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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good Byes Always Hurt…….


I love crotons!

Their colors.


The way they brighten the garden.The feeling of the tropics they bring to the garden.


But,alas,they do not do well in winter in this Zone 9B landscape.

In fact,they croak……


Even though I realize the time has come for us to part,

I am gonna miss them….

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its color
~W.S. Merwin, "Separation"

Oh,who am I kidding?

I’m never gonna give them up entirely.

In fact,I bought two more……!



But this time,one shall be planted close to the house,and the other shall be planted amongst some Giant Liriope,in the hopes that they will give them some protection,next winter.

We only part to meet again.  ~John Gay


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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blame It On The Pot…..


Did you ever realize that it




hurts when you drop a cement block on your foot?

Seriously,it hurts!

It started with this pot……….


(a resin pot,bought on clearance at Home Good’s for $10 !)

I had the plants to go in it…


It needed to be raised up…..

just to make it more pronounced…

I went to Lowe’s to buy a cement block…..

Taking it out of the truck,it slipped….

Onto my foot……

But being a true gardener(or a stupid one…),I continued on….

and ended up with this…..


IMG_4528 (told ya it needed to be raised up!)

and this…….


(three broken toes)

Pots will do that to ya!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!!!

And what a day the first day of spring was! Highs in the high 70’s(I think it may have hit 80 but I’m not sure),sunny,breezy……You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day! If only everyday could be like that.(But then they’d call it San Diego…….)
Many chores were accomplished on TheGreatWall.The day just infused us with energy.YardBoy worked on his beloved car.After reading a magazine called  “Container Gardening” (a special interest publication from Fine Gardening ), I decided to try making my own planting mix.The magazine contains recipes for different types of container planter mixes.I thought it would be fun to give it a try.
Let me explain…..After clearing out all the damage from this past winter,and realizing the palms and crotons,surrounding the pool,were all toast,I am of the thought to just use Giant Liriope and Holly Ferns.With the color accent coming from containers. Then I would be able to control their environment,and,also,to change them out with the seasons.
The first one I tried was for succulents.
5 parts perlite
4 parts bagged potting soil
1 part coarse sand(I found it a pet store,for hermit crabs…who’d a thunk that?)
pinch of rock dust (I didn’t use this.I am sooo not going to a rock quarry to beg for a pinch of rock dust.And my dad reminded me that here,in Florida,any rock dust I would get would be phosphate rock dust and that’s alkaline,and I don’t want that).
Top-dress the container with river rock,or aquarium stone(which I used).
The finished product……
The container is a resin container,that looks exactly like terra cotta.I am very pleased with the look.
Was all of this worth it?Who knows…..?
But it was fun,and a learning experience.
Next up-------soil for tropical's.
Stay tuned……….
And a shout out to Ross.
Go ‘cuse!
Sweet Sixteen,baby!
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Day In The Country…..


After two straight days of pouring rain (our rain gauge which holds 5 inches,overflowed), yesterday,we decided to take  a drive in the country.We headed to one of YardBoy’s favorite places.Back in the day,he used to camp and fish along the Rainbow River.

So,we packed a picnic lunch,got in the Tacoma and headed north,to Rainbow Springs State Park.It was known as Blue Springs,until it was developed in the 1930’s.And was quite the tourist attraction(but not as well known as Silver Springs or Weeki Wachee),until I75 came through and took the tourists away from Dunellon,and it went into decline.The springs were taken over by the state of Florida in 1990,and volunteers from the community cleared the overgrowth .At this time of year it is known for the beauty of the flowering azaleas.


If we had waited another week,it would have been spectacular to see.

But,still,it was gorgeous….

IMG_4484 IMG_4483

 Just walking the pathways.


YardBoy on the path to the Butterfly Garden, thinking, ”Please,God,don’t let her get any more ideas.”

Looking at the crystal clear water…


Wishing you had a Popeil Pocket Fisherman with you…..


On the way back,down other country roads,we stopped at a fruit stand,and bought some strawberries,tomatoes,broccoli,and some homemade Elderberry Jam(it was delish on our toast this morning!),and,of course,YardBoy had to buy a quart of hot,spicey boiled peanuts.I think you can figure out what he’s been snacking on all day…..

Today,was spent tidying up the gardens,willing freeze-damaged plants to life(I hope whispering words of encouragement works),and planting Florida Sweet and Vidalia onion  sets amongst the flower beds.

And dinner tonight is T-Bones on the grill with the broccoli and tomatoes we bought,yesterday.

Wishing everyone a great week of great gardening weather!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ya Think I Need A Fence…..?


Has anyone tried these?


I had read about them,so I convinced YardBoy to go to Lowe’s with me(actually,I was driving,so he really had no choice),to look at them….

“I just want to see if they have them.”

Of course,we walked out with two……

They snap together very easily.No tools needed.Yea!!!

All put together with newspaper as a weed block.


And all filled up with soil…..


And all planted…..


This afternoon,this little buddy was seen nosing around………….


Yep,I think I need more of a fence…………

Addendum:the bunny has decided he/she just loves the garden!YardBoy and the Chief of Security(AKA The Cat!)were busy all day shooing it away……Fence tomorrow,for sure.

What I planted…..

Eggplant:Black Beauty,Ichiban x 2(my personal fave)

Peppers:Big Early Bell(a red),Red Bell,Yummy Bell(a yellow),Hot Banana and Habenero(for YardBoy),Bonnie Green Bell x 2

Tomatoes:BigBoy,Huskey Cherry Red,Yellow Pear,BeefSteak(YardBoy insists on those)

Beans:Bush,Blue Lake

Cucumber:Bush-type(a space issue)

Radish:Cherry Belle

Carrot:Red Cored Chantenay

Lettuce:Black Seeded Simpson

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Tweaking The Front…..


After three years of freezes,the palms,by the front entry-way,looked like this……


They were rotted in the center and infested with ants.Time for them to go.

After a day and a half of me hacking away,using an a pick-axe,using the electric chain saw(I don’t do  gas power-too scary),and even trying to pull them out with the Tacoma,YardBoy finally took pity on me,and hauled out the gas powered chain saw.Done!Outta here!(I guess I owe YardBoy a ‘favor’ or two…wink-wink)But the roots still remained….


The original plan was  to replace those cold sensitive palms with something a more cold tolerant palm.But there was no way I could remove that root without a back-hoe.And that was not gonna happen.

So,it was back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan.

Since YardBoy had been considerate enough(wellll,there was some prodding from me involved) to remove the palms pretty much level,I figured I could use that as a base for a planter.

A new planter and plants were bought.


I used a Cordylline in the center,surrounded by ivy,sedum,and alyssum.Around the base are Liriope , which are just divisions off of ones we already had.They were due for some  for some thinning out anyway.

Now,comes the hard part.Waiting for everything to grow in.


I’m just not good with the patience thing…………..


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