Sunday, August 29, 2010

Seeking Suggestions

So, I had this great idea for a walkway from the driveway to the pool...over the past two years, we've worn a path in the grass on this route. My wonderful hubby actually suggested the idea. I quickly decided that a gravel pathway would be best. Then as I traveled around and noticed people's gravel anything, I decided that that was not for Cannon Ball. I don't blow leaves and our laurel oaks are constantly dropping them. And I can't stand to see something uncared for.

Once the plants were finally in place and the curbing around front had cured, I put down weed cloth along what will be the pathway.

The journey around back begins here at the driveway.

Turning the curve, you find yourself staring at the fence,

which opens to the butterfly garden in the back. I thought about mulch for the pathway, but looking at the mulched beds now, I can't see how to distinguish the path from the planted beds (and I know that'd give me a reason to put things in the way of the path). Pavers seem a little expensive...

Sadly, I have grown rather fond of the black weedcloth pathway. It's soft and I tend to walk around barefoot quite a bit--not too hard on the knees either.

I want something that blends with the house (the other BB's requirement), something that is very low maintenance (no leaf blowing constantly...don't mind once in a while), something that will last a long time, and something that won't allow weeds to grow nor people to slip and fall.

Please fire away any and all ideas and if you know others, tell them to shoot me suggestions too. And if you need to see more photos of all of this, I'm happy to add. I have to complete the walkway before I can build the pergola.

Oh, some notes: Our patio is a paver patio with light colored pavers.

Our walkway from the drive to the front door will be these pavers, though not the same design:

The house is currently a pale beige, but will soon be a shade of green. Thoughts?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Butterfly Garden and Potting Area

It's been almost 2 months since I gave you the list of newbies. Well, I'm happy to say after much strife and worry, they are all in place. My new beauties have settled in their little holes and are starting to spread their wings.

This is my most faithful helper, Chance. We have just entered the butterfly garden through the fence gate. Hot sun most of the day; this view is on the east side of the house, nearest the fence, or the left side of the unfinished walkway. Here is a princess flower with its gaudy (but beautiful) purple blooms, yellow gallardia, red verbena, red coleus, native coreopsis, rosemary for remembrance (who all can guess whom it makes me remember?), butterfly weed, and red-leafed guara. That tall green stuff in the background is the famous bamboo wall.

This is red Mexican sage. There is a big bird of paradise behind it, which will soon find another home elsewhere in the yard as it is not happy here. The dark ruffled coleus in the front is absolutely stunning, and I adore it in any form and color.

As you look toward the back, you will see a pile of bricks poking up the side of the fence. One day, these are going to miraculously form a step down from the day...

So far, you've only seen the butterfly garden to the left of the walkway. This is the end of the garden on the right side of the walkway. I've attempted to hide the AC unit with canna lilies and purple fountain grass. It's worked from this view, but I'm still pondering what to do from the opposite angle.

As you progress along the walkway toward the "backyard", a large shade tree houses the very first bed I created here at Cannon Ball. This is a view.

This is a Lady Di heliconia, and yes, the image is dark. There was a thunderstorm brewing yesterday when I returned home from the Garden Fun. More on that later. The backdrop is an oak leaf roof over the shade bed that started this garden madness. The fern is a kangaroo fern, and it wants to be divided, but I've been a little lazy this summer. Yes, those are plastic pink flamingos in the backyard. I'm in Florida. I had to have some.

They guard and protect my new plants, as right in front of this is the "potting area" where new plants are quarantined in the yard before they become home.

I guess the reason I've chosen this place is: it's shady so any new plants can adjust but does get some afternoon sun for about an hour. It's right off the back porch so I can easily check up on the newbies. And when they are there, they are in my face to be placed, so I don't forget them.

So, what do I have in the holding area? Let's see, 2 pagoda flowers, a red-leafed hibiscus, a jatropha that looks like marijuana, Swedish Ivy, some new elephant ears, some old elephant ears I'm trying to save, Kimberly ferns, coleus rootings, a cassia tree, 2 variegated cannas, a new begonia, some new bromeliads, a vine (which are very dangerous in this state)...

.....and some plants I've thrown out in the shade bed--only to discover a year later that they came to life in the shade bed. Another post for later--"The Bed of Life"

Well, we have another storm brewing, so I think I'll put down the computer and listen to the bamboo chatter.