Friday, September 7, 2012

The Old Man is Coming (or Floridagirl Worries)

"Summer afternoon ~ summer afternoon; to me those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the English language."
~ Henry James


Monday, September 3, 2012

A Few Faves Caught My Eye Today

Hope everyone is having a lovely Labor Day!  We are using ours to actually "labor," instead of taking a break from labor.  We've spent the whole weekend mowing, edging, clipping hedges, weeding, trimming oak branches (wish I had Meem's chipper/shredder right now), planting the last of the caladiums we brought home from the festival, covering the last patch of grass on the southside with mulch, and laying new stepping stones from the pergola through the backyard.  Well, mostly Husband did all of that labor, and I threw in a helping hand on occasion.  He is the muscle of our garden these days, as I just can't physically do the things I once could do.  It is great to have a man interested in the evolution of this garden.  Things get done so much faster.  Just sayin'.  : )

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer Goes, but the Garden Still Grows

Wow, has this summer flown by!  We've had a gorgeous, lush summer, with our tropicals being the largest they've been since before the freezes of 2009.   We have spent much of August planting, tearing up, and reworking garden spaces.  The pergola construction required moving of some old specimens, like viburnums, coonties, palms (not all survived the move), and my 'Dynamite' crape myrtle, which now is planted next to the driveway up front.  We smothered every last bit of grass around the pergola with cardboard and mulch, and have already begun planting beds and laying pathways all 'round it.  The work left a blank canvas, the like of which I haven't had in this garden for many years!  How much fun to be putting in new beds!  Husband has gone insane lately with bromeliad collecting (he can be a bit obsessive/addictive, I think).  But I can't complain about his latest addiction.  I have always loved bromeliads.  Also, just this past week, we dug up all of our old amaryllis and planted well over 100 offsets from them.  Wow!  This garden is going to be floating in Amaryllis Heaven two or three springs from now.  Can't wait!  Oh, the patience a gardener must possess.  But much of the joy of gardening lies in anticipation, I think.  Kind of like Christmas.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet August

Today, I wanted to capture a few views from one of my favorite garden months of the year.  What's so great about this stifling hot, muggy month, you ask?  Well, what I love about August is that everything seems to be at its peak.  Even though winter bloomers like camellias and spring showoffs like daylilies and amaryllis are not colorful right now, we still can see them lush and full of new growth, bigger than the year before.  And the tropicals?  They are most certainly at their peak.  By the time August rolls 'round, winter is but a distant memory here at PITV.  And things look especially lush this year, considering we had a mild winter.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gone a Little "Psycho"

Yep, we've gone a little psycho here at PITV the past few months.  Psycho for bromeliads, that is!  First there was the Tropical Plant Fair in July, then the Bromeliad Bash a couple of weeks ago, and....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Into the Florida wild....

Is anything on Earth more therapeutic than escaping into the wild?  Yesterday, my family and I left the civilized world and spent a couple hours exploring Florida nature.  The real Florida.  The land of sabal palms and cypresses, scrub and swamp, moss-drenched oaks and pines, blazing sun and humidity, and best of all, birds and reptiles aplenty!  I forgot to take my camera, but fortunately, Husband came prepared with his.  Turns out he is a fantastic photographer!  Here are a few creatures he captured on camera:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pergola Perfection

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted to PITV!  We've had a busy summer, which included a vacation in July (will blog that later), as well as many new plant purchases and garden reworking galore.  Anyway, back in June, we got the new pergola stained (see Super-Garden-Man, Part Deux), and I have been just achin' to post the finished product!  So here it is......

Monday, July 9, 2012

Views of Midsummer in My Garden

I can't believe we are already so deep into July.  We've had a very busy summer so far here at PITV....lots of family outings to beaches, public gardens, theme parks.  I think my garden misses me, but honestly, it's just too hot to work out there anyway.  Actually, it's too hot to be flitting off to beaches and theme parks as well!  These days, the only outdoor place I wanna be is on that swing under the old grandfather oak.  Just sayin'. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

McKee Botanical Gardens

This past weekend, my husband surprised me by coming home from work early and telling me to pack a bag.  We were making a quick getaway, sans kids.  Just the two of us.  He whisked me away to the lovely Vero Beach Hotel, where he had made reservations.  And guess where we visited the next morning?  McKee Botanical Gardens!!!   I've wanted to visit this garden for ages. It was so sweet of Husband (aka Super Garden Man) to take me!!!  ♥

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Surprises!

What in the world?!!

                                             This is unreal.

                                                                               This has never happened at PITV before!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am 300 posts old!

Yay!  This very post you are reading is the big 3-0-0 for Peace in the Valley!  Can you believe it?  We have posted to this blog 300 times!   And, wow, this garden blog has come a loooong way since Post. No. 1.  My garden too has come a long way.  I've learned a lot about what thrives in my neck of the woods and reworked and tweaked my garden repeatedly to get things to "make more sense," as Husband puts it.  Things aren't all perfect for my brain yet, nor is the garden finished, but then again, it probably never will be. What would a garden be without things to change, anyway?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rain, Rain, Come and Stay

Please.  A little rain would be nice already.  Yes, North Florida was deluged by a tropical system on Memorial Day.  I hear tale of five inches dropping in some parts.  South Florida has been getting its share of liquid gold as well.  Even much of Central Florida seems to be in on the action.  So why is my little spot of Florida earth missing out?  We've had nothing but a couple of minutes-long sprinkles this week.  Seriously?  Our chances of rain are cut in half today, but hopefully, the skies will split open.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why I Love the Season Spring

Recently, I read of a gardener bemoaning the fact that she had grown bored with her garden.  Perhaps it was the season spring, perhaps it was the complacency that results from every plant residing in its right place, she suggested.  (My paraphrase, as I don't recall her actual words.)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Floridagirl has gone and done it.

I can't believe I went there.  Yes, Floridagirl has gone and done it. 

              What shocking thing has Floridagirl gone and done?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Super-Garden-Man, Part Deux

Okay, readers, I've been trying to wait until the whole thing was finished, but I just can't!  And I'm sure you guys are all just dying to know what Super-Garden-Man (aka Husband) has been up to in that southwest corner of PITV.  ; )  Thing is, we have to wait another 3 weeks (!) before we can stain the thing, and I really can't wait that long to publish my second installment.  So, without further ado....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Did I Mention We Had a Mild Winter?

Okay, I missed blogging throughout winter, and it just happened to be the most awesome winter we've had here in this Zone-9 valley since, well, since I've been blogging.  And had I been blogging during this past, super-mild winter, well, y'all would've been inundated with endless bragging and gloating and celebrating.  Yep, it was a great winter!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'll have mine Medium Rare, please....

Just a quick post today to share a new purchase I made this morning at the Home Depot:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shrieks of Spring

"Everything is blooming most recklessly;
if it were voices instead of colors,
there would be an unbelievable shrieking
into the heart of the night."
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today's post will be a little different than usual, as I will talk about a little-mentioned resident of PITV:  the Husband.  A strange thing has been occurring with this dude lately....he is turning into Super-Garden-Man.  Yes, this not-at-all-mild-mannered businessman by day, who never gave two flips about the transformations going on outside of this house in the past, has suddenly transformed himself into a virtual garden superhero.  (Maybe there are some good things that come of middle age....or perhaps he was bitten by some mutant spider crawling the PITV walls...)

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Cheese Was Moved!!!!

I am certainly one who doesn't like having my cheese moved....a mouse content to follow the same maze day after day for its entire life.  So, yes, my life was turned upside-down in 2011, and I sunk into a dark abyss.  Now that I'm returning to the old me, picking up the camera and the shovel again, I guess I expected the world to have remained the same.  But we've had some serious cheese tease on the Internet.  My favorite quick-edit site,, has closed!!!!  Shut down forever!  (Cue Silent Scream.)  Yeah, I have PhotoShop, which is great for people photos and serious stuff.  But that's a hassle for my garden-blog shots, when all I want to do is crop, pop in some text, and add a vignette.  So the past few days, I've been fumbling to find a quick-edit program out there on the net that could compare to Picnik.  Ugh.  It hasn't been easy.  The best I've found so far is Pixlr and that's what I'm using.  But navigating this new maze has not been easy.  Then there are all of the Blogger changes.  Ugh!  I feel like I have Butterfingers.  Everything is so different.  Don't move my cheese, people!  I have to admit, though, that I like some of these Blogger changes.  The "Reply" feature in the comments...Awesome!!!!


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