Thursday, February 25, 2010

February Favorites

Simply Susan suggested making a post with February Favorites. My favorites are all the reds in my garden which showed up in time for Valentine's Day. I like the idea of having a photo collage each month with what was doing well in my garden. It's a fun way to keep records.

As a new blogger, I have been learning about new tools and interesting things to do for my blog. Sometimes I am not so happy wih the results and other times I'm very happy. I've been making changes to the background, template, font colors, etc. This post allowed me to learn about Picasa and collage making. Learning new blogging techniques helps to take my mind off the fact that we will be having close to freezing temps tonight. YIKES!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beautiful Weather for Plant Shopping & Planting

The Riverview Garden Club held a plant sale where I found plants donated by the Riverview Flower Farm.  What a wonderful surprise that was!  I'm not a member of this group just a happy, happy customer. The Sedum Florida Gold on the right is one of my greatly desired plants for this year's garden.  This is a cold hardy and heat tolerant ground cover for sunny areas.  I've been at my Home Depot garden center just about every other day waiting for their shipment to come.  I couldn't believe my good fortune to find it at this sale.  The Tampa Vervain on the left is a Florida native plant named after my hometown.  How could I resist?
It was a very good weekend at My Garden Path.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weather Permitting

I have been itching to get outside and begin the Spring gardening season.  Weather has not permitted.  In fact, cold, windy days and colder, windier nights have forced me to practice one of the many virtues I lack; patience. 

Birdfeeders were cleaned and filled and patiently watched.  "Shh... NanaK, there's a bird up there."  It would be nice if I could show you the bird, but I was focused on the new cast-iron plants I had just planted around the base of the feeder pole and over here in front of the Cat palm. 

Oh my, I just love the variegation in this one.  I know these will do well in my garden, Simply Susan.    These plants are cold hardy and heat tolerant, perfect to help give my shady corner some interest all year long. 
I am patiently (ha!) watching the weather reports and using this time to clean-up clay pots for future flower plantings and containers for the spring veggies.  I am also patiently planning the right place/right plant  advice given by Meems at Hoe & Shovel.  I want to be sure that her generous contributions to my shade garden will be placed properly.  There really is always something to do in the garden, even when the weather doesn't permit the gardener's first choice. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Next Project Begins

Hopefully, this weekend will bring nice weather for working outside.  I am so eager to get started on the dark, damp, shady area which runs along my back fence. 

The two variegated shefflera I purchased a few weeks ago were planted in the corner flanking a birdbath. This is the drier part of a damp area. I sure hope these bushes will be all right here. I like the way they brighten an otherwise dark corner.

Moving down the fence line, I planted one of the chamaedorea palms.  The other palm ended up directly behind the shefflera in the corner.  I like the corner arrangement, but this whole area confuses me and this weekend I'm hoping to move things around to define the area better.  There are curcuma gingers between the cat palm and the shell ginger which won't show until late spring.  There are some alocasias which also will not appear until later.  They are plants which handle the wet feet but I only see them 6-7 months out of the year.  This is a start, but so far from what I want from this space.  To be continued.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Cold Hardy Planting

Bamboo Multiplex 'fernleaf' was planted against the neighbor's chainlink fence last fall.  This was with the view of giving privacy to the backyard.  The bamboo is cold hardy and made it through the January freeze just fine.  It is a clumping variety that is also referred to as hedge bamboo.  This spring it should thicken up some and by its third year in the ground it should reach its full potential.  This weekend I added to this bed:  1 pineapple guava (feijoa selowiana), 4 loropetalum, and 11 flax lilies that were divided into 35 for a border.

Can you see the little loropetalum with it's pink blooms to the forefront and just behind the flax lily border?  It tends to blend right into the mulch but the hope is that as it gets larger it will contrast nicely against the bright green bamboo.  There are four of them in the bed, two on each side of the pineapple guava.  The pineapple guava is the small bush to the back of the photo almost to the shadowed area. 

Here, you can see the loropetalum better.  It is the little bit of pink you see in the lower right corner.  I hope they grow fast!

A closer view of the pineapple guava.  This should add some interest to the front of this bed.  All of these plants are cold hardy and so should keep the privacy desired all year long.  I like my neighbors very much but there is a road just the other side of their property that anyone travelling on  can see straight through to my yard.  That is too much exposure for me.  I have no further plans for this area.  I'm just going to water, fertilize, weed and watch it grow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stir-Fry Tonight!

While the clean-up continues, I was able to find a bright spot in my garden.  I have a few containers of vegetables that not only made it through the freeze but have seemed very happy all during and after it. 
The carrots (sweet treat) are just babies right now.  Probably another couple of weeks they will be larger.  They only grow to 5" in length so are perfect for the 5 gallon containers in which I grow them.  I have enjoyed the  peas (Oregon sugar pod) several times already, but I now know I need to plant more of these next November.  The peas are easy to succession plant even with the containers.  The only problem with the peas is that I end up eating most of them in the garden before I get them into the kitchen.  This is my first time growing these veggies and I am very happy with my results. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rose Fever

I have been obsessed with finding Old Garden Roses to put in one of my few sunny patches of garden ever since I saw how cold resistant they were during the record freeze we just came through.

Of course, I wasn't able to delay gratification and I bought a Knockout rose while on another errand at my local big box store.  She is blooming and so even though she isn't my original intent, I love her.

My wonderful, thankfully strong husband dug out the 2nd 20+ year old hibiscus for me to make room for one of two Old Garden Roses I've been researching.  Those are his legs at the top right.  That was one big stump to dig!

Saturday, I drove 40 minutes to a rose nursery in south Tampa, Hardin's.  What a great place!  I was given much information on roses and helped to pick just the easy-care one I needed to go with a Louis Philippe for which I AM going to hold out.  This one is not currently blooming but is a nice healthy plant and a good size as well.  This is placed in the now filled-in crater left by the hibiscus.  Still needs companions and mulch, but this is much better already.  Belinda's Dream  She isn't an OGR as she was bred in 1988, but she is an Earthkind(trademark) rose which is especially easy for a beginner.  I hope.  Hardin's sells all their roses on Fortuniana rootstock which makes them well suited for Florida's soil.  Ok, so a week or so ago I decided I wanted 1 OGR to put in this spot.  Now I have 2 other roses and a perfect spot for my Louis Philippe in the future.  I have to stop my rose obsession now because I'm out of room in my only sunny, well draining soil spot.  Can't wait to show pictures of Belinda's bloom!