Garden Photo of the Day

Monica’s Florida Garden

Creative gardening

small brick circle patio with plants surrounding

My name is Monica Babwah. I live in New Port Richey, Florida, with my husband and four children. I’ve been busy with landscape design for about four years, and I just love the benefits it adds to your life and the people around you. I started planting when my dad would visit from Long Island, New York. It gave him something to look at, and he said it made him feel good. He would sit in the shade and admire the trees and flowers while sipping from a cup of herb tea. I saw how good it made him feel, which made me want to continue my journey of a captivating landscape. My father passed away on May 30, 2023. In remembrance of my beloved father, I keep planting!

I admire a landscape that shapes itself naturally with a little trimming to keep it under control. A variety of plants add such a nice touch to your yard. An accent of color gives off that whimsical feel. I stopped using mulch due to its washing into the street and down my walkway. I added a ground cover and slate to my design, and it looks wonderful. The ground cover keeps the weeds from growing in my flowerbeds, and the slate is too heavy to wash away.

yard around house before any gardeningBefore

shrubs, small trees and ground covers around a brick garden pathAnd after. I used Veronica prostrata (Zones 4–9) down the cement walkway. It’s a ground cover that produces beautiful blue flowers that love full sun. I added black slate to give it that finishing touch.

garden at dusk with lots of plants in bloomBeautiful summer Florida blooms

small brick circle patio with plants surroundingThis was just a plain brick circle until I added some purple Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia, Zones 9–11 or as an annual). At maturity it reaches about 1 to 2 feet tall. It is perfect to use as a border or ground cover. I trim it a little to keep the circular shape.

small plants along a antique brick walkwayEvolvulus (Zones 9–11 or as an annual), known as Blue Daze, lines my walkway with bricks from the 1800s that I purchased for $50. I cleaned and laid every brick, hoping one day one of my children would walk down them to marry the love of their life.

old broken slabs of concrete used to create a unique garden bedWhy let old concrete go to waste when you can create a living mosaic? I added purslanes, ferns, and succulents. It didn’t take much to capture the look that I wanted!

If you want to see more from Monica, check out her TikTok: @creativehomedesigns


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View Comments


  1. katherine_8 09/04/2023

    Monica, hello from Ontario.
    You've done an incredible job!! I love the Before & After photos - I only wish there were more pics. It's obvious all the creative talent and love that has been blended into the hard work and hours devoted to building this garden. It was a bland wasteland before and you've turned into a wonderland. Your father would be proud!!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 09/04/2023

    Just fabulous!!!! What a super transformation! The house & garden went from nothing to notice to an amazing home & garden sitting snuggly in the landscaping you created.
    I just wanna walk around and explore it, it's so inviting!

  3. btucker9675 09/04/2023

    What an incredible transformation - your sense of style and artistry is great! Condolences on the loss of your Dad, I lost mine in February 2023. I grew up in Clearwater, not far from New Port Richey, and know the area well. My sister and nephews still live in Clearwater and we are going down to visit later this month. Your pretty garden will be a living memorial to your father.

  4. angelaobrienruff 09/04/2023

    You have created a beautiful garden and I applaud your hard work. Hurricane Idalia must have come close to you. I hope you and your family were safe from the storm.

  5. davidwilson3612 09/05/2023

    "Hello Monica, please pass on my warm greetings. Your work is truly amazing! The Before & After photos are fantastic, though more would be appreciated. Your creative talent and hard work have transformed a once dull wasteland into a beautiful wonderland. Your father would undoubtedly be proud of your remarkable achievement!

  6. jos29803 09/06/2023

    This is the kind of garden that makes you feel right at home. It comforts you and makes you feel all mushy and happy inside. A wonderful tribute to your Dad and I'm sure he'd be proud.

  7. davidrsanchez321 12/29/2023

    Hi Monica, Please convey my kind regards. Your artistic creations are simply astounding! The Before & After pictures are excellent, but more would be nice. A once-boring wasteland has been transformed into a stunning wonderland thanks to your creative talent and diligent work. Without a doubt, your father would be pleased with your outstanding accomplishment!

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