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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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Run Down

It’s been several weeks of pre-spring chores around Hoe and Shovel making the best use of the cooler temps to get as much accomplished in the garden as possible.

My gardening days have included dividing daylilies, agapanthus, liriope, african iris, spathiphyllum, amaryllis and fountain grass, too. These varieties are easily transplanted to new homes immediately which gives me instant reward & satisfaction while making the most of what is already available in my garden.

Agapanthus in 2007
Other plants like draceana, variegated schefflera, snow bush, and mexican petunia I've placed in pots waiting for them to root which will make transplanting them a more sure success. Although I have to admit, I do take the tops out of the schefflera and dracaena and literally poke them into another bed (or even a container arrangement) at times. As long as I keep them well watered, they will establish just fine using that method.
Daylilies from Hoe & Shovel 2004 Garden

Some of the plants I put in the ground in October I’ve moved to more suitable spots. There’s been trimming of trees, pruning perennials, vines & shrubs, lawn fertilization and seeds sown.

I’ve planted some vegetables for the very first time. I'll give the details of these in a later post.

Speaking of firsts…This is the way it’s gone so far this year.
I’m working to incorporate several native plants into my landscape this year. It is taking me some time to get it figured out...Loads of research and some not so easy to find. I’m mixing them in with my tropicals mostly.

American Beauty Bush- Photo taken by Meems at a local National Park
So far I’ve planted:
American Beauty Berry
Blue Porterweed
Scarlet Milkweed
Fire Bush
Fire Spike

Fire Bush at Hoe & Shovel- not to be confused with Fire Spike

2) Not necessarily natives but I've also planted:

Brunfelsia or Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (shown above)

and another Princess Flower shrub (shown above).

Every year for many years I’ve ordered caladium bulbs online or by phone… pre-internet days. Typically I place my order for approximately 500 of them in February and have them delivered in May. That’s done for 2008.

3) Another first for me… I’ve ordered some bulbs and bare root plants online.

Here’s the list of what I’m waiting for the postman to deliver: (all photos used below from American

Louisiana Iris- Bareroot plants

Olive Bailey Daylilies- Bareroot plants

Cardinal Flower- Bareroot Plant

Belladonna lily or Naked Ladies– bulbs
Crocosmia Lucifer- bulbs
Triteleia Mix or Pretty Face- Bulbs
I have my beds ready for where I want to plant these... all plants I’ve never grown (with the exception of other types of daylily) so it will be interesting to see how they fare in my garden.


  1. Girl you have your work cut out for you. It will all be worth it. I love all of those colors.

    My naked ladies are already sending up their greenery. I just love them. They look so delicate and they are such a tough plant.

  2. You've been going to town! It will all be worth it this summer when you are enjoying your tropical paradise.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. I have a weakness for blue flowers. I'll be looking forward to seeing your new acquisitions growing in your garden!

  4. You've made some great choices for this year. I have some daylilies and can't wait to see them bloom if they do! I've eyed the purple beauty berries. I totally forgot to get some seeds this year but maybe next year.

  5. lisa: I need tough plants. It's encouraging to know yours are showing signs of life. They are a summer bloomer here (according to the seller) so hopefully mine will catch up in time to bloom.

    carol: I'll be in maintenance mode come June and you will be happily toiling away in your summer garden. :-)

    lintys: We don't have a wide variety of blue flower choices down here. I'm excited about the new blue hues I've ordered.

    Vanilla: I'm hoping I put those beauty berries where they get enough sun... sometimes you just have to wait and see. They can always be moved next year if not.Here's to hoping your DL bloom for you.

  6. Hope you're having fun :)I can't wait to get out to the gardens and start my dividing and transpanting.

    Right now I have to put on snowshoes so I can do the first spring chores. It's time to go out to the woods and tap Maple trees.

  7. You're getting so much done. Beauty berry is on my wish list.

  8. Hummingbirds go crazy over cardinal flowers because the apical tips continue to grow and flower daily.

  9. 500 bulbs! I just about swooned just thinking about all that planting! LOL!

    We have a beautyberry at the bottom of our back steps that keeps coming back strong every year, no matter how much winter abuse it takes.

    The blue Lily of the Nile - Agapanthus - is one of my very favourites. Hummers love them, as well.

  10. Yummy, Yummy, lovely plant choices. Good for you for mixing some natives into the garden--that's the way I prefer to do things too, unlike some of the purists who are duking it out on other websites. You can plant NOW< too, of course, where I have still weeks and weeks to go...maybe by late April I'll get something into the outside ground. (the greenhouse is earlier, of course, by a couple weeks).

  11. Wiseacre: Snow shoes to garden is an interesting picture. No one can fault you for not being eager!... AND dedicated.

    Robin: I couldn't find Beautyberry in my area... I picked mine up at a native plant nursery when we were in Captiva.

    Di: Thanks for visiting Hoe and Shovel and thanks for the help with Cardinal and Crocosmia today.

    jodi: hmmmm... I'm not sure what that means... purist duking it out but in Florida native plants mean less water and care so I am all for it.

    Soon you will be gardening again and I'll get to see all your yummy colors, too... can't wait.

  12. The Beautybush and Fire Bush are stunning. I enjoyed seeing pictures of the various plants you are starting. I love Cardinal flowers and Belladonna lilies ... it's always fun coming here to see plants growing that I just dream about!

  13. Oh, I almost forgot. Crocosmia is another favourite. Have you grown it before? If you like dividing, you'll love it. 8-]

  14. Kate: Thanks and I'm glad you like the choices I've made for adding to my garden this spring. It will be fun to see how I do with these varieties that are new to me.

    Sophie: No, actually all six of the variety I ordered are new to me. I am both excited and little apprehensive about how they will fare... but I can't know if I don't go for it. :-)


Have a blessed day,

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