About This Site

A Diary

April, 2006 - I created this site primarily as an outlet for my love of gardening and photography. It started in 2006 when I broke ground on a new house in Florida. After an unpleasant gardening experience in my previous home, I was eager to start with a clean slate, research all the possibilities and carefully design a landscape plan. I also wanted to create an online resource, based on my research, that I could refer to for guidance and share with others.

In researching gardening sites on the Web, I was intrigued by the handful of sites I found where the gardener showed the entire process of growing plants, from planting the seedlings, moving the maturing plant from place to place trying to find the right spot, the first bloom, the never ending fight against disease and pests and then finally a picture of the plant in resplendent beauty at the height of its flowering season. And occasionally I found those ever rarer gardening sites where the author was also willing to share his or her failures - an honesty I found refreshing. So, I decided to use these sites as inspiration and roll all of my ambitions, planning, dreams, successes and failures into a virtual online mulch pile - and maybe others might find it useful.

The site started out as "A Central Florida Garden" with a focus on growing plants in Florida and, in particular, Hardiness Zone 9 in the middle of that state. As I complained many times on the site, gardening in Central Florida can be a significant challenge. The hot and rainy summers tempt many gardeners to plant gorgeous tropical plants that, sadly, are often wiped out in the following Winter when a killing frost sweeps down from the North.

November, 2007 - The Web site has been up for about 18 months and has settled into a comfortable routine. The site receives almost 1,000 visits a month, which is nothing to brag about on the Web, but still confirmation that it is relevant to some people. At this point I have added references on 80 different plants along with an extensive number of photographs and links.

June, 2008 - The site is beginning to catch on and the number of monthly visitors is running around 5,000. There are nearly 500 pages of material on the site. I've also found an new passion - hardiness zone maps. It started out as simple curiosity - why were there so many different maps and why was there disagreement on the right way to measure growing areas? After extensive research, I'm still not certain (as is the USDA)

Hibiscus

December, 2009 - Things change. Life, as with gardening, is full of surprises. I had to sell the house in Florida, say goodbye to the garden I had worked on so hard and move out to the San Francisco Bay area. I hated to leave the garden, but it did allow me to return to the place I love the most, buy a boat and live out my sailing dream.

"A Central Florida Garden" went pretty much into hibernation. I did start a new site, "A Marina Bay Garden", that described my renovation of the cottage garden at my new town home. It was a humble blog with not many aspirations. One of my favorite pieces in the blog was on the history of Marina Bay and the Kaiser-Permanente Boatworks.

February, 2011 - Time to make some hard decisions. While I kept the site for "A Central Florida Garden" active for the two years since I left Florida, it is beginning to show its age. A good deal of links are no longer working and several of the articles need to be updated. Since I'm no longer a resident of Florida, there is no sense in even pretending I have an active interest in that area or a modicum of experience. Also, as a blog, my "Marina Bay Garden" site is becoming stale and difficult to keep current.

So, I've made a hard decision - it's time to shut down "A Central Florida Garden" and merge it into "A Marina Bay Garden". Hence, "Bill's Garden". It does mean a lot of work editing the existing content. Let's hope the work is worth it.

July, 2014 - I still love to garden, but other things have encroached on the time I can devote to this site. I've continued to maintain it, but I have spent little time adding new material.