Monday, June 28, 2010

A Native Florida Flower Garden - A Great Way to Celebrate My 100th Post!

Many of us in Florida struggle with our gardens trying to force grass, plants and flowers, that are intended for other climates and regions, to thrive here.  The easiest way to avoid this battle is to landscape with plants that are native to our region and that easily adapt to the weather patterns and soil conditions we experience in the Sunshine State. 

My friend CG, has taken on such a project.  She was particularly motivated when she lost about 12 trees during our trio of hurricanes in 2004.  Her once shaded yard became a harsh sun-exposed plain.  Where once plants thrived in gentle shade, they shrivelled up in the relentless Florida sun. It's been no small task to get started, but she has persevered and her vision is now becoming a reality.

CG has educated herself extensively on the subject through books, talking to native Florida plant nursery owners, attending garden shows, and picking the brains of people who have successfully transformed their yards into native plant havens.

I went along on a trip to one of the nurseries and watched CG carefully select plants and flowers that to me all practically looked the same and in dire need of water.  She knew exactly what she was looking for and had a vision of how her garden would look when these scraggly potted plants took root.  Do I sound skeptical?  You bet I was.

After that trip I stopped by her house after a couple of weeks and took pictures of the beginning stage of her garden.

This picture was taken May 20th.

I also got some closeups of some of the plants,


You may understand my skepticism based on the picture above.  But look!  Further exploration around the space showed some hardy survivors and beauty:

Tropical Sage or Florida Native Salvia

Native Lantana

One of the things I like best about her garden is the way CG outlined it with a free-form mulch border with two small oak trees anchoring the area.

We are over a month away from the first pictures and a lot has happened with the garden.  Lots of rain and sunshine have worked their magic and we are seeing the beauty emerge from those rough beginnings:

Beardtongue or Pentstammen

Florida Native Pineland Lantana.  You can see how CG uses pine straw for bedding.

Florida Native Petunia

The Native Petunia bank against a bank of Blue Spiderwort

FL Native Black-eyed Susans

Sensitive Mimosa (I love the greenery on this plant!)

Skull Cap Flower

St. John's Wort

Stoke's Astor

Liatris or Blazing Star

Spiderwort. Blooms in the morning. This is an afternoon shot. Below is a shot of a White Spiderwort in bloom.

Showy Primrose

Purple Coneflower or Echinacea

Blanketflower (with a friend)

And finally an overview of CG's Native Florida Flower Garden as it appears today, about six weeks after she initially planted.  From time to time I plan to take pictures to see how this garden progresses, especially during the different Florida seasons.  Kudos to my friend, who after having a devastating tree loss, researched, adapted and then celebrated her new environment.


Alan said...

I like the vision CG had to imagine the garden and then see it come to fruition. It looks great! Congrats Boston Lady on the 100th post. Keep them coming.

Orlando Grandma said...

Congratulations on your 100th post, they have been interesting and informative. Thanks. I like CG's garden, great idea, Florida has a great variety of native flowering plants.

Sammy said...

CONGRATS ON #100!!! That is quite an accomplishment! You have surpassed me by one post (and I started a while before you I think). Keep 'em coming. May your blogging days continue to prosper. Nice garden CG!

Mick Jack said...

Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.
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