Friday, May 30, 2014

May Flowers........

..........Before the month of May ends I want to show some of my very favorite May flowers............

"Do you know what I think May flowers are, Marilla? I think they must be the souls of the flowers that died last summer, and this is their heaven." -Anne of Green Gables

I probably have enjoyed this dark purple Cleome the best of all. I take that back. It sure is at the top but so are several others that are in my May garden this year.  I just wouldn't be able to pick a favorite. I  have a lighter lavender and also white ones. They are in a slump right now but I have lots of junior plants coming on.

Some of you have seen some of these pictures before and I am going to mostly let the pictures speak for themselves, especially since there are so many of them.

The mock orange was outstanding this year even though the blossoms didn't stay around long.

My new stripped whirling butterfly plant has excelled this spring, also.

He is about to be covered over with whirling Butterflies.

I so enjoyed my one holly hock until a wind storm damaged it. They are very seasonal here anyhow and don't do well in the heat.

And the same for the snapdragon.


This has been in a pot for many, many years. It never has more than a few blossoms at a time but I love it, partly because it has survived for so long.

I am the only one that I know who has this tropical Blue Pea Vine. 

Blue Pea among my favorite color of Vinca.

I have three colors of Periwinkles, these two and a darker shade of pink. They are such great work horses for our summer heat so, I wouldn't like to be without them.

I forget the name of this one at the moment but, this has been it's best year - more blooms at a time.  It is hanging full right now.

You can see it is trumpet shaped with pretty ivory throats.

I have had less than usual African Lily blooms this May but they were a larger size.

Salvia  (I have several colors) will always be one of my favorites. This is Wendy's Wish.

My newest and maybe the one I like best - this darker one.

Lots of showy Pentas have really been doing their thing!

Which includes attracting butterflies! I just took this photo about an hour ago.

Old fashioned Gloriosa Lily

It was a thrill to have many blooms on these at two different locations. One has just started blooming.

Another tropical - Tibouchina. 
I have many other May blooming flowers, including all my roses, but will save those for another time. We have already started having 90 degree days here and so far, I am not getting rain so, I know June will have less blossoms and I stay in more during our hot summer. You will no doubt start seeing less blog posts from the garden - I have a lot of other neat things in mind so, don't go far - I'll be right here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Feel Like a Real Gardener......

.......I feel like a real gardener almost, when I eat something that I grew.

I just discovered that I never have photographed the entire tomato plant. 

I just have one, a grape tomato growing in a big pot. It looked pretty healthy for awhile...

......and grew tall with several nice looking grape tomato clusters. It now looks a little sickly, so I chose not to run out to get a full shot. I fertilized it this week and can already see some improvement. I suppose tomatoes need more than Miracle Grow's fertilizer in the soil.

This is my first harvest.  I kept waiting for the tomatoes to turn more red but I don't think they ever will. So, I brought these in along with some herbs. Yesterday, I saw an article on Facebook that was emphasizing the importance of pairing particular foods to boost nutrition. One pairing sounded good and since I had everything I needed I decided it would become my dinner. The pitcher has nothing to do with anything except being a nice backdrop. Since it is here, you might wonder why it is covered with the doily. Many years ago when people had a problem with flies, they would sometimes use something like this to cover pitchers holding lemonade, etc. I never have flies but, still like to see this antique pitcher with it's cover.

The pairing for this one was using tomatoes and olive oil. So, with my harvest waiting on the island, and some frozen garlic bread from the freezer, I cut up the little tomatoes, and drizzled them with one tablespoon of olive oil, a little sea salt and pepper. 
Here is what the article said about tomatoes and olive oil: "Cancer and heart disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids (the most well known of which is lycopene) are found in abundance in tomatoes. They're fat-soluble and, as such, they're more available to your body when you eat them with fats such as olive oil or mozzarella cheese." 

I ended up using  basil, cut small. I always use sissors to cut up basil leaves. With the bread warmed and toasted in the oven, the tomatoes/olive oil spooned over it and basil and feta cheese on top, my yummy dinner was ready in a short time. And, yes, eating something you grew does make you feel like a "real" gardener not - just playing one.

 I also had some cut-up watermelon and fresh blueberries, mixed. Not sure how healthy that pairing is but it is tasty. I can vouch for that and seldom eat watermelon without blueberries. They came from publix. Didn't grow them!
Get something started in a pot or small plot and and enjoy eating something you grew yourself!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Old Chair #2

I thought it might be nice to pause on this busy holiday, Memorial Day, slip outside for a cup of tea.............

You remember the old chair? If not go here to read about it first. It will just be me, you and the old chair.....

I cut some pretty roses and borrowed the pitcher from the kitchen window sill.......

There is something relaxing about pink and white, don't you agree?


I softened things up a bit with some old linens.....

I chose one of my very favorite cups for you and gathered up a few tea party books to browse through.
I am glad we could take a little time together and hope you feel as refreshed as I do. We will meet up by the old chair from time to time.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Visit to the Nehrling Gardens

Back in 1885 Mr. Henry Nehrling purchased sixty plus acres near what is now called Gotha, Florida. He wanted the land for the purpose of experimenting with tropical and subtropical plants. And, experiment he did! He tested over 3,000 new and rare plants.  Many of which are growing in Florida to this day.

The sign gives some more details if you are interested.

The 1880's house was moved by oxcart to the site in the early 1900's. It is in fair condition.

A very inviting porch across the front.

I don't know how old the doorbell is but I love it.

Part of the back of the house. 

An old hand pump located on a stone well.

We took a walking tour of some of the grounds. All work done here is by volunteers. And, as depending on volunteers usually goes it appears that there are not enough of them. They gather there on two Saturdays of the month to do the major work. I wish I could find the time and energy to go help! They receive no government money so that is also secured by donation, fundraisers, etc. Nehrling is listed as one of Florida's most endangered Historical Sites. It would be a shame to let it go after all these years.

This is one of the several magnificent trees on the site.

This bent-over one forms an arch over the trail.

My daughter and I were taken on the tour by this young lady. She doubled the pleasure of the walk with her excitement and knowledge of the place. And, she has a picture perfect look for doing this! 

Along with many of the plants and trees that Nehrling worked with, they have some good looking vegetables growing.

Very nice tomatoes.

Our guide stopped long enough to gather vegetables for her lunch. This is a very impressive tower of vegetables and greens!  The young lady lives on the property.

Both purple and......

.......white butterfly bushes.

They are doing the job - attracting butterflies. I am so hoping the organization can attract enough interest, funds and workers to keep the gardens operating. 
It was a nice day before Mother's Day experience for my daughter and I.