|Our Property on Google Earth|
I decided to walk around our yard today and take what will amount to "before" photos as I begin the process of planning the landscaping and garden areas for our property. I've been busy lately trying to learn about growing in this area. Finding plants that are natives that look nice or others that will grow in this climate without becoming invasive.
Growing in Florida takes getting used to compared to the conditions I'd been familiar with in our old home in Southern California. Though this area is considered the same zone temperature wise, the soil, weather and water conditions are quite different. I've been checking out books from the library and scouring websites and blogs to try to educate myself on plants I like the look of that will do well here.
Our property is just under 5 acres, but really only 2 of them are truly usable. We back up to a lake and the trees at the far side of the property behind the house are on an island that is part of our land. The picture from Google maps taken before we bought, shows a few years of drought conditions that seem to be breaking with all the rain we've received this season. The larger trees on our property are a mixture of pines and live oaks, with a lot of smaller palms and other trees and shrubs I've yet to learn all the names of.
I began my walk around by spotting this little guys who hangs out in the plants I have sitting on my front patio waiting for their permanent spots in the yard. He regularly stops to look at me as I water, curious about what I'm doing in his space.
I walked to the front of the property close to the road to take pictures and as I got there spotted these beauty berry plants. It seems there are a whole line of them under the pines and live oaks.
|Love the color of these as they get to this purple when ripe|
You can see how thick the understory growth is and how much we really need to clear to restore some order to the look of things.
Next I turned to the trees lining the property in front of the house nearest the street. Again we have a lot of pines and live oaks with a thick growth of palms, shrubs and vines that need some sense of order to them. Closer to the lawn are a crape myrtle, sea grape and three orange trees. There's one lone apple tree that did produce some fruit this year, but the darn squirrels managed to get them first.
|Haven't found the name for this wildflower growing under some of the trees. It's about 4 feet tall and is pretty|
|Looking towards the front of the house from the tree line|
|Trees and street beyond from front of house. The crape myrtle's not in bloom anymore.|
As you move to the side yard there is a large open space with just lawn, until you come to the tree line again. Our property extends another 150' or so further into the trees. It's back on this side that I want to clear a bit and set up our chicken area.
Next as you stand along the edge of the above set of trees and look back towards the house and the dog yard in back you can see the trees and shrubs that have become quite dense in this area.
|Looking towards the back with dog area fenced in|
|This little guy was on the fence and not so sure about me as I stopped to take a picture.|
|Back by the tree line looking towards the front yard|
In the back of the house where the pool and sunroom are, the view should be of the lake. However, with how dense the trees and brush have become from all this rain this has become obscured. I want to put in a garden in the area where the trees are behind the dog yard. I plan to really thin the smaller trees and shrubs and allow for some areas in the garden to be protected from sun and wind. We'll build raised beds in here for growing in. This will all happen over time, but you have to start laying out your plans and that's the stage I'm at right now.
|Behind dogs fenced area and pool enclosure.|
|The lake is through all the brush and reeds now blocking the view unless you're up higher in the house. The trees and brush will be thinned to create our garden space pictured here on the left of this photo.|
So with a bit more work around the yard to prepare, and my plans worked out on paper we will set about creating the environment that we had hoped for when we first decided to buy this home.
Stay tuned and eventually it will all begin to unfold.
Think we have our work cut out for us, so I definitely wanted to be able to document our progress.