Friday, July 7, 2017

This & that

Good morning Folks ~ From what I’ve seen and read on your blogs, you’re all off to a good start with summer. Fun, food, projects, travels.

Just had a tiny bit of rain earlier, need more. I went out yesterday morning to handwater plants in containers and had to stop because it was so miserable out. Very humid and heavy out, I was sweating buckets, so came back in and hibernated.

I’ve been dealing with a tad of depression, missing my dear husband and dealing with learning to live alone on a limited budget. I see ‘things’ I don’t have, and start ‘wanting’, instead of being ‘content’ with what I have. I certainly have much to be thankful for, and I don’t really ‘need’ the things I’d like to have. I can work with what I have, rearranging, (shopping in my own little cottage), and paint works wonders in giving a fresher, new look.

My dear BIL & SIL have moved into a new place and have blessed me with two matching bookcases, and a media/tv stand. This is causing me to purge books in my living rooom from two ‘curbside found’ units. Friends are buying me a flat screen tv, so I will be getting rid of the huge older/heavy tv that I have.  BIL will help me get it out of here, and set up new tv with my media system. I plan to paint the living room too. I look forward to the new and improved look.

Changes are hard, but purging the books feels great. I don’t need all of the art books, books on antiques (as they no longer apply to my life), and other books & magazines that have no further interest to me. In going to the flea market to sell for around 15 years, we bought ‘lots’ of things very cheap, and a lot of those things were books, books and more books. I will be getting rid of a lot of cookbooks also, but not right now. For now I’m just concentrating on the living room’s west wall of books. (Have more bookcases in the bedroom, kitchen, and other end of living room, not to mention in my creative space too. All in good time. Now that I’ve started, I ‘want’ it all done now. Patience, FlowerLady, Patience.)

Below is how the west wall looked before I started purging.


Below is old tv, and you can see why I made a faux mantle and hung a curtain. Smile I will be getting rid of the tv and piece it is sitting on, plus purge most of the stuff  that is in the unit.


Below is the new tv stand that I will be getting. There is a flat screen tv on wall above this piece. I will put my new tv on the stand I think. I’m thinking of having BIL make a mantle shelf over the flat screen, between and connected to the two bookcases. I’ll see what he thinks when the time comes. For now, I need to keep purging.


Forward progress.


Here are a few recent outside pictures.

Zebra longwing butterfly and tropical honeysuckle.


I was at the scullery sink the other day and spied a mourning dove sitting on the statue’s head. I hoped it would still be there when I came back with camera, it was.


Here’s an enlarged view.


That’s it from Plum Cottage. I’m heading outside to do more hand watering.

Enjoy your summer plans.

Love your family and friends.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Basye’s Purple rose first bloom and other flowers

Good afternoon Folks ~ I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. We have had rain and more rain. Everything is growing like weeds here.

I have been waiting for over a year to see this particular rose in bloom, today the first bud opened.  The rose is Basye’s Purple. First photo was taken yesterday, the others were taken this morning. When I saw it was open I could hardly get my camera fast enough. When I got over to the bloom and smelled it I wanted to cry. I thanked God for such a beautiful creation and wonderful scent. I bought this rose as a baby from Rose Petals Nursery.





Butterflies have been having a feast on my Byron Beauty passion flower vine. Below is a flower that has been pelted with some heavy rains and I see that the curly bits of the flower have straightened out.


Below are caterpillars enjoying themselves.



Here are two chrysallis.  I saw one of these as a caterpillar yesterday hanging upside down and then came out to it being in hibernation on it’s way to becoming a butterfly.



Well watered blooms.

Golden dew drop (purple blooms), red pentas, and hamelia patens.


I don’t know what the name of this hibiscus is. I got it as a cutting many, many years ago from my Mom.


This is sandpaper vine with it’s sandpaper feeling leaves and wonderful purple star flowers. I grew this from a cutting. These are the first blooms that it has had. Also called Queen’s Wreath. It is growing up over an arbor and I can hardly wait until the arbor is covered. There is also a blue pea vine and a garlic vine growing on this harbor so it will be quite the combination when all in bloom.


This is a wonderful alamanda, don’t know the name of it. Grew it from a cutting also.


Spicy Jatropha ~ this I grew from a cutting from my dear husband’s family home. I believe his younger sister had given a plant to their parents one year. I love this plant, and so do the butterflies.


This is Tahitian Gardenia. What a scent!!! Huge blooms.


This is my ‘secret garden jungle’ as seen through the window of my scullery, where I wash dishes. The scraggly tall limbs in the foreground are of a avacado tree container grown. I should prune it.


Well, that’s it from my well watered gardens here at Plum Cottage.

Remember to stop and really see all of the beauty that surrounds you and know that you are even more wonderful and beautiful and loved by Jesus who is God the Great Creator. We have so much to be thankful for.

Happy Summer ~ FlowerLady

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Rain, rain, rain

Hi Folks ~ My goodness, we were in drought conditions but not so after the last 4 days of rain here in s.e. FL. Today, so far, is the first day in a week that we’ve not had rain, the past four days bringing us the most. Thankfully for me, I did not have to deal with much thunder and lightening, just lots of rain. My gardens are happy with all of the liquid sunshine they have received. More thunderstorms are expected through Sunday. I mowed one day last week before all of this rain and it’s a good thing. Things are growing like crazy and once the weather clears, I need to get out with hedge clippers, the weed wacker and the lawn mower again, not all in one day though.

Here are some of my latest blooms.

The first are passion vine flowers, first two are ‘Bryon Beauty’ and the last three are of ‘Incense’.






Next, from top to bottom: frangipani, giant milkweed, shrimp plant, sweet almond and Tahitian gardenia.






Next: Queen Crepe



Vanda orchid ‘Miss Joachim’ grows wild and like crazy all around my property.



Roses: Drift rose, Granada, Mozart, and an unknown.





My dear husband’s 2 sisters, one on left from northern FL, sister next from TN, brother-in-laws wife and brother-in-law and myself, live about 30 minutes from each other, (via the expressways, or an hour going the slower route, which is my way.) We had gone out to eat with 6 of the younger set, haven’t asked for permission to post that photo yet, so I won’t.


While editing photos, I thought of taking the last photo that I took of my dear husband while working up on the neighbor’s roof, taken 06-06-12, and a cropped pic of BIL Todd, which was taken 06-04-17, putting them side by side. Handsome brothers. (I sure miss my sweet man. It’s hard to believe it’s 4 1/2 years since he left.)


That’s it for now. I’m going to make a spagetti sauce with Italian sausage, which I will serve over Chickpea Rotini with Lentils noodles. Ought to be interesting. So, I need to get up and start the sauce.

Hope you all have a great weeked.


Be thankful each day for all that you are blessed with.

Learn from mistakes.

Be forgiving and ask for forgiveness.

Give love & encouragement.

Be well.


Friday, May 19, 2017

A new plant nursery to me–Johnny Mangos

Good morning Folks ~ Thank you all for your kind comments, especially about my BIL helping me with the a.c. I will pass along what you have said about him, I know he’ll appreciate it.

Before I forget, the winner for the garden book of ideas was Jo from My Grandma’s Soul.  Congrats Jo.

I was just outside working and decided I’d had enough already and it’s not even 9 a.m. EST yet.  It is 79 and real feel is 82.  Later as the temperature rises, it is supposed to feel like it is in the low 90’s. Right now the humidity level is at 75%. My clothes soon became wet from all of the ‘glowing’ I was doing. The sun was starting to blast the area I was working in.

I’ve been working on my ‘secret butterfly garden’, and the screen enclosed space behind my cottage. It has been predicted that we are going to have history making hot temps down here in s.e. FL this year. So I’m grouping plants together for easier watering and I’m even thinking of putting up shade cloth, I just haven’t figured out how yet.

A couple of weeks ago, my dear friends, Nanci & John, invited me out to lunch.  It was a Sunday afternoon and we went to Johnny G’s, a famous place that used to be up on the beach but has now moved. They are only open untl 3 p.m. It was a perfectly gorgeous day, still cool, breezy, just wonderful, what we wish all of our days were like. We got a table outside and their dog Wally sat with us and people/dog watched. The three of us humans had fish and chips, delicious!!!! Nanci and I had Arnold Palmers, if you’ve never had these, give them a try. They are addicting. It is iced tea and lemonade. Great for summer!

After lunch, John suggested going to Johnny Mangos. I’d not heard of it, so off we went. It is a Key West/artsy style, garden nursery and I just LOVED it. 


05-08-f ront

John told Nanci and I to pick out a plant. I had gone in before Nanci and told John I wanted what is pictured below. When Nanci came in, she told John the exact same thing.  It is a faux rock and decaying tree waterfall with the beautiful plants. There is just something so soothing about the sound of flowing water.


Below is the plant I picked out, Blue Lips, Mazabuka, origin Africa. You can read more about this plant from Top Tropicals. The color and unusual flower is what drew me to it. I saw it pretty much at the beginning of my walk around the place and it stayed in my mind as the one I wanted from this visit with my dear friends. It is not widely known by most gardeners and has great horticultural value. Of course, I didn’t know this until I googled it when I got home. It grows in shade or semi-shaded areas. What was a real surprise to me and not mentioned anywhere, is that it has a nice, sweet scent. Plus, I read it can be propogated from cuttings. I love it and am very happy with it.


After that visit to Johnny Mangos, we went to a great little ice cream place and I had a dish of pistachio ice cream, John had peanut butter with chocolate chunks, and Nanci had rum raisin.

It was a very pleasant day with perfect weather and being with loving, long-time friends. John gifted me with another monetary gift from them, which is always a treat. My dear husband would like that they have loved on me so much since he’s been gone, dinners/lunches out too.

I didn’t take any photos on Sunday because I only had my phone. So, with my money gift in hand and Canon PowerShot camera too, and a bottle of water, I headed down south on my adventure. Being a homebody, I’m not familiar with driving distances or places I’ve not been before. I googled a route to this nursery and was so pleasantly surprised with the route I had chosen. All because of one section of road that was two lane and trees covering the road from both sides. I felt like I was in another place, like I was on vacation. I was oh so thankful to God for this little treat on my journey. The day before, we had taken the scenic ocean drive. That made me feel like being on vacation.



Now for some views of a sampling of the wonderful plants and other goodies for sale too.










Colorful bougainvilleas.


Look at this purple building. A little more purple than Plum Cottage, but very striking and looks great with the plants.



When you walk over this bridge, the fish come out with mouths open. Winking smile



Some garden art and pottery.




This is the cashier’s booth.


Here are the plants I bought and one little piece of art, art was pretty expensive.

Brugmansia, or Angel’s Trumpet.


Blue Sky Vine



This little orchid was in a tray of orchids for $5 each. Sign said tree orchids. This one spoke to me. It is a tiny but beautiful bloom.



I did a wall arrangement on the east wall of the work shop, over an antique bench, cobbler’s bench ?, given to me by my BIL & SIL when they recently moved. They bought this bench over 25 years ago at an antique auction. No one knew what it was. Two different people have suggested a cobbler’s bench. Do any of you know what this may be?


The blue pot will be changed for an orange one, I think. Blue and orange are complimentary colors, but in this instance, it doesn’t work with what I am doing.


Ok, this is a long enough post. I hope you enjoyed a visit to Johnny Mangos, via the web. I probably won’t go back until the fall, when the weather is much cooler. I’ll be sure to take my camera again to capture more of the tropical beauties displayed for sale here.

Here is a sign they had near the cashier’s booth.


I will close with the following quote. Not sure where I got it, maybe Terry Hershey.

“A beautiful garden is like a big hug.

It can heal the heart and bring joy to those in need.”

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are, whatever your plans are. Live in the moment and be thankful for all of your blessings small or large and everything in between.