No doubt about it, the gorgeous weather is here to stay. No excuses anymore for this mess of a garden. I've let things go all winter, since I can't bear the chill in my bones. No, it isn't just about being wimpy. I have serious cold-sensitivity issues that cause my bones to ache and my skin to burn when the temperature falls below 70°F. TMPI, huh? So anyway, this Saturday is spring cleaning day here in the PITV garden, and BIG changes are taking place! Bless my husband's heart! He has been out there chopping and digging and weeding for hours already this Saturday morning. And he has made decisions for me that I have been waffling over for two years!
What gloriously blazing blooms are sizzling in my landscape here at November's end!! I am submitting this to the Hawaiian Plant Fanatic's Hot, Loud & Proud meme that he hosts at the end of every month. Pop on over if you'd like to see other sizzling blooms or join in yourself.
It's time for the worldwide Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted the 15th of each month at May Dreams Garden. A bloom meme is quite overwhelming for me in November, which is one of the peak bloom months in my garden. But I don't have room for dozens of photos, so I must pick and choose the best. Oh, it's so hard!
It was a hot, hot October here in the valley. We had many a day this past month that peaked over 90 degrees (that's Fahrenheit to the rest of the world). The average high in October was only 85 though, with the average low at just 64, not such bad numbers when compared with summer. In fact, I've heard some locals refer to it as downright cool. There was a catch, though. Here in the valley, we received all of 0.01 inches of rain this whole month! Virtually nothing. There was one day I remember actually getting rain...more like a steady sprinkling for a short bit one morning. It was exciting, though! The whole family went out on the porch to watch it. (One month of drought and you'd think we were desert-dwellers.) Anyway, in hot, droughty weather like this, I am grateful that I have so many tough plants. Indeed, some of them are just gettin' goin' right now.
My walk through the garden today fell a bit short of idyllic and peaceful. In fact, I witnessed a few outright nightmares! If you are squeamish or prone to fainting, beware as you enter this post today......
You know, sometimes, I'm just in need of a pick-me-upper. Yes, I had a Melancholy Monday. But I rose early this Tuesday morning and got my hands on as much positive reading material I could to put a proper spin on things. Sometimes a little positive thinking and peaceful meditation is what we need to start a new day. I have a nature that struggles a bit more than most with that concept of optimism. My post today is hardly original, as I've gone a little quote-crazed, but I just wanted to share some of the inspiration I found this morning from some of history's great minds.
No, I am not blind. I peruse the Garden Blogworld daily, and I have not missed those brazen displays of autumn glory out there...the pumpkins, the scarecrows, and worst of all, the changing leaves. There is something about growing up in the Deep South that makes one feel as though they are missing out on something in the fall. I know some folk who get downright depressed over it. Those Floridians who have time and money to burn will be found journeying northward these next few weeks to witness the splendor of this changing of the seasons. Those who don't...well...they will feel a little empty, even if they can't quite put their finger on the reason. Perhaps we would have never noticed if shops and schools and restaurants in town were not festooned in leafy garlands and pumpkin displays. This decoration is surely the inspiration of northern transplants missing their homeland: a Florida native would scarcely even know of such things as changing seasons were we not under such influences.
I really have far too much to do this week and am really feeling that Wednesday "hump day," so I have no business spending time in the garden or posting on this blog. But you know, I must have a quick meander through the garden. So much is going on!
Oh, what winter has done to my tropical world! Yes, it is nearly October, I know, and last winter should be a distant memory. So why am I still talking about it? Because I cannot walk through my garden without constant reminders of that vicious season! There are so many, many plants I've waited patiently for all summer. Yes, they are reviving, leaf by leaf, branch by branch.
Susan of Simply Susan! asks us to share our current favorites each month, but I've found the further we travel from winter, the harder this task becomes. I do think there must be hundreds of plant species in my garden. Some day, I will have to catalog the lot of them. It is unbelievable how many plant babies I can cram in this tiny space. Problem is, nearly everything looks great right now, and of course, I love 'em all, so it's hard to narrow the faves down to a reasonable number. Well, I'll give it a go anyway:
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.
It is difficult to believe that summer ends today. It seems only yesterday that my garden wakened from winter. I will truly miss you, Summer. I will miss those long days. Oh, how I dread the days when darkness falls early. Even I, garden-obsessed as I am, will not sit in my garden in the dread black of night. But seasons must come, and seasons must go.
September brings its sighs. Sighs of relief, that is. I took a walk through my garden yesterday and can honestly say I'm sighing that big sigh of relief that I still actually have a garden. The devastation of winter's arctic blast is history. Tropicals are flourishing once again, and while I do know another winter is on the horizon, and we cannot predict its fury, right now, I'm trying to just enjoy the bounty day by day. This year, my garden has taught me valuable lessons in patience, perseverence, humility, and hope. So come, walk with me, and see what my garden is today.
August has brought my hot garden much needed downpours of rain and shady cloud cover. It has been a pleasant month. And now it's time again to search for my best and brightest tropicals for the Hot, Loud & Proud meme hosted at the end of every month by the Plant Fanatic in Hawaii. Here's what I found today:
Seriously, what's wrong with the number 1? I've read many a garden book over the years, and if there's 1 thing I've learned it's that we should always avoid planting just 1 of a kind. It supposedly gives the garden a hodgepodge effect, and nothing really works together. The eye has difficulty focusing in such a place. Specimen usage should be reserved for very special plants or trees and used sparingly. Never more than 1 specimen to a bed!!!