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Our Gardens Past and Present

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The blog topic i chose to write about for the fourth week of the A&I BSG challenge is: National Lawn and Garden Month is celebrated each year in April. Do you have a green thumb? What do your lawn and garden look like?

We moved to Florida six years ago, but when I think of gardening now, I always go back to memories of the yard and gardens that we had when we lived in Pennsylvania. I wouldn't say I necessarily had a green thumb, but I enjoyed working outside in the spring, planting flowers, both annuals and perennials, and then mulching. It was a lot of work but fun at the same time. We had a big vegetable garden for many years, also. The only thing I did not like about gardening was the weeding!

Here are a few photos I found of our lawn and gardens at our house in PA.

I often miss our beautiful property in PA, but I don’t miss all the work at my age! Now that we live in Florida, we have a small property, but still have landscaping all around and a lot of gardening maintenance. We had to learn a lot about the different flowers, trees, shrubs and growing seasons here, since it is so different than what we were used to. We have changed plants that didn't work and moved others around just about every year. There are so many flowering shrubs and perennials that flower at different times throughout the year, so we don't have a need to plant annuals. The one thing we learned quickly is that once the rainy season hits (late spring through the summer,) plants grow like weeds, and a lot of gardening time is trimming and bagging the clippings. Also in the summer the palm trees get these big seed pods on them that we have to cut down. Some years are worse than others - last year was a mess!

A lot of people here either have pine needle mulch or stones or pebbles in their gardens. We didn't like the pine mulch so we decided on these red stones that looked really pretty, but over the years found that they are a real pain! It's hard to get the weeds and clippings out! I spent hours working on the front gardens the other week and the next day I could barely walk from crouching on the stones! Right now the front looks pretty good, but I still have a lot of weeding to do on the side and back gardens. Here is the front.

There is this invasive ground cover weed that is taking over! Dh sprayed them but so far they have not all died, so I may just have to tackle them a little at a time. Here is what the unsightly weeds looks like.

We also have a Boston fern that has taken over under one of our palms, but I think it looks pretty, so we left it in there.

One year we tried to grow tomatoes, but it didn't work, since we got them in too late. We learned that most veggies and fruit like berries are harvested much earlier. We had some success with some herbs, but don’t have any this year. This year we planted a lemon and lime tree. Not sure how long it will take to get fruit.

Here are a couple more pictures of the back gardens. It’s like a jungle on the side by our hot tub so we have privacy.

Hummingbirds love this shrub!

Since we have to stay home during this pandemic, I think gardening is a great activity to do to be outside, especially on days when the weather is beautiful!
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