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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Friday, August 17, 2007

hotter than hades

my plan this morning was to spruce up the front walkway flower bed by trimming and thinning out the rhapis palms or lady palms as they are referred to sometimes. this easily grown palm multiplies quite efficiently by trailing underground from the mother plant and rooting up to make new ones. they can be left bushy and full or (as i prefer) kept trimmed exposing the trunks and leaving the fronds to bush out only at the top. their height and thin trunks give a sort of wispy and tropical feel.

this was one of those days when i started working in my yard early and didn't quit until late ---and it was way beyond my intended stop time. have i mentioned lately how hot and humid and unsuitable for garden projects it is? :-) it's interesting how once i get going and i AM hot , sweaty and dirty ( don't mean to be gross) that the heat of august is not as intimidating as it seemed prior to getting started. no question it was ridiculously hot but there is something about having a determined purpose that moves me onward.

the before photo

things were looking a bit like a jungle. there is no convenient way of getting to the palms because there are other plants in front of them and the bed is bordered by railroad ties (i know - i think they are atrocious- they are on my wish list to replace). i approached the job starting at one end, clearing the path and trimming as i forged through it. eventually i made it past them to some overgrown bromeliads, impatiens, and resurrection fern.

a surprise along the way--- whenever i dig around in my yard or get under brush it is likely i will find an old stray tennis ball from when the kids were little. i smile to remember how they used the garage door to practice their forehands and backhands... or the multitude of baseball games using a tennis ball --played in the backyard.

about the time i got past the palms and spotted the tennis ball i remembered there used to be some exposed large stones right about where the tennis ball lay. the stones were for diverting the rain run-off at the joint of the roof. somehow those stones were not even visible anymore due to the overgrown bromeliads and the leaves and dirt that had made their way piled on top.

i set about to clear out the resurrection fern and with a steel rake pulled back some deliciously rich soil teeming with earthworms from the compost that was brewing on top of the rocks.
oh --there they are. i moved the bromeliads to the wall and put some in another bed- they are very easily transplanted. then i dug up some of that great soil and spread it at the base of the other plants in the bed to share the wealth nutrients.

i would not have guessed there was this much debris that needed to be trimmed out of this bed-- this is only half way through my mess.

i followed my own advice today and moved some container pots around for emphasis. these were formerly in a bed in the backyard and now they have a new home on the front walkway to brighten things up there a bit during this hardly-anything-blooming-august-month.

the after photos

from each angle

reassigned containers placed strategically and lady palms nice and neat.

a view from the other side of the driveway. this is the look i prefer ---the tall, spindly trunks of the palms can be seen and your eye looks through them to the beds on the other side. mind you, they also need ground cover at the base due to their spindliness- i used liriope here.
tomorrow i will start early again but mostly regular lawn maintenance -
tonight i will sleep very well.


  1. (I liked your post title.) Oh. My. Gosh. You are probably hopped up on Motrin right now and fast asleep, but GOOD GOLLY you worked hard today! Tennis on the garage door...ah, memories.

  2. I can't believe you were out there working in this heat! I'd be so happy to just sit in the Gulf all day.

    Your yard is incredible! Makes me want to get out there and do stuff myownself. But I reckon I'll wait at least till the thermometer drops below 100.

    Take care of yourself out there!
    Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

  3. And think, I sat in an office all day yesterday! As far as the railroad ties, where I come from, they only have two uses...the railroad and the yard. My younger brother used them to build a "deck" (and I use that term extremely loosely) in his back yard.

    Anyway, that was definitely some hard work, but at least you have something to enjoy now that it is done...and I bet you slept very, very well!

  4. We never played tennis at our house, but before my parents bought me a basketball goal, I had a four shingles that were the "basket"! Ahhhh...memories.

  5. mlm: i got the post title from someone else who says that all the time. :-)

    sophie: i don't recommend working in this heat... chances for cooler weather are getting closer each passing day of august.

    jane: shingles for a goal is quite resourceful.

  6. While by no means cool, the last two mornings in Tally have had a noticeable drop in the scorching heat. Yesterday at near 11 in the morning my truck thermometer only read 81, and the humidity didn't seem nearly as sticky. We may just make it through these dog days afterall. I did the yard in the afternoon just after noon and it was hot, very hot, but when I stepped into the shade I cooled off a lot quicker than I have been lately outside.

    Liked the post and the pics as usual. That type of work seems to be the least fun of keeping up a beautiful landscape, but it must be done. One thing is for sure it sure feels satisfying when it is over and everything looks well manicured.

  7. I am surprised you didn't have a new 'snake story' to go in this blog. Don't they like to hide in thick underbrush? I like the before & after photos - it looks so much better. You seem to have quite a few plantings that reproduce themselves, which must cut down on the expense of adding new varieties all the time. Kind of like living in a jungle, of sorts, where you only need keep a pathway to where you want to go. Have you ever figured out your hourly wage as a landscaper? Your hubby would be impressed, I am sure.

  8. Who says "hotter than hades"? I tend to say "hot as Mexico." :o)

  9. You are very brave; the heat of August in Florida does not give much time for gardening. I limit myself to 7 to 9 am in the morning or after 6pm. Your garden looks great

  10. nt: saturday i spent another 5 hours outside and it was actually pleasant until about 11:30. there was a breeze and thankfully my shade helps keep the temps down a bit. i quit at 1:30 and cooled off in the pool. the dog days are almost over and we will have some relief-- now if we could just get some consistent rain...

    sg: i was on the lookout for snakes- did some poking around prior to entry. only had to re-position a couple of those big ugly rain frogs so they wouldn't jump on me. re: reproducing plants... it has only been the last couple of years that i've been doing this. i think i was too impatient prior to that- now it is a fun challenge to experiment with what works and it definitely cuts down on expense.

    mlm: hmmm- i did think it was you... maybe you used to say it a lot.

    rusty: you are right- the mornings are best! i don't usually do this in august either- it was one of those days--just got started and didn't stop.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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Tropical Pathway