Saturday, April 1, 2017

Growing orchids south Florida style

South Florida is home to so many amazing people as well as so many gorgeous plant species that call this place home.    One type of plant that grows well in our subtropical climate are orchids, oh the lovely orchid!  And one amazing person who does this extremely well is Ms. Gayle at Mickey's Orchids in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.    Normally one would have to drive almost an hour to some of the agricultural areas like Homestead, Davie, Loxahatchee or Delray Beach, but we are so lucky to have this gem right here.   Gayle is one heck of a master grower and her passion really shows in the quality and diversity of her orchids.  She and her son are by far some of the nicest people I know!   Not many people will take the time to answer questions and talk about their craft like they do.  Sooooo without further adieu, let me show you Mickey's Orchids so you can get your shopping list together and head over there.
























Aaaaand your welcome!   
Oh my goodness I need to go for a visit now...Mickey's Orchids here I come!
Happy gardening and enjoy your weekend!
Sheri
xoxo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sustainable Gardening Practices for South Florida

Salutations everyone!  Today is about sustainable gardening practices.  It's all pretty simple stuff but important none the less. 

First let's start with garden design...a best laid plan is the key to a successful garden.   So ask yourself a few questions.   What will I be growing?   What are the growing requirements for the plants?  Where are my full sun area & my shade areas?   From here you can determine how to best utilize your space as well as start some good gardening practices like water conservation, properly grading your landscape terrain & soil preparation.  Once you have a good design & know the basics you can start implementing it.  Remember, you can always tweak the layout later if a specific plant(s) isn't thriving.
Water Garden Landscape (HWBDO11010) | House Plan from BuilderHousePlans.com:

Composting-  Please don't be discouraged, it's super easy.   Composting is essentially a way to recycle plant material & certain food waste to enrich the soil & fertilize your plants.  There are two methods: direct composting & bin composting.   Direct composting is putting the food/plant waste directly into the soil of your plant bed.  No turning or mixing necessary.  Just make sure your dog doesn't sneak into it like mine does; bad boy...so gross!   Bin composting is putting the food/plant waste either into an open pile or an enclosed bin.   This method needs consistent turning to aerate the soil helping the green material break down.   My preferred method is to use the open pile (or in my case a very large open container) as well as directly into the plant beds.   Composting is very beneficial to growing healthy plants, reduces the need of chemical fertilizers, reduces the impact on local landfills & encourages beneficial bacteria & fungi to help breakdown the organic matter which produces a rich nutrient soil.   Many of your local grocery stores will put aside produce they would normally throw out, just ask.   Your plants will thank you with a bountiful harvest of delicious food!

Soil Preparation-  A very important yet very often overlooked practice...yes, I myself have been soil shamed on occasion, hee hee.   Soil science 101 ya'll, the plants gets their nutrition from the soil so if the soil is void of essential elements the plant will struggle and/or your plant won't produce good fruits or vegetables.   For a vegetable garden it's a good idea to amend the soil with rich organic matter 4-6 months in advance.  Which is how long it takes for organic material to break down into a usable form.  Continue adding organic material every 2 months for consistent food source for your plants.   On the other hand, for a quick fix, synthetic fertilizers break down very quickly so plants can utilize it right away.  But that would take the fun outta composting!

Watering-   Drought!  Yes, I said it...the D word!  This is why it's super duper imperative to practice water conservation, even on a small scale.  Every drop you save can be used to water your plants.  Ok, there's my PSA outta the way.   Try using a rain barrel with a soaker hose attached to it which goes directly into your garden bed.   Create a natural dry creek bed with landscape rock to redirect water run off right into your plant beds and/or grass.   Install rain chains at the corners of your house to help disperse water falling.  Planting native species will require less water.   Grouping plants with the same water requirements will help streamline your irrigation efforts.   I put large buckets in the landscape to catch the water streaming off the roof when it rains...the plants hide the buckets & I use the collected water, plus the birds like to stop by for a drink.   Check with your local extension offices, city and/or county as they will usually have information for you to read and/or host educational events & seminars; great way to get kids involved.  

Seed Saving-   What a great way to save money, start a collection & a way to share/trade with others.   Plus it helps keep the survival of many heirloom species alive.   This is also another fun project to start the kids with, plus it'll keep them off the computer for a while.   Check to see if your community has a local seed saving club and/or a garden club you can share with.  Who knows you may start a neighborhood trend!

Go Native-   Yes, yes, yes!  Native's are the way to go!  Not only will native plants help with your water bill since they are naturalized to the area but you will find they attract wildlife too.  Birds, butterflies, bees and many others will make your landscape their home by simply providing the food and shelter they require.   Check with your city to see if they have "Free Tree Give-away" days.  They usually have some great native plant selections to choose from & it's free!

Beneficial Bugs-   Did you know that most insects are beneficial in some way or another?   "Bad bugs" usually serve as food for other bugs and animals.  I never met a lizard that didn't like a good cockroach or beetle meal.  By adding beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantis, beneficial nematodes, lacewings and butterflies, you can be sure that your plants will be some what pest free.   Planting native species to your area will help keep the beneficial insects around instead of flying off to your neighbor's.   You can purchase these either online or if you're lucky like us here in Pompano Beach, a local store will have some in stock.   The Garden Gate at the Sears on Federal Highway and Copans Road sells many of these lovely critters.
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/ladybug/#ladybug-daisy.jpg

Mulching-   A great way to retain moisture in your soil, it moderates soil temperatures, it helps keep weeds to a minimum, it will add to the nutrient content when it starts to break down, makes the landscape look nice as well as keeping your soil from being swept away from the wind & rain.   Mulch can be in many forms from reusing tree leaves, wood chips, sawdust, pine straw, pine bark, hay, grass clippings, decorative rock, crushed shell and many other decorative items like crushed recycled glass. 

Reducing Carbon Footprint-   "There is always a way"...one of my favorite mantras, well because it's true, so sayeth me.   With that said, think about ways you can constantly be reducing your carbon footprint.   Hand pull weeds instead of using a gas powered weed wacker, plus it get's your heart rate going.  Try a manual push mower & watch your legs get super toned for summer beach days.   Instead of a hedger, used clippers & those biceps will emerge from their winter slumber.  Have a designated gardening day on the weekend to get the whole family involved.

Name tags-   What's in a name?  Uh identity?  Yes, you won the prize...just kidding, knowing you got the correct answer is your prize.  Anywhooo, the identity of a plant is just as important as the other gardening practices, especially when you have hundreds of orchids in your collection.  A vegetable garden is very specific to what types of varieties are growing in it at one given time.   It also helps determine what types of companion plants to use.  In a community garden, your neighbor would love to share their 'Indian glass gem' corn with you for your "I'm not sure but they're really delicious" seeds.  Uh, no thanks.  It will also help you stay organized in your seed saving efforts.

Pruning-  And this is where we will end it for today, with pruning.   My grandparents & parents taught us very early how to properly prune plants.  Looking back on it, I think that was a sneaky way to get us helping in the garden.  Where's the child labor laws when I needed to get outta Saturday chores, *sigh*.   Properly pruning a plant or tree promotes good health, longevity & vitality of the plant.   It can also promote good growing patterns for the plant.  Like a child you just have to guide it in the right direction.   Ok ok, I secretly had fun with Saturday chores, thanks Mom and Dad! 

Thanks for sticking around!   Hopefully you had fun & maybe walked away with a bit of info you can use!  
Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,
Sheri
xoxo

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What's the 'hap's here in South Florida

Hi Friends!  
Fall never came and winter is upon us here in South Florida but it sure feels summer.   Yesterday was one of the hottest days in December.   The sun is shifting south lending to the shorter days and cooler evenings.   The winds tend to get blustery as they pick up out of the north/northeast.  It's quite common to have 2-3 days of high winds around here.  

This is also one of our dry times, aside from the occasional scattered shower, the rains pretty much stop.  This time of year the sun is still quite strong so it's a good idea to still keep a handy stash of good sunblocks (we use one with zinc in it), wide-brimmed hats, uv sunglasses, long sleeve sports style shirts and don't forget some great gardening gloves.   Also some great gift idea's for the outdoor person in your life!
Fall and winter is one of the best times to get work done in your
 landscape and vegetable/herb garden here in South Florida.  More than ever, there are so many amazing vegetables and herbs widely available to everyone not just the agriculture industry.   Local nurseries are stocking up now, so while you're out shopping this weekend, stop in to see what they have.
Also you can call us, Creative Spaces, to set up a free landscape consultation for your project! 
954-633-8040

Lucky for us, this is the time of year when our notorious humidity is at it's all time low.  Though we are also very dry which can stress a plant out and lower it's immune to all kinds of fungus, mildew and pests.   It's a good idea to do a walkthrough of your garden to check for any issues.   Remember to apply an herbicide, fungicide and/or pesticide (preferably an organic method) only when there is a sign of a problem and/or when pests are visible.   Please read the manufacturer's safety data sheets and application directions thoroughly; safety data is the law.   These chemicals are not forgiving and are designed for specific applications on specific plants/insects.  If you are unsure, it's best to seek professional help of a reputable local pest control company and/or your county's local extension office with questions.
Speaking of the dry season, now is a great time to also check your irrigation system for any breaks, clogged heads and correct spray patterns.  Turf requires almost three times more water per year compared to plants and much more maintenance.  So you may want to consider turning a problem area into a new plant bed to minimize your turf, conserve water & reduce your water bill. Don't forget to check your timer for the correct settings and water schedule.Fall is a great time to mulch all of your garden's plant beds to keep as much moisture in the soil as possible.  Plus it'll look great for the holiday season! 

Continue planting your late season vegetable crops like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, corn, cucumber, eggplant, endive, lettuces, kohlrabi, peas, pole beans, mustards, onions, peppers, potatoes, radish, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes.   Remember to plant your companion herbs as well…everyone loves a good companion!
Now is a perfect time to plant tropical fruit and citrus trees.  Many tropical fruit trees can bear mulitple harvests a year while lots of citrus varieties come to fruit in the fall and winter months.  Plus it's a great gift idea for loved ones!Visit our company website for landscape ideas, plants and orchids species that grow well here.www.creativespacesfl.com

Happy Gardening, Happy Holidays & Many Best Wishes,
Sheri B.
XOXO

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.12

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.12

Incredibly beautiful Ukrainian flower crowns!

Recipes to get ready for jerky season...wait, is there a season!?!

A very eye-opening and sober truth read!  Support Native American success!

Ok so if you don't know...now you know!  Original KFC fried chicken recipe!

Only in Florida during mango season...geesh!

Ok so this freaked me out, juuuust a little!

To free a lobster!

25 habits for happiness!

I'm no scientist buuutttt....I sure think it's hot out there!

I absolutely love this idea...sent it to my sister for my super creative niece & nephew.

Whaaaattt tha...dangerous flat worms in Florida!?!

This orangutan is pretty amazing!

Who knew avocado's are in such demand!?!

Yeaaaa...free the animals, close the zoo's!

I totally want to check this out in Seattle when it's completed!

Hope you enjoyed this week's awesomenesss!!!

Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,
Sheri
xoxo

Friday, September 9, 2016

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.10

Welcome Friends to this week's Weekend Awesomenesss!!!

NO talking in class....let's get started peeps!

Love how they made plants a part of these interior rooms!

Um hulleoo...chicken, morels and rice pilaf...drop mic!

I wanna meet this guy....love you and I have questions!

A great pasta dish you can make veggie stylie or add da'meat!

When you think we have taken over, think again...preservation please!

Flowers encased in ice...photographed duh!

Respect the hive...bee hive that is!

I must say...this guy is pretty awesome!

For all you "ADHD" folks....this is for you...I so want one!

The Ghent Altarpiece up close and personal!

Here's how to make an exceptional hor'douvres platter for the holidays!

Thank goodness summer is over cause this pool info is so grosssss!!!

I so want one of this artist pieces of art!

Whaaaaat a library!!!!

NASA is waaay coool...wonder how much they got paid to do this awesomenessss!  Hiring?

Wishing you all a most wonderful weekend!
Happy Gardening and get dirty!
Sheri
xoxo

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Handmade wood garden markers for sale!

Hi Y'all!!!  Well guess what I've been working on!?!

I am now making and selling these gorgeous handmade custom wood garden markers for your 
landscape, vegetable and herb garden!  
Also a great gift for a new neighbor, your family or friends!

They are $4.00 each plus shipping and handling (shipping out of the 33064 zip code).  I custom make them per your request, so depending on the size of the order, the lead time from order to ship is approximately 5-7 days.  

The markers are approximately 14-18 inches high, the name tags are approximately 3-4 inches wide by 2-3 inches high depending on the shape.  I wood burn the plant name into the wood and seal the wood with a urethane clear coat.

It's super easy to order...just message me with your order 
Email me at:
creativespacesfl@gmail.com
you can either pay through Paypal or mail a check.  
Then I'll make them, ship them and you place them
 where you like, instantly beautifying your garden!



Custom garden markers for your garden and landscape

Custom signage for your garden...lemon, lime, strawberry, corn...



I wood burn the name into the wood and seal the wood with a clear coat.
Email me at:
creativespacesfl@gmail.com

Looking forward to making your next marker order!

Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,
Sheri B.
xoxo

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.9

Hi Friends, welcome to this week's Weekend Awesomenesss!!!

First of all, let me say we must be there for each other, these are moments to unite, to give support, to talk to each other & to love each other.
Let us not be divided by these events, let it bring us closer to together!

Charles Blow wrote this great article...and I totally agree.

never too late to find success in your career or passion!

If you're hiking the trails this summer, check out California's new trail map!


Another funny reason not to leave the kid with Dad, but at least the house is clean lol!


This "remember when" of then-and-now photos is incredible!  Technology is a beast!



So here is what Florida is dealing with this summer!  Can we please take accountability here!?!

This Mexican jungle garden is where I'd rather be...so cool!!!

I love a good 'brunch cake' lol!!!

Any summer projects?  Check out New Society Publishers summer sale!

If you were brave enough to ride Japan's pedal-powered roller coaster then you can ride this!!!

Talk about a symbiotic relationship...why can't we all be like this!


This amazing artist has such an interesting perspective!

If you think your alone on this...let me let you know, you are not!


Wish we had a Hawaiian BBQ restaurant (we go here every time I'm in the ATL) in our neighborhood...but until then try this recipe!

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday...make the best of your week!

Pass along kindness and compassion to others because someone may need your help and it's free!

Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,
Sheri

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.8

Hi Ya'll, welcome to this week's Weekend Awesomeness!!!

Happy 4th of July to everyone!  A weekend to celebrate our great nation's independence from oppression...I truly hope other countries can help their people gain the freedom and civil rights we fought hard for.  Here's to all the people that fought for our country's freedom we now enjoy!!!

Let's get started, shall we!?!  Summer is truly here and lots to do!


An incredible display of lights not of this world!

Totally making this delicious looking salad this weekend, it's so dang hot here!

Speaking of salads...what's your spirit vegetable?




Totally cool diy travel van...especially for surf road trips!

Subtle dirty jokes in kids cartoons...no wonder why I love cartoons so much lol!

If you're in the MIA (Miami) area...check out the brothers at Crabman305...tha' best food in town!

A great way to use oyster shells for your next party!

How about this new shade of blue scientists just created...how cool!


Congratulations Cliffannie Forrester...you rock!  

What do you think about this GMO debate with nobel laureates?

Gorgeous picture of sunrise at Lake Worth pier...Florida rocks!


Another free indoor thing "to-do" in West Palm this summer...I can't wait to go check it out!

Wishing you a most wonderful 4th of July weekend!  Enjoy and be safe!
Happy Gardening and Best Wishes!
Sheri
xoxo

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The garden of sadness today...

"No one worries about you like your Mother...and when she's gone, the world seems unsafe.
You can't turn to her anymore and it changes your life forever."  
excerpt from Big Stone Gap - movie

These two sentences struck me profound and left me surprisingly sad for most of the day.
It rings true that when a loved one passes on, life as you know it is different.
As time moves on you learn how different....how your mind doesn't shut off...how your thoughts continue to unravel...how you hurt with love...how dehydrated you become from continual tears flowing and how sad your soul sings from inside out.

Whether I am overcome with sadness from the tragedy that unfolded in Orlando this past weekend or the realization that my oldest companion might not be around much longer or that I just truly miss my Mom...whatever the truth, I am still sad with the way these losses have happened or will happen.  It seems that life is a miracle and death just happens.   Whether it happens horribly, tragically, peacefully or simply, the truth is, it eventually happens to all of us.

  I started to write this post with a remembrance of my Mom and Grandmother and how their love of gardening made me who I am.   How I wish their knowledge and memories of life and gardening could have been uploaded from their mind some how or at the very least simply recorded.   But it never was.   Could I have been a better listener growing up, maybe, but for now I feel I have to learn on my own.  I want to learn how they did, not by the internet but by trial and error.  Let nature teach me what works and what I need to change.   I want to make it mean more to me that I had to work hard for something.  

So now when I am in my garden, I remember my Mom and Grandmother.  I talk to them...I ask them questions...I try to fill my mind with all of who they are...I want them to be proud of me and for them to guide me in my garden and in life.   Since my emotions took over I figured I would just go with it....a post of a different kind.   So please reach out to your loved ones & just love them & talk to them.   I thank you all for being a part of my life and love you too!

With many best wishes and lots of love,
Sheri
xoxo


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.7

Hello friends and welcome to Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.7


I saved these tiny inspirational drawings for my computer background images


Get out this weekend to explore a little more of fabulous Florida!

If I had a barn, this is totally how I would have it, so awesome!

Way to go Norway!!!



African elephants could disappear from this Tanzania park unless poaching & mining is stopped now!
What are we doing people!?!?

Then there is this hopeful cure in the cancer world.

Way to go Saltwater Brewery for being responsible with edible 6-pack rings for wildlife!  
Wish more companies were like them to stop this & stop this from continuing to happen!!!

If you think spraying your lawn for pests is ok, think again your pets may suffer!





Then there is this disturbing climate change article but after the heat we experienced yesterday working on a landscape job I can believe it!

I love reading these articles showing wildlife is still amazing!

This igloo may be a little pricey but I totally want one for our backyard!

And last but certainly not least, I am absolutely in love with these Aboriginal artist's amazing work!

As always, Happy Gardening and Enjoy your weekend!

Best Wishes,
Sheri
xoxo

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Garden Almanac for June in South Florida

Hi friends!  Hope everyone is doing well!  Well Spring here was very dry but somewhat "cool" (and I use that term loosely lol) but generally speaking we did experience a bit cooler temperatures this Spring.  Luckily the end of May brought some much needed rain.  Our summer months officially start with June since it's usually the month that brings the heat, so time to get ready South Florida.  If you haven't done so already, stock up on a good sunblock (we use one with zinc in it), wide-brimmed hats, uv sunglasses, long sleeve sports style shirts (some even have a uv blocker in them) and don't forget some great gardening gloves!

South Florida's flowering trees are still going strong with their spectacular displays lasting into late summer.   The yellow & pink tabebuia's are usually the first ones to bloom and are now done but be on the lookout for the beautiful bright gold flowers of the verawood and the desert cassia in bloom now, the intense oranges/reds/yellows of the poinciana are crazy full now too, the sweet light pink of the apple blossom cassia or rainbow cassia are just starting to peak out, the pink or red of the powderpuff are starting up too and of course the lovely purple/blue of the jacaranda.  Lets not forget many other beautiful blooming plants like the bougainvillea, begonia, jasmine varieties, thryallis, jatropha, Panama rose, hibiscus, ground orchids and gardenias just to name a few.

Unfortunately, as you know, with the rains come the bad with the good. South Florida not only grows great plants but it also grows all kinds of fungus, mildew and pests when it's wet that can pose problems to the plants and turf.  So remember to apply an herbicide, fungicide and/or pesticide (preferably an organic method) only when there is a sign of a problem and/or when pests are visible.  Please read the manufacturer's safety data sheets and application directions thoroughly.  These chemicals are not forgiving and are designed for specific applications on specific plants/insects.  If you are unsure, it's best to seek professional help of a reputable local pest control company and/or your county's local extension office with questions.

June is still a good time to do a walk through to see if there are any problem areas in your landscape.  Turf requires almost three times more water per year compared to plants and much more maintenance.  So you may want to consider turning a problem area into a new plant bed to minimize your turf, conserve water & reduce your water bill.  We are coming into our rainy season so usually you can turn off the irrigation system with the amount of rain we get but do keep an eye on dry areas if your system if off.

Continue planting your summer vegetable crops like beans, peas, sweet potatoes, peppers, squash, watermelons, eggplant, okra and tomatoes.  Try a few new tropical crops this season like boniato, calabaza, chayote, malanga, pigeon pea, callaloo and dasheen.  Remember to plant your companion herbs as well…everyone loves a good companion!

Our fruit trees are showing off their ripening bounty like the jack fruit and mango with the avocado's soon to follow.  Time to find your recipes for chutney's, salsa's, smoothies, quick breads, pie's and cake's.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, it's a good time to add a mandarin variety of citrus tree to your garden.  They even do great in a pot.  Don't be too worried if you start seeing premature fruit drop.  It's common in June with many fruiting trees as it's nature way of putting the energy into ripening a specific amount it can support based on the environmental conditions that season.  Some trees are known to skip fruiting a season or two to recoup the energy it put out to grow a large fruit bounty.
You can also visit my company's website for landscape ideas at www.creativespacesfl.com

Happy Gardening & Many Best Wishes,

Sheri
xoxo

Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.6

Welcome to Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.6

Let's get this summer party started shall we!?!

I have watched this almost 15 times and it's still hilarious but I feel for the monkey lol

The most amazing collection of rings by Secret Woods...I must have one to show off this summer!

The reality of traveling this summer, quite revealing!

Start your summer off right with one of these creamy coconut margarita's

If creamy or coconutty isn't your thing then how about one of these 

Making watermelon margarita's for a crowd, use this method, so awesome!

If you are traveling to San Francisco area this summer...visit some of these places

My new food crush this summer...I will be eating my way through this blog lol!

If you are visiting Florida this summer, hit up one of our gorgeous state parks & enjoy!

While you are here, grill up some this deliciousness!

Some inspiration for you to come visit our awesome state of Florida!

I am so inspired by this urban farmer, Curtis Stone, I bought his book!  Great summer read!

Chris Castro is also inspired to urban farm & here's whats happening!

If you missed the Chelsea Flower Show this year, here's some of the winners!

And because this is just so amazeballs! Insect photographer, Levon Biss

School is almost over & summer's a breath away...here is what this Mom found in her kids pockets everyday after school.

This weeks Shirk Report, hilarious!

Last but certainly not least, summer inspiration to get out there and surf it up!!!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and Happy Gardening Y'all!

Best wishes,
Sheri
xoxo