Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Visit to Naples Botanical Garden

A birthday gift was a trip across alligator alley through the Everglades to reach a new gem of a botanical garden. This garden took many, many years of planning before they even broke ground. Each garden within the garden has a theme. The wetlands garden and bird watching area replicates the Everglades and is designed to attract birds and wildlife. The children’s garden is designed for the children to really enjoy playing while learning. The Roberto Berle Marx garden is a loving dedication by Raymond Jungles, who was his mentor. The Caribbean garden takes you away to the steel drums and sweet fruits of the tropical islands. The enabling garden had some raised beds with overgrown plants and needed some work. The intention was excellent; the execution needs some fine tuning.
It was amazing to view the gardens in their infancy. The newly planted gardens are already a delight to view. I look forward to going back to enjoy it while it matures.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Newspaper and mulch trick reappears in the garden

My baby sitter was way ahead of her time. She was an organic gardener when the term was not even invented yet. Her entire backyard was a vegetable garden loaded with healthy vegetables, some of which I had never eaten or heard of as a little boy.
One of her tricks she taught us was to save time and work by not digging up the lawn to expand the garden.

She liked laying down five to six layers of newspaper and planting threw it later on after the grass had died. She was already elderly and it was an easy method for her.
There are a multitude of other benefits to the newspaper and mulch method of planting. The grass breaks down and adds organic matter to the soil. The weeds stay out. The ground stays moist longer so watering time is cut down.
With the invasion on chinch bugs and grubs into my lawn, combined with our lack of rain, I decided to reduce my lawn even further this spring.

My bromeliads were in need of dividing, so they provided the low ground cover needed to fill in the bare spots in the landscape. By low, I mean two feet and under, some of my bromeliads are rather large. Sometimes I like to group the same bromeliads together for uniformity, while other times I like to vary them in a landscape bed.