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, July 26, 2012

Mid-Summer Gardening

There's no question that Florida summers are H-O-T and H-U-M-I-D. While it's not my favorite time of the year to do big projects . . . IT IS necessary for me to keep my garden in check or I'll end up with a jungle to deal with in October. And, every Florida gardener knows what that's like.

And, besides who wants to enjoy these beautiful creatures from inside. I like to spend time among the "wild things" in my garden.

In order to keep up . . . it's absolutely necessary for me to make a "to-do" list. Are you a "list" person? I can honestly say I wouldn't accomplish anything without my lists. 

And, even more importantly, in summer I must break my "to-do" list into small tasks . . . something I can run out and accomplish in 5 to 10 minutes. Tasks that take a bit longer are saved for early mornings or evenings.

This strategy works for me and as I check items off my list I feel a sense of accomplishment and my long list  is not so overwhelming. The best part is . . . things get done!

And, I get to spend most evenings on the front porch enjoying the butterflies before they turn in for the night, the hummers getting their last sip of wine for the day, the birds heading home, the croak of the frogs and the music of the crickets as the sun sets. And, if I hang around a bit longer . . .the sparkle of the lightning bugs as they fly out of the neighboring field.

What's your secret for getting tasks accomplished in the Florida summer?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Foliage Garden

It's been a two year process for this garden bed to come into its own. I call it 'the foliage garden' and yes, there are flowers in my 'foliage garden' ...at least these Jacobina pink flamingo shown below. They add a touch of pink to this area in summer. As you can see it's impossible for me to go totally flowerless, but this area is made up of predominantly foliage textures, shapes and colors of different types.

Lately I've had a fascination with strappy-leaved plants like these two cordylines below. I just love the look of their upright spiky foliage.

The colors in this garden are predominantly burgundy and varying shades of green foliage. I think it gives the garden a very relaxed and calming feeling.

The pink flamingos look pretty against the variegated foliage of the Chinese privet.

 I love looking through the strappy-leaved foliage. This 'red sensation' cordyline has a new pup emerging to the left of it.

There's that new pup alongside the variegated cast-iron...a must-have plant for a shady garden.

Here it is up close. It definitely adds a spark of brightness in the shade.

Leaves of all shapes and pretty colors.

Ferns are another must-have plant in the shade. This soft foliage of this native Florida tree fern...which readily seeds itself in my garden...looks wonderful next to the spiky leaves of red sensation cordyline.

Another softer variety of red cordyline (don't know the name) has a rich deep burgundy color and looks pretty next to the tri-color stromanthe.

The spotted leopard plant was an impulse buy that turned out in my favor. Don't you just love it when that happens? She really loves this shady...somewhat damp area and I love the shape of her leaves and of course, the yellow spots.

And, guess what? She even blooms! 

It's so much fun to play around with different leaf textures and varying shades of foliage...don't you think?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Endings & Beginnings

You put your heart and soul into a garden year afer year...changing it, tweaking it, maintaining it and enjoying it and in return it rewards you with immeasurable pleasure. So, it's not an easy thing to leave a garden behind when the time comes, but the time did come for us and a month ago I bid farewell to my garden of 11 years.

It wasn't an unexpected good-bye, but nonetheless it's never easy to leave it all behind...not knowing how the new owners will change it and which plants will be removed. If I could I would have taken them all with me...or at least more of my favorites. But I did, indeed move several truck loads of potted plants which I'm now in the process of planting them one by one in the new garden. 

And, even though the new garden isn't really "brand new"(as you can see by the photos below)...it's been a work in progress for the past 5 years...it's still in its infancy. It's showing signs of maturing and it's offering me  lots of opportunities for growth. So, even though it's sad to say farewell to my old garden...which I do miss... I am happy to finally be "home" and look forward to tinkering in my new garden for many years ahead. 

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