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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 1, 2012

Clean Slate :: Gardening Goals

Few places can boast of the superb weather December brought to Central Florida. It has been delightful to spend as much time outdoors as possible in between the hustle and bustle of holiday activities. Truly. Where else can you still watch the butterflies fluttering about while grilling your dinner and then eating on the back lanai in shorts and flip-flops? It's a wonderful place to be in the wintertime!

And on top of that it's a New Year! Happy New Year by the way. Why don't we think about some New Year's goals together. Oh, not the personal kind. Those are so tiresome. I'm kidding about that. You go ahead. Reasonable personal goals are a must also.

I'm thinking about goals for the garden. Not just goals but ways to acheive them. I kind of like to think of the new year as a clean slate. A blank canvas. Empty pages waiting for adventures to be journaled.

Let's think of the garden as a brand new OPPORTUNITY this year! Let's look at it with our glass-half-full smiley faces on. It's our own place to make things happen. No matter the size of it. It is our chance to grow a million-bazillion plants we love. Okay. Maybe not that many but you get the idea.

Look around. Which plants do you love that are suitable for your climate? I'm guessing you can find a place for them in your own garden.

Here are a few goals to get us started.

1. When I make plans for creating any new areas for planting I'm going to think more about building the soil first before I plant the plants. If we take the time to add purchased soil or amend our own dirt with compost, leaf mold, peat moss, and other organic materials we will improve the soil to hold nutrients and feed the roots for better growth. Training our plants to become more drought tolerant means less water is necessary after they are established.

2. Choose plants that are suitable for my climate. If you garden in Florida you have so many options. We can pick from a long list of Florida-Friendly plants as well as many fabulous natives that are well-suited for the home garden. Combining them together will create an attractive blend that is pleasing to the eye and the environment.

3. Create more and fuss less. No question it takes time and energy to design and maintain any garden ~~ large or small. A less fussy garden has a more naturalistic appeal. Choose shrubs that don't need constant pruning like Walter's Viburnum. Or allow your blue plumbago to sprawl rather than shear it evenly (keeping in mind it will need plenty of room when initially planted). I'm learning better all the time how to let each garden area look more natural by 'not' keeping everything so orderly. The definition of orderly likely varies from gardener to gardener. My definition is to let each group of like-plants have their own space while blending in with its neighbors but not 'invading' its neighbors.

By making it your goal to accomplish # 1 & #2 you can have more plants and larger areas without so much tedious maintenance. This really matters if you have other things to do besides spending all day in the garden several times a week. Me? I would spend all day, every day if I could, because I love it that much. Then there's life. It just isn't possible (or realistic) to give all my attention to the garden. So I'm finding more ways to create what I love without being a slave to it.

Your turn.

I'd love for you to share a gardening goal and how you will achieve it this year. Exchanging ideas helps all of us! Meems

**Click on any photo for captions and details.


  1. Happy New Year dear Meems ~ I am excited about the gardens this year. I want to stress less and enjoy more. Our winter weather and gardens do much to inspire me, the summer heat and humidity drain me.

    Thank you so much for your blog filled with info and fantastic photos on gardening.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. I am hoping for a new year with less extremes here weather wise. And we can always find more room for more plants, funny that way. LOL!
    It is a chance to start off with a clean slate and all the hope of a wonderful year for everyone and in the garden too.
    Have a wonderful year Meems.

  3. Meems: Happy New Year! It is so true, no matter how small or large the garden is, it REALLY takes lots of time and energe to maintain and keep it beautiful. My New Year goal is to find more foundation plants and put them in the right location. I want the garden always have some sort of flowers/or colored foliage to look nice any time of the year, and the leave some pockets for me to switch the annual flowers to create the season variations.

    BTW, I have the last piece of grass to remove within the fence, I am designing it in my mind, and it will be my next garden project for the new year :)

    Thank you so much for your continuous informational posts, and the great inspiration to me!

  4. HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR CINDY! Always enjoy your gardening blog so much. I have been thinking for some time now about creating a raised bed in my garden. I would like to use flagstones and plant annuals within this future raised bed. Will keep you posted! Looking forward to your upcoming talk on Caladiums 1/11.

    Sherry Louer

  5. Happy New Year.
    Since we are just beginning on most of our gardening.. I don't even know where to start on goals..
    But your blog post has given me some ideas..
    This year we will finish landscaping the front of the house and than work on the front yard..

    Stay warm over the next few days.

  6. Lovely display Meems.

    I plan to amend the soil this year and work on DESIGN, even if I need to pay for someone to do it for me.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.
    Looking forward to seeing how your garden evolves even further.

  7. Happy New Year Meems. I am not ready to think so much about what to do in the garden yet. It is just too cold. It will come to me. When it does I will share such thoughts. Cheers. Lisa

  8. Wishing you a very Happy New Year and it looks like the new year has already begun brilliantly in your part of the world. Here it's summertime and after a short stroll around mid-morning I'm off inside. That's the sum effort put into the garden today! Too hot and far too sticky!

    I'm hoping this new year doesn't bring the weather extremes we experienced last year, and so far that's been the case. I'm looking forward to the arrival of our autumn now when I can begin spending far more time in the garden. My plans this year are to really work on the courtyard garden and the new rock garden area.

  9. Happy New Year Meems! I have some goals for the back of the house. Can't really say "garden" when I don't have one, can I? ;-P

    We have this humongous water tank at the back (for when water supply was a problem) that I used to hide with thunbergia. Then the thunbergia became more monstrous than the water tank itself so I took that out late last year. I'm hoping to improve the whole area this year.

  10. Nice blog!! Gotta love gardening in FL!! :)

    ~Organic Momma


Have a blessed day,

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