Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween

The pumpkin is carved.
From halloween 2010
From halloween 2010
The graveyard is ready.
From halloween 2010
The skulls await trick-or-treaters who dare to ring the doorbell.
From halloween 2010
Those who are brave enough to darken our threshold will be rewarded with nerds, laffy taffy, and eyeballs.  BWWAAHAHA!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

vegetable canvas


Jack-o-lantern to be.  Shall I carve the traditional scary face?  I'd like to do something fantastic, but my Dremel tool is broken.  I'll post a picture when I carve it.

halloween orchids

Slightly cooler evenings have the autumn orchids blooming.  It's been incredibly dry, making it necessary to water.  The rain-barrel is nearly empty.  There are buds on several orchids that haven't bloomed in a couple of years, and even one on our brsdm. golden gamine 'white knight'.  Can't wait to see what that one looks like.  I should have pictures in a couple of weeks.

Bulb. Doris Dukes is on her second set of blooms.
From orchids
lc. (laeliocattleya) mini purple maikal is very pretty right now.  That's the orchid pictured in my blog header.
From orchids
This yellow and magenta lc. is fragrant and stunning, but the tag faded, so I don't know what the name is!  I'll have to scout the rest of the tags and make new ones for the faded ones before I can't read them.
From orchids
Onc. Lambada 'Cutey' has small flowers that take FOREVER to open, but are well worth the wait. 
From orchids
Our double angel trumpet took a beating last winter and took a while to recover, but rewarded us with one giant sized bloom. 
From Garden
A moonflower by the pond.  The fragrance is intoxicating.
From Garden

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pinwheels Lace Bookmark

The pattern in this knitted bookmark reminds me of pinwheels.  It is a little bit more challenging than the other bookmarks I've designed...but just a little.  If you'd like to knit one, the pattern is free.  You can also find this pattern and bazillions of others on Ravelry, the best freakin web site for knitters evah.  The yarn used is Mini Mochi, a mohair blend sock yarn that has beautiful long color changes.  I bought it at Fiber Art, Inc.  I used the new nickel plated dpns I got in a set from KnitPicks.
From knitting

I'm excited by a couple of books I just brought home from the library.  The Essential Stitch Collection by Lesley Stanfield & Melody Griffiths has easy to follow and well photographed patterns and charts for 300 different knit stitches.  Knitting Lace by Susanna E. Lewis is one I just might have to buy.  Our library didn't have a copy, so I received it through interlibrary loan from the Lee County Library System.  The book is based on a 19th-century sampler of knitted lace that resides at the Brooklyn Museum.  The sampler is 15 feet long and averages 3-1/2 inches wide, featuring 91 different patterns.

I wish interlibrary loan had succeeded in getting me Knitted Lace Designs of Herbert Neibling, but only one library in WorldCat owned it and they weren't willing to share.  I learned about that book while reading Franklin Habit's blog, The Panopticon.  That's another for my Amazon wish list.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

thursday blooms

Bulbophyllum 'Doris Dukes' is my new favorite orchid. I have a new favorite every month. I'm fickle that way. This orchid is named after the heiress and horticulturalist, Doris Duke. It is blooming profusely right now, with 9 flower spikes, each with a pair of blossoms or buds. A. suggested in a comment on my last post, that the new patio table looked lonely without a plant on it. You are absolutely right! Here's Doris on the table in a beautiful peacock planter (also found at a yard sale for $.50).
From orchids
video
Static pictures do not do Doris justice. She has fine feathery fringe that moves with the slightest breeze. A hinged lip teeters when one touches it. Makes me wonder what type of pollinator she seeks to attract. This plant is a hybrid, though. A sort of gorgeous Frankenstein created in a greenhouse and pollinated by humans. I think she looks waspish. We have seen wasps flying around the plant, looking confused. Bulbophyllum may be pollinated by flies or wasps.  There are 1,803 species in the genera, most of them originating in Papua New Guinea and Borneo.  I took a little video of Doris in motion to show you how she moves (see above).
From orchids
From orchids

I've become fascinated by our orchids' names and the origins of those names.  We brought the next one home from the Florida State Fair last year.  At the time, I just thought it was beautiful with it's blood red petals fringed with cream.  Now that it's blooming again, and I want to write about it, I went out and copied the name from the tag...Colm. Chadwick "Wildcat".  Colm?  I looked in two orchid books I have and didn't find Colm.  I did find it in 100 Orchids for the American Gardener by Elvin McDonald.    Colm. stands for Colmanara, which is a hybrid named for Sir Jeremiah Colman (1859-1942).  You may have some of his mustard in your pantry (damned good in deviled eggs).  This is Colmanara Chadwick "Wildcat"...
From orchids
From orchids

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the recycled garden - stop! yard sale!

Yard sales are the ultimate places to find great stuff for your outdoor living room. Last Saturday, Wayne did his usual run up to Lutz (gotta love the "feeling" and "image" of openness...and gratuitous use of quotation marks). He scored at a yard sale where the sellers were changing their decorating theme. Apparently, the previous theme was rustic hunting lodge. He bought a glass top table with antler base, a faux deer skull with a big rack, bookends with what looks like antelope horns, and two antler shelves. This stuff is not made from real dead animals, much to my relief. It's resin or plastic. It does look really good on the patio, I have to admit. Thank you, honey, for not bringing home a real taxidermy moose head.
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden

Thursday, October 7, 2010

my spouse is my swift

KnitPicks is offering their yarn swift for only $50. That is 41% off of the regular price. For those of us on a tight budget, that's still too much.

I've looked into making one. Here is a link to a functional and creative swift by Webecca: the Tilta Swift. I might make one some day, but why?

I have a yarn swift with much more to offer than that fancy Italian umbrella skeleton, or the homemade dollar store version (as wonderfully inventive as it is). Mine can adjust to the width of the hank automatically anywhere from 6" to 6' in diameter. Mine can tell me to slow down the winder while it carefully untangles a stubborn knot. Mine tells me jokes and that it loves me. Mine cooks my dinner and rubs my back. How much would you pay for one of those? I say "Priceless".
From knitting

Sunday, October 3, 2010

sunday blooms

Today was a perfect autumn day for central Florida. It wasn't so humid that you felt slapped in the face by a warm wet blanket when you stepped outside. The sun didn't scorch. Tonight, it may even dip into the 60's. Wayne and I spent some time fertilizing, pruning, repotting. We repotted a Madagascar Palm that was becoming top heavy in a too small pot. That took a heavy old blanket, thick leather welder's gloves and a trowel to loosen the roots. I also repotted an Amazon Lily that Tom from work traded me for a Voodoo Lily. I can't wait to see it bloom. Several orchids are blooming now. With something like 130 of them, several are always blooming!
From orchids
O. Sharry Baby has the aroma of chocolate covered cherries.
From orchids
V. Golmaco's blue magic has large blue flowers that last for weeks.
From orchids
C. Chocolate drop 'Volcano Queen' with its waxy shiny red petals is really stunning.
From Garden
Madagascar Palm in its new pot.
From Garden
These spines are REALLY sharp. Use thick leather gloves and wrap in an old blanket to move it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

the recycled garden - have a seat

Set a spell.  Take a load off.  Grab a chair.  Sure, you can just plunk yourself down on the grass (if you want to be eaten by ants...this is Florida).  A garden is more than plants and flowers.  It's a place to rest and enjoy birdwatching, a conversation, a cold beer on a hot day.  It's my place to recharge my batteries every day when I come home for lunch.

Seating in our backyard has evolved over the 18 years we've owned this house.  Wayne is an inveterate yard sale searcher.  He has a yen for chairs and a great eye for a bargain.  We have enough chairs in our house now to seat a full orchestra.  We have chairs of various types hanging from the rafters in the garage, waiting for new cane seats, or other repairs.

Three of the four rocking chairs on the patio were purchased from yard sales.  Wayne bought the rush seat rocker from Cracker Barrel.  We had it in the house until Sasha discovered that it was just perfect for sharpening her claws.  Every other seat in our yard was found at a yard sale or for free, such as the nice chaise lounges our neighbor gave us when she moved.  She also gave us the dragonfly cushions we used on the rockers.  When the seating becomes too weathered, we use it as plant stands.  Several chairs are now "orchid chairs".  Two tractor seats are perfect next to the koi pond as is a tiki bench.  The top of the bench was replaced with a piece of plywood.  A picnic table was also found at a moving sale for just 20 dollars.

We are on the lookout for a hammock, or maybe I'll knit one!  I'd love a rope swing or a glider.  A good book for inspiration in garden seating is Small Spaces, Beautiful Gardens by Keith Davitt.
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden
From Garden
Too old and weathered for human butts, these chairs now hold orchids...
From Garden
From Garden
A squirrel is content on the teak bench found at a yard sale...
From Garden
Citronella candles and rope lights at night...
From Garden