I truly love to garden. I love pulling weeds, pruning, raking leaves, and watching the flowers bloom. I even love the way the little lizards stalk me when I'm digging in the dirt revealing beetles and worms that they can easily scarf down. It is, however, just a hobby. I will not be having any prize winning rose bushes in my near future. Unfortunately, however, Florida is a tough climate to keep flowers alive in. It's either too hot or too wet; too dry or we get an unexpected frost. It seems as if the weather never cooperates. If I remember to water, we get a heavy rain immediately afterwards. If I count on the rains to come, we go through a week of zero precipitation. I can't seem to win!
But despite all my efforts, I still can't seem to keep my garden colorful and beautiful. My son, who has become quite the junior gardener thanks to his school's very large "Edu-Garden," informed me that the reason my plants die is because I simply don't water them enough. Then, being the wealth of information that he is, he told me I should put hay down on top of the soil. COASTAL hay to be specific. The hay will stay moist long after the soil dries up providing water to the plants AND, get this.....helps prevent weeds!! Who knew? The only problem with this is I'm not sure how my Home Owner's Association is going to feel about me having hay all over my front yard!
So, now, as I stare out my window at my dying and, honestly, drab garden, I wonder just what I have to do to keep my garden looking professionally groomed? Do I seriously need to spend the money on annuals every few months to keep things looking fresh? Or should I just do what my neighbor did and plant fake flowers in the ground? Hers never die!!