Thursday, August 28, 2014

End of August ~ Wow!


Hello Friends ~ Boy oh boy, is this year ever zipping right along. I did have a ‘hint’ or two of fall coming since my last post, but that’s it, tiny hints. For the most part is has really been miserable out. I have worked outside 1-3 hours in the mornings, depending on how it is. Today we had a little rain, which was nice. I was doing some clean up of debris this morning when the sky darkened and the wind picked up. I put away my tools and headed inside and the rain started.

We’ve had so much rain down here the past couple of months that the place has become quite overgrown in some areas. I decided to tackle a couple of them this week.

At the end of the driveway, between the pine tree and the back fence is a pathway into my potting area. You can also see weeds in area from pine tree to my van. All of that needs some serious work.


Below is the pathway to my potting area, which I’ve not done anything in since my dear husband left this planet.  I really want to work back there again and this is just a start. More work to be done in the cooler months to come. I’ve a wonderful stainless steel restaurant sink/counter to work at. We found it in an ally many, many years ago when a restaurant was renovating. The reddish/orange flowers are from the Ixora bush, covered in air potato vine. SIGH!  What a pain in the rear they are! 


Forward progress.


I also started weeding the patio area between the caravan and clothesline.


This was after weeding but before raking the debris up.  Still a work in progress


I mowed the other morning and trimmed trees and shrubs along the driveway. I’m standing at the driveway gate looking north.


This is looking south through the gate. 5 lane road out front, 45 mph speed limit, but people go faster to beat the light at the corner 3-4 blocks to the west. Across the street used to be cow pastures many years ago.


When I went out last evening to take pics, I saw this 4 o’clock in full bloom.  I wish you could smell the sweet fragrance of these flowers.




Here are what I’ve always call ‘bleeding hearts’ Florida style.  They are Clerodendrum splendens.


This is Lavendula pinnata, from my friends Nanci & John.  This smells wonderful!  It is not edible though.


Black Eastern swallowtail butterfly.



This is inside the ‘cat-rium’. The wall is the workshop’s east wall.  Sunlight is shining through the stained glass window on the west wall of workshop. The iron pieces on either side of the window are old screen door inserts.  Aren’t they cool?  I need to repaint them.  I did just see a can of exterior high gloss enamel so that is another project for the future. This area is still a work in progress. 

The little round piece on the wall to the right is a pull-out clothesline. The reason I am showing this photo is because of the new addition, the little lion wall fountain.

DH and I were going to make a fountain using a cement lions head that has a hole in it’s mouth, but alas, that is one of the projects that we didn’t accomplish. I’ve been looking at small fountains online over the past few months, and just Sunday morning I was looking at an email I had sent myself about one seen in HD. I checked it out again, and couldn’t justify spending the money on one, so deleted the email.

I went to early church service with a widow friend of mine Sunday, and we were joined by her daughter. After the service they decided to go to Denny’s and asked did I want to go too. They told me that there’s been a run of inexpensive breakfasts $2, $4, & $6. So, I decided to be brave and do something out of my comfort zone, and said sure.

We all went for the $2 sausage covered biscuit with hash browns and I got a glass of o.j. too. It was good, and for the price and being with friends, worth it. While we were eating, my friend was telling her daughter about my little place, how peaceful it is, etc. and the daughter asked me if I’d like a small wall fountain. She no longer wanted it. I asked how much, and she said I could have it. I thanked her and said I’d love it. WOW! Can you believe that? Not a coincidence.

So, Monday I was at our widow’s group staff meeting at my friends house and her daughter brought the fountain.  I could hardly wait to get home to try it out. It worked and is so soothing.  I even had it plugged in yesterday morning while I was trimming in the ‘secret garden’, and it was great, then I went to hang up clothes and could still hear it there. I still can’t get over how it all worked out, but I do believe God was behind it all. A little gift from Him to me and I am thankful. He cares even for little inconsequential things in our lives. I know Mark would like this, and if he can see it, he’s happy for me too.

The two light green potted trees are there because I haven’t decided where to put them yet.  They have huge thorns, get bright pink flowers, and grow to about 40’ tall.  A customer from work grew these from seeds. They need to be repotted while I contemplate where on earth to put them.

I may paint the fountain, as it is cement covered fiberglass, no all that pretty.  But I think she had it indoors, maybe it will get a nice patina on it if I just leave it alone.  I do plug in into a GFCI outlet.




Let’s see, what’s next. Oh yea, my three ‘45th anniversary’ celebration roses came Tuesday. They were mailed on Monday. Of course, we’re in the same state, but I was still impressed. These are ‘babies’. I’ve moved them up front and placed them on the stand in front of my window, so that I can watch them grow. I also have ‘Rose de Rescht’ there too.  It has a bud on it, yippee. It has a wonderful old rose scent. (That was given to me by Deb and her hubby Charles. Her blog is: A Day In the Life’)

There is a saying about roses, "first year sleeping", “second year creeping", “third year leaping”. So, I’m looking forward to watching these babies grow.


Roses in bloom today.

The first two are ‘Mr. Lincoln’. A wonderful deep old rose scent.



These are the ‘Paul McCartney’ rose. This has a delicious rose scent too.  Just wonderful.



Two unknowns.



I decided to pick a bouquet this morning before the rain came.




Well, that’s it. This has turned out quite long.  That’s what happens when I don’t post for a week. Smile

Don't go through life, grow through life.
Eric Butterworth

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Too Hot to be outside


Hi Folks ~ Right now it is right around 1 p.m. and the outdoor temp is 91 degrees and feels like it is 109. YIKES!! It is no wonder I don’t feel like doing anything outside. I was out on Monday morning and only worked an hour. I quit because my face was dripping, my clothes were stuck to me, and I just knew it was time to get inside.  I didn’t go out yesterday except to hand water some things. This morning I raked up some of the debris from the other day, and decided it was not nice out there at all, so here I am.  I did take some photos though, and one bloom is a real surprise. The bloom below is what made me come in for the camera.

Needless to say, this is a volunteer. Who planted it is a good question?  This is about eye level.


I wonder what kind to tomato it is.


This below is ‘Blue Butterfly’ clerodendrum with ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia behind.


Mushrooms with a creeping fern tendril.


A sweet rain lily.


This is the patio area between the clothesline and the caravan which is on the right in picture below.  With all of the rain, the weeds have taken over, especially one certain weed.

Bidens alba of the family Asteraceae

One every day name is ‘Spanish Needles’.

DH would pull up them whenever he saw them because the seeds are needlelike and stick to your clothing, thus hitchhiking to a new location to start more plants. But, you can’t get them all, no matter how many we pulled up.  Butterflies love them. So, I pull some and leave some. These are ones that are going to have to go though. There really is a patio under there.



I’ve come to the conclusion that this rooted cutting that I’ve been calling ‘Prosperity’ is not it at all, but I think is ‘Penelope’, which I did have, but it croaked a year or so ago.  When I put blooms of ‘Prosperity’ and this one next to each other they are not the same at all. I looked at older photos I have and Googled too and I’m pretty sure it is ‘Penelope’.  That makes me happy, as I do love my roses. I need to try more cuttings of all of my roses. I do try to buy the old fashioned roses as they are more hardy.


Of course, some roses I don’t know what type they are, and they end up coming home with me if they’re pretty, scented, or cheap, hopefully all three.   This one below was called ‘Picnic’.  I’ve not found anything online by that name at all. Isn’t it a cutie? This little bush is loaded with buds again and this is the first one to open.  Most of my roses have new growth and buds.  Very exciting. This one was cheap and pretty.


This is an unknown bought this spring, cheap and pretty, with a slight scent.



Another unknown, pretty and very scented and sort of cheap.


Here are three blooms I picked yesterday that I brought inside to look at while Googling roses.  I love how they dry crinkly.


I’ve really been thinking about roses lately, especially after visiting Christina’s blog Organic Garden Dreams. She grows beautiful roses and visiting her blog is always a real treat.

I had another time of grieving the other night, called out to God while sobbing, that’s all I could do, and woke up feeling more positive the next morning.  Then I started thinking about celebrating our ‘45th’ anniversary which is coming up on the 8th of Sept. So, I’m making plans and am looking forward to my little celebration.

Yesterday morning I visited Rose Petals Nursery online and decided to buy three roses to help celebrate. Winking smile If I lived closer to them I would visit them personally.  They are 4-5 hours away, west of Gainesville. The have a wonderful selection of antique roses which are very hardy, with wonderful colors and scents.

I picked out three that would grow here in zone 10b, and have 5 more on my wish list, on down the road.


I had this before and here is a photo from 2007.



Rose Petals Nursery photo below.

antique rose

Ghislaine d Feligonde

photo from Heirloom Roses

The roses should be here next week.  I’ll be taking pictures of them for sure, so stay tuned. Notice I went for yellow/peachy tones this time. Christina’s ‘Marie Pavie’ inspired these selections. Another FL gardener told me ‘MP’ did not do well for her, and she lives a bit further north of me.


This little heart is still a ‘wip’, work-in-progress. Boy oh boy, are those seed beads ever tiny. Size 15.  I’m more comfortable with size 11. At least I got this much done. My mind is working on what to do next.  I listened to soothing music yesterday while working on this. It reminded me of my dear husband.  He told me he loved to hear me humming to music while I was creating with needle, threads and beads. I sure do miss my best friend.


Well, that’s it from Plum Cottage. I hope you are all keeping cool.  If you are working outside, please, keep hydrated.

It’s hard to believe September is almost here. I sure am ready for cooler temps.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Whopper T-storms, blooms, another heart ;-)

Good morning Folks ~ Boy oh boy, did we ever have whopping thunder storms from around 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Friday. I left work around 3:45 as the rain had let up a bit and I prayed all the way home, about a 30 minute drive, that no lightening would be happening when I got home. I have two gates that I have to open before I can pull into the driveway.  When DH was here, he used to have the driveway gate open when I came home. We'll, it was not raining, I opened the two gates and I got the van pulled up close to the house, shut the driveway gate, and was inside about 5-10 minutes at the most, when the thunder was booming right overhead. One was almost on top of my little cottage which shook and rattled, and so did I. I said 'thank you' to God right then that that didn't happen while I was shutting gates. 

Another thunderstorm happened on the way home yesterday afternoon, and I only opened the one gate to get into property and ran inside, then the rain and T & L started in earnest once again. This morning frog are croaking.

I went out and took photos this morning and the flowers are all dripping rain drops.
This is an unknown hibiscus from my friend Nanci.
This is Spicy Jatropha
The next several photos are of 'Kathleen'.
Next is 'Prosperity' growing with little care from me at the moment. Blooms are above my head.
I think this is 'Prosperity'.  I grew this from a cutting.
I don't know what the name of this rose is, but I bought two of these this past spring for $5 each. The curved pieces behind the rose are part of the brass headboard that is in my main garden. You can see the gazing ball from DH  for my birthday one year just behind. It's a metal ball and very pretty.
My friend Cathy, here at work, gave me a ball of neat ribbon-like yarn yesterday so I thought I'd try making a ribbon worked embroidered rose on a felt heart for her. I also added some French knot flowers in various colors. I stuffed it with some lavender too. It was fun, but I won't be using this ribbon for roses or leaves again, just not conducive to roses. It is colorful though and this turned out to be a happy piece.
I hope you all have a nice day today and a good upcoming week.
That's it for now.


Life holds so many simple blessings,

each day bringing its own individual wonder.

John McLeod