Plants, Trees and Flowers
I like to have a beautiful yard to look out on from our back windows so started my gardening where I look out on all the time. I started off with flowering bushes that are easy to grow like azaleas and gardenias. Then as I could afford to I added roses amongst the flowering perennials. Everyones yard is different and some may prefer more low maintenance shrubs than flowers. I planted alot of fruit trees out in the sunny part of the yard and palm trees. I try to keep tropical plants near the house so they stay warmer in the winter and are easier to run out to cover up when it's going to get below 40 degrees in the winter. We do have banana trees away from the house and the biggest ones seem to like growing on the far end of the drain field. They do die in a hard cold but you can cut them back in the early spring here in Florida and they will take off growing like crazy when it rains.
If you get to your weed pulling early in the spring and keep up with it by doing it once a week you won't be overwhelmed. In the fast approaching summer the grass in central Florida needs to be cut about once every 10 days to 2 weeks and with such a big yard it can take 2 days to mow it all. After the mowing is done and bushes and trees trimmed then we can get to the detail work of weed pulling. You have to really love being outdoors to put as much time and effort as we do into yard maintenance and gardening. It is very rewarding when you see your trees and bushes get bigger over the years. If I could afford to I would build a grape arbor out back and cover it with all the muscadine grape vines and put a table and chairs under it. My grandmother had a large grape arbor for her concord grapes in New England and I always wanted something like that. It was so covered with vines that it stayed dark and shady underneath.
We have a pond that the front porch looks out on and it has a weeping willow tree in front of it and papaya tree on the far side with a statue of the Virgin Mary in the pond. It took many years to get the yard in the shape it is in now with large flowering bushes and lots of palm trees. Sometimes we buy bushes that we know will attract more hummingbirds as we keep a hummingbird feeder on the front porch so we can watch them flit around the yard and come up to the feeder. You have to sit quietly though because sudden movement can scare them off. Butterflies are also attracted to many of the same types of flowering bushes that hummingbirds like. Sometimes we will let the new bushes we buy sit in pots for awhile near where we plan on putting them to see if we like them there first. So don't feel guilty if you don't plant something right away but do remember to water it when it is sitting in a pot. Most butterfly and hummingbird bushes like direct sunlight.