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.



Jane said...

Thank you for the tour of your gardens, Rainey! I always enjoy them. I don't usually care for hibiscus, but yours is a beauty. Hope you have a lovely week ahead of you!


ladyhawthorne said...

I always love seeing your lush garden. Your metal piece in the first picture would have been on a screen door to keep the screen from being pushed out. I remember seeing them when I was young, when screen doors had screen top to bottom.

the Goodwife said...

Those cushions look amazing! I would never have thought to paint them, but they look better than new, and they match your cottage to boot!

Terra said...

I am excited to see your beautiful painted cushions. I did not know there were paints for this; are they fabric paints? I like the lilac and green. We have African blue basil too, it lives 2 years here. I don't think I could have put together that electric mower, so congrats to you.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

my dear Lorraine, thank you so much for calling by and saying hello to me all the way in Scotland! \i loved your post, the before and after of the chair is amazing! I really feel for you regarding hurrican season arriving. We had just finished out cyclone season in Australia and its always a worry.
One Day at a Time - completely touched my soul. Ah! the electric mower - you may not remember when I got mine, and had a similar problem of putting the thing together - but I had more trouble even figuring out how to start it!! Alls well and it's been serving me well now for a couple of years. Enjoy your toy!
Hugs Rose and, I will as you say 'live in the moment I am blessed with'
x and, I always love your photos, no matter how many there are. :)

Julie said...

Love all your pictures! Its the prettiest part! Lol. Have a lovely week!

Maryann said...

I would have never thought of painting cushions but yours turned out great. Your garden is looking wonderful, I know it must give you such enjoyment and probably many memories of you and with husband . Have been keeping you in prayer. Have a blessed day

Flower Freak said...

Your Plum Cottage looks so inviting! I love the crepe myrtle flower. It really looks huge and tropical. We could use some rain here in Massachusetts as well! Happy Gardening!

klaraau01 said...

Thank ou for a wonderful update on your garden, it's always a pleasure to visit your blog.

Darcie said...

I think there is a lesson in what you were saying about prep work. :-) It's not fun, but so necessary...can speak to so many aspects of our life, huh? Thanks for sharing all your beautiful pictures with us today, and can I just say...your cushions look amazing!

Leslie Kimel said...

Wow, the cushions look so pretty--what a transformation. I love the colors you used.

I'm glad you got some rain. (It's terribly dry here.) Your gardens look happy--so lush and green.

Ruth Hiebert said...

The cushions look lovely with the way you painted them.

Barbara said...

Everything looking so nice and green. Its nice just to spend time walking around and moving a little pot here and a little pot there. I quite wore myself out weekend before last so I spent last week taking it easy and seeing what I could move next without wearing myself out again.

Lynn McIntosh said...

Oh, Lorraine, you did a fantastic job with your cushions! I love them! And I enjoy so much seeing your lush and very charming garden! And I think you did just fine with the mower! Lots better than I could do, I'm sure! :)

Julene said...

This time of year sure gets us going on yard chores! Your flowers are so pretty and different than ours...except the Geraniums. Your chair looks great! Good job! The new mower should be easier for you! Keep us posted!


I am always so amazed at all the lovely projects you share! I would never have thought to paint old outdoor cushions. They look fantastic!

Eggs In My Pocket said...

What beautiful flowers you always have! Hurricane season is always such a worrisome time I am sure. Will be keeping you in prayer. We have had an unusual amount of rain and a scary close seems it is always something to keep us on our toes! Stay safe and keep that green thumb growing!

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Love the chair and hope the mower works well for you. Lovely flowers! Stay safe during this stormy time of year!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

That little mower looks wonderful. My gas one is a beast to use though the alternative here is my reel mower which is fine if the grass is not too high or thick but the power one is better for spring.

Love how the cushions turned out! :)

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

me again....that was a great article link :)

KathyB. said...

I like what you've done with the chair. It is so hard to keep outdoor upholstered furniture nice when we don't have indoor storage for it and it sits outdoors through all types of weather. I've taken to scrubbing it down after winter and throwing a big blanket over the yucky upholstery. Works pretty well and I call it 'outdoor shabby chic' !Never thought of painting the upholstery, thanks !

The flowers are as always gorgeous and it always warms my heart to see how much love you pour into your cottage gardens and know your hard work truly is a labor of love.

I read the article and bookmarked it for future reading again. Love it and the perspective it gives.

Susan said...

I just love your wonderfully tropical garden. What a nice respite from the busy world. Your cushions look good as new and I really like that decorative piece of metal hanging on the side of the house. Hope you're getting rain!!

Rebecca said...

I just may have to try painting OUR cushions. Not sure I have the patience but I AM sure I don't have $$$ to replace them!

As usual, I so enjoy photos of your lovely property. I still think you should create a sign that says "Garden Open". Put a donation bowl out and let the public in!

Susan said...

Hi Lorraine, just wanted to let you know that Eli has a new blog - I'm glad she's back!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Your gardens are so lush and healthy! I love the soft petals of the hibiscus and the myrtle. They remind me of ballerina tutu's. Your cushions came out lovely and aren't you so creative? The 'One Day at a Time' piece is wonderful. I just found a fun little plaque that says, "Today I will live in the moment...Unless it is unpleasant - in which case I will eat a cupcake!" :) xo Karen

Rue said...

Your gardens look beautiful as always :)

You did an amazing job on the chair! I never would have thought of it.

The Miller article was lovely.


Deb said...

I just love what you did with your chairs! Such a great idea. Have a good weekend.

Lona said...

What a wonderful idea! I love how your cushions turned out. You did a fabulous job of painting them. I know what you mean about the cost of cushions. I kept making new covers for mine over the years but after having that old redwood set from the seventies. I had to replace them this spring with a couple of new chairs. I wanted a wicker set but... :) Don't you love the instruction papers now. They come in so many languages but I still cannot understand the English ones. LOL! I love that Hibiscus! Have a lovely weekend.

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Rainey, I always LOVE reading your posts. The cushions look awesome.... I love old cushions so much better than the new ones you can find and pay a big wad for these days....

Love the Crepe Myrtle bloom.. That lavender is one of my favorite colors.

Have a wonderful week down there in sunny Florida.

Good Luck with the new mower.

Dawn said...

The improvements to the still usable chair cushions is amazing!!

Deb said...

I always enjoy touring the gardens at Plum Cottage, I love the amazing work you did on the cushions. Have a great week.

Annie said...

Nice to walk through your garden with you.

Susan Elliott said...

You're such a joy to visit Lorraine. I think of you and Plum Cottage in Florida often as you write to me. I don't always stop by but I do often think of you and remember the love you have for your husband. I had never thought to paint my old faded cushions so thanks for that tip. And I really enjoyed seeing the view of your yard so that I can better place you among the flora in my mind's eye. May blessings and love continue to bathe your soul...xo Susan

Beedeebabee said...

Your beautiful yard looks like a little slice of paradise! How nice it must be so sit and gaze out at all those beautiful plants and flowers! I love how you painted your cushions. What a brilliant idea!...and I love all your pretty pictures! xoxo

Connie said...

Hi Lorraine, I was out blog hopping because I couldn't sleep and I came across a comment that you left on another blog. After reading what you said, I had to check out your blog and say how much you impressed me:) It was about a young man turning 30 and his mother's desire to talk him into cutting his long hair. I am going to be celebrating my seventieth birthday this year and although most women my age have short hair . . . it is just not me. When my hair is short I feel like an imposter. Well, enough about that.
I love your beautiful garden, it is so lush and green and painting the fabric on your chairs; that is genius and what a lovely difference it made.
Well, I am happy to meet you and hope that you will come visit my blog. I love making new friends and sharing ideas.
Your newest follower,
Connie :)

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Well done, Lorraine!

Kit said...

You painted your cushions?!! Oh what a clever idea and they look wonderful. Your gardens are looking lovely as usual. Enjoy that new mower! Love, Kit

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Painting the cushions is a great idea. They look good. Hope that mower does well for you.

Noelle Johnson said...

Hello Lorraine,

I always enjoy visits to your garden and feel at home with the jungle, cottage garden theme. Your transformation of the chairs was inspiring!

I'd like to send you a special thanks for your wonderful comments throughout our road trip to the Northwest. I looked forward to reading them each day to my mother.

Here is hoping for a 'cool' summer for you in Florida and me in Arizona!


Sallysmom said...

Hope all is well with you.

M.K. said...

I enjoyed all the photos, FL. And don't feel about those mower directions and needing them to be BIGGER. There are so many things I simply cannot read these days, and I have to go scrounge up a pair of glasses :) I like photos of your garden and all its intricacy and the obvious love and care you and your hubby put into it, and are still putting into it. It's a labor of love :)