Gal Pal Wants a Garden Wedding

I’ve reached the age when engagement and pregnancy announcements are all the buzz in my news feed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sincerely happy for each and every one of those lovebirds and parents-to-be.  But out of all those notifications from the past year, the one which stood out the most was from my long-time gal pal Casey.

Months have passed since the news broke on Facebook.  She also made time to share the news personally over a lunch date in a Winter Park pastry shop.  Sweet, right?

It doesn’t seem like much but I’ve experienced a series of wedding invitation snubs over the years.  Why do I care? I think it’ll be a hassle to get fit, dress up, and find myself a strictly platonic date — but you know what? The blood, sweat, and dedication will all be worth it to witness the momentous day.

In the off chance Casey’s engagement didn’t excite me enough, she’s commissioning my garden design [slash] horticultural expertise for her backyard wedding in a maybe-soon-to-be purchased home. Even if Casey and her fiance’s plans to own a home is pushed back for later in life, I still believe a garden-themed wedding will be a strong contender for any type of venue.

Though planning for the wedding may still be in the developmental stage, it’s never too early to start researching, right? I wish college-aged me had that kind of work ethic.

Anyways… Let’s get to business. Here’s what I found, so far, from the lovely world wide web (mostly from a single source… Thanks Ruffled!).

1920’s Garden Wedding

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 [Hat Tip: Ruffled / Wedding Location: Salisbury, UK / Venue: Larmer Tree Garden / Photos By: Lisa Dawn]

Peacock Garden Wedding

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[Hat Tip: Ruffled / Wedding Location: Austin, TX / Venue: Mayfield Park and Preserve / Photos: Gabe Aceves]

I’m sure there’s more out there for me to explore all things garden-style weddings. If you can offer a tip with links or suggestions, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Until next time…

Category: Garden Projects 4 Comments

Celebrate Earth

419 Earth Day 2013_0

Happy Earth Day, y’all!

The treehugger [slash] green-thumber in me believes in celebrating our planet on days beyond April 22.  For some of my buddies, it’s easy to keep mother nature low in the priority list.  I’m looking at you and your F-450, Bubba.

Stow away your guilt because I have a list of local (Florida) and national organizations you can follow or down-right commit yourself to commemorate the greenest of all holidays. Sidebar: does it count as a holiday if I had to show up to work this morning? Ugh.

Here’s my list…

Sierra Club: Founded by John Muir, America’s most renowned and influential naturalist, Sierra Club is perhaps THE organization to join if you’re serious in your pledge to Earth.  Sierra Club is a national organization advancing environmental causes from the grassroots level and there are state-level chapters you can join as well.

Florida Native Plant Society: The mission of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.  I’m sure there are similar societies like FNPS beyond the sunshine state.

American Community Gardening Association: If you’d rather get down and dirty with your new best friends, the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is a fantastic resource to build community and expand your social network (sans the interwebz) through the power of gardening.

So there you have it! Three out of a multitude of associations to help you perk up your green credentials.  Feel free to add any of your favorite organizations, or share your tips on how to become a better ambassador for our planet, all by leaving a comment below.


Category: Holidays Leave a Comment

The Gardenyard Project

2013-04-14 20.29.07

Human nature dictates that the last thing we want to do at home is something that reminds us of our work life.  My challenge is that I maintain the gardens of a well-known central Florida resort for a living.  Therefore, with the photo placed above, the aforementioned theory is proven to be true in my life.  I do an awesome job at work (yayyyyyy!), but my home garden begs for my love and undivided attention (boooooo! you rookie!).

It only took me 19 months from the moment I moved in to my spring awakening today, but I guess good things happen to gardens who wait, right?  In order to inspire me, I’ve compiled a list of five things I want to incorporate in this plot of sand and weeds that will soon carry the name Gardenyard.


Use of Vertical Height


I have a small space flanked by walls on two sides, but the lack of horizontal space won’t curb my creativity. Vertical is the way to go. The real question is: What materials will I use to build a vertical garden? Reclaimed wood, reusing an old pallet, concrete blocks, metal cans, a wall of felt? The possibilities are bountiful!



by Falling Waters Landscape - California

I’d like to keep things simple in this department. As much as I appreciate the natural look of jagged edges on flagstone, the rectangular shape of Gardenyard would be best complimented by angular lines illustrated by the photo above.



Gardening Container Gardens

If I’m going with the streamlined look of grey angular stones in Gardenyard’s floor, the endless styles of containers will satisfy my appetite for the wild and crazy. Variations like colors, textures, container types, and infinity!




Gardenyard does not offer me the size to make it an outdoor living space, but as long as I can lounge outside, bask under the sun with a mojito readily stationed on a table next to me, I’ll be a happy (and responsibly boozed) gardener.




Look, folks, asking me to pick a favorite plant will be a mistake in your part because I can bore you with a 30-minute ramble on why I’m upset Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) is not suited well for Zone 9B (my home zone). The next best thing are succulents. They are just so… What’s are the words? Ah, YES! Thrilling and filling.


The Big Finish!

So there you have it. These are my garden inspirations fueling the pursuit for a more perfect and beautiful Gardenyard. What are some projects you would love to start this spring (or summer) out in your own garden?


Further Reading
[Urban Gardens | Growing Up: A Guide to Great Gardens in Small Spaces]
[The Gazette (Cedar Rapids) | Container Gardening 101]
[ | Choosing Plants for a Small Garden]
[Garden Dancing | The Amazing World of Succulents]
Category: Gardenyard 3 Comments

Plants of The Masters

On the weekend of the first full week of April, professional golfers and followers of the game of golf shift their attention to a quaint southern city nestled on the Georgia-South Carolina state line.  Augusta, Georgia’s “Garden City,” is home to golf’s most loved and coveted championship — The Masters Tournament.

While all eyes were trained on the professional golfers and the who’s who in Augusta National Golf Club’s guest list of spectators, I focused my attention — shamelessly, I might add — on Augusta National’s flora.  Why?  Well, ummm, how can I put this…  It’s eye candy to me and the plant life within the storied golf course plays just as much of a vital role in The Masters’ lore as the legendary green jackets.

The golf course which has played host to The Masters Tournament since its establishment in 1934 was formerly a plant nursery (you learn something new from Wikipedia everyday).  So, naturally, all 18 holes of the course are named after plants based on the association with its namesake plant.  The tributes to plants continue on from an iconic oak tree affectionately named “The Big Oak Tree” to the main driveway, Magnolia Lane, connecting Augusta National’s clubhouse to the rest of the city (read: real world).

So on this “Final Round” Sunday, please excuse me for I have righteously made my case to admire the small but mighty non-human legends of Augusta National and The Masters.

P.S. I also solidified my case for being a hort nerd, as if this garden blog isn’t proving it already.

Category: Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Spring Weeding With Friends

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The blogging deities, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Atwood would have been immensely proud of us on “Yard Clean Up” Saturday.

Remember that quote by Henry David Thoreau, from my first post, which described gardening as a social and civil activity?  What’s that?  Of course you remember because I rarely post on my blog?…

Tough crowd.

Well, apparently, it inspired my friend over at Sturdy Thirty to plan a yard clean-up party over the weekend.  I’d say it was a FUNtastic way to spend a gorgeous and sunny Saturday.  Surely beats being cramped indoors like the hermit crab I’ve recently become.  Oh, college…  How I miss you so.

Stephanie, another friend who has a blog of her own, joined the green thumb battle against weeds and other unpleasant things in Sturdy Thirty’s yard.  If we learned anything, other than I’m a gardener who forgets to bring his own tools to a garden party is that smelling like dirt (and blogging) is much more exciting in the company of friends.

The next challenge is to keep up the beautification streak and attend future garden parties at Sturdy Thirty’s place and start a long overdue garden project in the back of my family’s townhouse.

Spring is in the air and I’m loving it!

Category: Spring Gardening Leave a Comment

Sweet Cordyline!!!

Cordyline terminalis (source:

Womp! Womp! Womp!

For the first edition of Plant Du Jour, I’m taking it back to when my infatuation with a Cordyline began.  The year was 2005 and I was commissioned by the madre to design and install my first tiny plot of garden space — a narrow strip by the family house’s front entry.  With challenges identified, Cordyline terminalis (Ti plant) was the champion who caught my eye.  The leaves were gorgeous, the rootball was the right size for the tiny space, and it was just (blind) love at first sight.

Ti plants are known in many cultures for providing good fortune to its human caretaker.  Being that I selected this plant without knowing the plant information (care requirements, usage, spacing, plant hardiness, etc.), I consider myself lucky the Cordyline sisters in the front yard survived as long as it did.

With two degrees in horticulture, I’m wise enough in not falling blindly in love with a plant without knowing the details. But this is a story of how a young inexperienced Victor took a gamble and succeeded.

In keeping with the blog post title, I’ll let Neil Diamond close things off…

Sweet Cordyline
Good times never seemed so good
Sweet Cordyline,
I believe they never could
Sweet Cordyline………

Category: Plant Du Jour 1 Comment
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