Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vacation Home Gardens

I mentioned here a few times in the past couple of months about learning to garden in a different zone.  Our permanent Canadian residence is in Zone 6A that should remain the same if we move although we would have less of the direct warming effects of the water.  Our vacation home is located in US Hardiness Zone 9A so that will present quite a difference in what I can grow.

vacation home
Pictured is the front garden of our vacation home.  There is a magnolia that was just starting to bloom, a large unknown cactus with a few baby cacti, and some Azalea.  There are also two window boxes on the front porch and a couple of planted containers.

We own the house but not the land so that does present a few restrictions.  Additional garden beds and plantings are encouraged though providing they are kept neat and tidy.  I am planning on planting a couple of citrus trees during our next trip.  Grass cutting and edging is done through the park so we don't have to worry about that. 

The gardens are mulched with wood chips.  We added more mulch to the front bed but not the sides as we ran out of time so our next trip we will mulch the rest.  Mulch becomes even more important in this area to help conserve water.  We have a programmable, automated watering system that we are allowed to use on Mondays (county restriction).  Ideally this is not the set-up I would like but I'm not growing organic vegetables there.  I will be considering installing a gravity fed watering system using collected rainwater.  The rainy season is just about ready to start so that will give me a couple of months to work on how best to water.

side garden
From what I've seen all of the gardens are planted in low maintenance vegetation.  This will fit in with our needs in a vacation home nicely.  The main garden bed wraps around the house.  Pictured are the shrubs along the side of the shed.  The side and back beds are about 2 feet wide planted in a low growing shrub that I thought initially was Azalea but looking at the photos in a bit more detail perhaps it isn't.  I will have to do a bit of plant identification.  They too are dressed in wood mulch that as you can see needs a bit of topping up. 

I will be doing a bit of research and talking to the neighbours to see how to maintain all of the vegetation in the gardens.  There are several knowledgeable gardeners in the community so I'm looking forward to getting to know them.  I also plan on participating in the community Garden Club when we are there.  Garden Clubs are a great way to meet other gardeners, share knowledge and trade plants or seeds. 

back garden
The whispy shrubs follow nicely along the back edge of the shed, side of the house and just to the upper left side where the bed wraps around the back of the house.  The central AC unit We did a bit of clean-up mainly weeding along all of the beds.  The bed on the right hand side when facing the front of the house will need the most work although it really isn't too bad.  We cleared it of weeds so once we get the mulch topped up we will have a better idea of what's needed.  To the lower edge of this picture right near the corner there is a good amount of what looks like cable cord we have to tidy up but other than that the beds look rather good given the house was empty for so long.

potted petunias
We have had amazing luck with neighbours at our current home.  They really are some of the best neighbours you will ever find.  We have however had one experience of having rather nasty neighbours but for the most part neighbours have been on the good side.  Imagine our surprise arriving at our vacation home to find one of the neighbours had planted all of our planters!  They chose a two tone purple petunia and I was just elated when I saw them.  Petunias are almost an over used landscaping plant here so pulling into the driveway to see petunias waving in the wind was like a little wave from home as well a a big wave from neighbours we will get to know.  

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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