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Garden Diary - March 16, 2019 - My Nearly Free Front Yard Bed

It's a nice, cool, cloudy day here in Gainesville, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to work on the newer front bed up by the fence. I'd stuck a few things up there, but it really was just trashy looking, no form, rhyme or reason. I couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it until I lucked up on a bounty of free bromeliad pups in the trash pile at the community garden.


First, I planted a few more things on the back row.

  • A couple of brugmansia seedlings and a Suaveolens grown from a limb on the original plant that was in the way of the sidewalk
  • A clump each of yellow/orange short cannas and the taller dark-leaved Canna indicas.
  • Elephant ear bulbs I got from the community garden pile.
  • Some morning glory seeds and 4-o'clock seeds along the fence.





Next, I planted a row of bromeliad pups in front of the taller plants. Then, I dug a trench and stood up the edging boards that had just been lying there all winter.

Last but not least, I pulled out some of the overgrown oyster plants that were encroaching on the front walk and put them at the very front. The boards will protect them until they get established and fill in a bit, then I'll remove the boards and create a neat edge there.



The large side bed was going to be full of annuals this year, but I think that may have to wait. My plan for that is to bring the oyster plant border around in a curving border and move the butterfly garden in there, but that's a little bit more to bite off than I want to chew right now, so I'll just plant a few things in there this year, and work on finishing it up in the fall/winter.

Too Many Plants

I'm starting to sell and give away some of my plants, because I just have to many. I have a lot that need to be planted out somewhere, and a few I have no idea what I'm going to do with. I want to completely empty the courtyard and start completely over in there, but that may not happen until fall/winter, although I will do some clearing out in there before it gets too hot.

Right now, I have two fig trees, an olive tree I was given by my friend at the community garden, and rooting mulberry tree cuttings, none of which I know where I'm going to plant, because I don't have enough sun for most of them.

Ah, well. Right now I'm going to take a shower and think about all of that later.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Diary: Feb. 23, 2019 OVERWHELMED!



The warm weather has come too soon, and I lost out on the cool weather I needed to get the beds ready for planting. I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish all that I had planned, because I simply can't work in the heat. Once it gets past 75 F, I have to go inside. 

So many "have to do this before I can do that" things are holding me back. I wanted to do the courtyard first, but I need to sell or give away

Garden Diary Feb. 1, 2019: Drastic Pruning Has Begun


I couldn't wait any more, so I went and whacked  back the Christmas cassia (Cassia bicapsularis) and the Cranberry hibiscus (H. acetosella). I was going to do the confederate rose too, but I want to root some of those cuttings to sell, so I need to wait a bit for those.

Maintaining Your Childlike Sense of Wonder



I frequent one particular gardening forum, and I hesitate to post at times, because I realize some of my posts are sort of silly to serious gardeners. I post about getting excited over cuttings rooting or seeds shooting up, but I am so in awe of nature that I just get excited about the tiniest things.

My grandmother was my gardening guru, and she taught me to never take anything for granted, and always be thankful for what nature gave

Garden Diary: January 21, 2019 Impatiently Waiting for Last Chance of Frost

I don't really like very cold, freezing weather, which is why I moved to Florida. I moved from SW Florida to North Florida because I missed the seasons. I wanted a short winter where things actually died back and went dormant, but it seems I may have to go a bit further north for that.

It's hard to tell what's going to happen to the weather nowadays. Last year, we had two hard freezes in January that killed back a lot of plants. I was  hoping for one this year,

Garden Diary: January 1, 2019: Drastic Changes in the Gardens in the New Year


2019 is a year of out with the old, in with the new for me. I started this garden with the hopes of growing food, but that didn't work out well at all. There is absolutely no full sun, so most of what I tried to grow either did nothing or very little. Plus, there is a distinct lack of pollinators, so even the things I managed to get to grow didn't produce anything. So I've had to rethink what I have and what I want.

Giving Up On Growing Most Veggies

My sweet potato patch produced only one twisted little potato that looks like a turnip, and two babies that grew from the vines growing into the

Month-by-Month in North Florida: What to Plant in January



January is one of the coldest months in North Florida, but it's a great month for starting veggies for your spring garden. Put your potatoes in the ground this month, and start some tomatoes from seed or clone some from your existing plants for spring planting. You can also brighten up your landscape with the cute smiling faces of pansies or add a graceful camellia to your flowering shrubs. As the days get longer and winter is upon us, gardening is still going strong in our part of the state.

Month-by-Month in North Florida: What to Plant in December


Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule or whatever you celebrate this holiday season. No, you can't plant poinsettias in North Florida this month, but what would December be without them?

Garden Diary - November 18, 2018: Starting Over From Scratch

Cranberry Hibiscus in Bloom
As those of you who have been reading this blog since I moved to this apartment know, my gardens here are an ongoing experiment. At first, I planted anything I could get cheap or free or grow from seed, but as seems to

Garden Diary: September 30, 2018 - A Garden Out of Control and How to Tame It

Peacock Gingers and Wandering Jew under the Hibiscus
This was the first year I used fertilizer on my gardens, and I wish I hadn't. I was committed to growing organically, but things didn't seem to be growing quickly enough, so I said "why not?" and applied some mild, timed-release bloom

Garden Diary: September 24, 2018 - Yard Crew Weed Killer Disaster, and a Sign of Hope



My beautiful hibiscus, which was killed back to the ground by the freeze this past January, has finally put out its first bloom. What a beautiful site after the disaster I have been faced with since last Wednesday.

The yard crew for my apartment complex, which is an outside contractor, has not been doing its job this summer. I was patient, because of all the rain, but

Garden Diary - September 2, 2018 - Potting, Repotting and Cleaning




The sun comes up later now , but the mornings are staying cooler longer,
which allows me to get much more done. Yesterday, I had an orgy of transplanting rooted cuttings and repotting potbound plants.

Month-by-Month in North Florida: What to Plant in September

Beautiful calla lilies are wonderful container plants for spring blooms.

September is the main planting month for fall/winter crops in North Florida, so get out your shovels and get to work! All the cole crops can be planted this month, and you still have time to plant bush/pole beans and winter/summer squash although this is the last month to do so. This is also your first month to plant lettuces.

Mid-September is the time to start planting strawberries, in fact,

Garden Diary: August 2, 2018

South Facing Garden

I know I should keep up with this blog better, but there is just so much gardening to do, and work, and housekeeping -- there never seems to be time to get in here and give updates.

As you can see in the picture above, the rain has caused the gardens to go berserk. I always have a plan, then that plan always goes to hell

Month-by-Month in North Florida: What to Plant in August (UPDATED for 2018)



The main garden season has finally arrived in Florida, and here in the northern part of the state, we are already planting our winter crops. Since we have a shorter growing season than Central or South Florida, we plant a lot of our cole crops and leafy greens in August. Yes, I know, it seems it would be too hot, but somehow they survive until it starts cooling a bit in September.