Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rain, cold front coming, lots of pictures


Good afternoon Friends ~ We are having rain off and on as a cold front moves down over us. That is great as it was feeling too much like summer way too early.

Thank you for asking about me. I've been puttering around, taking things one day at a time. Had a really nice, but very emotionally draining visit with my SIL. Tears and more tears, they don't seem to run out, just build up to overflowing.  After our visit, we picked her husband up from the seminar he had been too, and we then looked for a restaurant to eat at. My BIL likes to find hole-in-the-wall little restaurants and we found one called Island Grill. It was Haitian and the food was delicious and plentiful.  Fern and I both had fried talapia with brown rice and beans and fried plantains too.  Pepe had oxtail soup which he said was delicious, and he had a small portion of the goat and I tried that too and it was oh so delicious but a little too chewy for me.

They gave me a wonderful comfort bag of goodies. In fact, I just finished a delightful cup of pomegranate, hibiscus, white tea, it is antioxidant and delicious.  Fern made homemade biscuit scones to be spread with clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Delicious! Also a yummy banana nut bread. Some butter shortbread cookies, a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio wine. Oh yes and a sweet little orchid. It was all a wonderful and comforting gift and I am thankful.




Now, on to what is going on and growing here at Plum Cottage gardens. Here is a wonderful plant that basically grows with little or no care. When it blooms a sweet, delicate scent fills the air.  The bees love this plant and so do I. It is Basket Plant of callisia fragrans. This plant spreads ridiculously easy.






I tried to get this iridescent green flying bug, which I think is a hover fly, buy I'm not sure.


I think this is some kind of wild petunia vine, it also grows like crazy with little or no care.


Clock vine or thunbergia.


Climbing Maman Cochet




Mm. Laurette Messimy


Raindrops on rose leaves



Louis Philippe




A lizard thinking he is hidden.


Miss Tork sleeping on the rocking footstool that DH used to use.


This is in the caravan garden area on the north end of my shed. I inched this 'faux bois' cement chair to this spot. (Faux bois is a French term meaning "fake wood" and pronounced "foe bwah".) This whole garden area needs work, this is just the start.


East half of the front main garden. I did more weeding, then laid a drip hose. I need to get another hose for the other side. This is for use with the rain barrel water.  One of the last projects my husband did last year, that and the new gutter around the front of our little cottage. I'll be planting things in the main garden both sides, and have seeds yet to get started. I'm behind. I seem to be moving in a fog most days.


This is our grotto area. I took the rubbermaid rake storage unit out of here and put this back the way it was before we got the unit, which I've still got to find the right place for. Here are some of the glass blocks I put to use for a shelving unit. I'll have most of my orchids back here.


This is the heart I made for my SIL Fern.  I am not satisfied with the embroidered fern, and will do better the next time.  This is the front.


Here is the back.


Now for a good laugh, enjoy this.

Look at each day as an adventure and a gift.

FlowerLady Lorraine

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beautiful weather

Good morning Friends ~ It is Thursday and today will be spent in ‘homecaring’ as I have company coming tomorrow. My husbands’ older sister is coming to visit. Her husband is going to a seminar down here so she and I will be visiting and then we’ll all got out to eat afterwards. I’m fixing a little lunch here for she and I. When she and her husband were down last summer they took us out to eat at a favorite Cuban restaurant that we all like.  I’m glad we had that visit.

So … there are ‘things’ I need to do around here.

Sunday and Monday were pretty rough days, times of sobbing. I just called out to God to get me through and he did, as he always does. I’ve read some things that have lightened my spirit, from my journal from last year, from the Bible and from other books I am reading. Plus comments and emails from you dear people. I wrote about the roller coaster of grief here.

I know my husband is with God and that is reason to celebrate. I also know that we will be reunited one day and that will be wonderful. For now, I am being drawn closer to God as I trust in him more and more every day.

The past two days I worked outside as the weather was perfect for it. As I was working, there were gentle breezes, periods of silence (when no traffic happened to be going by) and lots of sweet birdsong. I was oh so thankful and my heart lifted. I have much to learn and every day is a gift.

I cut back some trees, did weeding and clean up too. It all felt good. Physical exercise is great any time but especially at this time. Being outdoors is good for body, soul and spirit.

There are two piles here, on from the overgrown ixora, and then a pile of overgrown grass and other stuff that I raked out from my potting area. I’ve not liked going back there because of the ‘mean’ pit bull that lives behind us. Whenever he would hear us he would race up and down the privacy fencing on his side, snarling and slamming himself into the fence. Needless to say, it took the joy out of working in that quiet space back there. My husband tried all sort of things on this dog to get him to stay away from the fence, all to no avail. The dog is bad. Sometimes the owner would call the dog away. I’ve not been back there in about 6 months so haven’t had to deal with the dang dog.  Well, day before yesterday, it dawned on me how quiet it has been back there, so I thought maybe they are gone somewhere. So yesterday morning I decided to tackle the area.  While back there I peeked over the fence and could see that no one was there and it felt like no one was there too.  So I worked and worked back there and am happy with my progress. There is still more to do, but I couldn’t do it all at once.

These aren’t very exciting pictures at all, just showing some of the work I do around here. I love gardening even the hard work.


Here’s more debris. The basket plants - Callisia fragrans  had overgrown the little border wall by a foot or two and spreading further out into the property. This is such an easy plant to grow, doesn’t need any care, and the flowers are sweetly scented and loved by bees and it spreads itself, by runner growing out from older plants.


I have an 11’ stainless steel potting surface that used to be a restaurant sink/counter. We got this ‘curbside’ many, many years ago when a restaurant was being renovated. It is a great surface to work on. I have stacks of plastic flower pots, a table, a little mini greenhouse back here too, and various other and assorted ‘stuff’. Some I will be getting rid of. DH told me to before he died. When he was laying in bed he was thinking about getting rid of all of the junk, and he told me to get rid of it if he died. So, it’s what I am doing. We couldn’t pass useable things up when we saw them ‘curbside’ and have used LOTS of things we found, but some is just sitting and I will never use most of it. I will put it out front and let others come along and take what they want, or it will be picked up by the trash trucks.

Anyway, there is more work to be done back here, all in good time.


This is a pile of sea hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) tree limbs. These trees are on the neighbors’ side of the fence and we keep having to cut it from our side. DH always used his saws-all and I would use a tree saw and hand clippers to cut it up into more manageable pieces, for bagging and pick up. I used a saw on a pole to get to these.


While I was back along the fence in my potting area, I decided to bring out things I might want to use. I found some edging, a recycle bin, and some lattice. I’m thinking of making another pvc and lattice arbor.


I also brought out a decorative piece of cement, some glass blocks, and some round terra cotta drainage pipes. Will use the pipes for planters, of what I don’t know yet. Smile


Here is a long view. I am standing up by the driveway gate. You can see that I have more of the tree hibiscus (bulging out in middle of picture on the right) that I need to cut down. If I don’t get it now, it will be too much for me to do myself, as the limbs get thicker and thicker. I will get brave and use the saws-all myself. And speaking of tools, I want to thank those of you who have ‘encouraged’ me to learn to use them. I really appreciate that. I have watched my husband use them for years and years, and know I have to be careful, and know how most of them generally work.


Now for some pretties.



This is a pot of Cuban oregano given to me by my friend Aida.


Here are some cuttings of it from my friend Cathy who has this as a huge potted plant. The little plant, was a cutting from my recently bought pineapple sage, that I rooted in water.


Pineapple sage smells wonderful. Hummingbirds love it.

Here’s the plant I bought, pinched back so that it will bush out more.


Here’s a rosemary plant I bought. DH wanted me to get another one, when he heard mine had died over the summer. Rosemary is for ‘remembrance’.


Bon Silene rose



Vincent Godsiff rose


That’s it. I’ve blabbed enough here. Hope you all have a great day wherever you are, whatever you are doing. If you are going through rough times, call out to God, as he loves us dearly and is with us always. He will be our strength, and fill us with his love and peace.

Happy gardening, happy living moment to moment.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Friends needing prayer

Hello everyone ~ I am asking prayer for a sweet friend of mine who I’ve known for quite a few years now, met online in a small house forum. Her husband has been getting weaker, couldn’t eat, finally went to the drs. and found out he has pancreatic cancer. He gets a chemo port put in today and goes in tomorrow for the first round of chemo. It is a 40 mile drive, each way. They live in Idaho and more snow is predicted.

Pray for her to be given strength to handle the emotional side and the caregiving side, as it is very rough, I know. Pray for her husband as he starts this therapy. Hopefully he will be a survivor.

Thank you ~ FlowerLady

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Brrrrr ~ it is cold in s.e. FL


Good afternoon ~ It’s cold and windy here today. Needless to say, I’m staying inside. I’ve had to go out a couple of times and it feels oh so good coming back into our warm and cozy cottage.  I am so thankful dear husband insulated the attic 2-3 years ago and put in thick insulation, with a plywood floor over it.  GREAT job he did too and it has made a difference in how it feels in here summer and winter and with our electric bills too.

This morning I went out into the workshop and used the little and the big bandsaws. Scary, but I DID IT. I cut two notches out of the corners of one end of a piece of wood to use for a little shelf. It was exciting and I’m happy that I did it.


This one is a 14” Rockwell and more powerful with a vacuum hooked up to it to.


Azaleas this cold morning





Marigolds and dahlburg daisies



Bon Silene




Backlit by the morning sun




Have a nice week.