Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A glimpse of my Plum Cottage Jungle

Good morning everyone ~ thought I'd make a little video showing part of my overgrown jungle gardens. I was surprised to see that 'Tabster' was sitting in the first 'faux bois' chair shown in the video, didn't see him until I watched it. I did pull out some grass from the garden, lots more to do. I'm inspired to get out there 'early' in the mornings after seeing this. 


 Thanks for visiting, and for your kind and encouraging comments that you leave. Morale boosters.

Enjoy your week ~ FlowerLady

 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

It's about your mindset

Hello Friends ~ It is another hot and humid day down here in s.e. FL. Not as bad as some of the vloggers that I watch on you tube. Still bad though. I worked outside Wednesday morning from 8:30-10:50, and have NOT done any work outside since then. It was 83 but with humidity real feel was 92. When I stopped I was hanging out laundry on the lines and couldn't even finish, I had to come inside, as it was 90 and felt like it was 100. I had taken a few breaks and drank my electrolyte water, but at the end I was starting to feel a little funny, so I left the rest of the laundry in the basket to get to later. I drink water all throughout the day, have done that for years and years. For any of you that work outside, please stay hydrated. When I went inside, my shirt was completely soaked. I felt better after being in the a.c., drinking more water and having a bit of lunch.

I mowed, trimmed the driveway hedge, and started to hang out the laundry. I have 1/4 of an acre, but thankfully all of that doesn't need mowing. Below is the front portion of grass in front of the driveway gate. It goes over about another 5' to the right where there is an indent.


  This is looking to the north now. I'm about to start mowing. When I get the urge to mow, it's usually good that I do it, because rain will be coming sometime. Not always as predicted or not. (It has rained the past two mornings, giving us some much needed rain.)

I am so thankful for this battery operated lawnmower that was a gift from friends. I mow in half the time and it is so much easier than dragging a heavy 100' extension cord around.


Now I'm  at the north end of the driveway looking south. Behind the picket fence is my clothesline area, with the caravan to the right. My little wash house in the middle of the picture &  hidden under several flowering vines.

 

 


 I took the photo below while on a electrolyte drink break. It's under the pole barn awning. So much cooler under there than out in the sun. I'm looking east.


I love growing flowers. It is work, but there is so much joy in growing them. Just this past week, I saw that gardening work burns 300 calories an hour. Not to mention all of the toxins we sweat out. 

Here are some of the bloomers I have giving me joy at this time. 

Beauty berry, and Miss Blackie. If you look close, you will see all of the 'grass' that has taken over this front garden of mine. It has been sadly neglected with all that has been going on this past year.

Clerodendrum, thomsoniae, red bleeding hearts that grow in s.e. FL.


Here is Double Delight rose.

 

This is an unknown, I also have it in purple and a red one I think.


 

This is a favorite of mine, Sweet Almond. The scent is wonderful!!


 

This is an orchid that grows like a weed here. Vanda Joachim.



 Here are links for the chilling cloths and the electrolyte powder, both are from Amazon.

I will close with an inspiring quote from a young lady's vlog 'Little House on the Mountain'. It came just when I needed some encouragement. 

'Romancing an Ordinary Life'

"It's not about what you have or even the season of life that you are in, 

but it's about your mindset. 

It's about seeing splendor in the ordinary 

and experiencing the wonder in the mundane." 

******

The past two years have been rough. Things are a little better, but 'not back to normal', they will never be back to the way it was. Things are more expensive as prices keep going up and up. There is so much negativity, fear, anger all around us. It can be so easy to get sucked into despair if all we think about are the negatives. Here's a verse from the Bible that I will leave with you today.

Let's count our blessings and look for the splendor, wonder and beauty that is all around us. May our eyes be opened.


Love, hugs and prayers,

FlowerLady

 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Forward progress in spite of heat and humidity

 

Greetings from Plum Cottage ~ Thanks to all who have been in contact, kind words, prayers are much appreciated. I'm still 'turtling' along, working outside in the mornings a 1-2 hours at a time, depending on how bad it is outside. It's been in the low 90's but with the humidity it feels like it's in the low 100's. I bought chilling cloths that you wet, shake and wrap around your neck, shoulders, place on head, and you feel so much cooler. It makes a difference!! I gave three away to friends who work out in the heat and these are a hit.

 [4 Pack] Cooling Towel (40"x12"),Ice Towel,Soft Breathable Chilly Towel,Microfiber Towel for Yoga,Sport,Running,Gym,Workout,Camping,Fitness,Workout & More Activities

 I also have 'Key Nutrients Electrolyte powder' that you mix with water and I drink that when I work outside. I get the lemonade flavor. Last year I looked up Gatorade then electrolyte powders, Gatorade has water, sugar, salt. The electrolyte powder I got has lots of good ingredients. I mix a scoop in 16 oz. in a mason jar (with lid), of water shake and sip while working outside.

 I'm not affiliated with this company. I figured out the cost of this per serving and it was 38 cents. So, if any of you are seeking some relief while working out in the summer heat, I suggest these two things that are helping me.

On the second of July, my friend Sean came over and we worked on the new arbor. He took out the 4"x8' posts, and put in the 10' posts, had to dig the holes a bit deeper. Then we worked on attaching the decorative wrought iron across the top. Then while making sure it was all level by using another 4x4x8 across the top, we decided to use that 4x4 for finishing it off. We were both happy with that.

Here are pics before and after. The area is still a work in progress. Like I said I'm 'turtling' away.

 "Turtling ~ The practice of moving forward, no matter how slowly, when one is feeling overwhelmed by decisions and tasks. We must keep turtling."

 This picture below was from last year. What a difference. I'm so thankful for the help I've had here from friends. A blessing!!

 

This wrought iron piece was in my stash, part of it is rusted away. But still some decorative live left in it.
 

The high plants along the fencing on the left, are 4 o'clocks.  I did not plant them they are volunteers. These are very hardy plants, except for needing to be cut back so that they don't flop over.


 
I had the two pieces of white plastic lattice and used them as a border on either side. I still have some decorative iron pieces to hang on the front of posts.

 
  
 
I've got lots of plants in containers that can be planted in this space, all in good time.
 
A Florida sunrise one morning taken out the back door.
 

 
I just found out about having vintage art being shown on your TV. Found the channels, there are several. I checked out a couple of different ones, one was flowers and the other cottage gardens. The pictures change after about 10 minutes of showing it. There are even some that have soothing music.
 


Next we have my sweet Miss Tork. She loves sleeping on clean laundry, and at my feet.




Some thoughts:

" Appreciate what time you have left. It doesn't matter how long it is."
 
From: Green Renaissance 'The Beauty of Living'.
 
~~~
 
A garden is never static. A garden can never be finished. It changes as our lives change. Never feel guilty about garden chores that don't get done. A garden is about pleasure, not guilt."
 
Joan Armory ~ Cottage Living October 2007

~~~

"What is that one thing you can do today? Do that with excellence, do that with an attitude of gratefulness. We have growth opportunities each day."
 
From: Whispering Willow Farm blog

~~~

"Come, Lord Jesus, be thou our guest.
Our morning joy, our evening rest.
And with thy daily bread impart,
Thy love and peace to every heart."
 
A prayer said by Fred Rogers, still prayed at Thanksgiving by family.

~~~

"Be quiet and still, so that you can begin to see the thing God is already weaving.
God strews our paths with little webs of grace that pull us into the prayer of waiting,
into healing and rebirth." 
 
Unknown

~~~

"Gardens are always in a state of becoming. Our lives are also always in a state of becoming. We are born, we live each day we are given and we die. Since we are in this state of becoming, we are always growing and changing."

From: Jack Huber, Southern Living Landscape Book
 
~~~

Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy each day you are blessed with. See the beauty, be thankful. Grow through the hard times. God is with you and will see you through them.

Love, hugs and prayers, 
FlowerLady

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Turtling, Contentment, Gratitude

Hello Folks ~ Here we are into June already. Time is zipping along so fast!!

What on earth is 'turtling' you might ask? I hadn't heard the word until I read it on my friend Gretchen's blog, 'Gladsome Lights'. When I read the thought on this, it was encouraging for me to keep plugging away at my own pace. "Turtling ~ The practice of moving forward, no matter how slowly, when one is feeling overwhelmed by decisions and tasks. We must keep turtling." Do any of you feel this way?

Clearing the property has definitely been a 'turtling' experience. The 'stuff' didn't accumulate over night, it happened over years. This past year has certainly seen some changes here, changes for the better. More are yet to come, as my motivation and energy allow. My mind thinks I can still do things, but alas, my body says differently.  

Below is a work in progress. My friends Wendy and Mike were just here last week and he weedwacked this area. I've got cut limbs from the rattle tree, and different bits and pieces of 'stuff' to still clear out. The blue tarp is to kill grass/weeds.

 I threw cement blocks, wood, whatever, to place temporarily in front of plants so that the weed wacker would not wack them down. ;-) Vanda orchids that grow like weeds I stuck along the fence rails. They bloom several times during the year.


 

Here is a little video I did a week or so back.

 

Now that summer is almost here I must get out early, between 7-8 to get a good start on whatever project or work that needs doing, before the heat and humidity are unbearable.

The sketch below is an idea I got after watching some garden you tube videos. I had two 4x4x8' posts and some decorative iron. My friends Sean and Stan were here to trim front hedge and whatever else I might need to have done. I told them my idea. We realized after the posts were in the ground that for my idea to work the way I envisioned, I would need 10 foot posts. So, we just left these 8 footers until I could get the right size. They have gone down in price by $5 since they were here so that's a good thing. My friend Wendy will be picking them up for me as they won't quite fit in my little van. I was going to make a little wood fence using fence slats that I have in my stash, but I've changed my mind on that idea. 

I do look forward to this coming together and having the garden space come to life with flowers and butterflies, instead of 'stuff'. My dear hubby told me before God called him home, to get rid of the junk, as he knew I didn't like it. Well, I let go of some stuff, have regrets about letting some of it go, but... I did keep decorative wrought iron pieces.  I think the space between posts is about 6', without going out into the heat to check for sure.


 Now for some of the beauty that I enjoy here. 'Flying Flowers' are always a delight. The zebra longwing is our state butterfly.

Double Delight rose.


I brought a couple of the blooms inside to enjoy. Excuse my windows, they do need cleaning, but they also are double paned and have lost their seal which makes it cloudy. Window replacement is not an expense I can afford.

My friends Nanci and John, who I've known for over 20 years, through my working next door to their antique shop for 17 years, took me to lunch a couple of weeks back. John got out of their truck and said we have something for you. I gasped in delight when I saw it. They no longer wanted it and thought of me.  It's a beautiful, old cement planter.

Here Nanci and I are enjoying our lunch of fish n chips, coleslaw, and hushpuppies. I had an Arnold Palmer to drink. The background is so Florida looking, palm trees, big blue sky. It was nice and breezy so we decided to eat outside. This place is known for it's fish n chips. We always enjoy going there.


Here I am holding one month old Ellie. She is a beautiful baby!! My first time holding a little one this small in many, many years. Pure delight!!
 
A hydrangea given to me by a friend just before covid. This is the first year it has bloomed for me and I love it. I need to repot it.

 
I loved the way the sunlight was hitting this shell windchime.

 
Sweet patooties, who were born on the property. I'm checking into a spay and release program that's free I think, to get the mother fixed and then the black one here. The tabby is a male. I do feed them a little in the mornings, I just couldn't help myself. Sheesh! The mother has had two more and I don't feed her or them. They are surviving. The tabby lets me pet him a little bit.

 
This is 'Tiffany', a lovely scented rose. 'Double Delight' smells wonderful also.

 
Here's my 16 years young Miss Tork purring on one her favorite spots, my chest. We bond for awhile, then she moves on.

I am learning contentment, and I am thankful for my life. I really have much to be thankful for.


I will close with a quote from John Piper, from a devotional from Desiring God, and some encouraging scripture from the Bible. May God bless you with His peace.
 
~~~
 
"The joy God gives us is not a fragile joy,
ready to vanish in painful circumstances. 
It is strong enough to sustain fragile people through them." 
John Piper 

 ~~~
 
God has been my source of strength and joy for many years, but especially these last 9 1/2 years since He called my dear hubby home. I do have times where I get down, and call out to Him to lift me up and He does.
 
Jesus is always near, closer than we think. We need to just talk to him, trust him, have faith and patience that all things will work out. It doesn't mean we won't have trials, we will, but He is with us, and will sustain us.
 
~~~
 
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you 
Ps.55:22

Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4
 
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 
 
Thanks for visiting.
 
Love, hugs and prayers, 
FlowerLady


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Greetings from Plum Cottage

Hello Friends, Sorry I've been away for so long. The longest I've probably ever not posted. My heart just hasn't been into it. I want to thank those who have reached out to me and sorry to have worried you. About a couple of months ago I did come down with a sore throat, then dry, hacking coughing, that lasted a couple of weeks. I hibernated for about 4 weeks.

 My 73rd birthday happened on the first day of spring. How can that be? In my head I don't feel that number. ;-) My body says otherwise.

I was given a money gift by friends and they wanted me to get something special, like flowers or whatever. Well, since I am FlowerLady, guess what I bought. Two roses, Tiffany and Double Delight. Both are heavily scented, Tiffany more so. Absolutely Wonderful!! I also got a glass flamingo solar light.

I left HD with a smile on my face and the little van was filled with heavenly fragrance. I then headed west to a nursery I've been to several times and love the diversity of plants. They are going out of business, retiring, so everything was on sale. A lot had been sold since the last time I was there. I did buy six plants at a great deal and left there happy also. I got two variegated confederate jasmine vines, a purple porterweed, Bush clockvine, a bush daisy, and a lovely mandevilla vine. (These two friends, a married couple, have helped me with clearing the property of stuff, after Juvenal hauled away all of the metal.) Property is looking better and pretty soon I'll just have maintenance, not a burden. ;-)

'Tiffany' Rose

'Double Delight' rose

This is how it looked when it first opened, which made me think this wasn't the rose on the tag.

 

This is same rose the next morning and looked like the rose on tag. Amazing!!

 

Solar glass flamingo

 

I am going to try to get back into blogging. I have missed it, I have missed visiting a lot of  you and I'm sorry to have lost touch. 

 I work a couple of hours each morning outside when I feel like it or don't have other plans. I'm moving potted plants around, planting some in the area that is almost cleared. Still have cut limbs and stuff to move out. It is amazing what has been done around here in a little over a year.

Below are some before and after pics of one area.

January 2021

February 2021 - neighbor asked if he could have someone cut down the 'rattle tree', as it was a nuisance to both of us. The 'rattling' of seed pods and droppage of pods several times a year. I of course said yes. He had already bought most of the fencing for his side of my property and my friends put up the fencing. The tree trimmer knew Juvenal who picked up scrap metal and the rest is history.

There's still more to be gotten rid of, limbs, junk. It took years to get here and it has taken years to get it this far, this last year being really productive, thanks to so many helping hands. I want to make this place a tropical sanctuary, for myself and those who visit.


This is after my friends were here in early March this year. He cut the rattle tree and a smaller relative to the ground and weed wacked. I have the blue tarp down to kill weeds. ;-)

 


I'm still crocheting 'comfort' lap blankets. I love this pattern. The full size is much larger than this. I had some yarn colors in my stash but had to buy some.


 


I want to get back into doing embroidery with threads, beads and ribbon. 

 


Gardening is a chore and a joy. Spring is a wonderful time of year. I found the sign, broken, in my laundry shed when I cleared it out some so that a new washing machine belt could be put on my 20 year old Maytag washer. I rigged the sign back together and it makes me smile.


I've had times of being overwhelmed and depressed, but Jesus has brought me through those times. Friends have reached out, prayers have been said, love has been given and I am thankful more than words can say.

The last couple of years have been rough for the whole world, some more than others and now this horrible devastation in Ukraine. Let us keep praying for each other and the whole world. God is working even when it feels like He isn't. Evil will not win.

I've become more of a 'chair potato' watching you tube videos, more than I want to. I watch gardening, homesteading families, different crafts, natural ways of healing, cooking/baking, nature documentaries, and movies. I've been reading a lot of spiritually uplifting books, my library is full to overflowing. I read, and re-read. I want to get back to the public library. They did a major remodeling while the world was shut down and have recently reopened.  I need some good fiction.

 I live on a small ss check. My little cottage is paid for, it is old, 1951- quirky, my little haven. My car is paid for also. I have a little $ in savings in case of emergency. My goal is to live contentedly, not envious of others, pray for things to work out, and to be thankful always in all circumstances. 

The privacy/stockade fencing is barely standing along the driveway and across the back of property, 20-30 years old. It is something I'm praying about. Fencing has just about doubled in price. Prices are going up on everything. I am thankful for this place and all that God has blessed me with.

When going through buckets of stuff under the barn's awning, I found one with broken stained glass pieces in it. I threw out most of it, except for three pieces.

This one below is painted, not really stained glass. What a find!!! I have it leaning against two pieces of petrified wood, and the flowers are Tahitian Gardenias. Huge and wonderfully scented.

The two aqua stained glass are the other pieces. Excuse my dirty windows, they do need cleaning, but they also have fogged up because of losing the qir or whatever between the double panes of glass.


Ok, this has been a long post. I will close with the following photo of a little gift I made for the ladies of my Bible study group. The words are Bible verses. So good for any of us to think on.

 

Have a lovely Easter/Resurrection weekend. Remembering the reason we celebrate.

God came down to earth. He took on flesh. His name was Jesus. He gave His life for us so that we'd be set FREE from death and destruction. We are all sinners, and His death and resurrection gives us life now and forever, when we truly believe in Him and what He has done. He said,

"I am the resurrection and the life. 

He who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

John 11:25

May God bless and keep you all.

Love, hugs and prayers,

FlowerLady