Thursday, July 12, 2018

Life in sub-tropical FL

Good morning Folks ~ Hope you are all enjoying your days, whether you are having hot summer weather, or cold winter weather. As most of you know, I live where it is hot and humid in sub-tropical s.e. FL. We had several weeks of rain last month, some storms with heavy rain and AWFUL T-storms. I do NOT like T-storms at all. My little cottage shakes & rattles, but does not roll thankfully. This is a zoom shot out  through the ‘scullery’ window.


This is my view into the secret garden from inside the ‘scullery’.


With all of the rain we’ve had and keep having, the tropical cottage gardens just keep growing and growing. This hedge is too high right now.


Same hedge, except from the driveway area. The butterflies love the blossoms of the hamelia patens, but I can’t just let it keep growing. Most people keep this as a low hedge, mine has gotten out of control. Smile


Here are a couple of path areas in my front garden, what paths? you might ask.



This is how it looked after weeks of rain and a heavy rain. We are not in drought conditions any longer. The ground was soggy for days.


I love the reflections in the water.


I love flowers, as if you can’t tell by visiting here and my online name of FlowerLady’. My dear husband gave me that name because I was always out in the flowers. He knew where he could find me. Before we knew he was ill, he said to me one day, don’t plant any more gardens. What?!?! I was a tad miffed at the time, no more gardens, but now that he’s gone, I know ‘why’ he said that. I don’t need anymore gardens, he knew I had plenty to take care of with what I had/have.  I have planted a few flowering shrubs here and there, but they take care of them selves. I’ve taken to grouping potted plants together for ease on this aging gardener, and putting plants in gardens I already have. When I’ve done too much in a morning in this heat and humidity and my body is telling me it is time to stop for the day, I can almost hear him also telling me it’s time to quit. He used to come out and check on me when I’d been outside too long. These days, I carry my phone in a fanny-pack around my waist, in case anything happens, since I’m here by myself.

There are ‘back 40’ areas that he used to take care of that are totally overgrown and one of these days, when it’s cooler, I’ve got to tackle those spaces. It is certainly a tropical jungle here, and I do what I can. I thank God for the beauty that surrounds me and ask His help in caring for this place that I am blessed with.

Now for some photos of why I love gardening. What I can’t capture are the scents to share with you.

This morning I was hand watering plants in containers and I could smell a wonderful scent but couldn’t find the source. A little bit later, I spied the source, a single ‘Maman Cochet’ climbing rose bloom.


Here are some other rose blooms growing around Plum Cottage.

An unknown with a wonderful rose scent.


This is ‘Prosperity’. Doing great after all of the rain.




This is another unknown growing in same area as ‘Prosperity’.


‘Dwarf Bahinia’ orchid tree, has a slight sweet scent. Grown from seed.


Miss Joachim’ Vanda orchid. Grows like a weed here.


Pink hibiscus blooms






Tropical Lilac


Alamanda grown from a cutting.


Malaysian Orchid’ ~ not really an orchid, but what it is called.





Another ‘why’ for gardening, because of critters like these ‘cowbirds’, at least I think that’s  whay these guys are.



There’s a blue jay on the stump to the left, waiting his turn to splash in the birdbath.





Zebra Longwing butterflies are our state butterfly and a lot of these visit here daily.

These are sipping nectar from ‘spinach tree’ blooms. I got several cuttings from a small nursery a couple years back and they are really doing good.



And, here’s my sweet indoor critter, Miss T.


The west living room wall has been repaired and is ready for me to sponge down to get the powdery sanding dust off, then I can paint. I chose a color called ‘Bleached Linen’, to me it has a hint of ‘joy’ in the color, and that is something I need. The other two color samples I had picked were on the cool side and seemed dull to me. I didn’t want to do stark white.

I’ve been crocheting prayer shawls and comfort lap blankets too. Am trying a free month with Pure Flix, and am enjoying that.

This morning I watched a wonderful spiritually inspiring and encouraging vlog post by Jessica, a young mother/gardener/artist. I was moved to tears and blessed beyond words. I recently found her garden vlog and she’s a real delight and very knowledgeable.

Pear Trees and Bathroom Stalls | A Garden Devotional

In a blog friend’s blog these words, “This Girl Can”, inspired me also. My life has changed drastically with the loss of my dear husband, but life goes on, and,

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

I have up and down times, more up than down and I am thankful for that. I miss my husband every single day. I thank you all for your love, encouragement and prayers and ask you to continue to pray for me. TIA.

A week or so ago I saw a small trees growing in containers at the local veggie market I go to. The sign said ‘Moringa’. I had heard the name before, but didn’t know any info. I came home and googled and my oh my, there is lots of info on this ‘vegetable’ tree and it is referred to as the ‘tree of life’. I thought of buying one, BUT, after reading about it’s fast growing and a gazillian drumstick seed pods, I quickly changed my mind. I ended up buying some powdered leaf capsules from a small family owned business, through their Amazon store front.

Moringa Powder Capsules from Paisley Farm & Crafts in TN.

I ordered them yesterday morning and they are already on the way to me. I am looking forward to trying these and giving an honest review of them to you all.  Have any of you tried this supplement before? Lots of great reviews on you-tube and Amazon.

Well, I think that is it for now. It’s time for a nap. Zzzzzz.

Be well, be joyful and thankful ~ FlowerLady