Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Big Brown Spot.....

Several weeks ago I received a letter in my mail from the property management company of my Homeowners Association asking me if I was aware of the "big Brown Spot" on my front lawn. Interesting I would miss this!!! After noticing several varieties of weeds, sedge and crabgrass with the possibility of Cinch bugs, I decided to spray the entire area to eliminate everything before my entire front yard was wiped out. It is just amazing how healthy, invasive and fast growing all the weeds become. Due to the uncommon cold winter, this big brown spot was left as is much longer then I would like it to.

I decided to not replace with St. Augustine or any other type grass which is a water guzzler and go with Florida Friendly plants that would easily adapt to the Central Florida climate.....extreme heat & humidity and that would survive sub-freezing temperature as we had this past winter.
Here you see a single row of Loropetalum in the rear. I usually start with small specimens as they are easier to plant and less expensive.
Despite the fact that it is written in the homeowners docs that sod must be replaced with sod, Florida Statute has changed due to the water shortage...... which is good news for homeowners.
State of Florida Statute makes it unlawful for any municipality to prohibit "property owners from implementing Xeriscape or Florida-friendly landscape, as defined in s. 373.185

(1) on his or her land

(2) "Xeriscape" or "Florida-friendly landscape" means quality landscapes that conserve water and protect the environment and are adaptable to local conditions and which are drought tolerant

(3) Local government ordinance may not prohibit any property owner from implementing Xeriscape or Florida-friendly landscape on his or her land." As I was working this area for planting, I dug up this "little guy" almost 2 inches tall. I suppose back about 10 years ago when my sod was installed some little child's treasure got buried and became unofficially my "Yard Man". So as I completed my planting I put him right back where he came from and he will remain my "Yard Man" till eternity.
A mature Loropetalum in my yard produces an abundance of vibrant pink fringy flowers in the Spring, sporadically during Summer and again in the fall. Some people shave them boxy like a hedge....I prefer to allow them to grow natural.

This shows a "pot bound plant". The roots of this plant need to be loosened and broken open before planting creating a happy environment for the new plant.
For contrast in height and look, I planted a row of "recycled" plants next from my own yard that had multiplied. I am currently at a loss as to the name of this plant, but they are hardy and produce a pretty blue ball shaped flower.
Drought & disease free as well as freeze tolerant Walters Viburnum, "world class", were placed next in a triangle arrangement.

Close up view of this showy, flowering native plant that will produce small clusters of flowers in winter and early spring.

Here I took a break and went to take a rest and cool off at the pool at my local YMCA, the J. Douglas Williams Family Center, in Longwood Florida.

I believe there may even be a lounge with my name on it......yes there it is, look closely.

Asiatic Jasmine plants in front. 54 little plants in total will creep together providing a dense green carpet of greenery and a great replacement for the space once occupied by a St. Augustine Lawn. Done finally, no more big brown spot.....It has been replaced with an easy maintenance Florida Friendly landscape.
Right Plant.......Right Place.......Get Planting!!


fitncrafty said...

Looks good and like you really worked hard to get it to look so good!

I like your little yard man, somehow, it reminded me of the tiki thing that Peter Brady found in the show when they went to HI. Weird I know..

Permission to Mother said...

I love how jasmine smells.

Orlando Realtor said...

Denise....the Jasmine that you are thinking about is a flowering shrub,which does have a wonderful sweet smell. I planted Asiatic Jasmine which is a "creeping" ground cover to replace the grass.

~ Jackie said...

Hurrah for not letting your HOA bully you. :) Looks great, I love Lorapetalum au naturale too!

The blue puffy ball plant is Lily of the Nile. :0

Orlando Realtor said...

Jackie thanks much for your input and the name of my "Lily of the Nile". I knew it was in the Lily family. When I first moved to Central Florida in 1988 they were in the landscape at the home I purchased. When I moved again, I also moved some of those and some Crinum Lilies. I love both plants and really baby the Crinum Lilies. They are still with me in the 3rd. home.