Friday, February 23, 2018

Yes, flowers are grown in my gardens

Hi Folks ~ I’ve had several ask if the flowers I post are mine, and yes they are, unless I’m at a nursery, botanical gardens, etc. and I will state where they are taken.

Many, many years ago, I told my dear husband that I’d rather have ‘growing’ flowers that a bouquet that doesn’t smell and will die shortly. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the surprise bouquets he did give me. My gardens are what they are because I bought flowering plants, mostly perennials and not very many annuals as they die shortly too. Occasionally, I can’t resist pansies, or some other annual delight.

There is a nursery near me that sells 3 gal. size plants for $5 each. I’ve bought quite a few plants from this nursery. I always get bit by the spring flower ‘bug’, especially since my bday is the first day of spring. Flowers speak to me heart & soul, mentally they are stimulating and physically their scents are healing and some intoxicating, and their colors are wonderful. On a spiritual level, they make me think of our great God who created everything and I thank Him for the many wonderful plants and flowers He gave us to enjoy. Being out in the gardens or any natural setting makes me feel more alive and at peace.

I live on a busy 5 lane road, and while the traffic can really be heavy at times, there is a peace inside my property.  My mechanic came here the other day and he told me he loves this place, the plants and flowers all over, how quiet it is. (He wasn’t even hearing the traffic). In spite of seeing what I see, weeds, overgrowth, and stuff that needs to be gotten rid of, he just saw the beauty and that made me feel so good, especially coming from a young macho man. It was a gift of encouragement to me.

Today is a new day and this post is filled with photos from Plum Cottage gardens.

This is ‘Chinese Hat’ Holmskioldia sanguinea. Bees, birds and butterflies love this. These get to be 6 feet tall and about as wide. Can be grown as a tree or a sprawling shrub.



This is Hibiscus Tree, I don’t remember the botanical name of this tree, that info is in my desk top computer. This is NOT your typical small hibiscus shrub, this towers up to and beyong the power lines and is a FAST grower. I love and hate it. It is in our neighbor’s property and is what hangs over into my driveway. DH used to take care of this from our side with his saws-all, now I sometimes get help from friends, or the county takes care of it after the limbs hit the power lines causing power shortages or outages. The flowers are yellow and turn the bronze color as they age.


This is my ‘Meyer Lemon’, first blooms of this season. This small shrub is in a pot and my ‘Key Lime’ also in a pot, are both doing fantastic right now.


These below are the seed heads of the ‘Lipstick Tree’, Bixa orellana, a.k.a. Annato, Urucum, Achiote

Spiny red fruit with hard, deep red seeds that are used as a spice, in cosmetics, and as an industrial dye. The flowers are pale pink, small.

I got this as a tiny plant from Butterfly World for $1, a year or so ago.


This is ‘Smoke or Mist Bush’. Iboza riparia, Tetradenia riparia. In my main garden and really doing well this spring. I had hoped for the pinkish variety, as it wasn’t in bloom when I bought it from the local botanical garden a couple of years ago. But this is pretty being pure white. The leaves are aromatic, but I’m not all that crazy about the scent.


Pink begonias


Next, is ‘Purple Fringe Bush’, Loropetalum chinense. My little bush is full of blooms right now, the most it has ever had. I just read that it has a scent, so I need to go outside and see if I can smell it.


Lots of my roses are filling out with new growth, and buds and blooms. I am thrilled to say the least. I never know what I’m  going to see from one day to the next, very exciting. I ooh and aah and gasp in delight.

This is an unknown sweetly scented rose that I bought two of for $5 ea. a few years ago. They are both in my main garden and bloom off and on all year long.




I don’t know the name of this little beauty either. It is also in my main garden.


This is ‘Crepuscule’. I walked the front path and looked up and there was this lovely bloom. I bought this a couple of years ago and just love it. It is in a big pot, but set so the roots will grow into the ground. I can feed and water it better this way. This can be seen through my front gate once it fills out. It is another rose with a wonderful scent.


This is a ‘Carpet Rose’, I just love the two-tone look of the flowers and that it is a simple rose.


I loved how the sunlight was hitting this spider web. I hate walking into webs and it happens almost daily. Not huge ones like this but whispier types.


Here is Miss Tork, doing what she does most. We are in a state of ‘disarray’ here and she sleeps all over the place where she can find a space. She has two of these ‘memory foam’ beds and really likes them. I made these two beds up for her when she was limping around for a week or so.


While the cottage is in ‘CHAOS’, ‘Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome’, (from FlyLady),  I have been making forward progress as I await the remodeling job to continue. Dear BIL is staying close to home on weekends, while dear SIL recuperates from total knee replacement. She is doing good, getting stronger with each new day.

I did move the desk unit from living room to the bedroom and am happy to have it as more storage space.  Here is the piece moved into bedroom, along with the little antique cabinet next to it, which was also in the living room. Inside that little cabinet I was able to fit my little sewing machine. Smile


Here is the desk unit being filled up. Next to it is the linen cupboard on the left with curtain closed. Both of these pieces were found curbside years ago.


Now the curtain is open and you can ‘see’ what’s inside. I bought the black laundry basket last year. Like it’s size and shape, the color nice because it doesn’t appear as big as it is. Then after getting it home I realized it would fit in this space hidden away. YAY! In this small cottage, 675 sq. ft. I have to make it all work efficiently for me on my very limited budget. It worked for DH and I and it is still working for me now, only being changed around for one person instead of two. I know he would like the changes I am making for myself, even though some of them are hard.


Now, here is why I didn’t want to put this desk unit curbside. The messy inside of the drop down section, wrapping paper, desk supplies, stamps, etc. In needs to be gone through and stuff thrown out, old papers that haven’t seen the light of day in years, and the other day I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment and the two little white drawer units (hold receipts and bills, etc.) will go inside this space, giving me more space on the shelf where they are now. Yippee!


The living room is piled with stuff and it is depressing, (won’t show a picture here), that’s why my gardens are so therapeutic right now. I can go out into them and be refreshed, and some back in and tackle another section. I am a procrastinator and that is a detriment that is for sure. But, I am making forward progress and that feels great.  Moving the desk unit helped my mood tremendously. Dealing with that messy space in the desk is something I am looking forward to also and it will make a difference in how I feel.

I got rid of one bag of linens I no longer want. They were just taking up space. I’m working on getting rid of more things as I go along. Planning to keep what is needful, has memories, or is pretty or sweet. The rest can go in the trash, or be given away.

Ok, that’s it for now. Today I plan to use a gift card for JoAnn’s. Then come back and work more in the cottage. It will look so good when the remodeling jobs are completed. All in good time.

May you all have a good weekend, wherever you are.

Let us all remember in these turbulent times to think on  “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

The MSG translation says it like this:

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

Hang in there, you who are dealing with more snow and cold,

Spring is coming!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello Folks ~ I pray that all will feel loved on this day of celebrating love.

Thought I’d share some hearts and flowers from Plum Cottage.




















I will close with these thoughts on love.


Here are some love notes from God to all of us:

I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Jeremiah 31:3

With everlasting love I will have compassion on you,

says the Lord, your Redeemer.

Isaish 54:8

Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

Let us remember & ponder the following:


Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God.

Romans 8:39

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

he will quiet you by his love,

he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand

Psalm 139:17-18

Let us ~

“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
    for the Lord is good;
    his love endures forever.”

Jeremiah 33:11

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady


Friday, February 9, 2018

Warm, sunny weather, projects & flowers

Hi Folks ~ It is a very warm, balmy day, 80 and feels like it is 82, humidity is at 66%. I was outside sweating as I worked more in the gardens. I am trying to get things done or at least somewhat caught up before summer’s real heat and humidity get here. I got nabbed by a rose bush and decided to come in, clean up the scratch and take a break.

This time of year is when our gardens down here thrive. Lots of things are doing very well, new growth, flowers. Just wonderful.  It makes me feel so alive working out in God’s beautiful creation and so loved by Him, surrounded with beauty, scents, & textures, that draw in butterflies, birds, bees.

This week I did more tweaking in the kitchen. I got the small cabinet out of the caravan that I was thinking of mounting to the wall, but after a closer look I decided not to use it after all. It is old, old, formica so I set it out curbside, no one took it before the trash truck came around. I’m not sorry it is gone. So here was what I ended up doing.


The iron stand over the oven was outside as a plant stand. It has no top I was using a rack on top. I wire brushed it down and brushed off the debris, then put on two coats of a water base industrial strength enamel. That paint is great and I think DH found it curbside years ago. Still good and I’ve used it a couple of different times and love it. It is a very light sage/gray color. Industrial meets cottage. (On a limited budget, you go with the flow and take a look around to see what can be re-used that you already have.)

Next I had to find a shelf for it and found one in the workshop that will work for now. On top of that I put the maple piece that was originally with the chopping block counter that is under the marble top we put on it. I love the look, more open and lighter than it looked before. Still more tweaking to do in this area, but for now it works.

I did make my first baked item in the oven on the convection setting. It turned out good. So I am happy with my purchase of this oven. I do have to look for a pan with no handles on the sides to have a larger casserole pan. This was an 8x8, no problem. I’ll need a new pizza pan also.

The recipe is from ‘Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook’ by Southern Living.



Here’s another little project. I had 8 of these tiles that DH bought somewhere for 79 cents each. I decided to use them here. Entry screened porch.  I love the new look.


Here’s a closer look. The tiles are glued to plywood into the 8 squares that you see.


Here is the ‘welcome’ mat that I got for $10 a week or so ago, so FlowerLady and Plum Cottage, plus it reminds me of Spain.


Now for some blooms from my gardens.

Azaleas, I can’t remember the name and can’t look it up as that info is in my desktop and I’m in my laptop.


The rose below is ‘Bermuda’s Kathleen’, a found rose.



‘Carnation rose’, when it opens up the edges become frilly looking like a carnation, hence the name. Smells wonderful.


Delicate little carpet rose, is actually a salmon/pink color not pink like shown here.



This is ‘Miss Atwood’.



‘Clock vine’. I just love these blooms.





“Spicy Jatropha” with our state butterfly the Zebra Longwing.


‘Cemetery Rose’


‘Tibouchina’ ~ I got this on Wednesday as a Valentine’s Day present to myself, 2 pots of these actually. They are about 2 ft. tall and were $3 each.


I’ve started a granny square afghan for myself, to go with my spring/summer colors in the bedroom. The yarn is Lion Brand Scarfie, very nice yarn to work with. This is a birthday present to myself, an early one, birthday is the first day of spring. I might have it done by then.


I drove up to my sis-in-law, Sue’s, on Tuesday, to visit and make she & Todd a crockpot meal. I made white chili and also took them half of the apple cake. She’s doing pretty good, although PT is awfully painful, but it has to be done. She is using the cane with 4 little stabilizing legs on the bottom. We had a great visit and if all goes well I’ll go back up there this coming Tuesday. It takes me an hour up and back, so that’s 2 hours of driving when I’m used to and comfortable with driving for about 20 minutes. Smile I’m a wuss I know. I left here around 7 and got home around 4.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend, indoors or out. Count your blessings.