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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, August 13, 2009

A Gift of Mulch

Before beginning a project it is my usual MO to know the scope of the plan and 'see it' from beginning to end ... at least in my head if not on paper. That habit gives me assurance I can finish whatever I've taken on without too many unforeseen snags. That's the idea anyway. *Grin* to all fellow do-it-yourself-ers!

The sod removal and renovation of the street-side front lawn was finished a few weeks ago. I promised a post with the completed views but honestly, this summer has been a whirl-wind of family activity. The update and post is forthcoming but in the meantime the view above is a sneak peek of part of it. Regular readers will understand and appreciate the caladiums are a must-have insertion to the newly planted area.

When the front lawn renovation began back in July there was an element in that project I didn't have planned out. With the exception of a trial coconut fiber mulch used in the border of the veggie garden this past spring, it has been many, many years since mulch has been purchased for Hoe and Shovel. With an abundance of oak trees here and at #1 son's house (he bags his up for me) all my beds are amply supplied with the wonderful, naturally acidic leaves.

On day 3 of the front lawn renovation, with only two-thirds of the sod dug out, coincidentally several of my neighbors were having some oak trees trimmed. That afternoon the tree service asked us if we would like a truck-load of free mulch. They were overloaded and still had more trees to trim. Great timing for me!
Freshly cut and chipped oak trees. At least 8 cubic yards. The smell alone was divine. It was the answer to 'how in the world was I going to mulch the big bare area I was digging up?' Since I am opposed to using cedar mulch, being gifted with 'green' oak chips was a huge blessing!

Don't worry none of it was placed up next to the house where termites might find it.

There were plenty of other garden visitors that found it right away. Along with two snakes (that I saw- maybe more) a few spiders, roaches (yuck), lizards, and frogs thought they had found a new home in that huge pile on the driveway before I could get it all distributed.

The pungent aroma of freshly cut oak is earthy and intoxicating. The air was literally filled with it for the few weeks it took me to get it all dispersed.
Placing the mulch three inches thick as I completed each section of the front planting was very convenient. [Don't forget to pull the mulch away from the base of the plant to allow for good water retention in newly sited plants.]

Once the front was finished it still took me a couple of weeks, a few wheel barrows at a time, to transfer the remainder of it to the back garden. There were lots of places back there that could use a refresher. There was so much mulch, in fact, that I was able to share some with my sweet neighbor.

Mulch is so necessary here to help with water retention and weed control. It was a timely gift as well as a precious commodity. Every dollar saved meant more for the plants and stones that had to be purchased.

I hope you are enjoying your summer and your August. We have had a blast around here.


  1. How -- that's a big load of were so lucky to score that for your new bed. Can't wait to see it all finished. It's too hot here to do much of anything right now, but I have plans brewing in my head. And I've been thinking of your blog as I try to plan a re-do around the pool area since we have similar climates and plants.

  2. Now that is being in the right place at the right time! Lucky you to get that mulch. That would cost me a small fortune down here. Yep my garden could do with a good mulching. Your front lawn project looks fantastic. I love the calladiums you inserted. It looks like a professional job. Would you like to come down and work on another project? LOL Say hello to Marie.

    hugs to you my friend

  3. It is one big job Meems! Yes of course..caladiums are a most. I was wondering why you don't like cedar mulch? We just had some oak branches trimmed, but alas they hauled it away. I hope to post a picture of the Miss Muffets tomorrow..I am thinking of you and all of your hard work.


  4. You were ceratinly blessed Meems. I wish someone would bless me with a load of mulch.

  5. Tremendous Meems.... Getting that much free oak mulch is totally awesome. Can't wait to see the front yard when it is finished. You have been busy, haven't you???? WOW!!!!!

    And yes---I love your Calcdiums. They are some of the prettiest colors in the garden. Wish I could get them to grow here. They probably would grow--but wouldn't come back next year.

    Check out my blog (yesterday's and today's) if you get a chance. I wrote 'my' story.

  6. I always think of 1 Peter 4:8 when I think of mulch. Like love, it covers a multitude of sins!

  7. You are so lucky to have a "gift" like that. I need to check out what other types of mulch that I can get. For now I had to use cypress mulch but not near the house. I don't need any bugs.
    When I mowed I used the cut grass clippings as mulch. It worked fine & helped the soil by it feeding the soil. As I can no longer mow {hate it} I have to depend on Young'un & he doesn't like to empty the bag. He's not a yard person.
    Left eye surgery coming up on the 17th. The other one is doing fine.
    This being the fact my gardens look awful. Maybe later.

  8. I did wonder about the termites. Do you have any problems with a termite invasion anytime you mulch?
    That's a lot of mulch, by the way. I cant imagine my trying to move even a fraction of that! You must be really fit. Weight-traing Garden-style ? ;)

  9. Once again, you tell a complete and sincere story with images and text better than the pros. I'm telling you, you need to get paid for this wisdom and flare of presentation. Mulch makes the difference between success and failure and the sooner folks learn that the happier they will be. Thank you for stating it so well.

  10. Good gracious that's a lot of mulch! Don't wear yourself out.--Randy

  11. That is a wonderful gift! I just priced having it delivered....the savings will mean even more natives and caladiums for Hoe and Shovel!


  12. Lucky!!!! What a stroke of luck to get all that "free" mulch at just the right time. Mulch is not cheap and you're right, oh so necessary.

  13. I am glad you didn't have to buy any mulch it can get expensive. I can't wait to see pictures of the new front bed.


  14. what a great blessing to get that much mulch and such great timing. you can still say you haven't had to buy mulch for years...i wish that were true here. i am always in need of more mulch. i have never liked cypress mulch either. love the fact your caladiums have already sprouted up in your new patch of garden. i am sure it adds to the enjoyablity of driving up at the house. can't wait to see it in photos.
    happy august dear sis.

  15. Thank you all for stopping by and taking a moment to leave a comment. Mulching a garden is an essential element in succesful gardening in my experience. Sometimes the simplest maintenance techniques can save us so much trouble in the long run. Mulch is one of those must-have elements in the garden.

    It wasn't that difficult to manage all this mulch. I just hauled a few loads each day until it was gone.

    Sunita: I've never seen termites in any mulch I've ever put down.


Have a blessed day,

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