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, March 27, 2015

Beautiful Sunny Days

The weather this past week was perfect - sunny and warm with a little rain tossed in.  I noticed that the Anole lizards were out in full force soaking up all the warmth. You hardly see any of them scampering around in the winter, but come sunny, warm days and they quickly reappear.

I personally like seeing them peering at me over the top of the patio wall or scurrying in front of me to get out of the way. 

My kitties (Zoe pictured here) love watching them, too! Fortunately, they're indoor cats but every once in awhile a misguided lizard ends up inside, and then they all have a field day going after the tiny little dinosaur. My daughter and I have rescued many a lizard by tossing a dish towel over it and scooping it up, but occasionally the cats win and the lizard becomes a tasty treat.

My dwarf Mulberry tree is loving the warm weather, too. With a new flush of spring green leaves in place, it didn't waste any time producing a crop of dwarf-sized fruit. Luckily, I've been able to get to the ripe ones before the birds. We had Mulberry trees in our neighborhood when I was a kid and our purple-stained mouths and fingers made it easy to see what we had been up to.

My little kitchen garden is happy to receive a little more sunshine these days. Swiss chard, broccoli, green peppers, green onions, basil, and a container of red potatoes are happily humming along. 

Everything looks so much more cheerful under the glow of a sunny day!

Monday, March 23, 2015

March Blooms

As I listen to the soft pitter patter of rain drops through the open window, I'm thankful for the much needed rainfall we're getting today. The grass was just starting to green up and now with the rain it's looking even better. After several bouts of brown patch (Zoysia grass is all new to me), I wasn't sure what it was going to look like come spring. But, not to worry, it is looking good.

On one of my many strolls through the garden this past Saturday I made an exciting discovery!  I always check the Milkweed for caterpillars, and today there they were . . . feasting away to their heart's content. Look at those two little guys just munching away!

Couldn't help but take one last photograph of my little Pygmy Fringe tree as its flower tassels are quickly being replaced by new leaves. It's such a delicate little blossom with a barely detectable scent!

 Just around the bend, the Nun's Orchid is rapidly opening her buds. She is in a container and gets center billing right smack in the middle of the shady garden pathway for now. Her flowers look like beautiful butterflies fluttering in the wind. The wind sure is hard on her foliage though!

Hope you're getting some of the raindrops from Heaven today!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ma Petit Jardin

Gardening is without a doubt essential to my well-being. I love everything about it - except weeds, of course! But, my most favorite part is the design process. Dreaming about the possibilities of a blank space can literally keep me awake at night.

I seek out lots of inspiration from magazines and Pinterest, then research plants and finally come up with an idea - which surprisingly looks nothing like my inspiration photos. Funny how that happens! Then it's non-stop planting and replanting until the look "feels right." My new "petite space" has been the biggest challenge yet, but progress is being made. 

Pathways are in but not fully completed yet. Sitting areas were established first. There are 4 benches in this tiny jewel of a yard with plans for a fifth one. One bench can be seen in the photo above, as well as the cheery red bench (below) which is a "house warming" or should I say "garden warming" gift from my mother and sister. 

Currently I'm working on the 10' narrow side yard where I will definitely be going vertical. But joyfully, I have been able to work in three small trees, as well as ferns and bromeliads in this mostly shady area. 

As I sit on my back patio and look out over my tiny expanse of a garden, I'm totally delighted with this cozy little space. It is definitely more than I ever thought it could be ~ ~  andI'm just getting started! 

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