Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Latest Creation

I felt somewhat creative today and I made this. I love chimes. We have a bunch hangin' around. No home-made ones. The bamboo was a "donation" from a client. I found the piece of wood... oh... I don't know where. It had been hangin' around for a while and thought it would fit the purpose. The beads came off a plant hanger that had rotted away. I kept the beads cause thats what I do. You never know when some stuff can be "recycled". I think it's kinda cool. I think it's a keeper. I'll have to keep an eye out for some larger bamboo. Of course I'll probably have to start carrying a saw in my truck. This is about as big as I can cut with my pruners.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cassia Fistula

I spotted this beauty at the Gulf Gate Library.  It's fragrance was wonderful and a mass of bumble bees were humming around it. I didn't know what it was so after researching I found out it is a Cassia Fistula.

I grabbed some of the seed pods.  Let me tell you...

What's inside smells something like sour tar.
I planted them anyway and now have seedlings.
I have also found they are a host for butterflies.  This is a bonus as I want to start butterfly gardening.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Vocabulary Lesson

I have decided to try not to use the words "I hate" or "never". I used to think I hated bromeliads. That I would never want them included in my landscape. My first opinion was formed as my arms were torn to shreds clearing out overgrown beds. My loathing of the vicious things lasted quite a while.
My boss is the head of the local bromeliad society. We are quizzed regularly on the 300,000,000 million kazillion species. I have grasped one or two and after that, all I hear is BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. We had to be bribed by our employer (dinner and hourly wage) to go to a society meeting. More BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. After which my boss graced me with one. A Bilbergia. I hesitantly found a place for it in my landscape. I hate, oops. I would rather not throw a plant away. I have watched it grow and bloom and have come to appreciate their beauty. Look at the colors. And some of the blooms are spectacular. My collection is growing. I am not about to join the local bromeliad society. And I am still wary of the spiney beasts but I have opened my eyes to their beauty. My horizons just keep expanding.

It Takes a Thief

Well, "thief" may be a little harsh. I have crossed the line I believe. I can no longer satisfy my need to grow things by visiting the local nursery. I actually pulled my work truck off the road the other day. I had been eyeballing a royal poinciana with a single seed pod hanging( just out of reach). I tried my two step ladder but still couldn't reach it and the only other option was climbing on the hood of my truck. Please tell me you understand. Surely there are more of us out there. As I climbed on the hood I imagined someone calling the office to report this strange behavior to my boss. We have our business name and # smeared all over our trucks. I did get the pod and I didn't get reported. Since then I nabbed more pods off some trees by Tim's work (no climbing involved) plus as I was scanning the surroundings I spotted a sprout. So I nabbed it too! I don't want to just go and buy a tree. I want to watch it grow.
So far the goods gained have been on public property Or from my clients.
Notice the nice loquat to the left. I yanked him up when he was just a sprout. Have you ever had a ripe loquat? One taste and you'll be looking for sprouts too. Well. You may go the more conventional route and buy the tree. I have three Jacaranda sprouts from seeds I collected. I have not gone so far as to cross onto someones property. I would however not have a problem knocking on someones door to ask for a clipping from a plant. I have had someone ask me for clippings and was quite happy to oblige. And one day when my Poinciana is large enough to produce seed pods and I see some poor fool struggling to reach just one. I believe I would offer my ladder. And if you notice someone on the side of the road climbing on the hood of their truck under the trees. Please understand they aren't meaning any harm. They are just in love with growing things. God has put some really beautiful things on this earth. Some of us were born gatherers. I'm just doing what I was born to do.

Goober Peas

How do I keep squirrels out of my plants? Have you ever heard this question? I've heard it discussed in grocery lines. I've read numerous tips and tricks to keep the little critters at bay. I've come up with a fail-proof method of dealing with them. This may not work for everyone but for me and my honey, it has worked just fine. We have come to the conclusion we will just deal with them and yes we indulge them. In fact I believe we have over indulged them to the point they hear the back door open and they greet us. Hard as we have tried we can't resist those pleading eyes. Raw peanuts have become a staple in our household. Right up there with therapeutic paper (toilet paper). We have a "bird" feeder we have turned over to our squirrels. The cardinals and jays have to scramble to get a little seed while the little pigs are taking their afternoon siesta.

Anyways, back to the goober pea point of the story. We are now finding peanut plants popping up all over. See. They like to garden too!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Two thumbs up for Ocala

We packed up the bikes last month and headed north. We got as far as St Augustine. I've always wondered what it was like. Been here 30 years and have never been there. Always sounded like a quaint place. We went to the beach first. After dodging traffic and trying to find a place to park we decided we had seen enough. I thought it would be a little slower being a weekday and later in the season. Wrong. So, I stuck my foot in the ocean, snapped a couple pics and we left.We're not into all the tourist hurry here gotta go there stuff. Anyway we headed down to Silver Springs. Tim lived in Ocala for a while and knew a lot of nice roads through the forests . We pulled off the road and just listened. The breeze rustling the leaves. The birds. If we heard a car it was from miles away. I had one of those moments. The ones that you can't put into words. The ones you don't understand until you experience it yourself. It's was even better experiencing it with my honey. Pretty cool. Old timers sitting on their porches waved as we passed! Friendly people wherever we went. I do believe this is where I would like to live. Thanks Ocala for some real nice memories, and some beautiful glimpses of God's earth.

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