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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.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Graces the Garden

The common buckeye has come to visit. It's the first time for this visitor and it's been hanging around here a lot lately. Always happy to welcome new critters to the fold at Hoe and Shovel.

... Sweet and delicate lavender blossoms of Heirloom Seeds, Rattlesnake Pole Bean. They're growing right along side the Kentucky Wonder variety with white blooms.
...Flowers at the feet of the staked, trailing pole beans.

Herbs spilling over their home in the shallow 24" bowl.

It's been a beautiful week weatherwise here in sunny Florida. The breezes under the shady oaks refreshing me, speaking peace to my soul, as I toil about in the wonders of spring graces.
I've been contemplating what to do about the volunteer tomato plants that have wiggled their way up through the green beans, the squash, and even the stepping stones. What a nice surprise for me.
As I've observed their determination and hardy attitude, I just decided to stake them and prune them even though they are already bushing out into the walkways.
I'm learning so much as I go along on this journey that is a vegetable garden. And it really is so much about trial and error. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in cultivating vegetables. If they make it and produce I'm the better for it. If they end up being too crowded or misplaced and they don't make it, oh well. I've lost nothing really. These were volunteers after all with fortitude to seed themselves. I'm secretly hoping one of them is Black Cherry.

The simplistic beauty of a single vegetable picked fresh ... grouped
together with the rest of the harvest for a delicious dinner accompaniment.

Another shallow bowl of mixed flowers keeping company with the lettuce, carrots, and onion family next to it.

In a nearby perennial bed the Illustro Taro are waking up and pushing their way out of winter's sleepy soil.

... as are the caladium bulbs... this one Miss Muffet.
Spring is fully underway for us and so many of you. These are the days when every available hour is to be used diligently making the most of the time before the summer heat.
I hope you are letting spring energize and revive your soul as you enjoy the graces of your very own gardens.


  1. Dear meems, A beautiful post...the words and photos flow and speak to us of garden goodness. If we could all cultivate this philosophy about gardening and life! ..."I'm learning so much as I go along on this journey that is a vegetable garden. And it really is so much about trial and error. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in cultivating vegetables. If they make it and produce I'm the better for it. If they end up being too crowded or misplaced and they don't make it, oh well. I've lost nothing really." It's so much about just trying and doing....not being perfect! Gail

  2. Gosh you have summer squash already. My mouth is watering. Your garden looks so lovely. It gives me hope that my garden will soon be looking nice again.

  3. I too, am enjoying the fruits of your labors through your beautiful photography!

  4. Wow, what a pro blog. I almost feel embarrassed that you visited my site. Kinda like when someone you know who is really neat, creative and organized drops by to visit you at your house and the kids left half of their peanut butter & jelly sandwich on the table 3 hours ago and the dogs have torn apart a stuffed animal and you haven't cleaned it up yet..........yeah that's how I feel. lol!

  5. Meems,
    Your eightball squash is beautiful. We will plant our pattypan seeds this weekend.

  6. Oh Meems, What a great post. I love that butterfly.. Beautiful!!!! And the fresh veggies made my mouth water.. I love yellow squash... YUM!!!!


  7. Gail,
    Always and forever my heart is open to learn as much as possible...

    Doesn't the garden take us by surprise every single spring... once the warmth comes there is no stopping the growth.

    Hello new friend. You've surprised me with a sweet comment and so happy you did.

    No. It isn't so. I was so happy to find you... another Florida blog... and a conservative, too. Your garden is fantastic.

    And soon your garden will be feeding you for dinner as well.

    Can I tell you I fixed a wonderful fresh stir fry tonight... straight from the garden mmmm-mmmm yummy good.

  8. Meems you have inspired me to restart my veg garden. So am looking around to find the best spot to do so even though the dry season has started. So a cool partially shady spot is the answer. Those baby squash look delicioso just perfect for a stir fry. Good thing you don't have pests like monkeys, I worry about them as they are visiting more frequently now looking for food. (one came into the house a few weeks ago, I posted about that too). Well your garden is truly an inspiration to others. The buckeye has probably found some of its larval food in your garden, verbena, verbain, or vervain and I have even seen them on antigua heath

  9. Helen,
    Yay, a new fellow veggie gardener! I made stir fry last night but I also chop up all the squash and put them in my salads- raw of course.

    I did read about the monkey in your laundry room- wow - at least my peacock visitors stay outside- so far! :-)

    That's the thing about the buckeye- usually it is in the fields by the side of the road that I see buckeyes and have even pulled over for a good photo. I don't really have any hosts for them but I think my next door neighbor might- he has let a small area go to weeds and there are some beautiful weeds in that bed.:-)

  10. Beautiful post as usual. Your gardens are so AWAKE! It was 90 degrees here yesterday!!

  11. Great pictures! Sometimes I wished I lived in a warmer climate just because you can grow some amazing plants year round! Nice work!

  12. Hi Meems, gorgeous post! Spring is the most hopeful of seasons~
    thank you for your storytelling....
    PS, can you email me off-line today? Dee Nash (Red Dirt Ramblings) suggested I call you for a garden trends consulting project I'm working on and I want to give you the background thx,
    Debra Prinzing,

  13. dear meems, i love seeing your veggie is as sensational as the rest of what you do. so lush and full of life...something about learning, harvesting, smelling, feeling, photographing, eating all those delicious goodies...seems like nothing can beat it.

  14. Meems - thank you for my early morning tonic, the colours, words, everything just perfect - we've got Florida weather on the way today - I'll pretend I'm picking vegetables in your garden while I continue to clear out the dead leaves.....

  15. That is my favorite butterfly, that little flash of blue is just amazing.

    Beautiful stuff, as always!

  16. I to am enjoying the glorioso of spring. The past two weeks, blueberries are abundant and the birds and I are racing to see who gets them first. Thanks Meems for your gardening inspiration.


  17. Everything looks beautiful as usual. My Caladiums started to poke out of the ground last week. I thought they had rotted in the ground over the winter, guess I am in a hurry.


  18. You have such a lush garden! I have found that my volunteer tomato plants are usually cherry or grape tomatoes. I also had a yellow plum tomato, that I think was an heirloom kind reseed.

    It sounds like you are having fun on the beach! I like your photos of that, too.

    (My word verification is :lapheads". That's kind of funny.)

  19. Hi Meems, Love your site! I'm a brand new FL gardener too - Im guessing that round green squash is called an eight ball from the posts - I have one of those too but dont know when to pick it - then again Im not really sure what type of squash it is anymore. Do they turn yellow? Thanks for any advice - love your pics. Absolutely beautiful.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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Tropical Pathway