“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful—that will be my life.” ~ Elsie De Wolfe
I believe that nature can heal our social problems as well as our physical and mental ones. I am certain that a society without respect for the natural world, the food it produces or the detail and ritual of the landscape is horribly impoverished. In my experience, when it comes to grounding, the earth is as good a place as any to start. ~Monty Don

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Welcome to Serena's Garden in South Florida

Greetings lovelies!

This is my first post and I want to share what I am about here in South Florida where I find myself.

I live in a house I do not own but the owner doesn't mind anything I do. After 10 years of trying to move, find other living arrangements, own a home, find community etc, nothing has worked out, so here I am and here I shall garden until I move.

We live in a world that is too harsh and filled with, to me, many unnatural things. What is natural is beneficial and this is what I need to nurture. However, in my "work" which is a combination of psychic, empathic healing, peace bearer, spiritual warrior among many others, I tend to seek out the facts of things happening on Earth and why so much turmoil and pain. I am an avid researcher and go for the figures, and statistics so I know what I'm talking about. My goal is to help people become more aware of what is truly happening by exposing what is not normally part of humanity's awareness paradigms. There is a totally esoteric and powerful archaic presence that is not visible that affects everyone and everything on Earth and beyond. I have learned this acutely and dramatically and in my quest to assist others, at least those who will listen, I have become a voice in some alternative communities but the information is so difficult and hard to take that I need to take breaks from it.
How I cleanse my mind is with Gardening and watching specifically at the end of the day, gardening programs about gardeners and their gardens....this totally cleanses my mind and releases it from the worlds turmoils and my own work, and then I can relax enough to get some sleep. Gardening is the most powerful stabilizer and healer, giving me strength and conviction in my personal Spiritual Presence.

I highly recommend anyone who needs to cleanse their mind of unwanted thoughts to go to youtube and watch some beautiful Gardening shows, there are so many and many who only post gardening shows for years, so there are many many hours of beautiful inspiration for the Spirit and to cleanse the mind.

I love beauty and lots of it. I mean gorgeousness and everywhere. In Florida this should be easy but I have found it is not that easy, since the native plants here are mostly green, tropical, and flowers are small and few. I have ideas of huge blossoms like roses, dahlias, delphiniums, hydrangeas, and on and on, but each of these flowers has its own preferences and climates. Some may do well in the north but not in the south, and only for a short time.

I want flowers all the time.
But I also want to grow 75% of what I eat in my own gardens here.
And.....I want it all to look Beautiful...all the time....
too much to ask you say?
I thought so too.....but now, after many trials and errors, I know that with cooperation with Mother Nature and working with her, and some education and patience, special attention to soil and alot of love, I can have it all. I believe this, and this blog is about the journey to a gorgeous garden of flowers and food all year long here in South Florida.

I am very influenced and inspired by those serious gardeners who hail from across the pond in England, such as Monty Don amd Carol Klein, who at the moment are my great inspirations despite being in a totally different zone, they also experience great weather fluxes and challenges, yet they succeed at having heavenly flowers and veggies at the right times.
What they have going on at their homes is absolutely breathtaking to me. I don't have their kind of space at all, my space is tiny but (almost) anything can be done when the will is there and, I have the will. :D......I also know I can scale it down and must scale it down if I am to have a complete set up with places for seedling trays, back ups, spaces for trays in their hardening phase and raised beds.

I want to go vegetarian and though I have been, it is mostly on and off. I believe the quality of veggies are not good, even organics, and they are not cheap and not enticing to me. There is nothing like seeing something beautiful and edible in the soil outside to get me to want to eat it. I want the best this Earth has to offer and I will learn how to make it happen...here in this small Garden.

I also love flowers and was a florist for many years. Basically I am a Nature girl, Of The Woods and Of The Sea, and yet in an urban city....such an odd surreal existence because what I crave is so foreign to this landscape I feel like an alien myself.
But here I am, and now is here......so........

I am wanting both flowers and vegetables, no need to do just one or the other. And I know it can be done with great beauty. Aesthetics is as critical as function and form. And even though I've been trying for 10 years now, I am not giving up in fact I am going to try harder and harder until I succeed.

This blog is about that journey......from this point of knowing now what does not work...to discovering now what does.

Please do join me.

Here are some pictures of where I am at now, but alot is going to change soon.

This is the herb bed, pretty long but only herbs. Soon I will have much more including complementary flowers in between. On the fence is muscadine grapes, which are not producing and they are not going to stay. I am thinking of planting climbing sweet peas or beans along the fence.....actually I'm pining for roses :D

The Herb Patch today......well half of it......tarragon, chives, cuban oregano, thai basil, flat leaf parsley, sage, sweet basil, rosemary, scallions, oregano in the urn, strawberries which produce no fruit but the leaves are getting bigger and maybe in the summer will bear fruits?


a Lemon in a clay pot ala Tuscany.....I love this one, it has a dozen lemons on it right now.

 I do need a few flowering bushes that are reliable and the Mussaenda is. I love the white bracts as flowers. They do well cut in vases too. I have several and two pink ones.

Zinnias in urn.....this urn will be changed according to the flowers but it will always have flowers of one kind or another in it.....unless I decide I need the space for a veggie of some kind.....maybe amaraynth? it both flowers and has edible leaves......hummm......I just got seeds for that and those beautiful long drapy flowers are magical!

 I just put in the back area where there is grass, this will stay. It was completely overcrowded before with ficus and weeds which provided no food for human nor bird nor bee so it went. I need a small space with just grass so this stays. Around the pond however I am thinking of pulling up those vincas which are not doing as well as we thought and planting it totally with a wildflower mix and mulching it with tree mulch.

This arbor we built according to my design, and it holds up fragrant Almond Bush and because it scents the garden it stays, and it also hold up Meyer Lemons.

 The topiary's are architectural pieces. I want to surround them with flowers though.

 The Rapini Bed......the urns will hold focal points of color when everything else is just green.

 How it looks now.....the rapini/broccoli rabe is growing big leaves which is the part I like, some didn't make it but the others are looking good. I am going to fill this bed soon with other veggies, when I eat all of these. I am going to add some flowers in between them too.

This urn needs something special.....

A view of the back

The veggie beds......I have 5 altogether, 4 in the back and one in the front yard.....

This one is 8 foot by 4 foot...the huge stems are Giant Elephant ears, but the lettuce mix I planted in here didn't do well. I'm going to start new seedlings and plant them in here.

This is Lampost Square.....I name my veggie beds :D......it has kale in a spiral pattern.....which I love to either juice or make into raw kale salad, with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parmesean, and salt and pepper.
On either side are tangerine trees in pots, and mint at their base.
There is also a papaya in here which I let grow only because there is space and it came in just when my other papaya tree died, and this one I will keep short to have access to the fruits. Also there is a Chalice Vine finally growing which I will train to grow against the fence.....there is one bloom there can you see it?

 The compost pile which is hidden behind a screen and has lots of plantain trees growing from it which I do love to eat. This will get expanded a bit as I do need more compost for my new plans.

The front yard has a veggie bed also about 8 feet across and just as deep, I just planted this orange tree which has the most wonderful scented flowers in the world, but no fruit yet, and in ground are collards, mustards which grow at warp speed, and a few cabbage.....all have been arranged in a pattern.......not that Nature will care :D

 mustard and cabbage.....

In a circle out front I planted a peach tree, a pink mussaenda and some peach colored penta and red ixora, a vinca, some lime green coleus which I just stuck into blank areas and it takes over, and a bougainvillea which is not flowering, sadly. I'm not crazy about this area and will replace them with either growing veggies or flowers. I have a rose that hung in there, finally have 4 roses on it at one time. It started to do better once I gave it coffee grinds, which I now continue to do, and some used tea leaves.

This is a magenta bougainvillea which is older and always flowers, but the base will get some new special treatment soon.

 Finally I leave you with a beloved pink/lavender bougainvillea by the gate.

This blog will be my Garden Journal of hopes, plantings, learnings, mistakes, successes and hopefully a community of others who will join with me so I can learn from you.

Sharing this post with Rooted In Thyme

and with The Charm of Home

and with Back to the Basics

and with May Dreams Gardens


  1. Hello dear Sister, here I am following you in this new challenge and delighting my soul -again- with pics of your lovely Nature sanctuary... I wish I could bring you to my tiny land by the sea (which currently looks much more like a desert zone) so you could turn it into a little Eden too!!! I definitely not have the talent for these green tasks (am afraid my few gifts go in another way) but you always inspire me to make an effort and put some touches of beauty here and there from time to time... Go ahead and keep on showing the world how to create heaven on Earth!!!
    Warmest hugs and blessings,

    1. I sure do wish I could do this in a place that I know I will stay, but in truth this is an experiment, though full on and full blown, I do pray to move to my own little cottage in the woods somewhere with my beautiful mothering shaman man. Yes, Heaven on Earth is exactly what I thought of in my head.....someone in my head was asking me why I worked so hard doing this gardening thing and I said ''well what else is there to do on this Earth where so much is going bad and so many ill and suffering......what would Heaven look like to you...would it have ANY trees? any plants or flowers at all? ?! LOL.....so there ! Heaven on Earth in Serena's Garden it is!
      I hope to keep inspiring your green thumb, its just you have so much else going on, but its there and it is green, I'm sure of it.

  2. What a wonderful new blog. I live in Kentucky and have recently decided to take my love of gardening more to heart. You'll be my inspiration!

    1. Oh....you have the same name as me lol...... Thank you for joining!

  3. sweet Lady, your garden already looks so beautiful to me, can't wait to see how more amazing it will become, to read about how it makes you happier. Love the idea of your Heaven on Earth. I'm watching a bit of the videos you mentioned, they feel very peaceful.
    Many hugs and much love

  4. Serena's Garden Paradise... :) I am truly in awe of your gift for working with Nature...for bringing forth these glorious beauties...your garden is living art....
    And there are the beautiful lemons! Everything is so lovely and inspiring (I love the sweet ribbons adorning the trees!)....
    Any news regarding Micanopy?

    1. Hello there Bubbles! :D....no news on Micanopy.....things are not cooperating, but it is still a beautiful dream. Thank you for visiting, nice to see you back again. hugs.


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