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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, April 11, 2011

Sneak Peek at Front Lawn Removal Project

Favorite extra-large adirondack chairs with loads of character (read::deteriorating) have been the seating focus in the circle garden since its creation barely over a year ago. Prior to that their comfortable bottoms rested on the pool deck for many years. A gift from my mom originally they have given us their best years and even now except for just a bit of rot on a couple of slats they remain sturdy making them worthy of a place in the garden. We've found a new home for them. They have been moved to add a cozy feel and warmth to the newly carved out pathway around the front gardens. (To give you better perspective: approximatley 10 feet behind the chairs is my neighbor's driveway and front yard). You may remember the front lawn renovation project from the summer of 2009 when the perimeter St. Augustine turf was removed and replaced with shrubs and ground covers. Since then I've been antsy to take out the rest of the lawn as designs for replacing it swirl in my head and urge me into action.

The timing was finally right this spring. It is not the easiest job in the garden (understatement). I've been working on it in bits and pieces since February. It is 99.9% completed... except for a few tweaks. All the area you see in front of the chairs was grass.

So this is the sneak peek. Lots more photos and explanation to follow. Meanwhile back in the circle garden we couldn't go without seating. As you probably know the circle garden serves as the hub of the back gardens. Trails lead away from the circle like spokes to the wildflower garden, the tropical pathway, the perennial gardens, and the shade garden.

For the first time I've strayed away from my primary choice of unstained cedar for the new seating. The natural graying process as cedar weathers is supremely appealing to me and it complements the naturalistic setting of my garden. For a switcheroo I chose black painted cedar adirondacks to pair with the blue-glazed containers I'm also fond of. If you let your eye move to the right in the circle (and of the chairs) there are more blue-glazed containers to cool your view on a humid summer day. Oh, yeah, it's not summer yet. But it surely feels like it out there.

Happy gardening, friends. I'm off to finish up some tweaking, and pruning, and edible garden attention, and mulching and watering ...

Keep smiling, Meems


  1. Oh, love your blue blazed containers! I have two that are very similar to the ones that have red star in, and I happened also planed "red star" in them! Those two black painted cedar adirondacks look very classic and stylish in that area. Looking forward to seeing the finish look of your front garden!

    P.S. Thanks for the generous offer of the spiderwort in the previous post' comment. I will email you :)

  2. You are a busy lady! I hate lawn removal....I with you in spirit. I love the black and blue first thought was, hey that looks like black and blue salvia....

  3. I love both of your seating areas, the blue containers do give a sense of coolness to the garden. Your garden has such great variety!

  4. These chairs look sooo inviting. It is good you can position those chairs to face away from your neighbors. I can't wait to see more.

  5. Both areas are lovely and inviting. I look forward to seeing more pictures. Love those blue planters.


  6. I am soooo envious! More than anything I would love to get rid of the lawn. Only one significant other, who rarely even walks on the grass insists that we need to have a lawn. I have increased the size of a couple of flower beds on the sly.

    ♥ the blue glazed pots and the newly painted chairs.

  7. At first you have changed the cirle area that I love so much by removing those chairs, but it is all OK ;) You did a great job - I just love those black chairs with the blue pots. we recently added a tiny trickling water feature, and it is amazing how calm and cool that makes you feel. If it is too far from electricity you could even have a little battery operated one.

  8. Oh, if you knew how envious I am that you can remove your sod. I would gladly assist just to experience the feeling of exhilaration it would bring! Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through you and your transformations.
    (HOA resister)

  9. The new chairs look great with those beautiful blue pots in the circle garden. Adding seating to your front area is a nice idea. I really like the urn with the ivy. Goes well with the natural wood chairs.

    Your plants are looking so full. I so want that for my shade garden!

  10. Oh your garden is so lovely, i feel like just sitting there have a booka and a cup of coffee. I love also those blue Ipomoea near the blue big ceramics. But here any wooden material will be consumed by termites which starts upon your putting it there on the ground!

  11. Love,love,love it! Isn't it great not having grass to take care of? This year I can relate to lawn renovation.It is ALOT of work! And love the new chairs,too.They look great.

  12. Ami,
    Ah, we're thinking alike. :-) Classic and stylish I LIKE...I'm getting used to seeing the black chairs. The black and blue together is easy on the eye blended with my 'green' garden.

    I know what you mean ... everytime I remove it I say I'll never do it again. Hard work. But SO worth it when it's done. My black and blue salvia is looking so tall and healthy this spring. It is in the perimeter of the edible garden. The hummers LOVE it.

    The seating areas are a nice focal point and actually a great place to just 'be' in the garden. Thank you... good to see you.

    We've the fortune to have great neighbors close by. Still, I'm with you... I like the chairs facing toward my own garden.

  13. FlowerLady,
    Wouldn't it be fun to sit together and share some garden stories! You could bring DH along and I could have him build a few things for me while we chat. :-) *hugs*

    Smart idea to gradually claim for of the lawn by way of subtly enlarging beds. Mr. Meems was a tad leary about my idea but he remembered he always likes what I create so he trusted it would be pleasing. He's very pleased with the way it turned out. We still have plenty of lawn in the back even though I've elimated a great portion of it.

    African Aussie,
    Oh, I bet that is wonderful to hear the peaceful sound of trickling water. My water feature is the inground pool. HA. That's a joke on me. A true water feature is the missing factor in my back garden (well, that AND the pergola(s) I want). I know exactly what I want but I'll have to hire someone to do it and lay out the $$$ for it. Someday...

    I guess there are advantages to living in a small, DATED neighborhood. Although sometimes I wish for an HOA ... not for ME but some of the things folks decide to do in the driveways and yards. It's never a perfect scenario either way. Responsibility on each homeowners part would be nice. One of these days you're going to be on your own big piece of land in the country and you can do exactly what you wish.I look forward to the day with you.

    Thanks, Kay, I moved the planter from the front walkway. It seemed to fit there nicely. I was thinking that placing chairs in the new area gave the niche in the pathway a 'destination' and structure. YOUR shade garden is coming along VERY nicely.

    You are right about a book and a cup of coffee. It is a peaceful place to rest. Termites are a proble here,too. A good reason to choose cedar as it resists termites and bugs of all sorts.

    I know you can relate... YOU have been feverishly busy in your garden this winter/spring and it looks great. I can't say I've been able to enjoy NOT taking care of grass yet. Once I get all my planting beds complete I intend to find out what it is like. I've begun to wonder if I'll ever get to the point in my garden of just weeding, deadheading, tending what I already have... too many new projects going all the time. :-)

  14. Meems, The new area is lovely and the chairs are perfect. Love the black painted cedar adirondacks. They are a great compliment to the cobalt blue pots. Black is a fantastic color for the garden! gail

  15. Hi Meems...I like your choice of black for the chairs...very classy, and it won't show mildew either. Looking forward to seeing your latest project.

  16. Hi, Meems. Try painting your old Adirondack chairs with Termite Prufe (a borax solution) and then again 24 hours later. It holds back the rot and is environmentally safe. (I learned this as a reporter from, supposedly, the world's leading authority on the uses of borax.) I've been repainting my potting bench every few years, and there's certainly no rot.

    One day, I will visit your garden and you will likely find that I just want to move in. :-D

    -- Penny

  17. This is so inspiring! I love the black of the chair and the bright blue against all the black. I may have to steal that color scheme idea!!

  18. Oops, I meant to say the black and blue against the green of the garden! :)

  19. I love taking out more lawn. It opens up the garden to so many wonderful changes!! Bravo to you!!

  20. Gail,
    Black seems to me both bold and subtle... if that's possible. I'm liking the change.

    The downside is going to be bird droppings ~~ they tend to sit on the top of the chairs as a stopping point to the nearby feeder. :-)

    Great tip! Very good to know. I'm holding you to the visit.

    Be my guest and copy... I'm quite certain the combination of blue and black was not invented by me. :-)

    Gradually it has been eliminated entirely in the front... a great deal in the back. It has been so fun creating alternatives!

  21. Wow, Meems! It's obvious much thought and planning go into everything you do. As someone who knows firsthand the sheer manual labor required to remove grass, I applaud your determination. I have never regretted the loss of a single blade of St. Augustine in our yard. We LOVE our grass-free landscape of groundcovers, shrubs and trees. SO much more interesting and rewarding. I wish we had done it years earlier than we did. You continue to inspire me and so many others!

  22. Meems, I'm looking forward to the progression. And I LOVE the blue containers in your seating area! It seems, in my yard, grass primarily grows where I don't want it. Nature of the beast, I guess!

  23. Thanks for sharing that sneak peek. The garden looks really great.

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Have a blessed day,

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