Saturday, June 27, 2020

One day at a time

Hello Folks ~ I hope you are having a lovely weekend wherever you are. It is another hot and humid day. Night before last, was a rough one for me, after a really down day. I just couldn't fall asleep like normal. All kinds of things running through my mind. Last night I slept really good, lights out around 9:30 and I woke up and got up close to 5 this morning. I thanked God for a good sleep and the new day.

One thing that had been on my mind was one of the frangipani trees in the main garden. It had a couple of limbs getting too close to the power line that runs from pole out front by the road, to the workshop, and that's over my main garden. I worried that it was too close for me to take care of, but it was about a foot or so away.

I went out after coffee, but before breakfast. Got out the tree saw, and the pole cutter and went to work. Then I did some fern and weed pulling and trimming in the overgrown main garden. I was drenched in sweat and called it quits for the day. At least those limbs are gone and they are now hardening off for about a week, before I pot them up to root. The ones I have growing are all from cuttings from a friend, which I have rooted cuttings from to give me a couple more.

Click on photos for a larger view.

Below is the before picture. The limb to the left side was not the culprit, but the ones in the back of pic, with the ever creeping Virginia creeper vine, reaching for the power line.

Here is after and now that is one worrying thing off my mind. These limbs were about 10' high.

There is so much more work to do in this garden. Paths are overgrown with ferns and vines, weeds abound also. We've had a lot of rain and that makes things grow even faster.

The other morning when I was feeling so blue, I was out by my clothesline and happened to look up and saw to my delight that the Cereus cactus was in bloom. This cactus has grown up a dead pine tree and I don't always look 'up'.

I drew an arrow onto the dead pine in pic below. The tree is about 8' from the fence/property line.

These blooms are supposed to be scented, but if so I can't tell. Even when we took pics of one years ago where we could smell it, I didn't detect any scent, which was disappointing. Still the flowers are wonderful and huge.

Below is a link to a you-tube video from 2012. My dear husband was not well, but woke me up in the middle of the night a couple of times, so we could go out and take more pics as this bloom opened up. He held a light and I am thankful for this lovely time we had together. God called him home 4 months later.

In my down moments, God showed His love for me through His creation, by causing me to look 'up' and seeing these glorious blooms to enjoy. He knew they would make my heart feel glad and lighter. He was right. These blooms are only open for a day.

In a devotional by Marcia Gaddis, which came in my email yesterday morning from 'Wisdom Hunters', I read the following that encouraged my heart. The devotional is titled 'Living in the Present Moment', you can click on the title and it will take you to the website.

We are having to wait through this pandemic, life as we knew it is no more, and will never be the same.

~ Betty Skinner, in her book The Hidden Life, says this about waiting:

"Waiting is one of the most difficult pieces of a deep, inner spiritual journey. We want to outrun God, but our growth depends on consciously letting go of our fear and allowing our circumstances the space to teach us what God intends....As long as we wait in fear and anxiety, we will not experience growth."

She goes on to say, "This way of waiting requires we understand that the spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment. Living in the future produces anxiety, worry, and fear. Living in the past produces guilt, bitterness and regret. Many of us never get out of the past or the future and miss the gift that is the present moment." (My bold and italics.)

Oh my, how I want to live in the present. Always knowing and trusting God for working all things out. He is in control and my fretting and worrying over things, past, present or future does NOT do any good.

My gardens are a gift to me and are a comfort and joy during this time. Long, long ago, this property had no gardens. I told my dear husband I would rather have growing flowers than a bouquet of dying ones and that's how this all came to be. He bought, we bought, I bought, plants and more plants. :-)

I selectively take photos, so you do NOT see all of the overgrowth, and what I call ugliness of my gardens. Your kind words about what you see, encourage me to keep working in them. The exercise is great and free, I sweat out toxins and enjoy being out among the scents, colors, butterflies, bees and birds, plus the occasional neighborhood cats.

Yesterday I was able to capture this redbird. I was at the scullery sink and there were two frolicking in the water, but only one was there after I ran for my camera.

Ok, that's it for now. I need to go out and do some hand watering of things in pots.

Find the peace and beauty in each day you are blessed with. If you happen to have people around you, be thankful, give them lots of hugs, tell them you love them. Be forgiving and encouraging. These are rough times all over this planet, and we need to be kind to each other. Being kind matters.

Love, hugs and prayers,

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Blooms, heat, humidity, mosquitoes

Hello Folks ~ Hope you are all doing well, considering everything. It is HOT and HUMID and the mosquitoes are out in full force. I checked the temp and it says 89 degrees F, but the real feel is 106.  It is horrible out. I am so thankful for air-conditioning. I worked outside a tiny bit and couldn't handle it, it was making me feel sick with how oppressive it was.

I don't feel like doing anything at all, so I sat here and edited photos, wanting to get a new post up.

I got my new roses from 'Rose Petals Nursery' yesterday. They do an excellent job of packing their roses. The pots are stapled to the box from the outside with huge staples. Each pot is double wrapped in plastic bags, pots good and watered with wet newspaper on top. I had one little rose bloom. It was Mlle. Blanche Lafitte. I smelled her and was disappointed, as she didn't smell all that fragrant to me. But, this morning I smelled her again, and oh my goodness, absolutely wonderful. I think a lot of flowers smell their best in the morning. Plus these roses had been boxed up for at least a day in their traveling here.

Here she is. Mlle Blanche Lafitte.

Here they are on the front patio, late afternoon.

They all look good and have new growth on them. I look forward to seeing all of them in bloom and to smell all of their wonderful scents.

I was able to mow a last week, & soon after I came inside it lightly rained, then later we had heavy rain and T-storms, the next day also. Grass needs mowing again, but it will have to be done very early and maybe not even this week at all. The grass need to be dry when I mow or else it stick to the bottom of mower.

Now for some pics from Plum Cottage, inside looking out during a heavy rain. This is looking out over the scullery sink where I wash dishes, into the secret garden.

This is from inside here at my desk.

Lots of things are blooming, and everything is growing like crazy from all of the recent rain we've had.

'Dong Juan' roses.

'International Herald Tribune'

'Sweetheart Roses'

I'm not sure, but I think this is 'Ruth's Wavy'

'Queen Crepe'

Can anyone tell me what this is? The didn't know at the nursery where I got it.

'Fringed Hibiscus'

Tadpoles galore.

'Tahitian Gardenias'

'Tropical Lilac' and vanda orchid 'Miss Joachim'.

White Plumbago

I will close with the following thought.

“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”

Immanuel Kant

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, June 18, 2020

This and that

Good morning Folka ~ want to get this post out early so that I can head outside to mow 'again'. During the summer it's a weekly job that has to be done early.

Yesterday I braved my fear, prayed and thanked God as I headed off the property for a grocery shopping adventure.  The fear was because our area is a covid-19 hotspot. But when fear comes on, I have to remind myself that 'greater' is He, God, that is in me, than he that is in the world.

I thought of going to Aldi, furthest store away, because of their prices, then fear said no just go to Publix, it's closer. Fear did NOT win, I headed off to Aldi on a non-busy tree lined road with flowers strewn here and there, and thanked God for the enjoyable ride and before I knew it I was at my destination.  The store was not crowded, there was no fear, just people doing their shopping. I loaded my cart as I don't want to have to go out again any time soon, so I bought more than I usually would. Then on the way back home I stopped at the other grocery store and bought a few things there.

I've seen others post their grocery hauls, so thought I'd do that at this time, for the fun of it. So here goes.

Fresh fruit and veggies

Got 2 lbs of uncured beef hot dogs, no nitrates, and 2 lbs of grass fed beef, no nitrate oven roasted turkey lunch meat, and fresh tilapia filets.

Dairy and eggs, 2 pkgs swiss cheese, 2 cheddar cheese, the ice cream was buy one get one free. I got vanilla so that it will go with anything. Oh yea, I forgot I got 1/2 gallon of oat milk also.

They had toilet paper and kleenex, only allowed on pkg of TP, so I got one to add to my stash.

Mineral water, olive oil, chardonnay and merlot wine, yeast for baking bread and pizza dough, corned beef hash, coconut oil, minced garlic, tuna, orange marmalade, apricot preserves, prune juice. As a funny aside, I met a lady in one isle, she was a tall, big woman, not wearing a mask, (I was), she was a tad intimidating, but we looked each other in the eye and I decided to say Hi and after a moments hesitation she said Hi back. We met again on another isle and when I saw what she was getting, I told her that's what I need too. She said this is for my husband. I said Well, my husband is in heaven and he doesn't need this now, but I do. We laughed and she said no he doesn't. Then we went our separate ways. You can guess which item I was talking about and I bought 2. ;-)

Day before I was able to get a load of laundry washed and hung out to dry. Took a couple of pics and if we had smellavision, you would be able to smell the wonderful scent of air-solar-dried laundry.  So wonderful!!! I had taken most of the things off lines when I thought to take a pic or two.

These sheets are 'noisy', they are cotton, but make crackly, crisp noises when you are on/under them.

Another shot of the Queen Crepe myrtle from a different angle.

Queen Crepe flower on left and a normal crepe on the right.

Last is a photo of my watering can, bought years ago for a couple of dollars. I was inside looking out and liked the way the sun was shining on it.

That is it for now. I need to head outside to mow.

Have a good day,
be kind,
be forgiving,
encourage others,
be thankful.

Love, hugs and prayers,

Monday, June 15, 2020

Tucked away...

Good Monday morning Friends ~ I hope you had a good weekend and that this week will be a good one for you, wherever you are and whatever you do.

It's hard to believe we've been in this 'shelter in place' isolation for 3 months now. Places have opened somewhat down here, but there has been a rise in the number of cases of covid-19. I've only been off the property twice, the third venturing forth I plan to do, is this week as I need more groceries.

I seem to be more tired than usual, get up and go, has got up and went. I procrastinate more, there are times of being down, yet also there are times of joy and peace.  Those two things are what I want to cultivate more and more here at Plum Cottage.  I've been doing a LOT of reading and a LOT of you-tube watching. I mowed again once the rain stopped. We had rain off and on for about 5 days straight and things have grown like crazy from all of that 'liquid sunshine', straight from God to planet earth.

One of my all-time favorite gardens came up on you-tube this past week. The garden tour is very recent, it is a beautiful creation by a lady in Japan.  Le Jardin Secret 2020 of Ms.Mariko Gonda. This is the kind of garden I want in my eternal home with God. For now, I'll keep working on my tropical, cottage, not perfect garden here at Plum Cottage.

There have been some wonderful gardens from Britain also for the National Garden Scheme, which opens gardens up to visitors for charity, proceeds going to the nurses and nursing homes there in that country. Since gardens can't be opened to the public at this time the gardeners have taken short videos of their gardens for us all to enjoy at this time. Below is one of my favorites.

Fernbank Garden

Yesterday I watched a vlog by a young man whose vlogs I've been enjoying. He has a way of telling stories that is wonderful. A line near the end of it really touched my heart as it relates to myself here at Plum Cottage, and is why the title of this blog today.

He was at a friend's property that was just off the road with 18 wheelers rumbling by and he described it as "tucked away, and the rest of the world is right there." That's how it is here. When people come to visit they are amazed that this little place is here off the busy 5 lane road out front. It isn't perfect by any means, but it is home sweet home. It is what it is, created by my DH and myself since 1973. I feel his love all around this place from the many projects we did together, and even from ones not completed. Life goes on, and faith in Jesus keeps me going through each day of life.

 Now, here are some pics from this little 'tucked away' place called Plum Cottage.

Vanda Orchids, Miss Joachim, that literally take care of themselves. A favorite of mine.

A view looking south out to the 5 lane road. The flowers from the hibiscus trees that are growing over my driveway from the neighbors are floral confetti.

 This photo taken last month and I'm almost to the rear of the property.

Here is my lovely Queen Crepe myrtle. We bought it in August 2007.

Here it is 13 years later.

Queen Crepe confett

This is Tropical Lilac.

Thryallis ~ has a wonderful sweet scent that fills the air.

This is Tahitian Gardenia, huge blooms and a wonderful gardenia scent

Reed orchids

Philippine Violet

More 'Miss Joachim' Vanda orchids

This is a weedy ground cover, don't know what the name of it is

A lovely double pink hibiscus with maroon center.

I think this is 'Miss Atwood', but am not sure anymore.



Tecoma Stans

Yesterday after 'zooming' with family, I went back to the 'scullery' and looking out the window over the sink, this is what I saw. I believe there were 10 there at first but when I went to get the camera some had flown away. They were coming and going, and some were a family as parents kept feeding fledglings. They were happy and made me smile.

Here's Miss Tork, my sweet companion.

After watching so many garden videos, some absolutely filled with roses and as a booster to my morale, I ordered 4 roses from Rose Petal's Nursery in northern FL.

Hopefully they will be here some time this week or early next week. Not sure when they ship out orders.

Here are the 4 I chose. These photos are from the website. All are scented, a couple have strong fragrance.

'Mademoiselle Blanche Lafitte'

La Reine


Beaute Inconstante

I re-read the book 'The Shack' and in it Jesus was introducing Himself to Mack, main character of book. As he stood there in jeans covered in sawdust and a plaid shirt, He said he keeps things fixed up, enjoys working with His hands, and takes pleasure in cooking and gardening. Hmmm. Jesus lives inside of me and I am to do all things heartily and as unto Him. Forgive me dear Jesus for procrastinating so much in all areas of my life. Give me joy, peace, comfort and strength. Thank you, Amen.

This procrastination bit of work is awaiting me, I am the 'dishwasher' and sometimes they 'pile' up, so I'll say goodbye for now.

Have a good week ~ FlowerLady