As some of you know, I’ve spent a little more than two years working as a water boy in the garden center of a local box store. It was a bucket list kind of a job, something to do part time, something to fill up a few hours of the day.
I really just wanted to water plants.
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.
I think I have fall envy.
That thought first occurred to me as September 21 was approaching and all of the local and chain coffee shops and microbreweries started touting their pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin beer, pumpkin everything.
After Irma, life is returning to normal — or, perhaps, to the new normal. While the Florida Keys and the Caribbean have a long road ahead, the Fort Lauderdale area survived.
There was talk in the garden center, recently — a really juicy piece of gossip personally told to me by a customer. Now, I’m not one to gossip, but this is too huge to keep to myself . . .
Iguanas do not eat Desert Rose!
I’ve been intrigued with Bonnet House ever since a water taxi guide pointed it out while we were on the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale during one of our first vacations to South Florida. From the water, the 35 acres look like a jungle, a section of property completely undeveloped and straddling the land between the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean.
Somewhere in all that greenery, though, was a house — an historic house, a legendary house. The story, according to the water taxi guide — who tells tales of all the mansions along the Intracoastal — is the house was the home of two artists, Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett.
My garden doesn’t need me.
Oh, it uses me — for watering and weeding and such — but it really doesn’t need me.