Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December at Plum Cottage

Good morning Folks ~ I do hope you are all finding relaxing times in this ‘what can be’ hectic week before Christmas. Monday was our local FNF widow’s group meeting. It was very nice and the luncheon delicious. I left here around 20 til 9, got home close to 2.  I took a nap and decided to not even turn on my computer at all until the next morning. I needed a ‘break’ from social media. Yesterday morning I downloaded photos taken at the meeting, edited them, sent them off to our founder, Dotti, for choosing which ones she wanted on the blog.  Then I proceeded to write up and put the blog post all together.  You can read it here if you wish.

I want to thank all of you who left comments to my last post.  Your love, encouragement, thoughts and prayers mean a lot and really help at this time of year.

It has been downright chilly here in s.e. FL. Low 50’s feeling like it is in the 40’s  in the wee hours of the mornings, some days only getting up to low 70’s, which is nice! Right now at 7:17 a.m. est. it is 53 and feels like it is 53.  It is supposed to get up to 77 today.  Christmas day it is predicted to be a sunny day with a high of 78.

Flowers are growing, as are the weeds, all part of life.  I do hope to get caught up in the gardens before hot and humid weather get here again.

Here are some December blooms.

A couple of volunteers, periwinkle and spiderwort.


This is an unknown rose, no name when I bought it last year. A slight scent.



This is another unknown rose bought at the same time.  I love all of the petals in this one.  It also has a slight scent.  I like roses to have more of a scent, but at $5 each, I couldn’t resist.  Bought these at the spring plant sale at the Mounts Botanical Gardens last year.


I ‘was’ going to put up a big tree this year, but just didn’t feel like it, so up went this little one with special ornaments on it. It is reflected in a mirror hanging on the wall behind it.


My dear husbands’ mother gave us this tiny egg one year. Ever since my he was a boy he got a new ornament every year, and when we got married, we got one each year. I crocheted the little basket and filled it with ribbon roses many years ago.


Mr. & Mrs. lion are the last ornaments we got from Mom. 

They are very special to me.


I made the M sachet many years ago, it is filled with lavender.  My blogging friend Val, who I’ve know for many years now, before we started blogging, but knew each other from gardening forums, made the heart ornament and gave it to me after my losing Mark.


An old metal painted heart, have had for years and years.


I crocheted this sachet heart.


This snow people couple was made by a friend in Country Life forum when we did ornie exchanges for several years.


This little angel was made by another friend from that same forum, she passed away about the same time as my DH. She’s the tree topper this year.


Free wreath I got last year, hanging on the main entry into my little cottage, which is the kitchen door.


This is a scraggly, ancient feather tree that I found in the attic.  Really in bad shape, but I thought it would work out here in the kitchens’ screened porch.


Nativity and heavenly host. The lace angel hanging on the mirror is another favorite of mine given to us by DH’s mother one Christmas.


DH made the crèche many, many years ago. He made it for our little mud figures that we bought in the little square of the town we lived in in Spain while he was in the US Navy.

The little hanging angel at right corner of crèche with a blue gown was given to DH by his mother when he was a boy. The old painted chalk angel in the back I found at a local flea market. I just looked on the bottom of it and I bought it on DH’s birthday 1981. His 67th bday is this Saturday, so, we’ve had this angel 33 years.

The soldiers are painted miniature lead. The s & p shakers have myrrh chunks in one, and frankincense in the other. 


This is the last ornie I made for my dear love, 1 Dec. 2012, he left this planet on the morning of the 9th.


This is my favorite picture of us taken several years ago.


Saturday I am fixing veal Marsala for DH’s 67th bday celebration. It’s a recipe I’ve not tried before and I know he would like it.  I always loved making special dinners for the two of us, I love to cook & bake and that love hasn’t really diminished. But, I sure as heck miss my crazy, loving companion of 43 years.  We had a lot of great times, survived rough times, and our love kept on growing. I am thankful for out time on this earth together. My heart and mind are full of memories.

I wish you all a wonderful, love, peace and joy filled Christmas week and day.  May 2015 bring good things to all.

I’m going to be taking a break from blogging until after the new year, see you then.



My Christmas card for this year.


Wishing you a Christmas kind of peace…

a Christmas kind of beauty…

every day of the year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

United still

Good morning Folks ~ It is two years ago this morning that my dear husband, lover, friend, mentor and soul mate left this planet for his heavenly home. It seems like yesterday at times and then other times like an eternity.

I’ve come quite a way since that morning. God has been and continues to be my strength each and every day. While I still miss my husband every single day, the grief of my loss isn’t as raw as it was back then.  Knowing he is with Jesus fills my heart with peace. Knowing we will be together again one day gives me joy.



The following piece came in my email box the other day, in a daily devotional, but I don’t remember which one. It is perfect to post for this day.


E'en for the dead I will not bind my soul to grief;

Death cannot long divide.

For is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall

Has blossomed on the other, side?

Death doth hide,

But not divide;

Thou art but on Christ's other side!

Thou art with Christ, and Christ with me;

In Christ united still are we.


My love continues to grow for Mark, as I remember our life and love together.

My love for Jesus grows as He continually draws me closer to Him.

One day Mark and I will be reunited. 

Until then may I age and grow gracefully in God’s tender love and care.


“Love is Forever”



Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Delightful Gardening video


For a break in the hectic holidays, here is a  mini vacation to see some

English Cottage and Country Gardens


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blues Dispeller part 3 and more


Good morning Folks ~ I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was great and that your Christmas holidays will be filled with love, peace and joy.  It’s hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner.

Tomorrow morning a friend of mine is coming over to help me with getting trees and decos down from the attic.  DH and I used to do this, with me in the attic handing things down to him that I wanted to use each year. Last year and the year before I did it myself and it’s just too much trying to negotiate the stairway/ladder pulled down from the attic and carrying boxes too. I am thankful for her help. I met this dear lady at our widow’s group and she and I have become good friends.  We live pretty close to each other too.  I am thankful to God for bringing us together at this time in our lives.

Ok, here is the final set of photos from my last visit to the Mounts Botanical Gardens. I went back a week later just to go to the nursery area, and the beautiful brugmansias had both lost most of their flowers, so my trip the week before had been prime time for seeing them.

These gardens must be visited several times a year in order to catch things when they bloom. This was the fall season. I’m looking forward to the next visit, whenever that will be.

Click on pictures for larger view.




Nice array of plants here.




Didn’t get the name of these trees, but the one in the middle was loaded with fruit.




Lizard found by one of the volunteers at the gardens.


The End.


Here’s the extent of my Christmas decorating so far. This is in the bedroom on top of my dresser that is 45 1/2 inches tall.  You can see this from down the hall. I bought the tiny tree at Michael’s 40% off and the LED star lights at a dollar store, 2 strands to do the tree, so $2. Smile I may keep it simple like this, or I may add some small ornies with special meaning. Replicas of Michelangelo's David, and then one of Venus by Botticelli flank the little tree. Have had these for many, many years.



"May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; 
The spirit of Christmas which is peace; 
The heart of Christmas which is love."
Ada V. Hendricks


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Plum Cottage


Hello Folks ~ Here it is the day before Thanksgiving here in the US and I want to wish you all a lovely time of good food, good times and being thankful. Thankful not just for the good, but for the rough, hard and anguished times too.  Through those times we grow and learn to appreciate so much.

I am thankful to God for all of you and for how you have blessed me with your love, prayers and friendship these past two years since my dear husband left this planet for his heavenly home.

I am thankful to God for drawing me closer to Him.  He has been and continues to be my strength. He has blessed me in many ways.

I am thankful for my gardens here, they really help in the healing process.

I am thankful for my little cottage, and for the meal I am preparing for tomorrow.  It will be a nice quiet, reflective day, something we always enjoyed together and is part of the healing that continues each day for me.

In the last two weeks, I’ve learned of two blogging friends who have lost their husbands. I ask you to send love and prayers out for them. Toodie of Twiddeldee and Freda of Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel. They both are in a very rough patch right now as their losses are so new and great.

Gardening as you all know, is a big part of my life, more so now after losing my best friend and soulmate, the love of my life. Healing happens in my gardens.  My heart and soul are soothed. I am continuing to make it a haven, a place where I talk to my Creator and enjoy His creation.

The past couple of days I’ve been watching episodes of ‘Love Your Garden’ on You-Tube.  The one I watched this morning really touched my heart as it was a garden created to be solace to a family.   When you have some time, watch the making of this lovely space for this family to heal and move forward.

In an episode I watched yesterday a garden was being created for a 90 year old lady.  She said she mowed her own lawn up until she was 89. It got too hard for her to start the mower and do the work, then her garden became ‘tatty’ as the people in England say. Oh my I’m only 65, if I live to be her age, I’ve still got 24 years to go, God willing. (I do plan on buying an electric lawn mower next year, which will help me a lot. The gas one takes tugging at least three times to get it started and that is a wear out before I even get started.)

So, that’s it for now. I hope you all have lovely holidays. I’m going to start filling this little place with delicious scents.

Thank you again for being my friends.



Gratitude is an art

of painting an adversity

into a lovely picture.

Kak Sri

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Blues Dispeller ~ Part 2


Good morning Folks ~ Well, I chose the perfect day to go to the Mounts Botanical Gardens.  Tuesday and Wednesday were gray with some rain, and yesterday it rained off and on all day long.

Let me refill my coffee cup and I’ll be right back to get started on this post. Ok, I’m back and just checked the weather and it is 75 and feels like it is 72, at 5:06 a.m. EST. More showers are expected today and each day through Thanksgiving. It is breezy too with 20mph winds from the east.

I can’t even imagine how the people up north are dealing with all of that over abundance of snow. I wouldn’t be able to handle it.  I’ve lived down here since 1960 and am a barefoot lady most of the time.  Anyway, I am thankful for our fall/winter/spring weather down here, summers are the pits though.

Now, back to my ‘Blues Dispeller’ at the botanical gardens the other day.

When I saw this Brugmansia or Angel’s Trumpets I could hardly believe it and was thrilled to say the least. This was what was scenting the air as I started my garden walk. This tree was at least 8’ tall and probably as wide.


Here are some blooms for you closer up. 

They are probably about 8-10 inches long, maybe longer.


These were in the rose garden area, which didn’t have much going on it right now as far as roses being in bloom. The yellow at the beginning and the white as I was heading down the path near the exit to this part of the beautiful gardens.  This white one was almost hanging to the ground. I almost backed up and went back around, but said to myself, nope, I’m going to bed over and walk through these wonderful blooms and I did.




This Brugmansia was in a different area. Amazing at the size of it and all of those wonderful blooms.


These next two photos are taken in the ‘Herb Garden’ area.

This is African Blue Basil. Here is a link telling about it. Mine is just a little baby right now. Once it starts growing, I want to take cuttings to make more plants.  It is supposed to be easy, by just starting the cuttings in water. Smile 


Here we have rosemary.  What a great display of this wonderful herb. This was the central focal point of the garden.


In this photo below, I am looking toward to the ‘Butterfly Garden’. It is my favorite garden here.  There were LOTS of butterflies hovering around too, but I didn’t capture any to share here.  Maybe next time.

You enter the little garden through the arbor. I have some of what is growing in this garden and want to get more, of course. I do have lots of butterflies visiting my gardens, but would like to draw in different kinds.




Here are a couple of ‘cats’ on a rue plant.


This is a path back near the airport strip, leading to the ‘Cottage Garden’ area which was actually kind of sparse, considering it is November I guess. There were things to see, but this will be much better during the spring. This path goes on around and then back out to main path.


This is a birdhouse in the ‘Cottage Garden’ area.


This is the Dombeya burgessiae (Seminole), or Hydrangea Tree. I bought a little one, about 6-8 inches tall. Here is a link for it. Mine, has a head of blooms on it already and I can hardly wait for it to bloom. I was amazed at the height and width of this plant.


Here are two photos of the veggie garden which is huge. This garden also looks better in the spring, but it still looks pretty darn good the end of November.



Well, that’s it for this post. I believe, there is one more post to do for this wonderful botanical garden from this visit.  I hope you have enjoyed this one.


 A garden recreates itself daily;

we seldom step in the same garden thrice.

Quote taken from: Garden Digest