"I'm not really a career person.I'm a gardener,basically.".....George Harrison

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Need To Compromise

Ok,so we gave up on the idea we'll be able to have a vegetable garden this spring.We still haven't heard from Hillsborough County regarding the drainage project,and/or when the deed is to be done.
So,instead of going to all of the work of putting in raised beds,we went with containers.But that's easier said than done.All of our biggest containers were already being used,and we didn't want to buy new ones just for this,so we had to compromise.And,as for myself,I hate compromising. Grrrr.....
But,compromise we have done.
So,this will probably be our vegetable garden for this spring.I am loving the wash tub,though.It's all full of different types of peppers.Green,orange,hot,you name it. The tub in the lower left is pole beans,the two on the right are tomatoes,and the little one(in the back center) is arugula.All the pots have lettuce seed thrown into them.We're just making do here.We,also,planted rows of carrots and Swiss Chard,as border plants,in the other gardens.
You have no idea how we are soooo looking forward to having our regular garden back..... And that one will have raised beds,for sure.

Onward to the jungle-project.It is almost totally cleaned out,now.Thank you,thank you,thank you to whomever invented Round-Up.We finally had to give in and bite the bullet and give up on pulling and digging everything out,throw in the towel,and buy Round-Up.Now,it just needs to do its thing. In case anyone wasn't already aware of this,stink weed is a real pain to erradicate!
The votes have been counted and we're going to go with azaleas under the oak.And a bird bath will be going in there too.We will use the,temporarily,relocated liriopes as a border,with some Impatiens and Caladiums. Maybe some coleus,too.Still debating the coleus......

After a call to my dad(the go-to guy re:plumerias),the plumerias have been fertilized and cut back.At the rate we're going with the plumeria,we will eventually look like Hawaii.

We decided to put the old stump,from the big-ass schefflera,to use.It is now a cactus garden!
We need to add some more rocks around it,though.We feel a road trip coming on!

Tonite,we shall reward ourselves with T-Bones,on the grill.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Best Laid Plans.....

We had every intention,today,of arising extra early,and going to the Seafood Festival in Cortez,Florida.But when we finally awoke---we will not tell you what time---it was too late and too cold.Sooooo,it was decided we would work on the back,corner,over-grown jungle....

If you have read our previous posts,you are already aware of the jungle we have in one back corner of our yard.Considering the other side of the yard is out of the gardening question(due to the impending drainage work by Hillsborough County),we turned our collective attention to the "jungle."
After,a hard-days-work,this is what we have arrived at.....Not to mention the arguement with the weed-eater,and between us.....However(and there is always a however,when you are gardening,isn't there?),we came upon this.Big-ass roots from one of the oak trees. And we're not joking when we say big-ass.These suckers are huge!Soooo,we're thinking some sort of yard-art needs to go there.Or,maybe,a bird bath.Or,maybe,something else.....We'd love to put in a pond with koi,but we have a problem with raccoons,so that's out.
But in the midst of all the weedage and overgrowth,we found a lone impatien,desparately trying to grow.So,it was relocated to under the oak tree and given a proper home.

A while back,while triming the orchids,I had tossed aside a piece of spent orchid.Today,I found this little beauty growing,so it has been given a proper home,too.

We,also,trimmed the palms back.The ones by the pool(AKA Waterpark).They're looking kind of sad right now,but tomorrow they will start on their weekly bath of liquid copper(to prevent fungi growth) and fertilizer.
The one plant that has really enjoyed this cold winter,is the Holly Fern.It is just growing like crazy.It looks so beautiful,right now.Sooo,after all that work,today,we decided to reward ourselves with a great dinner.Nathan's Hot Dogs steamed in beer,bell peppers roasted on the grill,and potato salad(with fresh chopped parsley,from the garden).

Bon appetite!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

They Say Patience Is A Virtue......

Then,I guess,I'm not a very virtuous person.It is so hard waiting for this Florida weather to decide what it is going to do.
Saturday,we went to Home Depot to get a new blade for the chain saw,a new mamma-jamma weed eater(I gotz plans!),some liquid copper for the palms that got frozen,and other assorted gardening gadgets.You wouldn't believe what a sucker I am for gardening gadgets.
But I digress......
It seems the EPC is going t6o give the go-ahead for Hillsborough County to do their drainage thingy,so the vegetable garden is probably out for this year.(Can you hear my wail?).We,hopefully,have a three month window in which we can plant a small veggie garden.
This is the lay out of it.It is approximately 4' x 6'.Enough for some tomatoes,lettuce,and a few pepper plants(I have sent away for some Datil pepper seeds-gonna give those a try this year). Somebody(not mentioning any names here-Jon)needs to remove some cypress knees.That certain person has a new blade for their chain saw,after all.

Jon's cat thinks it's really neat we provided a new place for her to sleep.Hopefully,she'll keep the blue jays from attacking the future tomato plants,but I'm thinking,"Not!"

We did plant some onion sets.We adapted to the situation with the county,by planting them as border plants around the other gardens.
We also managed to get the 'contraband' plumeria planted.I swear,this yard is going to look like Hawaii before we're done.Hopefully,all the plumeria will adjust and in two years we should have quite the forest of plumeria.

And this shall be our next project.Getting this back corner of the yard cleaned out and planted.The oak needs to be cleaned out and made healthy again.And stink-vine has run rampant back there,so we need to get that cleaned out.We're leaning towards under plantings of variegated ginger.Or maybe azaleas......

We did buy a new gerbera daisy to plant by The Great Wall.

With all the dismal death and destruction in the yard,we needed some color.

But I still need to learn patience........

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Signs Of Life!!

Today has been a truly awesome day,weather wise. Knowing that I couldn't do anything with the gardens,I decided to turn the compost pile.And what beautiful compost I found under there.
I also found this little guy making a valiant effort to grow:
A pineapple off shoot from one of the old pineapple plants I had tossed in the pile, last fall. I quickly rescued him/her and planted him/her where he/she can grow and grow.
Considering that,after the freezes of the past two weeks,all our pineapples look similar to this:I am one happy gardener.Looks like the Pineapple Plantation is still in business after all.Fingers are crossed that all the other pineapples are just freeze damaged,and not dead.

I took a stroll around to check things out,and found the Angel's Trumpet made it through the freeze,too.Oh happy day!
Can spring be far behind?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

and a frozen out garden always get me down.(with apologies to the Carpenters).

But there are signs of hope that all was not lost.

African Iris blooming.

Bromiliads blooming.

Yesterday,we took out the dead schefflera.That was a major job!Our chain saw now needs a new blade from that job. That will mean a trip to either Home Depot or Lowe's.
Isn't it more convenient to enter those places through the Garden shop?And it's easier to find a convenient parking space by those entrances,too.Don't ya just love rationalization?

I am leaning toward putting in a few of the 'contraband' plumeria in that spot,mingled in with some palms,and an undergrowth of something or other...That's part of the fun of gardening.
Trying new plants.

If we didn't need that one special kind of bulb for the over-the-stove vent,I wouldn't have gone to Home Depot this cold,rainy morning,but we needed that darn light bulb,so I figured I would be the one to give it up for the home team......Of course,I had to enter the store through the garden section.Hey!I have to plan ahead for warm weather,don't I?

"Be strong,"I told myself."There is absolutely no point in buying anything just yet." "OK,I'll just look....."

This is what I came out with(along with the light bulb):

A kalanchoe for the front entryway.After the poinsettia was done,it needed something new in that planter,anyways.

And a new geranium for the Cantina.

This is going to be our next project.(whenever Hillsborough County gets off their collective duffs,and gets that drain project started and finished).This section of the yard will be cleaned out,by the county,and it will become a vegetable garden with raised planter beds.If only the County would get going ..........I have plans!

In the meantime,I'll just buy seeds,make plans,etc. and look forward to March when I can get the pruning shears out and go to work!


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