Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Phase 1:
Start with the icicles on the roof.
Phase 2:
Columns, Front Porch, Candy Cane Walkway, Reindeer, Santa Train, and Penguin sled.

Phase 3:
Add Greenery
Large Wreath
OK - VERY large wreath. Just over 4 feet!
A Fresh garland bough over the front door.
Sprigs for the front.
One for each of the front shutters.
Phase 4:
MORE lights!
Spotlight for the penguin sled.
Lights along the fences to the left and right.
Even pretty during the daytime!
 Phase 5: Final phase
Sam's gift

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fort Christmas Dragonfly

Last weekend Sam and I went to Fort Christmas with our neighbor. They had their annual craft fair on Saturday and Sunday.

The best part of these fairs is all of the wonderful local crafts. We didn't spend a lot of money, but we did bring home one thing - a plaster cast welcome sign. It was plain plaster with a clear sealant on it.

I spent the last few days detailing it out and made it pop out of the plaster and come to life! The dragonfly has an amazing iridescent shimmer that makes the dragonfly look alive!

Hope you enjoy! And it will soon be placed by the front door for everyone to enjoy when they arrive at the front door.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Merry Christmas

After a brief hiatus, I am coming back to my blog :-)

More to come again soon - promise. In the mean time, the holiday spirit is starting to kick in! Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Elusive Cactus and Succulent Table

So with the last post, I have had several questions come up about the cactus and succulent table. It seems to be of such high interest that I knew last week the next post would be reserved for just the Cactus and succulent table. I apologize for taking so long, but I have been feeling a little under the weather since Saturday and come Tuesday, poor enough to finally head to the doctor and found that I had Strep Throat... It sucks! Finally today my fever has broken, and I have felt chipper enough to actually venture outside and check the status of all the plants in the gardens. Luckily for me it has rained almost daily since last week!

Let me start by saying that the cactus and succulent table never really started out for this purpose! It was simply a nursery area for all of the new arrival plants that I felt needed some extra attention before getting them into the gardens (being a bargain shopper, clearance at Lowe's has always been my friend!). This also served as an area for me to root my cutting and get them starting on their own before I sent them out. For the most past, everything has filtered out except for the cactus and succulents!

I have plans for a nice large arid garden on the North side of the house, just behind the pool pump. I think with the sandy soil here, I probably just need to till it up and clean it up and drop the plants in! (Thank you Skeeter for the giveaway! It will be much help on this project!)

I digress... Let me share... Let me share...

The tall Prickly Pears in the back have bloomed several time with nice pretty yellow flowers.

This is from a piece of Jade that Sam's mom gave us.

Getting ready to bloom!

More cuttings and they're doing good!

I have no clue what this one is, but it's definitely unique! Looks all spiny, but it's not prickly in the slightest.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

cranberry lime succlent

In December I was at Lowe's hunting for just the right succulents to create a succulent garden for my Mother (Black Thumb). For Christmas, I decided it would be a great gift for her since I could create a contained succulent garden that wold only need water every week or so. In hunting for her succulents, I also decided to get enough to fill in my cactus and succulent table.

I gathered up all kinds of succulents eagerly. I searched high and low for different colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. With as many as I was taking, I lined them up in one of the trays and rushed home as quickly as I could to get the succulent garden set up. It looked beautiful! So beautiful that I had to create a table top version for myself too!

As the little plastic tray emptied out, I discovered all kinds of scculent pieces and leaves. Of course, what would I think?! "Why not just grab up all the little pieces and see if anything roots?!" And that, of course, is what I did.

A couple of them struggled through, made some progress, but then shriveled right up into nothing. However... just one powered through and has become it's own little plant! I found a bottle from Cranberry Lime Schmirnoff. I used a bottle cutter to remove the top of the bottle and made a little planter.

I thought the "flavor" of the succulent was cranberry and lime since it was red and green :-) How appropriate?!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mom's old cactus

Last year my Mom was moving back to Ocala and in the move she decided to give us a cactus that she had actually had for many years. I remember it sitting in a pot on the deck since I was a little kid. Even with mom's black thumb, the cactus stayed alive. Well now it came to our house in the same little black pot it had always known for about 15 years or so.

As we got it home, it just seemed like it was begging to be transplanted. It needed more space, more nutrient rich dirt and just a good spot in the sun. So we did just that and waited... About a month or so ago, there was finally a bloom on the plant and it had shown significant growth. I could barely contain myself with getting to see the first bloom after so long. Sadly, the night it bloomed, I missed out.

Within the last week, Sam and I noticed the blooms coming in again! This morning he took Molly-dog (we just started to call her that instead of Marley) outside for her morning backyard stroll and came back in at about 10 minutes to 5 (yes... I was not happy....) telling me that I needed to get up to see something in the backyard.

Reluctantly, I dragged my half-asleep body out of bed. Sam told be to bring my phone... So I did. And just outside the slider from the Master Bedroom out by the pool, I understood all of sudden why it was so important!

These photos just don't do it justice! There were two large beautiful white blooms just soaking up the rays of the falling moon. The sky was clear and the air was still. The flowers were widely awake, even if I wasn't.

A quick glance around the yard and I also peeked the other backyard night bloomer: the goards.

The delicate vine has trellised nicely and has started to meander towards the rain barrell. Its delicate white flowers look like they are cut from the finest tissue paper and glued into place. Because of the night blooming, it's rare that I get to enjoy the flowers on this vine.

As I dragged myself back to the slider to crawl back in bed, the protector of the night gardens was enjoying his feast from thefloodlight buffet and poked his head out to let me know he had his eye on things.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Today Molly joined the family! A beautiful 7 month old puppy, still growing. She is so sweet and loving and already Sam and I have bonded with her. Can't wait for all the good times to come!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Attack of the Gulf Fritillaries!

With all of the rain we've had recently, it's such a pleasure to see the growth in the gardens.

In the backyard behind the pool, we have our three "color panels" starting to take shape! The two outside panels have different colors of bougainvilleas.

The smaller shrimp colored bougainvillea on the left panel.
A big bright magenta on the right.
The center panel was planted with a small purple passionflower vine. With all of the rain, it has grown in leaps in bounds! Yesterday, I was able to catch it's first bloom; however, it was mangled from falling on the ground in the torrential downpours.

So I trained the vine up onto the wood panels and hoped that the future blooms would open up in the next day or two and show beautiful blooms. I checked again when I got home...

Sadly, not mangled by the rain, but eaten by caterpillars. Upon closer examination, little caterpillars littered the passionflower.

I checked online and found they are gulf fritillaries. Gonna leave them for now and see if they stick around. Even though they ate the passionflower vine, it looks like it's going to be ok and continue growing,. Just decided that if they've already had their fill, perhaps they will be able to grace our backyard once they become beautiful butterflies!