My front yard has had quite the journey since I’ve moved in almost 6 years ago. When we first purchased the house it was “move in ready”, had been freshly “renovated” and the yard was so cute with its white fence around the porch. The first thing I did was plant a garden.
Now, I’m from Ohio, the world of clematis other mild temperature, dormant over winter plants, where planting season is around mothers day type place. A place where dirt is dirt, rich and dark, and you put plants in the ground and they grow. Having moved to Florida, I had no idea what I was getting into and just threw a bunch of seeds down in sand and hoped for the best.
The packet I had brought with me from Ohio was a set of Strictly Medicinal Seeds, Lifeline Medicinal Herb garden. I did what anyone would do and I just randomly threw and scattered seeds all over. I ended up with this mystery plant that smelled ABSOLUTELY LIKE Heaven, and it took me a few months to identify it. Finally I found out it’s Holy Basil, and Holy Moly is it just heavenly (see my puns there, they were absolutely intentional). I also ended up with some gorgeous cosmos which were short lived under the placement of my eaves and the bashing they took from the rain runoff, and some beautiful calendula. I would sit and watch the butterflies and bees and our neighborhood cat Pirate, RIP.
But life got the better of me and I ended up pregnant almost the following year, and then again pregnant the next year after that, and my ability to maintain a beautiful garden with two little boys just wasn’t there.
My husband, going for the dream grass, completely cut out the sod and killed the yard to put down new seed. His attempts were to level out our bumpy yard, get rid of the weeds and have the pristine green grass seen on TV, or professionally maintained lawns. A few years later and all the weeds are back, and its bumpy from the rainwater that flows through the yard and into the street. Don’t tell him but I kinda like it like that!
My front yard is a work in progress, but one thing that was able to be saved was the confederate jasmine. It’s still hanging in there, growing along the fence at a poke. It’s been cut back a few times, and is still trying to find its proclaimed aggression. But for now I help feed its trendies through the fence, anticipating its gorgeous white and fragrant blooms in hopes my neighbor next door doesn’t cut it down in her tirade for retaliation (a longer story for another post).
Since my boys are 3 and 4 now, I’m looking to expand my garden again and reclaim some of the yard the weeds have conquered as their own.
Last week while I was home with my oldest following the removal of his tonsils and adenoids, I spent some time planting trees I had ordered from groworganic.com. I ordered a JuJuBe tree, an asian pear tree, and two pluot trees. I’ll get into details of the cultivars in another post and go through some of the considerations I made, and ones I didn’t but wish I had.
The first job though since I now have them was to find them all a home. My initial thought had been to plant them along the fence I share on the west side of my house so they get the afternoon sun, but right now at this time of year, the sun is hitting my neighbors house at an angle that is giving that line of fence quite a bid a shade. I ended up planting the two pluot trees in the back where I’m going to be putting a moon garden ultimately, and the JuJuBe in my budding food forest!
The Asian Pear made it to the front of the house. The only reasoning I have is – SUN. I didn’t have a fantastic place that got the sun it needed that wasn’t smack dab in the middle of the yard, so it found its home in the corner of the front where I had already started a small garden bed. It looked goofy as hell. Still does. This tree needs some friends.
Just FYI – I had no freaking idea what I was doing. I had a tiller four pronged garden contraption, a shovel, and a hoe… ho?… no, hoe. I got as much of the weeds/grass out as I could, poured out an obscene amount of black dirt from Home Depot, and made it into a curvy shape to make it all look intentional. Frankly speaking, I wung the shit out of it, but it’s not half bad.
I had a bunch of rocks from the backyard adventures that I found buried under years of dirt, and I placed some around for traversing the garden bed. I had a hydrangea I had ordered, and a butterfly bush as well that I placed closer to the fence so ONE DAY it might look like I planned it with my elegant cottage garden dreams.
Then the dump came. My kid, woken from his afternoon slumber, was so helpful in just throwing random seeds in there. I couldn’t tell you everything that made their way but I’ll give it a go:
Echinacea, Cosmos, more Cosmos, Basil, Delphinium, Dianthus, more Cosmos, butterfly weed, cups and saucers, four o clocks, more echinacea, Irish bells, Zinnia, hollyhocks and sunflowers! I’m positive my little man placed sunflowers where I don’t want them, but if they grow they grow. Not all of this was zone appropriate (I’m a zone 9b) but some of we’ll see what it does.
I have some potted Aloe Vera that will find its way into the garden, next to a questionable hibiscus bush that I hope finds its mojo this growing season. Follow along with me this year to see what we can get to grow, and let’s see if I ever get to putting a full border in here and some mulch! LOL.