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

Monday, June 28, 2010



baby,you and me…..”

ooops-kinda got carried away…….sorry,Jackson 5

Let’s get started shall we?

A is for …..IMG_5028

Acidantheras(bicolor murielae)

or Sword Lily(a member of the gladiolus family)


On a lark,I bought these bulbs at Home Depot,back in January,when we were in the midst of the freezing weather.I planted them in pots,as we have an armadillo problem(meaning if I plant a bulb,they can smell it a mile away,and chow down!). Once they had sprouted,I,carefully transplanted them into the garden.Hardy to Zone 6,they should be planted in clusters.They are supposed to bloom throughout the hot summers of Florida(we shall see….).So far,they seem to like alot of sun,and are relatively drought tolerant.They grow 1-3 feet tall and have a spread of 1-3 feet.Since they have bloomed I wish I had planted all of them.According to the literature,they are supposed to be fragrant,but so far I haven’t noticed a fragrance(it could be my allergies….).But they are stunning growing up through the Giant Liriope.A beautiful contrast.I’m glad that I planted them amongst the Liriope,as like glads,they tend to bend over with the weight of their flowers.It will be interesting to see how they do as the Florida summer progresses.And,of course,next year……

B is for …….



C is for …….

caladiums and conch shellsIMG_5039

we use the Horse Conch shells(the not-so-good-ones,found through out the years,on Sanibel Island) as yard art and planters for bromeliads.


and please try not to notice Buddha flat on his face….

D is for Dragonfly…….IMG_4922

Jumping ahead to S……

(why bother with the rest of the alphabet……?)

S is for….. IMG_4948


(e is for eeeeK!)


I know nothing about spiders,except that I don’t care for them all that much.

So feel free to identify,

if you so chose.

And,that is your lesson for today.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010



Lubbers – 0

Me – 4


I kind of scare myself,sometimes.

I may be taking too much delight in clipping their heads off…..

On second thought…..nah!

Wasp nests – 0

Me – 2



Thermometer – 1

Me- 0

IMG_5061Taken at 9:30 PM

Where are the late afternoon,cooling,summer showers that Florida is known for?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mystery Solved!

Something was eating my Curcumas,that surround our pool area…..


At first I thought I had a really,



bad infestation of Lubbers…..

But I knew Lubbers didn’t eat foliage like this…..


Whatever could be doing this kind of damage?

Then,the other evening,while sitting by the pool enjoying a glass of wine,YardBoy says,

”Look!The far side of the pool.By those plants of your’s.”

(those plants of your’s? ………sheeesh!)

Upon closer imspection……….IMG_4983

Mystery solved…..!


If only it wasn’t so darned cute!

Be very careful,you wascally wabbit you,

or this fella might make a dinner outta  you…..


He’s lookin’ kinda hungry….

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father’s Day With My Dad,Still The Greatest Gardener I Shall Ever Know


This is a kind of bittersweet post,

as I am afraid this could very well be the last Father’s Day I have with my Dad.

Today,YardBoy and I went to visit my Dad.He is getting quite frail these days,and didn’t feel up to coming to visit TheGreatWall.We took him his favorites:


bananas(“They refrigerate the ones here,and that ruins bananas,you know.”),

Crystal Lite Lemonade(“I only use half of what they say.It’s way too sweet for me,otherwise.Plus,it lasts longer.” Dad,fer crying out loud,it’s ok to use it the way they say. “No,it’s too sweet!”),



and peanuts.

Hey—you get to be 91,you can eat whatever you want,right?

His mind wanders these days.Sometimes he’s not sure where he is and panics.And calls me.Afraid.Not knowing what to do.It scares me,but I know I must remain calm.”Call the aide,Dad.”

So,today,we talked of many things……….

I have learned not to mention Nancy Pelosi,or Republicans(this from a man who voted for Barry Goldwater!).

We talked mostly of gardening.

I still have so much to learn from that man.And these days,I find myself writing things down to ask him.

What did you do with Lubbers?”

Cut their heads off and smashed them with the shovel.Only way to kill ‘em.You can stomp on ‘em,too.They damn well cleaned out my hibiscus every year.Hate those things.”

I asked him everything I could remember to ask about orchids….

Leave ‘em alone.”

And tomatoes(I have a problem with stink bugs on my tomatoes)

Tell the County to get going on that drainage thing and I’ll bet your stink bugs go away.”

Never thought of that…..

You don’t have Horn Worms or Leaf Rollers on your tomatoes?”


Lucky you.Always had a problem with those.But not stink bugs.Hmmm…”

As we were leaving,when he thought I couldn’t hear,I heard him say to YardBoy,”I’m not doing well.I’m going downhill,you know.”

I heard……

Please God,

just one more Father’s Day.

I still have questions………

image0 ….me and my Dad….

Friday, June 18, 2010

@#$%!&* !!!!!!!!



I won’t show you the aftermath,but,credit to Meems,it is now headless and smashed into the dirt!

Let this be a lesson,all you Lubbers out there:

You come into this garden,you’re gonna end up like this one!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holding Out For A Hero…..


There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.
-Ernest Hemingway

He’s not an old man.

He’s not a boy.

He’s YardBoy!!

(AKA JonJ)

and he’s taking a nap………


When suddenly…….

Out of nowhere,

what should appear?!

Not a fish,but a…….

Shark!!!!! IMG_4964

Be careful…

be very,very careful,JonJ…….

Hooper: Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all.(“Jaws”)


Quint: I'm not talkin' 'bout pleasure boatin' or day sailin'. I'm talkin' 'bout workin' for a livin'. I'm talkin' 'bout sharkin'! (“Jaws)


My hero!!!!!


I swear the heat and humidity are making us do weird things…….

certainly way too hot for gardening………..

Friday, June 11, 2010

Let’s Take A Photo Tour of TheGreatWall…….


Late this afternoon,while strolling in the garden-

glass of wine in hand,

just checking things out----

I noticed the way the late afternoon sun was shining through the oak trees,and thought it would be an excellent time to play with the camera settings.

It was much too hot,today,to do any work in the garden,except for photography…

So,humor me,and come along while we take a photo tour of TheGreatWallofLutz…..


As we walk down the steps,from the pool area,around to the lower level…IMG_4923On to the butterfly garden…..IMG_4918 Notice the neighbor’s addition in the background-now called TheGreatTowerofLutz…




The butterflies just did not want to pose,today.Must have been the heat….




The shade garden…….IMG_4913


Orchids hanging in the oaks…IMG_4926  The succulent garden…….IMG_4929and back up the steps to the pool area…..yep,the birdbath is a little off kilter….IMG_4925  On a table by the pool,some seashells in a bowl……IMG_4938

I feel the garden should be a reflection of the things you enjoy.Some may call our garden a mish-mash.I call it organized chaos.

It works for us…..we love it.

This weekend we’re taking off for the beach.No gardening,but, hopefully,plenty of photo ops.

and no tar-balls……

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My New Best Friend…….


When it’s this hot out……

IMG_4905This was at 4 PM,

in the shade!

Day-um!That’s hot!

if you want to work in the garden,you need the best help you can find.

Not compost,not the sharpest,nor best tools in the shed,but this…..

IMG_4907 I am here to testify that this gizmo works!

Pinky swear!

This sucker lowers the feeling of the temperature a good ten degrees!Now,I wish I could lay claim to this idea,but we “borrowed” the idea from friends who had one for a bar-b-que they had.We thought it would be a great idea for when the kids and g’kids were here.Dontcha just love a good idea?

but I digress…..

We bought the larger version for use around our pool(we’re not screened in;nor do we have much shade around the pool).And it works perfectly.Almost too perfectly,as a matter of fact.Even though it has an adjuster knob,it does put out quite a bit of mist.

Later,we went back and bought the smaller size for it’s portability.

But we have found that the larger one is better for gardening,


and the smaller one is better for the area around the pool.

Or in  the small screened in area that is off of our dining room.











The tropicals,orchids,and bromeliads that we keep  on this covered area,just love this gizmo.


I have some serious love goin’  on with these…..

Go ahead-----buy one.

You know you want to.

Some random thoughts---

It’s not as good as wearing quick-dry clothes and jumping in the pool,to cool off.

It takes some playing with the adjustments of the misters to get them just right.If you have too much mist you might be spraying your patio with chlorine,to get rid of the algae.

The butterflies love it!


Sunday, June 6, 2010



It was hot today.

The sort of Florida mid-summer hot!

The kind of hot where you just want to laze in the pool.


Not give a thought to the garden.

But give a thought I did.

Up and at it,early.

Before the temperature and humidity got too bad.


Time to harvest the bounty of basil,that we have this year.

And the parsley and oregano,too.I don’t know why,nor am I questioning,but I seem to have the best luck with herbs,here on TheGreatWall.Could it be our alkaline soil?

The afternoon was spent making Pesto.Some to use for tonight’s dinner,and some to freeze for later….

Here some of the basil,parsley,and oregano,as a bouquet, in a jar of water.IMG_4891

Their aroma is intense.

It can be smelled throughout the entire house.


Dinner this evening was an hors d’ouerve of pesto,panetini(I cheat-I bought it at Sam’s),and grape tomatoes from the garden(I have some serious grape tomato love going on---they perform incredibly well in our Florida heat).IMG_4898 and don’t forget the Merlot!

and a dinner of boneless chicken breasts cooked on the grill.With pesto,

of course!


Not mentioning what will be frozen for future use,

but this week,I am sure that we will be having Pesto Spaghetti,Pesto pizza……

muchas gracias to whomever invented the vacuum sealer


I think I hear YardBoy calling me…..

”Dinner’s ready!”

Excuse me,but I gotta run……

Stay tuned for tabulleh(with our bounty of parsley)…….

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Ooops Turned Good….


Occasionally, we gardeners screw up.I just found out I did.Not that I don’t have many screw-ups in my repertoire….But sometimes those screw-ups turn out pretty good.

After planting carrot seeds last fall,I must have forgotten I wiped my hands and dropped some carrot seeds in a flower pot containing a parsley plant.After the Swallowtail cats ate the parsley I guess I thought that the parsley had started to re-grow.

Thinking that the parsley had a severe case of the wilts,I decided to yank it out.

Guess what I found?






What to do with it?I figured it would probably be very woody tasting,so I put it in the mini food processor with an under producing Vidalia Onion(waste not-want not),some molasses,sea salt,pepper,and garlic.

(garlic improves the flavor of everything,no?)


Whipped it up.Put it in the oven for a bit(just to cook thru).

And voila’

IMG_4883 with more of YardBoy’s roses in the background….

Turned out pretty good.With a flavor reminiscent of Hubbard Squash. Served up with the last of the Beefsteak tomatoes and the last of the Green Beans…..

It’s better to be lucky than good,I guess…….

and a pretty good dinner,too!


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