Backyard Foliage for Home Page

For awhile after relocating to central Florida, I grieved for my large beautiful garden at my former home near Birmingham, Alabama. I love it here in Florida, but this blank-slate yard with no trees, i.e., no shade, was difficult for awhile. Immediately, I began ripping out turf grass, and putting in planting beds. Soon, neighbors stopped by to chat, and almost always asked me about my flowers, and what to plant here. So began this online adventure.

This website began as a blog to answer the gardening questions of my neighbors’ and friends’ who are either new to gardening in the Deep South of the United States, or completely new to gardening. It has quickly outgrown the simple question-and-answer style of blog, and morphed into a website about gardening in the South, and sometimes more specifically, about gardening in central Florida.

After previously having a garden that was too large to manage alone, I had to accept the fact that I needed a smaller yard. When we moved to Florida in late 2012, we gained an extremely small blank-slate yard, except for the builder’s “landscape package” out front. I was so excited about creating a beautiful front yard, and an equally beautiful, yet private backyard hideaway, that I couldn’t wait to get started. The first thing I did was to rip out all those “builder-grade” shrubs. The front is coming along more slowly than the back, probably because I was anxious to have the back enclosed as much as possible to keep our little Maltese dog, “C.C. ” contained.

10 responses to “Home

  1. Oh how delightful! I love that you are so enthusiastic about starting over here….hope its catching! I ran across your website while trying to find the name of our ‘fake j. maple’ I can hardly wait to get started.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So happy you enjoyed my website. You have given me the idea of adding the phrase “fake Japanese maple” to the tags for my post about the red-leaf hibiscus that looks so much like a Japanese maple. Thank you for the idea, and for visiting. Drop by anytime.


  2. Ah! It’s good to know the back story. I wish you well in building fabulous new outdoor rooms and spaces. My mother-in-law taught me just how much one can do in a tiny garden space. I’m sure you’ll be her equal or better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Maria, I am really happy I found this site, and glad you are willing to help with your knowledge. We have been working on our front and back porch. We love nature and we are trying to bring nature to our home. We are having a few problems with our bougainvillea, it’s full of green leaves, but does not bloom, we miracle grow every two weeks,.and water everyday. My husband has been going crazy trying to figure out what the problem is. If you could give me some tips I would be very greatful! Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hold off on both the water and the Miracle Grow!! Bougainvillea prefer to dry out between waterings. In fact, the method nurseries use to force blooms is to stop water. They require good drainage, so they should not be planted too deeply. You’ve seen the 3 numbers on fertilizers? For lots of flowers and/or fruit, you need a fertilizer with a higher middle number. Those numbers, in order, are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The website for Miracle Grow shows that its chemical analysis is 28-8-16. The huge amount of nitrogen (28) being applied to your plant is the reason you have such lovely leaves at the expense of flowers. I’ll do a blog post on this topic with greater detail. Thanks for a very good question, and for visiting my blog. Best of luck with your bougainvillea.


  4. Thank you for sharing your landscaping personal story. I am living in a new home and I’ve been looking online for some landscaping tips. My home might benefit with a small garden, since you explained how it was hard to manage a large garden alone. My husband will think this will be a good idea for me, since he’s never helped in a garden before.

    Liked by 1 person

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