Mourning After Irma

Like a drunken lumberjack, the powerful eye of Hurricane Irma roared down our street.  The destruction to the landscape was unprecedented. We have endured hurricanes that brushed us with similar paths; Andrew in 1992, Jeanne, Frances and Charley in 2004.  Each time they knocked out power for over a week. Trees leaned and weak branches…

Cedar Table

Wood inspires me. I bought this slab of Southern Red Cedar from a mill in Waldo, Florida last year and recently put it to use. We needed a small table next to our recliner where we could rest a cup of coffee and a book. First I searched for a table with four legs at…

Florida Flower Trials

What sort of person goes to Epcot, only takes pictures of plants, then leaves with a smile on his face? Any attendee at the Florida Flower Trials last month in Orlando, Florida. This annual gardening exhibit is sponsored by the Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association (FNGLA) Floriculture Division. The purpose is to encourage plant breeders…

Chest of Drawers

A jeweler I know needed to organize her many creations so I made this towering chest of drawers. The top part has three sides, screened, where she can hang earrings. The bottom part has ten shallow drawers for bracelets along with two deeper drawers for other storage.    

Bad Irrigation

We are enduring a typical April drought in south Florida. It’s hot, it’s dry and rainy season usually rolls in after Mother’s day in May. Until then we gardeners are painfully conscious of water conservation. That’s why we get ticked-off by blatant water wasters. Yes, there are obvious scofflaws that water their lawns every night…

Grapevine Murals

A blank canvas is inspirational. And so is a blank wall. These two walls that flank the baptismal pool at our church just call out for artwork. We have used these walls to hang silk flowers and now use this space for seasonal banners. I imagined what would look good there, not distract from the…

TPIE 2017

The Tropical Plant Industry Exhibit in Ft. Lauderdale had much to brag about. Here is a braided sansevieria floating in mid-air. How about a box of bugs? These green lacewings will devour other plant eating insects. Does your hanging basket twirl? These new dwarf bougainvilleas do.

The Lorax Puked (Bad, Sad Trees)

I was stunned and saddened by the number of mangled Florida Live Oaks surrounding this (unnamed) business in Naples. These trees might have been planted correctly, then staked, and then guyed with wires wrapped in hose. But that was seven years ago! Stakes and other supports should be removed within six months after planting. Nearly…

Garbage Palms

Dead plants don’t bother me, if they died from natural causes. But these Cabbage palms died from ignorance. This is a little strip mall on US 41 in Fort Myers, FL. These palms have been planted for about a year and all of them are dead or dying, while the neighboring plants are surviving. I…

Jelly Bean Box (Hypertufa Succulent Planter)

What fun, making a pot out of dirt. Actually hypertufa is a mix of peat, perlite, and cement but working with it is just like making mud pies. I went for the rustic look so I did not screen the peat, making it lumpier with some sticks. And I colored it “charcoal” to avoid the…

Succulents in the Swamp

Although we tracked through mud and puddles 3″ deep, the cactus and succulents were dry at Isaac Farms in Homestead, Florida.  Solid fiberglass and poly roofs kept most of the typical daily rainfall off of these drought-tolerant plants. Click on the photos for a full view and some captions.