Saturday, July 31, 2010

We had rain

We had a good old-fashioned thunderstorm last night, with plenty of lightening, thunder and a good amount of rain. We are thankful. It is still warm and humid though, the storm didn't cool down the temp any at all. Right now at 7:45 a.m. it is 79 but with 93% humidity it feels like it is 89. A high of 91 is expected, and with the humidity it will feel like it's 106, which is what it's been like for about a week now. Really miserable out. Another thunderstorm is expected this afternoon, hopefully after I get home from work.

The 'tomato horn worm' is not hanging on the rose this morning. I did notice that a lot of my salvia coccina has chewed off leaves, which is in the same pot as the rose. I didn't see the worm this morning, but he's good at camouflaging himself. He was a huge worm, not one I want to see more of either.

Below is an epiphyte, an air plant which grows on host plants/trees without killing or hurting host plant. I'm not sure which kind this one is, but I'm sure someone will be able to tell me. Orchids are epiphytes, as are bromeliads, staghorn ferns, and others. It is on the palm tree out from the kitchen's screened porch. I love the green lichen on the tree also.

Here is Louis Philippe against the Norfolk pine tree's bark. I love the contrast.

Here we have Queen Crepe's purple blooms in the foreground of yet another 'shed shot'.

I want to thank all of you once again for viewing my posts and leaving your kind, encouraging comments. Glad you all liked the quote in yesterday's post.


The world is so empty

if one thinks only of the mountains,

rivers, and cities;

but to know someone who thinks and feels with us,

and who, though distant

is close to us in spirit,

this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Friday, July 30, 2010

Somewhere in Heaven

We are having a thunderstorm, complete with lightening, thunder and RAIN. Hurray! I don't like thunderstorms, but I am so thankful for the rain.

A couple of minutes ago we listened to this youtube video and this is the best version of this song by Carlos Santana, Somewhere in Heaven. To listen to this video, turn off my playlist on the right side.

We believe this is true.

Here are the lyrics.

Somewhere in Heaven
There is a place
Waiting for you and me

He made a promise
Gave every drop of His blood
Died on the cross, so we'd be free

Oh, oh, oh, oh, somewhere
Somewhere in Heaven
There's a place
Waiting, waiting for you and me

He made a promise
Gave every drop of His blood
And died on the cross, so we'd be free

Somewhere in Heaven
There is a place
Waiting, waiting for you and me

He made a promise
When he gave every drop of his blood
Died on the cross, so we'd be free.

In this version at the end he sings ~ He made a promise, When he gave every drop of his blood,
Died on the cross, so that you and I and all of us would be free.


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL


This morning I was sitting in my desk chair looking out into the front patio garden and wondered what was making a rose stem hang way down. I thought maybe a raccoon had been climbing around the area, and went out to check. Well I picked up the branch and quickly dropped it, as I had grabbed hold of a critter. YIKES. I believe it is some sort of moth caterpillar, maybe a Sphinx moth.

My shed's garden hanging in there barely.

One of the most delightful things about gardening
is the freemasonry it gives with other gardeners,
and the interest and pleasure all gardeners get by visiting
other people's gardens.
We all have a lot to learn
and in every new garden there is a chance of finding inspiration
- new flowers, different arrangement or fresh treatment for old subjects.
Even if it is a garden you know by heart
there are twelve months in the year
and every month means a different garden,
and the discovery of things
unexpected all the rest of the year.
Margery Fish, We Made a Garden, 1956

~ Happy Gardening ~

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fresh peach pie for a summer day

I visited a blog the other day and the lady had posted a recipe for a Cream Peach Pie that reminded her of the pies her mother had made during the summer, using a recipe that had been her mothers. Recipe can be found here at Katie's Kitchen Garden.

That got me to thinking about making a peach pie, haven't made one in years. I used half n half instead of cream and added 1/4 tsp. each of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. It smelled delicious while baking and it is now cooling. I'll let you know what we think about it later.

I got out and mowed this morning, plus did a little trimming of stuff hanging over the fence into our driveway from the neighbors to the east of us. That wore me out.

I had the sprinkler going in the main garden as it is one of my days to water, and when I went to move the sprinkler to the next spot, I noticed the pump sounded different and there was no water coming out of the hose. I told DH and he came out to look at the pump and there was zero pressure. We've had some sand coming up from the well lately too, and had a feeling things weren't so good underground. We've had this well about 23 years.

So, DH headed off to get some info, and was told the bad news, our well has croaked, it's dead. Besides the well, we'll need a new pump. This is not what we wanted to hear. We'll call around to see what the going rate is, but we're not looking forward to this expense right now. I use our well for gardening. I'll use city water, which we have to pay for, and hope it won't be too bad. Since I've not done this, I don't have a clue. I only am allowed two days a week to water with the sprinklers, and I hand water when things need it. What a bummer! Another bump in the road of our life.

We need some rain, a good soaking rain. No rain in the forecast today, maybe tomorrow afternoon, if we're lucky. Right now it is 92, but with the humidity, it feels like it's 106.


How often it is that a garden,
beautiful though it be,
will seem sad and dreary
and lacking in one of its most gracious features,
if it has no water.
Pierre Husson

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I long for cooler weather

This summer heat and humidity really has me dragged out. Right now it's 87 and with the humidity feels like it's 106. I worked in and around my main garden Sunday morning and again this morning and sweat buckets. There is so much more that needs doing, but not in this weather. I can only work outside a couple of hours before I start feeling drained, start tripping over my own feet, and realize it's time to call it quits.

Cooler weather is not expected for us until the end of October, IF we are lucky.

Here are just a few blooms.

An unknown pass-along daylily from a friend.

Prosperity roses.

The next two pictures are of Duchesse de Brabant blooms.

May I learn to appreciate the beauty and gift of life in each passing day.


"Live in each season as it passes:

breathe the air,

drink the drink,

taste the fruit."

Henry David Thoreau

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My little space

Welcome to my little, humble creative space. Below is a picture of when it was our screened porch. Once the road was widened from a country two lane road into 4 lanes with a turning lane in the middle, with traffic doing 45 mph and faster, it was not pleasant to sit out there anymore. The road is about 30' from the front wall of my space, maybe a little more. (When they widened the road, they took a depth of 25' across the front of our property. We had had full grown trees out there and a hedgerow. All long gone now.)
We enclosed the screened space about 4 years or so ago and it is a delight for me to be in anytime of the day or night. I still hear the traffic, but now it's muffled and a private indoor space, with the patio garden to look out on. In our remodeling we also put in new double-glazed windows and put on new siding and of course painted it, which with color choice our little place became 'Plum Cottage'.

My space on the left with the artistic iron work on the outside wall.

Here is our kitchen entry with screened porch.

This next picture is where my computer desk
and two of the bookcases in the living room were before the remodel. The french door led out to the screened porch.

Same space, at Christmas time, after remodel.

As I said, this space is only about 6'x 8'. The window that you see is actually a 36" wide metal clad door, in case we ever move and sell this place. We always use our kitchen door and so does any company, this space is much better used this way.

I took the pictures below this morning, after I tidied up a bit. :-) My counter space is ready for the next project, which won't be for a couple of days yet. I have to take a break after the last piece.

Click on pictures for larger views.

I like the lighting with out the flash so that's how most of these pictures were taken.

You can see my storage under my granite top. The purple one was found, it even has glitter in the handles. I cut up old wall paper and used it to line the fronts of drawers. Got the idea from someone's blog pictures. The drawers are filled with yarn, fabric, embroidery and crochet threads, paper and envelopes, buttons, knitting needles and crochet hooks, etc.

We got these two old stuffed birds probably about 30 years ago from a local flea market. The are wonderful and look so right in this space.

Also, the above the door piece we got from the trash across the street. It was painted shiny black. DH stripped it and oiled it.

Left side.

Right side.

Two shelves that I emptied books from to have space for lace, beads, and ribbon.

My desk.

That's it for now. I've got to get a move on, as I'm heading off to work today.
It's a bit windy, but not raining and hopefully it will be a nice day at work.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not what I planned

Well, here it is the end of yet another Friday. I 'was' going to go to work this morning, but my boss emailed me saying don't bother, because wind and rain was expected all day from Tropical Storm Bonnie. So, instead of heading out the door and hitting the road for work, I had to gear down, and plopped myself in my chair and worked on my latest needlework piece. I had my soothing music playing, and have had a nice peaceful day.

It rained for awhile, between 11-12, and we got maybe a few sprinkles later but nothing major. All of the rain stayed south of us. It's very hot and humid out, and the air conditioning is nice. Tomorrow morning I'll head off to work, well, I will if that's what's meant to be.

We had had some rain during the night, around 4 in the morning, so things were wet out when we got up, and it was windy with swiftly moving clouds and it felt like hurricane weather. Thankfully Bonnie was just a tropical storm. I got my camera and headed outdoors for some pics. Here are the results. Click on pictures for larger images.

Louis Philippe against the bark of our Norfolk Pine tree.

DH was going to take a picture of me working in my little space last night but the batteries needed to be recharged, of course. So, he took one this morning. I love this space and am so thankful I have it. My computer and desk are to the left. This space is about 6'x'8.

This is how it looked this morning. These things take on a life of their own when I get going. I don't have a plan really, a drawing, and some idea of colors then it comes together as I go along. This turned out whimsical and tropical looking (reminds me of caladiums or elephant ears) with a face, maybe 'Tropical Storm Bonnie' had something to do with it? I didn't notice how it looked until I was finished, then I couldn't quit smiling, it cracks me up. Not what I planned, but it is what it is. Maybe I've been embroidering too much the last two days. :-)

I will end with the following quote in appreciation for the rain we did get.


How beautiful is the rain!

After the dust and the heat,

In the broad and fiery street,

In the narrow lane,

How beautiful is the rain!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Rain in Summer

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Flowers make me feel happy

What more can I say? They are colorful treasures every one. They can be simple, extravagant, romantic, scented, vibrant. They bring joy to my heart, delight to my soul. They make me feel thankful to our great Creator for all His many blessings.

Sometimes, I think what else can there be to take a picture of, then go out for a walk, and soon come back in for the camera. Some days are better than others. I hope you enjoy this selection from Plum Cottage gardens.

Right click on pictures for a larger view.

The next two pictures are of Ylang-Ylang, pronounced eelang-eelang. A customer who has a lovely garden, brought these two blooms in for me at work yesterday, as his tree had just started blooming. He knew I'd never seen them or smelled them before, so this was a real treat! The scent is amazing.
As the blooms age, they turn yellow.

For more info read this link, Ylang-Ylang
The Chanel No.5 Perfume Tree

I accidentally cut this passion flower vine while trimming this morning,
so decided to take another picture.

While I was out in my main garden, I walked over to the little seating area under the lattice arbor at the back of the garden. I looked up and was sweetly surprised to see these Phyllis Bide blooms.


Vinca and marigolds

This is the entry to our little cottage, the kitchen's screened porch.
I'm standing in the driveway looking southwest.
Queen crepe is the purple flowering tree on the left,
a regular pink flowering crepe is on the right.


As I work among my flowers,

I find myself talking to them,

reasoning and remonstrating with them,

and adoring them as if they were human beings.

Much laughter I provoke among my friends by so doing,

but that is of no consequence.

We are on such good terms, my flowers and I.

Celia Thaxter, 1835-1894


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL