Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grassless Wishes

I already dislike grass in the landscape . . . then the lawn mower decided to quit working with flowering weeds looming in the midst of a sparse lawn.  That was it for me . . . no more grass . . . it is history!

The more landscape design research I do, the more I am loving large winding paths, raised beds and structures in the garden.

We have been thinking about different landscape designs for the front yard and my thinking is that a circular driveway nestled in between a cactus rock garden is the current winner.  It may take a while to get to this project, but the grass is definitely history.  The good news is that we have tons of cactus that the cold winters didn't kill from my days of massive propagation with hopes of a nursery business.

With a huge property as a blank canvas, half the fun is planning the landscape.  Unlike the last landscape design for our paradise, the new design must be as low-maintenance as possible.  My 24/7 gardening days are over . . . I want to enjoy, not work myself to death in the garden.

Click here to go to an article that addresses Low-Maintenance Alternatives to Lawns.

Something that I caught on one of the home and garden cable channels was artificial turf . . . I have not researched pricing, but I'm sure it carries a high price.  It is a consideration for small areas where a little patch of grass would be attractive.  I'll report my findings when I get to it . . .

How about you?  Do you love or hate lawns?

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Landscaped borders

The older I get, the more I like landscaped borders with large paved living areas as opposed to huge planted areas.  This idea works great for large yards with way too much maintenance.  It also accommodates those gardeners like me who are not fond of grass or spending way too much time mowing the lawn.

These photos come from DIY Network's website, where you can get all kinds of inspiration and instructions for your outdoor projects.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Floors for outdoors

Love these pavers!

Stephen Orr’s Tomorrow’s Garden (Rodale, $25) showcases the
 latest trends in sustainable gardens from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. 

Click here for his ecofriendly picks for outdoor flooring.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Plants for Butterfly Gardening

My red pentas were the main attraction for butterflies in my old garden . . . and my favorite butterfly gardening plant.  

They profusely flower and look gorgeous in a mass planting.  Pentas will once again play a huge part in our future garden landscape.

Here is some information on the plant from Florida Friendly Plants:

"Pentas lanceolata is the most popular Florida Friendly perennial. It blooms continuously and is one of the best Butterfly attractors. The tall varieties should be pruned several times a year to shorten and strengthen their structure. Soil enriched with 50% organic matter (compost, leaf mold, cow manure, peat) supports beneficial bacteria and microbes that combat microscopic nematodes, a pest that can cause the eventual decline of Pentas. Pentas is adaptable to full sun and partial shade and repeating several groupings across the length of your garden alternating with another tough and colorful plant like Variegated Flax Lily adds harmony, texture and formal appeal to a design."

Interested in learning more about butterfly gardening?

Click here to go to the butterfly gardening page on my website.

Click here to go to Florida Friendly Plants website's page on their
Top 10 butterfly plants.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

April Gardening Notes

~ What to do in April ~
a suggested list of notes for Florida gardeners

Remove winter damaged plant portions.

Look for shoots from near the ground line of severely damaged plants.

Leaves are a source of free mulch or compost for the gardens.

Give all poinsettias a spring trimming.

Now is the time to add new plants to the landscape.

Maintain 2- to 3-inch mulch layers around trees and shrubs;
 one inch in flower beds.

Use slow release fertilizers that can feed landscape plants for months.

Feed palms with special fertilizers made for these plantings
 every 3 to 4 months.

Complete pruning of overgrown plants.

Prune spring flowering trees and shrubs after the blossoms fade.

Inspect older trees and trim as needed before the hurricane season begins.

Water new plantings as needed to keep the soil moist.

Divide perennials before the really hot weather arrives.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

More seed starting ideas

Recycle those old ice trays you aren't using anymore! 
Click here for an awesome article with tips and tutorial.

I love using the method of newspaper pots, another seed starting method using recycled items.  Lindy at Cottage Hill gives directions for a very easy method of making these pots.  Click here to go to the blog post.

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