Honey, I’m Home


It’s funny to write that headline, “Honey, I’m Home,” because I’ve never really gone away. There have been a few trips — all crammed into a short span of time — but for the most part, I’ve been home.

I noticed my own absence when I realized the last piece I wrote for this blog was in April.  April! Nothing in May, and now June is over. I had ideas, just not the time nor the energy. I think I’ll chalk it all up to a part-time job that felt like a full-time job in the nursery department of a home improvement store — but that’s a post for another day — and a part-time job writing for an Internet marketing agency.

That means a lot has been neglected. For starters, there’s the blog itself and all of the comments that have been sitting there since Spring. I like to respond to all readers who comment, and to have them remain unanswered is . . . Well, let’s just say Miss Manners would not be pleased with me.

There’s also the matter of the garden. I’ve tried to keep up with it, but as I said, there were a series of trips in a short span of time — to Chicago for my birthday, to Orlando to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a book and film series about which I know nothing), to Jamaica for my nephew’s wedding, and then to New York for my niece’s high school graduation.

When Joe and I returned home and looked around, all I saw was weeding, mowing, weeding, pruning, chasing the iguanas that took full advantage of my absence, weeding, and discovering new blooms . . .

Did I happen to mention weeding?

The front flower bed is in a state of transition. In other words, I stopped mulching it until I figure out my plan there. The weeds, as they often do, took advantage and grew taller than the coco plum hedge.

Iguanas!!!!

There are no words for the pain I felt when I returned home and saw the damage iguanas had done to several of my desert rose plants — the same ones I started from seed in May 2017. Iguanas are not supposed to eat desert rose — that’s why I planted them in pots surrounding the pool. South Florida, though, is overrun with these reptilian beasts, invasive eating machines without any natural predators. Their numbers are so large they’re eating plants not in their usual diet and even venturing into neighborhoods not on canals.

The Good Stuff

I believe this is an Epidendrum Orchid, given to me by a friend.

All I did was plant them — three bromeliads, planted close to one another, all blooming at the same time.

I moved these Shrimp Plants from pots in the front yard to pots in the side yard. It didn’t go so well — when I removed them, I literally had roots and no soil. Once transplanted in good garden soil, I cut them back and crossed my fingers. I think the finger crossing helped the most.

Note to self: Plant more Caladium.

Ground Orchids bloomed — and the iguanas haven’t noticed them yet.

Murphy . . .

Before I close, I also must mention something else that happened. In between trips, Joe and I had to make a decision to put our Tibetan Terrier, Murphy, to sleep. While that decision is never an easy one to make, it was for the best.

When we lived on Long Island, Murphy was always in the garden. She even had a brief fling with blogging stardom when an artist spotted Murphy and me on a bloggers and their dogs site. Naturally, Murphy stole the show, and the artist asked to paint her portrait for a fundraiser . . .

Somewhere between then and now, her legs and even her tail twisted and bent. The vet explained it was some sort of auto-immune disease that attacked her joints.

By the time we moved to Florida — Murphy loved the warmer climate — she needed to be carried everywhere. Somehow, she was always able to get into a squatting position to do her business, and she had different moans and barks to let me know what she needed: food, water, this room or that. She was Blanche and I was her Baby Jane.

So many people told Joe and me that we should put her down — but she was never in pain. Other than not being able to walk, she was as healthy as any other dog. The vets were even amazed. She was merely inconvenient, and that wasn’t reason enough to put her down.

Her will to live was remarkable, but eventually her body really rebelled — and we knew it was time.

When we received Murphy’s ashes, there was a note with a small heart attached to it: forget-me-not seeds. Eventually, Joe and I will bury her ashes and find the perfect shrub for her — but that small heart of pressed paper and seeds was a beautiful and timely reminder for me to get back in the garden and to be home.

The Great Hyacinth Challenge


The pot of hyacinths arrived in my life nearly a year ago. A delivery of them had arrived at work as a precursor to Easter — a highly scented way of reminding South Floridians they too could have bulbs heralding the arrival of spring, which actually feels more like summer.

The thing is, South Florida weather is not kind to hyacinths — and so many other spring-flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils. When pots of blooms are purchased, they’re meant to be houseplants and then trashed.

Continue reading

These Are The Days For Projects


After Joe and I purchased our house in 1992 — one month before Hurricane Andrew — we traveled to South Florida during  December and February school recesses to get our yard-work fix.

The somedays were the conversations we had as we trimmed palms and imagined: “Someday, the pool will be here.” “Someday, there will be a hibiscus hedge.” “Someday, we’ll be able to get a bottle of water from our refrigerator and use our bathroom.”

Continue reading

Bloomin’ Update 59: Twenty Years To Life


It’s difficult to believe that it’s the first day of winter, WordPress has added snow, the holidays are upon us, and 2017 is coming to an end. For many, this time of year is an opportunity to look back and reflect.

My day of reflection, though, happened on December 12, the 20th anniversary of my car accident.

Continue reading