Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why I Love My Bay-Friendly Landscape This July

Yes indeed. I am loving my low-maintenance, low-impact landscape right now. Let me count the ways -- at least a few of them:

1. While up and down my street I hear the sounds of lawn mowers and weed whackers, silence reigns in my yard. Wait! What's that I hear? Oh, just a bird singing.

2. I can watch my neighbors drowning in sweat as they labor in their yards while I sit on my front porch with a cool umbrella drink in hand. I'm thinking I really need to get that porch swing I've always wanted.

3. My rain gauges are now rarely empty. No more dragging hoses and buckets of water from the rain barrel to quench my plants' thirst. It's finally raining, nearly every day. And the plants look so dang PURTY after it rains.

4. Summer means butterflies! Several visit my yard each day. I am never too busy to stop and watch them. Last week our first sulphur butterfly laid eggs on one of the cassia shrubs. Our black swallowtail caterpillar has gone off to form a chrysalis. And a few more monarchs have emerged from their little cases, though we still haven't been lucky enough to catch one in the act.

5.  July gives me the best of both worlds: My summer flowers are at peak bloom, AND some of the fall bloomers are just starting to produce blossoms too. Double delight!

Liriope is beginning its fall bloom cycle 

My beautyberry is also producing lovely little pink blooms
I still can't believe it myself, but my grass-free yard really is a breeze to maintain. My biggest chores are deadheading and pruning the flowers and shrubs that are growing like there's no tomorrow. And every couple of weeks, Rick or I use our leaf blower to blow leaves off our walkways back into our landscape beds. We STILL have had virtually no weeds this year-- and the few that do sprout are easily pulled out by hand. Other than that, we spend a lot of time just admiring all our beautiful plants and wondering why the heck we didn't embark on our landscape makeover years ago. Bring on August -- we're ready!

Coleus is a versatile plant that comes in several different varieties,
 perfect for mixing and matching 
Our landscape earned designation as a
Florida-Friendly Yard last year