Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lounge lizards...

They look about how I feel....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Well, my official diagnosis is Bronchitis. On antibiotic and a new allergy pill. She thinks allergies may be playing a part in my getting sick so often, and seemingly leading to bronchitis each time. I'm sure I will be good as new in a few days now! Thanks for all your kind words to me! I have this evening to lay around. I just put on my nightgown at 5pm! What??? Yeah...I am plannin some serious laying around! Ha.

I feel like I want to take a picture of something for you. Let me go look around...BRB... bout some blooming Haworthia Limifolias? They are out of my screenroom and have actually been blooming a few months already! See the very long stalks rising out of them???

And way up at the top you find these white little bells! They are very sweet, but small and hard to see...especially when balancing way up high on slender stalks!

Writing this, reminds me of a song we used to sing as kids (in rounds) was called "White Coral Bells"! Did you ever sing it??? It goes like this:
White coral bells
Upon a slender stalk
Lilies of the valley
Deck my garden walk
Oh, don’t you wish
That you could
hear them ring.
That will happen only
when the fairies sing.

Of course, we are not dealing with Lilies of the Valley here, but the white bells part just reminded me of this cute little song. If only some fairies would sing, we would be able to hear the bells ring! Thinking back on childhood memories of this song, and a whole slew of other things it's no wonder I turned into a garden/fairy lover.

Now, if some magic fairies would just come and make me well.....

Just a little hello...

Just checking in to say hi and let you know I am still with this darn cold. Today I have an appt with my PA. Hopefully she can save me from this crap!

I've been reading everyones blogs.

I discovered (just this morning) a lovely succulent shop in Spicewood, Texas. It is called Spicewood Spines! Isn't that the sweetest name ever? They have a plant list that includes info, picture, and also they include a pic of the bloom (If available). It is a great resource. They have good prices, and a lot of unusual succulents that are often harder to find. I do note that they are also out of stock on a lot of these, but I am hoping they get new shipments in often. One good thing too, for folks who live in the Austin Tx area, they include a winter hardy list.

Check out my new find: Spicewood Spines.

Added note:
I am so happy for Sandra Bullock! She is my hero of the day!!! You go, girl!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Cactus Monday, I ask you...

what is wrong with my Christmas Cactus plant?

I have two planted in this pot...both flowered beautifully as they should over Christmas and January. Now one is turning red and wilty. I thought it needed water, so I watered yesterday. It didn't help. The other one is green and happy looking. I am suspecting that this plant is trying to die on me. Maybe it got too much water recently during a few days of rain??? But it is planted in cactus soil, and drains well. Any ideas??? I moved it more into the sun as well.

This is how purdy it looked when it bloomed last!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

For Aerelonian!

After receiving the comment from Aerelonian, over at Plant Zone on my last post after seeing the wild Bromeliads, I decided I needed to go ahead and post all the pics I took of the broms (tillandsias) I had seen at the wetland area. I had some confusion as to whether they are REAL bromeliads, and found out that according to Renee Maxwell at Univ. of South Florida:
"The term "bromeliad" is used to refer to members of the family Bromeliaceae, which contains three subfamilies. All of Florida's 16 native bromeliads are members of the subfamily Tillandsioideae. Bromeliads are also known as "air plants" because many of them are epiphytes. An epiphyte is any plant that grows on another plant, but does not parasitize its host. Some bromeliads are facultative epiphytes, meaning they are also able to grow terrestrially; whereas others are obligate epiphytes and are unable to grow in the soil. The latter have a very reduced root system or none at all, and if present it is used mainly for grasping onto the branches of its host. Florida's bromeliads fall into both of these categories." I have my answer! They are Bromeliads, AND they are tillandsias!
Hope you enjoy the photos, and now you see why you need to consider south Florida for your new job location, Aerelonian! :)

I only wish I had found more of them in bloom! I have been out before and just seen hundreds in bloom. I will keep my eyes open for these in the future!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunflowers and a trip to the wetlands

I am feeling some better this morning. Thanks for all the well wishes! Went outside to water the plants and took a few shots of the newest sunflower plant over the fence! Believe it or not, I took one of these right after the other, facing east, while the sun was coming up and this is how different they came out. I thought the dark sillouette was pretty also!

Hubby and I decided to drive to a nearby wetland area yesterday, and here are a few pics I took. It was an easy walk, partially (50%) in shade, along a boardwalk. The weather was perfect and cool. We both felt a walk outside on Earth Day would help us clear up our lungs!!!

This first pic is just the underside of one of the tiki roofs they had along the boardwalk. It is made of woven actual palm fronds, and I have always wanted to know how to do that! It makes such a pretty pattern. While sitting under this structure, we saw a hawk, iris, many water plants and beautiful Cypress trees everywhere...and lots of water! It was really pretty!

This little squirrel let me get right up under him.

Here is the hawk (?)that flew beautifully, and silently... and he was so generous as to sit in a tree that wasn't too far out!!!

There were wild bromeliads everywhere and I took tons of pics, but throught this one was the best with it's bloom out to one side. I only found a few blooming...but I just love the look of the wild ones all in the trees! On this trip I spend most of my time looking up!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Earth Day good morning chat with Julie!

No pics I seem to be coming down with the same crap as the near rest of the family has! Oh joy! Sore throat and achy limbs.

I have been suffering the past two day with a problem that came up with the black-eyed pea crop! The leaves on 75% of the plants started to shrivel and turn yellow! They seriously looked like they were dying. The interesting part (VERY interesting) is that they ones I had left in the laundry basket in pure compost and manure, are looking strong and pristine. The leaves and stems are gorgeous...standing all tall and purdy! Yesterday morning, I ran to the Home Depot and bought 3 bags more of the compost/manure and put two bags down on top of the bed and watered well. Well....this morning looking out the window, things had a slightly different look to them. They still looked really crappy, but I put on my Crocs and went out (still in nightgown) to water and have a closer look.

Guess what??? I have HOPE suddenly for all but ONE of the plants!!! There are new sets of leaves all green and pretty coming from the center of the shrivled ones!!! YEAHHH!!! I am watering well every day. My Mom feels I need to keep up the water and wash whatever was in the soil out. I did read that black-eyed peas do not need or want any added Nitrogen, and maybe the Miracle Gro soil I added had that in it. I know it has fertilizer in it, which normally has nitrogen maybe that was the problem.

I do have some leaf miner damage on the healthy leaves in the laundry I garlic powdered everything I have out there this morning and watered well. That will stop those little devils right in their paths!!! Take that, leaf miners!!! Home Depot they had the pretties eggplant plants I bought a japanese purple one and one that makes 4 inch white eggplants. I don't like them that well, but my husband and vegetarian DIL love them grilled. The leaves were so gorgeous, I basically bought them for decorative purposes (for my own eye) as they grow!!! Hee hee hee!!! I planted both of them together in one big pot. They got the garlic powder treatment as well.

I tell ya, if the black eyed peas don't make it, I will be so sad. It is emotionally draining to work at a garden and then some damn thing mess it up. I can only imagine being a commercial grower, or a small farm trying to live on your produce and sales, and then something takes out your crops! It certainly gives you a new perspective!

The grands went back to school today and I am having a morning of rest for these old achy bones. My throat actually feels better after my morning coffee...and you can bet I am on the way to the store today to get some smooth, freezing cold ice cream for the calming effect!

Remember the pretty yellow sunflower my neighbor planted on the other side of the fence??? Well, there was another one next to it that grew about 2 feet taller with no blooms at all, until a few days ago...and they are a burnt orange color! When one show ended , another thats what I call timing! If I feel better later or tomorrow I will get a pic to show!

Hope everyone has a lovely Earth Day. It is my favorite day of the year!!!
xoxo- Julie

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Emily June

Emily June had to go to the doctor yesterday for fever, and has a pretty severe ear infection! It was figured out (thank God for fever to alert you to something being wrong)...before she started to look or act very sick! She is laughing, eating, playing, but has a little runny nose. No more fever since starting on antibiotic. Today she was dressed so cutely in a new outfit...and she came to Grandma Julies house for the afternoon (along with her brother) I had to do a little photo shoot! In the close-ups, she is changing not to look like a little baby anymore, but a little young lady! She sure has a whole mouth full of teeth too!!! She's my sweet sugar dolly!!! 19 months old now.

Bug I.D.

Thankyou, Cindy, for the I.D.! These look like Longlegged Flies. You can see them on Bug Guide...I submitted one picture to the guide and you can see it HERE. On reading about their behavior, the mating begins after the male "shows his legs" to the female!!! LOL. Sexy.
I need to do further research to see how, if any, this fly would bother my plants. I am wondering if these babies may have come in a bag of soil I bought??? The larvae could have been in there...or maybe they just came on their own, liking the smell of those black-eyed pea plants!!! Hee hee hee...
Thanks, Cindy!!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Need bug I.D., if anyone knows!

Today I went out after 2 days of rain, to look at the garden areas, and my eye fell on a teeny fly looking bug on my black-eyed was irridescent blue, and about 2 cm. long (very tiny). It flew away, and then I looked at the other plants and there were quite a few of these guys...but they were either irridescent gold or red/orange in color!!! I ran in for the camera.
I have looked at, but haven't found anything exactly like these. I am hoping my blog pal, Cindy, over at Bug Safari will be able to possibly tell me. If anyone else might happen to know, please feel free to reveal it to me!!!The only reason I want to know is in case they might cause any damage to my crop!

It doesn't really seem posible...they are so little and flit about...there is nothing to them...just light little teeny bugs.....very innocent looking, and so cute...

It is fun to see what new variety of bug will visit depending on what you plant! My friend (the one joining in the co-op with us) is planting watermelon and cucumbers. We shall see what suddenly arrives on her scene!!!

I like the colors of these cute and yellow! Well, thanks in advance to anyone who might know an I.D!!!

Grow some beer in your garden!

I was scouring the internet this morning for ideas to use as a border for the vegetable garden! I had seen where using flowering plants would look oh so nice...I loved that idea...but in my mind I would either have to pay for the instant gratification, or wait, wait, wait for plants big enough to flower...

Well, I walked outside to water, and happened to glance in the recycle bins, and what did I see but beer bottles. I had once seen where someone used them to make a border. Of course, I think they had soaked the labels off first...

I'm kinda liking the colors on them! Hey...I know what you are thinking (possibly)....but I am very cheap...oh soo cheap...with a capitol C. Anyway, I came back in the house and told my husband to keep buying the same 3-4 (basically) types of brown bottled beers he had been buying (no clear ones right now)...and I will finish this out. No one really sees this garden, but me (and you) what the heck. I think it looks fun, and hopefully the labels will stand up to the weather for the next 5 months or so.

The necks of the bottles push right into the ground...well, I added my body weight to get them in there good...and voila...easy, fun, and a work in 2 bottles a day it will take a while...but recycling is a good thing! Now I am wondering what I could edge in a nice shade of blue bottle!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Changes in the gardens after 2 days of rain...

Cubanelle Pepper

Teracotta planter was planted with Sweet Basil seeds, and the black pots are planted with Milkweed seeds.

This Ferocactus latispinus' spines have also turned a dark cranberry color in the last week or so...isn't it pretty???

I have very little of this Sedum Rubrotinctum, but the color changes nearly sweet!

Buds on the Mammillaria ready to burst!!!

The Thimble Cactus is looking quite stately with it's new black spines pointing straight up from it's mass of white stars (something new)... I LOVE this cactus.

The ever changing Kalanchoe daigremontianum...the one I feel so happy with all year long...with it's changing leaf with some new ones for me to enjoy...kind of bronze on the outer leaves and a lovely blue it Tiffany Blue? No...but more of a Robins Egg Blue...just gorgeous!!!

And, lastly, my variegated Jasmine on the fence is flowering and smells devine!!! How much better could it get around here??? Today I am thankful for my garden areas and the space to have them in.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday with a rabbit riding lizard!

It was a happy Cactus day when I saw this little guy riding on the back of my stone rabbit!! Can you see him???

Should I ride this way? I forgot my saddle!

Or maybe backward facing??? Bareback is best anyway, I suppose!

Happy Cactus Monday from one messed up ol' lady!!! LOL.
xoxo- Julie

Doozey turned 3!

I forgot all about her birthday till late in the evening of the day! I had wanted to have a doggie B-day party...oh well. My sugar doll still loves me in spite of my mentally challenged self! April 14 was the day! Love ya, Doooze.....

Friday, April 16, 2010

3 Irises blooming, and more planting...

I found 3 Iries blooming yesterday and was forced to take pics with my darn cell phone, which is a peice of crap...sorry for my french...but at least they turned out well enough to see a little bit. I did not have my camera with me, and it was irritating. Anyway, aren't they such little beauties??? I just love these simple ones that seem to do fairly well in shade here. I still don't think I would take a chance on them in my yard cause there basically isn't any shade, except where I rarely go...under the Sapodilla tree. I was thrilled to have found them though!

Today I planted Sweet Basil seeds, and Milkweed seeds. I will post some pics when I start to see any action!!!


Last night's dinner was so good.....fresh green beans, potatos and onions in a pot. Simple, fresh and yummmmm! My kitchen smelled like my Grandmas kitchen (my country grandma) as I was cooking this, (and a pot of collards too)...and it literally brought tears to my eyes! That was a strange reaction. My Grandma was a farmer and she was cooking fresh vegies and fresh meat daily. I really hadn't smelled that "exact" scent in a long time. It was just a combination of foods and seasonings that overwhelmed me! WOW! Powerful stuff. It has changed me...inspired me to grow more, and eat from a fresh garden.

It has also made me realize how in love I have become with seeds and I am going to start a basil pot with about 5 Sweet Basil plants for my sweet SIL. She is the one who gave me a ton of seeds and these basil ones are part of them...I happen to know she loves to use fresh herbs and she happens to LOVE italian food. She is a cook (and so is my brother) I know they will use the basil. I will do a post of the set up of that garden, and the plants, once grown.

By the way, my grandsons pot of zinnia is doing well...a little taller...but no flowers yet. I am fertilizing it regularly with Miracle Gro. Just waiting...

Hey...thought you would enjoy seeing my new flower arranging material! Collard leaves! I had put about 7 leaves in a tall cup of iced water for my Mom to use in her green shake the other morning...she forgot it....('s not like she couldn't walk out and get some straight out of her garden either)...LOL.....BUT the leaves become so stiff and stand real tall, and I thought it made a lovely bouquet on it's own. I placed the cup on top of my electric fireplace and it was so pretty! I stuck these flowers in front of the cup for a pic, but just wanted to say that collard leaves make long lasting wonderful greenery for floral arrangements! I plan to do more! Hey...I can't eat them or give them away fast enough...may as well appreciate their beauty!!! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Thanks for all your comments on my new garden area. It was a really good day...a fun day...very enjoyable. This evening turned a litle stressful for me...pressure being put on me that I don't feel ready to accept. It makes for stress and strain...quite the opposite of how my day had been, when I was alone, relaxed and free. I went outside this evening by myself, to look at the stars and feel the cool breeze. Funny how life is always changing. I came in, sat down and just started to draw...I came up with this idea of a blue Iris plant, and thought of how you must be flexible throughout life, so as not to snap. I wrote the little poem to go with it:
Blow in the breeze
Do not snap...
You're better than that...

Update on the Schreiners Iris Catalog I had ordered.....they sent me a card that said Irises do not do well in my area, and they would not send a catalog due to that fact, unless I was buying the plants to use in another state! Isn't that so nice that they kept me from trying something that would not have worked out? I love them for it, and wanted to tell everyone how reputable they are! Thanks Schreiners...I sincerely appreciate your honesty and integrity!!!

New garden bed!

OK...I dug out this garden space this morning, and fortified it with cow manure, miracle grow soil, and composted soil. I got all the Cowpeas in there (which are black-eyed peas, BTW), except some I left in the laundry basket...

...and in the 1 gallon black garden pot are the 32 extras I have to plant tomorrow. I plan to widen this garden by a foot on each long side, and get 16 more plants on each side in the morning...if the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise!!! A nurse I used to work with would use this phrase a lot and I never forget it.

Here is the view from the other end of my succulent see the never ending production of collards...still going strong. Sometimes when I look at them, I just get a sick kinda feeling...I suppose it may be time to start freezing some. We are to that point, I believe. I'm actually glad it will be a few months before I start dealing with an overabundance of Black eyed, but overwhelming too! I have planted whole packages so that I can get enough to share, and now with starting our own co-op, I will give away 2/3's of my crop. I am excited about this first summer crop co-op with my Mom and friend. We will get a variety of vegies and things will be much more manageable and fun!

You can see that my grass is almost non-existent on the one end of my tires, which makes it a perfect place to dig up for gardening! Maybe this is what the master plan of the universe was to be! LOL!

I got my crock pot going as set up with Split Pea soup. I added onions, carrots, 2 ham hocks and seasonings. My house will be smelling devine this evening. I am writing this now on the college grounds where I am waiting for daughter to take a test and come right out. Luckily I can access the web on their wireless while I wait. I am parked in a wooded, shady area...and surrounded by my fav trees of all times...regal Pines!!! Life is good!
Love to all...Julie

Good happy Wednesday!

Good morning! I woke up early craving, of all things, brussel sprouts for breakfast! I am having a bowl full right now! Strange. These early mornings are bringing me to do all sorts of odd things. Has anyone ever grown brussel sprouts? I am thinking I will get ready and plant some seeds in October and see what happens! They are so neat looking on the stalk...

I found a willing person to take some of my collards yesterday! My "bug man"! He liked them, so I gave him a huge container full. He came back by at the end of the day to pick them up. We have so many it is rediculous!

Yesterday I set up the crock pot with them, and put cut up creamer potatos and two large turkey thighs on top. Now that was a delicious dinner! The turkey thighs were so moist and rich tasting. I will definately do that again! Even my 20 year old daughter liked that dinner!

Tonight I am thinking of using up a pack of split peas I have in the pantry. I bought two ham hocks yesterday....I will put it all in the crock pot too. I am a crock pot addict. Nothing gives me more happiness than setting it up in the morning and going about my business and never worrying about dinner. I love this. I love one pot cooking anyway...but to be free from having to do literally anything else in the kitchen the rest of the day...I am a happy camper.

The geraniums in the pic belong to my cousin who lives 5 doors away from me. I love the red and pink in the pot together!

Well, the past few days I am watching my neighbor re-sod his lawn...he let it go during the drought and never watered and I think insects took over and he ended up with essentially NO lawn. He finally got a ticket from the city and had to do something. I am happy because I am looking at his house and it was not a pretty sight. Our code enforcer has been laying down the law lately and people are responding. Luckily I have not recieved a warning or ticket about anything. I did get out there and trim bushes and fertilize my whole yard, etc. because I was time to get rid of all these spring weeds! I did use weed and feed, so don't hate me. It was essential at this time. We had a ton of rain over the past two days too, right after I did it. Yeah!

I suppose I may drag my lazy tush out and dig up that garden space for the Cowpeas this morning while it is cooler. I want to get the Pole bean seeds in the dirt as well and get this summer growing show on the road! Mom is going to grow okra and tomatoes and my friend is going to grow a couple other vegies and we are starting our own little co-op. It should be fun. I am thinking about getting some onion sets too.

As soon as the collards finish, flowers will go into the tires I am currently using for them. I know a miniature rose garden is going in one, and then I need ideas for the other ones...they have to be able to withstand full south florida heat and sun all summer...maybe more vincas. I just planted vincas in my front garden just for that reason. I picked all white ones...I just love how they look.

OK...that is enough yammering for one morning! The brussel sprouts were so delicious!!! LOL. Have a fun day everyone!!!