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


Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Lorraine, this is a beautiful post. That sky looks menancing (sp?) and the humidity would just kill me, but that is probably why (along with your good gardening) that your garden is so lush and beautiful. Your photos really do it all justice too. Really pretty..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

crafty cat corner said...

Hi Lorraine, I think my favourite photo today is the reflection of the trees, so beautiful.
We could do with some of your rain over here in uk, the parks are brown instead of green and we are wilting. We are not used to heat like this.

Terra said...

Rainey I love this post; the flowers you grow are so pretty and varied. I think your wild areas are too much for one lady, I think you need a volunteer work crew to tackle them. I sometimes talk to my husband and tell him I miss him. Out loud. Our hubbies will be missed forever. That storm looks pretty menacing but the water is welcome and your plants love it.

lil red hen said...

I love all the lush greenery at the cottage! We haven't had much rain this summer, but an inch plus recently has made things perk up a bit. Your flower pictures are always a pleasure to view!

Ann Thompson said...

Wow so many beautiful flowers. I would love to have a garden full of flowers but I don't have a green thumb at all

Out on the prairie said...

I love all the blooms, what an exotic area you have. My undergrad was centered in Science with botany specific classes so I just pursued my love. I don't have a house and miss yard work, I enjoy giving a hand to others. I have done prairie restoration projects as a hobby for a few decades.Be happy to come trimLOL

Louca por porcelana said...

Oh my!How stunning!!!

Pom Pom said...

You sound very realistic about your garden and what you can and can't do. Good for you. It's lovely and you are keeping it that way! We all get to enjoy it, too!
I hope you have a lovely weekend. Put your feet up like that adorable kitty!

Kit said...

Hello my Dear Friend! So good to see you. Your gardens are looking lovely. I am glad you continue to garden and enjoy what you have created. Take care. Love, KK

GretchenJoanna said...

Flower Lady, I wish you would try harder to post the flower scents!!

Seriously, I should be content with the lush visual scenes we get. What a joy for you to tend those productive plants. Are there particular garden pests and diseases that you get from being so tropical and jungle-y like that? We don't have much humidity to deal with here -- the flip side of drought!!

Janneke said...

My dear Flower Lady, your garden is so very beautiful, I like that jungle look. I know that it's hard to keep up and we often feel lonely because we both lost our husband, I'm in the same situation, but.....every morning when the sun is out I feel so grateful and happy between the flowers in the garden. We have not had any rain for two months now, that's very unusual for our country, but the sun shines lovely and it's nice warm. Fortunately I have a canal along the house and a pump so that I can provide the garden with water at no cost, it's just the work.....
Happy weekend, Janneke

Stacey said...

It's all beautiful and just a little bit wild, Lorraine. That's how I love it! Your stormy sky is so pretty too.

Henny Penny said...

Your flowers are beautiful and amazing. I love the cottage garden style with overgrown paths and interesting things. Yours are beautiful. My husband has been complaining lately about all that I've planted, enclosing the house too, I've been cutting down and clearing off. :( I am very afraid of thunderstorms too and hate being alone during one. I know you must really miss your husband. It's sweet how you think about him when you are working in the flowers. He probably is still watching over you. You have a sweet, charming, cozy little place. I just love it.

Rebecca said...

I love the view from your scullery! I smile to hear how your dear husband encouraged you yo stop with the additional gardens and come in at day's end.... As usual, the blooms are strikingly beautiful and many of their names so appropriate. Have a pleasant weekend. (Today I sing at a dear friend's fineral --in Christ Alone My Hope is Found.)

Gary said...

You have such a beautiful and soulful home and garden Lorraine. Your house is actually part of your garden, and vice versa. The way it should be. I always enjoy these posts of yours. Blessings from me and Amanda. x

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Here in Northern Indiana we have had more than a week of 90 degree weather and high humidity after a few weeks of rain. The weeds are trying to take over, and they are in some areas. I have a section of the yard that I now call the wild area. We let it go to weed, encouraging birds to feed there. This year those weeds are so tall birds are actually nesting there. I saw a bird I have never seen here before. Probably an insect eater that does not come to the feeders. Starting Tuesday it's supposed to be in the 70s with low low humidity so I'll be weeding again. That is when I do my best meditation.

Thanks for sharing pics of your flowers. You definitely have earned your name.
xx, Carol

Dewena said...

Lorraine, I love it when you write about your scullery! And it might have been a whole different story for me when we lived in Florida if I'd had a sweet place like Plum Cottage and a secret garden. Yours is a magical place where so much beauty flourishes, all because--I'm sure--you give such love and care to it. There has to be a special place when cared for by such a special woman. Even the cowbirds are safe there and I admit that RH does his best to run them off our feeders. I tell him they all have to eat.

There is something about that sky that while it does look frightening is also mysterious and exciting. Especially if you are snug inside.

Our daughter, from FL, has been up this week and she said it has been hotter here than it was at the beach where they live. But you're much further south so stay inside when you can until it's cooler!

Junkchiccottage said...

Lorraine I love when you show how pretty your garden. Just a beautiful place for you to find peace and beauty. I bet everything is growing like crazy with all the hot and humidity plus rain you have had. We have had some weather like yours here in the midwest. Very hot and humid. I am hoping for some more rain to cool things down some. Happy Weekend.

Leslie Kimel said...

Oh, your gardens look so pretty with the rains. I love the lushness and abundance. And everything is so artistic! Every plant and accessory seems so perfectly chosen and arranged. Thank you so much for sharing all this beauty with us!

Terry said...

Hi Lorraine!

Your flowers are stunning! My gardens were doing well and then the deer, rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels ate almost everything. Do you use anything to keep the bugs off of your flowers? Some sort of bug got my rosebush and killed it. I laugh and say that we grow deer food here.

Please know that you are always in my prayers.

M.K. said...

I've never heard of that supplement before, but I'll be interested to know what you think after using it.

Your photos of flowers, esp. roses, are just perfection. You get up CLOSE to them, which is the key to amazing photographs, and they are sharply focused. Thanks for sharing with us the beauty that's around you!

We had so, so much rain in June, 21 inches, I think. But now it's not rained for a week, and it's quite dry. Back and forth!

Jillayne said...

It may be overgrown but so truly delightful - your garden is wonderful. I love all the flowers you showed here, they are so very beautiful, and I am sure they are a real joy for you. You'll always have a special connection to your beloved husband through the things you shared, and Plum Cottage and the little oasis that surrounds it is so obviously full of treasured reminders and memories. A wonderful place indeed.
Many hugs,

Imagesgram said...

I am very happy that I read you post again. Keep the good work going on....

Ruth Hiebert said...

Your gardens and yard are so much. Just this morning I was looking at my small garden and thought I should thin out some of the plants, so it was little more structured.I know my hubby liked everything to grow in profusion, but I get a little overwhelmed by it sometimes.

BeachGypsy said...

Hi there Lorraine! I just dearly love to come pay a visit to you and your charming cottage and pretty garden! Always feel rested, and peaaceful, after looking at your flowers and paths and trees. I could not pick a favorite picture for anything....way TOO MANY to choose, I like so many of them. The butterfly is beautiful and I love the mermaid birdbath, that is a mermaid, right? I think I see a tail there, ha ha LOL Love the pictures from the window and wow that dark sky sure is scary looking. I love your windowsills, I decorate ours as well, I just love doing it. I love your big header picture so much. I love the wildness of your garden, I don't like "fancy" gardens. Whatever you are doing there, you are doing it right! It IS ALOT of work, so just be sure to pace yourself, drink lots of water out in our hot and humid southern weather, and only do the most important things, extras can wait---and great idea how you keep your phone with you. I hope your summer is coming along nicely and i know you must be lonesome and miss your dear husband so very much. Just hang in there my friend, the good Lord is always holding you in the palm of His hand.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida. Your post about your garden made me fond of heart for past memories.

I will never forget the scent of gardenias and limes from my mother's back garden. Heavenly!

Thank you for taking me back to the beauty of a Florida garden.

outlawgardener said...

I love the jungly look of your garden, so lush and green. The fragrances of such a joyful place must be as wonderful as the thunder storms are scary. Is the Malaysian orchid a Medinilla? You are so wise to research a plant before you buy it. I sometimes just grab a plant that thrills me with no regard for it's eventual size and upkeep which sometimes leads to regret. Glad that you're no longer in drought. "...orchid. Grows like a weed here." (Must remind myself that envy is a sin:) Happy gardening, pal.

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

So many beautiful flowers and photos. I love the tree reflection in the water. Gardens can get overgrown so quickly and no matter how hard I weed they just keep gaining ground on me. Its been very hot and humid and rained solidly the last 3 days! Bet the weeds grew by 2 feet!

Mrs. White said...

I love all the pictures of your property and flowers. It looks like a peaceful retreat!

I am so sorry about the loss of your husband. It sounds like he took very good care of you. It is inspiring to read your thoughts about him as you think of him throughout your days.

God bless you!

Friko said...

Oh I do wish I could grow a sub-tropical garden like yours. I love lush and abundant growth. Not for me neat and tidy, or formal gardening. Sadly, I can’t have your kind of garden because our temps are too low in winter.
If I am honest I probably couldn’t take the heat and humidity either. My second favourite is woodland gardening but, most unusually, temps are too hot and dry this summer.

Ah well, things never come out right.

Melanie said...

It is indeed a tropical jungle - and paradise! - where you live. We get a lot of heat and humidity here in the Chicago area, but I know it's much worse where you live. The only time I'm envious of your weather is when we're going through winter here!

I hope you'll be showing us your living room after you paint. :-)

Deb said...

Hi Lorraine! It's good to be back in blogland and see what is going on in your world. You have the most beautiful garden and flowers ever! I love the pictures. Good luck with the painting project. Hope it goes well! Have a great week!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Your garden looks very natural, Lorraine! It has such a cozy, warm feeling.

L. D. said...

You live in such a beautiful garden haven. Sometimes I remember the pictures of people in Florida have a green lawn in front and back and nothing planned but maybe a palm tree or two. That isn’t true with you as you have your own person jungle garden area. You are taking great quality photos of some wonderful blooms. I like that you too have to water container plants even thought you have lots of rain. I am struggling to get a shot of a perfect rose so your’s made me so envious. Great post. Take Care.

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Although that sky looks scary.......your whole place looks like an oasis! So fresh and green. Don't be overwhelmed by all that you need to do. Just take clearing one day at a time and small areas at a time.

Pam's English Garden said...

I loved this visit to your beautiful, lush gardens, Lorraine. So different from NE Pennsylvania where growing roses is such a challenge. We are blessed, however, with our mutual love of gardening. A true godsend. P. x

Anne Payne said...

Rainey, I thought for sure I left a comment on this post but I don't see it. I was coming back to say that we've had so much rain my Gladiola bulbs have rotted! Yes, I was late planting them but they were doing so good until we had three weeks of nothing but rain everyday and living in the marsh it doesn't drain well. I am so sad! But my Roses and Crepe Myrtles and two Willows are loving it and that makes me happy! :-)

Jeri Landers said...

It's really like a beautiful jungle garden, in one hundred shade of green.

bj said...

I love your garden photos...all those gorgeous flowers.

I so relate to your changes since your husband passed. After a year, it is still hard for me to know that mine is gone, too. It's almost like a dream and I keep thinking I;ll wake up and he will come through the front door. Life does go on, as you said, it's just a different life....much love to you, FlowerLady.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

England is in dire need of rain; just saw a Country Living UK photo of a great house garden that is SO dry, the ancient outline of the first garden can be's magnificent!
I still miss Dave, still wonder what my purpose is, am still unpacking boxes, am still (some days) just going through the motions.
Rainey, your header photo is fabulous! We've had rain, rain and more rain; everything is green, lush and beautiful. And hot. Maybe (?) not as hot as Florida but still HOT.
Grace and peace, Sandra

Deborah Montgomery said...

Wow, everything looks so lush and rain-forest-y there! And those flowers are beautiful. What a delight to have them there in your garden. Your husband is still looking after you, as you remember his wise words to you and his care for you. He is still speaking words to tell you to take a break, etc. That makes those memories alive. xo Deborah

The Wykeham Observer said...

Very nice pictures!

Darcie said...

I know I can always come over here and be encouraged...always. This time was no different. It's been a summer of summers, and I haven't gotten around to visiting blogs as often as I like. I soaked in your sweet garden via pictures, and it just feels good to stop by via your blog and say, "hello"!

The Wykeham Observer said...

Live your life and your garden the way you want to live. Don't be bound by anyone's restrictions. I enjoyed your comments on my blog. I just want Fall to come as soon as possible. In many ways I miss life in South Dade County.

Debbie Harris said...

I needed to come for a visit and see all your beauty, and beauty I see as I scroll down. You have a must heavenly home, dear Lorraine.
Your precious DH is certainly with you in spirit there at Plum Cottage.
Take care and be well, sweet lady~

Rebecca said...

Dear friend, where ARE you? I got your comment on my blog this morning, but kind of need to know you're ok-- or at least how I can pray. ❤️

Val said...

'Thinking of you. ♥