My Secret Garden

A few years ago I moved from California to Florida where my husband lived.  He had joined me on the west coast but after a year we decided to move back to Florida.  We had expected that his place might need a bit of maintenance but were caught off guard by how badly it had been neglected, especially the yard.  No one cares for your house the way you do.

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One of my favorite books as a child was The Secret Garden and as bad as the yard looked, I knew that I could fix it up with a bit of work.  Our finances were limited because of the recent move so most of the improvements would be a result of grunt work.

First we pruned and watered the plants just to get them going.  We then created a simple border, added mulch and bought five jasmine plants to help cover the wire fence.  We spent less than fifty dollars for everything.

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Within a month it started looking much better.

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This little corner near the house was mostly weeds but had a few sorry-looking Impatiens that had become very leggy and weak.  I trimmed these up, watered and mulched.  A weed started growing and I liked the look of it so I kept it.  But it just kept growing taller and taller, a single feathery stalk.

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So, I trimmed it back several times and it branched out enough to hide the water sprinkler system.  I have now determined that it is an Anise plant.  The Impatiens have since flourished and have been cut back several times this season.  They are actually self-propagating which was surprising to me as I had only been able to grow them as annuals.  They have sprouted up in several other places around the house as well.  I added a small plant that I don’t know the name of to the right of the Anise plant.  I grew it from a cutting and it is doing nicely in its new location.

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I love to garden but I am a lazy gardener with a short attention span.  I like to look at pretty spaces and now that the flowers are blooming I can sit out on the patio and enjoy them while I sip my coffee.  The neighbors seem to like them as well and often comment on how pretty everything looks which is an added bonus.  We even got a couple of invites to barbeques with some of the neighbors down the street. 🙂

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