September 9, 2012
Nothing like some Hot Lips soda after a hard days work in the garden

Nothing like some Hot Lips soda after a hard days work in the garden

September 9, 2012
Building a path through the backyard, halfway done!!

Building a path through the backyard, halfway done!!

September 9, 2012

5 reasons to love mulch

There are lots of simple things we can do to improve the health of our gardens. Mulching is one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to make your plants as happy as they can be. Here are five reasons why I am a mulch-a-holic:

1. Protection

A solid layer of mulch serves the same purpose as the insulation in your house or apartment. It keeps you warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. Give your plants some extra loving, they will thank you by growing better!

2. Watering

I live in North Florida, and we have been in a drought. My water bill would be crazy big if it weren’t for my good friend mulch. It helps maintain a more regulated moisture level in your soil and your garden. Water stays in the ground to help your plant friend’s roots!

3. Weeding

I often find weeding to be a deeply satisfying act of gardening victory, but lately, I would rather do less of it. Laying a good layer of mulch around your plants is a natural (and effective) way to take care of encroaching weeds. It makes it harder for weeds to take root, grow, and steal water from the real plants in your garden!

4. Aesthetics

Mulch gives what I call “deliberate purpose” to a yard; it allows your eye a distinction between plant and ground. It can give your space a sense of unity, while simultaneously creating an essential separation between different types of growth. There are many colors of mulch to choose from, depending on what kind of garden you are working with!

5. Cost

My sister and I used to sing a song when my family went to K-Mart in Texas, “The birds are singing, CHEAP CHEAP, CHEAP CHEAP!” I sing this same song in my head when loading up mulch in my cart at the nursery. Mulch ranges anywhere from $1.30 - $3.50 a bag, and since gardening is not an inexpensive activity, it is usually the cheapest thing I can get! Hah! I never feel bad about throwing down $20 on mulch, because it will be the biggest, cheapest transformation I can give my garden!

A few other things to consider:

- Certain varieties of mulch, such as cypress mulch, act as natural mosquito repellant. If you have bug problems in your yard, look into mulch as a cheap, low maintenance solution.

- Some mulch may have splinters, others may not. If you like to garden barefoot or have small children, this may be a factor worth considering in your mulch choices.

-If you are thinking about mulch for an organic garden, make sure you purchase untreated mulch.

Your local nursery will happy to answer any of your mulch questions.

That’s all for now, and HAPPY GARDENING!

August 22, 2012
aliciablanchard:

Allen, TX
Glow in the yard

aliciablanchard:

Allen, TX

Glow in the yard

August 22, 2012
aliciablanchard:

New Growth, March 2012

aliciablanchard:

New Growth, March 2012

August 22, 2012

An Introduction

My name is Alicia and I love plants. I have loved plants for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories are of flowers and gardens from a tiny height, and the forests of my childhood have become highly elevated in my mind.

All I have ever wanted in life was to spend my day gardening. Nothing in the world makes me happier. My second favorite thing after gardening is photographing plants. I realized very young that a camera in hand was an excuse to spend all of my time in the woods. I have rolls of film from long ago, with frame after frame of leaves and branches.

This will be a documentation and reflection on plants, flowers, dirt, and all things garden. I have recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and am working on a new garden just this month. I have another blog where I would usually share my love of plants, but it seems time to separate the two. I will be reposting some pictures from http://aliciablanchard.tumblr.com/, and then this will be the new home for all of my gardening adventures.

This will serve as an outlet for my photographs that don’t belong on my website, but that I create with just as much deliberation and love. It will also serve as a way to share the overwhelming amounts of knowledge I have gained in my 18 years as a gardener. Having lived in just about every U.S. zone, I’ve seen it all, and have most certainly grown SOMETHING while there.

I hope this is even half as much fun for you as it is for me. And maybe it will make you want to go to the nursery and get a new plant friend.

Let the magic grow, and happy gardening!

August 22, 2012
aliciablanchard:

My petunia survived the winter freeze and is blooming again!

aliciablanchard:

My petunia survived the winter freeze and is blooming again!

August 22, 2012
aliciablanchard:

Big Pink stairs
Isle of Hope, GA

aliciablanchard:

Big Pink stairs

Isle of Hope, GA

August 22, 2012
aliciablanchard:

Isle of Hope, GA
Big Pink Peace Lily

aliciablanchard:

Isle of Hope, GA

Big Pink Peace Lily