Spring is arriving in Florida but not this week end. The family left for a five day vacation in Orlando at the campground there. They will go into Lego Land two days an spend the rest of the time at the camp ground. The kids love camping with their grandmother. She has taught them so much about camping and having a good time. This week it calls for cold and rainy. It has started off cold today but out in the sun it is nice and Orlando is in the middle of the state so it doesn’t get the Ocean breeze that we get here. In the summer we love the cooling breeze from the ocean but today it was down right chilly. Of course they didn’t think so no sweaters needed for them only me. I am staying home with Tyler and getting all the little personal things done that need doing. I have one annuity that didn’t send my monthly check so unless it arrives at the bank by tomorrow I will have to call and find out why?? I am also working on an afghan and that keeps me busy so I don’t get lonesome while Tyler is at work.
Today I went outside and got some pictures of sunny Florida just to make you all jealous. This first one is a plant native to Florida call the ground orchid. I think it blooms all year round as it seems to always be in bloom whenever I came here to Patty’s house.
They don’t look too much like an orchid when yoyo first look at them but up close you can see that whole head is a cluster of little orchids and so pretty.
So just focus one one of the little flowerets and you can see why it is called an orchid and the ground is because it has roots in the ground not in the air as most orchids so.
The side of the house next to the fence is the boganveer, obviously I spelt that wrong but I can’t do any better. It is a very good screen from the neighbors and a very pretty flower. Later in the spring it has more flowers that this but like a rose it also has lots of very sharp thorns.
Patty keeps this cut back as it does grow well here and if it gets too big she gets all cut up when she tries to trim it.
Again when you get up close it is really a very beautiful flower and later there are so many you can see how beautiful it is even from the road. They now have a thornless variety but if Patty ever gets rid of this one she would never buy another thorn or no thorn. She has a whole hedge of them and has cut them back to the ground several times trying to kill them but all that does it make it grow back stronger than ever, she would have to try and dig out the root and that is not easy so probably never will.
Along the back fence are the sea grapes.
I have always loved these even though they have no flower. Their leaves are so big and shinny. They say some have grapes on them but I have never seen any on Patty’s, maybe they are all male plants. They have been here almost as long a Patty and now they are over 6 foot tall and she cuts them back most years.
Out in front she has the pineapples. She has some on the back lawn but they don’t get enough sun there so don’t do well in the shade. She has pulled out most of the pineapples in the back yard. A hundred or more years ago Port St Lucie/ Fort Pierce was the capital of the US. At that time there was no road for them to use to bring their pineapples to market so they used the Indian River and each home had pineapples growing on their front yard and at harvest time the boat would come and take their crop to market for them. They Flaggler put in the railroad that ran the full length of the state and out onto thee keys and it became just as cheap to get the pineapples from Cuba and the farmers here lost their easy market and the pineapple business died. Patty get 15 or so beautiful pineapples each year from hers.
She also gets cut up pretty good trying to tend these Those leaves are really strong and sharp. It takes about 3 years to get a plant to produce one pineapple, then it has one a year for a few years and has to be replaced so it is quite a bit of work to grow a pineapple.
this is a baby pineapple. It shows you how they grow right in the middle of the plant on a stock like a flower. Of course they get a lot larger before they turn yellow and are so much sweeter than the ones you get in the store. We used to have about 6 or 7 plants but we were not here in the summer so the raccoon stole them all before we could have someone pick them for us. Patty got three or four one year for us but she was just lucky that year. The raccoons here are as bad with those as they are in the north with corm, they know when they are ripe!
The last plant you need to see is her mahogany tree. When she put it in almost 20 years ago, she saw it was under the power lines and asked the nursey man if that would bother. He said “Oh now mahogany trees grow so slowly she would be long gone before it ever reached the wires. Well the last couple of years the power company comes and cuts back the center of the tree so the branches don’t knock out the power in a storm. This year she had a nursery come a cut the tree back so it would bush out instead of having a big V in the middle of the tree. The kids were all up set because they were sure the man had killed the tree. Now you can see the leaves are just starting to grow back and soon will be a nicely shaped tree again and below the power lines now.
That is the end of the turn. Have a great day.
Thanks for the lovely pictures. So nice to see Spring and interesting to see a bit of Patty’s work and home base. Getting her hands in the soil, sounds like she takes after her mother and father….right? Interesting to learn about the pineapple history around there. Also Dick took me to the Flaggler place a long time ago when I was visiting them at Boyton Beach. I think my mother was with us too.Memories, memories……, always with us for sure.
Glad all is well with you. We are still in snow and March madness.
Talk later, Nancy
So nice to hear from you. I love it here and feel so much a part of everything but I still miss hearing from the rest of the family so whenever a get a note I cherish it so much more than I ever used to. I talked with Kathy today in CA and she told me Luke had broken his arm. I knew his father was going to take him snowboarding some time but had no idea he had a accident while snowboarding. But Kathy saw it on face book and just assumed I had heard from Joe or Holly. Of course I had not, I guess they were too busy with him at the hospital however a text to me doesn’t take as long as a post on face book. Picky aren’t I? This morning started out cold but now it is typical Florida warm and sunny all day. Patty and family are still at Orlando camping and will get home on Tuesday, so one more day of quiet, then the boys will be back and life will come back into the house. I look forward to that. Love Carol