February 8, 2017

Garden art, veggies, and a new plant!

From a gardener's standpoint, at least one who is trying to grow tropicals in a non-tropical zone, this has been a wonderful winter season so far . . . not a single day of frost (knock on wood).  I have a mango tree full of mangoes, Mexican tithonias that have never stopped blooming, and butterflies already laying eggs.  I know all that can change next week, but for now ~ I am very thankful.

I've stayed fairly busy all season long ~ adding new garden art (I've become a recent fan of reading statues) . . . 

. . . and keeping up with the veggie garden.  This past weekend I had both the kids over helping themselves to kale, broccoli, herbs, etc.  It warms my heart to see them out there harvesting stuff to take home.  Even with a mild winter, my cold season veggies have done exceptionally well.  So yep, already have my spring veggie seeds ready to go.  :-)

My resident hummer left sometime in early January with no sightings in February either.  But there are plenty of blooms to provide nectar (being enjoyed by the bees) and I still keep the feeders out (also being enjoyed by the bees).  :-)

This past weekend Jen came to visit and we took a trip to the farmers market.  Since Philip broke his foot we haven't been in weeks (at least 3 more weeks to go too!).  There is one plant vendor there that I just love as he always seems to have something new . . . or at least something I "need".  This weekend it was something new - a rose allamanda (Strophanthus gratus).  This one is trained as a shrub (they can also climb) ~ and the blooms smell amazing . . . like a cross between an orchid and a rose.  I had never seen one before so home it went.

While at the farmers market, we also hid some painted rocks.  Here in Lakeland (and other cities too) there is a group of folks on Facebook called "Lakeland Rocks" (30,000+ members).  The idea is to paint rocks, hide them, and also hunt for them too if you'd like.  It's a pretty big deal - with the City even getting involved.  I like it because it gets people (especially kids) out and about - and away from their electronics.  I also find it very relaxing to paint the rocks, although I'm not much for finding them.  Some of the really large rocks (bigger than a softball like the one above) I've painted and placed around my garden.

And others, like these sugar skulls, I've hidden around town (or given to Jen as she LOVES anything sugar skull).  :-)  This was started by one family . . . and has really turned into a huge community project.  Such a great idea ~ and so much fun!

Well, that's it for now . . . counting the days till spring (40).  💗💗💗


  1. Good to hear from you once again. It's always a treat to see and read about your gardens.

    Of your three garden ladies, while I love the one on the right reading her book, my heart was stolen by the one in the middle. She is wonderful!

    Great painted rocks.

    Happy February ~ FlowerLady

  2. Your veggies look gorgeous! So glad you are able to harvest some goodies and share as well. We are still a week away from starting anything in our temporary garden.

    Those rocks are brilliant! And what a great idea! It's kind of like letter-boxing, without all the fuss. Fun, fun!

    Enjoy your weekend. Glad you got out and about.

  3. Hi Eli, You are quite the artist. Your rocks are so colorful and cheery. I've heard about this project and it sounds like fun. Love your rose allamanda. I can see why you were smitten with it. It has been a wonderful winter and it looks like your veggie garden has done well. So nice of you to share your bounty. Anytime we can get thru winter without a freeze is a good one.

  4. Wow, those painted rocks are really good. I would be so excited to find such a beautiful thing. What a cool project!

    I'm very jealous of your tree full of mangoes! That sounds heavenly!