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!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Year Later

A few weeks ago I was strolling back through my blog and came upon photos of the backyard in May of 2015. I saved the pics so I could do a post on how the garden has matured in one year.

So, here we go! Let's take a look at the garden one year ago and one year later.

This photo was taken at almost mid-garden looking toward the north. Everything was very tiny, and the elevated area in the far corner was just barely a thought in my mind.

One year later and everything is filling in nicely, and the idea for the far corner garden is on its way.  More on that "secret" little space in a future post.

Now standing in about the same spot mid-garden but looking in the opposite direction (toward the south), it was pretty well planted but all very small.

One year later and it's starting to look a little more jungle-like.

At the very south corner of the garden is a view of the patio and the butterfly garden.

One year later and we've just about lost view of the wall surrounding the patio. 

This area is located right next to the patio in the above photo (where the corner of the house is) and is a view of the south side of the garden. 

One year later and most of the fence is covered with the exception of the gate. 

It's amazing to look back and see how it has grown and filled in in just one year. A mix of warm weather, plentiful rain and no winter freezes makes for perfect growing conditions. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Organized Chaos!!!

As I was strolling through the "sunny butterfly corner" of my backyard the other day, two words came to mind - Organized Chaos! 

Yes, I have become very good at packing the plants into my small space!

So good, that even the walkways are narrowing. All I can say is it's been a GOOD year for Black-eyed Susan's, as they have reseeded prolifically throughout the garden. I did relocate a few into the garden beds, but I love the look of random clumps of flowers taking up space in the walkway.

And, then there's the discovery of a plant that I had forgotten I bought (the lavender Agastache) until its blooms sprung up between the Tropical Salvia and more Blackeyed-Susan's. Uhm, I might be a little out of control!!

 I love it when the blooms of plants intermingle together in one beautiful blooming feast for the eyes. 

Red Pentas, Black & Blue Salvia take front stage with, of course, more Black-eyed Susan's in the background. Pure Joy!

More heirloom red Pentas and Wendy's Wish Salvia are blending together on the south side of this area, while MORE Black-eyed Susan's have jumped the border and planted themselves between the border grass and the walkway.  I will tame these prolific little beasts back later this year, but for now they are a welcome addition and the butterflies and bees are lovin' them!

After seeing the photos above of what I call 'Organized Chaos' - you might be thinking that a better description would be 'Utter Chaos!' But, I beg to differ! 

According to the Collins Dictionary, the definition of 'organized chaos' is "a complex situation or process that appears chaotic while having enough order to achieve its goals." 

My goal for this space is to have plenty of nectar plants to keep as many butterflies, as possible, happy - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

 Miss Makayla loves our 'wild little jungle!' Sometimes she's hidden away beneath the plants, and other times she oversees her blooming kingdom from up high.




Monday, May 09, 2016

Mon Petit Potager

Here's a look at mon petit potager,
 or as we call it here in the South  - my little kitchen garden
It sounds so much fancier in French, doesn't it?

Anyway, it is a VERY little - teeny tiny kitchen garden. Despite its small stature - there is quite a bit packed into it. I'm getting pretty good at maximizing my space.

The old umbrella stand frame which has been re-purposed as a trellis is still holding up. A Georgia collard green is parked right behind it, and a few broccoli plants grow in an Earth box in front of it. There's also a dill plant tucked behind it.

Saturday was the first day we began eating our cucumbers. Love that fresh crisp flavor!

Big African Blue basil along with fennel can be seen in the background, while blueberries frame the side of this garden area. We have finished eating the tomatoes that made it through the winter and a Black Cherry tomato is working on setting fruit.

At the far right end of this space we are growing Sugar Snap peas, garlic chives, two green pepper plants and some Dinosaur kale among the salvia and roses. 

Between the two sides of the kitchen garden grows a dwarf mulberry which is in full production right now. Each  morning I pick around 10 to 12 tasty little berries. The nice benefit of the dwarf tree is that it will produce 1 to 2 more crops this year.

 On the opposite side of the pathway I have Swiss chard growing on my patio area, as well as parsley and some bush beans tucked in among the perennial plants that border the patio. I am working on new ideas for growing more veggies vertically this coming autumn. Might even purchase one of those hydroponic grow towers. I've got to get creative in this small space.

And, lastly, I'm delighted to report that the pumpkin vine is making a comeback (from this past autumn's pumpkin harvest) again this year. I've already attached it to the top of the fence, and now it is free to grow to its hearts content. Not too bad for a petit potager!!!

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