I’m happy………..

This year the plumeria are having a banner year.
and I’m a happy gardener!
The red is still going great guns…
This is the full tree.
Actually,they’re not a pretty tree,so I try to plant palms,etc. around them for them to grow up through.Plus,the palms hide them ,in the winter,when they are defoliated.

The yellow….
This is the one attacked by @#$% lubbers.It seems they have developed a taste for the flower buds.So,I have to check it every day.A lemony scent.

The newest one to flower is the pink and yellow…
Love,love,love this one.A slight rosy scent.Not too overwhelming.

Still blooming,the pink and white,”Light Rainbow”…
This one is covered with scapes,so I think it will be blooming for awhile.Which makes me very happy.It seems to have developed a cinnamony scent.

And that’s why I’m happy………..

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…..

Random stuff…

Summer has truly arrived in West Central Florida.Zone 9B.(or whatever Zone,the powers that be,decide we’re in)
It’s hot and humid.Typical summer weather in Florida.
If I have any intention of gardening,I have to be out there by 7:30AM.And be done by 10AM.
Otherwise,I sweat to death.And we all know that ain’t a pretty sight…or smell….
Moving on…..
This past week,our afternoon rains have started earlier than usual.So,this afternoon,after the rain stopped,I braved the humidity and heat and took some random photos….

The Angel’s Trumpets,Brugmansia, are in full bloom.They seem to love the heat and all the rain of a Florida summer.Bonus points for the fact they smell heavenly in the evening.
…..a close up of the underside…IMG_1961
The Blackberry Lilies,Iris domestica,are starting to bloom.A little early this year.This is a “freckle-less” one .Some have spots that are reminiscent of freckles.
Jamaican Wild Coffee shrub is in bud…
This one is different  from the Florida native Wild Coffee Psychotria nervosa
plant.It is more cold sensitive,so I keep it close to the lanai,where the heat from the pool keeps it protected during the winter.The birds will devour the berries in a day.

Harley,our Chief of Security on TheGreatWall, keeping me company….
Had to throw that one in….

Lubber damage on one of the Queen Emma Crinums…
IMG_1968Two lubbers totally decimated this one,in one day.And that’s with me checking them every day!
It should look like this one….
It should be huge! And a deep purple.This one is growing in a planter,on the screened lanai…   @#$%  lubbers!!!!

On a happier note….
This is Plumeria Rubra “Light Rainbow”
Ain’t she a knock-out?

And the deep red is still in bloom…
This one comes from a cutting.I don’t know the name of the cultivar.But it’s a keeper! It has been blooming for over two months,and is covered in buds.

This is a planter by the lanai

Dwarf variegated pandanus,Pandanus baptisti.It’s supposed to take heat and full sun.We shall see.The snails are Apple Snails I found on the shore of the lake.And the sedum is “Florida Friendly Gold”

So,how is your  garden growing?Are you sweating,like we are,in Florida?


In the Spring garden,I think I just might have over planted kale.
No….I know I did.IMG_1956Curley leaf Kale.I planted over 8 plants.Perfect for salads,as long as you massage it first with olive oil,and good for sautéing.Seems to take the heat well.I planted this last year and it did well,so I tried it again this  year.I’ll plant this variety again.IMG_1957 Russian Kale.It’s not heat tolerant,at all! I think I will try it again,in the Fall garden.I think the heat,here,has given it a bitter taste.So,it shall wait for Fall.
Notice the grape tomatoes taking over?

IMG_1955This a straight leaf variety(I forget the name).It doesn’t seem very heat tolerant,and takes a lot of water.It’s growing under an arbor thingy – is that a gardening word? that I made for the pole beans to grow on (I’ll do a post on that,later).Which gives it some shade.But it seems like something likes to gnaw holes on it.I’ve looked for whatever bugger it is,but I can’t find it.It still tastes good,though.But it might do better in the Fall garden.I’ll try it again.
Soooo,what to do……
After using some in salads,adding some to Spanish Bean soup(which is amazing, by the way),sautéing some with a ham steak and adding black-eyed peas(I got the recipe from Michael Symon on The Chew and it makes for a great,quick dinner!),
I figured I’d make some kale chips.
When it’s 93* out …I think they call that hot as Hell… and no rain  in sight,what else can you do but cook? It’s too hot to garden,after all…

I used the straight leaf kale,making sure it was very dry.I’ve made this with the Curly Leaf variety,but the straight seems to do better with this.After cutting out the center vein-that is way too tough to eat,so make sure you cut that out-I spread it on a cookie sheet.Sprinkle it with olive oil,garlic powder,and parmesan cheese.Put it in the oven at 300* for 30 minutes or so.Make sure you keep an eye on it and take it out just as it starts to get crispy and sprinkle it with kosher salt and if you prefer,more cheese.
Makes a great snack,and crumbled up and added to a salad.

So,how’s your garden growing?
Have an over abundance of anything?
If you do,how do you deal with it?

I should be bonafide……..

This is TheGreatWall and I have an addiction.
A plumeria addiction.
A bonafide plumeria addiction.
I love them all
I can not have too many.
If there is one to be found,
a cutting to be had,
a color I don’t have,
I must have it!
No,seriously,I must have it….
I adore them.
Don’t ask me why,but I do.
I can deal with it.
If there’s a plumeria addiction group I should be a bonafide member.
….and proud to say so….
So here ya go with the latest blooms…..


This was supposed to be pink/white.Last year it was,but this year it has a orange/yellow tinge to it.I still love it.Very,very slight scent of a rose to it


The red.The largest,along with the white(which is a later bloomer),of all the trees I have.It’s huge! note to self-take a pic of this one–-Very strong scent of a rose.


The supposed orange.It turned out to be orange and pink.No matter.I still love it.These blooms last forever.I haven’t quite figured out what the scent is yet.Orangey/rose?

The yellow,which has a lemony scent has bloomed once already.But is in between blooms right now.
The white,which is a double and has a vanilla scent has yet to bloom.It does tend to be a late bloomer.

And the newest babies to live here….IMG_1952 The cutting was sold to me as violet/blue.We shall see.If it turns out to be that,I shall be doing the happy dance all over blog land!But it is a fast grower.I’ve repotted it once,and already it needs to go into a bigger pot.
IMG_1953This cutting it supposed to be Poung Chompoo.A white with pink tips and yellow throat.Time will tell.It’s a little slower grower,but looks like it wants to divide,so it may be an earlier bloomer than the blue/violet.

I’ve got a little problem….

….a tomato problem….

IMG_1931Super Sweet Grape Tomato(Hybrid) Indeterminate
It’s now over 8 foot tall.And still growing…..
One day’s harvest….
 They’re very sweet.A good snacking tomato.I’ve made Pickled Grape Tomatoes,Bruschetta,given them away……And still they keep coming! #firstworldproblems

And then I have this one…..
Solar Fire(Heat tolerant hybrid) determinate

A quite large tomato and “meaty.”A good ‘mater and mayo’ sandwich tomato.
One day’s harvest….

I,also,have a Kale problem.But I’m dealing with that pretty well.So far…..We’ll get into that in another post.I don’t want to overload you whining about my problems….

And then there’s the Lubber problem…..I’ve found they’ve developed an appetite for plumerias!
Which is a major no-no at TheGreatWall !
Just today,I beheaded over 20 on the yellow plumeria!
And 5 on the white!
It’s now become personal between me and them!
I shall be buying a new set of clippers just for beheading!

Stay tuned……


Remember when I posted this photo…..?


When I was anxiously awaiting the bloom of my “orange” plumeria? At least that was what I was told it was…..

This is what it is……


Not quite orange.Actually,it’s more of an orangey/pinkish/yellow.
For comparison,this is it next to the pink/yellow one I already have.
And this is the deep red one…..

I’m just a tad disappointed,but it’s still a keeper.

Now,starts the wait to see if my blue is really a blue…….