Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fresh From the Garden

This is the first year we're growing vegetables at our new home. I was saying a prayer as I planted seedlings and seeds because the soil in this area is virtually builder's sand. Plenty of soil amendments - - compost, garden soil, blood and bone meal...plus anything and everything else I could find to improve the soil - - were generously added. 

Almost immediately the caterpillars showed up to feast on my tomato plants. I did a lot of plucking and squeezing in an effort to get rid of them. Once the temperatures cooled down a bit I noticed the cats disappeared. Pickle worms pierced the cukes, and powdery mildew finished off the leaves. I find cukes very hard to grow. I gave up on them since I'm not a big cucumber eater anyway, and replaced them with bush green beans . . .  a favorite of mine.

It's taken the tomatoes a while to ripen . . . with Sungold being the first . . . but now they're all slowly turning color. And, the lemons, too are ripening. A cocktail citrus tree was planted, so hopefully next year this time we'll be enjoying some homegrown citrus.

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On a different note, I made this horrifying discovery in my garden yesterday.

I almost had a heart attack when I saw him perched in the tree, especially since Nutty... the squirrel we raised . . . was darting all around this tree and at one time was about a foot away from it. Fortunately, the snake was in the process of digesting an earlier catch as you can see by his bloated mid-section. 

Apparently, I disturbed him when I moved some large pots on the side of the house. I didn't see him at the time but am thankful I did eventually discover him and doubly thankful that the "Wild Animal Evictors" came by and evicted this non-venomous Coat Whip (one of Florida's largest native snakes) from my garden. I don't mind black racers but I'm not willing to tolerate a BIG snake in my garden.

For all snake lovers out there . . . don't worry he wasn't destroyed just relocated to an orange grove quite a distance down the road.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Oh Dear . . . Now I Must Share

Sweet Leslie over at Spruce Pine Cottage has nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thanks Leslie . . . I think!

According to her post I must answer 10 questions and share the love by nominating other blogging friends for the award. Okay . . . here goes:

1. What would you do if you won $10,000 tomorrow? That's easy . . . I'm a saver, so in the bank it goes . . .  at least until my next trip.

2. Best lifetime moment? Without a doubt, it's when I met my adopted daughter for the first time in China.

3. Are you happy? Extremely!

4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? I have a Facebook account but rarely post anything.

5. If you could change something in your life what would it be? Nothing!

6. What is your biggest vice/habit in life? I have a sweet tooth and eat way too much sugar.

7. What is a good point about you? I try to be friendly and polite to people. A negative point? I need more patience.

8. What is your most embarrassing lifetime moment? Hmmm, That's a tough one. I'd have to say slipping and falling flat on my face at my daughter's school a couple of years ago.

9. What is your favorite flower? I LOVE all flowers, but if I have to choose just one I'd have to say roses, orchids, camellias, azaleas, daylilies. Oops, I guess I just can't pick one.

10. What's your biggest love in life? Aside from my family, it's gardening and being out in nature.

My nominations for Beautiful Bloggers are:

Sherry - If only Sweat were Irrigation

Chris - The Great Wall of Lutz

Daisy - Maple Hill 101

Kimberly - Garden in Paradise

Ami - Southeast Florida Garden Evolvement

Jeanni - Roses and Gargoyles

FloridaGirl - Peace in the Valley

Kay - My Garden Path

Nominees, here’s what you have to do:

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.

2. Answer the same 10 questions I did, for fun, if you want to.

3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.

4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominees' links in your post and comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve been included and invited to take part. 

5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you

Monday, November 05, 2012

What's Your Dream?

Have you ever thought about what would be your "dream" rose . . . flower . . . or plant? Pictured above is Belinda's Dream. No, I don't know who Belinda is but I imagine her as a rosarian who has a yard full of every rose imaginable . . . kind of like Sherry over at "If Only Sweat were Irrigation" or Flowerlady at "Flowerlady's Musings." I imagine that she learned how to cultivate roses and did so for many years in search of the "perfect" rose. And, eventually she found success and aptly named her beautiful rose - - Belinda's Dream!

Belinda's Dream has become a dream rose for many Florida gardeners as I see it pictured often on other Florida garden blogs. And I agree with Belinda that it is a dream rose. A nice shaped bush with healthy leaves (no black spot) and beautiful  large soft pink flowers. Much to my satisfaction she is singing autumn's praises with a shrub full of buds that are soon to reveal a bounty of glorious flowers . . . some of which I'll enjoy on my kitchen island. Thanks Belinda for sharing your dream rose with all of us!

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