Friday, March 22, 2013

Adrian: Amateur Gardener

So I have something new in my life.  That would be a girlfriend.  I think it's as big of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else.  And then to add to the surprises she moved only three miles from me.  I couldn't really blame her as her old place was not very nice.  It was also in a not so nice section of a town that was far away from both her work and favorite hangout. 

She is renting a mobile home that sits on a 1/3 of an acre of property.  She really wanted it for her dog who needs some space to run around.  He's a little over two years old, but he still acts like a puppy.  So this place works out really good for both of them, as she doesn't have to put up with apartment type neighbors and he gets to run around and exercise.

The people who rented before her did their best to destroy the place.  That's what the landlord flat out told us.  He was more than happy to rent to my girlfriend in that, she expressed an interest in rebuilding the place inside and out.  She talked to him about adding plants to the place, as it is kind of sparse.  He was all in favor of that, and told her she could do whatever she wanted as far as plants were concerned.

And this is where I come in.  I am good at manual labor, but I have to admit that I am an amateur gardener.  The only gardening that I have been successful at it online playing Wizard 101.

So I was told to come up with a plan.  I have given it a lot of thought, and have come up with four spots to start off with. 

First I have to contend with what is available.  There is a lot of land, but due to the heavy cover of oak trees it is mostly a barren sandlot.

That's okay.  I will just have to get creative.  I was thinking of running/building a wooden fence along the front of the house. 

My girlfriend knows someone who knows someone, and can get me some leftover two by fours.  It may look a little odd until I slap some paint on it.  Then it will start to look spiffy. 

I was thinking about planting some giant bromeliads behind the fence/ in front of the house.  Those things will grow in anything down here in Florida.

Next to them/ around them would be a good place to start growing some Aloe Vera plants.  My girlfriend has always had them, and they are really useful to have around.

Then to spice up the color a little I would add some of those small floppy ear type plants.  I'll admit, I have no idea what the different ones of them are called.  But I do have a bunch of plant people I know who can tell me what they are.  All I have to do is show them this picture.

So that's what I am thinking for the front.  When I say from the front, I mean from the house door and going left.  That's the longest part of the house.  From the door going right is a nice small spot.  However I think I have an idea.  I am thinking of doing a raised bed.  There are a couple ways to do this.  The first is kind of simple and involves using concrete blocks.  It looks like this.

That's simple enough, and won't take much time to put together.  Then there's the other way.  It involves using red bricks.  It would be a bit more expensive, and take more time to put together, but it would look sweet.

Okay, that takes care of the front.  I was thinking of using the front for the decorative plants.  However, the one thing my girlfriend really wants is a herb garden.  There could be a few vegetables thrown in there, but mainly for herbs.

However due to having a dog it would need to be fenced in.  I do like this type of fencing.

But I have to be honest, the dog is really, really good at jumping.  He's also really good at building up speed and jumping.  So that kind of fence isn't going to stop him.  I was thinking of putting up the wooden type fence that would match the front fence, and then stapling chicken wire to it.

The next step involves planting tomatoes.  As you look at the property, the very front right corner has a lot of sunlight hitting it.  It's the only place where grass grows on the property.  I thinking about setting up a raised bed strictly for tomato plants.

The plant would be able to get a fair amount of sunlight there.  Not too much, not too little.  And the good news about Florida is that, we get crazy amounts of rain all year long.  And anytime tomatoes get rain, they grow till they want to explode. 

So that's the four main ideas I have for garden beds.  I don't think I would be overdoing it.  I am trying to stick with plants that are native and not hard to raise.  I am lucky in that, I have a lot of people around me who know the ins and outs of plants.  I may not know much about plants, but I am good for the manual labor.  With those things combined, I feel that this garden will be a success.

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