Friday, May 31, 2013

Wee Window

This is my favorite site line in the entire Florida House. Coming down the staircase, there is small window in the thick stucco'd block wall at the bottom of the stairs, that offers a porthole peek at the pool. The sill has clay tiles, original to this 1935 house. My Jumbo the elephant soda bottle catches the light from the pool, as does the jar of old marbles which I bought while shopping with my Grandad in Dorchester on Thames in the UK many years ago. I always think of him when I pass that window and of how much I loved him. The tin baby cup has no purpose, but I rather fancied it at a market long ago.

We have a weekend of family gatherings ahead, Sweet Mama and her 79th birthday this week, family from NY are coming in, and on Monday Girl Child and I are heading North a little to pick up her new puppy. Henry Francis will make his blog debut on Monday!. Weekend cheer to you all.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lemonade Refreshment

I've been trying to coax summer along with some lemonade. I'm loving these tall white tumblers from IKEA with colorful drinks and a fruit wedge. They fit really well in the dishwasher because they are quite narrow and don't barge over the rack into the next rung over (which drives me crazy when stacking it). I think they are a nice fresh, modern take on the drinking glass.

If you want to be refreshed and make your own lemonade, Here is a recipe. Did you know that if you run BlogHer ads like I do, you can't post recipes unless you wrote it yourself? 

Enjoy your tart, refreshing drink with a little vodka or rum. Invite a friend or two.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gardening progress.

The Front Yard pool has been warmly received by our Florida neighbors. We don't have to use our names, we just introduce ourselves to new people as the ones with the front yard pool. Everyone knows it. Skeptics appear to be accepting of it and admit it is barely seen from the street now that we have the plantings in and the hibiscus hedge has grown. You can see from the photo below taken in April that there is a hedge planted along the front which is now a foot taller. We've planted palms and ginger out front which should fill in the gaps and grow fast once the rains start. The brick path is lined with plants and to the right I have planted drought tolerant Bromeliads and Crotons. We've a mix of huge oak trees, mixed with many palms such as pony tail palms, travellers palms, fan palms, date and foxtail palms, as well as some herbs, succulents, aloe and other desert plants. One side looks like Northern Ontario and the other looks like the tropics. We watched a nest of cardinals and I caught this photo of the one remaining chick. I think in a year, no one will even know there's a pool back there. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Neighborhood tour


What I love most about our Florida neighborhood is the old and diverse styles of the homes. St. Petersburg is a real mixed bag of homes. Towards the beaches there are gorgeous waterfront homes in more contemporary styles, but nearing downtown the homes are old and quaint and you can walk around for an hour and never see the same style repeated. I snapped these while taking a bike ride around our immediate neighborhood. It's not posh, but it is a charming area. My favorite is number 2- the little Spanish style home. Each month we have a neighborhood porch party and it is a great way to meet our neighbors and have a good look inside all the homes I admire on my walks.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Uninvited guests

You never know who's going to drop by for a swim!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What Sunday Night Looks Like


Sunday night in Passe a Grille Beach. Sitting on the seawall watching the last of the stragglers swimming in the Gulf of Mexico waters, kids with ice creams, dogs in baskets on bicycles, lounge chairs vacated, early evening dog walks, family picnic suppers, the light fading and the smell of sea air, and swinging your hips to the music with an ice cold beer. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tropical Garden

The elusive night flowering cactus

Nothing better than napping in the palms

I think this is Jasmine. It's right by the pool and smells heavenly of the most delicious smells ever in a flower

The bloom of a pygmy palm

We planted a hedge of hibiscus for privacy

Neighbors cactus

This one grows in the vacant house next door.

The Florida garden is a constant surprise and delight. Since most of the plantings were here when we bought the house, we have been lucky to just arrive and enjoy the gorgeous mix of native plants that are growing in abundance. We placed a hammock in a shady corner and can look up into the giant cactus that hovers over it. The cactus has many buds, but I never see the flowers open and often see the dead heads on the ground. The lawn guy told it it flowers at night and upon night time inspection I did notice it was in bloom. The blooms lasted into mid morning when they closed up again. It has the most gorgeous flower. The hibiscus continue to bloom, as well as jasmine and Frangipani-a flower I have only recently discovered. The garden is always full of birds and I've just hung a birdfeeder full of sunflower seeds. My neighbor has many wild parrots at his feeder, and I am trying to entice them over the fence.