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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.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Private Garden Tours and Buffalo Meet-Up

This past May (was that only two months ago?) three beautiful and talented gardeners allowed the Hillsborough County Master Gardeners to take a peek at their splendid handiwork. Visiting their private gardens was a special treat. All three of them (gardeners and gardens) diverse and unique. I applaud them for braving crowds to roam around in every nook and cranny of their gardens after such a long, hard winter. Most Floridians felt like we were just beginning to see some resemblence of our gardens returning in May. These ladies gave us all the grand hospitality we've come to understand is 'just the way' gardeners are ~~ gracious and kind and giving.
First up: S.L.'s Garden

So many points of interest along the pathways of S.L.'s front garden. Lobelia blooming from a container resting in a white wicker chair greeted us at the entrance.

The centerpiece of her garden is the whimsical blue arbor where all brick pathways cross. The lawn has been entirely removed to make way for suitably positioned Florida Friendly and native perennials.

Inviting and pretty resting places tucked in throughout beckon one to come closer and spend a little time to sit and ponder the beauty that surrounds at every turn.

Brick pathways strategically map out routes taking the wanderer through all the nooks and crannies. This one leading to the spanish moss wall she created as a dividing line between the neighbor's. It makes for a great conversation piece.

Unique container gardens interspersed within the shrubs and perennials highlighted some very fun and pretty plants.
Next up: N.B.'s Garden

The second stop was not a too far distance from the first one. N. B.'s was another lawnless yard in front and back. It is defined by brick walls, pathways, arbors, and many artful appointments.

NB has cultivated beautiful roses in a large bank next to the street.

The rest of the front garden has numerous roses of many varieties throughout. All flourishing and bountiful and a feast for the senses.

Smaller gardens are fascinating to me. There was so much correctly fitted in to this space. The water feature perfectly placed offering refreshment with the sound of water in the back gardens.
A comfortable and peaceful gathering of adirondacks and benches surrounded by lush plants in the shady backyard.

Love, love the cooling cobalt blue glazed pottery.

Beautiful combinations of Florida Friendly plantings create a lush, tropical feeling in N. B.'s back gardens.

One of the highlights and my personal favorite vignettes was the mixture of succulents in the birdbath container. N.B. has made the most of every square inch of her garden and what a treat it was to tour it.

Last One: B.E.'s Garden

B. E. is infamous for her masterful use of micro-irrigation through out her Hyde Park garden. Her raised beds were beautiful. And who ever thinks of raised beds as beautiful! They were custom crafted to match her back yard privacy fence.

Orange trees and rosemary next to the swimming pool. So Florida!

A very heart-felt thanks to each of these friends for letting us all scramble through the beauty of your hard work. It was a delight!

When a fellow gardener swings wide the garden gate for visitors to wander through their creations it is a privilege for both the gardener and the visitor. It thrills me to have visitors to Hoe and Shovel giving me a chance to share my love for gardening with an equally appreciative soul. Getting the opportunity to peek into the heart and soul of other gardens is ever so exciting.

This week(end) I'm attending the Buffalo Meet-Up with gardeners and bloggers from all over the U.S. and Canada. We will have the incredible opportunity to walk through numerous gardens. A very special thanks to Liz and Jim for all their hard work putting this together. Their super-duper organization has made the trip very easy so far.

More to come... lots of photos...


  1. Such beautiful gardens! I especially love that wicker chair with the lobelia. I'm sure you're going to see lots of fantastic gardens this weekend, Meems; have a great time in Buffalo!

  2. Thanks for the local garden tour. Nicely done. Nice succulents too. I am looking forward to the Buffa10 images. Have fun.

  3. These are gorgeous gardens. I love that they were brave enough to take out the lawn. I bet it feels like you are on a tropical island.

  4. What a lovely garden tour. I like the Spanish moss wall. I need to do something like that with some Spanish moss that I have. Love the blue arbor too, and the roses and those wonderful raised beds. It was all inspiring, now if we could only have cool weather sooner than later, I could think about doing some work/play in my own gardens.

    Looking forward to seeing the Buffalo pictures too.


  5. Beautiful gardens, thanks for sharing them with us. Have fun!

  6. I love to "see" these photo tours. Your Florida friends have such lovely gardens.

    Have a wonderful time in Buffalo!



  8. Hi Meems. You had me with the chair. Wow! I love it. What beautiful gardens she has.

  9. Hi Meems,
    I'm reading blogs through my blogroll, trying to see how many I can get to in an evening. I'm not getting very far.

    I enjoyed these garden tours, and look forward to seeing Buffalo posts.

  10. Hi Meems, Why do I continue to do this to myself? Every time I come back to your blog I wonder why I've been away so long.

    Gorgeous photos. What a pleasure it must have been to gather inspiration from these lovely gardens. No wonder YOUR garden looks so fabulous!!

  11. How wonderful to peak into gardens as interesting as these three. They are all lovely and offer so many ideas. Thanks for letting us take the tour, too.

  12. What beautiful gardens! Oh I would love to smell all those pretty roses.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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Tropical Pathway