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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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

One Year Ago Today

2010 was a bleak winter. Right in the middle of it our well was compromised and we had no choice but to replace it. You can read the low down on that project here if you don't remember it.

A brief recap: The garden was looking pretty desolate after so many days in a row of frosty/freezing temperatures. I took advantage of the very cold weather by having some sod removed (also had to have a tree removed) in three different places around the garden. I had lofty plans for redesigning this part of the back gardens. This area would become known as the circle garden.

One year later exactly.

This winter (2011) has dealt us some hard blows since early December. I'm going to say we've made progress since last year though. Progress is a comforting aspect of gardening.

With several more (in number and varieties) cold hardy plants in place things don't look as barren as last year. What do you think? You probably wouldn't tell me if you thought it looked worse or just as bad. Go ahead. I can take it. Promise.

No question I liked it better in October, too.

The circle garden has become the hub of that side of the back gardens connecting several large planting beds centrally. The ground cover and circular pine straw pathway distinguishing the space. Like spokes from a wheel there are winding pathways (some natural and some with flagstone stepping stones) leading out into the gardens in many directions from the center.

Today I was struck by the fact it had been one whole year since my edible garden was torn up from those heavy trucks plowing through it in order to dig the new well. Back then it was a little overwhelming. I wasn't sure how it would ever recover. I knew it would ... I just felt a little apprehensive about how long it might take.

There have been many hours of toil and lots of plants planted since that time. None of it in vain. Every bit inspiring me on to even more plans and more projects for the coming days. I'll give you a little hint... more lawn is coming out. :-)
Photo journals are great aren't they? If not for them I'd have a hard time remembering that just a few short months ago the garden actually was full of color and vibrancy. It's good to remember. Because I know it will only be a few short weeks and spring will be here and life in the garden will come alive once again.

Happy winter, my friends. Spring is soon to arrive. Meems


  1. Meems - amazing transformation and the photo journal is such a great snapshot in time. With the storm that is pounding down on us "Zone 5" folks up here - I'll be by a lot to enjoy your early spring! --Shyrlene

  2. I think it looks great Meems. It is really filling in fast. I like your big pot as a focal point and the chairs look so inviting.

  3. So much visual interest, it's hard to know where to look first. Time flies, huh? It's been wonderful getting to know you this past year through your lovely garden.

    More grass coming out? Yippppppppppeeeeeeeee!
    Can't wait until I can say that! ;0)

  4. Can't wait to see what you come up with.Don't you just love taking lawn out? Hopefully.spring is close.

  5. I love your transformation and seeing it then and now. Your gardens and all that you do there are always an inspiration to me.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  6. It's so rewarding to document your projects, isn't it? We have done the same thing and it's fun to look at how far our garden has come in just a year. Your garden continues to inspire me, Meems, in all seasons.

    P.S. Love that you plan to remove more turfgrass. As you know, we took all ours out and we do not miss it at all. Now I just have to keep telling myself to be patient for a few years while our new shrubs, trees and groudcovers mature.

  7. I know that you've worked hard, because I know how very horrid it is to remove St. Augustine grass. Did you use a sodcutter? I am often hampered in my bed-creating efforts by the strength required to remove that stuff.

    Yes, your "today" photo looks much better than one year ago. My whole garden looks better as well, especially the areas under the oak tree. Very little cold damage reached under the shade this year. More damage in the full sun areas. I wish I had a whole canopy of oak trees.....

    I removed a bunch of grass about 1 1/2 years ago, and the Asiatic jasmine I put in its place is taking FOREVER to fill in! I had read that it was quick-growing, but that's not been my experience.

    Yes, it is the remembrance of summer that keeps us going. I've nearly forgotten the years when the hibiscus and allamandas bloomed all winter. Oh, how I miss those days!

  8. Your garden shows much more green this year. What a great reward for all your hard work. It will be fun to watch the rest of it wake up this spring. Can't wait to see the grass removal project. I would like to plant out my whole front yard at some point. (Not THIS year.) I'll be watching you;)

  9. Yes, photo journals are indeed a gift. Thanks for reminding me about spring, dear Meems, just what I needed! Tonight we are expecting blizzard conditions - 10-15 inches of snow, maybe more :)

  10. The circle garden is beautiful. Keep digging out the sod, Meems, and making something even better!

  11. Shyrlene,
    It is a monster storm... please be safe and visit when you need a warm up.

    I wish there was some way to move that big and replace it with a firepit in winter. I can remember winters when a firepit outdoors would have sounded crazy in central Florida. Not anymore.

    You make my blogging efforts much more fun. It's been great getting to know you. Yes, in some ways time does fly. I was looking through my files to remember what the garden looked like last January and found that it had been exactly one year since I took photos of the beginnings of the circle garden. A lot has gone on since then...

  12. Gosh, it doesn't seem like its been a year since your big well project took place, and look how your garden has bounced back. It definitely looks like you've made good progress in adding more cold-hardy varieties. These past couple of winters have given us the opportunity to shore up the bones of our gardens, so they don't look so devastated in winter. You've done a great job, and I look forward to seeing your new and upcoming flowerbeds. Pretty soon you'll be rid of all your grass with only pathways through your pretty garden.

  13. Chris,
    Well, I can't say I love being the one to take out the lawn but I do love designing an area so that's what motivates me.

    It IS fun to see before and after photos. I live here and walk in this garden everyday and I NEED to see them to realize the progress sometimes. :-)

    It would really be something to have everything taken out and then redone all at once like you all did it. I guess everything sort of matures at once. It is beautiful regardless and nurturing it to maturity is part of good gardening.

  14. FG,
    It is a "horrid" job for sure. When the circle garden was removed I hired the same guys that took down the drake elm. They used a sod cutter and it was a miracle machine. All other sod has been removed with my own sweat and back power. :-) Well, the first bed taken out my youngest son was still home and he did for me. The sod I'm removing now is just MOI. I admit it is my least favorite gardening activity but the promise of newly planted beds motivates me. My head swirls with plans and designs. This is the best time of year to get it done. Nice and cool.

    I've always heard asiatic jasmine takes a while to fill in and it has always been my experience. I've planted it in three other places ... once it fills in ... it is well worth waiting for. Glad your garden did better this year. It wasn't cold for nearly as many days in a row. That helped us all I think.

  15. Kay,
    It is the front yard I'm working on. I can't take out much more on the south side due to septic drain fields but the other side only has cable wires and phone wires running underneath. :-) It is all coming out. That won't leave very much in the front at all. yay. Can'd remove much more in the back ... have to leave a healthy strip for the kiddos to play.

    Dear Joey,
    It is not going to be a nice snow storm. Glad you cooked up all that food yesterday... to keep your tummy warm at least. Please do be safe. Spring is closer each day.

    Don't you think plants are so much more versatile than that boring ole lawn grass? I have to say I like the calming effect of a nice patch of grass... just don't need it to carpet the entire garden like it used to when we first moved here.

    Can't get rid of the grass in the back... the kiddos need a nice swath of green for baseball, golf, relays we play at family gatherings. Winter is definitely a good time to make an honest assessment of just what kind of structure the garden has. Last year I was surprised by how empty some places became and made the decision to remedy it as I could. Still working on it as it does take time. But that's the fun of gardening... always more to do!

  16. I remember when your well was being replaced and the were a little nervous...

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Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway