Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thank you Friends and Thank you Fish-It Fertilizer

Good morning Friends ~ I've had two concerned friends contact me because I've not posted anything new in over a week, which is really unusual for me. Thank you for your concern, time just got away from me, between working more hours at my job, homecaring and gardening. Blogging takes time, time to take and edit pictures, time to write your thoughts, time to put it all together. I've been wanting to start the next embroidery piece too, but have only gotten as far as getting it drawn out on the fabric.

I want to thank all of you for visiting my blog, your kind comments, and for info and inspiration you all provide with your own blogs as well.

Because of all this activity on my blog, I got an email a week or so ago from Arthur at Fish-It Fertilizer, asking if I would try a sample of his product and post about it on my blog. I checked out the website, and said Yes, that I'd be glad to. When I sent him my snail mail addy, we realized just how small of a world we live in as he lives in the next town, the town where I work. So, to save on postage we met on Friday where I work, and it was a real pleasure to meet this energetic, positive, young man. He believes in his product and is dedicated to getting the word out. I am happy to give it a try in my humble gardens and help spread the info about this wonderful, organic fertilizer.

Meet Arthur.

Today is the start of my fertilizing experiment with this fertilizer. I selected plants, two will be a comparison, the others will just be enjoying their new food.

This fertilizer smells so earthy and wonderful. It looks very rich.

Here are two rooted gardenia cuttings about the same size, that I got from Tom of Seventh Street Cottage last year. I chose the one without the spiderwort babies as the one to give the Fish-It too.

Here are more potted plants that I decided to give this fertilizer to, and keep record of. There are a few more also, but they are in the ground or in different pots around the property. I will keep tabs on them also. I need to get pictures of these as well.

In this picture I have a rooted Maman Cochet climber rose cutting, then there is an Impatiens with a baby cats whiskers plant in the same pot, and a sickly looking Mexican sunflower, that I rooted as a cutting in the pot on the right. The impatiens and the sunflower definitely need some help.

As you no doubt have guessed, Fish-It Fertilizer is made from just what it says. :-)
The idea started with Arthur and his Aunt Cathy, and the rest is history. This is a River Bottom Fertilizer. I asked Arthur about where his product comes from and this was his response: "The fish are Organically raised Rainbow Trout grow in a diverted natural creek. Water gets redirected from a creek into what are called raceways made from concrete. At the end of the farm the water flows back into the creek. The water from this creek flows into the Nantahala River which is quite popular for rafting and trout fishing." He also told me that the water in which these trout live is very clear and clean.

To read all about this organic fertilizer, go to Fish-It Fertilizer. There are also reviews and videos by others who have already tried this product. Who knows, maybe you'll want to order some for yourselves.

Thank you for following along with me as I try this new-to-me organic fertilizer. I will keep you posted.

Happy Gardening

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our Latest Project

Thank you all for your kind comments about my last post. I hope you all have had a nice week, and that your weekend is great. I've read that a lot of you are having beautiful weather, that you are getting into your spring gardening frame of mind, and pretty soon, all of you will be out playing in the dirt.

This morning DH and I went out early to start on our latest project. DH got this idea the other night when I told him that the centerpiece in the garden, (which was an old pedestal fountain at one time,) was sinking into the ground and I needed a base under it. He thought of using a round cement table top that we weren't using. We measured the table top, measured the area, and realized we could make it work. We had some cement border blocks that we had found a long time ago that we could use underneath, we had gravel that we could put in the center for the water to drain into from this piece. We were ready to go.

I took up the brick border the other day and this morning dug up the plants that were in this area. Then I loosened up the dirt, we tamped the soil down, drew out a circle, laid the blocks, filled the area with gravel, rolled the heavy cement table top over to the space, and gingerly laid it down, hoping for no catastrophes. We are getting older and these heavy cement pieces are not something we want to deal with very often.

After the piece was in place, we put the pedestal fountain on top, then put the cement parrot on a block inside, and put the Basket Plants back into the basin area around the bird. I replanted iris divisions at the back, and Spiderwort at the front. That flower bed never was very good, I like this much better.

We're thinking of laying another layer of roll roofing on the paths, as these are starting to crumble up. They've been there several years now, and it's been nice not having to weed wack the paths. Next time we get out the pressure cleaner, we can do the cement base under the pedestal.

I'm working at my job again tomorrow, so no playing in my gardens until later.

Notice the humongous rain barrel at the back of the garden, another curbside found piece that we've had for several years now. DH is figuring out the best way to get the gutter system hooked up to it, with a leaf/debris screen, then we'll get what supplies we need and will be good to go to collect some serious rain water. I'll either paint the barrel house color, or do some other sort of camouflage.

Here are the stones laid in place. These we also found 'curbside' shopping some time ago. I was using them as a border elsewhere.

Gravel in the middle for drainage.

Some views from this evening.

I noticed that the Frangipani have new leaves appearing also flower buds. Crepe myrtle are also breaking out into greenery. Spring is in the air.


Every day may not be good,
but there's something good in every day.
Author Unknown


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where I work

Hi Folks ~ Some of you have asked where I work, so I thought you might like to see some pictures. I have been here 13 years the end of this month. DH and I were also on this street, only at the other end for 8 years, when we had our shop, which was 15 years ago now. (Our shop was not filled with pieces like this, we had art work, jewelry, collectibles, some American antique furniture, and some European pieces as well, but mostly country, primitive, shabby, etc. The street has become more high end since we were here.)

I fell into this job and I am thankful for it. DH was doing antique restoration, and did some work for the guy who is now my boss. We knew him from when we had our shop, where he bought a few pieces from us. He asked my DH if he thought I might like to manage this shop part time, and the rest is history. I feel like I work in a museum. We have pieces from the 16th century forward, from Europe mostly.

The shop is in a 2-3 block section that is full of antique shops. The rich and famous come here. We have interior designers coming in to buy for their clients. (DH and I live west of two sets of railroad tracks to this area and I sometimes feel somewhat intimidated and inferior, to say the least, by the wealthy.) But I just smile and am polite, answering questions, taking pictures and measurements, taking care of sales and sending emails with pics and info.

It can be quiet here, especially during the summer. My boss tells me he hopes I have something to do so I won't be bored, so I bring books to read, visit blogs, sometimes bring needlework to do in between helping whoever comes in.

People are always saying what a lovely shop it is, filled with beautiful pieces and I thank them. My boss has a very good eye for buying and he also has a knack for setting everything up. Occasionally I move small items around after something has sold to fill in spaces, or when he goes off to set up at antique shows and the shop needs a little straightening after he took things out.

All in all, it's the best job I've ever had. Working part-time, gives me time to putter in my gardens and take care of home too. I'm thankful that during this down time in the economy I still have this job. I've met some nice people, made some friends, seen some beautiful pieces.

Click on pictures for larger views.

Here is my desk, with printer, etc. behind.

I love this blue English Regency sideboard from around 1820.

I also love this cuboard .

Front window north side.

This is the front window, south side.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gorgeous weather and playing in the garden

We have been having perfectly gorgeous weather so I've been taking advantage of it.

I dug up some asparagus ferns and other ferns that were taking up gardening space. Planted some rooted rose cuttings, transplanted some spiderwort and oxalis. Laid a brick border around the middle bed of main garden. Pruned, weeded, and basic clean up. We set the humongous rain barrel in place at the back of the main garden, I diverted the path back there to accommodate the barrel. I've still got to figure out some sort of camouflage for the barrel, maybe just house paint color, to make it recede.

Tonight we got an idea that will change the middle bed, and I am looking forward to doing that, but it won't be tomorrow as I'm working at my job tomorrow. This may take a few days to do, as I've got to transplant plants, dig out the area, lay some gravel, relay the brick, then do what we got the idea for tonight. I will be posting pictures later.


To exist is to change,

to change is to mature,

to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

Henri Bergson


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Valentine's Day dinner

Hi Folks ~ Hope you had lovely Valentine's Day celebrations. We had a quiet evening at home, just the way we like it. The stuffed steak rolls cooked in the crockpot all day, and I made the Raspberry Tiramisu in the middle of the day. We had a nice margarita type drink (vermouth instead of tequila) with rosemary and olive oil crackers spread with cream cheese and a bit of anchovie in olive oil on top. Then we had a salad, and mashed potatoes and green beans with the steak rolls and gravy, and wine to drink. After dinner we had the Raspberry tiramisu. DH said it was decadent. :-)

It was a lovely dinner together and afterwards we felt like watching a movie, so went into our box of movies we found across the street on trash day, and came up with Blue Lagoon as our Valentine date movie. We had seen this when it first came out about 30 years ago, it was a sweet, romantic, innocent movie and a treat to see once again.

Steak rolls.

Lady fingers drizzled with raspberry liquour.

Mascarpone cheese with raspberry puree.

Heavy whipping cream, whipped.

Whipped cream added to the raspberry/cheese mixture.

Whipped cream on top, with sprinkles in a heart shape with whole raspberries.


Love is the expansion of two natures

in such fashion that each include the other,

each is enriched by the other.

Felix Adler


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cabbage 'flower' it was.

Good morning folks. This will be short. No pictures either. I'm out working in my gardens today as the weather is beautiful once again, and I'm not sure when I'll be working this week at my job, so want to get as much done here when I can.

Yes, that was the bottom slice of the edible purple cabbage.

Bread is making in the machine. Valentine's dinner was delicious. More on that later.

Have a great day or evening wherever you are.

I'm going back out to play in the dirt.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another rainy day, & a mystery flower

Good morning everyone. We woke up to more rain, and a chilly 54 that felt like it was 45. It is 'supposed' to get sunny and warmer, up to around mid 60's today, we'll see. The rain is nice for my gardens.

I want to see if any of you can guess what this flower is? It is a sort of trick question. There can be flowers anywhere if we but look. :-)


Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head
with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
Langston Hughes, April Rain Song, 1902 - 1967


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Friday, February 11, 2011

A gray, drippy day, more blooms

Good morning everyone. We had a nice, heavy rain late yesterday afternoon, and it is lightly drizzling out this morning. T-storms are expected today and tonight. We'll see. I am very happy to have the rain.

I took a few more pictures. Enjoy.


Chrysler Imperial before being picked and brought inside.

Chrysler Imperial

Don Juan also had a nice bloom which I almost missed. I picked it and brought it inside too. They both have their own wonderful scents, but Chrysler is my favorite of these two.

Chrysler on the left, Don Juan on the right.


The stillness of the early morning scene enables me
to take in and enjoy many things
which pass me by during the bustle of the day.
First, there are the scents,
which seem even more generous with their offerings
than they are in the evening.
Rosemary Verey


Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Color on a gray morning & playlist is gone for good.

Good morning Friends ~ I went out earlier to get my morning inspiration from the gardens and here are the results.

Click on pictures for a larger view.

I'm near the back of our property, looking south, towards the road out front. On the left you can see, Snake Plants, Basket Plant flowers, Mother-of-millions, and others I can't think of. It's the Basket Plants (Callisia fragrans) I wanted to show as they are blooming all over the property, filling the air with their delicate scent. The bees just love these blossoms.

Here is a portion of our Melaleuca tree that came down in the hurricanes. We have it standing as a sculpture piece in our secret garden and I placed the Basket plants all around the base. These need no dirt to grow, and they send out babies.
Here is the Chrysler Imperial bud opening up a little more.

Blooms of Golden Dewdrop.

Sweet Mm. Laurette Messimy.

Morning glories.

Shovel bird high on his perch over the entryway into our 'junk yard'. The trees in the background are not that close, they are on the other side of the property that borders the back/north side of ours.

Here are Schefllera berries, along with some colorful croton leaves, and a stem from a vanda orchid.

Mom-of-millions blooms. Boy oh boy, this plant definitely makes millions of little ones. A leaf just has to fall to the ground and several will sprout and grow from it.

These next few pictures are of sweet La Marne.


I noticed this morning that there are now advertisements on my playlist music, saying that if I want it commercial free I'll have to pay $15 a month. NO THANK YOU. Thank you all for enjoying my soothing tunes and your kind comments about them. They were nice while they lasted.

That's it for now. Enjoy your life, whatever you do, wherever you live.

Zone 10 ~ s.e. FL