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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 31, 2010

Manpower and Machinery

When freeze damage occurs the experts advise home gardeners to wait until after the chance of anymore frosts passes before we cut back the dead and brittle plant material. In my area that date is right around February 25. We all know this gardener will never wait that long to cut shrubs and plants back.

I never have waited that long in past years and this year will not be the exception. That understood... I am really trying to hold off until at least second week of February.

Just in case.

Okay. So I've trimmed back a few things in the garden. But only a few. I really have to keep stopping myself to stick with my goal.

Fortunately the very long to-do list of garden projects is assisting me towards the patience needed when otherwise I would be chomping at the bit to clean up the dead and wasted plants right away.

A good (and fairly safe) starting place, however, was my patio container plants. This week they were all cleaned up with the same approach we use for a planting bed. Trim out the damage and cut back the perennials.

A couple of containers were replaced with some new chocolate glazed pottery. I poked around in the garden to dig up some plants to transfer to them. The chartruese colored bromeliads and sedum should be happy with lots of sunshine and low water usage. We're aiming for simpler times with the container arrangements.

The need to prune looms with certainty but, truthfully, there are so many things to keep me distracted from it until the recommended date.

Long before the well drilling began there were some winter/spring projects in my 2010 gardening visions.

With the extraordinary mess that was made of the yard and the veggie garden, as a result of drilling the water-well, it was decided that it was time to bring in some reinforcement.

This week I feel like I'm getting a grasp on a good plan and timeline for restoration.

Some hired muscles and machinery were in order.

The service we use to repair our irrigation system from time to time was hired to fix/relocate some of the sprinklers damaged from the big trucks doing there off-road thing in my lawn.

Even though I've not hired them to do landscaping before now they are a landscaping business as well as irrigation specialists.

Removing More Turf for Plants

Digging up the grass on the north side of the back lawn for a new planting bed is one of the projects I already had slated for January.

The well drilling started the process by default.

It was much easier (the alternative is me doing the digging) to pay these young fellows to finish the job.

And then there is more lawn that needs to be removed. Oh, the power of machinery versus my back!!! I'm a liberated girl.

Speaking of manpower! My best little man had the time of his life with mallet in hand and muscles pounding away. He helped me measure and drive stakes in the ground this week for another renovation project in the back gardens. Hammering stakes in the ground with a mallet makes for some hard sleep during afternoon naptime, too. I'll be setting up hammering stations just for the fun of it from now on. :-)

Stay tuned as we progress. It's going to take some time.

The hired hands will be back to help me get the veggie garden whipped back into shape.

We've loads left to do... but the inspiration to enjoy the journey is urging me along once again now that I can see my way clear to the end result.


  1. Hi Meems~~ I must say your berm with its fresh, dark soil just waiting for plants makes my gardening juices start to bubble. What fun you're going to have with this area.

    Like you, I have to remember to not jump the gun on deciding what's dead and what isn't. I need patience and I need it now. :)

  2. Meems girl you are on your way.....hired hands are very useful when there is so much to do and you become overwhelmed when you have to do it yourself. I know the feeling when you would like things to get done so you can start your planting. Take care my friend, hired hands can become very addictive if they work out well. LOL

  3. Well I bit the bullet and pruned some stuff back this past's to waiting and seeing. Love all of your helpers, hired or not...I just wonder what creative thing you will do to this new area.........

  4. Glad you got some help! Your garden will be gorgeous again in no time.

    Have a great Monday!

  5. Oh yeah if I hired help there would be all sorts of things happening around here...after the thaw that is.

  6. You are showing great restraint in not pruning everything just yet. Your new containers are very pretty. I'm definitely going to use your hammer w/ the mallet for a good naptime technique. My little helpers are a lot more help when they are sleeping. :) BTW I told you those feijoa were in 1 gallon containers, but they are in 3 gallons. A better deal.

  7. 2010 is going to be great year for Hoe and Shovel followers. I look forward to your progress posts and beautiful images. My Evergreen Giant and palmettos look good too. Most everything else :-(
    My 20 year old Indica azaleas are popping nicely and should be in full bloom in 10 days with the expected rain and seasonable weather. The camellias are peaking now too. We spent the last 2 weekends with saws, loppers and shears taking everything down to green wood and sprouting shoots. If we do get a late frost, covering will be easy compared to last months futile efforts.

  8. Meems, You are so smart to hire help!
    It saves time, energy and our backs! I so wish I had a handsome little guy to help in the garden~and now moms and grandmothers all over blogasphere are going to be using hammering stations to help their little ones sleep better!


  9. Oh, you are so VERY smart to bring in some help for the big and not so fun jobs. It looks like you're on your way. I, too, have started cleaning up by dividing some plants, moving others around and slowly starting to trim back some dead stuff. The grass is greening up quickly with the rain, and that makes me happy! p.s. love those chocolate glazed pots - good choice!

  10. I should confess -I started pruning, although there could be snowing in march. I agree with Grace - that new bed looks oh so attractive!And your patio plants look so fresh and healthy.

  11. Be patient! It will pay off with losing less of the plant to front damage! At east that's what they say.

  12. I have been thinking about you Meems and wondering how you were doing. Looks like you have a good handle on the yard --and all that needs to be done. Glad you have some help--and can see the light WAY at the end of the tunnel...

    Glad you are plugging along ---for I'm sure that it will once again be your special garden that you so love.

  13. oh meems so glad you let someone help you...the job was a looming one. with help like that you can save your back for the more important stuff like planting and harvesting.
    i think it is smart to plant near the new well but not all the way around as to leave clear for any other repairs.
    leaving stuff up all winter is a bit hard but it provides the much needed cover for so many insects and other good creatures for your garden. spring is just around the corner especially for you in the deep south. you will have plenty to do then as well.
    happy february.

  14. your mallet helper and the new chocolate pots!

  15. Grace,
    I've shoveled two yards of dirt on that pile since my helpers left. Believe me, I want to start planting, too. I've got big visions for all that yummy dirt. Preparing the foundation is what I'm working on right now and with so many projects going at once it is a challenge to stay focused.

    YOU are my inspiration for hired help. Too much to do all at once. I usually plan everything out in sections of time... this well drilling thing put a big kink in the plans. :-) But I'm grateful for the new well... don't get me wrong. Learning to adjust.*hugs*

    I definitely like working with my wee helper best. He makes me laugh. Worked on the new area alllll day yesterday in the drizzling rain without any helpers :-).

    Well, it will be at least June or July before it even begins to feel like it even resembles back to normal. But what is normal anymore?

    I've not ventured this way before but it sure is nice to have extra backs and muscles doing twice the work.

    As much as we love having them get their hands dirty with us...there is nothing like those toddlers being fast asleep after a hard day in the garden. Sweetest sight this side of heaven.

    Why is it the experts never do themselves what they advise others to do! If we get a late frost I'm not covering anything. I think that's what I said before this one... and gradually... there I was... covering like a maniac. It didn't do much good.

    My little fellow was fixated on those pvc stakes being easily hammered into the soil. Good thing we don't have clay... I think that might constitute child abuse. :-)I finally had to give him his own station where he could hammer away and it didn't matter to me how far he drove them into the ground. Great exercise.

    It is a good idea to hire help for some of these bigger projects that have come all at once. Getting them here when I need them is proving to be a challenge. Working around my schedule and theirs is what makes me turn to doing it myself in an ordinary situation. This is turning out to be interesting.

    Thank you. Cleaning up the patio containers cheers me up as I look out the windows. Beyond it looks dreary and wintery. I hope you haven't jumped the gun on your trimming. :-)

    "They" are probably right in the event we do have another frosty night or two. I've got lots of other projects keeping my hands busy for now. Patience. Patience.

    I've got my list(s)and a good plan! I can see the light and I know eventually it will all get caught up! Little by little and with lots of persistence. Isn't that what all of life requires anyway! Thanks for your well wishes and your sweet thoughts.

    All good words of wisdom from you, my dear. I have to believe there will be so much good that comes from these lessons in life. Not to mention the good that comes from giving the plants a rest. Lord knows they don't have it often here in Florida. There is much demand placed on them to perform all year long. :-) Hugs to you... glad you are home safely.

  16. Big things are happening in your garden, dear Meems! Glad you had help with the heavy work. I see the little guy is especially helpful. Hammering stations are a great idea! :)
    That newly worked soil does look inviting!
    I'll garden vicariously through you while we wait to get back into the dirt here in the frozen north!
    We both just need a little patience :)


Have a blessed day,

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