April 3, 2012

HSV Garden Challenge 2012: Our Plans

Yesterday was our first day of school for the 2012-13 homeschool year. While I had planned a usual day of lessons and such, that's not quite the way it turned out. You see, a few days after we returned from our camping trip, the children became ill with gastroenteritis. As it turns out, it was the adults' turn to have fun with the pain, nausea and other oh-so-pleasant symptoms over the weekend. That's right. The weekend before homeschool was to resume full force. I went to bed Sunday night but didn't get up early Monday morning. I guess I just needed to recover.

It just so happens that it's time for the 2nd Annual HSV Garden Challenge! So what I did yesterday, in lieu of formal lessons, was bring the children out of doors to plan our garden. I started my gardening at the beginning of February, as I always do. But there is much to be done. This yard is not the most... well....ok the yard needs work. We moved into this home June of 2011.

Today's entry into this garden challenge, as dictated by HSV, is to lay out our plans. So here we go...

The west side of our house. I've begun with some Mexican Petunias,
Sunflowers and Zinnias. I do plan to dig out and create actual flowerbeds soon.

Mexican Petunias

More Sunflowers
This is our Azalea. It blooms in March and October here in
Central Florida.
It looks rather pathetic at the moment.
Our Azalea just a few short weeks ago.
Morning Glory vines will climb this trellis
The back (south side) of the house.
This weed-covered ground once grew Gladiolas.
Sadly, my lawn guy cut them down with a weed-eater last summer.
I plan to dig around to see if I can locate the bulbs, clear out the area and re-grow them.

In the center, we have this. I'm not sure what type of tree it is
but the landlord keeps having it cut down. Recently, it began turning brown.
I suspect he sprayed a poison on it.

Frankly, I thought it was lovely and would
like to know what it is. I've not been able to identify it.
I've planted some Sunflowers and Zinnias here but plan to
grow more things as I get the weeds out. Since this is the sunny side,
I think I'll be planting some Lavender somewhere along the back of the house.
In a pot, I've been growing some Milkweed from cuttings that
someone gave me last month. It really is an easy plant to grow
from cuttings! This flower attracts the Monarch and Queen
Butterflies. I'm hoping to do a spring study on the life cycle of the butterfly
using this plant.

The east side of the house. Of course, the sun rises over here
but it's shaded most of the day. I've not decided what to plant.
There is much to be done. Lots of weeds and a palm tree stump to contend with first.

And now the north side.. my front yard. In this bed
I already have some things planted from last year like Arabian Jasmine,
Plumbago and a rose bush. But there's much room left for flowers once I do
the weeding.

The Arabian Jasmine is blooming

..and so is the Plumbago
..but not the rose just yet.

As this area has been laid with concrete slabs, I've decided to create a container garden here.

I need to identify the cactus and the plant behind it.

I'm certain this is some sort of Bromeliad. We found them growing in the woods
to the east of my yard and planted some here in the shade. Yesterday, we planted some red and
white impatiens in this flower bed, too.
We have come full circle to the fence again. I've yet to decide what will go on this
side of it. This the view from my carport. It's usually quite shady but I did notice
that spring has brought more sun in this area.

And there you have the basics of the perimeter of my home. Here are a few shots of the yard as a whole. Did I say much work is needed? This Florida sand really cuts my work out for me.
The driveway (Lorelai made a heart-shaped..  pool?.. in the driveway with her BFF the other day.

Front yard (north side)

Side yard (east)

Our fire pit

Back yard (south)
What are you planting this year?

Happy Homeschooling!


  1. My gardening challenge for the summer is to keep my two potted "gardens" alive and keep the fruit trees watered so they will produce something.  Last year, we got one small pear off our newly planted tree, and a few peaches.  Hopefully this year, we will have more, plus hopefully plums.

  2. What a GREAT 1st post to kick off the garden challenge.  Can't wait to see next month's progress (and thanks for being so flexible with your plans)!

    Stef @ The HSV

  3.  Thanks for dropping by my blog! Glad you enjoyed the post. We're hard at work with this yard and just came up with some new ideas!

  4. The Full Circle GardenerApril 5, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    LOL!  I can't imagine planting outdoors in Feb!  Our average last frost isn't until May 12.  Look forward to seeing how your garden grows.

  5.  Yeah I know.. Florida is it's own planet. Our seasons are quite different from the rest of the country. Winter is only about 6 weeks long, characterized by "blasts" of cold rather than ongoing cold weather. By February, we have the AC running.

    Thanks for dropping by to see my gardening plans!

  6. I remember that Florida black sand.  I must say, I don't miss it!  :)  Even though we have started some of our plants, we still have a chance of a freeze until around mid May.  Looking forward to see your progress at the end of the month!

  7.  You lived in Florida? (Did I know this already? LOL) What part? I lived on the west coast a few months and that sand.. oh dear! ..that sand was impossible. No one had grass in their yards. Flowers wouldn't grow. The only thing that grew there was sandspurs!


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