Sunday, November 19, 2017

Shady Characters in your South Florida Garden - part one

Today we are going to talk about some shady characters that could be in your neighborhood....
garden that is!
With so much sun here in South Florida one would question if we even have shady areas.  Uhm yes...yes we do.  So it begs to wonder what in the heck does well in shade.  Well let's find out shall we...this may take awhile so put your phone on silent, hee hee.

First let me introduce you to three native/naturalized coffee plants which are adored not only by us but also by our native butterflies and birds.   Especially since all of the coffee's have a small white flower the butterflies and bees pollinate turning it into a berry the birds eat.  Even though all of these are shade lovers in their natural habitats, they can be adapted to some full sun.  

First up is Psychotria nervosa coffee simply known as 'wild coffee'.  This cutie shrub is a gorgeous green leaved medium size shrub (~4-6 ft high) that loves it's shade from the canopy of larger trees.  When I say the leaves are gorgeous, they truly are magnificent with their shiny and heavy undulating tops.  They love the heat but can also withstand the cold so they can be planted all the way up to parts of north Florida.  Though they prefer growing in moist, not wet, ground (usually seen in tropical hammocks), once established they can survive periods of drought in a hammock type setting.
Wild coffee - Richard Lyons Nursery in Homestead, FL.
Second is the Psychotria ligustrifolia, known as 'Bahama wild coffee'.  This species is considered endagered in Florida habitats but is fine in the West Indies areas.  It's a small to medium shrub with densely packed shiny super groovy leaves.  This shrub grows in a compact form so it is perfect for the 'low maintenance' gardener...ha like that exists.  This variety does not have a high caffeine level and is considered a poor plant for coffee production but a gah-orgeous addition to the landscape.
Bahama wild coffee - Richard Lyons Nursery in Homestead, FL.
Third is the Psychotria sulzneri aka 'Florida wild coffee' or 'short-leaved wild coffee'.  This coffee has a similar leaf as the 'P. nervosa' but has a more velvety looking leaf.  This coffee plants' range is to central Florida and commonly found in moist or wet hammock areas.  It is historically known to possess medicinal qualities, like to reduce fever, treat colds, asthma, stomach problems, swelling of limbs, tumors as well as dermatological problems.  Though it's unfortunate that most of us wouldn't know how to use it's medicinal qualities but we can sure grow it in our landscapes.
Shortwild coffee - Richard Lyons Nursery in Homestead, FL.
Next up is the gorgeous ixora plant, ixora coccinia, which is one of only a handful of plants that not only can grow in shady areas (not deep shade) but will flower too, yes yah heard right...flower in shade!  Of course they also grow in full sun but that's not what we're talking here.  Historically this is one of the true "OG's" of Florida landscapes; dating back to 1950's/60's.  Believe it or not, (believe it) some houses built in that time still have the original ixora's in their landscape...yup totally true.
There are so many varieties and will be doing a post on them later but for now I will tell you a few of my favorites; gosh which to pick...hmmmm ok so will go with 'Mia', 'super red king', 'Frankie Hipp', 'petite pink', 'taiwanese red', 'Maui sunset', 'Carmen' and 'Florida sunset'.  Anywhoo they range from a "petite" size (2-3 ft high) to a "super king" size (12-15 ft high).  Also depending on the variety, they can either be used as a hedge or as a stand alone, but who wants to sand alone, am I right!?!   They can withstand a handful of different soil types though are not drought tolerant.  This plant is a heavy feeder due to it's continuous blooming habit so fertilize, fertilize, fertilize...oh did I forget to say fertilize?   By keeping a consistent feeding schedule, you too can have these beauties growing in your landscape for like forever!
Ixora 'Florida sunset'
Ixora 'petite pink'
Ixora 'super king'
Ixora 'Mia'
Ixora 'Carmen' / petite
Ixora 'Frankie Hipp'
Ginger, you spicy lady you...oh how you make a garden fun again!  Gingers hail from Asian countries and we are super duper lucky to have such a wide variety to use here in South Florida.  Some commonly found varieties are alpinia gingers (shell, pink, red, white, variegated), costus gingers (spiral, button, variegated spiral, voodoo flame, crepe, indian-head, bamboo), curcuma gingers (pink gecko, raspberry, chocolate zebra and so many more), hedychium gingers (white, yellow, orange, pink), etlinger gingers (pink, white and red torches) and last but certainly not least are the zingiber gingers (shampoo, beehive, pagoda jewel, pinstripe).   So now that your head's swimming in ginger, you should now know how to grow them.   Preferably they grow best in filtered light with a slight bit of full sun, this way the ground stays fairly moist but not wet.  They do love a nice rich organic type soil.  Most will take up a considerable square footage of garden so make sure you know how big the variety you choose will max out at so you don't cramp it's style.  It will most definitely be a stunner in your garden!
Alpinia red, alpinia pink and variegated shell ginger
Pink crepe spiral gingers
Costa gingers behind philodendron 'rojo congo' and simpson's stoppers behind gingers
Ferns are most definitely a no brainer shade plant and we have such an awesome variety to chose from.  Though they do require some square footage to spread out especially if you don't want to constantly keep them in check like unruly kids.  Some great ferns are the Florida native sword fern, maidenhair fern, holly ferns, bird's nest fern, cinnamon fern, autumn fern, silver ribbon fern and silver lace fern.
Autumn fern
East Indian holly fern
Silver lace fern
Maiden's hair fern
One of my favorite plants that I use quite a bit is the Jamaican croton tricolor, graptophyllum pictum, which has such strike-a-delic leaf patterns and colors!  Gosh I can't believe I'm telling you all my awesome secret plants, then again you're totally worth it.   There is a deep purple plant, called 'chocolate queen' with a light pink and green in the middle of the leaf.  A green plant called 'lemonade' with the light pink and green color in the middle of the leaf.  Another green one called 'lemon-lime' with a bright yellow in the center of the leaf and lastly 'snow fall', a green one with white throughout the leaf.  They all have a super saturated fragrant magenta flower clusters which is a nice contrast to the neat color combos.  They grow up to about 6 ft high in full sun but will sulk a bit when dry and hot...just like me in the summer.  Their very best performance is in part shade with a loose organic soil.
Graptophyllum 'Pink lemonade'
Graptophyllum 'Pink lemonade' with magenta flowers
Graptophyllum 'Lemon-lime'
Graptophyllum 'Chocolate queen'
 Graptophyllum 'Snow fall'
Chamaedorea metallica is a completely under used palm that is an understory palm, meaning it prefers the shade of taller trees and palms.  The soil should be a rich organic one but not wet.  It's a stunningly blueish silverish green that has a shimmery almost metallic look to the fishtail shaped fronds.  I like using them in groups with different heights to show off their beauty.  You will have these gorgeous palms forever as they are very slow growers and max out at about 5-8 ft high.
Metallica palm
One of my absolute favorite plants to use is the infamous alocasia or is it the famous alocasia, either way it screams tropical.  There are a few varieties that can take full sun but most prefer the consoles of shade.  They are so many to choose from though some of my fav's varieties that grow outstandingly well here are 'portora', 'stingray', 'black stem', 'callidora', 'regal shield', 'boa', 'borneo giant' and 'nigra'.
Alocasia 'portora'
Oh my gosh where to start with this plant, calathea, in my opinion, calathea's are not used nearly enough in the landscape.  Though with that said, most of South Florida has been scraped of it's original tree canopy to make way for strip malls and housing developments.  Which the developers never, and I say NEVER, put back large trees because they are all super cheap and really don't care.  South Florida is normally super duper sunny, then add no tree canopy and man it sucks getting in your car in the summer in the middle of a parking lot.   Which comes back to the aforementioned statement that calathea's are under used because they really prefer shade and will not take any kind of Florida full sun for over an hour or so.  But boy will you be happy to have these in your shade area...such stunner's!  Especially that there are so many different varieties to choose from.  Some of my fav's are 'pink gecko', 'lancifolia', 'indri', 'makoyana', 'zebrina', 'majestica', 'rufibarba', 'burle marx', 'amagris', 'lutea', 'orbifolia', 'warscewiczii' and 'ornata'.
Calathea 'pink gecko'
Calathea 'leopardenia' under alocasia 'portora' and green liriope as ground cover.
In raised plant bed are green wart ferns, cordyline and queen emma crimum lilies.
Red & purple firespikes are another fun way to add some pizzazz in your shade area with their beautiful plumage of flowers as well as their gorgeous green foliage.  Very easy to maintain though word to the wise the red variety can get out of control if not kept in check.  The purple variety is a shorter more compact plant so it's usually my go to one to use in the landscape.

Ground orchids are truly a no brainer plant to use since they are beautiful all year round.   As a ground cover they have deep kelly green strapping leaves which are a perfect accent to the garden.  Their flowers seem to float magically in the air as they are lifted high up from the plant with their spikes of flora.  They used to be hard to find and super duper expensive but they have gained such popularity within the past few years that there are many beautiful hybrids for a decent price.  So take home like 30 of them, just kidding, ok like 28 of them.  You will be a happy gardener with these beauties smiling at you all year round, you might even think they were up to something, hmmmm.
Ground orchid 'tropical punch'
Ground orchid 'mellow yellow'


Oh croton how I love and not love thee sometimes....and I'm not alone, at least I think I'm not alone here.  In my experience, people either like them or can't stand them, same with cordylines.  Which is for another topic of debate for some other time, cause it's like talking about politics, it can be a pretty heated conversation depending on who you are talking to about cordylines.  For the record I really like them; it's all about the right plant in the right place.  Anywhoo, back to crotons...I like them now but there was a time when I wasn't too thrilled with them.  I guess cause I grew up with them everywhere in South Florida.  But there are literally hundreds and hundreds of varieties of them that are super duper cool!  Thailand is producing some crazy hybrids that I would love to bring here! *sigh* one day...oh yes American crotons, right, so I love using them with other bright solid color plants to help blend them into a landscape.  I know they are seen in full sun and yes some varieties thrive in that light but and it's a big BUT South Florida sun is brutal!  So I find that most crotons show off their best attributes in part shade.  I have another post totally about crotons so I will now direct you there or else I'll keep rambling, hee hee....click for croton post here.

Well that's where we'll have to end it here since I just took up like half your day, just kidding, only a few hours.  Think of it this way, it was educational, right?  So we can say you weren't really wasting time, you were learning something, hee hee.  Whatever your plans are today, I hope you are able to go outside to enjoy this wonderful weather we are having.  You deserve it after all the hard studying you just went through.

Thank you for coming by and hope to see you soon!
Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,
Sheri B...that's me
xoxo

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Weekend Awesomenesss!!! v.14

Welcome to this weekend's awesomenesss!!!
I know it's been awhile so let's get to it...

One of my absolutely fav places to shop ;)...Twisted Trunk Boutique...think holiday gifts!

Here's what's happening in my hometown...Miami!



What kids drawings reveal about their parents!


I knew I was on to something...I do alot of squatting in landscaping, saves the back!



2017 and constant anxiety...you're not alone!


Once you know about the 2/3'ds rule, the rest is easy!

Some digitized jazz and classical pieces from ECM's collection!

Not sure how many people would do this DIY succulent coffee table but it's pretty cool!

A great place to shop inexpensive dealz...think stocking stuffers!



I hope we do not ruin this place too...humans suck sometimes!


A unique way to create landscape photographs!


And as always...Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,
Sheri B. that's me
xoxo

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tropical and Caribbean Recipes from South Florida

Hey ya'll I truly hope everyone fared well from the hurricanes we have the displeasure of experiencing.  Our Caribbean neighbors have so much damage and destruction to their islands, they can use all the help we can give.  The Red Cross and UNICEF Puerto Rico are two good places to start.
With that said, this post (inspired by hurricane Irma and Maria) is about tropical and Caribbean recipes, so thanks for that ladies, at least something good has come from you!

Dolphin, kingfish, snook, stone crabs, lobster, grouper, amberjack, cobia, swordfish and wahoo & are in season October and November

Avocados, citrus (grapefruit/tangerine/orange/lemon/lime), carambola (starfruit), cabbage, carrots, green beans, corn, cucumbers, strawberries, squash, cotton candy berries and eggplant are in season October and November. 

Bahamian Seafood Scatterin'
adapted from The Bahamian Calendar
(A scatterin' comes from what ever you might seasonally have on hand)
2 lbs variety of firm seafood like fish, lobster, conch, mussels, crab
1 lb prime lean bacon, chopped
1 large onion, diced
3 cups coconut rice
Worcestershire sauce
Salt, hot pepper and lime
peanut oil to fry
In a medium stock pot, saute chopped seafood and bacon in oil until soft.  Add onion and celery and continue frying util golden brown.  Add sauce, salt, hot pepper and lime to your taste.  Add rice and fry for 5 minutes.  Add 6 cups water, cover with lid and simmer till rice is cooked.  Serve right away so your dinner guests will stop drooling on your table cloth. 

With all of our seagrape trees every where, so many people ask me how they can use their seagrapes.  So here are a few I have to pass along.  Just please be mindful not to take seagrapes from trees at the beach or coastal parks as they are a protected species.

Seagrape Cinnamon Loaf
adapted from The Bahamian Calendar
This is what you can use all those seagrapes on your tree for 
you can also adapt this to make cupcakes too
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup can milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs. cinnamon
2 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup seagrapes ( about 1/2 pound)
oatmeal to garnish
Peel off pulp from the skin of the seagrapes and discard the seeds and the skin.   Set aside the pulp.
In an medium bowl cream butter and sugar together.  Mix wet ingredients in.  In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Then add the dry ingredients.  Beat until smooth.  Add seagrapes.   Pour into a loaf tin, sprinkle with dry oatmeal and a dash of cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-50 minutes.


Jeanne's Seagrape Jelly
A traditional Florida favorite recipe - makes about 3 cups of jelly
3 cups seapgrape juice and pulp
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup calamondin, sour orange or lime juice
Rinse grapes thoroughly, you will need about one quart of grapes to yield one cup of juice and pulp.  So for this recipe you will need 3 quarts of seagrapes.  Place in large pot and add water, covering the seagrapes by at least 2 inches of water.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Crush the seagrapes in the pot with a potato masher while continuing to cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain the mix into a large bowl through either a large sieve or strainer or jelly mesh bag to collect the juice and pulp.
Using the same pot, put all the ingredients back in and bring to a boil.  Taste to see if you have enough sugar.  Only add small amounts if needed because once it's too sweet there is no correcting it at this point.  Continue boiling until mixture reaches 225 degrees Fahrenheit on candy thermometer or until jelly mix will not run when you dip a spoon in and turn upside down.  This will take about 30 minutes.  Pour into sterilized jars and seal and wait for the seal to indent as they cool.  Store unopened in cool dark cabinet.  Once opened you should refrigerate.
  

Pan Seared Snapper with Eggplant Escabeche
Escabeche ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 cup diced Japanese eggplant
1/3 cup diced red onion
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs raisins or currants (optional)
2 tbs sherry vinegar
Snapper ingredients:
two to three snapper fillets (approx. 1-2 lb a fillet)
1-2 tbs oil
1 tbs chopped Italian parsley
1 green onion sliced
Prepare the eggplant escabeche one day in advance of serving.  Heat half the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and lightly saute the garlic with the red peppers for a few minutes.  Then add the eggplant and the red onion and saute for just a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Do not over saute them as you want them to still be a vibrant color when you serve them.  Add raisins and sherry vinegar and remove from heat. Coat the mix lightly with the remaining extra olive oil.  Refrigerate and allow the flavors to macerate.

Day of serving- chop parsley and green onion and set aside.  Season the fillets with salt and pepper.  Place a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  When it's hot add the oil and allow it to get hot.  Then add the snapper fillets in the pan and cook, turning once, until they are lightly browned on each side; about 4-5 minutes each side depending on how thick the fillets are.  Once done remove from heat and place on serving dish.  Mix the parsley and green onion with the eggplant mixture and place as much as you like on top of the fish.  Serve on top of  patatas bravas
Makes approx. 4-6 servings.

Patatas Bravas
1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes
1/2 lb (one medium) vidalia onion, cut into strips
2 tbs olive oil
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced
3-4 piquillo peppers, diced (you can use roasted red peppers in a jar if you can't find piquillos)
1 tbs chopped chives or green onions
Boil potatoes until tender, drain, cut in half and set aside.  In pan over medium-high heat saute onions in oil for 3-4 minutes.  Add chorizo and peppers and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until thoroughly heated through.  Add potatoes to the pan, toss and season with salt and pepper. Finish with the chopped chives or green onions.  Serve under the snapper.

Pineapple Hand Pies
This recipe is from my blogger friend Kanak Hagjer.  You check out the full post on her blog Blending Flavours
one small pineapple
100 grams sugar
2 tsp butter
1 egg lightly beaten
Cream cheese pastry ingredients:
150 grams soft butter
150 grams cream cheese, room temperature
200 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
Cinnamon sugar syrup ingredients:
50ml water
50 grams sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
To make the cream cheese pastry, whisk the butter, sugar, cream cheese and salt together until light and fluffy.  Add flour and stir until it all the dough comes together.  Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

In the meantime, cut the outer skin off the pineapple and carefully remove the eyes with a small paring knife (or you could buy one already peeled and cored at the store if that's easier).  Cut four slices about 3/4 inch thick from the pineapple, cutting out the cores.  Place the 100 grams of sugar on a plate and press the pineapple in the sugar coating both sides and the edges.  Heat a large frying pan on high heat, once the pan is hot, add the sugared pineapple slices and cook each side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Add the 2 tsp of butter in pan and gently shake pan until golden caramel forms.  Remove from pan and place on a parchment paper lined tray to refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 428 degrees Fahrenheit (conversion from 220 degrees Celsius).

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the pastry dough into a 12 x 22 inch rectangle
Cut in half width-wise and then cut each half into quarters.  You should have eight equal size squares.  Place the pineapples on a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.
Place one pineapple slice in the center of the square and brush the beaten egg around all of the edges.  Place another square on top of the pineapple, pressing firmly all around the pineapple to seal the edges.  You want to make sure there are no air bubbles.   At this point you can either trim the edges with a knife or can use a large biscuit cutter or jar lid to shape it into a circle.  You can keep it simple or make them a bit fancy.  Once you're finished, place it on a parchment lined baking tray, cut a hole in the center, brush with egg wash and keep in the refrigerator while you continue to make the rest, putting each one in the refrigerator as you finish.  Brush the top of all the pastries a second time with the egg wash.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the top and bottom of pastry.
In the meantime, make cinnamon sugar syrup, put the water, 50 grams sugar and cinnamon in small saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.   As soon as the pies come out of the oven, brush all over with the hot cinnamon sugar syrup.  Serve pies warms with a side of vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy!



Bahama Sunrise cocktail
a half-ripe banana
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
one shot anejo or vanilla rum
one shot gold rum
1 tsp grenadine syrup
ice
Combine the banana, orange juice and rums in a blender -mix well, pour in glass, add grenadine,
stir, add ice and enjoy!

Bahamian Pumpkin and Rice
1 1/2 cups dice pumpkin, peeled
 1 cup rice
1 diced onion
4 sliced and diced bacon strips
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 stalk celery, diced
6 tbs tomato paste
salt, black pepper and hot pepper to taste
Saute the bacon and add onion, thyme and celery; saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add pumpkin. Continue cooking until onion turns a golden color, then add the tomato paste.  Mix in well and stir cooking for 7 minutes.  Add rice, water and seasoning.  About 2 1/4 cups of water should be enough.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover; cook for about 25 minutes until rice is cooked.

Hawaiian Spareribs
2 lbs lean spareribs
2 tbs flour
4 tsp soy sauce
3 tbs vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp peeled & grated fresh ginger root
2 cups fresh pineapple and papaya chunks
minced parsley and toasted sesame seeds as garnish
Cut spareribs into 2 inch pieces.  Mix flour and soy sauce together and coat ribs.  Allow to stand at least 10 minutes.  Heat oil in skillet and brown ribs on all sides.  Drain off excess fat and add sugar, vinegar, water, juice and ginger.  Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 45 minutes.  Stir in fruit and simmer another 5-8 minutes.  Serve garnished with minced parsley and toasted sesame seeds.

Hawaiian Mai-Tai
shaved ice
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp simple syrup
1/2 tsp orange curacao
2 1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. dark rum
sprig of fresh mint for garnish
pineapple spear for garnish
Fill a 14 ounce glass with shaved ice.  Stir in lime juice, syrup, curacao and light rum.  Drop in half of lime shell.  Float dark rum on top of lime shell.  Garnish with a pineapple spear and sprig of mint.  If you really want to get authentic, float an orchid flower on top as well.  Serve with paper straws.
Image result for hawaiian cookbook mai tai
So I hope you enjoy all of these recipes and use them as your own!  Don't forget to drop a comment.
Wishing you all a great weekend and Happy Gardening!!!
XOXO
Sheri

Saturday, September 9, 2017

What's 'growing on' in the garden lately...

Hi Ya'll!  I know I haven't been around in awhile aaaannd you probably think I stink but since we last spoke, but work has been really busy until recently.   Oh did I mention we have a category 5 hurricane Irma coming up from the Caribbean right now!?! Eek ok back to talking to you all.
The vegetable/herb garden has been mostly stagnant anyway due to our typical summer heat.   It was a struggle to get anything to grow, so why struggle.  Since then we've slowed down a click, which was much needed...recoup & catch a breath.  *sigh*
In between our busy and slow times, I was collecting all kinds of cool pics and ideas to share.
See I thought of you! 😉
I left the vegetable/herb garden to tend to itself this summer, well I guess I figured it could.   And boy was I wrong,..like a child you have to allow them some freedom to roam but totally reign them in when they get close to outta control...like this here squash, which produced a whole lotta nothin' except blossom end rot that I couldn't get rid of.  But I let it grow like crazy, which in turn drove my boyfriend crazy who said it looks like a weed. *sniff, sniff*
Don't listen to him squash, you're beautiful! 
Unfortunately all the tomato plants partied till they wilted into sad hungover looking college kids.   Which I never did in my college days...wait, what? You have pics?
Seriously though you don't right?
Ok so what were we talking about, oh yeah, tomatoes...that was all I wanted this summer.
Is that too much for a girl to ask for...sweet delicious sun-kissed tomatoes!?! *sniff, sniff*
Especially since my basil is looking so handsome this year!
Thank you basil, my favorite child...sssshhhh!  Ok minty mint your're the best too!
Is it weird I find myself talking about my plants with some sort of human pronoun or adjective?
No?   Whew, I was getting worried, for only like a tiny second.
But seriously, that basil right!?!
The peppers were no disappointment, from green jalapenos, purple jalapenos, scotch bonnets and a tiny Thai pepper called "i have no idea" but hot as heck for like a moment then you want another.
"Yes, master may I have another!?!"  Movie, anyone, anyone...Animal House!  Classic!
                     

Mango season was less than stellar for us this year...it started late, had small yields and well, I wasn't really enthused with mangoes this year.  And you know me, mango crazy here!




Let's talk mangoes for just a sec even though mango season is over...there is a reason why we folks here in South Florida call mango season "mango madness"...yes it totally induces the madness in many forms good and bad.  Bad=I read about this couple in West Palm where the wife stabbed her husband because he kept leaving mango peels in the house.  Yah totally true, it happened.  Uhm madness!  
Luckily he lived to eat mango another day.
Good=All through out summer we have tropical fruit fairs, mango festivals, mango mania fairs, King Mango parades, mango farm tours, mango tastings, mango farmers markets, mango horticulture, neighbors sharing their crops and mango stealing....yes they are so delicious that people will 
literally steal them from other people's trees=Bad. 
If you have not tasted a fresh-off-the-tree mango then you might not know how good they are.  Just cause you tasted one doesn't mean you've tasted them all.  Each variety has vastly different flavors, texture, shape and color than the other.  There is even a mango called 'coconut cream' and yes it tastes like coconutty.  
So don't give up on them in case ya' did.

Oh minty mojito mint, how I love thee...
The only reason it survived was the constant dripping of my leaky hose, um your welcome.

My orchids have been my babies this summer...yeah they got alot of love from me...
What would a piece of woody wood do if it had nothing to do?
I wood end up finding it, covering it with lots of orchids thus it wood get a second life. LOL
Wait till you see what they look like now!  Ugh, I need better pictures.

Our yard was soooooo lack luster...I kinda gave up on it, oops.  Bad landscaper I am, lol.
With that said the natives did AH-mazing!  Like our Jamaican capers that went cuckoo twice already this year.  The three B's love me's=Birds, Bees, Butterflies
 There's no stopping these red porter weeds from weeding out!

Another surprise that, I left to fend for itself...ok so in reality I gave up on it but shhhh no one needs to know right?   My white delicious alpine strawberry (I said it really sloooowwww in my head).
My white alpine strawberries were a super duper stunner!   Who knew...not me.
Think strawberry candy, no, think strawberry cotton candy mixed with a gummy bear...yeahhhh.
Ok so I leave you with that lovely thought for now.
Hurricane Irma is knocking on the door so I must bid you adieu!

My Floridians, please stay safe, keep calm and stay alert out there my friends,
help each other out in time of need.  
Best wishes,
Sheri B.
xoxo