Garden e-Diary 8.22.15

Posted August 22nd, 2015 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Garden e-Diary, Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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The Saga Continues.

As I told you a few weeks ago, the weeds took over while I was out of town. I worked, like a crazy person, to get them under control as soon as I got back to town. Let me recap.

This is what the east end of the Front Garden Bed looked like at the end of February.

This is what it looked like when I left town at the end of May.

This is what it looked liked after I got back to town and started seriously attacking the overgrowth.

THEN, I went out one morning with my coffee to walk around the yard and the neighbor started waving at me and yelling, “There’s a dead dog in your yard!”

I walked over to look where she was pointing and went into shock. It wasn’t a stray that got sick and wandered into my yard and died. It was a young dog that had clearly been killed, then wrapped in plastic, put on a piece of plywood, covered with branches, then dumped in my yard.

I called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy arrived minutes later. He took one look at me as we stood next to the dead dog and suggested that we go somewhere else to talk. I was shaking and irrational. He called Animal Services and within the half hour a very nice man was there to handle removing the dog and determining what had caused its death. The deputy filed a complaint and gave me a victim’s rights brochure with the case number on it. I began to realize that this was something that had been done to me as well as to the dog. I could barely breathe.

I tried very hard to ignore the ritualistic aspects of the occurrence. For the first few nights, I had nightmares about the horse head in the bed scene from The Godfather. Then I began to have nightmares about scenes from Rosemary’s Baby.

Before I left town in May I had filed a complaint about being attacked by a pit bull that was allowed to run loose in the neighborhood. It’s been an ongoing problem.

The dog was still running loose the day I left town. As angry as I was that Animal Services continued to fail to stop these vicious animals from running loose in the neighborhood, I was stunned that someone would kill a dog and dump it in someone’s yard to make the point that they could treat animals any way they wanted to and nobody could stop them from doing it.

It was a week before I could make myself go back into the yard next door. By then the weeds had had a field day. Now I started having nightmares of Code Enforcement having me arrested for having too many weeds in my yard. I got an email from New York that said “Come home now. Get out of there!” I emailed back that I was okay. The reply that came said, “Get on a plane and get out of there now!”

Garden e-Diary 7.29.15

Posted July 29th, 2015 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Garden e-Diary, Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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Once again, the weeds in the front yard took preference over the Goddess Garden e-Diary. I’m taking advantage of a heavy rain day to start to get you caught up.

I’m putting a large pathway across the front yards of both properties and banking up to make flower beds along it. I sprayed the yard with a weed killer before I left town thinking that it would keep the unfinished landscape project under control until I got back. It didn’t. I was appalled by the mess in the yard when I arrived and started pulling weeds as soon as I could get changed into work clothes.

I’m making slow but steady progress—but let me start with yesterday’s project. The Mango Bed at the Front Jasmine Gate. This is what it looked like when I left town in May.

It was in pretty good shape when I got back to town, but after two weeks of rain the weeds had started to take over.

I spent the morning digging in the yard next door (more about that later). After a heavy rain shower, I got to work pulling weeds in the Mango Bedand this was the result.

Next I set about removing the broken trellis limb. I put branches into the cement block openings around the garden to serve as support for plants while they were getting started. It worked well for several years, then the last time I was in town, they started to mysteriously break off. Almost every morning, I found another one had broken along the front of the property (none of the branches inside the property suffered the same fate.) Most of the branches were still in fairly solid shape, not rotted off but clearly snapped off with some force. I removed most of them. The one at the Front Jasmine Gate didn’t get taken down before I left town. I carefully cut it loose from the Jasmine twines and the Mango Bed was back in shape and ready for the last growth spurt of the summer!

Garden e-Diary 5.19.15

I worked in the front bed until dark last night. It’s suddenly become very gratifying. Mr. Beyers’ lilies are blooming their little hearts out. I can sense the smaller faeries dancing ‘round them as I work.

This morning I was out and working by 8:00 am. I went back to the central elevated bed in the side yard of the second property. I plan to have a raised bed within the circle of the utilities easement, perhaps with a central sitting area surrounded by plants and small trees. It’s a lot of work, but I’m making progress, one day at a time.

The front bed is finally beginning to look like the vision I had when I began it. With a little luck, and decent rainfall, it should fill out this summer and begin to be the lush bank of foliage that I see in my mind’s eye.

I’m stopping for lunch now. Then a quick trip to Home Depot. And then back to work. I’ll keep you posted!

Ministerial Muses—Garden e-Diary 5.17.15

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Let me try and get you caught up with the Goddess Garden. I’ll start with the front bed.

I’ve been desperately trying to get the bed across the front of both properties banked up and planted so that it makes a buffer against the noise and mess across the street. Nature, however, is a formidable adversary and the weeds grow faster than I can pull them out. Still, I keep trying.

Last November I started rounded off the East end of the bed. It’s the most visible from the road and from my neighbors house.

In February I continued with that section, banking up on the outer side of the cement block edging. I transplanted several sprouts from the firecracker plants in the center of the bed, along with wedelia shoots.

Only one of the firecracker sprouts survived while I was north, but the wedelia is making a good start creating ground cover.

I’m slowly making progress getting it all cleaned up. It’s been a challenge because it’s been unusually hot for this time of year, and because the neighbors pit bull has been running loose and almost mauled me one afternoon. Fortunately, I had a shovel with me at the time and managed to fend him off, but it left me really shaken. Who knew gardening could be so dangerous!

I’ve continued banking up the backside of the bed and I’ve added several more firecracker shoots, a small palm tree, and an orange tree that started from a seed under my Valencia tree on the back of the property. The oranges will be bitter, but I’ll use them in cooking, and it will be a pretty tree.

The lilies I got from Mr. Beyers before he moved away are providing quite a show, and along with the hibiscus blooms, the firecracker red, and the splash of purple, the front of the bed is delightful to work with right now. It’s incentive to keep working.

Emotional swings may occur this week. There is lots of confused energy and some of it is causing turmoil. Know that most of your uncomfortable feelings will be about what is going on around you and not internal. Still the discomfort will point to unfinished business in our psyches. Sorting through it will be valuable even if it’s not what you want to be doing right now.

Garden e-Diary 5.14.15

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Garden e-Diary 5.14.15

FINALLY, I’m getting back to the Goddess Garden saga. It’s been a bit of a wild ride here in Manatee County, but more about that later.

When I got back to town in January, I discovered that one of the oleanders in the front beds had died.

Upon examination, I discovered two empty bottles of marine transmission fluid beside the dead plant. I assumed that the neighborhood criminals had killed it and left me a message so that I would be sure to know that they did it on purpose. It was winter. I left the plant as it was, hoping that in the spring it would send up new shoots from the roots. It didn’t.

The universe has sent me an opportunity to redesign the front beds. Hopefully the beautiful bougainvillea in between the oleanders will be left alone and I can come up with a creative solution for the octagons on each side of it.

As usual, the weeds have thrived while I was gone, despite a rather severe drought. I have been busy trying to get things back under control, which is why you haven’t heard from me until now.

Stay tuned, more updates, including Faerie Encounters™ coming soon.

Ministerial Muses—Garden e-Diary 11.30.14

I haven’t updated you on the Mango Bed at the front of the driveway. When I got back to Bradenton in October, the grass had made another substantial takeover attempt.

The good news was that the Creeping Peanut I planted (to block the growth of grass and weeds) is finally making substantial progress also.

I started dealing with the grass invasion the first few days after I got back and continued in between my digging and banking up the front bed.

Then I started added lemongrass trimmings as mulch to block weeds and protect the plants and the little mango tree from potential freezes.

The asparagus fern was looking a little yellow when I first got back and I wasn’t sure what the problem was.

After a few good rains it perked up, nice and green again.

The faeries were happy with the progress that I made. Of course, it wasn’t even half of what I hoped to get done, so I appreciated their support.

I’m hoping that the cooler weather and shorter days will slow down regrowth of weeds while I’m out of town so that I can focus on forward progress when I get back. I’ll miss the faeries and my firepit and the butterflies and birds — and of course my flowers!

This is a week of resolution. Life will become less chaotic. The road ahead will be made clear. If you have faced recent challenges with your eyes open, you will realize that you have gained much because of your efforts. Move forward with a glad heart and an open mind.

Ministerial Muses—e-Garden Diary 11.23.14

I continued adding soil and sub-mulch to the front bed last week. I began with finishing up my “dedicated area of concentration”.

Then I allowed myself to move eastern along the bed weeding and adding sub-mulch to a slightly larger area of concentration. (I do get bored working in one small spot too long even if it is more productive.)

Finally, I created some diversion for myself by cutting up dried branches to make mulch along the front edge of the bed. We had a nice rain which helped to secure the leaves in place.

The faeries are busy doing their own thing, both here and at Clay in the Garden. Our Faerie Tour was peaceful. The bootleg businesses in the ‘hood did a noise offensive last week. Five different properties taking turns making noise almost nonstop for the better part of the week. (Follow the saga on Twitter #MidTownManatee?) Another neighbor and I called the Sheriff’s Office several times and now it’s quieter again. Thank You!

This week produces big gains. Continue working but also make sure to create down time so that the results of your labor will have space to manifest. The mental fog clears and reorganization will be possible and worthwhile. Don’t let kickback from envious distractors throw you off your game. It’s your turn to move forward.

Garden e-Diary 11.19.14

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I’ve made quite a bit of progress moving dirt, even though the final goal still looms far off in the future.

The work to date has been very successful in relieving the problem of flooding because of runoff from across the street. (I’ve got some serious drainage ditches now.) We had a fairly substantial rain Monday night and not only was there no water in my carport, there was almost no water in my driveway! A miracle!

I’m using the sandy, shell-filled layers of dirt on the front of the bed to delineate the thriving wedelia from the hibiscus, palms, and firecracker plants. It’s starting to be very pretty which is a reward I need desperately.

The topsoil, I’m putting on the back of the bed, building up a layer around the plants to keep more moisture in the soil for them. They’ve been struggling because the little bit of extra height makes the bed dry out much faster in the summer heat.

The last few days I’ve started adding another layer of serious yard trimmings as sub-mulch.

Next I’ll put more soil on top of the cuttings. It seems like a never ending cycle, and in some ways I guess it always will be.

As for the faeries, they seem to be keeping a low profile. When I ask to have them touch in with me, a few will oblige. They always seem to have a twinkle in their eyes, so I’m encouraged that things are moving along the way they should be.

To be continued…

Garden e-Diary 11.11.14

Posted November 13th, 2014 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Garden e-Diary, Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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I had business obligations on Wednesday, so it was late afternoon before I could get back to work in the yard. I picked up where I left off on Tuesday….

and worked adding layers of dirt and tree trimmings to the area I had designated to work on.

I decided to apply my “focused” strategy to the area I was getting dirt from as well as the area I was banking up. I began removing dirt from a concentrated area, finishing it up as I went so it would be ready to add gravel fill to when I was done.

By the end of the day, I had added several layers of trimmings and dirt around the hibiscus and the sabal palm.

This morning I began again, adding dirt then adding trimmings.

The noise from across the street started later today than it has perviously this week. Allied waited until after dark to crank up the car stereo sonic bass.

This afternoon I noticed a new tow truck in the neighborhood, Duque Towing. They hauled half a black SUV out of one of the bays in the industrial complex down the block. Do you know how much noise it makes to cut an SUV in half? No wonder these guys are blasting car stereos to cover their tracks. I woke up at 1:30 am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning because the sonic blast had increased. I went out onto the carport to see where it was coming from. The sonic boom.boom.boom was coming from Allied’s friends on 27th Ave W who party in their driveway all night with disco speakers blasting out of the garage. But Allied was still lit up like a Nevada whorehouse and running commercial equipment. I guess it doesn’t matter where the cover noise comes from, as long as it drives law abiding property owners crazy. And it does drive us crazy. I was half sick all day Wednesday from lack of sleep and stress. Once again — for those of you who’ve miss it — if you’re buying illegal drugs, you are funding a war against this country. It’s billions of dollars, tax free that they steal from all of us, and they’re destroying this country one neighborhood at a time. When are we going to make them stop??????

Garden e-Diary 11.11.14

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I was getting discouraged because I seemed to being making such slow progress on the front bed. I realized that because I was working across the whole bed, it seemed as if nothing much was getting done. So last night, I promised myself that I would zero in on a small section and work there exclusively today. I chose a hibiscus next to a sabal palm to be my designated target area.

I alternately added dirt and layered trimmings from the mango in the back yard to create the desired banked up area around the hibiscus and the palm.

At the end of the day, there was a noticeable difference but it still seemed “puny” when compared with the image I had in my mind when I started.

I reminded myself that I had cleared a fairly large section of the back yard and trimmed quite a bit off my mango tree. It still seems a small accomplishment, but it’s progress. Slow but steady wins the race.

The faeries are very supportive.They think we’re doing just fine!