The Story of Serendipity Garden
The story of Florida since the beginning of the 20th century is one of transformation. And one of the biggest transformations has been to the land. People for over a hundred years have been trying to make Florida into what is commonly seen as a more habitable place than it was during the 19th century and before. Much of this was accomplished by relieving the land of its water and trees. Now in the 21st century, many are recognizing where we have gone wrong and are going wrong still. Now that population increases are putting pressure on our water resources and natural landscapes are being rapidly swallowed up by generic-looking developments, people are looking for ways to bring a more natural, Florida-friendly look to their own backyards. We would like to help you by giving you some information and inspiration from our own garden... and from our own experience with transforming our little piece of Florida. We have never had a lot of money for use in our yard, but still....over time....and with a little creativity....serendipity has happened in our garden.
Twenty-five years ago when we bought our property in Weirsdale in Marion County, it was two acres of dead orange trees. Multiple freezes had successfully killed off the citrus industry in this part of Florida. In the 1800's this land probably was a sandhill habitat of longleaf pine and turkey oaks for the most part...that natural community was long gone by the 1980's. We cleared the land of the dead trees and plopped our mobile home in the middle of a big rectangle of nothing. Within a couple of years, we planted a few small trees. It was hard to imagine them as mature trees.
We were the 1st in the neighborhood!
That's a sycamore and a laurel oak.
View from the house. At that time, we drove a Subaru and I was 20 lbs. lighter.
I wish I still had the car and the body!
As the saying goes...time changes everything. And, hopefully, when it does change, it's for the better. Let's do our part to help Florida's change be for the better!
Now you can't even see our house for the trees.
That's a 2 story garage visible in the break between trees.
Sycamores and laurel oaks
View from the house now.
Be Our Guest
To help you understand more about Florida-friendly landscaping while, hopefully, providing you some inspiration, my garden is open on an appointment basis as a demonstration garden. I have a lot of Florida-friendly plants and natives planted in my garden, several rainwater catchment systems and two green roofs. Of course, we will also have a number of our outdoor structures and furniture pieces for you to look at, in case you are shopping for something for your yard.
For more photos of the garden...please visit the "Photo Gallery" page