Friday, May 19, 2017

A new plant nursery to me–Johnny Mangos

Good morning Folks ~ Thank you all for your kind comments, especially about my BIL helping me with the a.c. I will pass along what you have said about him, I know he’ll appreciate it.

Before I forget, the winner for the garden book of ideas was Jo from My Grandma’s Soul.  Congrats Jo.

I was just outside working and decided I’d had enough already and it’s not even 9 a.m. EST yet.  It is 79 and real feel is 82.  Later as the temperature rises, it is supposed to feel like it is in the low 90’s. Right now the humidity level is at 75%. My clothes soon became wet from all of the ‘glowing’ I was doing. The sun was starting to blast the area I was working in.

I’ve been working on my ‘secret butterfly garden’, and the screen enclosed space behind my cottage. It has been predicted that we are going to have history making hot temps down here in s.e. FL this year. So I’m grouping plants together for easier watering and I’m even thinking of putting up shade cloth, I just haven’t figured out how yet.

A couple of weeks ago, my dear friends, Nanci & John, invited me out to lunch.  It was a Sunday afternoon and we went to Johnny G’s, a famous place that used to be up on the beach but has now moved. They are only open untl 3 p.m. It was a perfectly gorgeous day, still cool, breezy, just wonderful, what we wish all of our days were like. We got a table outside and their dog Wally sat with us and people/dog watched. The three of us humans had fish and chips, delicious!!!! Nanci and I had Arnold Palmers, if you’ve never had these, give them a try. They are addicting. It is iced tea and lemonade. Great for summer!

After lunch, John suggested going to Johnny Mangos. I’d not heard of it, so off we went. It is a Key West/artsy style, garden nursery and I just LOVED it. 


05-08-f ront

John told Nanci and I to pick out a plant. I had gone in before Nanci and told John I wanted what is pictured below. When Nanci came in, she told John the exact same thing.  It is a faux rock and decaying tree waterfall with the beautiful plants. There is just something so soothing about the sound of flowing water.


Below is the plant I picked out, Blue Lips, Mazabuka, origin Africa. You can read more about this plant from Top Tropicals. The color and unusual flower is what drew me to it. I saw it pretty much at the beginning of my walk around the place and it stayed in my mind as the one I wanted from this visit with my dear friends. It is not widely known by most gardeners and has great horticultural value. Of course, I didn’t know this until I googled it when I got home. It grows in shade or semi-shaded areas. What was a real surprise to me and not mentioned anywhere, is that it has a nice, sweet scent. Plus, I read it can be propogated from cuttings. I love it and am very happy with it.


After that visit to Johnny Mangos, we went to a great little ice cream place and I had a dish of pistachio ice cream, John had peanut butter with chocolate chunks, and Nanci had rum raisin.

It was a very pleasant day with perfect weather and being with loving, long-time friends. John gifted me with another monetary gift from them, which is always a treat. My dear husband would like that they have loved on me so much since he’s been gone, dinners/lunches out too.

I didn’t take any photos on Sunday because I only had my phone. So, with my money gift in hand and Canon PowerShot camera too, and a bottle of water, I headed down south on my adventure. Being a homebody, I’m not familiar with driving distances or places I’ve not been before. I googled a route to this nursery and was so pleasantly surprised with the route I had chosen. All because of one section of road that was two lane and trees covering the road from both sides. I felt like I was in another place, like I was on vacation. I was oh so thankful to God for this little treat on my journey. The day before, we had taken the scenic ocean drive. That made me feel like being on vacation.



Now for some views of a sampling of the wonderful plants and other goodies for sale too.










Colorful bougainvilleas.


Look at this purple building. A little more purple than Plum Cottage, but very striking and looks great with the plants.



When you walk over this bridge, the fish come out with mouths open. Winking smile



Some garden art and pottery.




This is the cashier’s booth.


Here are the plants I bought and one little piece of art, art was pretty expensive.

Brugmansia, or Angel’s Trumpet.


Blue Sky Vine



This little orchid was in a tray of orchids for $5 each. Sign said tree orchids. This one spoke to me. It is a tiny but beautiful bloom.



I did a wall arrangement on the east wall of the work shop, over an antique bench, cobbler’s bench ?, given to me by my BIL & SIL when they recently moved. They bought this bench over 25 years ago at an antique auction. No one knew what it was. Two different people have suggested a cobbler’s bench. Do any of you know what this may be?


The blue pot will be changed for an orange one, I think. Blue and orange are complimentary colors, but in this instance, it doesn’t work with what I am doing.


Ok, this is a long enough post. I hope you enjoyed a visit to Johnny Mangos, via the web. I probably won’t go back until the fall, when the weather is much cooler. I’ll be sure to take my camera again to capture more of the tropical beauties displayed for sale here.

Here is a sign they had near the cashier’s booth.


I will close with the following quote. Not sure where I got it, maybe Terry Hershey.

“A beautiful garden is like a big hug.

It can heal the heart and bring joy to those in need.”

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are, whatever your plans are. Live in the moment and be thankful for all of your blessings small or large and everything in between.


Saturday, May 6, 2017



Hello Folks ~ The merry month of May is moving right along. It is a beautiful day in sunny south FL, big blue sky and breezy. It was in the 60’s this morning when I got up. For FL that is great weather this late in the year.  We were already having days of hot, humid weather, then this blessing given after stormy weather yesterday.

The sky was black yesterday morning as I headed out to the appliance store to pick up my new a.c. unit.  The old one croaked Thurs. morning around 3:30 a.m. My dear brother-in-law couldn’t make it here until today.  It took us 2 1/2 hours to take out old and put in new.  He and my SIL just moved 30 minutes closer to me last weekend, they were an hour away. So, they are still unpacking, etc. Bless his heart for coming down here this morning.

Here he is cutting out a section of 2x6, that had to be cut down using the table saw, then screwed back down, in order to make space for the new unit. Larger than the last.


Old- LG


New – Friedrich – ‘Chill’ Series. Still need to trim it out, but at least the a.c. is in and working just fine.


I had spent most of the day Thursday Googling air-conditioners. We had had two Friedrich units in the past and they were GREAT. They have a reputation of being ‘the Cadillac of air-conditioners. Well made, and quiet. Looking at all of the air-conditioners out there, I wanted another Friedrich. They are more $ but worth it.

My little cottage is only 675 sq. ft. I got the one with 15,000 BTU’s and let me tell you it is fine and dandy for this place. The one I had before was only 12,000 BTU’s. I set the thermostat to 71, like I had had my old unit set at, and after BIL left, I laid down for a short nap, when I woke up I was COLD. I didn’t even have the ceiling fan on, like normal, had a sheet and light quilt bedspread covering me. I turned the temp up to 76 and still may have to go up a couple of degrees. This is truly amazing to me and so far I’m a happy camper.

As for my ‘part-time’ work, it is temporary. I’m not doing fancy embellishment on these costumes. I have hot glued feathers & pom-poms, sewed ribbon lacing down on a male dancer costume, and laced ribbon down the front of 16-19 sweet tutu’s. Little red ribbon roses were already glued down by the company that made these. These are also in blue and green.


I am very thankful for this work, and I am enjoying getting to know the director/owner of this studio as we work on these costumes together. The other day she was cutting tutu skirts to shorten them. YIKES! What a job! Layers of tulle to be pinned, marked, then cut. She had a method and it went well.

Now, critters from the gardens.

The first is a non-native lizard. They can get pretty big and they can move fast when they want to. He caught my eye when I was talking on the phone with my SIL. I told her to hang on a minute because I had to take a picture. I zoomed in on him/her.


This caterpillar freaked me out as I was deadheading my penta bush and then I saw it. YIKES. It is either a moth or a swallowtail butterfly. I need to find out from Jessica, my friend who works at Butterfly World.



This is a Ruddy Daggerwing sipping nectar from a buddleia bush. These yellow flowers smell like honey.


Skipper butterfly.



A few days ago when I first saw this glob below, it was much smaller, I thought it was some kind of lizard poop. But as time went on, this thing kept getting larger. There are two of these on my baby key lime tree. UGLY! But, I looked in my FL butterfly book, and they are Palamedes Swallowtail caterpillars. Jessica had given me a pupa of this butterfly to watch it ‘hatch’, and I when it did, I let it go into my gardens. Now I am rewarded with babies. Smile



Here is our state butterfly. I have LOTS of these flitting about. ‘Zebra Longwings’. These flowering blooms are part of my ‘secret garden’ hedge. The purple flowers are golden dewdrop, and they smell like jelly beans to me. The red are pentas, a real butterfly magnet.


This is my sweet Miss Tork. She was laying on a pile of clean laundry that needed to be folded and put away. I love the coloring of her belly hair, and look at her sweet little front paws. She is such a sweetie pie.


Yesterday morning she was sleeping in this chair, minus the laundry, and I was sitting in my chair. There was some rain going on when all of a sudden a HUGE clap of thunder sounded like it hit the driveway, which made us both LEAP out of our chairs. It wasn’t funny at the time, but seeing it in my mind cracks me up. We were just minding our own business and were jolted into fear & flight mode.

Now for some flowers.

Frangipani blooms. I have three trees of this color growing in my main garden. They were given to me as cuttings from a friend over 25 years ago.


This is ‘Grand Duke’ jasmine. My favorite jasmine. I don’t even remember where I got this. The scent is absolutely heavenly.


Amaryllis blooming in a small garden bed.


These are a pot of amaryllis blooms, no dirt, I just had pulled them out of another pot and threw them here. They are tough.



Key Lime flowers and a baby key lime.


A Meyer Lemon, I have three lemons on my small tree.


Blooms in my ‘secret garden’ hedge.




Remember my ‘Kathleen’ rose bush I thought had croaked, but it came back to life. Well, here are the first blooms from it.



This is ‘Miss Atwood’. I just lover her coloring. Well, actually, I love everything about her.


That’s it for now. I hope you all are enjoying your weekends.

Thanks for stopping by, taking the time to read and leaving your kind comments. You have helped me on my widow’s journey, more than words can say.

Happy Spring.