empty lawn chairs

One Year Since the Big Move

My daughter gave me a calendar for last Christmas.  She had gone through and written some things on each of the months and in June she wrote, “One year since you moved”.  At first, it doesn’t seem like a year has gone by since we packed up the Penske truck and took the 3-day (hellish) drive from New Hampshire to Florida.  But if I give it more thought, I can see all that I did within that year, and yes, it is believable.  In fact, I did pack a lot into the past 12 months.

pampas grass
Pampas Grass grew in my northern yard, but it died over one extremely cold winter.

I had hoped to find a house to buy with a good size yard and plenty of place for gardens.  But money, or lack of it, always seems to give so few options in reality.  Florida is no longer the super cheap place to live that it used to be.  Without money, you don’t have many options, and you have to end up settling for the best you can do.

One thing I am very grateful for is that I don’t have to move in the near future.  Hopefully I will never have to move again, but I know better than to plan on that.  At least the house is in good shape.  Aside from replacing the AC unit, there isn’t much to do until the fridge stops working, or something like that.  No major repairs needed (fingers crossed).

In Florida, summer is like my winter was in the North.  Winter was a time to rest (except for shoveling snow and lugging wood for the wood stove).  There was no yard work to be done (unless you count snowplowing the driveway).  And most winters it was manageable. (2015 was a bad one.)  It’s too cold to do much outdoors, and I simply sat at my desk and worked day after day.  I was much busier in summer with my gardens and yard work.

street sweeper
Street Sweeper in May

Summer in Florida is the time to stay inside.  It is NOT the time to garden, unless you want heat-stroke.  Believe it or not, it can even be too hot to go to the beach!  I’d love to have a pool, but since I don’t, I stay inside and sit at my desk and work day after day.  Now, I look forward to Fall, the way I used to look forward to Spring.  That is when I can get back outside and do some gardening / yard work.

Hydrangeas are beginning to bloom in the north.  Next month all my hydrangeas at my old house (none of it is mine any more, but I like to pretend it is) will be blooming.  One day I will go back and take a ride (or walk) past my previous home, just to look at how much the plants have grown.  They were my babies.  I planted them, and wish I could have stuck around to see them grow year after year.  Wishes mean nothing.

Robin in birdbath
An Evening Ritual, Robins Bathing

If I ever have hydrangeas here, they will have to be in pots.  No hydrangeas can possibly withstand the heat of these summers.  They would be wilted all the time.  I’m sticking with citrus trees and tropical plants.  The vegetable garden is still in it’s experimental stage, with netting over it to block the raccoons’ escapades.

So in a year I have done a lot.  (All photos are mine, and were taken while I lived in New Hampshire.)

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4 thoughts on “One Year Since the Big Move

  1. I grow oakleaf hydrangeas and two pink ones that were given to me. They are all doing really well and they are all in the ground. There’s also a business a couple of blocks from me and they have hydrangeas in the ground as foundation plantings. They are in the shade.

    1. Thanks, I’ve never grown Oakleaf. I don’t see any hydrangeas growing around here. I will visit a local nursery and see if they have any for sale, or any suggestions. They should know better than me what might survive – if anything.

  2. I understand moving & making big changes. Moving is rated as one of life’s biggest stresses. I’m so glad you don’t have to move again. I can also empathize with being unable to go out in the summer. Texas summers are not unlike Florida’s. I experienced heat stroke one summer while mowing when it was 95+ at 9 am and I was well-hydrated. Seriously though–and I know you weren’t asking for my opinion–you should be able to grow hydrangeas in the shade in Florida. I grow them in the ground here and we get super hot, too. I also grew them in Austin where it’s even hotter in pots. ‘Course citrus and tropical plants are good too!

    1. I’d love to have your opinion… so thanks for leaving it! Maybe it’s worth a try. I do have one area of the house that seems to stay mostly in the shade year round. I’ll have to consider it. What type do you grow?

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