Andy suggested that I post some photos of my garden. And, since I was beside myself when we got home last fall and found most things around the house half dead, showing the current health seemed like a good idea.
These violas were not here last fall; they were half dead when I bought four plants at the hardware store a few weeks ago. They give me such joy; it must be the purple.
The jasmine was half dead when we got home last fall, but has revived nicely. It is loaded with blooms, and the fragrance is heady, especially when there is a little breeze.
The front of the house does appear to have some landscaping when seen from the street. One delight of Florida is that there are at least a few blooms all year long. In Maryland, the azaleas bloomed in the spring for a few weeks. Here in Florida, we always have some flowers.
I walked out onto the golf course to take this picture of the back of our house as the golfers see it.
My messy herb garden is just outside the bedroom. I have failed in my attempt at an artful herb garden. One mistake I made was to plant the mint in the ground rather than a pot (my book says to plant them in a pot set into the ground to keep it from spreading). I don’t think that would be completely effective, based on how my potted mint spread out to the cement slab in Marathon.
I have never used sage much but had to plant some to go with the Simon & Garfunkle song, Scarborough Fair.
I use basil more than anything else and have learned to make some Killer Pesto by tampering with Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything. My secret: more pine nuts, more parmesan, and more garlic. I don’t puree all the pine nuts either, as I like some texture. I also throw and a handful of basil into my frozen spaghetti sauce when I heat it.
I need to start making iced tea and using more mint in it. The mint is overwhelming the basil. Iced-tea season has not begun yet.
The herb garden has chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, and an overabundance of mint.
The row of Lantana outside the screen room was three-quarters dead last fall. I didn’t think it would survive. The Lantana in front/north of the house is a quarter of the size of these mounds.
In case you are not familiar with Lantana, here are some close-up pictures of the blossoms. They are about as big as the circle formed by touching your forefinger to the tip of your thumb. Each one seems to be unique in the color arrangement.
My Lantana is pink and yellow, but it comes in other colors. A yard on the next street over has a large bed of brilliant red/yellow/orange ones.
This is my farm on the back/south side of the house. We jokingly refer to it as the “south forty – – – – – square feet” even though the measurements are not entirely accurate. I started the red and green bell pepper plants with seeds from grocery-store peppers. I started the onions from sprouted onions in the pantry. Only two of my grocery-store tomato seeds germinated and those plants are not doing well. I bought three more tomato plants from a garden shop, and all are producing abundant blooms and tomatoes. I made a marigold border to make it more attractive.
It would be nice to get to eat some of this before we leave on our summer trip. I’m hoping for some hot weather to ripen those tomatoes.