Today’s photos are from Leslie Roseman in Gainesville, Florida (USDA Hardiness Zone 8b). Leslie says, “Our home is twenty years old, and we live on a one acre lot. We built the home with typical north florida suburban plants (azaleas, wax myrtles, junipers and lots of grass). We used a local landscaper who used lots of L’s -liriope, lawn, etc. But then we evolved and in the last ten years have become much more serious.
“We like a wide variety of plants and travel to all different nurseries in the southeast to collect them. We have a bad case of “Zone Envy”, so we often try to push the envelope and see if we can establish a plant that might not normally do well in our zone. Most of our plants are perennials, palms,and tropicals. I use annuals as fillers for contrast and color. More than flowering plants, I really enjoy mixing different leaf textures as the contrasting textures make the different plants pop.
“We have put in some hardscape. There are three different paths in the garden, and some are a bit more difficult to navigate than others. This was done intentionally to slow the visitor and cause them to take note of the plants. Besides the paths, my favorite things in the garden are the succulents, hydrangeas, Japanese maples, and tricolor stromanthe. My husband loves the Gloriosa rothschildiana and Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ plants.
“Our biggest challenges are the cold spells. We are always running outside covering all the plants so they will hopefully survive. Our zone can occasionally get freezing snaps, so it can be a real challenge to keep our babies warm. Our house and garage often become a refuge for cold sensitive plants during these times.
We are very lucky. My husband and I are a good match. He likes to trim, I like to weed, and we usually do the plantings together. I am a Master Gardener and my husband is a Master Gardener’s assistant.
It is interesting that our two daughters grew up here in this house with a great garden, and where do they live? They live together in an apartment in New York City.” I have a feeling they will rediscover the joys of gardening as they get older, Leslie. One day…. Thanks for sharing your lush, beautiful garden with us!
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Leslie, you really have a lot of interesting elements to your garden and many gorgeous plants. I feel like I could spend a very satisfying day wandering about and noticing different details. Your husband is a judicious as well as willing pruner...I like the balance of some plants being shaped but others maintaining a more au natural appearance.
Do you and you husband ever stare at your pool with that questioning look of,"hmm, more space for gardening if..."?
What a lovely garden you have created so many beautiful and different areas. I love the winding paths and lush growth. I too am sure your daughters will come back to gardening after such an upbringing.
I do hope you are not in the path of the storm/ hurricane, if you are, good luck and fingers crossed there is no damage.
Oh my, I have to vote Leslie's the nicest garden I've seen here, it's harmonious with wonderful balance. I like the spacial element that so many seem to ignore, here the plants aren't all crowded and jumbled together yet they belong in their place near to each other. This is one of the few gardens presented here that is truly serene and relaxing to view. I enjoy all the details and how neatly everything is groomed but without being obvious, a very natural setting. And thank you very much for describing the size of the property and your honesty for telling how it began with some professional help, albiet one would never think it because it's not at all pretentious... Leslie, your property says real people live here... thank you.
meander1: The pool is their man made water feature, and it's not New Hampshire, in Florida a swimming pool is natural/normal. LOL That's one of the things I love about that garden, that they didn't squeeze in so many plants as so many professional landscapers wont to do (the more plants the larger the bill) that it looks like the plant nursery at a Lowe's garden center. Leslie has a very good eye for arrangement and how she relates the plants proves that she is a master gardener... and hubby must be a board certified plastic surgeon, everything pruned with precision yet natural. I like Leslies planter pots too, not so many plants squeezed in so that the individual plants are lost among each other. I think Leslie needs to plant a couple three semi dwarf citrus trees, I can't here in NY or I most certainly would; lemon, tangerine, and kumquat... I love saying kumquat, I love eating kumquat too.
Leslie, you have a beautiful garden. I envy the acre you have as well as the warmer climate. The pathways are so inviting. I imagine it is quite a scramble when it's time to protect the "babies" from possible cold. Good that you have a "helper" and somewhere to shelter the plants. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks so much for the wonderful comments! tractor1: we have a satsuma tangerine, hamlin oranges, kumquats, celeste figs, as well as meyer lemons also growing on our property. Good guess about my hubby being a plastic surgeon. You're very close but he is a retina doctor. Happy gardening!
I am so fortunate to have toured Leslie's gardens. They are even more impressive first hand. She and her husband have done an amazing job.
What a treat to see your garden. My husband and I met at U of F, and I always like to have an excuse to drive through Gainesville when we visit family in Florida. Your photos almost make me homesick. I spent most of my growing up years in a more southern part of the state, and my first spring in Gainesville was a great surprise; redbuds and dogwoods had not been familiar to me, and I fell in love with them. Luckily, we get plenty of them here in Atlanta. Your plant combinations are very, very lovely.
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