Thursday, August 28, 2014

So, so hot!

Yesterday, I planted my fall veggies - just peas and carrots and green beans.  I should include a photo, but it's just dirt in my raised beds for now.  :-)

 Since my kiddos have started back at school, I am weeding every morning for about 15 minutes after I get home.  Progress is slow, but I need to take control back of the weed-fest that my garden has become in the summer heat!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I want to share my pretty hydrangeas.  This is one of my favorite flowers.  I live in zone 10, so they aren't really ideal to grow here.  They do not like the heat.  
 However, I found a shady corner sheltered by the house and fence that they seem to like.  They only get morning sun, and they are very close to a spigot, so they get watered often.
 They  make me happy.  :-)  I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Birdhouse from "Rustic Birdhouses and Feeders"

Hello there!  Last week, I got lost in the gardening section of the library and came away with three books on making birdhouses.  Over the weekend, I made this cutie pie.
The best part is I had all of the materials laying around my garage and crafty closet.  I have enough scrap wood for at least a dozen more, I think.  Now that I know the basics of constructing them, and what the birds supposedly like, I feel confident to make some more in different styles.  I really like the thatched roof look.  Very cute, even with my sad first attempt.  

The main book I used is Rustic Birdhouses and Feeders by Colin McGhee.  There were a few problems I found with the instructions for this particular house.  Constructing it exactly as the directions state means the roof and base pieces don't fit.  I was able to adjust, but it might be confusing to someone with no woodworking experience.  I looked for some type of errata web page for the book but couldn't find one.

I didn't take a photo of the end with the hole, of course, but trust me, it's there.  :-)

I also found this U of F webpage with information on nesting birds in Florida and what they like in a birdhouse.  Very helpful.

 I didn't make this all by myself, of course.  I did have help measuring, marking, gluing, nailing, and painting.  I saved the sawing for myself, though.
It looks like the pole is leaning, but whatcha gonna do?  You can also see the remains of my spent pea vines.  Loved those peas!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Strolling through the garden

Yesterday, a little friend followed me around the garden as I weeded a bit.  Is this a sparrow?  I am so not a bird watcher, but I do enjoy their songs and company. :-)

Chilling in the coral honeysuckle

 Hanging out on the lanai.

Playing in the playhouse

I planted this jasmine a few years ago, and it has been a slow grower.  This is the first year I can enjoy the aroma from more than a few inches away.  Beautiful!

Here is my first gladiola of the season.  This may be my favorite flower.  Such a range of beautiful spring colors, long lasting, and just a great wow-factor.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Yummy peas

Hello!  Here is a look at some of the delicious veggies we've been enjoying this spring.
I planted peas for the first time this year and I don't know why I waited.  It doesn't take long to get the peas out, and they are so delicious with lots of "waste" for the compost pile.  Plus, the peas I planted grow so high that they produce much more than the green beans I've grown in the past.

 The peas will soon be at the end of their season, sadly.  I planted a few more seeds, but I'm not sure how well they will produce since it's now reliably in the mid-high 80s here.  Next year, I will plant more.  For height comparison, on the left at the fence are the peas.  Just in front of them are the green beans.  In front of the green beans are some melons that panted themselves.  :-)

The middle bed is my herbs, lettuce, and tomatoes, but the tomatoes are still little.  On the right, I grew some cutting flowers that have been doing great and keeping me happy indoors.  I also just planted carrots, green onions, and some more cutting flowers, so we'll see what sprouts.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Finding the Perfect Spot

One thing I struggle with sometimes is finding the perfect spot for a plant.  Here are two good examples:

This mandevilla died back almost to the ground this winter but it is thriving now.  Somehow, I lucked into a very happy spot for this plant.  I don't have to do a thing and it bursts withi blooms.
 However, I have had this knockout rose bush for several years and it doesn't grow or produce many fowers.  I planted it by the house to give it a bit of shade during the heat of the day, but maybe it doesn't get enough sun.  The Don Juan to the left of it, though (not in the photo) is doing great.  Are knockouts more heat tolerant?  Should I move it to a sunnier locale?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer goings on

We are getting into the thick of summer here.  I of course mean thick humidity.  Not much in the way of edibles will grow at this point.  The tomatoes and beans are finished.  The herbs are trudgeing alone nicely, though.  Last week, I did plant some small watermelons and hearty peas that may have a chance, according to what I've read.  The watermelon vines are coming up nicely and the peas have just started sprouting.
 I have some late-bloomer gladiolas.  :-)  Nearby, my gladiolas have all bloomed and are finished, but I have about four along the fenceline that I planted several years ago and are starting to bloom now.  I love my fenceline.  :-)