Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happiness Farms Spreads Much Happiness

One morning, a little over a month ago, a very interesting box appeared at my door.

Oh look!  It's from Happiness Farms.  It must be the order I placed using the gift certificate I won from the drawing held by Central Florida Gardener.

I love the warning on the box.  I don't think "keep  from cold"  will be a problem.

My church has a school for grades K-12 associated with it.  Both church and school share the same campus which means some of the open areas are quite well-worn from the foot traffic of exuberant youngsters.  

In an effort to spruce things up a bit, I planted the caladium bulbs I got from Happiness Farms beneath the ligustrum hedges.  There they add lots of color  to the area without being in danger of being trampled underfoot. (I'm still considering just what to do with these old ligustrums.  Maybe trimming them into trees...)

Even the downspouts look better with these colorful leaves.  The area is not irrigated (other than by me and my trusty hose) so using the rain is an important component of success.

I went with the mixed colors because I was able to get more bulbs for the money that way.  I think it turned out to be a good decision.  I can't pick a favorite though.  These leaves are just beginning to unfurl, in fact, some are just beginning to poke their way through the soil.  The best is yet to come.  

It's really amazing what large, colorful leaves, some mulch, mowing and weeding can do to transform a spot that was not very inviting into a place with potential.  There's already talk of putting some picnic benches in this area for the school children to use on nice days.

These caladiums have drawn a lot of attention to this area and show how just a little care can make a big difference in the overall appearance of our church property. Different groups within the church and school have been inspired to adopt areas all over the campus to care for and landscape.  

Thanks Happiness Farms and Central Florida Gardener for giving me the material I needed to have so much fun and share so much beauty.


  1. I totally agree that Caladium's colorful leaves really can bright up any corner, and give the old boring area a instant face lift. Good choice of selecting the mixed package, they look great together!

  2. Kay,
    I also won a certificate from Central Florida Gardener blog. I was so excited when the UPS man delivered. When I ordered all of the mixes were out of stock so I ordered John Peed red with green border). It was really difficult to make a decision. Now I have tons of caladiums as accents in my various flower beds. They love our hot, wet weather.

  3. What a great idea for getting the most for your gift certificate. The mixes are always fun ... just to see what emerges from the ground. Good thoughts on limbing up the ligustrums into trees; it will give them an immediate perking up I think you'll be please with. Your church area looks so nice and bright with the added color of caladiums.

  4. Great idea! And it looks great,too!

  5. You have a wonderful mix of caladiums. That was a wonderful prize and they look lovely in their new home.


  6. Well, you certainly found a good use for your winnings! You are quite generous. Yes, those colorful leaves are brightening up the campus. Hmmm....I wonder if I know that school....

  7. Looking good, Kay! I was just getting ready to do an update on my CFG blog on the winners of the certificates. Do you mind if I snitch a couple of your photos for the post and then include a link to this blog post?

    Glad the bulbs came in handy.

  8. Ami - It's only a beginning, but I think the caladiums really do make a difference in perking things up a bit. I'm glad you like my choice of the mixed colors. I was a little worried about that but I think it did turn out well.

    SiestaSister - How neat that you won too! I bet all those new caladiums are adding a lot of color to your garden. I love them. I have a lot of them in my garden at home as well. They fill in all the bare spots all summer and on into October usually. After that I miss them. But, when spring warms things up again, they're back!

    Meems - Oh good, I'm glad you think limbing up the ligustrum will be good. They are planted at all the corners so I think that will be perfect to do with them and as they grow taller they may offer a bit more shade for the picnic benches.

    ChrisC - Thanks for your vote of approval. I'm working on a shoestring in this area so I love getting free plants. These made an immediate impact and I'm so happy to have them.

    FlowerLady - I think the mix came up "mixed-up" well. I was a little concerned how it would end up because I didn't know what color I was planting.

    Floridagirl - This is part of the sunny, weedy area I was given to spruce up this past spring. The sago palm is doing well now thanks to old coffee grounds! Thanks for the tips. (Providence Baptist)

    Susan - Of course you may snitch pictures. I am so happy to have been able to use the bulbs in this area as it really has been ugly but it is now on its way to beautiful.

  9. Oh, yes, I do know that school. : )


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