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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back On 2011…

What a year!

After surviving the devastating freezes of December,2010,the year started out with the County digging up our side yard.


Leaving a semi-shady spot in total sun,during the Spring/Summer.

And near total shade in the winter,I have quickly found out…

But this gardener persevered….


The Roadside Garden,as it was quickly named,has managed to flourish.


Critters came to visit…

some welcome…



Some not….



The veggie garden grew by leaps and bounds.



…Memories were made…




NewsChannel 8 and Leigh Spann came to visit.



And just when I was feeling totally full of myself…


TheOak went down…



Leaving a shade garden in total ruins …

…and FULL sun…


but sparing the well,

Thank you God!



…not to mention a cracked swimming pool…



But LaToilette Planter made it unscathed!


A little dirty on the edges,but it came thru without a scratch!Ya gotta luv a good toilet…


Plants were quickly moved to the lone shady corner of the yard or were given away.


TheOak was taken out,

and a new SweetGum was brought in to replace it…


Plans were drawn up for a new pool.

Screened in,this time.


and a solar heater,too..YES!!!!


and a water wall!


Maybe this transplanted,Northern gardener will finally say learn to say lanai,instead of porch….


Which includes an area just for my Dad’s orchids.


And removal/construction began in November.



In between all of this,Dad had three visits to the ER.

One for heart arrhythmias,and one for dehydration/back spasms.

The third

-let me tell ya,the third time is not the charm-

was the kicker.

Right after Thanksgiving he fell,and broke his hip,


This time he required surgery,and due to his pacemaker and being on Plavix,there was a blood loss issue,requiring three units of blood.At 92 + years,one’s body doesn’t take too kindly to that.Nor,does anyone’s body.Now,he is in a skilled nursing facility.

…not taking to it too kindly,I might add…Oy! The bitching complaining,feistiness… I take that as a good sign.


So,with the new pool/lanai scheduled to be done this week…



On this New Year’s Eve,


with home grown collards simmering on the stove,

cornbread with home grown jalapenos added in the oven,

and black-eyed peas cooking,

I decided to say,


”Out with that crappy 2011,

and here’s to a better 2012!”




…I weeded….

…I drew up a new garden plan…


One that includes:

sunny gardens,

Florida Natives,

and a special spot for my Dad’s orchids.


Here’s to a …

Happy Gardening Year!!!










Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Florida Christmas tree…

Going  with the theme of keeping it simple this year….


The tree is smaller

a Florida style tree….

christmas tree

Seashells-“tourist shells” spray painted silver,



sand dollars,


flip-flops (thanks Erin),


found fishing lures,


blown glass crabs and palm trees,


a star fish for the star,


and worm shells for tinsel…



Florida style

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It’s hard…..

to decorate the garden for Christmas,when it looks like this…
but the tile is lookin’ pretty good…the lighter tiles are "swimming" dolphin tiles...

and this…
where I’m standing will be poured concrete,so my garden area is gonna be kinda small.
Just enough room for my Dad’s orchids,maybe….
But some things in the garden remind me of Christmas….
The front yard is done.
And the inside,too…
These ornaments are vintage.From my Dad’s family,when he was a kid.The Santa is one of the first I ever collected.The plate is Fiesta ware.
Soooo….today,I harvested a bunch of turnip greens…
Yep,that’s a bottle of wine,two coffee makers,and a sinkful of dirty dishes in the back ground.What does that say about us?
They are green…..

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blogging For hire?

Recently,I have become aware of a brew-ha-ha in the garden blogging world.

And I just don’t get it.

Why do most gardeners blog?

I know why I do.

Growing up in a family of gardeners,I started blogging as an easy way to keep far flung family and friends informed of what was going on,on TheGreatWallofLutz.

My father kept a meticulous,handwritten diary of his garden (of which,I am the proud possessor-yessiree!!!).
I use the electronic medium.
It’s just so easy to click on a label and see where the garden has been.
And I hate to write.
I would rather type.
I don’t blog for the hopes of freebies,of which I have been offered.
…And declined,or ignored….
I blog just for the simple reason of keeping a record of my garden.
If people chose to follow….great.
…If not,great,too…
If you chose to comment,even greater.
…But,at least,make it constructive,please...
I more than welcome the input,because sometimes,I hit the gardening block.
And need new ideas.
someone to tell me I’m nuts and don’t even think of doing that or growing that.

But,I don’t blog in anticipation of freebies,or give-a-ways.

Or in hopes of being the next great garden writer.

I just want to keep a written record of my garden.
just maybe,
someone will tell me I’m going in the right direction….

Am I missing something?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It’s beginning to look….

….a lot like Christmas,here at TheGreatWall


This year,I decided to go with a more simple approach.There was a time when if the spot was empty it got something red,candy cane-ish, or twinkly.But with all the pool reconstruction going on,and the mess it has brought to the back gardens,I just didn’t feel like it.So,it just seemed easier to let the plants say Merry Christmas.I still have garland by the front entry with white twinkly lights,but,this year no red bows intertwined.And I,actually,prefer the look.

The wreaths on the double front doors are meant to reflect the Florida garden…


The majority of my efforts have gone into the front garden.

The back garden is still in a state of mess flux.

As all of my attention has been directed to the back gardens,this front garden has much neglected the past few months.

It desperately needed a thorough cleaning weeding,new mulch,etc.


red poinsettia,red and white petunias,vinca vine,variegated liriope,lysmachia…yep-I still have to have poinsettias….


You think it would be easier to simplify,but it really isn’t.


Whoever said simple was easy,anyways?…


I still have to throw a Santa


or snowman

he’s filled with twinkly lights! 

ok….had to have a few twinkly lights somewhere.Can’t give them all up cold-turkey.


wire vine,paper whites,variegated liriope,white penta,red and white petunias,red geranium in a large,old rusty bucket -flea market find for $.50  that I spray painted lime green)

into the mix.

A white miniature rose and a ceramic bird,not to forget the pelican…who,this year,is without his wreath…gotta fix that… seem to fit right into the Christmas scheme…


This Christmas Cactus had been left after last Christmas.Forgotten,under TheOak.I found it after they were finished removing the tree.I was sure it was a goner,so I kind of forgot about it.I put in the back of the garden.

…The place,we all have,where underperformers go…

Much to my surprise,it hung in there.

And presented me with this…


It’s not pretty,but ya gotta like it’s hanging in there.It’s a keeper,that’s for sure.


I’m thinking I like this simple approach to the Christmas garden.

…It sure is cheaper.


Even the flamingo seems to like it….


I lost his hat,since last year,but I think he likes going hatless…


Have a great gardening week!

Monday, November 21, 2011



Everyday,I try to find at least one thing in my life I am grateful for,but this week,especially,is the time when we all look at our lives and give thinks for all of our blessings.

~ The garden ~
I am ever so grateful that when TheOak went over,it went in the direction it did.
IMG_3037 IMG_3033 - Copy
It may have taken out the pool,the shade garden and left me with a barren desert,but,at least it didn’t destroy the house or any human -YardBoy had just been walking under there.They say things happen for a reason.Now,we are getting a new pool,and I have the chance to grow new plants.Ones I have never been able to grow,before,as there was just way too much shade and not enough sun.I look forward to starting anew.It’s exciting.
We have a new Sweet Gum tree …
…that will provide shade and beautiful,colorful foliage next Fall.

The plants that survived are now putting on a splendid show.
Just in time for Thanksgiving.

~ Home ~
No,my house isn’t a mansion.But it’s finally the way I want it to be…well,almost.A new kitchen would be nice…The roof is brand new.The pool is almost finished.It will be screened in,which will give me an area to display the orchids and bromeliads.

~ Family ~
I am grateful that both of my sons have grown into wonderful men.Both have strong,beautiful,loving women in their lives.And both complete this family.
We love them both to death.

…Kyle,Gina,and Emma…
‘nough said…
Though my Dad has rapidly deteriorated,this past few months,I am ever so grateful to be able to spend one more Thanksgiving with him.

There are many things I don’t have,and wish that I did,but they are just that.

This Thanksgiving,I realize just how much there is in my life to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pleasant Surprises…

While checking out the progress on the pool….




…imagine my delight,to find a few pleasant surprises.


This Camellia,which I had been training to grow into tree form,was left in full sun.

…when TheOak went down…

I was convinced it was a goner for sure.


But it hung in there.


And to my pleasant surprise,I found this…


Not only was it covered in concrete spray,but it also is covered in buds…


…and a bloom….


Covered in concrete spray,but still beautiful.


And the Angel’s Trumpets may be covered with the same concrete spray,but they are,again,proving their toughness.


And the Thyrallis may be half covered with dirt,but it’s hanging in there.

And the Gerberas….




I’m starting to think the garden likes me.

I feel like the plants are saying,”We like you,lady.We can take it.We’re there for you.We know it’s gonna get much better around here.”



it is!


…Tomorrow,we pick out the tile…


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please Excuse Our Mess While We’re Under Construction…

Yep,it’s a muddy,dirty mess around here…
The Angel’s Trumpets are still hanging in there.
A big hand for the pool people,please…They’re trying to save them.
So far,so good…

Old pool out…
Lot’s of muck and deep ruts in the lawn…

But,it got better…

and even better,still…
The raised portion is for the new water wall…


In the deep end,you can see the new plumbed main drain.As opposed to the circular type drain we are used to,today’s building code calls for a channel-type main drain.To keep the concrete from entering the dirt in the walls,behind the rebar is a mesh reinforced with a plastic backed fabric ,which will eventually disintegrate.

…There is a light at the end of this tunnel…


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