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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


IMG_0767 Halloween Yard Art!

YardBoy is a prosthetist,and we just happen to have fake body parts laying around.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Show Off !!!

Every garden has one….

That certain plant that waits until all the others have gone into hiding,before it shows its true colors…..IMG_0736  The one that is waiting for just the perfect moment to show off all its beauty….IMG_0727

The one that shouts out loud,

“Hey!Look at me!”IMG_0738

 But you’ll never brighten the fall garden as much as this precious flower……emmaautumnsorry canna lily-no sirree! you lose out this time….

Happy return to Autumn!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coming Attractions…..

 It’s Autumn in Florida.The fall garden is in.Now it’s time for learning that trait we gardeners are not known for.


With toe tapping anticipation we pace the garden,everyday.

Looking for signs of growth.

Then one day there it is!


2010_10_24 Swiss Chard,Acorn squash,turnips,spinach,broccoli,cabbage,collards,Roma tomatoes



emma9 our own little punkin’

Now,back to our movie…… 

With the return of cooler days and nights,and the drop in humidity,the tropicals are slowing down.But the cool weather flowers are springing to life.2010_10_241mums(I’ve had this one for years!),Lotus Begonia,Farfugium,orchids,Angel’s Trumpet( third bloom this year)

Is your patience being rewarded this Autumn?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Is A Gardener ?

Many,many things.

Oh sooo many,many things!

We come in all shapes and sizes.

Races and religions.

As do our gardens.

"Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God ."

- Thomas Jefferson

Just as much as one who farms large acreage,an urban lot,anyone who has ever tended a house plant,in a lonely little pot,is a gardener..It doesn’t seem to matter what race,religion,country of origin,political viewpoint…..we gardeners all share certain traits.Things that makes us all the same.

And these traits set us gardeners apart from the rest….

“Your first job is to prepare the soil.
The best tool for this is your neighbor's garden tiller.
If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one.”
-Dave Barry

Gardeners are sharing.If you admire a plant in their garden… ”Go ahead,take a cutting.”  They will share the bounty of the vegetable garden with friends and neighbors. This one can sometimes work in reverse.”No,I don’t need       any  more  Zucchini!”

"A garden is never so good as it will be next year."-- Thomas Cooper

Gardeners are never satisfied. ”That plant will look much better over there.”

”You know what would look good?”

“In the spring,
at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt.”
-Margaret Atwood

Gardeners always have dirty fingernails and feet.And they couldn’t be happier. A good nail brush,strong soap, and a pumice stone are their best friends.A gardener finds the smell of compost as beautiful as the finest perfume.

“I am not a greedy person except
about flowers and plants,
and then I become fanatically greedy.”
- May Sarton

Gardeners are lustful.If they see a plant in another’s garden,they must have it.If it’s not possible to have a cutting,they’ll search high and low for it.Spend hours on the internet looking for a source.They have to have it.It is the one plant that will finally make their garden complete,…‘til the next one comes along.

"Gardening is the purest of human pleasures." -- Francis Bacon

Gardeners are content with just hearing the birds visit their garden and hearing their song.Who else could find relaxation wandering their garden,in the evening,beverage of choice-mine’s Merlot- in hand,taking in and relishing all their hard work?Watching the butterflies flit.Humming birds.Dragon flies darting around,eating those pesky mosquitoes.That’s all it takes for a gardener to think,”Life is good.”

Gardeners think gardening tools are the perfect gift.Note to family-I really want a rain barrel and a gardening cart(Home Depot has the one I want,for $69),for Christmas.Seriously,I do!

Gardeners are avid readers.Of other garden blogs.You have a gardening blog?We’ll read it.We don’t care what Zone you live in,what country you’re in,what continent you live on..We’re gonna read it.Might get an idea or two…you never know.

“In the end, there is really nothing more important
than taking care of the earth
and letting it take care of you.”
- Charles Scott

Gardeners are nurturers.Of their plants.”Whattya mean you have a sore throat?My Bird-of-Paradise might freeze.Go gargle with salt water.””Laundry?I have to water the garden,fer cryin’ out loud.”

“The trouble with gardening is that is does not remain an avocation.
It becomes an obsession.”-
Phyllis McGinley

Gardeners have no will power.If a gardener is in any nursery or big box gardening center,we will bring something home.We’ll find a place for that plant.Even if we have to dig up more yard to accommodate it.

“Growth takes time. Be patient.
And while you're waiting, pull a weed.”
- Emilie Barnes

Gardeners are helpful.What gardener hasn’t gone anywhere,seen a weed and reached down to pull it out?

“Who has learned to garden
who did not at the same time learn to be patient? "
- H. L. V. Fletcher

Gardening teaches patience.Haven’t we all felt that feeling of waiting to see if the seeds we planted will sprout.Will the garden return after the cold of winter?Will that plant survive after we have moved it for the umpteenth time?Will it all look right,in the end?Just the way we planned?


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

- George Harrison


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Water Doesn’t Run Uphill

No,it doesn’t.

At TheGreatWall,it lays in the depressions,in the soil,created by the roots of our old growth Florida Oak.It lays there for days.Creating a muddy mess.

What to do?What to do?

We have ruminated over this problem all summer.

We could have had topsoil trucked in.But it would have taken enough to build  a mountain! And then we would have had to move it to the back.Not a viable solution…..Nope,not gonna happen.

So,we went with raised pathways…..IMG_0624

and digging channels to carry the water away…IMG_0626


Thankfully,Autumn has returned and the weather is much cooler.

52 degrees this morning!83 degrees this afternoon.

Almost perfect for tackling this job.

and plants that don’t mind soggy feet….IMG_0629

I divided up the Walking Irises,and planted them in the lowest spots.All summer they have been in this area,and have thrived.So they were quite overdue for a trimming,anyways.

and that’s what we’ve been up to.



It’s Autumn!!!!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Total Disruption……

on the gardening front,this past week.

First off,the Rays were in the playoffs,and we had tickets to the first game!


we were soooo going to that.

Third base line,

over the Rangers’(boooooo)dugout,

eight rows up!

Yep,we sprung for the good seats!

YardBoy:”That’s Nolan Ryan right in front of us!You see him?”

Me:”Who’s Nolan Ryan?”

YardBoy:”Are you kidding me?”

YardBoy is a total baseball freak.

Do NOT ever ask him about how he struck out Wade Boggs in JV baseball.

He STILL lives for that moment….



Didja ever notice how CrackerJacks,peanuts,and hot dogs taste better at a baseball game?

The remainder of the week was spent refreshing the containers,pruning,fertilizing,etc….




I love this grass!It so reminds me of Autumn.

Especially when it is contrasted against the Cordyline…IMG_0613Today,the Rays won,to bring the best of five series back to Tampa Bay.

If they win,we may be going back,and the garden may have to wait…… 


.(but,the hot dogs are good…)


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mission Accomplished……?

In July,2009,I wrote about what I wanted to accomplish in the coming year.With this past winter’s horrible freezing weather,and the record setting heat of this past summer,I gave it my best shot.

First up,I got my garden shed!IMG_0488 And I’m having a quite serious love affair going on with it.


And I don’t think the flame is gonna die anytime soon.

All of the landscape timbers are gone.But have yet to be replaced with another retaining wall.Miss Emma kinda interfered with that plan,but that’s ok.I think we can manage without the timber.As long as we have her…….She’s worth the wait,dontcha think?emma6She’s one month old!Lookin’ pretty cool with her “going-to-the- night-club” clothes on!Dontcha think?

With the return of slightly cooler and lower humidity weather it was time to get to work…..

 Our compost pile was just that.A pile.It has since been replaced with a proper compost bin.With a  stone path……

IMG_0548In the process of relocating the compost pile,we re-pavered the area around the well.Over the years,this area had caved in and was covered with leaves,weeds,and vines.To say the least,it was a muddy,mosquitoey,mess!It is much neater,cleaner,and easier to maneuver around.IMG_0531











In the background you can notice the new compost bin,and the well.The wood structure holds our firewood.

We replaced the area where the compost pile was,with a new shade garden.IMG_0528 The pathway is yet to be finished.

This area also had a flooding problem.Most likely caused by the compost pile.While regrading the area(the regrade works perfectly,by the way),we caused another problem.Erosion down by the waterline.Notice the dip?IMG_0532

We ,hopefully,corrected it by placing two large rocks in that area(which cannot be seen in this photo),to slow the water flow.We’ll need to find plantings for there.Something that can take only late day sun,and alot of water.We want to filter any water that flows from our yard before it enters the lake.Ideas are most welcome…..Feel free to offer up your thoughts.

Most of the plantings in the new garden are divisions of other plants we already had.Giant Liriope,Holly Fern,and Variegated Flax Lily.All of which needed dividing.No cost to us.The centerpiece is a new Australian Tree Fern.IMG_0538

I like a green back drop with splashes of color.I prefer to do that with containers.They can be changed as the seasons change.Much,much easier than replanting an entire garden.Kind of like using artwork to bring color into a neutral room.IMG_0542IMG_0540  I wanted to tie this garden in with the other shade garden,IMG_0545

so I moved a copper bird bath to this garden from another area.Much as I like randomness in the garden,I also like symmetry.Hopefully,the copper bird bath,the repetition of the plants and the Australian Tree Fern accomplish this.

To finish this,we still need to make a gravel pathway,get those rocks we set out to get back in August,flagstone pavers,and lots of gravel.IMG_0528


It’s all gonna have to wait.We have scored playoff tickets for the Tampa Bay Rays,so we’re gonna be busy this week….


Go Rays!!!!!


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