Fire Bush Taking Over

Firebush is a perennial or semi-woody shrub that is known scientifically as Hamelia patens. Gardeners love firebush because it produces flowers from late spring until the first frost, and the bright red flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, including the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies. Song birds also like to feed on the berries.

Back when I first started planning my garden and adding native Florida plants, I bought a small fire bush plant. It loves the sun, thrives in the central Florida’s rainy season, and survives dry periods. That little bush became huge and took lots of time trying to cut it back and to control it. In the last few years, I am not physically able to do many things I used to do. I had a good yard guy who helped me maintain the yard. I lost him two years ago and have struggled trying to find help I can afford. I found a new guy to mow the lawn. Lots of people do that, but his full-time job is maintaining the local elementary school. He doesn’t have time to do many other projects. I have a plan to cut back the gardens to a smaller areas. As I mentioned the other week, I have found a gentleman to do landscaping projects.

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Why Gardening Is Good For Me

Many decades ago I was a small child in east Tennessee. I fell in love with flowers and trees. I tried to assist my mother with little things in the flower beds until one day I asked for a spot of my own. My mother had received a pile of stones from the dairy that delivered our milk. (Yes, it was decades ago and they brought it to the door.) We visited the dairy, had a tour, and picked up a few stones. They were placed in a pile on the grass until they were placed lining the flowers beds. Since it took a while to move them, there was a spot with little grass. I asked for my own garden there. My mother agreed and I placed small stones around the small circle and pulled what grass remained. I love purple iris, Tennessee’s state flower. My mother gave me several with a few annuals. I was so proud of that little circle and flowers. I felt happy making it and looking at it. Gardening is much more than simply keeping the lawn pristine and planting pretty flowers. It is a whole set of actions that can really affect you. I had something that was alive!

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How to Create A Wow Backyard

Looking for ways to improve your backyard? You’ve got a world of possibility at your fingertips. Backyards can come in all sorts of shapes, styles and designs, and the best options for you will depend entirely on your individual preferences and interests. Do you have that one section of your yard… you know, the one that the sprinklers never seem to reach, that might be mostly out of sight, but because it’s not used, it has this neglected, bare look? Or even worse, it tends to gather clutter? Well, have you ever thought that patch could be turned into an amazing feature in your yard?

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Blue Skies & Spring Blossoms

Last year in my neighborhood I discovered a beautiful small tree with spring white blossoms. I shared it in a post on March 7th.  I talked to the home owner, and he didn’t know the name of the tree.  It  was a gift from his uncle a few years ago.  I studied the size, shape, and blossoms of the tree and I believe it is a large azalea grown as a tree.


Spectacular flower masses and colors, plant form, and evergreen foliage are among the reasons for the popularity of azaleas. Florida azaleas bloom from late February to early April, depending on cultivar and seasonal variation. Many azalea cultivars grow well in north and central Florida.

University of Florida 


This last week I’ve gone to see the tree’s blossoms 3 times. The skies are blue and the white blossoms are beautiful against the sky.



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Spring Arrives in Central Florida

Amaryllis is a subtropical bulb that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and is native to South Africa. It is grown as a potted plant in most parts of the United States but can also be grown outdoors year round in warm areas like Florida. Amaryllis flower in the late winter through early spring in central Florida.

For several weeks central Florida kept getting cold spells as storms crossed the country.  Not cold like up north but below our average for winter.  I wasn’t out seeing the neighborhood or noticing neighbor’s gardens.  This last weekend it warmed up and I’ve been riding and going out in the car a lot this last week.

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Smart Ways To Garden on A Budget

Not everyone has the money to hire an expensive landscaper to create their dream garden. I do believe it is possible to create a beautiful garden on a budget over time. Today I’d like to discuss several ways to garden frugally.  In my post Gardening Tips for Beginners I suggest basic steps to help you create a garden that you love. Let’s look at ways to garden cheaply.



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The Benefits of Gardening For Your Health & Mind

I know what you’re probably thinking. Why is she writing about gardening in December?  You might have snow on the ground and are not in mood to think about the outside garden.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember what gardening adds to our lives and consider small gardening in the home this winter.  You probably know that the benefits of gardening are numerous and include health, happiness, economy, and more. Studies have shown that spending time in nature is good for the soul and helps to relieve stress. It also has been proven to lower blood pressure. Gardening is a great way to get in shape and stay healthy. It can also save you money by allowing you to grow your vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seedlings instead of purchasing them at the store all year round. Today let’s let at how we can benefit this December and the next few months even if we only have a few houseplants.



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Fighting Bugs in the Fall Garden

It’s fall and with the crisp air comes a time to relax and forget about the garden.  Or can you?  You might not be able to see them, but those garden pests you battled all summer are still lurking, waiting to ruin your plants next spring. All of those obnoxious insects that have bugged you all summer are starting to disappear as the days and nights get cold. Many of those garden pests are still around. They have laid their eggs in your lovely dark, rich top soil and are settling down for a long winter’s nap. Fall is the best time for you to get a handle on insects in your garden. You’ll be glad you did when spring rolls around.

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