About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Conserve Energy with Trees

According to the University of Florida, "Residential energy use comprises about 26% of all the energy used in the state of Florida. In Central Florida, about 28% of this annual residential energy expenditure is for cooling the home during Florida's 5 to 7 month summer."

Windows and glass doors, as well as north-east and west walls account for the most heat entering a home in summer. The easiest way to reduce heat gain (and save on your electric bill) is to plant trees and shrubs in these locations.
I dropped by my local extension office for some suggestions on the best type of tree to plant on the northeast side of our home which is very warm during the morning hours. They gave me a great hand-out called, Enviroscaping to Conserve Energy: Trees for Central Florida.
Their list contained 70 varieties suitable for north, central & south Florida. I started by eliminating the "north" and "south" only trees. Then narrowed the list down according to growth rate, form, shade density, size, leaf persistance and drought tolerance. I found it very easy to use, and ended up with a selection of 5 trees that would be suitable for our particular soil.
If you're looking to plant a tree and reap the savings on your electric bill, I highly suggest using the University of Florida's Enviroscaping to Conserve Energy: Trees for Central Florida handout. It will make your decision a lot easier.
For more tips on gardening to conserve energy, click here to read their entire enviroscaping series.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Florida Garden Blogs

I've discovered many new Florida garden blogs from Gulfport to Jacksonville to West Palm Beach. I hope I placed everyone in the right location. Read on, and enjoy discovering new garden pals.

Gardening in Northeast Florida - Marina blogs about her efforts in converting her northeast Florida garden into a sustainable oasis for wildlife and human enjoyment.

Musable - "Ramblings on cooking, gardening and life..."

Bloom - "Journaling the growth of my gardens as well as my own personal growth"

Zen of Watering Your Garden - "Wrote it to encourage people to hand-water their gardens."

Bright Haven Times - "I love growing just about anything, but my favorite plants come from one certain spot. Nothing gives me greater gardening joy than to enter the well-loved garden of an..."

Roamin' and Bloomin' Idiot - "I started this blog to help me remember the progress of my journey through a new season of my life."

Our Square Foot Garden - "Gardenings, crafts, cooking, songs, and whatever grabs my imagination on a particular day."

Florida Ecomania - "...where all things Florida-friendly are discussed: local food, homegrown veggies, conservation, native plants and smaller-footprint living."

Garden Living - "Follow Emily on her gardening adventures as she tries to make her garden livable for herself and her family."

Cannas and Bananas - "I'm in love with gardens with an exotic , tropical feel and am working to convert my own basic backyard from blah to bold."

Our Garden Dirt - "My husband and I love gardening. It is our hobby as well as my husband's profession."

Gardening Fool - "A blog for impatient, somehow lazy, Central Florida gardener."

pencil and leaf - "A blog about plants, leaves and drawing based around an artist's new experience in the USA working from a botanical garden in Orlando."

Vero Beach:
Gardening Tips 123 - "A blog where people can get gardening ideas concerning organic gardening, composting, worm farms, container gardening and more."

West Palm Beach:
Green Side Up! - "Great gardens simplified!! and other advice for those with dirt under their nails."

If you know of any others, please let me know. Thanks!