Monthly Archives: April 2014

Spring is busting out all over….

My mother loved music.She was actually,quite musical.Not only could she carry a tune,but she could play the guitar(Hawaiian and acoustic)and the piano.Unfortunately,I acquired none of her musical talent.Another thing,besides bad knees, and a love of gardening,I inherited from my father.Though I think I sound great singing in the car.When I was in first grade,the music teacher told her I could sing,and my mother burst out laughing.”That girl cannot carry a note!”
That may have scarred me for life.Which is why  I can be found driving down the interstate singing Jimmy Buffet at the top of my lungs.And sounding pretty damn good,at least to me,so there!
She loved Broadway shows and knew all the songs.And all the words.Whenever a Broadway show was playing at the old Melody Fair music tent,or Prudhomme’s Theater,in St.Catherine’s,Canada,she’d drag my dad  to see them.And every Spring,when the first blooms would pop out,my mother could be found,in the garden,singing that song to herself.
So,today,in spite of it,I found my self doing the same thing…and then,I found myself thinking,”Oh Gawd,I’ve become my mother!”
….and,yes,I did hum her silly song….

The Sweet Gum Tree has leafed out….IMG_1070

as has the Vitex Vitex agnus-castus


Soon,it shall be covered with purple flowers,reminiscent of hyacinths.For more info…..

Simpson’s Stopper myrcianthes fragrans
I bought this one at SCCF,a few years ago,and it has grown into a large shrub.I have since found them in native landscape nurseries closer to home.I’ve even seen them at Lowe’s.It’s a Florida native and the mockingbirds love the berries that will follow the cute,little,Sputnik like flowers.

Wild Coffee Psychotria undata
Another plant that I found at SCCF,but they have since become available at more nurseries.For more info….

Hidden Ginger Curcuma petiolata

Caladiums are finally breaking through the ground…



And the orchids on the lanai are still in bloom…



Now,if you’ll excuse me,I think I shall crank up some Jimmy Buffet,or maybe some Train,and sing,at the top of my lungs,and dance around the house…….


It’s Spring time in Florida!
Which means that yesterday it was perfect weather for throwing open the windows.
Not a cloud in the sky,breezy,just loving life.
And the garden.
It also means,if you’re an allergy sufferer,which I am –the makers of ZyrtecD loves me-,you probably are having problems.
But today,…..turn on the freakin’ AC, ‘cause,crap,it’s hot!
Time to start watering the veggie garden every evening…..
But while watering,it’s time to start noticing the scents of the Florida Spring time garden!
….yep,I took my ZyrtecD this morning…
And the scents are awesome at this time of year.
Especially in the evening….

IMG_1033Coral Honeysuckle

Banana Shrub Magnolia figo
My banana popsicle plant!

Confederate Jasmine –the scent is glorious at this time of year.

IMG_1038Sweet Almond  Aloysia virgata –
I’ve trained this into a tree,and it is now over 9 foot tall.

Angel’s Trumpet Brugmansia
I have two of these,that I have trained into trees,with a pathway in between.Both are over 10 feet tall.Their scent is most overwhelming in the evening.When I walk between these two ,in the evening,the scent is beyond words.

IMG_1050The first plumeria  buds have arrived!

So,now,I have Honeysuckle,almond,jasmine,banana popsicles,and soon-to-be Hawaii in my garden.

And not a sneeze in sight…..


Brassica narinosa
Spinach mustard,spoon mustard,Rosette bok choy,
….what ever you want to call it….
Where I first heard about this green,I have no idea.From one of the gardening blogs I follow,I think.
If it’s yours,I apologize in advance for not giving you due credit.
The gardening blog world is alive with info about Tatsoi.Everything I read about it said it was a great green.
Plus it’s fun to say.
Far be it from me to not jump on the band wagon.
’cause that’s how I roll….
So, I ordered some seeds,from here.And planted them.
Already they are up ……


and I have plucked some of the leaves and used them in mixed green salads.
They are right!
It’s dee-lish!
According to the seed packet,the seeds can be planted in Florida,thru August.
Winner in my book.
….so far….

For more info on tatsoi,go here..,

Emma’s Garden…………

When Emma was born,I planted “Emma’s Garden.” Itwas next to the old pool.
But the pool cracked when TheTree went down.
So,”Emma’s Garden” was moved.
This is it,today….


The original garden has remained pretty much the same.
Just in a different place.
Which has turned out to be a better place
The Queen Emma Crinum has flourished.I have taken many pups from it and have them growing on the screened in lanai.Just in case the lubbers decide to stage a major attack on this one. Along with the Queen Emma Crinum are planted a pink Knock-out Rose,a coontie palm,and Angel’s Tears.All transplanted from the original garden.


I bought the cherub at Tony’s Garden Patch,in,Tallahassee,when Emma was born.-that’s me,Emma –but,alas,it has since closed.


This weekend,the Easter Bunny visited…me,too…and left some surprises…


Then,a certain little girl visited…,Emma!….
and found those surprises…..


“Chocolate is my favorite candy.What’s yours?”


Happy Easter!!!

Orchids in bud and bloom………..

….first a little history…
I grew up in Western New York.AKA the Snow Belt.But my Dad had a green house-that he built himself.He was an engineer,after all-where he kept his orchids.Every evening,when he got home from work,the first place he went was his green house to check on his orchids-didn’t make my mother very happy…..
To spend time with him,I would follow him and sit on the steps,leading down to the green house,and he would talk about his orchids.Trying to impart a little knowledge,I guess.I know nothing really sunk in,but I love those days.He was always so happy tending his orchids.In 1973,my parents moved to Florida,and all of the orchids came with them.He didn’t have a green house,in St.Petersburg,so he just put them in trees or around his garden.I am lucky enough to have them here with me-a cutting of one of his original orchids is now residing at Erich,the Younger’s garden,in Seminole Heights,in Tampa-growing on my lanai.In their own micro climate.I ignore them,just like he always told me to do.”leave ‘em,alone,girl.They live in the wild.”  In fact,I’m kind of careless about them.If I don’t have their tags,I don’t know their names.But I love them,none the less.
I guess it reminds me of my Dad….


Some of the orchids are blooming!

IMG_1007Paph. Magic Leopard ‘#1’ Hsinying Glory  This one very rarely blooms so I’m not sure of the color of the bloom.


IMG_1009an unknown cultivar of ground orchid

Jewel Orchid-Haemaria discolor

It’s nice to have a connection to those gardeners that have gone before us,isn’t it?

In the evening………

The garden takes on a different look. Especially at this time of year. Spring time in Florida…
The plants seem to take on a different hue.

Take Louis Phillipe, for instance….
….dontcha just love that name?

IMG_0993 Granted he got whacked waaay back a few weeks ago, but in the evening light he looks quite handsome,doesn’t he?IMG_0992For a Florida Cracker-style rose,he’s a keeper.

As is the pink Knock-out rose…IMG_0994… the evening light it looks spectacular….

…..and the Angel’s Trumpet has been outstanding all year.Even thru the cooler months of the winter,it never turned a hair.IMG_0997

In the evening,the scent is incredible…..
I am blessed to have three of these beauties and to walk amongst them,in the evening is pure heaven.The scent is almost overwhelming.

Do you love walking through your garden,in the evening,as much as I do?