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!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Winter has finally arrived and even though I'm not fond of really cold days, I don't mind a few chilly weeks. On these days, I really appreciate the sun. As I look out from inside my home, the sunlight has a soft warm glow which is very different from the bright, harsh sunlight of summer. The soft light seems to make everything glow and more enjoyable to look at.

On cold afternoons, you will find me enjoying the garden from a sunny area protected from the wind. The look on Makayla's face expresses exactly how good the sun feels on a cold day.

There was a lot going on in the garden on this beautiful sunny afternoon.

The Cardinals are daring the Carolina Chickadees and Titmice to come to the feeders when they're there.They are a beautiful sight in the garden.

 The woodpecker is hammering away in search of a snack. So glad he posed for me while I snapped a photo. 

This little dove is enjoying the warmth of the sun, too.

More low temperatures are forecasted for this coming Saturday, and  I do hope we can stay above freezing. I would hate to lose my pentas because the butterflies, moths and hummers are enjoying them.

There might be terrible things happening in the world and lots of sadness on the news, but in the garden I get a "peaceful easy feeling!" You might call this my tribute to Glenn Frey who's music also gives me a "peaceful easy feeling."

Monday, January 04, 2016

The State of the Garden

Yes, 2016 is here! Happy New Year wishes to all my fellow gardeners. May your gardens thrive and bloom to your heart's content.

It's that time of year when we reflect on the old and dream about the new. A time to look back at the garden and see how much it's changed. My garden space is still in its infancy at 1 year and 3 months old.

When I first began to plant my tiny garden, I feared I wouldn't have room for all my favorites. I worried that maybe I went too small and that I might miss having a bigger lot.

As usual ~ the worry was for nothing! This postage-stamp sized lot has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Yes, I've had to make tough plant choices and leave out some plants, I would normally have included. In a tiny garden, the space often dictates the type of plant, and sometimes that has been a challenge to find the right plant. My garden space is manageable which has made gardening more enjoyable and after 1 year, the garden has really grown. As you can see, sanding the stone walkway is still on my to-do list.

In the past, I was somewhat - okay, VERY - controlling and somewhat fearful of letting my garden get too out of control, dreading the amount of work it would take to tame the jungle. But in this garden, that fear has gone by the wayside, and I find myself packing in the plants and loving the jungle feel. I've also discovered a new love for large-leafed plants and tropicals. Before I was much more into flowers than I am now. Don't get me wrong I still love my flowers, but I've got a whole new appreciation for foliage. It seems like an oxymoron but I can't get enough big-leafed plants in my small garden. Hhmm, I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about that!!

Revamping my vegetable garden is high on my agenda for the new year. There's only a very small space with limited sunlight in the winter months, so I've taken to planting leafy greens and herbs in with the perennials. I do think they make good companions though. And speaking about companions, there are 3 that accompany me in the garden these days. Tucked in amongst the kale and amaryllis is my big boo - Arthur,

my pretty girl, Makayla (don't you just love those eyes?). She is extremely cross-eyed and has trouble even catching lizards. She LOVES being outside.

This evil looking kitty is Allie. She's really a scaredy cat and a bit psycho! This is an old photo of her when she was only allowed on the screened patio. You can see that she's a plant lover though. Because the 3 of them spend time in the backyard, I've had to move the bird feeders to the front yard. Allie is the only one who shows interest in the birds and I surely don't want her to kill them. I do enjoy having the cats follow me around the yard though.

 We've been lucky to have many butterflies floating throughout the garden this year, and in my sunny spots I plant lots and lots of flowers and host plants to keep them hanging around.  

We've also been graced with the presence of many feathered friends, and I do love to watch them. Lots of squirrels, an occasional snake and a very pesky armadillo also visits frequently.

I've enjoying many of my old favorites . . .

as well as, many new plants I've never planted before such as this Tiger grass (from my  mom) which is now blooming and passion vines. My restricted space has somehow managed to free me from old fears of spreading plants and out of control vines, which are now easy to keep up with. It's funny how the greatest benefits end up being the ones you least expected. 

 Happy Gardening in 2016!!!

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