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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.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Preparing for Spring

Seed packets are so pretty don't you think? Then again I like hardware stores, too. Well, when you can find one. They fascinate me with their shelves and shelves of all that household gear. But it's the outdoor section I seem to gravitate to mostly. Truth be told what I really like about hardware stores is the smell. All that earthiness finding its way up my nose all at once... much like a garden center.

Oh my. Did I ever get off track with that bit about the hardware stores which has nothing to do with this post. Seed packets. Lovely, pretty, heartwarming seed packets.
We're getting ready for spring at Hoe & Shovel and there's gardening plans galore.
My first seed order of the year arrived today. Really, you have to admit it is exciting when after you have placed the order and then the anticipation of receiving them in hand is set in motion... When once they show up in the mail box, it's like getting a present. Albeit one I ordered for myself but it's the same kind of thrill.
Any you know what? Such perfect timing.

Enlarging the Veggie Garden

Today was the day I was having more grass taken out to enlarge the veggie garden. We made room for two more boxes. One long one and one shorter one will be added.
This year it is my goal to blend the veggie garden more into the landscape. Last year, starting with nothing in this side yard, the raised veggie beds were standing alone at one end with only the help of some potted plants to soften the squared edges of the beds. We are curving the perimeter from the start this go round which will eliminate the strict linear look I'm not very fond of seeing.
The new design will enlarge the landscape planting as well as give me more room to plant more vegetables. The pink firespike is already hanging way over the edge of the bed... including the border plants which I'll have to move. The widened bed provides the room it needs to behave in its sprawling manor and also connects the vegetables with the landscape in one fluid sweep.
I'm working on a design to combine more ornamentals with the veggies and veggies among the ornamentals even. I think this will give me more of a feeling of cohesiveness. I don't have it all figured out but we are well on our way to spring around here.
Oh, and my FIRST EVER blueberry plants came this week also.
From everything I've read, they get big pretty fast and are supposedly quite hardy without needing much attention. Sounds good to me. I think I am going to plant these in the back garden right along with the landscape. But, I can't say for sure. I'm still deciding that. I'll need to get them in the ground very soon though. They start producing fruit in April. Well, at least that's the way it's suppose to go. :-)
We've got our work cut out for us around here. We're thanking God for the cool temps to accompany us while getting the heavy projects accomplished.


  1. What fun! I can't wait to see how your blueberries do. LOVE the smell of hardware and feed stores. There is one between our home on Pollywog Creek and just east of Ft. Myers where I like to buy birdseed, but we always find reasons to look at everything else, too.

  2. I'm so happy to hear you are expanding your vegetable garden! We still have awhile until spring comes to Indiana, but in the meantime, I'm starting to get some seeds, too.

  3. Patricia, Oh, YES, feed stores! Love them! And there are a few left where I live due to the rural nature of the area. Barns. I love the smell of horse barns.

    I'm really excited about the blueberries. As usual, on a first time purchase, I'm being conservative... only ordered 3 plants until I get a feel for their size and their productivity.

    Carol, I hope I'm not getting in over my head. To tell you the truth I have had so much fun with the spring and fall garden but each time overcrowding it and feeling like I didn't have enough room. This should help with that AND bring me more variety and harvest.

  4. I love blueberries! Your first year garden still amazes me when I see it. I can certainly understand why you'd want to enlarge it.

  5. how very exciting about your seeds coming in. i haven't ordered any yet but i did save alot out of my garden from this last year and some things i loved from the farmer's market to give them a try. i would just love looking at them too.
    one thing that i love to smell is burlap, oats, and feeds for horses. i vividly remember that wonderful smell of the shed/tack room at grandma and papa's. i used to love to go in there. the leather too! how wonderful!
    i too love the hardware stores are all lined up with individual bins with some unique thing i have never even noticed before.
    your garden beds are looking great. that is the exact shape i pictured around the outside of my pickett fence in the front yard. i really love it.
    it will be so nice to have your own blueberries. we are going to add to our berry bushes these year too.
    i am looking forward to seeing it all in person in a few weeks.

  6. Thanks for making this beautiful page.


  7. Oh my Gosh, this looks like fun. It makes me anxious to get out and doing some planting myself. Ha. That won't happen for some time so keep the inspiration coming.

    I think we have only one bag of blueberries left in the freezer now. I might have to make something good with them soon. Yumm.

  8. Meems,

    Great post!

    I LOVE the pretty seeds packets! I've overtaken our "mail slots" built-in to our message center in the kitchen to sort my seeds! Who needs to keep paper mail anymore anyway? :-)


  9. Meems,
    Getting that grass up is back breaking isn't it? We'll be facing that very soon. Don't wear youself out!--Randy

  10. Meems,

    I do like the design with the very nice exciting to be just a bit away from springtime. We often have spring flowers in February but frosts can be a problem until April!

    I am excited to see how the blueberries work in your sort of garden coach suggested that for me...she said they have great fall color!

    I love old fashioned hardware stores and their delicious smells! When I was a very little kid we lived upstairs from one! Really, it was a great place to live! Urban St Louis! That was way before we moved to Tampa!


  11. Oh my goodness, I too spent most of yesterday getting up grass, that's the worst part of gardening to me. Your area is looking great. If your blueberries do anything like ours you will not be sorry you purchased them!!

  12. You have certainly been busy, Meems! The seed catalogs have been coming in here, but I haven't placed any orders yet. Everything looks so tempting I have to be careful I don't get carried away!

    Your last post was indeed a rest for winter-weary eyes. All those colorful blooms were a welcome relief from the gray and brown (now white) here in the Midwest.

  13. Meems - your seed packets ARE pretty! And I know just how you feel about them -- you want to caress them when they come in the mail! It's that promise of things to come. I love what you are planning with the veggie beds. The idea of combining veggies and landscape plants intrigues me and I think it will look great. Nothing like the beginning of a new project to perk you up in the middle of winter. Good luck and let us see as you progress! PS - I love REAL hardware stores, too.

  14. Robin, I'm going to have to figure out how to keep the birds from eating them I think. Well that is if we actually have any this year... It's all in the fun of trying.

    I remember that quasi tack room with fondness as well, Marmee. So many great memories of hay, cows, horses, gardens, flowers, u-pick, canning, storing, great food and on and on it goes.

    My youngest child's horse equipment and all that leather he carted about was one of my favorite smells.

    Yes, about your picket fence only with a more dramatic curve on the ends and probably some towards the middle... we'll draw it out when you are here. So many plans in my head.

    You are welcome, P. Thanks for the visit.

    I keep reminding myself to hold off, too, Lisa. It is too early to plant but it won't be long. Did you grow blueberries last year?

    I sure hope you're feeling better, Cameron. Mail slots are a great way to organize your seeds. I'm using photo boxes at the moment.

    Back breaking indeed, Randy. After so many years of doing it myself I now hire out for the bigger jobs like this one. I'm saving my back for hauling all the dirt to fill the raised beds.

    I have seen the beautiful color blueberry plants offer, Gail. That is kind of why I am thinking about incorporating them right into the landscape. Still pondering how/where to do it.

    Imagine... living upstairs over a hardware store. It sounds very exciting.

    You know, Darla, I got just a few blueberries to experiment. If they do well they may even produce all I need... it's all so trial and error. But that's how I've learned just about everything I know... so here we go again. I agree digging up sod is one of THE WORST parts of gardening. In clay it must be even worse!

    I'm not so tempted by seed catalogs, Rose, as I am the seed websites... but that's just me. Vegetable seeds are the big temptation but I only have so much room and I'm sure I've over-bought again this season. Not to mention I still have some leftover from last season. Such is the life of a gardener...

    I do love the idea, Diana. But coming up with the plan of how to actually do it is what I'm working on now. It's the whole idea of planting things that will attract beneficial insects to take care of the bad ones, too. I'm trying to learn the best combinations for our area and how they work together. So much of what is written on gardening has little to do with our area.

  15. Your curvy beds are a cool way to fit edibles into your garden, Meems - hope you get some of those blueberries - or at least attract some rare bird that you want to photograph!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  16. Meems, how exciting to have more space to garden. I think your new design will suit you very well. I like curves in the landscape-more natural looking.

    I love the old fashioned looking seed packets no matter what they have in them.(not quite sure why!)

    Don't work too hard!

  17. I'm still harvesting a few fall veggies - well, me and the rabbits - they are loving the broccoli! Now, you've inspired me to look ahead to the spring garden.

  18. Meems, it's exciting to see your garden expansion coming along. I can't wait to see future posts as it progresses and to hear what you think about how it's integrated. And the blueberries - we're planting some this year, too. Good luck. Do they get fall color there, or are they evergreen?

  19. OMG. There isn't going to be any more room to walk from front yard to back yard. Where praytell is the SIDE yard??? I didn't know you were doing this and didn't happen to see it...wowzers. I suppose little one knows all about it. Surprised he didn't tell me! I hope you are happy for the gentle rains today!


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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