How to Become an Expert Gardener in a Tropical Climate. Get up Early and Eat a Big Breakfast!

Hi guys,

We are back in Maryland after a week in Georgia and Florida.

We were staying in a big, beautiful house, with a big garden. The area is very impressive, and the garden is really magical. There is a lot of Spanish moss hanging down from the trees which leads to, in combination with the palm and magnolia trees, a fairytale mood.

 Sunlight in the trees at the Reid House Farm.

Sunlight in the trees at the Reid House Farm.

But the highlight is when the sun is rising in the morning and the light glows in the trees. And in the evening it is possible to see some owls. 

 Morning sunlight in the palm and live oak trees.

Morning sunlight in the palm and live oak trees.

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A big garden needs a lot of care and so it was our work place for our week in Florida and Georgia.  Before we were able to start work each day, it was really necessary to have a good breakfast, to have enough force for the work.

Also it was really important to use mosquito spray. 

 The kitchen at the Reid House Farm.

The kitchen at the Reid House Farm.

 Getting ready to head out to the gardens from the porch. Bits of dirt from the previous day. When we finished, we also cleaned the porch and Maggie was extremely pleased.

Getting ready to head out to the gardens from the porch. Bits of dirt from the previous day. When we finished, we also cleaned the porch and Maggie was extremely pleased.

In the first days Jana and Klara cut some bushes and Lisa and Tina cleaned a secondary area of  azaleas in the arrival area. The rest of us started in to new territory where azaleas hadn't been cut down for 40 years. We cut down 5 meter Formosa Azalea bushes to 1/3 meter. This was a lot of work, because there were a lot of vines with thorns. That’s how we got one or another of the cuts on our legs, but with the teamwork of all together (including Maggie) we were able to finish our work in the beautiful garden.

 Here is where I started with Verena and Elisabeth. Behind me and in front of Verena you can see the shrubs really are 5 meters. 

Here is where I started with Verena and Elisabeth. Behind me and in front of Verena you can see the shrubs really are 5 meters. 

Our work started early in the morning, because in the afternoon it got quite hot and humid so that it was impossible to work effectively. We were surprised how much landscape we cleared and improved. Now there is a big heap of debris in front of the garden which will be removed by the town next week.

 Here is Elisabeth hauling wisteria vines that were choking the camelias. 

Here is Elisabeth hauling wisteria vines that were choking the camelias. 

 Verena with a big pile of vines. 

Verena with a big pile of vines. 

 Verena and I are raking the final debris from the first clump.

Verena and I are raking the final debris from the first clump.

 Tina and Lisa starting in to the second large clump of Formosa Azaleas. 

Tina and Lisa starting in to the second large clump of Formosa Azaleas. 

There is still a lot to do but in the future the Reid House Farm will also be a place for weddings.

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--- Monika Friedl