weekend project: avant-garde(ning)

While most of the country is still mired in the miserable winter weather (the northeast got more snow today!?) I am lucky enough to be in sunny south Florida enjoying the warm air and 80 degree days. Not to worry- in three short months when everyone else is rejoicing spring’s arrival, I’ll be wiping the sweat from my brow and awaiting the return of autumn and winter. But in the meantime, I’ve been taking advantage of the weather and getting some outdoor projects crossed off my never-ending list of to-do’s. First up, planting a mini garden in my front yard.

Mini garden

Projects like these enhance the curb-appeal of your home, which in turn increases property value. When I moved in to my house over a year ago this area was filled with ugly weeds and plants that never met their full potential. So, I ripped these all out at the root, headed over to Home Depot for some new flora, and TA-DA my new mini garden!

Hibiscus plant

I planted pink and yellow hibiscus plants in the back row of my “garden,” planted golden shrimp plants in the front row for some variety, and flanked these by two simple green leafy plants on either end.

Golden shrimp plant

Then, I covered the dirt surrounding the plants with mulch. The upkeep is fairly simple- water the plants 2 to 3 times a week, prune them when dead leaves or flowers show up, and fertilize every three months (this will vary depending on the type of fertilizer you buy- see the packaging for directions). The most important thing to remember is to find out exactly how much water/sunlight/fertilizer the particular plant that you chose needs and then to follow these guidelines for a healthy garden. Most of this info can be found on the fact sheet that comes with the plant or flower when you purchase it. For additional information, simply Google it– there are tons of helpful web sites out there for the clueless gardener.

While I am on the subject of plants- don’t forget to add some indoors.  They bring a breath of fresh air  and calmness to a space.  To bring the outdoors in I chose a european fan palm- it requires very little upkeep or watering, all I have to do is put it near a window so it gets adequate sunlight. 

European fan palm