Sunday, November 16, 2014

In the Beginning

Our gardens were created over 15 years by designing and planting small areas with old roses and perennials. The 10 acres we garden on were  previously used as citrus groves many years ago. My first venture into gardening was on the weekends with grafted hybrid teas obtained from local nurseries and garden centers.   I soon found myself cutting, spraying and pruning on the weekends rather than enjoying the garden.  I began to research information on roses and came across the history of old garden roses.  They were named after kings, queens, generals, the wives and daughters of hybridizers and other important historical figures.  They were  found growing on their own in cemeteries, old homesteads and on roadsides.  I soon realized that if I was going to create gardens, they should be filled with Old Garden Roses. Thus began the venture for the collection and creation of gardens that were adorned with the old rose.
Empress Josephine had the first rose collection known in history in Malmaison, France in 1852.  The gardens are dedicated to Empress Josephine's collection and work.  The gardens are called "Lil Malmaison Gardens".Empress Josephine's Life

Roses will rebloom during the cooler November temperatures.  The wintering birds begin to show up around the bird feeders.  Trees begin to loose their leaves and plants begin their winter.

Maple Tree

The Silk Floss Trees produce the pods of silk in the Fall.

The birds enjoy the red berries the Pyracanthra Trees

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weed, Weed, Weed!

One of the chores of gardening involves weeding.  Become familiar with the weeds in your area.  Allowing weeds that are invasive to multiply will cost you many hours of future weeding!  August rains and humidity help the weeds multiply quickly .  I put a layer of dry oak leaves topped with pine bark after completing a section.  It will help prevent weeds and provide nutrients to the soil.
One of the tricks I use for some invasive weeds is a little roundup and a small paint brush.  When encountering a weed that is invasive I paint a little roundup on it.
Dollar weed, Crabgrass, Nutsedge.  Did you know that one plant can produce 6,000 tubors?  That's way too many plants to have to weed!
Weeds of Florida/US Dept. of Agriculture
Weed Identification  This pdf illustrates weeds of South Florida but most will appear in Central Florida's gardens also.
Natural sprays to help control weeds:Homemade Remedies for the Garden

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Composting of Florida/Composting Info

I purchased a composter that rotates to avoid attracting animals to the area.

The website will provide info on how to compost .  There is a virtual online composting pile that allows you to understand the carbon/nitrogen ratio. Very helpful and informative.