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Bouganvillea Garden Project - Finally

Friday, June 13, 2014

I have always wanted bougainvilleas but my husband was not interested until our neighbor, over our misgivings, put a vinyl privacy fence roughly six inches from our chain link fence. This created an area that couldn't be mowed. That is the bad part; the good part is that he didn't care if I want to put bougainvilleas to grow on our fence.

Before I retired last August, I had planned to put newspapers down THAT month, cover with ground cloth, and weigh down with edging bricks. I figured the grass underneath would be dead enough to plant bougainvilleas when I got back in September from visiting my son's family in Virginia. I DID get donations of newspapers and bought my ground cover & stakes to hold down.

I have greatly enjoyed my retirement. Before I retired, I had several plans and/or goals. I've met my goal of becoming more physically active. I've gotten a start on my plan to declutter & organize my house. I enjoy the changes to my bedroom. It will be finished when I put up my art pictures. Toward that goal, I had several acrylics and one very special pencil drawing framed. The rest had odd ball sized matting and are too cost prohibitive to frame. I'll put them up as is. Have a lot more work to do on decluttering. Haven't started on weight loss or art work yet. AND until this week, didn't work on bougainvillea flower bed.

This past Monday, I got my bricks. My original plan was for a bed 2'x25" (size of ground cloth folded into four layers). I thought I wouldn't do the back fence area with bricks. I got 30 landscape edging bricks. Moved them several times on Monday. Each brick is 1' long by about 3" AND close to 10#.

Tuesday, I spent one very long & hot day putting my newspapers down. I worked hard to get them overlapping and even. In the process, I moved bricks around to keep papers from blowing around. I have no idea how many times I moved each 10# brick. After the newspapers were down, I put the ground cover on and put in 75 staples to hold it tight. When I got done, I realized I wanted to do the back next to the fence also. At this point, I WAS going to leave the ground alone until after I get back from a trip to Virginia over the summer. I wanted to kill the grass as originally planned.

Wednesday morning, I realized I did not want to wait until September. I wanted flowers NOW. At that point, I planned to put my bougainvilleas 2' apart with little flowers in front. We did have some drip irrigation parts around from a papaya project that didn't make it. Figured out what I needed & went to Lowe's. In two trips, I got 12 good size bougainvilleas, 24 little flowers, six bags of mulch, 24 bricks, and some drip irrigation parts. Both times, I parked near the garden exit but it started to rain while I was there. So I got to push heavy trolleys to the front cash register and then back to my car. My thighs are still burning from those trips as well as the other garden work.

Got the plants home, placed them 2' apart and put down mulch to keep them cooler until I plant them. II had extra bags of mulch [SO LUCKY WAS ABLE TO GET MELALEUCA MULCH - melaleuca is an invasive plant that they are trying irridaicate. Mulch is a byproduct of that process and so much more environmentally friendly than alternative.) Got a "great idea". Put those bags down next to bed. Have decided to extend bed another 8-9'. Will use bags of mulch to kill grass. Also decided to space bougainvilleas 2-1/2' apart.

By Thursday, my body was protesting. Luckily, I had a chiropractor appointment. Before went to Dr, I picked up four more bags of mulch to finish where I want covered.

Today, I planted my first bougainvillea plant. It was "interesting" cutting through the four layers of ground cover and newspapers. Would have done more but thunder showers were headed our way.

So now, will get up early most days to plant what I can before I lose shade in garden area. This is Florida and it can get VERY warm.

Next Monday, I'll pick up the ground cover for the additional bed area and my bricks.

Will post pictures as I progress.

So at this point, I have planted 1 of 12 bougainvillea plants and 0 of 23 little plants. Before I get done, I will be getting more little plants -- probably plant about 7 to 8.
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  • no profile photo CD3802882
    Oh how pretty! I can't wait to see pictures of the finished garden! Mike gave me two giant bushes and a palm tree for our 20th anniversary in 2013. One of the bushes is a Bougainvillea. It is the same color as yours. I love the bright pink!

    2596 days ago
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