Pine Cone Ginger

If you are following me on Instagram(check the box on the right of the home page,if you want to see),you will know I posted this photo of the Pine Cone Gingers that are growing at TheGreatWall


PineCone Gingers are also known as Zingiber zerumbet(botanical name),Shampoo Ginger,and even Awapuhi.
I wanted to create a floral arrangement with them.And this is what I came up with…


Just some palm fronds,Cinnamon Fern,and some leaves from the Cannas.Pretty good for a free floral arrangement and the house smells like ginger.
They are not a pretty plant.

IMG_2057 They tend to spread everywhere.And I am always digging up the rhizomes.
But they smell so good.Just like the ginger spice.And when  you cut them open,you find this …..
Rub it on your skin,and it works like the best body lotion you can buy.
Really,it does.
Plus,it smells good……

And you do,too…..

Read more here.


Be careful what you wish for….

Okay,okay.I cry uncle.
After wishing for rain,all Spring,I have had enough of the rain.
This current rain ‘event’ has taken rainy season to a new level.
We had over 17” of the wet stuff the end of July,and even more in August.Just 2” last nite and another 2” today.I know,I checked the rain gauge.
Water is lying everywhere…


This is the veggie garden.It’s time to start planting the Fall garden,but it is so mucky I can’t even think about that.
The only thing happy with this weather is the weeds.And those weeds have taken total control of the garden,but the ground is so mucky there is no chance of weeding.I am not looking forward to the weeding that is ahead for me.
But the saddest thing is I lost this guy…
I have had this Barrel Cactus for almost 20 years.It has survived other rainy seasons and winter freezes.Whatever was thrown at it.It had become my stand-by.My friend.
But this year was just too much.
So,I shall wear the leather gloves and give it a proper burial throw it in the trash.

RIP Barrel Cactus……

Not the prettiest post….

As bloggers,we all tend to take photos of the best parts of our gardens.The things we want to show off.
But this is a post about the ugly parts of the garden at TheGreatWall.
Those areas that drive you crazy.
The invasive stuff growing in from your neighbors’ yards.The things that they think look lovely.
Like this….IMG_2045 Some weedy tree my neighbor thinks is beautiful,but is now overtaking my garden and leaning on the fence.Along with air potato vines overtaking my jatropha and plumeria.

Speaking of air potato vine
(the bane of all Southern gardeners,along with Kudzu),
last year University of Florida released beetles that are making a headway in the control.
Hopefully,next year the vine won’t be a problem,but in the meantime I’m left with the above.

Tree roots!
This root….
IMG_2049 …is coming from my neighbor’s Elephant EarTree(another invasive species),which no amount of data will convince him that it’s not a Poinciana.This root,among other smaller ones,is blocking the flow of water from the dry creek bed I put in a few years ago.Which,in turn,is causing that side of the yard to flood.Especially with all the rain we’ve had this summer.
I need a chainsaw!
or a new neighbor….

Skunk Vine!
This one is an ongoing battle.It sends out deep rooted underground runners,and everyday I have to check for it.It will quickly overtake anything and everything.The weight of the vine will eventually cause the plant to become top heavy and fall over.I’ve,actually,found it trying to grow through the screen of the pool lanai.

You’ve read here,before,how much I hate them.This year is the worst year ever.Even though I used NOLO Bait,they have been horrible.I’ve been keeping a body count and I know I am over beheading 100(beheading is the only way to kill them).Their only natural predator is the Loggerhead Shrike and their numbers are dwindling,due to loss of habitat.Those lubbers have eaten plumerias,the Hurricane Lilies,the Rain Lilies,all the Amaryllis(even the entire bulb of one),and I have seen them eating the bromeliads and even my Flapjack succulent.But what they have done to the Queen Emma Crinums is beyond words….
IMG_2051 …and this is the best looking one of the four I have growing outside the lanai.I have one growing in a large container inside the lanai.It is beautiful,but I doubt it will ever bloom.
@#$% lubbers!

So,what part of your garden are you unhappy with?






These days,I’m not very happy………..

After all the rain we had the last rain event we had just over a week ago(17” over 3 days!)
and another 4” sits in my rain gauge,today,
we are due for another round of rain,starting Thursday,
The sump pump on the septic system was over loaded with the last rain go-round and burned out.
(I doubt I need to tell you what that means),
Septic people are overloaded and I’m “on the schedule.”

Even after 3 days of sun and heat,the front and back yards are like swamps,
Seriously,it is.Your feet sink and squish when you walk anywhere.

So I’m left with this….

IMG_2038Yep-that’s a trench.
To drain water from the front yard.
After the past few days,it
still has water running through it.
(whenever the weather changes and cools off,if it should ever do that)
it will be enlarged to become a dry rock bed bed to meet up with this one…
…which does work,but it is totally overloaded with the amount of rain we’ve had.I think hope it just needs more rock added to it.The problem is the ground is so saturated,there is no where for the water to go.
Our lake has over come it’s banks,too,so the water just sits,until either the sun dries it up,or it can sink into the ground.

But there are some bright spots….
An orchid has put out a scape…
It will be a deep purple.

…and the Pine Cone Gingers have been troopers…
IMG_2039 Even though they’ve been totally flooded out.

And I finally gave in,and joined Instagram.I take so many photos with my cell phone,I needed to do something.I added a widget in the upper right,if you’d care to follow along.

Now,it’s time for a glass of wine,and time to ponder all the digging that lies ahead…..


…fer the love of Gawd….

…please stop raining!….

It seems like it has rained for over two straight weeks here at TheGreatWall….
I’ve quit emptying the rain gauge….
I know it’s rainy season in Florida,
and we need the rain,
but seriously?
Two straight weeks?
And today,took the cake..
A true gully washer!
It started raining about 10AM,
and the Heavens opened up!
the whole sha-bang!
We even lost power for three hours.
What? no Internet?!No AC?!
#firstworld problems

It’s a drizzle now,so time to assess what’s going on….

some flooding….


a wet flamingo…. IMG_2033

….a pool that needs to be pumped out for the third time….

….not to mention the size of the mosquitoes…..

California feel free to run a pipe line from TheGreatWall out to you….


It’s rained all day,here,at TheGreatWall.
Serious rain.
The first real rain we’ve had in quite a while.
And we really needed the rain.So,I’m not complaining.
As my mother used to say,a real gully washer.
The day started off with a steady rain,progressed to thunderstorms,slowed down to a steady rain in the afternoon,and,now,thunderstorms again.
So,between the raindrops I ventured out,camera in hand,to snap a few photos.

IMG_2009 Pink and white plumeria.
It starts out like this and will mature to pink and white.

IMG_2010”Light Rainbow” plumeria

Yellow plumeria.
This one is from a cutting from my Dad’s original plumeria that he brought back from Hawaii.

Banana Shrub.For some reason it’s blooming again.

One of the many Buddha’s,at TheGreatWall.
I love them! They bring such a calming sense to the garden.It feels so peaceful to come upon one of them,when I walk through the garden.

Raindrops on the Jatropha.
The Zebra Longwings love this plant.Just not in the rain….

Love this as an accent plant.Does well in containers or directly in the ground.

Raindrops on a Fan Palm frond.

The rain is forecast to continue for another two days…..

…..more than enough rain for awhile……




It’s been cloudy all day.
Threatening rain.
In other words,a great day for photos.
So,here ya go….
Where TheGreatWall is at the almost mid-point of July…

Musical Notes Clerodendrum Clerodendrum incisum
So named because the open flowers resemble musical notes.
A close up of the flower…
Another view….


The white plumeria has burst into bloom….
If you only knew what it took to get a photo of this.
It is over twelve feet tall…
and yes,it involved a ladder,me grabbing a leaf and pulling the branch down….see my finger in the lower left?


After being decimated by the Lubbers the yellow plumeria is blooming…..
IMG_1994 This one comes from a cutting that I got from my Dad’s plumeria,that he brought back from Hawaii….
….and I gave a cutting from mine to Erich,the Younger,and it’s growing in his garden.
I love that gardening can connect generations.
A new pathway is going in….IMG_2003 Why I attempt these things in the heat of summer I have no idea….I still have some cleaning out to do…..
In the back ground you might be able to see the wild Cassava…
Behind the Cassava,you can see the Bay Oak that died from Laurel Wilt.It’s spread by the Ambrosia Beetle,which is an invasive species.I found out it can not just be taken down by just anyone.To keep the disease from spreading there are guidelines as to how it’s taken down and disposed of.

The Beauty Berry is starting to bloom…

…and for some reason the Carolina Jasmine is blooming again…..
I have no idea why,as it’s been so stinking hot,lately.But,I love the scent,in the evening,so I’ll not complain.

The Meyer Lemons are slowly ripening….
This should be its banner year (over 20 lemons on this small tree),so I’m anxious for all of these lemons to ripen.I have plans and recipes…..

That’s TheGreatWall is at the almost mid-point of July.How is your garden growing?