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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Orchids A’Bloom,and New Editions…

The orchids have decided they like their new home.
And are a bloomin’ away…
IMG_3529One of my Dad’s orchids.

And we have buds…
This is an orange ground orchid.

And just because I wanted it,
I bought a Cyclamen…
Why,I have no idea…
…it’s not gonna last too long…
But it is pretty looking.
And I wanted it!
So,I bought it.
So there!
New Editions…
and not the boy band…
album-new-edition (1)

new editions to the gardens…!

another Simpson Stopper has come to reside here,
at The GreatWall
IMG_3547I love this shrub.I really,really do.A Florida Native,and it can take anything!And smells good,in bloom,to boot!
and another garden is starting to take shape…
This one is opposite of the garden I last posted about.
Time to start thinking about sod,I guess….


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let The “Fun” Begin…

Now that the pool has passed all inspections and it is ours,to have and to hold,
and take care of
…it is time to begin the putting back of the gardens.
I figured I would start out easy.
work my way slowly,back into gardening shape
So what looked like this…
It would make a good Croquet field,or Bocce court,wouldn’t it?

Now,looks like this…
Plants used: 1.Blue Sage (from a cutting from Meems)
                    2.Camellia sasanqua
                    3.Banana-I forget what variety this is,but it’s a miniature.Grown for foliage,only.
                    5.Cassia senna
                    6.Indian Hawthorne-I have started using these wherever there is a curve in the garden.They seem to take the beating from hoses,etc.much better than anything else.
…and this…

Plants used: 1.Agapanthus
                    2.Blackberry Lily
                    3.Indian Hawthorne-the curve
                    4.a container that had been shoved to the back of the shadiest part of the yard.Just for surviving I figured it needed a place to shine.
                    5.Ti plant
             6.Angel’s Trumpet-this plant has survived the most any plant can.Back-hoes,graders,a freeze,and,yet,it is still thriving.The pool contractor actually admonished his workers,”Watch that plant!It’s a survivor.” And all the workers were so good about it.I Red heart those guys!
             7.Butterfly garden-pentas,Tampa Vervain,Mexican Heather,daylilies.Already the bees and butterflies are back!
The entire garden is interspersed with Giant Liriope,which had been dug up and sat in pots for all these months.All of the plants are ones that were moved after TheTree went down.I bought nothing,except for organic garden soil,and new Eucalyptus mulch.I have found that wherever I use Eucalyptus mulch the bugs stay away.Especially the lubbers!
{In the veggie garden I use Melaluca mulch.Both are environmentally friendly-especially the Melaluca mulch-,organic,and don’t float.The Melaluca mulch almost forms a mat,which keeps almost all of the weeds out.}
This area is semi-shady,right now.When summer arrives,this area should receive shade,or,at least,diffused sun,in the afternoon,from the screened lanai.
The stones that are there,are just to mark the border of this garden.Sod still needs to be brought in…I ain’t doing that!…
I realize how out of gardening shape I have become.After two days of digging,planting,raking,spreading mulch,my back hurts,my thighs hurt,my hips hurt,my shoulders hurt…you get my drift…
So,now,excuse me while I enjoy this….
and maybe a football playoff game or two..
‘cause I still have to tackle the rebuilding of TheGreatWall.
Any volunteers?
I thought so….

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Decorating the…



screened porch

…you get the drift…

Now,I’m getting to the fun part of the reconstruction.


I’ve already shown the containers being returned,

but now,let’s get down and dirty,shall we?


The bling!




I found this iron candle holder on clearance.The minute I saw it,on the clearance table,I knew it would be perfect by the pool.


Filled with the broken tempered glass from the broken slider,and LED Christmas lights it makes a perfect light fixture for one of the patios by the new pool area.



candle holder - $5,from Home Goods clearance

                    LED lights - $2.50;150 light strand,1/2 price after Christmas clearance,Target

                          Glass – tempered,free,but it is also free at any window replacement business




You got any cheap ideas to decorate your pool,or garden?


Inquiring minds wanna know….

…or borrow…

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What’s That Smell?

Soooo…sitting on the lanai,screened porch,patio,out by the pool,

…take your pick…

this evening,I smell something.
Something different.

What is that?

an almond-y smell?
The Tea Almond is blooming to beat the band!

Red Knock-out Rose

A rose-y smell?
Could it be this?
Louis Phillippe

or this?
Drift Knock-Out Rose.

Now,if only this guy would decide to bloom…
Banana Shrub

Gotta love the pool guys.They put the tape around this guy to protect him….

Whatever it is that smells,it’s smelling pretty good around here…

I think I love this Florida winter weather.

So far….

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coming Home….

When you come home,there is always that period of adjustment.
There is always that thought,”I’ve been away sooo long…

What’s happened in my absence?

What if there are changes?

Will I like them?”


Yessiree Bob !

The pool is

What started out as this…
IMG_3033 - Copy

Is now this….
And this…

Even sunbathing frog likes his new home….

After removing some contractor dirt,putting down pine bark mulch,
and returning containers to their rightful place,
it’s starting to look more like home…
Orchids and broms are where they should be…

Poor,poor containers.

They had been shoved to the shadiest part of the yard.
And had been quite ignored.
Actually,alot ignored…


After some fresh potting soil,
a nice drink,
a little grooming,
and a pep talk from me,

“You’re gonna like it here.Really.You will.”

I think they’ll be happy in their new home…

Pots really do need a nice cleaning…


if you wanna find me these days,
I’ll be looking at this….
I love the waterfall!!!!!!!!! 


I still have this to deal with…
Wanna help?

…I thought that would be your answer…

Special thanks go out to Erich,the Younger,for moving all of the containers,for me.
And to Michael,the Elder,and Dawn,for the lanai-warming gift of the candle…..
Love,love,love you guys!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

We Survived…

…the first,

and hopefully,

the last freeze of the winter…


I didn’t cover anything.Call it laziness,not enough time,Dad--always blame everything on your parents,right?--or too much going on in the yard…

…but I left everything to chance.

OK-I had hopes…




Today,was the first chance I had to get into the garden and really inspect how things fared.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The damage was,for the most part,hit-or-miss.There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.


Needless to say,the self sown impatiens,that I let grow,are mush.That’s one way of ridding the garden of them,right?


This Brandywine tomato may be done for…


The green peppers,beans,and cucumbers are goners…

Even though it was protected by the collards,this hot banana pepper took a hit.


While a sweet banana pepper right next to it,has not a bit of damage.


Sweet v. Hot?

Sweet always wins…

Cabbage and broccoli did just fine…



As did the lettuce…


and the turnips and collards sailed right through.


Even though it is out in the open,totally unprotected,the largest Queen Emma only has some damage…


The three pups were protected in the garden shed.


The lone surviving Australian Tree Fern

(the other was lost when TheTree went down)

seems to be unscathed,while a banana,next to it,is damaged.


While the impatiens are mush,all the plantings in the container…which I forgot to water…are just fine.


and a Caladium?


Go figure….


My Dad’s orchids,which made it through TheTree drama unscathed,and were then hidden in the only shady spot left in the yard,were brought into the laundry room.

They had buds on them!

Today they came out to enjoy their new home on new screened porch lanai…I’m working on the calling-it-a-lanai thing…



Not too shoddy for being close to 60 years old…

We should all look that good,right?


Speaking of the new screened porch lanai.


Should be totally done,this week.



Can’t wait!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Birdseed Cakes …

Preface-This was a spur of the moment thing and I realize,now,I should have taken more photos.I apologize,in advance,but,at the time,I was avoiding taking the outside Christmas décor down.And to quote my two sons,”It seemed like a good idea at the time”…..


With the return of the birds,and a cold front due,I thought I would try making my own birdseed cakes.

…For the feeders…

…For the birds…

…Make them like me…

…And make them want to return to my garden...

What the heck? What’s left of the garden will be toast,anyways…

What with the anticipated freeze and all..


…And,most of all,for no other reason,I wanted to try it…

oh yeah,those darnn outdoor Christmas decorations needed to come down and I really,really was feeling lazy…..


Remembering that Google was my friend,I Googled birdseed cake recipes and found one here.


What I used…


I added hot sauce,extra peanuts,and raisins that were left over from Christmas baking.

The hot sauce was added just to keep the squirrels away.

They-the squirrels- get fed real peanuts.As long as I keep up with putting down real peanuts around the garden,it seems to work at keeping them out of the feeders.

I molded the cakes in disposable plastic-ware.

The kind you can buy anywhere.

Then I stuck the handle of a wooden spoon in the center.So the cakes would fit over the feeder.


But you could also mold them into squares,and use them in a regular suet feeder.

I set them in the refrigerator for an hour or so,




Do the birds like it?

They haven’t discovered it,yet,

but I do know this…

…the outdoor Christmas décor still needs to come down….


…and we’re due a freeze…


Chow down birdies!


…I’ll be working on that outside décor….



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