Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Plantings: Good Exercise and Family Fun

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko
Tanner Poses in Front
of the Peace Lily's
First Bloom of the Season

When I say gardening is family fun, of course I include the dogs. What's not fun about digging holes and getting muddy? After all, when we're done, Tanner will get to swim to clean up. Swimming is likely his biggest thrill of the day, barring a trip to the dog park. That might be a toss up. Nah! Definitely swimming!

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Tanner Enjoys a Swim

to Clean Up After a Tough Day

of Yard Work

We've been busy planting lots of new plants all over the yard. After a severe Winter for central Florida, I had a lot of dead plants--mostly on the side where there was northern exposure. Trying to be every mindful of our limited water sources, I bought only drought resistant plants for the yard, like these Florida grasses, shown here with Tanner looking on:

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

My New Drought Resistant
Florida Grasses (in the Foreground)
Will Require Little Water

In some shady areas, my first Caladiums of the season are popping up. It's always exciting to see them appear. It seems to happen overnight. One day there's not a whisper. The next day they're 4 inches tall. I don't get how that is possible, but I'm not complaining. I planted these bulbs 8 years ago, when we added on to the porch. The Caladiums are still going strong, returning every year to grace the garden with pink, white, green and red colors.

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko
Bulbs are an Easy and Inexpensive Way
to Provide Annual Color for Years to Come

Caladiums grow from bulbs, planted within the earth and left there. Well, at least here in Central Florida we leave them there. I believe northern climates need to dig up their bulbs and store them inside until late Winter to avoid freezing. That whole northern gardening business must really be complicated. They do have one thing I'd like, but can't have--Daffodils and Tulips. I think they are the most regal of all the flowers (even roses don't compare, for me personally). Unfortunately, they aren't terribly successful in my climate, so I have to stick with my Caladiums. That's okay, because they're a very cost-effective annual. You don't have to keep planting them every year, but they keep reappearing like magic. Cool, huh?!

Here are some sources for organic bulbs that you might find helpful if you're bulb-hunting, although it's a bit late to plant them. Go ahead and shop now for next year. Plan ahead and you'll be ready for your own beautiful blooms next Spring:

I still have a bit more pruning of dead plants and replanting to do. Anybody up for some yard work? Xena has volunteered to dig the holes!

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