Posts Tagged ‘gardening

11
May
08

Garden Plans

I mentioned a few posts ago that we’re talking about planting a veggie garden in the near future.  Plans are starting to take shape now.  We’re thinking of putting in a small bed right behind our lanai (screened porch for you non-Floridians).  This is a photo of the back of our home.  The lanai is a little over 12′ wide, and the home extends another 4′ out past that.  We’re planning on a 12′ by 8′ bed that sticks out a bit further than the house, which would give us enough space to get a few things growing.  It’s going to be a fair amount of work to dig up the existing lawn, and we hope to run some drip irrigation and tie it into the existing sprinkler system (so I can be a lazy gardner going forward, and also because driplines are more efficient with less water evaporating).  It means a lot of digging, a trip to the hardware store, and some help from my hubby just to get a little patch of dirt ready.  Still not sure we’ll do it just yet… all of that sounds like it would be more pleasant in cooler weather!

 In the meantime, I’m starting some herbs from seeds in pots.  We’ll keep those on the porch in the hottest months and I will make GOOD use of them in our kitchen!  I potted the seeds just a few days ago, on Tuesday, and you can see the basil is already sprouting!  Also, I potted some calabaza seeds (a Latin American squash that’s almost like a cross between a pumpkin and a butternut squash) and they have taken off as well.  If we get the bed ready, they’ll go in the ground as they are one of the few things that can tolerate the coming months.  No chance they’ll grow to size in these little pots! 

 

I’ve ordered all the fabric for Bonnie’s next dress, and I know I still haven’t posted my plans for it.  I will make an effort to do so soon.  I think I’m going to have to photograph my sketches and I don’t know how well that will turn out.  We’ll see.

Alright, that’s all for now.  Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

05
May
08

Wild Thing

Mmmmmmmm.  We picked the first of the wild blackberries from the woods behind our house today.  I was surprised to get as many as we did so early in the season from such a small patch of bramble, but they were juicy, sweet and good!

I’m so inspired by a number of the other blogs I’ve been browsing lately, that we’re talking about starting a vegetable garden in the back yard.  Sadly, inspiration struck about a month too late.  The last of the summer veggies ought to be planted by April at the latest.  Very few vegetable plants can really survive the heat here in July and August, when most things just wilt in the fields.  We may start a small patch with hardy hot weather crops, or wait until September to begin.

I’ll keep you posted.  🙂

26
Apr
08

A walk in the garden

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days.  I’ve been continuing to work on Bonnie’s black and blue dress, and we’re making some good progress.  The foundation is almost finished (I just have to sew in the hook and eye closures in the back, and my hook and eye tape arrived in today’s mail!) and waiting to be sewn into the dress.  Very, very soon I’ll be ready to invite her over for a final fitting to mark the hemline.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining and summer is in full swing.  Never mind that it’s too hot and I’m sweating like crazy, my garden looks beautiful!  I thought I’d share a few photos of the flowers we’ve planted, just for fun.


Our home backs to an undeveloped area of nature preserve, with a wooded area and a small lake past that (which we could, in theory, access, but so far, haven’t).

The edge of that nature preserve is full of blackberry bramble and small wildflowers like the purple one below (only thing I’m going to post for which I don’t know the name).  There are small oak trees and wax myrtles in the foreground and behind that, in the water, are tall bald cypresses.

The blackberries are nearly finished blooming, but the cluster of white flowers above are still fresh and quite lovely!  Most of the bramble is covered now in small green and red unripe berries.  I’ve spotted just one ripe berry so far, tucked down at the base of a vine.

In the front yard, our gardening efforts are more intentional.  In other words, we planted a garden in the front yard, while in the back we just sit back and enjoy the wonderful garden God planted here for us.  We agreed early on that we prefered COLOR and wanted to work mostly with plants that bloom.  Green shrubs are very nice of course, but why not have a green shrub covered in blue flowers, like the Blue Daze here?

Most of what we have planted are brightly blooming perrenials that are fairly drought tolerant and can survive long periods without fertilizer.  I don’t want to spend much time bent over the flower beds working, but I want something pretty to look at nonetheless!

The sidewalk from our driveway up to the front porch is lined with bright yellow lantana, soft blue plumbago, and one gorgeous rose bush we bought on a whim.  (I’ve NEVER done well with roses in the past, but this particular variety is well suited and it’s been a real delight to come home to more blooms with each passing month!)

Eva regularly delights in pulling the clusters of small yellow flowers off the lantana and dropping them haphazardly on the sidewalk.  We try to keep this to a minimum, but for all that it can be really precious when she takes more care in picking a single bloom to give to Mommy or Daddy.

Around and underneath our rose bush, we have a few clusters of phlox that have sprouted up somewhat spontaneously.  We had planted just a couple of these annuals last year, when our garden was dinky and unestablished, to give a bit of instant gratification.  They self seeded and this year we have a hodge podge of colors mixed in and around our other plantings.

Roses.

A close up of the phlox.

The plumbago is doing very nicely this year.  Our lantana fared very poorly in the lone frost we had back in January, and we had to cut back a lot of damaged growth, but the plumbago didn’t miss a beat.  So, while the lantana is playing catch up, we’re enjoying huge clusters of blue flowers from the plumbago.

This is one of my Florida favorites.  It’s remarkably drought and heat tolerant and once it’s established it can survive just about any abuse you throw at it.  Left unchecked, they’ll grow a good 8 feet tall, but they respond well to pruning and can fill in a flower bed or even serve as a hedge.

Eva thinks the plumbago is pretty.

“Look, my blue flower!”




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