Florida chit chat.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi all, hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I've had a busy couple of months. My mom had TKR and it took a real toll on her, she had to be in re-hab for a month afterwards, but is home now and getting so much better.
I know everyone it complaining how hot it is, I'm just happy I haven't had to cover and drag sensitive plants in. Garden is just busting out with flowers like never before. My Christmas cactus are all starting to flower again, the white is always first, azaleas already blooming, a hoya that has never had a flower has a bloom, and a pretty crown of thorns just loving the warm days.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I think with this new forum "upgrade" many of us are missing out on when a new thread gets started or even new posts.

as I was thinking of Bonnie yesterday I thought to myself... I'd better check the Florida Forum.

I have things blooming.... Christmas Cactus, Scarlet Milkweeds, a few Zinns that are sown and cosmos just popped open a few days ago. Porterweed, the Crown of Thorns, and a few things where the names escape me right now.

OH, I found a monarch Cat a week or so ago - if the 10 days in a chrysalis holds true, it should open on the 10th. I'd never had one before so this is quite exciting for me. I'm hoping the cold/cool weather does not effect it.

Thankful for the cooler weather as I was able to get some work done in the yard, though seeing the sun would be nice. We've been quite gray this past week. Supposed to be 77 and partly whatever today.

Terese

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi Terese, nice to hear from you. I do agree with this new format, things seem to get lost.
I've not seen any monarch butterflies around here for awhile, and I do have some blooming milkweed. Got cold last night and frost on the rooftops this morning, hopefully didn't do any damage.
I've emailed Bonnie, she has been busy with the new house plans for her son.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

we were 37 this morning... no frost in sight... yet.

that reminds me, I needed to send Bonnie something.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Haven't been on forums much and now am having to learn this new upgrade???
Sale on my workroom equipment fell through as buyer had a stroke unfortunately. I am also having health issues and going to heart dr. this Thursday hope to get corroded arteries checked. Trying to get all workroom stuff packed like it was but can't sew much anymore. Hope you all have a happy healthy new year.
Bonnie D.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Bonnie sorry to hear about the sale, I had high hopes that one might be it. Hope you're feeling better. We just got back from our trip, still have the motorhome here as Phil has to fix a few things on it. Looks like most plants fared well last night, but some coleus look withered.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OH Bonnie... such a bummer.

I hope it is nothing really serious.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

FYI.....Lukas Nursery has some rain lily bulb packs, white, yellow and pink for 1.99 ea. Inside by the registers.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

expecting 30f by tomorrow morning.... is everyone covering plants?

DH has his shrubs covered... considering getting a sheet to cover my Zinns and a few pots.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

We're a bit micro-climate here at our house. It just now dropped to 35.8 at a bit before 8, so not too bad. I brought some delicate plants awhile back into the FL room, only covered my beautiful tall cane begonias last night and two huge crotons. All the rest needs some trimming back anyway.
Keep warm.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Covered a lot of my plants last week as I have a large supply of landscape blankets on a roll.
Had 2 tests and coronary cat scan next Mon. Will find out why heart is beating too slow and BP staying too high. More fun. I'm taking it pretty easy. That sounds better than saying I'm being lazy.
tcs, brought in the Christmas basil you gave me and now it's blossoming. Makes
the kitchen smell nice.
Last night was in the low 30's here but not for long. Fish are all still swimming around.
Hope all of our gardens do well. Feb. is usually my pruning month anyhow.
Take care all. Bonnie D.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Bonnie -- I love the smell of that basil and the cute purple blooms.

I covered my Zinns last night and some of the stems got bent... I regret doing it. My hanging basket has impatiens and a few few a bit wilty... but it will be fine, plus i can spin the basket so the sad stuff is not seen. My tomato plants are toast - but I pulled anything that was red or turning red.

When I woke up this morning, it was 33 so not too bad. I took Buddy out at 3:30am and i was not cold... thinking it was still upper 30s.

Bonnie -- I'll keep you in my thoughts ....

Terese

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I wondered about the fish, Bonnie. Hope your test go well, keep us posted.

I don't think it got as cold here last night, but there is more frost this morning, 37.6 at sunrise.
I do think the frost blankets are the best, light enough to not weigh down plants, but do keep the frost off. I got all mine on a 50% off clearance after the winter a couple years ago when we had a warm winter and no one bought any at Home Depot.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

yes, I should have used the frost clothes on my Zinns.... DH said we had more. He got his off of Ebay.

I did notice a bit of frost on the roof tops and some of the grassy areas, but my flower beds seemed fine.

YAY for warmth.... Love seeing the blue skies, especially after the many cloudy days we've had lately.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

So far plants all look good. Feb. is the month to watch for plant damage. Once I pruned too early and killed a lot of my plants. Now I wait till first of March before I start pruning off stuff that may not really be dead.

Next Mon. have coronary artery test. Appreciate prayers.
Bonnie D.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

PS Not crazy about this new upgrade. Like learning how to navigate site all over again. YUK

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Bonnie, it has been really hard for me not to start trimming back some things. I finally cut some pentas back, hopefully we don't get a freeze in Feb. Things got a bit over grown in December with such record heat this year.
So far only thing I seemed to see any damage on is my coleus plants.
I even had a few butterflies yesterday. :-)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I have been snipping back my Pentas where there are spent blooms.

most everything else looks fine.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Pentas do get leggy if you don't keep them snipped back some. I have some that are several years old now since we've had some pretty mild winters. The pink one I pictured is a good four years old now.

Does anyone have an electric pole saw? I'm thinking of buying one to trim my oaks, for now I use loppers, but thinking a pole saw would be much easier.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

my DH bought this neat "pole" system for trimming our palms... I'll have to get the name of it, i know he got it on ebay for $280 -- but we have Queen Palms with those huge / dangerous pods. ~~ But it is not electric.

I need to cut back my Pentas. I have 3 of them... starting to look ratting after the cold temps... .

we are getting A LOT of rain... coming up on 4"
we got 3" yesterday, everything is just soggy. Some of my poor seedlings.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

http://www.americantreeservicesupply.com/

DH bought the one that is 279.99

I know it's not exactly what you were asking about... but this cuts palm fronds and pods pretty quickly. And we will Lasso the pods and I pull them so they don't impale me or him or my plants.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the link, I have forwarded it to my husband. I'm hoping he'd do most the work, although I know I'd have to do some of it. Or at least stand and point to where he needs to cut...LOL.

Looking at the weather outlook for February doesn't look too bad, no nights below 40, so I'm going to chance it and cut back my scraggly pentas because I see new growth coming out.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

I bought an electric pole saw just a while back. Sherri, no matter what kind a pole saw is hard to hold in position. I have a gas one I like better but it is on the blink for now and I can't find anyone that seems to want to fix it. Ace said they could but they didn't. Instead told me to junk it and I hate to do that cause it really hasn't had that much use. When you get a chance call me about it. Your hubby seems to be smart at fixing things.
Bonnie

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I wondered about that Bonnie, my trees are pretty up there now. I use a extension pole lopper now to cut them back. I can stand on the ground to do that, but a pole saw would mean climbing a ladder, not too sure I want to do that. I might borrow my brother's first and see if I can do it.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

the one reason DH got that thing he did -- he no longer has to use a ladder... though it is possible your trees are taller than ours. I think we have a 32' extension.

Bonnie -- will be thinking of you tomorrow as you go in for your tests.

Terese

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Go in for test results today.
Got pump down in 1 pond. New one coming today. Going to shop around for different brand as Pondmaster ones I'm using don't make it a year. That's not normal.

Sherri, let hubby trim trees as it is kind of dangerous. Only reason I do it is cause Charlie can't. Getting old stinks.
Bonnie

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Hey Bonnie, best wishes on test results. Keep us posted.

These past nice warm days, both of us have been working in the garden. Phil took down two crape myrtles that sprung up many years ago from our older trees. They were getting quite big and the last thing I need is more trees around here. I also cleaned out a fern patch in the back corner of our garden that has been there since we moved in over 20 years ago. Phil is going to extend the fire pit area a bit there so I can put my hammock up in the months we aren't using the fire pit.

Some blooms from my garden taken this past week....and fall color in my turkey oak.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Sherri -- very pretty blooms.

been busy, our dog is ailing... taking 1 day at a time with him, and it's consuming much of our day.

wanted to go out and trim before the storms hit today -- if they do hit.

Bonnie -- hope you get good results from your tests.

Terese

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Awww, Terese, hope your pooch feels better, our fur babies are so special.

These pics are my Dad's clerodendrum starburst. I gave him a couple years ago. Wasn't blooming in my garden, so dug it up and gave it to him, lots of flowers on it, despite the cooler weather. Bonnie I think I originally got it from your garden.

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Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Completely gutted my back yard. Had the tree guys come in and cut everything...had the fence guy come in and replace one side of the yard. Had the paver guy come in and give us a quote after we took down 3 of our decks. Too many "had this guy..." to be able to afford the rehab. Hoping we don't have many more freezes/frosts, everything is in buckets with not many roots.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Wow Mary, that sounds like a big project going on, but this is the time of year to do stuff like that. I've already put some bulbs and seeds into the ground, so I too hope we are done with freezing weather. Looks like this week is gonna be beautiful after today.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I'm so not liking this new forum at all, I can't keep up with threads like it use to be so I'm missing out on a lot.

Bonnie, I sure hope your test results give good results. Gosh I've been through your town but always on a tight time frame to which I could stop in. My next day off I'll have to get with ya and plan a day to come visit.

Jan

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I am not fond of this new format either. I miss out on so much and have a hard time finding my threads and friends!
I have not heard from Bonnie...has anyone else? I'm hoping everything is ok.
I thinned out a whole wall of 20 foot Bird of Paradise. What buggers those are! Theyre so fiberous they gunk up the chain saw. But it looks so much better now that it's all done, and only new evenly spaced ones remain.
The rain should be moving into Central Florida later today. I won't mind the free watering!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I got an email back from Bonnie, she has had some test, but her doctor is sick, so they have postponed test until the 22nd. She is planting tomatoes, so at least she's still in her garden. ;-)

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Hi all. Hopefully tests are finished and will get results on the 22.

Doing very little yard work but try some every day. Got to stay sane. LOL

Rained all night here so plants will be doing good. Every time I use irrigation system it rains.

Wrote a long response but hit the wrong button and forgot what I said so I'll just keep this short.
Jan do come visit and also Tcs. Not driving much so usually home.
Glad M.M is getting so much accomplished. Progress is wonderful.
You all take care and try to stay well.
Love to all, Bonnie

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi Bonnie, Keep us posted on those test.
We've got some beautiful weather going on right now, I'm loving it. Saw a couple butterflies yesterday.
Having trouble with some huge black crows in my oaks, dropping bird droppings all over. I've been going out and shooing them off, but they come back again. They're not coming down into the garden, just sit in my trees squawking very loudly. Ugh!

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Crows make good target practice wish I was there.

Charlie put tiller on back of Kubota so I tilled up garden space and raked it clear of weeds. This morning I planted green beans & okra. Got lots of space left just have to figure out what to put in. Charlie bought some broccoli seeds but I think it's too warm to grow it. I'll find something else. I'll be so happy if my 4 sweet 100's tomato plants grow. I love them.
Don't you just love this weather. Just right.
Sherri, lions tail you gave me is blooming like crazy and about 4 feet tall.
Happy gardening all.
PS Next Mon. I'm supposed to get test results.
Bonnie

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Keeping my fingers crossed for you and your tests results! I'm always sad that I don't have garden space for vegetables! Having been raised on a farm in Ohio, I miss those days and the free food! I learned so much walking around hand in hand with my grandfather (who did the gardening) The free manure made things grow like weeds. He was a very compassionate soul, and planted 3 times more than we could every use, even though I come from a large family. As I got older I began to understand his motives. He "begged" people to take the extra food off his hands so it wouldnt go bad. Apparently he knew that they were young families with small chidren and widows who couldn't afford month to month living, and always planned what he planted by what the needs of the community around him were. I hope to instill those qualities in my grandchildren. I'm going to make space for a few raised beds here and there for a tomoato plant or 2, some green beans, etc. Just so they can plant a seed and see it do something wonderful!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Bonnie, Phil said the same thing about the crows, but I told him no no no. They haven't come back for two days now, so hopefully I got rid of them.
I had sweet 100 tomatoes once, they were delicious. I don't have the room either and we are gone in April and May so can't be here to tend to them. I did start some seeds though and will give them to close friends to put in their gardens, they have promised me some tomatoes from their crop.
MerryMary, your grandfather sounds like a very wise and generous man. You were lucky to have inspiration from him.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

MM your grandpa was a wise man. We used to put a table down by the road when we lived up north and put all our extra vegies on it. By end of day they were always all gone. We still had plenty to feed to our pigs and canned a lot. One year Charlie planted 1/2 the garden in cantalops about 100 hills and we were giving them away to everybody including our whole church congregation every Sun. He did it cause everybody told him they wouldn't grow in the north. When you put sawdust, horse manure and other nutrients in the hills they sure will grow.
I tried to freeze some but they went to mush. They were the best I have ever had.
Sherri, if you live in a development I would not recommend firing a gun as there is a space limit law. I was just kidding. I knew a man that trapped them and took them to a preserve.
I just bought some meal worms as we have a lot of eastern bluebirds around now and I really want them to stay and nest. Charlie made 4 nest boxes for them years ago. Something ate entry holes too large so we are adding predator protectors to them now. I've found a great design on line made with wire that I'm sure I can make also metal plates to screw in front of the entry holes to put them back to size which is 1 1/2" for them. Charlie will cut correct size hole in the plate. He says I'm bird crazy and maybe I am but can you think of better company to be in. LOL

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