Category Archives: Decorating the Garden

The Snowman of Liberty

It may never snow in Sarasota, but there’s always a snowman to cheer me up.  He lives on Arlington Street and is as festive as Frosty but so much more versatile.  Last time I posted his photo, he was covered in shamrocks and drinking a beer for St. Patrick’s Day.

Today, he’s dressed in drag as the Statue of Liberty.  Underneath the dress are two more logs carved from a palm tree.  The ends of each log were tapered with a chainsaw to make them look more rounded like snowballs.  Very clever and easy to do if you have the skills.  People carve tikis with chainsaws; a snowman would be a cinch.  Me, on the other hand, I’ll stay away from the chainsaw, keep all my fingers, and wait to see what this one will be wearing for Halloween.

Turn a Dead Tree into a Bottle Tree

If, like the rest of the world, I had a Pinterest account set up yet, this is what I’d pin:I walk by this bottle tree almost every day, so it’s been pinned in my mind since the day it went up about a month ago.  But where do you find an iron tree?  I’ve been waiting to see the owners to ask, and then last week, I saw a photo of blue glass bottles stuck on a real tree–but not on Pinterest, on Secrets of a Seed Scatterer–and it came to me…the Cassia tree!It was pronounced dead a few months ago, but to remove it requires pulling up lava rock and figuring out what to replace it with…so glad I didn’t bother.  Instead I snipped the twigs away and placed my bottles.It definitely needs more colors and more bottles, but it’s a nice start to a much-needed makeover.  Now who wants to drink some wine with me?

Coming Out

I’m back, bitches!  Bitches because I recently played bingo with drag queens, and if you’re not a bitch, you’re a whore, so feel the love and complement, readers.  Drag queens, among other things like raunchy and obscene, are colorful and fun.  That’s what my blog highlights, the colors of my garden and the fun in my life.  So to channel the drag queens, I’m coming out.  Not in the traditional sense because I’m not gay nor do I wear flamboyant clothing, but I’m a blogger who’s not blogging, stuck in a rut I must come out of.  This is the recent state of my body, mind and spirit manifested in my garden……overrun, overgrown and completely neglected.  Four years ago, John proposed to me with a two-carat, princess-cut diamond ring, and we planned to get married in Hawaii.  Life seemed scripted it was so sweet.  In fact, at times, it was scripted.  When I didn’t like John’s original marriage proposal, he rewrote the scene.  In my defense, he waited forever to propose and then got down on one knee when I was mad at him for not proposing yet…neither one of us was happy with how that played out.  A few nights later, I came home to an aisle of red rose petals and glimmering white tea lights leading to a three-piece orchestra in our living room.  He knelt down on one knee, told me how much he loved me, and gave me a proposal worthy of The Bachelor.

Then two years ago the script got hijacked by an evil soap opera writer who filled our story line with a child custody battle, financial problems, family estrangements, and wait…the doozy that should truly win me the moniker, Erica Kane…John found out at 40 years-old that he has a brother.  Dun-dun.

Jerry Springer lives in Sarasota; don’t think we haven’t gotten that joke a few times too.  But life goes on and so shall my blog.  By outing myself, I’m forced to post and therefore forced to focus on the good things in my life.  My garden is always the place to start because it’s about no one else but me.  The hormonal teenager living in the house prefers a dark room and Xbox to sunlight and fresh air.  There are no ex-wives lurking behind the crotons.  And weeds continue to rule over the brick pavers in the front of the house because that’s not where I spend my time.  The backyard is where I spot butterflies and get dirt under my fingernails.  The butterflies didn’t stop visiting, I was just missing them.  No more.  Over the past two weekends, I’ve spent some much needed time in the garden – weeding, transplanting, thinking, forgetting, and healing.  As my grandmother says, “Happiness is a choice.”  With that in mind, I choose to garden.  Here’s my progress so far.Next up on the coming out of my rut list: take down the Christmas tree.  It is February. 


Things to Come in the New Year

Walking through the garden has me thinking about all the beautiful, simple things I have to look forward to this coming year…

A Diet Coke explosion last year led to me pulling out some bulbs forgotten about in the bottom drawer of our mini-fridge.  The discovery should lead to some sweet-smelling Hyacinths this year.  And into the new year, I’m taking with me the knowledge to turn down the temperature a notch when packing the mini-fridge with beer and soda over the holidays.  The sodas started freezing until one Diet Coke can finally blew the mini-door open.  Oops…glad that was last year.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what else the Passion vine will take over this year.  The mermaid’s tail was first to go.  I’d try to control it except that everywhere the vine travels it takes a bright red flower with it.    There’s fixing and filling the chicken coop to look forward to…

And father and son bonding over a boat that cost less than Christmas dinner.  No actual aspirations of cruising this year but lots of planning, discussing and trips to the junkyard and boat store will pass the time.Happy New Year…a day late…good thing I’m not sweating the small stuff this year. :)

Joann’s: Affordable Retail Therapy

The office is really stressing me out this week, so I spent my lunch hour at Joann’s wandering the aisles with my squeaky, sticky-wheeled cart.  Ahhhhh, heaven, lemon-cart and all.  It turned my whole day around.  I love Joann’s; it’s a fabric and craft store where every day is a sale. And for the rare occasion when you miss a sale, sign up for the newsletter and you’ll get a 40% off coupon each month.  Here are the day’s lunch-hour bargains: a planter marked down from $29.99 to $7.97…

…a ceramic teapot marked down from $24.99 to $4.97 that is so cute I had to plant Pothos clippings in it the minute I got home tonight…

…and a dog marked down from $24.99 to $7.49 but that is ultimately priceless because it makes me think of all the things Luke would do to make me happy if only he had thumbs…

And finally, my non-sale splurge…$5 for a couple of terra cotta pots and saucers…

Now that I’m finished with the retail therapy, I’m gearing up for craft therapy this weekend.  These three leftover happy hour napkins are my inspiration.

I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.

Now all I need is a bottle of decoupage paste.  I’m already feeling the mojo from these napkins; planting the Pothos led to the cure for my burgeoning pecking phobia.

Garden gloves – they make me much braver.

Local Joann Stores:

  • Sarasota: 4934 S. Tamiami Trail (in the Landings)
  • Bradenton: 6040 14th Street West