...

Hate to be redundant, but yeah, TWO gardens?? I tip my terra-cotta hat to you!
I'm beginning to regret my gaura. It grows great in a tough situation, has beautiful flowers, but it falls all over everything and looks just sloppy. Maybe I have it in the wrong place. Do you have thoughts on a good situation for an unruly plant?
Planning for an open space is a bit overwhelming, to me. I did a lot of that after the January freeze, and it was fun, but I made some mistakes. Who knew orange cosmos (planted in the front of the bed) would grow 4 feet tall? I can't even SEE the lovely purple datura behind it!

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