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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend On TheGreatWall……


Not much was accomplished this weekend,on TheGreatWall.

It was hot!

It was humid!

It rained showered in the afternoons!

Oh yeah-we had company…….

Michael,the Elder,arrived with two of our favoritest people.

(Dawn and the future Ms. Emma

-can I have a round of applause for

Ms. Emma?-

arrived today,before the whole kit-and-kaboodle took off for points south).

Soooo,the weekend was pretty much taken up with this……IMG_4853

and this…….IMG_4858

and this,too….IMG_4830 Gotta show the kiddoes your old stomping grounds,and where you got into trouble,after all…….

Some gardening was accomplished.YardBoy gave a tutorial on cutting roses……IMG_4847

And two of my most favoritest men celebrated milestones……

Kyle entered double digits-10!!!!

And my Dad turned 91!IMG_4872

Can I have a woo-hoo!!!!

Chocolate cake for everyone!!!!

So,now it will be back to work.Ripping out the spring garden and getting ready for the fall garden…..

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Monday, May 24, 2010




1.the visual and esp. tactile quality of a surface


When the day is hot(I mean 90 degree hot!),and you’re floating around in the pool,there is nothing better than gazing up at textures of green-ness.It is such a feeling of the tropics and coolness.

I don’t classify the plantings around our pool area by name.I’m just not into the whole classification thing.They look good.They make a “pleasing to the eye” grouping.

Most of them are kept in containers.Intermingled with Giant Liriope.(the foundation planting on TheGreatWall).

I classify them by shape…..

Leafy ……leaves

clockwise,starting with upper left:parsley(used as a border plant),Brazilian Tree Fern,Ficus,Bird-of-Paradise,Fig,Banana

Don’t they just make you feel like you’re in the tropics?


spikey clockwise:Tillandsia,Purple Cordyline,Green Cordyline


grasses1 clockwise:grasses moving in the breeze,Bulbine,more grasses,Dwarf Papyrus,Giant Liriope(notice the visitor)

I love the movement these bring to the garden.As an added bonus,when they move in the breeze,they make one feel cooler.

Also intermingled with these are Heliconia,palms(s-l-o-w-l-y being replaced with more native palms…),Caladiums(for color),and various green ground covers.

All in the interest of bringing a sense of coolness in the hot and humid Florida summer.

All are low maintenance.Who wants maintenance,when you could be floating in the pool?

cept for lazily reaching up from the water and picking off the stray leaf or two?

Or maybe reaching for that cold glass of sweet tea,sitting on the pool edge?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Week On TheGreatWall….

After eight days away

(at the beach-yippee!),

it was time to return to gardening duties.Weeding(do you have any idea how many weeds can crop up in just eight days?),watering, trimming…..we all know the drill,right?

But the return brought many surprises……

the Spathiphyllum have returned from their freeze damage…


another plumeria has decided to join the party…..


the veggie garden is doing well….

the grape tomatoes are growing….

IMG_4769 and we soon will have Chinese Eggplant….


the first of the caladiums have returned….IMG_4752 Gingerbread(my favorite)

IMG_4742 the Cannas are blooming….

IMG_4741 now to wait for the return of the Hummingbirds,who love these cannas.We’ve had hummingbirds a few times at the Nicotiana,but I think they love the cannas most of all.

After planting the small butterfly garden,with pentas,Tampa Vervain,lavender,milkweed, cosmos, and butterfly weed,I sat and waited.

And waited….

But if you wait long enough,they will come…..

IMG_4724 and come……

IMG_4725 and come……

IMG_4737 but the most interesting critter to return to TheGreatWall is….

the green tree frog!

IMG_4761 Haven’t seen these around here in years!(I think the Cubano toads may have had an effect on them,and the freezes may have had an effect on them,as we haven’t seen any around ….yet. Fingers and toes crossed on that.)

the Giant Iris are still blooming…..

IMG_4739 and a new container has joined TheGreatWall pool area….

IMG_4762 a  mix of a begonia(don’t you just love the colors of the foliage?),pink Impatiens,and a Caladium that I got at Home Depot…..

and that’s this week’s report from TheGreatWall.

What have you done this past week?

Plans for the coming week?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

TheGreatWall goes on vacation……

We have returned from our semi-annual vacation to Sanibel Island.We had eight glorious days of fishing,shelling,relaxing on the beach and meeting up with dear,dear friends.

Even though Erich,the Younger,did his best(he ate the green beans,lettuce and radishes),the garden is never quite the same as you left it,is it?

I always find it amazing how fast the weeds take over.I guess it’s the price we gardeners pay for taking time off to have a little rest and relaxation.

So grab yourself a glass of sweet tea and  try to enjoy the photos.

(at least try to act like you’re enjoying them……)

YardBoy caught lots of fish,which are now in our freezer,to be enjoyed later on

…..(final count: 1 speckled sea trout,8 whiting----all keepers!!!We’re not counting the numerous catfish or non-sized keepers….or the fish tales!)


and that’s why I keep him….

that’s a Whiting,by the way..

We were blessed to have an active osprey nest right outside our cottage.With a very attentive set of parents,I must say.


very attentive momma,too….  “Hey,lady!Don’t mess with my kids!”

We’ve all seen tropical foliage before.

And Sanibel Island has all the usual tropicals.

(though this past winter’s freezes did have an impact there,too.The freeze damage was till visible)

But,for some reason,this time,I was focused more on the Florida friendly plants.

We all think that a barrier island,in the Gulf of  Mexico,will be covered in what we assume are tropical foliage plants.But the fact that it’s a windswept island means something else.No,the plantings are as lush and full as one would assume,but it is a barrier island after all.With the strong sea breezes….much more so than inland.And that constant wind has its effect.

Yes,there are the usual Impatiens and Vincas….


But there are beach morning glories…


and beach sunflowers……


I have never seen so many Yuccas in bloom at one time,either…..


 I have no idea what the names of these plants are,but I find them stunning…..



If anyone know the  of these plants,I would certainly love to know.

I love the combination of the orange hibiscus with the yellow flowered shrub…..and the bees seemed to love it,too,as they were all over both .


and the combination of the Sea Grape with the Ti plant and Variegated Schefflera is outstanding…..


But I have the saved the best for last.

We are blessed to have very dear friends who live on the Island.

Friends who,very recently,lost a daughter to breast cancer.

To honor her memory,a group of us bought a Weeping Hibiscus.

and this is Becky’s Garden……


When the Pink Vincas fill in,I think it will be outstanding!

Alas,with the sandy soil on Sanibel,it takes an incredible amount of amending(manure,compost,etc.)

You can read more about this amazing woman here….

make sure you have hankies ready.You’re gonna need ‘em…..

Sooo,now,it’s back to reality,and cleaning out those weeds that have over-taken the garden,mowing,blah-blah-blah……..

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