Saturday, April 22, 2017

Keeping busy


Good Saturday afternoon from Plum Cottage. I can hardly believe how fast time is going along. I have been busy, doing a little part-time work that I am getting paid for and enjoying it while it lasts. Each day is a gift and I am thankful to God.

I mentioned in my last post about making up little pillows to commemorate dance memories. Well, I made one and it is on display at the dance studio where I am working part-time. I’ve had one inquiry so far and she is looking for the right photo of her daughter to use. Here is my sample creation. I used iron on fabric for printing out the photo.


I’ve been working a couple of days a week on tutu’s, for a Swan Lake performance. Will work another couple of days next week.

I’ve been working in my ‘secret garden’ and also in the screened room off the back of the cottage. I am getting a neat antique wooden piece this weekend from my BIL & SIL so am making a spot for it. This area needed to be worked on. I’ve not really done anything much with it since losing my dear husband. I am working on making it pretty back there because I want to take outdoor showers again. If you’ve never taken a shower outdoors, you don’t know what you are missing. It is wonderful. The ‘secret garden’ is right outside this area also.

I’ve been working outside 3-4 hours each morning I’m able to and it feels great getting something accomplished. I’ve been watching gardening videos on you-tube and am greatly inspired by them. Those British shows are GREAT. Below is just one series. Check out ‘Big Dreams Small Spaces’, ‘Love Your Garden’, & ‘Gardener’s World’.

Britain's Best Back Gardens 1 of 3 - Challenging Plots

Britain's Best Back Gardens 2 of 3 - Working Gardens

Britain's Best Back Gardens 3 of 3 - Top 10 Favourites

Now, here are some photos for you to enjoy. I know a lot, if not most of you, are starting to enjoy all of the beauty bursting forth in your own gardens. Yay, for you.

‘Gardenia’ ~ I love the scent of gardenias. The scent is one of my first scent memories of Florida as my grandmother had a huge bush in her yard.


‘Golden Dewdrop’ the scent reminds me of jelly beans. It is called this name because of the golden berries that form after the flowers are done.


‘Thryallis’ has a lovely scent during the day. I have this in the back part of the property and I do not take care of it. I think it is taller than I am and I’m 5’6”.  I also have 5 of these growing in pots.


The next photos are of bougainvilleas, I have three different ones.



My friends Nanci & John gave me this years ago. I love the bit of pink.


Here is one pink and this is all on one shrub.


‘Dancing Ladies’ orchid.


Unknown orchids.



‘Granada’ roses.






This is an unknown with velvety petals and a sweet scent.


One of the recent tea roses I bought.


Unknown, with a wonderful scent.



‘Maman Cochet’ bud with afternoon sunlight backlighting it. It also has a wonderful scent.



I worked outside this morning for another 4 hours.  More forward progress, but there is still a LOT to do. One day at a time, as I have time and feel like it. Summer will be here before I know it and I’m trying to get a lot done before it gets too miserable out.

That’s it from Plum Cottage.

Have a lovely Sunday and a great upcoming week.


Quote by Alan Titchmarsh:

“A beautiful garden is like a big hug.

It can heal the heart & bring joy to those in need.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

April blooms and life ~ Photo heavy

Hi Folks ~ Here it is another Friday in 2017. This week has zipped right along. Actually, this year is whizzing by pretty fast.

It is neat to see via your blogs, your gardens waking up after a long winter sleep. I can feel you excitement and joy. For me down here in the sub tropics of FL our gardens never sleep. We do have some trees that bloom in the spring and they are very pretty, but, for the most part we have flowers and colors all year long. Summers are pretty brutal and things can dry up or fry up because of the heat. We are in need of rain where I am. It keeps being predicted, but we’ve had nothing, so I use my sprinkler on alloted days and handwater whenever plants in containers need a good drink.

Monday morning I woke up feeling sad and after breakfast I decided to take the last of my gift $ and get some pretties for my secret garden. There is one nursery close to me that I just love. It’s called ‘Green Gate Nursery’. Been in the same location for 28 years, but I didn’t find it until a year or so ago. I don’t usually take that route and it is tucked away between buildings. They sell flowering plants that attract butterflies and they have a great variety which you don’t find in the big box stores.  The staff is friendly and helpful. They do know the majority of the names of plants but some even the owner didn’t know the name of.

The weather was perfect, in fact, it’s been lovely all week, and last night we had a last bit of chilly weather, and will have another bit tonight. Yay!

So, here are some glimpses of Green Gate Nursery.





In the picture below, pink flowering plant in the center, you will see my first pick.


Here are photos of it and I think you’ll see why I had to have it. No real name for this, they just called it a ‘tea’ rose. The scent is wonderful and the blooms oh so pretty. They are clusters of small blooms.








Sweet Almond bush with some Candy Corn flowers showing too. I forgot to take a photo of the candy corn plant itself. The sweet almond scent is fantastic.


This is one they didn’t know the name of. I hope someone will be able to identify it for me.



This is another one that didn’t have a name. The blooms are what caught my eye, but I forgot to take a picture the first day I went there and went I went back earlier the next morning no buds were open yet. Sad smile This plant is a rooted cutting from the huge plant the flowers were on. I can hardly wait to get some blooms myself. Hopefully someone will be able to identify this one for me also.


This is a bloom that had fallen off and I cut it open so the inside could be seen. The flower is cup shaped.


This is a ground orchid. I have a purple flowering one. This is a beauty and it looks like I can divide this up and have 2-3 more.


Shrimp plant and red fringe flower plant from another nursery.



This is called Malaysian Orchid, although it really isn’t an orchid. This was bought at yet another nursery close by where I buy my potting soil. They also have a wonderful veggie market.




You can see some of the berries forming from the flowers. They will be several shades of purple, I’ll try to remember to get a photo when the stem is all berries.


Now for a couple of things I already have growing.

An orchid from my dear friends Nanci & John.


This is ‘Love’.


Next is ‘Mozart’. A sweet little rose I bought last spring or the year before.



This is a bloomin’ onion, but not of the Outback Steakhouse variety. I had an onion that had sprouted in my bin, so I decided to pot it up and see what would happen.



Bloom below is from a spinach tree. I got three cuttings of this last year, I think and they all rooted. Butterflies love this and the trees get at least 10 ft. tall and loaded with blooms. Cuttings root easily. So, I’ll be taking cuttings from my own plants now and rooting them up. I want to make this place a flowering jungle.


This is Tahitian gardenina. I wish you could smell this. Heavenly! Flowers are huge.


Thursday afternoon I got a wonderful treat in the mail from a sweet blogging friend, Jessica, who is a ‘foodie’. Her blog is filled with recipes and wonderful photos of the delicious recipes she makes. She sent me 3 dozen Soft and Chewy Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. Recipe found on her blog here. Oh my gosh, these are fantastic. Thank you dear Jessica.

This morning I worked from 8-12 in my ‘secret garden’. Repotting the plants I’d bought and a few others I already had, into larger pots. There were butterflies and dragonflies flitting around, birdsong was filling the air, scents were floating around, the weather was beautiful and I was thankful. God’s creation is so amazing and wonderful.

Yesterday from around 11-3 I worked with the owner of a local dance theater on costumes for 20 young ones doing ‘swan lake’. We hot glued white hackle feathers to headpieces, still have more to do. We have breast pieces to glue feathers to also and then work to do on the costumes, shortening the tulle skirts as they are too long for this particular dance. It was my first time ‘gasp’ using a hot glue gun. It was awkward at first, but I finally got the hang of it. We enjoyed working together and will be doing so again one day next week. She also had an idea for me to make little pillows with the dancers photos on them embellished with my bead and ribbon work. She said the mothers would love to buy them. She gave me a sweet photo of a little ballerina that I will use to make up a sample. I’ll show and tell after I create one.

Anyway, that’s what has been going on here at Plum Cottage. I have much to be thankful for, even when I have sad moments.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Be thankful for all that you have. Love & pray for others, encourage them too, starting with your spouse and family.