Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Clean Slate :: Gardening Goals
Few places can boast of the superb weather December brought to Central Florida. It has been delightful to spend as much time outdoors as possible in between the hustle and bustle of holiday activities. Truly. Where else can you still watch the butterflies fluttering about while grilling your dinner and then eating on the back lanai in shorts and flip-flops? It's a wonderful place to be in the wintertime!
And on top of that it's a New Year! Happy New Year by the way. Why don't we think about some New Year's goals together. Oh, not the personal kind. Those are so tiresome. I'm kidding about that. You go ahead. Reasonable personal goals are a must also.
I'm thinking about goals for the garden. Not just goals but ways to acheive them. I kind of like to think of the new year as a clean slate. A blank canvas. Empty pages waiting for adventures to be journaled.
Let's think of the garden as a brand new OPPORTUNITY this year! Let's look at it with our glass-half-full smiley faces on. It's our own place to make things happen. No matter the size of it. It is our chance to grow a million-bazillion plants we love. Okay. Maybe not that many but you get the idea.
Look around. Which plants do you love that are suitable for your climate? I'm guessing you can find a place for them in your own garden.
Here are a few goals to get us started.
1. When I make plans for creating any new areas for planting I'm going to think more about building the soil first before I plant the plants. If we take the time to add purchased soil or amend our own dirt with compost, leaf mold, peat moss, and other organic materials we will improve the soil to hold nutrients and feed the roots for better growth. Training our plants to become more drought tolerant means less water is necessary after they are established.
2. Choose plants that are suitable for my climate. If you garden in Florida you have so many options. We can pick from a long list of Florida-Friendly plants as well as many fabulous natives that are well-suited for the home garden. Combining them together will create an attractive blend that is pleasing to the eye and the environment.
3. Create more and fuss less. No question it takes time and energy to design and maintain any garden ~~ large or small. A less fussy garden has a more naturalistic appeal. Choose shrubs that don't need constant pruning like Walter's Viburnum. Or allow your blue plumbago to sprawl rather than shear it evenly (keeping in mind it will need plenty of room when initially planted). I'm learning better all the time how to let each garden area look more natural by 'not' keeping everything so orderly. The definition of orderly likely varies from gardener to gardener. My definition is to let each group of like-plants have their own space while blending in with its neighbors but not 'invading' its neighbors.
By making it your goal to accomplish # 1 & #2 you can have more plants and larger areas without so much tedious maintenance. This really matters if you have other things to do besides spending all day in the garden several times a week. Me? I would spend all day, every day if I could, because I love it that much. Then there's life. It just isn't possible (or realistic) to give all my attention to the garden. So I'm finding more ways to create what I love without being a slave to it.
I'd love for you to share a gardening goal and how you will achieve it this year. Exchanging ideas helps all of us! Meems
**Click on any photo for captions and details.