October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

I went here and there on the property today, looking for some scary stuff.  The sun was iridescent,  beautiful blue skies loomed overhead, and butterflies were everywhere!  Because I'm completely OCD, last week I had broomed away all the beautiful spider webs on the front porch, and the back deck.  So, here's the scary things I did find.  Warning...viewer discretion advised...graphic images...view at your own risk!  ( just kidding)

Quit smiling, you're supposed to be scaring people.

Are you scared yet?

Viewer discretion...

Hump Head

No animals were harmed in the making of  my 'Halloween Horror' blog...

Hoppy Halloween!

October 26, 2015

Fall...Central Florida Style

"Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."  William Cullen Bryant

Autumn is very much smiling on my gardens, and I am appreciating each beautiful day.  It's such a blessing to wander about early in the morning, and see sunlight's first kiss, fall upon the garden.  

My shade gardens wrap around a semi circle of grass, which I can't plant on because it's our drain field.  If it were not for that, the entire space would probably be covered with shade plants.  But, you have to work with what you have.  Sometimes, the imperfections keep us from getting in over planting.

As the bed curves, it is back planted with young camellias that run the length of the fence.

Two large camellia trees, one on each side of the confederate jasmine, completes this half of the circle.

Jasmine vine archway, photographed earlier this year.

Further around the circle...

Across the drive, through the white 'gates', is the garden that completes the semi circle.

More shade gardens on this side of the driveway, which goes to the back of the property...

 So, on to something else.  My Sasanqua Camellias, bloom for months in fall.  Japonica Camellias begin their bloom around January, in my garden.

This one looks perfect by the Cordyline.  Among my small camellia shrubs, the dark pink camellias are always the first to bloom, pale pink and whites, follow later. 

Out front, there were a few good rose blooms this morning, Autumn Sunset...

Angel Face

Don Juan

Purpleleaf Plum, a tree planted this year, looks a bit like fall.  It's the best I could do for Central Florida. 

Now, for a surprise find this morning.  My Christia Obcordata, or"swallow tail" plant, which is looking a little weary... blooming.  A tiny bloom, but unexpected.  Who knew?  Probably everybody, except me (LOL).

Hoping your week is filled with only good things!

October 19, 2015

One thing you can be sure of...things will change.

Today, we have enjoyed the bluest, of blue skies.  Autumn has finally descended on Central Florida, bringing with it winds, nearly constant for the last three days.  Changes in my gardens, due to the weather, are very subtle.  Other transformations will be more apparent.  More on that later... let me share this photo of my Jackmanii Clematis, scrambling up an Iceberg Rose, silhouetted against that magnificent sky.

Below the Clematis, another purple beauty, Tibouchina.  If you can see beyond the shrub, to the water, you can see that blue sky reflected there.

I have to share this Sasanqua Camellia again, she has only just begun to bloom.  Her petal drop is also lovely.

Turks Cap, a  Florida native plant, was  a nostalgic planting for me.  I was raised in Ocala, Fl., with four older brothers, in the 50's.  We lived in a small house, on a dirt road, within walking distance to downtown.  In front of our house, planted by prior residents, Turks Cap grew as a hedge.  Somehow, with absolutely no care, the shrubs survived year after year.  We all shared in the pleasure of sipping the 'honey' from the picked flowers...sweet childhood memories.

These shrubs are just beginning to bloom, they'll peak around Christmas, although you can find a bloom or two throughout the year.  Evidence of one of my changes is behind the Turks Cap, privacy fencing.  Our neighbor sold out, we are trying to get the fence up before the new owners move in.  

Only partially done, but we're getting there.  At one time I had a healthy stand of English Dogwood shrubs in this area, which gave us privacy on our back deck.  Over the years, they've begun to die out.  I cut them to the ground before we put the new fencing up, hoping this will rejuvenate them...time will tell.

Subtle, seasonal changes, the yellowing leaves on this Cordyline.

Hostas, in front of the Persian Shield, are going down, but the rest of the bed remains untouched. 

Hydrangeas, are a mix of everything, from this... this.

Another change will be coming in spring.  For the first time in over 10 years, I'm going to plant in the ground, in this area.  The plants from these pots are now growing elsewhere in the garden.  

This photo was taken 10+  years ago, before the oak was removed.  The roots had taken over this bed before we removed it, and even though we had the stump ground out, the area was only fit to sit pots in.

Changes... trees grow and create too much shade for our sun loving plants, or we lose trees and have to find new homes for our shade lovers.  Plants die for no apparent reason, too much or too little rain, wind storms wreak havoc, but we garden on.

A few photos of the veggies, inside the fenced garden...


Mustard and Turnip Greens

Collard Greens

Broccoli and Cabbage

Outside the fenced garden...squash and onions.

I was concerned that the squash wouldn't have time to make if we got an early frost, but they're coming...


Looking across the squash, you can see a little of  the Iceberg Rose, blooming on top of the gazebo.

While the fall garden grows, I'm thinking ahead to spring...

Once again, thank you for visiting my garden.