Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What’s happening in May


Good morning Folks ~ Hope you here in the states had a nice long weekend, and also thought about our military, those who have lost their lives, and those who have served or are serving now. Many thanks to all, and their families too. I’m also thankful that my husband did his tour of duty for the US Navy 69-73.

I did nothing special, mostly worked on my first patchwork piece, all done by hand. It’s been an experience, and practice will make it easier with each time I try this. I’ve got stitches to learn too.  I’ve seen real beauties out in blogland, and I’m a real newbie to this skill. I’ve much to learn with this art form yet.  I want to thank Lisa of Ivory Blush Roses and Susan of Plays with Needles for their inspiration.  They both do exquisite work, very talented ladies.

I wanted to make a creamy heart, because I was going to attempt a tiny bird nest. My inspiration came from Di van Niekerk’s website page How to make a little nest.


 Here’s the heart as it is right this minute.  I’ve got to sew on the beaded crocheted trim I made yesterday.  It’s just pinned on right now.

I used antique lace, new lace bits, silk ribbon, seed and bugle beads and fresh water pearls are the eggs in the little nest.  I didn’t have real raffia, but used another material (paper I think) that worked without me having to go out to spend more $.



In this photo you can see the bits of feather I used with the nest too.


This will be going in my Etsy shop, soon I hope. (I’m such a procrastinator.)

Now, here are some blooms from Plum Cottage gardens.

This first little flower is from the plant ‘gray leaf’ or Melochia tomentosa.  I bought it from a nursery that sells butterfly plants. (I may be working for this lady come Sept. in her nursery when it’s cooler and she’ll be potting up plants for a show in November.)


These next two plants were from her also, first a beautiful plumeria.  I have a pink one I got as cuttings many years ago. This one has a lovely perfume.


And this is another reed orchid.  What a beautiful color.  The ones that grow like crazy in my gardens are orange.  I divided this plant into three different ones. Smile


This is an angel trumpet, grown from a stick of a cutting that I got in the mail last year. I have two of this color growing.  I had one like this that was a huge plant, but lost it a few years back. The blooms are huge and have a delightful scent.


The back side is pretty too.


Here are blooms on the plant by the ‘dirty’ caravan. Sheesh, I need to give it a bath.



My sis-in-law (hubby’s older sister) was in town last Thursday and came over for a visit. She wanted to see things she’d seen online so we toured inside and out.

Hearing her comments made me appreciate this little place all the more and what DH and I have done with it through the years.

Sadly my heart garden area was a weedy mess, but the next morning I was inspired to get outside early to weed and bring some plants over to the area. I’ve still some tweaking to do in this area, but it looks much better than it did. I made this heart shape soon after losing my DH. In the middle are two cement pieces with his hand print and our old blue tick hounds’ paw print.


I need to fill in more with the smoothed pebbles.  I have a broken bag of them in another area.


Now for some roses in bloom at this time. This one is an unknown with small but beautiful blooms.


This is ‘Granada’. I loved how the morning sunlight was hitting the back rose.


This is a rose called ‘Picnic’.


This is the ‘Paul McCartney’ rose, with a delicious scent that fills the air.


That’s it for now.

May your days be filled with love, peace and joy ~ FlowerLady

Monday, May 11, 2015

This and that

Good morning everyone ~ I hope you all had a great weekend. It is starting to feel like summer here in s.e. FL.  We did have a good although short heavy rain Saturday night. The winds blew, rain pelted windows, I prayed. I do NOT like storms. The start of hurricane season is here too. UGH!

Now on with some pictures.

The piece below is an outdoor bar of some sort, found curbside many years ago. You can see by the house wall behind, how it needs to be painted, but first I need to get the peeling paint off. UGH!  Prep work just isn’t fun at all, but oh so necessary.

I am grouping plants together for easier care on my part, and for keeping things out of the afternoon heat and sun.  This is on the east side, gets 2-3 hours morning sun, I’m guessing.


The old but still useable cushions, are faded and jaded, but still a lot more life left in them. I didn’t spend a lot of time on painting them with my samples of Behr Ext. Premium Plus Ultra paint. Although, it did take a little time and some going over and tweaking.  They aren’t perfect, but they work for me.  Beats paying $40, for the cheapest cushions, which were like half the thickness of these. The colors aren’t the same on both cushions, as I mixed paint up with a bit of water in small batches. I don’t really care, they just look so much better than they did.  I can always add more color later.

Here’s the start of the first cushion.








I did get my new electric lawn mower put together.  The hardest part which really turned out so ‘easy’ I am embarrassed, took the longest time.  I just couldn’t figure out the directions by reading them, and looking at the tiny pic in the instructions.  I got online and got the PDF instructions, saved and blew up the picture so I could really ‘see’ it, and finally figured it out.  Sheesh!




This plastic bit is supposed to go into the slot next to the handle.


And, after much frustration, it does, easily. For Pete’s sake.



This mower is so much lighter than the gas one. I can hardly wait to use it. I’ll let you know how I like it after using it.

Now I just have to buy a 100’ 12 gauge extension cord. I have one but it has a two plug-in box at the one end, and that’s not going to work for plugging in the mower. Sad smile


Below are some blooms/buds taken this morning.  These are datura. I got these as stick cuttings last year, 6 of them, I gave one away after it rooted since I had two of the same. I have two this size now, and two tiny ones hanging on. I don’t know what color these are until they open. I’m excited.


Red geraniums from my friends Nanci & John.  They’ve given me lots of flowers and plants through the 17 years of working next door to them.

The green/purple veined leaves in the middle are African Blue Basil that I got at the local botanical garden nursery last year.  This basil is more of a perennial and is very hardy for south FL.


Gorgeous hibiscus.


This is my Queen Crepe, with lots of buds on it.


Here is one of the first open blooms. They are huge compared to the regular crepe myrtle flowers.


This is looking out through the west bedroom window into my main garden.


This is part of the east side of my tropical, cottage, jungle gardens. Back through the open lattice gate is the secret garden on the north side of cottage.


This is standing in the same spot, but looking south west.


Well, I’ve overloaded you all once again with pictures, so will end this post.

I want to say a heart-felt thank you for your kind comments about this little place called ‘Plum Cottage’ and about my dear husband and the love we shared and my love that continues to grow for him even though he is no longer here physically. I’m working on a post of my ‘musings’ on more of this, but it’s in the thought stages at the moment.

I will close this post with a link to a wonderful writing I came across the other day that really touched my heart, encouraged and blessed my soul.

The article is by J.R. Miller 1903 – One Day at a Time.

Have a good week wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Live in each moment that you are blessed with.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Flowers and a project


Good Thursday morning Folks ~ I do hope your week is off to a good start. Not working at a job right now, certainly has me getting mixed up on what day of the week it is. Also, time seems to be going more slowly, which is probably a good thing.

Below is my favorite hibiscus, ‘Hugs-n-kisses’, found and bought a couple of months after my DH left this planet. No two blooms are alike on this bush and each is beautiful.


This is a bauhinia alba ~ dwarf white orchid tree.  The blooms have a light, lovely scent.


Next we have begonia odorata ~ which has a sweet scent that fills the air. I have this in the two large planters I was ‘gifted’ recently.


No scent here but the color is gorgeous of this bougainvillea.


Below is a white bougainvillea, from friends Nanci & John many years ago.


This is a ‘found’ bromeliad.


This is a member of the spiderwort family. I have three kinds of this plant. This one is Tradescantia fluminensis, the other two I have are Tradescantia pallida, and Tradescantia zebrina shown below this photo.




Below is a Ground orchid Spathoglottis plicata. This is also growing in those large planters with the white flowering begonia.


This orchid was from a friend many years ago. She was moving to CA and didn’t want to take it with her on that long trip.


Shrimp plant


Next photos are of ‘Kathleen’. I really love her so can’t stop taking her picture. Smile







Now that I’ve overloaded you with so many flower pics, I’ll show you my latest project.

I have these old but still very useful outdoor chair cushions. I don’t want to buy new ones right now, so got the idea to use my exterior house colors (watered down) on them. I just started yesterday so there’s still more to be done.

Getting started, decided to take a nap.


More done after nap. Flowers will be ‘purple/mauves’ of course. Still need to tweak the greens, but it looks better than all faded out. (I love the faux tiles that DH painted on the cement floor.)


I’ve been watching a lot of you-tube videos about small house living, under 800 sq. ft.  This little cottage is 675 sq. ft. (We also have the workshop and two out buildings that we built and a shed that houses my washing machine.) We were in the small house ‘movement’ before it became into being. We moved into this place in 1973. After watching some videos the other day, I thanked God out loud, as tears streamed, for all that my dear husband did around our place to make it the little haven that it is. I miss him so much.

That’s it for now. Oh yea, I picked up my new elec. lawn mower yesterday, it’s still in the box in my van. Maybe I’ll put it together today. We had a couple of days of light rain and cooler temps which was really nice.

Enjoy the gift of each new day you are blessed with.



"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order,
confusion to clarity. 
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend. 
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow."
Melody Beattie

"Enjoy the little things,
for one day you may look back
and realize they were the big things."
Robert Brault