Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October = Outdoors!


Welcome Autumn; Welcome Friends!

Here we are smack-dab in the middle of another busy homeschooling week. I just realized, too, that I haven't officially welcomed you all to October - or as I like to say here on the Gulf Coast: "Aaaaah"ctober! It's a bit muggy today, but a great deal of thanks go to our northern friends for sending some of that cooler air our way. Monday was truly delightful with a steady breeze all day. Our windows and lanai doors are all open (though some of our neighbors' aren't yet... and some won't be all year!!) and we welcome the fresh air and sounds of life around us once more.

Beets, kale, basil and tomatoes are in the garden. Onions and spinach have been planted too, but have yet to poke up their heads. It's my second try at planting them in a month, so I wonder if I've gotten bad seeds. There's room for carrots too, if I can get to the store to get the seeds.

This weekend we will be planning for a major planting project. With the drought this summer, our grass was badly attacked by chinch bugs. Instead of replacing the grass with the same (as so many people continue to do around here - year after year ?!!?), we will be changing our landscape to include more native plants in areas as well as planting a more chinch-resistant grass, so that we do maintain some turf for the children.

So, the boulevard is going to be the first thing to go! Hee, hee. I'm so excited! Of course, no one else in the neighborhood has planted their boulevards, but there is nothing in our association rules that say we cannot. A boulevard, for those who are not familiar with the term, is about a 3 to 6-foot strip of grass that goes to the curb and the road when you have a sidewalk that passes over your yard. Most people just leave it, but living in Minneapolis all the years that we did, showed me that these otherwise blank canvases can be turned into beautiful miniature gardens. They even have websites about it here and here.


The boulevard...

So, we are planning a visit to our Florida Native Plant Society to do some shopping this weekend. I certainly don't need another project on my hands, so native plants make the most sense, requiring very little attention and producing big results! I'll be sure to post pictures as the project gets underway. I can think of one neighbor that might make a fuss (but then, he fusses about everything), but I would hope to inspire others to consider less maintenance-prone turf and more beautiful, cost-effective, native plants.


...and the damage done.

For all you nature lovers out there my Harmony Art friend, Barb, has a new blog where she is tracking their school year of nature study using the wonderful Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. Look around on both her blogs; you're sure to be inspired! As for me, I've a pile of dishes with my name on 'em, so I'd better get to it!
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