Saturday, October 11, 2008

Collectors of Disney memorabilia

Click on the 1st Disneyana Convention
Mickey Mouse Christmas Ornament to go to my eBay store . . .
I've just begun listing my collection of collectible Disney stuff.

There are hundreds of items in my collection that I am ready to let go of . . .
I've been collecting this stuff since Disney World first opened!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Where did the summer go?

It didn't hit me until today that summer is over. Labor Day crept up on me like all the other holidays and special events that have come and go.

Since my husband passed away, I've found it difficult for anything to seem normal. Even my biggest passion, gardening in my Paradise, has been a dreaded reminder of my happy past. But you know, circumstances don't go away if you ignore them, and untended gardens turn to jungles. My biggest promise to myself has been to get my Paradise back to where I can enjoy it again. Summer marked its beginning which never really started. My Paradise was not to be the jumping off point to my new "normal". An overwhelming task that needs professional help . . . and lots of money!

All is not lost though . . . it seems like this summer has marked my way back to "normal" in many different positive ways. My other blogs have chronicled these incremental changes that have brought me to this place in life that feels like the beginning of many new changes.

I just wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm still around, but have not been very active in the garden and have not gotten out to enjoy the Florida sunshine like I will be doing very soon. I've spent most of the summer getting my online stores going again and getting myself ready to get back into the "real world" and getting another job. I haven't worked since April and I miss getting out . . . it is time!

Don't most hermits hibernate during the winter?

:) Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Organic pest control

Someone left a comment on one of my posts asking the question . . .
"how do I keep bugs from eating my basil?"

I'm an organic gardener and don't use chemicals in my garden, especially on herbs and vegetables.

There are several recipes that I've used to control pests, but the one that is very simple . . . a squirt of dishwashing liquid in a gallon of water (do not use Dawn or any other grease cutting dishwashing liquid). You can also add a teaspoon of cooking oil to make it stick to the leaves of the plant.

Something else I have learned is spray the plant with plain water with the spray nozzle on the hose . . . the spray of water will knock the bugs off the plant.

The key is to keep the leaves clean and check your plants often.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Screening with container plants

Container gardens can add a green privacy screen to a balcony or an open area.

A trellis gives vines a structure to grow on and stakes added to the bottom of the trellis help support it on the outside of the planting box. Trellises and stakes should be attached to the containers with galvanized bolts.

Water-sealed redwood and cedar are good choices for planter boxes. To help them last longer, line boxes with landscape fabric which has the added benefit of preventing soil from washing out the drainage holes. After the fabric is in place, add a mixture of half potting soil and half compost. Fill the box to within 10" from the rim.

Select a fast-growing evergreen vine to cover the trellis. Once you've selected a vine, remove it carefully from the nursery container, and place the back of the stake supporting the vine against the trellis. Cut away the plant ties from the support stake, and disentangle the vine. Tie each stem to the trellis, fanning out the stems as you go.

If you like, add other plants to your container for additional color and interest. Make sure the additions have growing requirements similar to those of the vine.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Disney to close Pleasure Island nightclubs



SEPTEMBER 28, 2008

After nearly 20 years in operation, Disney's Pleasure Island is undergoing a major overhaul, including the closure of the Adventurer's Club, Comedy Warehouse, 8 Traxx, Motion, Mannequins and BET Sound Stage . . . The Rock 'n' Roll Beach Club closed as of February 3, 2008.

Pleasure Island is a section of the Walt Disney World Resort within the Downtown Disney shopping, dining and entertainment district. Pleasure Island officially opened May 1, 1989, and will officially close on September 27, 2008.

From 1990 through New Year's Eve 2005, Pleasure Island celebrated New Year's Eve with a fireworks show every night at midnight.

On June 27, 2008, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that over the next two years, Disney will replace all of Pleasure Island's nightclubs with new stores and restaurants.

Disney denied rumors that the changes are due to a drop in attendance at Pleasure Island, stating instead that the company is responding to guest feedback asking for more family friendly experiences.

Although it has been a very long time since I have visited Walt Disney World, there was a time when JR and I visited at least twice a month. As annual passholders of Walt Disney World, we wanted to get our money's worth . . . and we did!

Since JR passed away, I have not had the desire to visit and I had no idea that the concept of "every night is New Year's Eve" had been abandoned. Pleasure Island had to be the most festive party atmosphere I ever experienced.

Mannequins was my favorite dance club and many fond memories came back to me when I read that it still exists . . . at least until September of this year. Being the dance music freak that I am and a huge lover of dance clubs, Mannequins was the ultimate place to dance, enjoy music and be entertained.

The name "mannequins" set the scene for live mannequins staged throughout the club. One minute you would swear they were a mannequin and the next minute they would come to life, complete with a spotlight on them as they danced to the music. At least that was how it was back in the day when we partied there quite often.

Pleasure Island was also the home of one of my all time favorite restaurants on the Disney property . . . Fireworks Factory, which has been long gone. The comfort food served there was among the best that I have ever had . . . BBQ pork ribs that would fall off the bone, the best fresh cornbread ever and the most to die for brownie hot fudge sundae ever. Even if we were visiting on a budget and brought food from the grocery store to eat, we had to visit Fireworks Factory at least for dessert and coffee.

While most of my memories are on video and in my head, I know I have a ton of photos from Pleasure Island that I will scan and post. It brought tears to my eyes to think the place that holds such beautiful memories of awesome times JR and I shared will only be a memory after September.

I'm sure the new stores and restaurants will be as spectacular as everything else on the Disney property, but will not have the memories of those awesome days gone by . . .

If you can visit before it closes and you have never experienced Pleasure Island and the eccentric nightclubs, experience it before they are gone . . . even though every night is no longer New Year's Eve.

Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel turned 20

Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Hotel turned 20 on July 1.

It is one of my favorite places in the world!

I'll post some photos of the Grand Floridian Hotel
from my vast photo collection from Walt Disney World.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ready for hurricane season?

As a widow and still getting used to being alone and having the responsibility of everything on my shoulders, the hurricane season is a dreaded time.

Even the fierce afternoon storms are sometimes too much for me as the lightening cracks and winds whip around giving the illusion of all hell breaking loose out there.

Although anxiety sets in and I work myself into a panic . . . that is just me since I am a chronic worry wart . . . I am prepared and that is the most important thing to remember as we are well into the hurricane season.

I wrote an article on hurricane preparedness at Helium . . . click here to go to the article.

Let's pray for a mild season . . .

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Choosing containers

Containers should complement the style of your home and the appearance of the plants you intend to add to them. As you select containers, keep in mind the mature size of the plants that will inhabit them.

Poured-concrete containers with the look of stone are popular and well suited to a formal setting. They're very heavy, so once planted, they should be considered a permanent part of the landscape.

Terra cotta comes in a huge selection of shapes and sizes. Over time these pots acquire a beautiful aged look . . . as clay pots age, algae appears on the outer surface, as well as mineral salts from fertilizer and water. Some people like the appearance of an old clay pot; others find it unsightly. The disadvantages of terra-cotta pots are that they allow the soil to dry quickly, which means plants will need more frequent watering, and in cold climates they may crack as soil expands and contracts.

Some of today's plastic containers resemble terra cotta. They're lighter in weight but will never attain the attractive aged, mossy look of the real thing. Plastic containers retain moisture better than clay, which is an advantage in hot or dry climates but a disadvantage if you tend to overwater plants. Plastic pots are less expensive and readily available in many designs. They're lighter than clay pots and may topple if plants are top-heavy.

Fiberglass containers are lightweight and long-lasting and may have the "aged look" built in. They can be made to look like terra-cotta pots, wooden containers or even bronze or copper containers, with a finish that resembles those metals' natural patina. They won't crack if left outside for the winter.

Wood is an excellent traditional choice and comes in a variety of styles, from redwood buckets to upright square boxes with feet. Wood dries out more quickly than other materials and may not last as long. Some plastic planters look a lot like wood and last practically forever.

The standard pot is as wide as it is tall, so one with a 6" diameter is generally about 6" tall. A standard-shaped pot is a good choice for most plants. Make sure that all containers have drainage holes.

Dark-colored pots absorb more heat than lighter ones; roots stay cooler in lighter pots. If you live in a cool climate and want to grow cacti, choose a dark pot; if you live in a warm climate and want to grow tender annuals, select a light-colored container.

Happy gardening :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Watering Tricks for Container Plants

Container gardening is my preferred method of gardening these days since my paradise has turned into a jungle that will take some time to get under control. In the meantime, I've been turning my carport into a container jungle just by taking pieces of plants and putting them in containers.

Keeping container plants healthy and watered can be a challenge, especially if you don't have much time on your hands.

One of the things I do to keep my plants healthy naturally is to dilute left over coffee and water my plants with it . . . I've sprinkled used coffee grounds in the containers. My plants love it! They also love water that vegetables have boiled in . . . I never use salt in the water. With the carport being right outside my kitchen, these practices have been very convenient for me.

A homemade self-watering device will care for your plants while you're on vacation. A thick piece of cotton cord placed in the drainage hole of a container will act as a wick and draw water from a reservoir such as a 1-gallon plastic milk jug. When you don't need the device, coil the cotton cord inside the saucer so it's out of sight.

Before you plant the container, cut a piece of cord 2 1/2' to 3 1/2' long. Place one end through the drainage hole of the container, then fill the pot with a few inches of soil. The cord should be visible on the surface of the soil before you set the plant in place. Coil the cord around the top of the soil. Set the plant in place, and fill the pot with the remaining soil. When you're about to leave town, place the long end of the cord emerging from the drainage hole into a gallon jug filled with water. The cord will act as a wick to draw water from the jug.

Another method--often used with miniature African violets--is to use a shorter piece of cord and set the plant on top of a reservoir. Both plant and reservoir can be placed in a larger decorative container so that the wick and reservoir are hidden. Check the reservoir at least once a month to see whether you need to add water. If you like, add fertilizer to the reservoir.

Strawberry jars are very difficult to water. To make the job easier, place a wire cylinder filled with gravel inside the pot. Fill the container with soil and plant as usual. When you water, place the hose directly into the cylinder. It will deliver water all the way to the bottom of the jar. Another method is to drill holes in a piece of PVC pipe and place it in the center of the pot before planting.

If you enjoy hovering over your plants, use clay pots, which dry out quickly. With terra-cotta pots, you won't have to worry about overwatering. If you prefer self-sufficient plants, choose plastic pots, which help the soil retain moisture longer so plants don't need watering as frequently. Gardeners who forget about their plants should consider self-watering pots with a reservoir of water that's available to the plants as needed.

Beginning gardeners often make the mistake of thinking that all plants require the same amount of moisture. In fact, some require a lot of moisture, whereas others prefer soil that's on the dry side. To keep each plant happy, you'll need to know its water requirements. A good plant encyclopedia or manual can help.

To determine whether a plant needs water, stick your finger in the soil. If it's dry down to the first knuckle on your index finger, add water. If the soil is damp, don't water. Or purchase a moisture meter at a garden center or nursery. After being placed in the soil, the meter's probe will indicate whether the plant should be watered.

There is an awesome product on the market that is a glass ball on a spikey stem that you fill with water and stick in the container to keep your plants watered. I'll try to find the link to where you can buy these or post a photo, they are very decorative and functional.

Every time I see the commercial on television, my minds starts going on some home made designed items using the same concept. Just haven't had the time to play around with it, but will post photos when I get around to making some.

You are welcome to post your watering tricks for container plants in the comments section.

Happy gardening :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Information on Florida tomatoes

The following website has lots of
good information on Florida tomatoes . . .

Click here

It is the perfect time to start growing
your own tomatoes . . . I'm in the
process of updating my page on
growing tomatoes at my
personal website

Click here

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More states including Florida report tomato illnesses

Is anything safe to eat anymore? Seems like it is a game of russian roulette when it comes to buying produce. It is definitely time to start growing my own herbs and vegetables . . . as many as possible.

"The toll from salmonella-tainted tomatoes jumped to 228 illnesses Thursday as the government learned of five dozen previously unknown cases and said it is possible the food poisoning contributed to a cancer patient's death.

Six more states - Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Vermont - reported illnesses related to the outbreak, bringing the number of affected states to 23."

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Growing Basil

Little by little my interest in gardening is returning. My carport jungle continues to be the emphasis of my gardening. One of the things I have been missing is harvesting herbs and vegetables from my garden. As my interest in cooking has also been returning, my next project is growing basil in large containers in my carport.

One of the benefits of gardening in central Florida (zone 9) is no time is a bad time to start basil from seed . . . and a benefit of growing basil after not doing any serious gardening for several years is the instant gratification. It is one of the most foolproof herbs in this area.

Here is some information on growing basil from The Essential Herb Garden website.

Growing basil from seed

Sow the seeds in spring in seed trays and keep indoors or in a heated greenhouse until the seedlings reach the four-leaf stage. Keep well watered at all times whilst the seedlings are growing.

The seedlings can then be easily handled and transplanted out into pots or containers or directly into the garden in a well drained soil, where they can continue growing with the benefits of all the nutrients from the soil.

Plant the seedlings 50cm apart and keep shaded for the first few days and water regularly throughout to ensure healthy growth.

Conditions for growing basil

Although basil likes sun, it must be planted in a sunny, sheltered spot away from wind and draughts.

Don't plant basil until all risk of frost has disappeared. During midsummer basil likes semi-shaded growing conditions.

Growing basil in the garden

Growing basil between tomatoes and other vegetables in the greenhouse or garden will benefit both the basil and the other vegetables.

Basil will enhance the flavors of the other vegetables growing around it and will also deter insects.

Growing basil in your garden will attract bees and butterflies if planted outside.

Growing basil under glass in a cool summer is a good way to ensure a lush and healthy plant and supply of leaves. Remember though, if you are growing basil in your garden, you should not plant it next to rue.

Growing basil in the kitchen or greenhouse

Basil can quite easily be grown inside as long as it has a light and sunny spot on the windowsill or shelf in the greenhouse. If you keep the plants indoors you should be able to keep your basil growing well into the cooler months.

Harvesting Basil

Once the basil has grown to a height of about 15cm, you can start to take off the top sets of leaves. Pinch them out to the next set of leaves growing below. This will ensure a continual growth and should encourage a healthy, bushy basil plant.

Prune your basil every 2 or 3 weeks to ensure a healthy bushy plant.

Basil will continue growing throughout the summer and can ultimately reach up to 60cm in height. If the basil is left to flower, it will produce long spires of small, white tube shaped flowers.

To encourage a supply of leaves throughout the summer and autumn, pinch out the buds as soon as they appear.

Basil Foliage

Depending on the variety of basil you are growing, the juicy, oval leaves will grow up to10cm in length and will be a glossy rich green. Basil is highly aromatic with a strong scent reminiscent of cloves.

Basil plants will cross pollinate very easily so if you are collecting and planting your own seeds year after year, you should notice some slight variations which makes growing basil an interesting hobby and pastime.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Calissia fragrans . . . thriving in my Paradise

They are multiplying and blooming for the first time . . .
they must love acid since I have been feeding them coffee.

Calissia fragrans is an unusual and tropical semi-epiphyte (grows mainly in trees, but will root in soil). Individual leaf rosettes may be 8" wide at the center stalk. Snaking out from the stalk are runners that trail as much as several feet to find a new place to root. Fragrant white globular flowers on upright spikes bloom in summer, then fade and lose their fragrance, then perk up and become fragrant again on and on.

Flowering or not, it is a spectacular plant that would look awesome hanging from a tree in a shady spot in the greenhouse or in a hanging basket as a houseplant. I plan on lining my carport jungle with hand painted hanging containers loaded with these gorgeous plants.

This is where the plants in the carport jungle began . . . I cleared out a few of these plants that were growing in the pathway and placed them in this container that I use to start plants or experiment with my propagation projects.

At the moment, I am experimenting with the calissia fragrans in my carport jungle, planting the runners into individual containers. I've been doing this for several months and those babies are already putting out their own runners. I left the runners intact in this container and they are growing another rosette. How cool is that? You can see some of the runners in the above photo.

I have a few spots in the yard where I planted a few here and there and now have my "farm" of mass plantings. Hopefully, they will be one of the plants to start my mail order plant business.

It all started about 7 years ago when I had a gardening group on MSN and made some local gardening friends that I swapped plants with. These came from Sally in St. Petersburg . . . she is very much into native plants and I have some other plants I got from her that are still thriving through neglect. There is something to be said about native plants!

All my container plants in the carport jungle have been getting a regular dose of watered down coffee and water that I boiled vegetables in (without salt) . . . the calissia fragrans are especially responding successfully and I have never seen them looking so healthy and big. Keep in mind that I have not used commercial fertilizer on them at all.

These are my new perfect plant . . . as you can see from the following photos taken from previous seasons, I have them growing in my "trash to treasure" book rack lined with moss. They went through one winter night freeze, neglect, no watering, no fertilizer with minimal damage. The ones in the carport jungle look much better since they are being pampered and I will soon transfer some of them to renourish the rack. I'll take some recent photos soon.

I'm getting the gardening bug again . . .
it makes me smile!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

HitchHiker's Guide to Tampa, Florida

TAMPA . . . The word "Tampa" is a Native American word used to refer to the area when the first European explorers arrived in Florida whose meaning is sometimes claimed to mean "sticks of fire" in the language . . ."The place to gather sticks" . . . which also relates to the high concentration of lightning strikes that Tampa Bay receives every year during the hot and wet summer months.


Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 1513, but the Spaniards focused their attention on settling eastern Florida and left the western areas alone. In 1824, only two months after the arrival of the first American settler, four companies of the U.S. Army established Fort Brooke to protect the strategic harbor at Tampa Bay.

Tampa owes its commercial success to Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough River. When phosphates were discovered nearby in the late 1880's, the resulting mining and shipping industries prompted a boom of growth and wealth that lasted through the 1890's. The Port of Tampa is now the seventh largest in the nation; today phosphate shipping is supplemented by trade in shrimp. A pleasure cruise line operates as well.

In 1886, Vicente Martinez Ybor established a cigar factory in Tampa. From the steps of Ybor's factory, José Marti, sometimes called the George Washington of Cuba, exhorted the cigar workers to take up arms against Spain in the late 1800's. Hispanic culture enlivens Ybor City which covers about 2 square miles between Nebraska Avenue, 22nd Street, Columbus Drive and East Broadway.

The military has also had an ongoing role in Tampa's development. The city was the primary outfitting and embarkation port for U.S. troops bound for Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Today the U.S. Operations Command is headquartered nearby at MacDill Air Force Base.


One of the things that makes Tampa unique is the Gasparilla celebration, a festival similar to Mardi Gras with a pirate theme . . . best to check out the video . . . click here.

As far as I'm concerned, this is as close as I'm going to get to living in paradise. There are warm breezes, gone is the humidity, the daily afternoon tropical thunderstorms or threats of an impending hurricane and only the occasional cold day and night (what I call cold) . . . this is winter in Tampa, the best time to visit my part of the world. We occasionally get a freeze at night, but it never snows and cold fronts usually move fast and last a day or two, then back to warm and sunny Florida weather.

No matter what you are in the mood for, you can find it here, there is lots to do . . . you can relax and dine at a waterside cafe, take a streetcar ride to Channelside for shopping and back to Ybor City for a delight all to itself.

Ybor City is an experience that takes you back to another era, known as Florida's Latin Quarter, wrought iron balconies, globe streetlights, brick-lined walkways and the majestic architecture of cigar factories, social clubs and other unique buildings. It provides a glimpse into an era rich with culture and history . . . famous for Spanish Flamenco dancers, Cuban sandwiches, hand-rolled cigars, shopping at Centro Ybor by day and when the sun goes down, party at the many restaurants, nightclubs and bars that line the streets of Ybor City that are so reminiscent of New Orleans.

For those into sports, Tampa is home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and winter home of the New York Yankees and served three times as Super Bowl host.

Tampa is one hour away from Disney World and the home of Busch Gardens, where you can ride world known roller coasters like the Montu, Sheikra, Gwazi, Kumba and many other attractions, one of the most awesome zoos in the world and gorgeous gardens to walk through. Check out all to do at Busch Gardens by visiting their website, which is a treat in itself . . .
Busch Gardens website

Cross Tampa Bay and you will find white, sugar sand beaches, sport fishing, jet skiing, parasailing . . . there is nothing like walking the beach at dawn or watching a spectacular sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.

There is also an abundance of state parks, botanical gardens . . . a nature lover's paradise.

Famous people from Tampa . . . Ray Charles, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, his brother Aaron Carter, Hulk Hogan, Lauren Hutton, baseball players Dwight Gooden, Gary Sheffield and Steve Garvey, singer/songwriter Stephen Stills . . . and me!

Friday, April 4, 2008

More of my paradise . . .

Believe it or not . . . this was PRE-JUNGLE when it was moderately tame in certain areas. I like the look of a natural park setting with paths that lead to sitting areas and feeding areas for visiting animals. We also loved to pitch a tent in the back yard and camp in the city like fools . . . crazy things like that keep you young!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter in Florida

Last night's winter storm complete with 55 MPH winds, tornado warnings, lightening, thunder and tons of rain brought in the colder air again that had my heater kicking on and off all night long. Today was tolerable for me to be outdoors, in the 60's, but the nights are in the 40's . . . brrrr too cold for this Florida girl. But while the rest of the deep south has been experiencing snow, I just need to endure a night or two of the heater being on . . . I don't get out in that cold unless I absolutely have to.

The title photo was taken before our one night of a hard freeze a couple weeks ago. Gone are the pretty red flowers that were scattered all over my property, the hibiscus dropped their buds that night and left crispy plants behind.

Here are some photos I took of my corn plant that was also blooming earlier this month before the freeze . . .

It makes me so sad to look at these photos . . . I thought the plant would be protected under my carport, but nature wreaked havoc on the poor thing . . . my prized corn plant that I have had for over ten years. :(

I really hate the winter time and cold weather!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

What's blooming tonight . . . August 2007

Originally posted on August 26, 2007

Fierce storms blew through my neighborhood in the early evening causing me to turn off the computer and catch up on my sleep.

As I turned on the outdoor lights to let Buddy do this running around outside, something bright caught my eye. I could not believe my eyes when I looked out there and saw my patches of mother in law tongue plants looking so gorgeous in full bloom . . . they seemed to glow in the dark.

I can't believe I did this, but I ventured out at midnight into the darkness through fallen limbs, overgrown vines taking over the garden and the paths to take this photo. It was worth getting this photo although all the while, I was hoping not to trip over baby opossums that are driving Buddy crazy at night . . . and me with his barking at them . . . hmmmm don't know where they are living, could be anywhere out there. Scary!

These storms are getting on my nerves even though it has been a rather mild summer as far as these fierce thunder and lightning storms go. As I ventured out to take the photo, it reminded me of the good old days when we loved sitting outdoors after a storm with the steamy air feeling fresher and the smell of rain in the air. It made me want those days again . . . I want my Paradise back to its full glory. It broke my heart to not be able to recognize an area because of all the stink weed vine that is choking out my large tropical plants that are leaning over in agony. I have got to quit putting it off for tomorrow . . . somebody kick my a$$ please!!

She Bops Around the Garden . . . August 2007

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;

they are the charming gardeners who

make our souls blossom."

Cyndi Lauper - She Bops (Special Dance Mix)

Original post dated August 28, 2007

Comments from my original entry on Yahoo 360 posted follows this entry

Nature has a way of healing everything that ails you emotionally. Since I started getting out there pulling weeds, overgrown ground covers, fighting large stalks of palms, replanting and propagating cuttings . . . oh my, I have such a smile on my face and I feel so invigorated.

I came in to take a break and this 80's song from Cyndi Lauper was playing and it reminded me of me bopping around the yard ready to tear into everything right now. You know, if I had a magic wand and could make it functional, all cleaned up and pretty again . . . I would miss all the fun.

This is a photo of the Palmetto Palm I whipped into shape today . . .

Bromeliads are growing wild in both my front and back yard. The blooming has just begun . . . it will be spectacular when they are all in full bloom. The first photo is a flower bud ready to bloom, the second photo is a flower that has been open several days, so it is not as brilliant . . .

My gardenia bushes are turning into trees . . . the blooming has slowed down, they were covered with the gorgeous white flowers a couple of weeks ago. I started them from cuttings and they took off fast . . . very easy plant to propagate.

Don't laugh, but I have this thing about making trash to treasure. One of my neighbors threw this trash can away when the City provided us with those very cool trash containers on wheels. I've been meaning to paint it . . . and I actually did not plant most of those plants in that container. I was using it to hold leaves to make leaf mold as compost . . . lol this is what happens in my yard, plants appear everywhere like magic. I love elephant ear plants (alocasias) . . . they grow wild in my yard.

Comments from my original post on Yahoo 360

(17 total)

What beautiful thoughts, Gina! Thank you for sharing, and for reminding us that there is so much more to the big picture than what WE see. Great pictures, too!

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 07:45pm (EDT)

Looking good, Gina. I'm a hopeless recycler, too. I take those plastic containers that cakes & cookies come in from the bakery, and make mini greenhouses out of them for seeds. Just poke a hole in the top and there you go. Sounds like you had fun today. Did you get a sunburn on your nose?

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 07:48pm (EDT)

garden therapy is just the best thing ever! i do lots of recyling, too. your bromeliads are gorgeous! i need to take a pic of my elephant ears, too. thanks for the fab pics. enjoy the full moon tonight. *hugs*

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 08:01pm (EDT)

Nature most definitely has a way of healing those things that ail us. Your yard looks lovely and I cannot wait to see everything in full bloom. The trash can fits well. I love how you find the positive through the negative. In this life, we are going to face many trials, but we overcome and grow stronger. We have so much to be thankful for!! Love your blog and your positive outlook on life!!! Hugs, Dawn

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 07:38pm (CDT)

WOW absolutely beautiful. Here in Indiana, if you have an Oak tree, your doing good LOL

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 08:40pm (EDT)

Beautiful! I just love my gardens. I have a butterfly garden, hummingbird garden, veggie garden, and perennial gardens. I have a few related blogs. One about my butterflies and one about garden art and making a bowling ball gazing ball. I'm currently making a 'flower bed' out of an old doll bed that someone threw away.

I try not to throw anything away!

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 09:11pm (EDT)

Chevy, you sound like me. At one time I had used an old brass-look bed frame and used it for a flower bed with trellis . . . actually, it was pretty awesome. I'll try to find some pics. We were in the flea market business, so we always used to find interesting items to use in the garden. The best stuff comes out of someone's trash . . . lol

hmmm David . . . I could never live in Indiana . . . and it gets cold there too . . .

awww Dawn, thank you, but . . . my attitude can get very dark at times . . . I should call my blog "the good, the bad and the ugly" . . . I'm trying to learn how to change my attitude when it starts to turn dark.

Deb, tonight, I'm feeling like a million bucks . . . that is what gardening does for me. Thanks for reminding me about the full moon . . . I had to check it out and spent some time at the park bench by candlelight. I loved it . . .

OMG NS . . . I have used those as concrete molds . . . they make awesome garden stones for a path . . . nice detailing. lol I've used them for little greenhouses too . . . they are so perfect!

Cayenne, I was due for a MAJOR attitude adjustment!! I love sharing the good with the bad . . .

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 09:56pm (EDT)

Oh, how wonderful! You can grow GARDENIAS!!!

Up here, fragrant gardens are limited to lilac, roses, heliotrope and other annuals, plus magnolia trees. Apart from that, there's not much.

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 07:45pm (PDT)

Talk about fragrance . . . the night blooming jasmine fill the night time air with the most delicious fragrance ever . . . great time to spend time outdoors. Those are like trees in my back yard and choking out everything around it!

Tuesday August 28, 2007 - 10:53pm (EDT)

I just love your post, such peaceful therapy.. and I am totally envious of your gardenia bushes... They are so beautiful. Have a wonderful rest of the week, and thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for Matthew. He's doing better.

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 01:36am (EDT)

the gardens looking good :) lots of work to get it back from over grown but it will be worth it in the end :)

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 02:27am (EDT)

I was totally urbanized at one point in my life, and gardening was the last thing on my brain, but since then, I have discovered the soothing effects and benefits of mother gardens, and she got me into it...tackling that Palmetto was quite an undertaking! Where do you live anyway? It almost looks tropical in nature. I'll look on your page and see if I can figure it out when I am done here.

"Girls just wanna have fun..." oos, wrong song...her stuff was always so cool or upbeat. I also loved True Colors before Phil Collins made it so popular (although I love both versions :)

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 03:50am (MST)

This is beautiful!!!

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 07:21am (EDT)

Bromeliads in your back garden? Wow! That's amazing!

The grumpy old lady next door told me off the other day. She told me 'In the 18 months you've lived here I've never seen you smile. And I watch you every day!' That thing about watching me freaked me out a little, until I realised it wasn't true. If she'd been watching me she'd have seen me smile everytime I weed out those front flower beds, every time I trim the roses and every time I water teh hanging baskets. Nothing makes me more content than pottering in the garden. I have a really long daily commute and sometimes it's the thought of that garden that gets me home in one piece.

Great blog xxx

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 07:58pm (BST)

Oh Gina I love your garden, no wonder you feel good having been working in it. I too collect things to plant things in, the trash bin is great, I don't think you should paint it, it looks natural the way it is:) Great blog Gina, it is always so nice coming to your page. Especially to see what you are grateful for, I think we can all learn from that.

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 04:07pm (CDT)

Cyndi Lauper is so "unusual" smiles. yeppers the sun came out and i went to my garden nibbled on rasberries got some compost done but mostly basked lazily. It was fine to give thanks and praise.

Wednesday August 29, 2007 - 04:59pm (CDT)

Nice bromeliad blossom. :-)

Thursday August 30, 2007 - 10:06am (PDT)