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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sometimes,Mother Nature


To the gardener,

”Slow down.You can’t accomplish it all in a day.”

Other times,she yells and says,

”I said Slow Down!”

and down comes the rain…..

which,yesterday,it did.

All day.

A nice steady rain.

Note to self-put up the new rain gauge.

After so much time has been spent renovating the side garden,and,now,the front,

today was a day to take the camera out into the garden and catch all that I’ve been missing.

I cannot recall seeing Red Admirals,before,at TheGreatWall,

but,today,there were many…


IMG_1603Pellitory is a host plant for Red Admirals,and TheGreatWall has an abundance this year.

Moarchs have discovered the milkweed


The Irises are blooming!


and they are outstanding this year….


(Their bloom period is way too short to suit me).IMG_1585

As is the Jatropha


Crape Honeysuckle,IMG_1611


and Gerbera Daisies always make me smile…


The last of the Camellia’s


sad to see them end

A Begonia is blooming


A Brandywine heirloom tomato flower is just as beautiful


as any flower.

The bunnies had a date….


I have figured out they’re the guilty culprits that have been eating the St.Bernard’s Lilies.

So,today,Mother Nature slapped me upside the head,and made me slow down and see the gardens.

And appreciate all that I’ve accomplished.

When I think back to what was,

and see what is now,

I am amazed at myself.

Thank you Mother Nature.

Have you stopped,



seen your garden?




Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Nails Are A Mess…

my shoulders and arms ache,and I don’t think my feet will ever be clean.No matter how much I pumice….

And this is why….

The front yard renovation has started.With all the work Hillsborough County did,the new driveway,and the septic drain field replacement,the front was a mess!

Here’s the driveway with the new brick outline…


The first two landing areas are in…..


One section left to go….


Next weekend…


The area between that section,and the road,will be planted with Love Grass(my new  Red heartaffair ).


Containers have been refreshed and replanted….IMG_1573

with succulents and Sedums.

The large,and heavy, pieces of concrete I found while digging out the area for the new landing.They must be from when the house was built,back in the 70’s,as the County cleared that area out.Whatever,or whenever,they come from,they serve their new purpose perfectly.The planters are surrounded by Bulbine,as this area gets full sun,most of the day.


The large container in the center was planted with a Giant False Agave.and Sedum.

This area is a view towards the front of the house.The plantings are Giant Liriope,African Iris,Angel’s Tears,and Bulbine.

All were taken from divisions of plantings that were in the back gardens.


Still to be done:

-more maleluca mulch to be brought in.

-ground cover to be planted.

-the final third of the landing to be completed.

This week’s weather forecast calls for rain,so,hopefully,the gardens will be doing the happy dance.

Dinner,tonite,was Vegan.All from the veggie garden,except for the olives,goat cheese(no goats are being raised at TheGreatWall),Quinoa,and the croutons.

but I did make the croutons myself,

does that count?….

How was your gardening weekend?

Plans for the upcoming week?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Guest Post….

For this post,TheGreatWall is pleased to allow a guest writer.

It’s the ever delightful Miss Emma!

Go for it,Emma!

This past weekend my Gramma and my Uncle Erich (sometimes Gramma calls him Erich,the Younger….hmmmm,trying to figure that one out...)came to help me and Gina and Kyle and Momma and Daddy get settled in our new house,in Orlando(or Maitland---whatever those big people call it).Gramma gave up working on her great wall,whatever that is?,to help me get settled in.I really,really wanna get this place ship-shape,so I can go see The Wonderful World of Harry Potter,but that’s for another day.

Gramma took lots and lots of pictures of me.


“Hey,Gramma,not everything I do is cute,you know?Sometimes I poop my pants.



“Hey,Gramma’s camera has this great tasting camera strap.You people should really try one sometime.”

Anyways,I decided to take a break from all of that moving stuff and picture taking and stuff big people do and go swimming with my big brother and sister…


and then I just wanted to chill….


“Hey,would someone bring me a diet Coke?

Or something?


Anyways,Gramma had to get back to her garden,and when she got home she found lots and lots and neat stuff….

her plumeria have started to grow again…


When she saw that,she was doing something she called a happy dance?

and an azalea she got here,when I was born,started putting out new growth….


I think I see a white flower…

and she did another kind of happy dance.Something about it might not grow here?

What’s a happy dance anyways?

and the orchids were sill blooming…


I think I might like orchids,’cause my Great Grandpa grew them.

Well,I think I hear my Momma sayin’ it’s my bedtime,so I guess I had better go.This has been fun.I hope Gramma lets me do it,again,sometime.







Friday, March 18, 2011

Random Thoughts…..

or things I have realized this past few days…

-I love oak trees.I really,really do.I love their magnificence.Everything about them,really.I love the oak leaf mulch.But I just don’t like the leaves.I don’t like them in my pool.Why does every oak leaf within 30 miles find my pool? And don’t get me started on the oak pollen….It turns everything yellow! Including the Tacoma!Clogs the pool filter.How many times can you skim the pool? I try to love nature,but this is getting frustrating! Allergies?Another problem….

-I’m starting to Red heart succulents.


I think the planters in the new front garden will be planted with them.


-I really,really Red heart Bulbine.


Everything about it.


-Blue-Eyed Grass looks better as a clump,than as a singular plant.


-Spray varnish works perfectly on Lubber hatchlings.Stiffens them right up! Cruel,I know,but war is war!

-The most perfect dinner,on a Friday,is PIZZA!

-Not much going on,this weekend,at TheGreatWall.We’re off to Orlando,to help Miss Emma(oh yeah…her parents,too) move a little bit closer…

And she has discovered she has toes!


Pedicure time!

‘til next week……..





Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sprekelia formosissima

Did you ever buy a plant,or a bulb?

Just on a whim?

Just because you liked it?

Not even knowing if it would work?

Or grow?

But that eternal optimism,we gardeners have,told you,”This is the one that’ll work.It will be perfect!”

So you buy it…

I bought four….

And for weeks and weeks it looks like this….


And you tell yourself,”Never again.Nope.Never! I absolutely refuse to go out on a limb,ever again!”

And you shove them to the back of the garden,and tell them they are on their own.

And promptly forget where you bought those bulbs,because you want no memory of another futile mistake you made….

Then you come home from work,one day,and are doing something else….

and you say,”What the… ? Where’d that come from?”

Then you realize,

It’s those bulbs!!!!!


Glory be!!!!


and you are doing the happy dance all over the garden….

hopefully,the neighbors aren’t watching…..

Awww,who cares if they are?

Yessiree! Those bulbs are blooming!

Dance away,my friend!

and you realize two more bulbs are right behind this one….


and you know you’ll do it all over again.

Buy that bulb on a whim.,


Because you envision a whole bed of these beauties….

Wouldn’t that be something to see?

Ahhh,,,,the Eternal optimism of a gardener……

For more information on Sprekelia formosissima, check out Floridata…..



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Movin’ Out….

To the front yard,that is….

Now,that most of the work is done in the backyard,it’s time to move to the sorely neglected front.Between the installation of the new septic system,last Fall,and the drainage project,

the front yard is a mess!

See the old septic rock?


Plantings were neglected and are now showing their neglect.

Overgrown and weedy.


Time to divide and conquer!

The front garden shall be enlarged.

A LOT!! (It’s part of that aversion I have to mowing---more on that,later.)

The driveway will be edged with brick,and a landing area will be put in,next to the driveway.Planters will be reworked.A new garden will be put in,in front of the fence on the North side of the yard.New sod….you get the picture….

I want it to be welcoming when visitors come to visit TheGreatWall.

So,let the good times begin!


Sometimes,you have to put things out to pasture….


This one had seen its last days.No amount of working on it was gonna bring it back.

Outta here!

I have absolutely no loyalty where lawn mowers are concerned.

It was time for a new lawn mower.

As frequent readers already know,I hate mowing! So the new one had to be pretty good to win any affection I might have.Bright and early,off to Home Depot,for a new one.This one has a more powerful engine,self-propelled(a necessity),and all that needed to be done,was install the handle.Nothing else,’cept for the gas and oil part,but that doesn’t count. Three year guarantee to start on the first or second pull!Can’t beat that!


I could almost learn to like mowing…..

On second thought,that so ain’t gonna happen…..


Go FSU,Florida,and Syracuse,

in the NCAA tournament!!

Things could get really interesting in this family….




Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hey Lady! I See You…

Do you see me?

I’m here….


Look closely….




Excuse me,but birds gotta eat….



Ain’t I somethin’ gorgeous?IMG_1473


Yes,you most certainly are…

Little Blue Heron that decided to visit TheGreatWall,today.

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