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The Books of Summer…

I do a lot of reading in the summer.
What else can you do,in the afternoons,in Florida,when it’s over 90+ degrees in the shade,and humidity to match?
So,most afternoons,I can be found,sitting by the pool,reading a good book.
….yes,the the glass of wine is usually close by….
…..very close…..
Except from 2-3PM,when I’m watching General Hospital.
I’ve been watching it since day one,fer Gawd’s sake,and I’m not quitting now!When I was working,I taped it,but now I can watch it,every afternoon.Except when I have to be away ,in which case I DVR it.And now Anthony Geary is leaving forever….what will I do without Luke?…..Laura and Holly are back,Lucky and Ethan have been kidnapped….O.M.G. I have to be there for them……
But I have digressed…..
okay,I’m over that. Whew…
Other than that one hour of weakness,in the heat of our steamy afternoons,I can be found reading……
In anticipation of Harper Lee’s new novel,”Go Set A Watchman,” which I already have on order,at Amazon,I read/re-read “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Come on July 14,when it should be here.
And loved it as much as the first time I read it.
And I just finished  reading “The True Story of Hansel and Gretel” by Louise Murphy.

contentIt’s a novel about two children surviving WWII,in Poland.Kind of strong,but a great read.I see Angelina Jolie producing a movie of this novel.
Spoiler alert-it does have a happy ending….sort of…

Currently,I’m reading “In The Unlikely Event” by Judy Blume.

 judy blume
I know she usually writes for teens,but this was written for adults,and,based on actual events, is about three planes that crashed in New Jersey in the early 50’s.So far,it reminds me of “The Bridge of San Luis Rey.” How did these people all come together to be involved in such a tragedy?

now that I’ve made my confession of how I spend a steamy,summer afternoon,what do you do on a hot,steamy afternoon?
Laze by the pool with a good book?
If so,what are you reading?
I love seeing other’s reading lists.
So share away…..

A day of firsts….

FIRST off,we here,in West Central Florida,Zone 9B,went straight from Winter to Summer.At least it feels like it.Every day this month has seen above average temperatures.Not to mention that the AC has been running…..alot!  And any weeding I didn’t get done….Well,those weeds are now life-sized and threatening to take over my life,not to mention the garden…..My own Little Shop of Horrors….

But the FIRST Plumeria inflo has emerged! You know that has me doing the happy dance,right?
IMG_1923This is the cream/yellow one that I got as a cutting from my Dad.And it’s always the first to put out an inflo.But the red also has inflo’s on it.They’re still small,and numerous.So I didn’t bother taking a photo of them. Sorry….Get over it.You know there will be plenty of photos to come.

The FIRST blooms on the Bird-of-Paradise…
IMG_1924 This one has been in the ground since the new pool went in (3 years ago?),and it’s the FIRST it has bloomed.

The FIRST inflo on the orange Plumeria has emerged!

IMG_1925 Now,you know you are gonna be overwhelmed with photos of this baby when it blooms.So get used to it,okay?

The FIRST time this yellow African Iris Dietes Bicolor has bloomed.


It’s been in the ground also about 3 years,and just when I was ready to rip it out,it bloomed. #toughlove.

And my most favoritest FIRST…


My FIRST Indigo Bunting!

IMG_1920 That I’ve ever noticed,anyways…But it took me forever  -they don’t like to pose,I guess- ….like all morning….to get a decent photo of this guy.He seemed to be feeding on the seeds of the Lemongrass that I let to go seed.I’ve been meaning to whack it back,but now I’m glad I didn’t.He never went near the feeders.He’s just been there all day. #hoorayforlaziness

Any FIRSTS in your garden?

Not tonight…..

I won’t allow it!
…’s predicted to get down to 27* at TheGreatWall.
A hard freeze for hours
Yep,the news people are out in the strawberry fields.
We haven’t seen these temps,in Florida,at this time of year,in four or five years.We’ve been spoiled.But I guess Mother Nature decided to send us a flash back….
not funny,Mother Nature.
Cuttings have been taken of Ti plants,Devil’s Backbone,and the only old-fashioned Impatiens(which for some reason didn’t succumb to the fungus) that is growing on the lanai.
the dining room looks like this….

Too many orchids are in bloom.
These are the ones that are in bloom.
Lc.Gold Digger ‘Orglades Mandarin’

Jewel Orchid Variegated Ludisia-a very cold sensitive ground orchid,but easily propagated

IMG_1839a I bought this one years ago on the promise it would be a red.But it came with no ID.

Thankfully,my dad’s orchids are done blooming,so they’re being kept warm on the lanai.Right up next to house under cover and covered with Christmas lights.Along with some other cold tender tropicals ,ferns and broms.
All of the orchids have inflos on them,so they are hanging on the PVC towel holder and all covered up.

IMG_1851 Yes,those are beach towels-don’t judge…
The only other things I covered covered were the Meyer Lemon,which is covered with fruit,and is way to big to be moved.It’s down by the water,so I’m hoping that there’s a micro climate there to keep it safe,and the Jamaican Wild  Coffee shrub,which is very cold sensitive.Even though it’s in a container,it is also too big to move.So covered it got.
The rest of the garden is on it’s own.
I expect to see plenty of brown,tomorrow…


Late January at TheGreatWall….

It’s kind of in between time,at TheGreatWall.It can be close to 80* one day.And then a cool/cold front rolls through,and the temperature drops to highs of the 60’s,during the day,and 30’s at night.
But the garden rolls on….
And things keep blooming….
Everyone of the orchids have scapes.
And,besides my Dad’s,two more have bloomed.


Wendy’s Wish Salvia is blooming,and attracting hummingbirds.Why cannot I get a decent photo of them?


Same with the Red Salvia…


The roses are blooming….
IMG_1802 This one is a mini white.
A pink Knock-out….
IMG_1806 I think this Camellia is called Pinky-Stripe…

And my favorite of all,the Banana Shrub has grown huge! And the blooms,this year,are overwhelming.The entire back garden smells like one giant banana popsicle!

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The definition of insanity….

is a cat!

“I wanna go out! Now!

But it’s raining.You hate rain.

“I need to be in the great outdoors.”

It’s a screened lanai,you fool.

“I wanna go out!”

IMG_1558“Hey!It’s raining! I hate rain!”
Told ya….
”I want in.Now!

I give her 5 minutes.
Before she wants out,again.


The Great Butternut Squash Experiment….

The Great Butternut Squash Experiment…..


Today,the first so called cool front passed through.
After a day of rain,we were left with much lower humidity,and a forecast for lower night time temps.
But….there’s always a but this time of year…..tomorrow is to be in the 90’s,but with low humidity.By this time of year,I’ll take what I can get.
If the first front passed,can the next real one be far behind?

Already,the garden is showing signs of Autumn.
Even though the plumeria are still blooming…


….the first signs of rust are showing up,and leaves are dropping.It’s a problem for we Florida plumeria growers,but it’s almost self-correcting.The rust shows up,leaves drop,the plumeria goes dormant,and then comes back in the Spring.

The Beautiberry Callicarpa americana L. is exceptionally beautiful this year.

As is the Yellow Top Flaveria linearis ….


After it is done blooming,I think I will take divisions,and in the Spring,plant the divisions around the garden.It seems to like all types of conditions.

The vegetable garden has been planted.
The collards are up already…IMG_1529turnip seedlings in the background.

The Cat’s Whisker’s Orthosiphon aristatus IMG_1524
seem happy with the weather change.

And,of course,Buddha is happy….

….just smelling the Wendy’s Wish Salvia….

How’s your garden growing?
Is it ready for Fall?