Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday around the garden

Hello everyone, how do you like my sweet little bunny? It is a painted rock, but doesn't he look real?

Spring flowers (above) when I first set them out; they are growing and doing well, as we have had rain and plenty of warm, sunny weather here in Florida.

Begonias enjoy a little bit of shade, too.

Florida grows some delicious sweet onions. No, not me, although I haven't really tried to grow them. These were at the market. I bought one, which is really big and very sweet and mild.

Margaret's succulent plant has a "baby bloom"  
I have all these planted now, not en mass,  like seen here, so they don't make quite the show yet as they did here just waiting. Love Spring flowers!!! Happy Spring and Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rural Life...Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Hello Everyone, 
It is so beautiful here this time of year! Not hot yet, but very lovely and sunny....sort of cool at night and perfect during the day! The photo above is of Lake Okeechobee, which is the 2nd largest lake in Florida, after Lake Michigan. It is 730 square miles and the shoreline is 135 miles. It is fresh water, but one can travel from Lake Okeechobee to the ocean! In winter we get many fishermen enjoying catching Speckled Perch  and fine big Bass and other fish. 
We are also noted for our cattle industry, both diary cows and beef cows. There are thousands of acres of cows and REAL cowboys live and work here. Above is a photo of a sort of friendly bull (I was in my car when photographing this bull!)

The wildlife is plentiful here including birds of all kinds as well as animals from opossum to wildcats! This photo is of the regal Blue Heron. I have painted many paintings of this bird. Click on it and any of these photos for a closer view.

We have lots of Sea Gulls around and I like to take my grandsons down to the lake shore to throw out bread crumbs to the birds. Once we were there and a fellow from out of state, known to locals as a "Snow Bird", began scolding my grandson for throwing "rocks" at the birds, when in fact he was throwing bread crumbs to them and of course, I was right there with him.  I thought how people are often so quick to judge others , especially children.  He drove off before I could tell him what we were doing. I suppose then he told everyone about that bad child throwing rocks.  Before accusing, we need to make sure something bad is happening. Austin was upset about it because he really loves the birds.

The above rooster happens to be fenced in, but believe me I have seen a whole family of chickens roaming around the bank drive-through and then traffic would have to stop while they crossed the street! Only in Okeechobee! By the way, Okeechobee means "Big Water" in the Seminole Indian language. We have a big Seminole reservation here.
We have very beautiful sunsets here and if you drive to the lake to watch, which is very close to my home, there are always several cars of people watching. We don't applaud when the sun goes down, like they do in Key West, but  we all sigh and say that it was another beautiful day in Sunny Florida!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Things...Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hi Everyone, 
Looking around my house, I see so many Irish things, many of them gifts from my daughter who lives in Northern Ireland, others I have bought there myself and some things I have found here in America. It seems that we Americans, at least a lot  of us, like to claim kin to the Irish! What better time to celebrate our Irish backgrounds than around St. Patrick's Day?
I'm not sure of the background of the Claddaugh, but it has the crown, the hands, and the heart, so I like to think of it as meaning this to me: We must love the Lord with all our hearts for he is the King of all and we must hold our families in our hearts and work  for their best, as well as live and work for the Lord. That is my personal belief.
We think of the Four leafed clover as "Lucky". This one is a 3 leafed glass clover that I have hanging in the dining room window just for St. Pat's Day. I am not too keen on "luck"...maybe we make our own "luck", what do you think? But I do like the heart shaped parts of the clover...so pretty.

I found the little lady brush in an old antique store in the country in County Antrim. It is to brush crumbs from the table.  The pitcher and sugar bowl are Belleck and are super thin and translucent. I love the clover design on them.

More Belleck pieces.

This little cottage tea bag holder is so cute! I have a collection of tea bag holders.

My daughter gave me this little Irish pin and it, too, has the Claddaugh on it.

Irish Coffee time!

Cute little Irish Coffee cups...His and Hers.
I have several books of beautiful photos of Ireland. Northern Ireland and Ireland are both full of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. If you haven't been there, I hope you can visit some time. I have been to many different countries and it one of the very prettiest, I think!
This is the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. It is truly amazing how the rock formation is like columns and they were made by nature itself many, many years ago.  I hope you enjoyed my collection of Irish things and I wish you a happy St. Patrick 's Day and many Irish blessings.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Margaret's Garden"

Hi Everyone,  I took a bunch of photos today of my neighbor, Margaret's, garden. She and her hubby, John have put up the cutest greenhouse on their patio! It holds some of her potted veggies and she has started some bulbs there, too. It came in a kit that you put together and has a cover of plastic. When it was cold, she had it closed and her plants were as cozy and warm as could be. I think she said she purchased it at Home Depot for around $25.00. 

Here are her bulbs of glads and iris shooting upward. 

Margaret and John have added some trellis around their patio and planted this  pretty jasmine at the corner.

One of their cats keeps an eye on the herbs growing in window boxes.

Even though the front garden is narrow, it is interesting because of the various heights of plants, types and placement. The hanging pots contain succulents, which will love our summer heat!

A beautiful bloom on a flowering vine. John just erected a cross string for it to climb on so it will cross over the front entrance to the other side. That will be gorgeous!

I keep forgetting the name of this lovely purple blooming tree...I think it is Sapphire .....something!

There once was a bird feeder and a few seeds must have blown around, because a whole bunch of sunflowers have volunteered in a corner! Can't wait to see them bloom.

Such a cute little plant....Margaret says it will bloom orange colored flowers.

A cozy little setting area...it is shady in the afternoons.
The Japanese orchid tree is in full bloom now, too. It is so lovely and heralds Spring in Florida. I took more photos of Margaret's garden and of some of my plants as well, so will post them later. Hope you enjoyed their little garden tour today! Thanks, Margaret and John for letting me share your pretty plants!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hi Everyone,   Here it is, the finished painting I've been working on! I think it turned out pretty good.
It seems more vibrant in real life, but maybe my camera isn't as good as it should be. Maybe the light was
a little off, as I was on the porch with North light, but anyway, you can zoom in on it and get the basic idea!

I am in a flower and garden kind of mood. I went to the garden center again today and bought more
potted flowers. I just can't resist. I will show you some of them in a day or so. As for right now, I must go
water them and make plans for where they will be planted. Hope you enjoy the painting!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring Flowers

Hello Everyone, It is lovely today, although we are having quite cool weather for this time of year in Florida. It is in the upper 30s at night and about 65 today. Tomorrow may be a little warmer, and it is always sunny. I bought some flowers to put outside, but have had to just keep them in a protected spot the past few days and will plant them when it warms just a bit. I have started a painting of the lovely coral lilies.

Above is my started painting. It will have a tea pot and some lace in it. I will have to glaze the lilies more to get a brighter coral. However in real life, the painting is brighter than it looks in the photo, and the photo was taken indoors, while the flowers were taken outside in brighter light. That makes a difference.

I bought some pansies, potted zinnias (can't wait for the seeds to come up..I must have some NOW) and the purple petunias are my favorite, as purple flowers are always the ones that catch my eye!

I have tried to start hydrangeas from cuttings but have not had luck, so I saw this beautiful plant and thought I would try it. I hope it is "Florida Hardy", as some plants are difficult to grow in Florida because of the heat.

More lovelies just waiting for me to put them in the soil!

This orchid lily is tropical, so I think it will thrive without problem.
My Christmas Cactus is just now blooming! Better late than never. I love the Sedum rupestre  plant called
Stonecrop, Florida friendly gold.  I think it will be pretty in front of the flowers. After they are all planted and growing, I will show you the results of the garden. This Spring I am concentrating on flowers and not veggies, as I had nice veggies in the Fall and Winter and it will get hot here before too long. It is easier to grow veggies in Florida when it is a bit cooler. Hope where you live that Spring will soon be there!

Monday, March 4, 2013

More photos from Heathcote Botanical Gardens

Hi Everyone, I have some more photos from Heathcote Botanical Gardens. It is a beautiful, tropical garden in Ft. Pierce Florida.

A new water feature has been added and a number of other interesting features.

The "Chickee" hut is a structure made of palm fronds and the Seminole Indians of Florida are masters of constructing them. They actually act as a roof, much like a thatch roof.

This is an example of an original "Cracker" house, which is a pioneer house of Florida. The first settlers often used whips and "cracked" them in the air to herd the native cattle, so they were called "Crackers".

The azaleas are in full bloom now.

Above is Heathcote House. The lady who gave the beautiful garden for public viewing used to live in this house. It is surrounded by beautiful azaleas and tropical plants.

A new feature of the garden is a Bonsai Pavilion, surrounded by a Bonsai Gallery, which is stunning! I could not believe how many Bonsai trees there were on display. One of them was 110 years of age!

This one may have some dead  on top...I hope not.

Notice the trunk on this one.

This one is a Bougainvillea trained to be a small Bonsai tree. 
I hope you enjoyed this little garden tour...it is Spring in Florida, even though this a.m it was 39 degrees!
Right now it is about 63, which will be the high for today. It is gorgeous and sunny and in fact, my hubby is mowing the yard right now!