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

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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Ami said...

Chris: Glad that you had a very relaxing time to enjoy your vacation. Weeds can be taken care of later :)

Even with your warning, I clicked the link to your friend's site, and read the post with tear in my eyes. Both of your friend and her daughter were so brave to go through this. The memorial garden with the weeping hibiscus and pink vinca is the best way to remember and honor Becky, and it looks so beautiful!

Tootie said...

Chris, I think that bush with the gold flower clusters on it, is a Scrambled Egg Bush. It has several other names too.

NanaK said...

Sounds like you had a nice time away. The tribute to your friend's daughter was very touching. I can't imagine losing a child. Can't go there. Creating a lovely place to honor her was a loving thing to do for your friend.

The plant with the big green leaves with the burgundy undersides looks like clerodendrum quadriloculare to me. I have had this plant for 4 years and it gets killed to the ground every winter only to emerge a monster every spring. However, it sets buds Dec.-Jan. and so I've never had but one year that it actually bloomed. So, I yanked it this year.

Deborah said...

Fabulous photos and I LoVe the edge you did on them! What a perfect vacation spot. The garden for the daughter is absolutely stunning.
**blows kisses** Deb

Unknown said...

Thanks for the id's Tootie and NanaK.I googled them and you're both right on the money.Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Deborah-I did the edge with PhotoScape.It's a free download,and I love it!

Shellbelle said...

Chris, that is so wonderful that you were part of Becky's Memorial Garden, everyone did a beautiful job. I didn't know you knew Tootie, her words were so lovely and my heart breaks for her.

I read back and was amazed your plumeria came back! Awesome! I've planted the 2-ft cuttings I took from mine before the freeze and they are doing great, even spouting flower buds. Woo hoo for our plumerias!

Gayle said...

Becky's garden was an awesome thing to do. Glad you had an enjoyable vacation.

Anonymous said...

Enriching the environment with the garden is a touching, long-lasting way to remember your friend.

Meems said...

I am so jealous... it has been too long since I've been down to Sanibel-Captiva. But I am glad you had a great time. I know it was a much needed break.

I have the same clerodendrum and like NanaK it never flowers because it dies back just when it is suppose to be setting bloom. I love the foliage though so I just enjoy that.

Unknown said...

I think that people grow the Clerodendrum mainly for the foliage.It makes a great accent planting,that's for sure.


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