Thursday, October 28, 2010

More than enough

Good evening Everyone ~ I've got the pictures uploaded,
now I'm going to go start dinner.
Be back in a while.

Ok, here I am, the beef, onion and spices are simmering, and when that is tender, I'll add plain yogurt, since I don't have any sour cream, and creamy horseradish, for 'beef in horseradish sauce'. This is a delicious way to fix beef.

Now, on with my post of 'more than enough'. What I am talking about is all of my garden areas. I'm not digging or planting anymore areas. I may set a few potted plants around, but that is it. I have all I can handle right now.

A while back, I thought, Oh, I'd love to have acreage so that I could plant to my hearts content. But, let's get real here, I'm not getting any younger, money doesn't grow on trees, and plants don't just automatically show up at your doorstep ready for you to plant. Not to mention having your well poop out on you, pumping sand instead of water. Now we pay for water.

Anyway, I went out a little while ago, to show my garden spots here on our 1/4 acre off a busy 4 lane highway. I didn't take pics from the sidewalk though of the front hedgerow, and the driveway garden beds, although I take care of them too. I was in a hurry, and wasn't quite dressed to go out on the street to take pictures.

For larger views click on the pictures.

This is the secret garden looking east, my shed is fast disappearing underneath, roses, flowering vines, hamelia patens and bougainvillea.

This is looking west. I realized after taking pictures that garden hoses are in several of them. I wasn't planning on doing a garden photo shoot.

This little area is actually at the back northwest corner of the main garden. There is a lattice roof with Phyllis Bide roses growing over it. I'm looking south, into this area. To the left which I'm purposely not showing, is a pile of rusting iron bits and pieces. Part of our stash.

I'm standing in the main garden looking east toward the front patio with a rock bordered bed in the foreground. The front path is to the right of that area. In this bed are big leaved begonias with white flowers, several different aloe plant, ferns, orchids, and a couple of roses, Maggie and Chrysler Imperial, not in bloom at the moment.

This is a bed around the Norfolk pine just opposite the rock bordered bed. All areas need work. :-)

This is looking back to the northwest garden area.

Main garden.

This is the path that leads to main garden. Gateway to street to the left. Different kinds of shrubs line both sides of this path, from flowering to non-flowering, with ferns, etc. ground level.

This is the start of that front path, from the entry patio. Off to the left front is the mailbox area, we can get our mail without having to go out on the street, since the mailbox has two doors.

This is front entry patio, looking west. Oops, I see weeds, etc. laying on the patio that I didn't clean up yet.

Driveway gate area, looking east. That blue and white vase won't stay there, I had moved it from the new area I just worked on this past weekend, and haven't found a new home for it yet.

This is part of the east patio area, looking south.

This is looking north, toward my shed's garden which has herbs, roses, vinca, ferns, and more. The Queen Crepe Myrtle is in the brick edged square bed.

This is my clothesline garden, potted roses, a potted bay tree,with moses in a basket, and mother of millions, etc.

Last but not least, the back shed garden area, which hides my potting area.

Now, tell me, doesn't that look like more than enough to handle?


A few garden aphorisms from Garden Digest.

Our eyes are bigger than our gardens,
and certainly bigger than our budgets.

A garden recreates itself daily;
we seldom step in the same garden thrice.

A garden speaks no language,
yet many gardeners still listen.

Learning how to garden is learning how to slow down.

Happy Gardening, Happy Living

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Monday, October 25, 2010

More than less ... done

Good evening Friends,

Here it is the end of another Monday. Today was 'errand day'and we're glad that is over with. We do not like to shop.

Thought I'd share the latest project we've been working on as it is 'more than less' done.

I shrunk the bed around the ficus tree, then we gathered different pieces of patio pavers that we could use to fill in and enlarge the already existing patio. Now, let me remind you, that most of what we do is done on a 'shoestring', we recycle, and we've curbside shopped our whole 41 years together, so our grounds and cottage and we ourselves, are somewhat eclectic and eccentric, weird I guess you could say. Certainly NOT normal. :-)

Back to the project. We jacked and cut out the iron post to the left of the picture.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

I dug out roots, and took out ferns and other things that had overgrown the area.

I laid some curbside shopped border stones and put found rocks from TN on top.

After laying the various patio pavers and pieces, we needed to make a 'stop' for our driveway gate. I thought of using this old piece of concrete from around the 1920's. It's a pretty, weathered piece and we just had it back in my potting area. We set the pieces lined up on top of each other, then drove a pipe down the middle. We needed some sort of finial. DH came up with this old white or pot metal piece, that was in several pieces. I loved it and laughed because we are so unconventional. We can also loop a piece of something or other from the gate to this piece, to hold the gate in place.

I love the details of this piece.

I am a collector and noticer of hearts, but did not see these until I downloaded the pictures to my computer. I had to go out and take this picture so that you all could see them too. This is looking into the pitcher, so that you see both hearts.

Now, here we have the south side of this patio area. There had been some scruffy vines growing on the wire fencing, but it didn't look great at all.

We took out the iron post because it was crooked from hurricane winds, the fencing needed straightening and leveling. I went out early in the morning to see what 2x4's I could find to use on the fencing, as they were cut sections of fencing (about 24"wide) that someone had thrown away and we needed to tie them all together better than they were. With three hurricanes blowing them every which way, it was time to get them back in shape. They still have many years of use left. I saw some metal studs that we had in our stash and came in to see what DH thought of using them. He said 'excellent idea'. These fit right over the 2x3's that had been used on the fencing. He drilled holes into the studs, then screwed them to the fencing after we raised and leveled them.

Here it is after I took out the existing bed.

Here it is afterwards. A double layer of bricks with the rocks and coral that had been the border, now place on top of bricks. I used a section of green lattice from our neighbor, and moved in potted and other plants to the bed. It still needs tweaking.

I was inspired by a post I read somewhere in a FL gardening blog, about making a wall of air plants, so started by putting ones that I had growing in shrubbery. I'll keep filling it in as I find them here and there. These particular air plants get pretty purple and reddish/pink flowers.

I hope to get out there tomorrow to do a little more work.

It is amazing what we can do now that we have cooler weather.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Question about PayPal

Good morning folks ~ I'd like to hear from anyone who sells their artwork/handmade items on their blogs and uses PayPal. I am thinking of doing this in my ArtistikUs ElastikUs blog.

Thanks for any help or info.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Friday, October 22, 2010

Today is the day

Dear Friends ~ I woke up this morning excited about the drawing. Got coffee going, turned on my computer and after it warmed up went to

And ... (drumroll added here),
the winner

which is
~ Sandy ~

Congratulations Sandy. Please email me with you mailing address.

Thank you all for playing,
and thank you for visiting over the past couple of years
and your kind comments.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kiwi Ginger Sauce

I can't remember if I shared this recipe with you all before or not, and am having trouble going back in my blog to check old posts from March and further back.

I just fixed this delicious recipe again, as we picked up 3 kiwi at the vegetable market on Monday when we did our errands.

I found the recipe here, but will also post it now with a picture. I served it over Tilapia fillets and Jasmine rice. I used sesame seed oil to saute the fillets, and added a little sesame oil also to the rice while cooking, and gently cooked yellow crookneck squash in a little of the oil too for a side dish. I love the nutty flavor of that oil. We bought it from a Oriental grocery store, where it is a lot cheaper than buying it in little bottles from the regular grocer.


Kiwifruit Ginger Sauce for Whitefish

1/2 cup each vertically sliced onion, julienne carrot and green pepper

1 tablespoon each julienne fresh ginger root and vegetable oil (sesame seed oil)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup each packed brown sugar and vinegar (I used seasoned rice vinegar since I had some)

3 kiwifruit, pared and sliced

4 (6 oz.) whitefish steaks or fillets, steamed or poached

Saute onion, carrot, green pepper and ginger in oil. Mix cornstarch and water; add brown sugar and vinegar. Pour over vegetable mixture and cook until thickened. Quickly stir in kiwifruit. Pour over prepared fish just before serving.

Makes 2 1/2 cups sauce.


I plan to serve this over sauted chicken breasts next, to use up the rest of the sauce. It is delicious, tart and exotic.


"Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy.

And cooking done with care is an act of love."

Craig Claiborne, Kitchen Primer


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Thanks for entering - Drawing tomorrow morning

Good morning Everyone.

Below is the list of participants and their numbers for my first drawing. I will do the drawing tomorrow morning, I just wanted to give everyone an opportunity to see their name and number today.

Two bloggers asked to
not be included because they live too far away. They left gracious comments and I thank them.

So, there are 21 numbers.

Again, here is the prize. It is a miniature, embroidery, 3 3/4 inches by 5 inches. Sunflowers, Achilles, and Forget me not flowers. I really enjoyed making this piece.

The winner will be posted tomorrow morning.

1. LemonVerbenaLady -

2. Morning's Minion -

3. The Good Wife -

4. Nina Suria -

5. Jim Groble -

6. Becky -

7. Kit -

8. Catherine -

9. The Prickly Pinecone -

10. Gayle -

11. Tom -

12. Sandy -

13. Karen - Quarry Garden -

14. Glenda -

15. Becca -


17. Rebecca -

18. Kay Guest

19. Sweetbay -

20. Darla -

21. Tatyana -


Thank you all again for your comments and visits over the past two years.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Latest project, etc.

Hello Everyone ~ Hope you are having a great day wherever you are. It's a partly cloudy, warm and humid day today. We've had a few sprinkles, but that's it. It would be nice to get more, time will tell.

This morning I wanted to tackle a project I started about a week and a half ago. Progress was waylaid because I helped DH with another project for a few days, which wore us both out. All we have to do to finish my project from this morning, is dig out some dirt, cut some roots, mix up cement and fill in the area from patio up to the border.

I had done the border around the palm tree, and when DH saw that and how nice it looked he thought it would be nice to make the area around the strangler fig (ficus, not a real fig tree) smaller, and give us more patio space.

While I was outside working,
a loaf of bread was making in the bread machine. :-)

The pics below show before.

Here we have from this morning.

We curbside shopped the cement border blocks quite some time ago and I thought of using them this morning to contain this area. Then I got the idea to place the rocks that had been the old border, on top. We collected these rocks years ago, mainly from TN.
I then went around the property gathering up Moses in the basket plants and set them inside the border. When I showed DH what I had done he said, "Nice." That made my morning.
Now he gets to do the hard work of mixing and pouring cement.

The next two pictures are of the Duchesse de Brabant blooms I saw out my window this morning so I had to go out and get pictures.

Below is the basil I grew from a sprig that I rooted in water, think I'll do some more.
The yellow flowers are from my tarragon. I love this plant and love cooking with it too.
I need to get more cuttings going in water from this also.

The planter below was out in the screened porch off the kitchen when I got home from work last evening. I brought it indoors to take a picture of it.
DH had gone to a yard sale and got this for $10. It is 15 inches high and 15 inches in diameter. It reminds us of Spain, and all the pottery made there.
This one is made in Mexico.
I don't know yet what I will put in it or where it will be placed,
but I am very happy with it.


The very essence of the creative is its novelty,

and hence we have no standard by which to judge it.

Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person


That's it from Plum Cottage.
Hope you all have a great week.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL