Hoe & Shovel - a view to west side of underplantings in one of the back garden planting beds- this one progresses from the back wall with a meandering stone path throughout. It is planted out with split leaf philodendron, snow bush, plumbago, draceana (many varying types), variegated schefflera, stromanthe, crotons, xanadu, holly fern, marble leaf, impatiens (planted and self seeded), mexican petunia, palmettos, variegated liriope, new guinea impatiens, blood leaf, caladiums, polka dot plant, bromeliads, philipine violet, ivy, geranium, and several others not visible in this photograph.
It seems it is the gardener's privilege to dream big and plan large during the slow months of winter. Even though we don't have much in the way of dormancy down here in the tropics of Florida and we garden all year long, still our winters make us long for the lushness of spring.
It is one thing to embark on gardening projects full of enthusiasm and soaring excitement. It is an entirely different thing to bring our projects to completion with success and then further to maintain them.
When life in the garden seems slow it is easy to think big. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?
We want to enlarge our beds, multiply our plants, order new varieties, plant more seeds, build new spaces ... oh, the ideas are endless. Much like indoor designing of space and beauty, I have found that outdoor designing starts with one project and leads to quite a few more projects. All of which are beautiful, exciting and even useful to my gardens... nonetheless... in the end equals out to ... more projects.
Hoe & Shovel back gardens- a view of one 'patch' of zinnia seed sown in March.
Time marches on into the midst of spring with blooms and plant life faithfully resurrecting the visions we love in our gardens. As the beds seemingly fill out and bloom overnight the demand for time to nurture what we've created gets greater.
Hoe & Shovel back gardens- a tighter view of same 'patch' as above of zinnia seed sown in March.
All of a sudden just when we thought all the projects were coming to a close, the dead heading, the trimming, the hand-watering (all those flowers require lots of water), the harvest in the vegetable garden, and even replacement of already spent annuals left over from winter and on it goes and in some cases the cycle starts all over.
A view of a couple of the zinnias from "the patch" in all their glorious detail.
The zinnia seed sown in March was a mix of colors and variety from American Meadows. I sowed zinnia seed in three different locations. Not knowing how they would turn out as this was my first experience with them, my only regret is that I didn't sow more. They are currently making me a happy gardener. LOL
Gardening on any level requires a certain dedication and comittment. A passionate gardener doesn't mind at all planning our schedules around making sure we fit the gardening time into our day. As a matter of fact, we'd much rather be gardening all day on any given day. It would really be ideal in my opinion if I could put all the rest of 'life' on hold from February through May. Alas, life in general does have other requirements.
Whether we have the necessary time our garden requires, our garden continues producing and flourishing with its best efforts to complete what the gardener began. At Hoe & Shovel the demands have increased due to the gardeners' increased design ideas (read: more beds, more flowers, more bulbs, more plants). Have you noticed that once started, the garden can't be put on hold for the other demands of life?
We are already at high temps during the day - 70's at night and practically no rain for weeks. Due to watering restrictions (only once a week with our in-ground irrigation systems) my biggest challenge right now is dragging the watering hoses around to keep all my blooms and newly established roots properly irrigated.
A view across from one bed to further beds - back garden- SW corner.
I love every minute of being in my garden. Some weeks/days (like this week for instance) I want to ask my garden to wait for me. I feel the need to explain that I can't get to everything I'd like to that day-- that there are other things in life that also demand my attention. If only I could stop the sun from being so hot for a day then all my little darlings wouldn't be so thirsty while I tend to the other aspects of life.
Only I think I hear my garden gently reminding me, it is only performing just like I've asked it to. Every plant growing taller, fuller and wider, every bud blooming out its petals and array of colors right on schedule, every leaf unfurling with the rythmn of time, every vegetable ready to harvest as if it is counting the predicted reaping days for me... just like I expect... just like I envisioned in the days when the garden was sparse.
I hear it reminding me it won't wait for me, because its compelled to do what it was created to do. It promises to keep producing diligently to display more beauty and peaceful vistas a gardener's heart can only imagine in the planning stages.