Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Flock of Flamingos......

Hello from
Ten Gables,

Man, is it hot and humid today! It is 92 degrees with humidity at 46% and just out for a walk melts you right down! The forecast for the next 10 days is very hot, and my poor garden is not liking this one bit! The squash leaves have wilted today and look so pitiful. The squash is blooming great, but I don't know if this weather will ruin it or not. I hope it survives!

In Florida, our main garden is in winter and for a summer garden, you must plant very early, by Feb. 19th or it just gets too hot. I did plant early, but now we are having unseasonably hot weather.

Check out this flock of pink flamingos. Aren't they just gorgeous.? I think they like it around the old oak trees! Well, I like them there---they are plastic! From a distance one does a double take at first glance. From the highway in front of the property, they look like the real thing. I bought them at the Dollar Tree today. Just could not resist getting a small flock and actually may need a few more for a real splash of color. What do you think? I know an odd number of anything is better than an even, so I got 5 of them, but now I am thinking maybe 9 would be good. Can you have too many of a good thing?

On to some photos of the flowers that are prettiest today. One good thing about the heat is we do have some lovely tropical flowers. Here is the huge bloom of a yellow hibiscus. I love the deep red center.

Well, I did find a nice little pepper today on one of the pepper plants. Don't remember the variety, but it is a sweet pepper, I am sure. It is a pale green, whereas I also have the regular green ones coming on and have picked one so far.

Here is the yellow rose blooming profusely. The leaves don't do so well in hot weather (black spot), but the blooms are good.

The orange double hibiscus is absolutely full of blooms. This seems to be their best ever.

At the very top of this post is the Florida bleeding heart,one of my very favorite plants. It is different from the regular bleeding heart in more Northern climates, and is a beauty in its own right. I do miss the beautiful pink bleeding hearts we had in Kentucky. Every area has its own beauty, though, and we can appreciate all.

Now here is a question for you. How do you get rid of stray cats? We have a stray mother cat who has had kittens here. We trapped the kittens and took them to the animal shelter, where they will get them in homes, but the mother cat is trap savvy and we cannot catch her or get near her, yet she roams around the property and sleeps under our renter's cars. I put out moth balls today under the cars and around the property (they also deter snakes).I even bought a water gun and tried to douse her and she ran away into the bushes. Any suggestions? She has brought in 2 Tom Cats,too, so we will have more kittens again, I am afraid. As far as we know, no one here is feeding her. Help!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Family matters

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter. My grandchildren were here and after church we had an Easter Egg hunt. The eggs were filled with coins, so that made it extra interesting to them!
Austin is opening all his eggs in this photo and getting out the money.

Andrew turned 13 on Friday, and this photo was taken at Jaxson's in Dania, Florida. He is ready to dig into a huge strawberry waffle with ice cream and topped with a birthday sparkler. Now he is officially a teen!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beautiful flowers....Happy Easter!

Hello everyone,

I just completed a walk around the gardens here and found so many beautiful blooms, just in time for Easter. My neighbor, Margaret, has a green thumb and her little garden is just stunning with all her pretty blooms. So we will start there on our little journey.

How can your heart help but soar when you see all her lovely flowers?

Mexican petunias against the white walled cottage.

A pot chock full of beautiful Caladium leaves. These are pink speckled with a green border.

Across the way a bit is a big gardenia bush. It is in full bloom and smells delightful. Margaret likes to float some cut blooms in a bowl of water with a few little tea light candles floating among them. I suppose the tea lights intensify the lovely smell of the flowers.

A close up photo of one of the big gardenia blooms.

Margaret's kitty had to come to the door and peer through the screen to see what in the world I am doing in the garden!

One of Margaret's roses and one of my favorite colors in roses.

A red rose set against a white picket fence.

The marigolds have the biggest flowers on them that I have seen. Maybe they are "doubles"; whatever, they are huge!

I love zinnias in Florida (or anywhere). They bear the heat well and are so easy to grow. The colors in these are really special.

Margaret has two lovely hanging baskets on each side of her front door. She told me the name of these petunias, but I forgot! At any rate, they are really eye-catching and colorful.

Here is the whole pot just brimming over with petunias.

Another Caladium, this one is a very striking deep pink with a wide green border. It looks very bold against the white of the cottage.

Back to my garden, I see the Easter Lily has indeed bloomed just in time for Easter!

Happy Easter to all. Wishing you and your family a joyful Easter filled with the true meaning of Easter. Don't forget that Jesus Christ died for you and arose again, so that you might have everlasting life! And I want to wish my grandson, Andrew, a Happy 13th Birthday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Out and About

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables on this hot day in Florida! It is well in the 80's and all I felt like doing so far outside is a quick walk out. This evening when the sun starts going down I will be outside doing a bit of work. I need to weed my veggie garden and always, as usual, water things. It is so dry here and we really need rain.

This is a weed blooming little star-shaped flowers in the yard among the grass. I think it is quite pretty, so I will just let it be and eventually it will disappear. It will be nice to "hide" Easter eggs in for the grandchildren!

The cyclamen looks nice on my back porch and is doing well.

Here is a view of the back porch with the shelf I moved out there. I have added more plants since taking the photo and it is a warm and welcoming spot. In fact, it is a little too warm at the moment to really enjoy sitting there, but late in the day and early in the morning it is perfect!

I need to walk out into the yard and fill up the bird bath. The poor birds love it when they have some water out there. That will be another chore this evening!

The Pygmy palm needs a bit of trimming. Still another chore. I am tired and haven't even started. There is always much to do in a garden, but what a pleasant distraction to life's little worries. Happy gardening to you! Egretta

Monday, April 18, 2011

A day making greeting cards!

Hello everyone, This morning a friend and I met at the KOA pool to do exercies and then came to my studio to make greeting cards! We spent several hours making cards, only interrupted to go to the local sandwich shop for lunch. It was very creative and lots of fun! We madea template similar to SunBonnet Sue and cut her out of printed fabric, used a glue stick to glue her onto card stock and embellished her in different ways. We also used cloth to cut out flowers and we even glued on doilies to cards. They were all cute!
I think people will really enjoy receiving hand made cards. I buy them sometimes at craft shows and pay a little more than usual for a one of a kind card!

We didn't even go into our paper stash! so we will have to have another day of this soon. Click on the picture for a closer look!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Sunday walk and a green lizard

Hello from Ten Gables cottage,

It is a nice sunny and warm day here, so I strolled around the gardens and found some interesting things! The Easter Lily I planted after Easter last year has sprouted a nice large bud and will probably be open by Easter Sunday.

The Peace Lily that was almost killed by frost last winter is now blooming very nicely. Here is a bloom peeking through the balusters.

I think I have this picture of the banana tree sideways, but you can see how green and healthy it looks.

Oh, My! This is how it looked last January when it was struck by freezing temperatures in Florida. I didn't think it would survive, but it did!

My little tin bunny peeks around a beautiful caladium.

The lovely Jacaranda tree is in blooming with a show of violet blue, trumpet shaped flowers. It was a tiny gift from a friend years ago and has been hurt by hurricanes and storms and freezing temps. but it has survived and is very colorful this time of year.

And what kind of tree this is, is unknown to me. It has a strange and interesting trunk and thick foliage. I like it and wish I knew what it is. Does anyone know?

And finally, do you see this little green lizard lying so still, trying to hide from my camera? He is bright green and just a second after this picture he ran into a plant just the same color!

Hope you are having a lovely day. Egretta

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making Simple Doughnuts....very easy!

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables Cottage, Yesterday I made very simple and easy doughnuts from canned biscuits! I used to make these when my children were small and they were always a hit. Well, our church is having soup and sandwich meals every Wednesday night before Lenten services, and I was asked to bring a dessert for last night! I made some cookies, but I had three cans of biscuits in the fridge left over from last Wed. night when they made "open faced sandwiches" of creamed chicken over biscuits. All you do to make delicious doughnuts, is to cut out a hole in each canned biscuit, as shown here. Then you deep fry the biscuits and hole in deep oil until brown. You turn them once as each side browns.

When browned, remove from the cooking oil and roll in mixed sugar and cinnamon. The three cans made 30 donuts amd 30 donut holes. Everyone at church loved them! The biscuits I used were the cheap store brand ones, so it doesn't really matter what kind you use! Try this if you haven't already done so....you'll get raves!

Have a great day, Egretta

Monday, April 11, 2011

Easter bunnies everywhere!

Hello everyone from Ten Gables Cottage, I went out for a little walk and decided it was high time to put out some Easter decorations! I usually do some things in the yard to welcome my grandchildren when they come for an egg hunt. I fill many eggs with coins and a few dollars for that egg hunt. They love it! I don't do that until they arrive, but the decorations will get me in the mood! It is a glorious and hot day here today. Everything has greened up nicely even though we have not had much rain in a while! The heat index is in the 90's today, so it feels like Summer rather than Spring. I joined the KOA so I can swim everyday, so for the past week, my friend and I have been going to the pool and exercising. Feels great! I found a wooden bunny I had bought years ago at a craft show and put him in with the ornamental kale.....he seems quite happy there!

Out front, I always decorate the base of the huge live oak tree. I put aother wooden bunny out there and a bunch of plastic eggs. They are big and the tree is on a slight hill, so I use Spanish moss to keep them from rolling around.

When the grandchildren come, they will roll them around for fun!
Here us a close up telling you to have a "hoppy Easter". I found a wreath to hang on the front porch. It looks a little worn, but I love the carrots hanging down. This is such a great time of the year! Hope you are having fun and being a little creative, too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Look what's RED today!

Happy Sat. from Ten Gables cottage, I discovered a pineapple starting to grow in the pineapple plants. I have three plants together at the side of the house and one is going to have a pineapple! They mature in July or early August, so it has a lot of growing to do. As it grows, it will not look so red as it does now. Yum! I will have to watch it when it starts to ripen because it is a favorite of raccoons! Last year, I had one I was watching. I said, "O.K tomorrow I will cut it". Was a raccoon within hearing distance? When tomorrow came, it was gone! I think this year, I will pick it a little early and lay it up to finish ripening. Still just as good.I will put it in the garage to ripen, where little creatures can't get it! How I grew these is: I cut the top off a pineapple and stick it in the ground; it grows! It takes about 2 years to get fruit, however. My grape tomato plant is full, full, full and overflowing with lovely ripe tomatoes! Just one plant! The three other tomatoes I planted are larger varieties and were planted a couple of weeks after this one, so they are flowering now. I also have some green peppers showing up and growing on the pepper plants. It sure does not take long to see results in the garden! I have zucchini, yellow squash, and egg plant really growing, and one bloom on the zucchini. It is fun to watch the garden grow! Today is hot here, about 87 degrees, so I know I will be watering things tonight! Fresh and ready to eat!