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

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Reconstruction \Re`con*struc"tion\ (-str?k"sh?n), n.
1. The act of constructing again; the state of being reconstructed. [1913 Webster]

Yes,the time has come to reconstruct the mess Hillsborough County left us with.If you remember,a few posts back,I posted a photo of the mess in our side yard,which is the main entry way to our back garden……IMG_13151

And I wanted to do something in this manner…..IMG_1315

Now,after a weekend of sore knees,sore back,dirty feet and fingernails,it looks like this…..IMG_1319

Giant Liriope and Mondo Grass were moved to border the walk way.New pathway lighting was installed(to replace the old ones which were “deconstructed”).Some of the large rocks that I received from the contractor were used amongst the plants.

Some type of screen still needs to be installed to hide the water system-I couldn’t get that old post out,no matter how hard I tried!-

I am leaning towards a trellis with a climbing rose to hide the difference between the fences.Absolutely,positively NO bougainvillea!

Now,it’s time for some ibuprofen,a long,hot shower,to be followed by a glass of Merlot and a nice steak cooked on the grill.

After a good night’s sleep I can turn my attention to this…..IMG_1317


Friday, January 28, 2011

A Little Cyber Love Is Needed….

My fellow blogger friend Deb,at Midlife Poet is in need of some cyber hugs.

I have never had the pleasure of meeting Deb,in person,but as we bloggers know,we all feel like we have known each other forever.That is,especially,how I feel about Deb.

Actually, I wanna live in her Cantina….but she won’t let me…


Anywho-she is is having a rough time right now.It would be nice if anyone who reads this could swing by her blog and give her a boost,pat on the back,hug or two…..or,even,maybe,a pinch on the rear….

ya get my drift…..

Soooo,if you have ever had a child in the Armed Forces,or placed in the way of danger,you will understand her feelings.I know I have been through it with Michael,the Elder.

Just glad I didn’t know about Somalia and BlackHawk Down ‘til after the fact…..

Go there and give a hug,or two,or three…..

Isn’t that what we bloggers (and gardeners) do best?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Garden Plan Software…

Has anyone tried it?

I know that I am the type of gardener that buys a plant and and finds a place for it.

But I think it’s time I grow up and get a real plan,for this space I have….

I refuse to grow up in other areas of my life!

So I went out on a limb and bought this.

and this is what I came up with,so far….


Obviously,this is a work in progress…..

I think I have a learning curve to master…….

yep----I do……

but it is fun!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011


As I posted previously,the County is done with their work.Now,it’s time to reconstruct the area to something more pleasing.More pleasureable to the eye..

I hope you all have had your thinking caps on,because I need ideas!

The first problem area:IMG_1315

the front entry to the backyard…

As you can see,I have already moved some Giant Liriope and Monkey Grass to this area.The walkway will be reworked with gravel,the pavers pictured,and adobe stones. A la this manner…IMG_1315

-The Problem:

-I am stuck with the Bahia grass for 30 days….damn  government!

-The reconstructed fence doesn’t match.I need to hide that.

-Full shade in the winter.Full sun in the Spring,Summer,and Fall.


#2 problem area…….IMG_1317

The back.

The problem:Approximately 8 feet wide x 36 feet deep.Deep shade in winter(from the neighbors house) and full sun in summer.

-After the originating 36 feet,the back 30 feet will be an enlarged vegetable garden. Yep-I’m stuck with the Florida Maple-to the left of the garden shed- for ONE YEAR.SWFMWD is going to return in one year to make certain it is still alive.Annoyed

But Dad told me how to keep it from growing any larger.Ya gotta love old time gardeners!

-Four feet from the fence (reading from left to right) leads to a slight swall(with a drop of about 6-12 inches-4 feet wide-which leads down to the water.I am not allowed to mess with that).So,I’m anticipating using that as a pathway,with gravel and flagstones.With a curve?

As I stated before,this area has shade from the neighbor’s house in the winter.Full sun in the Spring/Summer/Fall.I want Florida Friendly,cold-hardy,and a Florida feel to this area.The patio,by our swimming pool.overlooks this area,so I’m going for that feeling.


Sooo,fellow bloggers,

Feel free…

Advise away…….

I’m easy……

Oh! I have these to work with,too….IMG_1237

Yea me!!!!

FYI-It pays to make coffee,on a cold Florida morning,for the contractors.They bring you presents.


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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just Playin’ Around…..

When it’s cold outside and freeze warnings abound (again!),whatcha gonna do?

How ‘bout playing around with the Canon SX20IS and photo editing

(Picnik-I upgraded.It was worth it. and Photoscape) software?

I think gardeners -–at least,I do.You probably do,too-- love their cameras and photo editing software as much as they love their gardens….

Soooo,humor me……

and critique me,

but be nice,

or,at least,be vague….

The original….IMG_1310

with added texture…..IMG_13101

How ‘bout this one?IMG_13103

or this one…IMG_13104and my fave…..IMG_1311

With this one,I was just playing with the camera settings.

What photo software do you use?

What camera settings do you prefer?

Stay tuned.Tomorrow,or maybe the next day,you’ll get an update on the finished drainage project.I’ll be asking for suggestions,so get your thinking caps ready.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Everybirdy’s Welcome…..

I hope you love birds too.   It is economical.  It saves going to heaven.
-   Emily Dickinson


A bird in the hand is a certainty, but a bird in the bush may sing.
-   Bret Harte




Poor indeed is the garden in which birds find no homes.
-  Abram L. Urban

That little bird has chosen his shelter.  Above it are the stars and the
deep heaven of worlds.  Yet he is rocking himself to sleep without
caring for tomorrow's lodging, calmly clinging to his little twig,
and leaving God to think for him.
-   Martin Luther


What is joy?
It is a bird
That we all want to catch.
It is the same bird
That we all love to see flying
- Sri Chinmoy




There are 8,600 species of birds in the world today.  They are
found everywhere.  Birds play a vital role in the balance of nature.
They eat insects, pests and small animals.  Fruit eating birds are
best for scattering seeds for these plants.  Seed eating birds
digest seeds and in so doing keep millions of weeds from the earth...

Birds have between 1,000 and 25,000 feathers.
-  Birds, U.C. Davis

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What,Me Worry?


Alfred E. Neuman

After one and a half winters—this one isn’t over,yet -- of freezes,I have given up covering and uncovering.

What makes it,makes it.What doesn’t,doesn’t.

If I really love ya--Dad’s orchids--,you get to come up to the covered patio.


and get a warm blanket and Christmas lights….these are going to stay here for awhile.Until I am certain there will be no more freezing weather.

And for Susan,from Simply Susan,who requested a photo of my Dad’s 50 year old Cattleya orchid.orchids

The original plant is in the middle of the pot.Over the years,numerous cuttings have been taken and passed along.It is due for another trimming,but I have fears I may do it wrong.And I would never forgive myself if something happened.Dad’s advice was to just leave it alone.I think I will….

The veggie garden does get a swaddling with frost cloth and blankets,but that’s it.The rest of you guys are on your own.You’ll have to prove your worthiness to me.

I know the Angel’s Trumpets will come back…

 As will the plumerias…..They both always do. 

Even the Crotons will come back….Every Spring,I take cuttings.Just in case.It doesn’t hurt to have some back-up,after all. 

The bones of TheGreatWall are Giant Liriope,Variegated Flax Lily,and Mondo Grass.IMG_1294

Most of the color here comes from container plantings.IMG_1284

Easily switched out with the seasons.And easy to move up to the covered patio……And a great spot for wine bottles……fill ‘em with Christmas lights.It makes for a great display in the evening.

We do have some in ground plants……IMG_1268

Who doesn’t love Camellias?

and we have different varieties of Farfugium,including Leopard plant…I neglected to take photos,sorry…

But the plants that can take the cold and never even flicker an eye-lash are the winners here…….

Who doesn’t love Sweet Alyssum?IMG_1288

Mixed with Geraniums…or anything…I love to brush against it just to catch a whiff of its wonderful scent.

Pansies and petunias….IMG_1286


I originally posted the above photo here…

Flowering Kale…..IMG_1166

Blanket Flower is still going from last Fall…..IMG_1269

and the Cabbage is super duper happy,forming heads.IMG_1290

Corn beef and cabbage anyone?Is Stuffed Cabbage more your thing?Maybe Cole Slaw?

YardBoy’s Collards,Turnips and Onions just laughed at the frost and freeze.

So,why should I worry when we have all this beauty growing all around us?

In time,I’ll have my tropicals back.

Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff.  Rule number two is, it's all small stuff.

~Robert Eliot

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Amidst All The Confusion….

A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem. Albert Einstein

and mud,and mess,Mother Nature prevails…..Today brought cement trucks,back hoes,graders and steam shovels(Tonka trucks on steroids),but Mother Nature carried on.As she always does.

This Red Shouldered Hawk wasn’t fazed in the least,by the noise and commotion.


somebody has to supervise,don’t they?

Our resident Mallards carried on….IMG_1221

I think it was date night,as there was much grooming going on…IMG_1227

the Ibis kept hunting…IMG_1207

The Cardinals kept retuning to the feeders….IMG_1233

While Mother Nature carried on,so did the County..

one of three drains they have installed….IMG_1205This is the main drain out to the lake..

and here,too….IMG_1211A collection drain from the neighbors,across the street…

All graded and ready for sod…IMG_1208TheGreatWall on the right…

Tomorrow,sod is to go in.The EPC inspector and I had a fight discussion,today.We kinda/sorta settled on we’ll get only 8 feet of sod.No amount of photos of the previous area,or Florida Native gardening books would sway him from that.In this photo he’s allowing me 4 feet of garden.

If that Bahia sod dies,you didn’t hear it from me…

Don't tell anyone smile

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Sunday, January 9, 2011


“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”
Steve Martin

Amidst all the dead stuff brown and mud that exists around TheGreatWall these days,it seemed time to take the camera and find some sunshine….

Every year,I absolutely,positively must have pansies…..cats

They remind me of my mother.Every year she planted pansies and snapdragons(of which,I have none).

My Dad’s orchids have decided to add some sunshine…IMG_1180

The first of many to bloom.This orchid is over 50 years old!The original mother plant is still in it’s original pot(someday,I must take a picture of it in it’s pot and with its air roots).All the others I have,of his,of this color,come from the mother plant.It may be a common orchid,as orchids go,but it’s my favorite.It’s the one that made my Dad addicted to orchids.

Some of YardBoy’s roses….IMG_1191

The Knockouts love this cooler weather.


He’s trying minis,but isn’t too impressed with them.(I am,tho.They are sooo delicate)He finds them too needy.YardBoy likes things simple.Must be a man thing…

The tomatoes are happy with the weather.tomatoes

NanaK,these two I got from you,at the meet-up,last summer.They have been so prolific,and I am delighted with them.Thanks,so much.

Bacopa is still hanging in there…IMG_1183

Here’s hoping the weather stays the same,and we all have a great gardening week!

Dad update-He is home from ReHab and back at his ALF.YardBoy is staying with him 24/7,for awhile.He listens to him,not me….He has good days and bad days.Physically,he is doing great,but his dementia is starting to worsen.Yesterday,he was here at TheGreatWall and he was like he was 30 years,ago.(He thinks the County is doing a great job-he is an Engineer,after all.He advised me to steal relocate some of the dirt they have laying around.”That’s darn good fill,there!It’s your tax dollars that paid for it.Just take it.They’ll never notice it” Dad!!!).Today was not a good day.He wandered off.In the end,all worked out,and,right now,he is back to his usual self.Aging and dementia is a sad thing…He has had 91,almost 92, great years.We’d like a few more years,please.


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