Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mid May

Hello Folks ~ It is hard to believe it is the middle of May.  For some of you spring is happening, for us summer is starting. Yesterday morning I felt ill from the heat and humidity.  This is ‘why’ we are trying to get things done outside that are ‘bigger’ projects, so that I can just basically putter during the summer this year. The older I get the more summers bother me.

We have been getting much needed rain and that has been nice. We had to do some tweaking of our rain barrel to keep out mosquitoes, and hopefully have that fixed now. This morning we worked on the rain barrel water gauge so that we can see how much water is in it.  DH drilled a hole in one of the outlet/faucet pipes, inserted a brass fitting and slipped on clear tubing, then we clipped it top and bottom to the barrel.  Right now there is about 35 gallons in the barrel just from what little rain we had last night.  This is rain though from most of the house and the workshop, so it doesn’t take long to fill up.  We did more calculating and this barrel holds approximately 160 gallons.



10 gallon increment marks on barrel.


This morning we also started on the lattice around the barrel.  I look forward to having flowering vines covering it.


We are going to take make the green screening over top of barrel better, this is the temporary prototype.


I’ve been working on weeding in the main garden, adding plants and changing things around. Thirty-two years ago this was just green grass.  I need to buy more roll-roofing for the paths, but DH doesn’t want to get the cheap stuff this time, modified bitumen is thicker and longer wearing.  I’ve had the cheaper stuff for years now, but it’s cracking up and becoming more brittle and stuff (weeds/grass) is growing up out of the cracks. We’re going to check out a roofing supply place that hopefully will be cheaper than HD.

Now, here are some blooms from our Plum Cottage Gardens.

This is my first gardenia bloom from a rooted cutting sent to me from Tom of Seventh Street Cottage. Gardenias are one of my first memories of Florida.  I first lived here before the first grade.  My grandmother had gardenias and the scent has stayed with and touched my heart since then. I’ve tried growing them before and haven’t had much success. This bloom opened on Mother’s day.  I was thrilled.  I picked it and have enjoyed the scent for days.





This shot is from the front courtyard looking out into the driveway area.  On the fence side is a tower of plumbago blooms. Along the fence is Virginia Creeper vine and Cape Honeysuckle. Near the gate is a hibiscus that I got from my mother years ago.



Now,  here we are in the secret garden and you can see passion vine blooms growing on the hedge that surrounds this space.


Bauhinia acuminata or dwarf orchid tree, is growing in a large terra cotta pot in the secret garden also.  This has a delicate sweet scent.  I grew this from seed.




Here is spiderwort and salvia coccinea growing in a pot in the caravan garden.


Here is a bee happily collecting pollen.



I think this is some kind of thungergia vine.  Some of these buds should be open tomorrow.


Here is the ‘Love’ rose. 05-16-love



‘Bon Silene’




May you all feel love, peace and joy surrounding you.



"The gloom of the world is but a shadow;

behind it,

yet within our reach,

is joy.

Take joy."

Fra Giovanni Giocondo


Susan said...

Your gardenia looks beautiful. They certainly do have a wonderful scent and I love it that scents from our childhood invoke memories of special people. Your hibiscus looks like 'Shirley Temple' mother grew this bush when I was a kid...she still does today and me, too. Your plumbago looks like a vine...beautiful!

crybrug said...

What a beautiful garden. I remember my grandmother also growing a gardenia...that smell is so pleasant.

Thank you for sharing

Freda Cameron said...

Your flowers are always so far ahead, and you have things that I can't grow.

I understand getting projects finished before "summer" heat and humidity. Hope you're feeling better.

Sunray Gardens said...

So many pretty blooms but I always love seeing the Gardenias.

Cher Sunray Gardens

Darla said...

I can almost smell that gardenia! You have so many beautiful blooms.

Gayle said...

Curious about the water... is it for environmental reasons or do you pay for water? I've never set up rain barrels as it rarely rains at my house. I watch the clouds circle around, but they never get my little corner. Your roses are beautiful. I have been saying I just want to hurry up, get all our projects done and relax, but it looks like gardens are never truly finished!

Antique ART Garden said...

My vision of gardenias were squelched repeatedly by white flies, they ate them up constantly. I gave up on them. So many people can grow them though.I am in the same boat about how hot and humid Southern Summers are, we have had such an early Spring, then it has just fallen straight into Summer. take care!

Laura R. said...

Your pictures are so beautiful! I could almost smell your of my favorite scents from the garden yet I don't have one. Must get one! I am also planning to get a rain barrel..too bad didn't already have it the last few days..we had lots of rain here in St. Pete area. Everything is so fresh and happy!
Have you checked out Onalees Seeds? Her website has some unusual vines you might like and good prices.

Carla said...

Your flowers look so beautiful, but I like the rest here really love Gardenias. The smell is intoxicating!

NanaK said...

I hope your beautiful gardenia does well for you. I love gardenias but have never been able to successfully grow them. It's wonderful that your rain barrel has water in it now. We finally got some rain here too. Nothing like a good rain for a garden.

Jane said...

You two are so clever. Never thought to use roofing for the pathways. Might have to give your idea a try. We have spiderwort in bloom here too! But we are still wearing winter coats in the morning. Hope you will take it easy with the heat and humidity. Have a lovely weekend!

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed with your rain barrel project. I have a big, ugly blue barrel that's been sitting in my drive way for weeks now . . . just haven't found the time to start another project.

Gardenia is my favorite flower hands down, but I've always had a hard time keeping mine alive. They do great for a year or two, develop that black fungis and then it's downhill from there. I haven't given up just yet though.

Great post - makes me wish I could leave my office and go home and garden!

Floridagirl said...

Hmmmm.... I'll have to look into that roll roofing you were talking about for paths. Your flowers all look pretty, and I love the bees on the spiderwort!


I'm so glad you've been getting rain! I hope it will continue in a gentle way and keep your barrel replenished.

Your gardenia blossom is fabulous! I am just gaga over that wonderful scent. Congrats on getting your cutting to grow and bloom. You must have done something right.

I love your Bauhinia too. Any flower with a fragrance and I'm weak-kneed.

Great shot of your little honeybee. Aren't they fascinating creatures?

I hope you'll post photos of the Thunburgia when it is in bloom. It looks fascinating.

Have a wonderful weekend, girlfriend. Hugs.