Florida Gardening forum: Moving to Florida

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Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
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JamesAcclaims
Mar 6, 2017 1:16 PM CST
Hello, all! I speak to a few Floridians in and out of the other threads, but many of you, I do not know.

Me and my significant other are moving to northeast Florida, specifically the Jacksonville area.

Does anyone have any preferences, experiences, or favorite areas? We kind of would like to stay coastal, if possible, or at least near the river or lake if not, because that's what we're used to. I am a Texan, and am looking forward to the move, but know nothing about the area.

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I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
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ardesia
Mar 6, 2017 4:14 PM CST
Hi James, lucky you! Northeast FL is a great place to live. My son lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and my husband and I are looking there ourselves. It is between the ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway and each are only 10 minutes from his home. We are very happy where we are in SC so our search is half hearted for now but we are old enough to know we should be closer to family and I do like the area. There are many new neighborhoods there including one called Nocatee that will have a lot of amenities and still be close to the beach. Many neighborhoods are gated and have associated charges which you have to consider. Some are very reasonable and others are through the roof high. Just depends on what you want. Prior to moving to PVB, my son lived about 20 minutes away by Julington Creek which runs into the St. Johns River. There are many beautiful areas along the St. Johns that are more rural and although you are not that far from downtown Jacksonville you can still experience old Florida. Good luck.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Mar 6, 2017 4:53 PM CST
James are you sure you guys want to be that far north? It gets cold up here you know.

Just a word of caution.... there are some really rough places in Jax and I mean really rough so be careful where you settle & make sure to check it out thoroughly first.

I really don't know the Jax area so can't help you out. Are you looking to rent or buy?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Mar 6, 2017 4:59 PM CST
@quilter
Jean do you have any advice for James?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
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JamesAcclaims
Mar 6, 2017 5:21 PM CST
Alice, Thanks for the advice and input! I have heard good things about Ponte Vedra Beach. It seems like a nice area. As far as over by St. Johns, It seems that it may be a little too "suburban" for us, but I will definitely check it out.

flaflwrgrl, I know, it is colder than I would prefer, but we have no choice. We have to be in the vicinity of NASJAX. Can't tell the military no. Just through websites and apartment searching, I have seen that there are some pretty rough areas just on google maps. We are looking to rent. Will be there for at least 6 months, and sometime near the end of the 6 months we will know if we are staying for years or leaving out again. I am definitely not looking forward to the cold, or being uber cramped into a small apartment for a while.

He will be commuting to work only 2 to 3 days a week, so he does not mind the further drive from the beach areas/further south toward Ponte Vedra if it is nicer. I wish St. Augustine was just a tad bit closer.

I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Mar 6, 2017 6:30 PM CST
St. Augustine is a really nice place.
Are y'all planning a pre-look trip? That way you could drive from places like St. Augustine or Fernandina Beach & get an "in person" feel for what it would be like.

The good news is that if this is happening rather soon then you won't suffer winter here unless after the 6 months, you stay. Also, it is warmer on the coast than where I am - at least by a few degrees.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
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JamesAcclaims
Mar 6, 2017 6:47 PM CST
Happening very soon. End of the month or beginning of April soon. Military doesn't give much notice, so we won't be able to do a pre-trip to check things out, unfortunately.
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
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ardesia
Mar 6, 2017 7:47 PM CST
They have just had the mildest of winters, no cold to speak of. Tropical plants have thrived this year. JAX is a city and every city has it's bad spots but you have a multitude of good places with lots of activities around the water and off. There is an older area closer to downtown called Five Points that is an exciting place for people who want walkability. There are likely to be plenty of rentals in that area. Like they always say on HGTV, "lots of cafes and coffee shops." Ortega is another older neighborhood with lots of character.

Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Raindancer
NE Florida (Zone 9a)
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Raindancer
Mar 11, 2017 8:17 PM CST
Ponte Vedra is nice. So are the Julington Creek and Mandarin areas of Jax. Parts of Orange Park are fine also and very safe. I live in Mandarin, fifteen minutes from the base so I know it's not a long drive. Good luck in finding a place you can enjoy.
Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
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JamesAcclaims
Mar 11, 2017 8:24 PM CST
Raindancer, we've been looking at a lot of places in and around the Mandarin area. The rentals there all seem to have so many amenities. While he says he wouldn't mind the commute, I think it would be more logical to be somewhere in the middle ground of the base and the beaches.
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
[Last edited by JamesAcclaims - Mar 11, 2017 8:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Mar 11, 2017 8:32 PM CST
James are you going to need a furnished apartment?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
Image
JamesAcclaims
Mar 11, 2017 8:36 PM CST
Appliances, yes, but as far as fully furnished, we are looking at both. We have to buy stuff at some point. Between the two of us, we own a bed, two tv's, and some dishes. That's it. Lol. We were both in furnished apartments already, and then when we moved into the island townhouse, we stuck with furnished.
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
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ardesia
Mar 12, 2017 5:17 AM CST
Have you looked in the Baymeadows area? Nothing terribly unique about it but, being along 295, it is convenient and about midway between the base and the beaches.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Procrastinator
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plantladylin
Mar 15, 2017 3:49 PM CST
James, It's been a long time since I've been in the Jax area but you might want to check out Orange Park which is a city just south of NAS Jax and the Naval Base facility. In the mid 1970's my parents lived on a boat on the St. Johns river not far from the naval base and the city of Orange Park was a very nice area back then.
https://www.google.com/maps/@3...
https://www.google.com/maps/@3...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
Image
JamesAcclaims
Apr 1, 2017 2:47 PM CST
Hey, all! Thanks so much for all of your assistance and input. We are securely and fully moved in. Granted, we didn't have much time once we got orders, but we did find a place that we like. It actually had a lot of bad reviews, but all seemed to be about a bad management team, which is no longer in place. We have not had any issues, and we are as happy as can be. My part-sun plants and air plants are right at home on our very large balcony, which overlooks the river. My full sun plants are getting supplemented by a grow light, and I think they will do just fine. We'll be here about 7-8 months, and we are going to enjoy it while we're here. Hopefully sometime in late May we'll find out if we are staying in Jax or heading out of town at the end of the 8 months.

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View from our balcony:
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Other views from around the complex:
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I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Apr 1, 2017 4:57 PM CST
Looks nice.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography
Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina
Image
ardesia
Apr 1, 2017 5:47 PM CST
Sure does, you did well on short notice finding something with such a great view. Ortega area?
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
Image
JamesAcclaims
Apr 1, 2017 6:41 PM CST
Thanks, Anna!

Alice, yes off of the Ortega river.
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
[Last edited by JamesAcclaims - Apr 1, 2017 7:30 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1403643 (18)
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
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plantladylin
Apr 1, 2017 7:33 PM CST
Welcome to Florida James! Your apartment looks really nice and what a beautiful view you have of the St. Johns River! Enjoy your time there and I hope your future orders are for someplace just as pretty! Thumbs up
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: James
Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a)
(Heat zone - 8, Sunset zone - 28)
Region: Florida Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator
Image
JamesAcclaims
Apr 1, 2017 8:19 PM CST
Thanks so much, Lin! Can't wait to get out and start exploring. Still have quite a bit of settling, acclimating, and unpacking left to do first.
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon

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