Wednesday, September 30, 2009

my acceptance speech

 Uhmmmn  Uhmmmn My friends, family, countrymen and most of all the Blotanical blogging family,  my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for selecting my blog  as the best South American Blog for the Blotanical 2009 awards. Last year this time, I was surfing the net looking for Caribbean and Tropical gardening websites, when I came across Nicole 's blog  a Caribbean garden,  her blog had won the award for the best South American Blog for 2008 . I started to get excited . I then sent her a message and looked at her blog roll list. I found that there were loads of other gardening blogs with gardeners like myself  writing about their gardens and garden related stuff. Whooo whooo I was on a roll. I clicked onto the Blotanical link and what I discovered  there, I thought that I had died and gone to gardeners' heaven. This Aussie fellow by the name of Stuart started this site with a collection of gardening blogs with gardeners from all over the world. This was the start of my blogging journey. I was able to make friends with Sunita, Kanak, Meems,Tatyana, Karrita, Ancel, Katarina,Autumn Belle, Lotus leaf, Urban Green, and many many more gardeners from all over the world. Recipes have been exchanged, information and garden advice given (I love to give advice, you all should know that by now).  Friendships have been forged I think for life. I have been lucky to meet face to  face with Meems in Florida,  visit her beautiful garden and déjeuner with her. What a surreal moment it was.  I would like to congratulate, Sunita, Kanak, Nicole, Meems, Bangchik and Kakdah, Autumn Belle, Karitta and Jean, for making  it into the finals and all those who I haven't mentioned. You are all winners in my eyes. It was very difficult to choose from all those fantastic blogs out there and each of your blogs shone like the brightest stars in the sky on a bright moonlit night.  This journey has been exciting and educational and one that will continue. Thank you Blotanical and Stuart the chief cook and bottle washer. From the tip of my toes to the top of my head I Salute you all!

My favorites for the Blotanical 2009 awards

 The Blotanical 2009 awards  results are  not out as yet however

I can't remember all the categories now but these bloggers I predict will get awards. Here are some my  favorites:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Orchids in trees

I was visiting one of my clients the other day and was greeted with this magnificent display. I have these Brassavola  nodosa orchids  growing in baskets at home and here they seem to be thriving in trees. So guess what ? I will be transferring some of them to my trees. My orchids need some attention, many of them have outgrown their pots and am tired of re potting them so I am going to be putting them in trees.  I do hope I have enough trees.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I salute you and thank you

My blog is now listed in the finals of  Blotanical 2009 garden blog awards. I have made it into the top five in the best South American Blog  and the Best Landscaping Blog. Voting has begun and will end  around Tuesday next week September 29th 2009. I would like to thank you all who have voted for me and those who will vote for me. It has been difficult for me in the nomination process,  to choose the blogs I think that are deserving an award. There are many many good blogs and I am happy to say many of my favorites have made it into the finals. I have made my selection (it was tough) of my favorites and have to make a few more while there is still time.

I had to laugh

West Indians like to talk, You see how West Indians can chat? That's how their mouth always put them in trouble..........

Three death row inmates -- an American, a Japanese and a West Indian (I believe it was a Bajan) were about to be sent to the electric chair.

The American got strapped in and was asked if he had any last words.
He said 'No'; they pressed the button-nothing happened, so he was set free
(Apparently if the state tries to execute someone and has 'technical
difficulties' during the process and it doesn't happen, the person is set free).

The Japanese got strapped in and was asked if he had any last words. He
said 'No' they pressed the button-nothing happened, so he was set free.

The West Indian got strapped in and was asked if he had any last words.
He said 'Yeah mon, you don't see the ting ain't plug in"!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

in search of the pandanus

I have this pandanus craze and I am determine to find that special pandanus Autumn Belle  has been posting about. Yes that one she uses in cooking and baking. I decided to go seek it out  since I have seen pandanus growing wild here on the island. Well I started in the North where I live and came across a Swampy Town sign. In passing I have seen this sign before and always wondered  about it. So I decided to explore,  just maybe I will find some wild pandanus.  I turned left at the Swampy Town sign and continued along  this partially paved road.

There were about four houses along this road so I decided to stop and ask some old timers sitting in their verandah. "Hello there " I shouted from the car, "is this the way to Swampy Town"? The old man replied "this is Swampy Town". I asked "where is the town"?  He laughed and told me that there was never a town. So I asked "where is the swamp then"? He told me that the swamp was not in Swampy Town. So I asked why is the name of this place Swampy Town, he laughed and said that he didn't know that was just how he came and found it . I thanked him and made my way  out and continued looking,  for what? Oh! the Pandanus!

this road looks like it had seen better days  and there was no pandanus to be seen!

this  tall grass looks like sugar cane ,  young sugar cane it is, but where is the pandanus?

So I decided to go in the opposite direction towards the sea and lo and behold I saw  a bunch of weathered pandanus. I looked further and saw more and more. I got out the car and tried tearing a piece to see if it had a smell. The razor sharp spines nearly tore the skin off my fingers, but there was no smell. Autumn Belle.... I am having a problem here. 
So I  a called a Singaporian lady who lives on the island. Yes she has a pandan plant, however some other Malaysians and Singaporians  have asked for plants as well. She had no babies at all, but plan to grow some for all of us. I will ask her to let me just come and get a sniff  so that  I will recognize it whenever I find it.  Tune in same place and same time ....the search continues

earth and fire

pieces awaiting their finishing touches

  Laura is originally from Venezuela South America and is of Amerindian descent . The Amerindians are known for their artistry. She was intrigued that the very first inhabitants of Barbados were Amerindians. Many artifacts have been found confirming this. Historians have stated that the Amerindians did not have permanent settlements  here on the island because when the British came, the island was uninhabited.

Yesterday I had a handy man helping me and I gave him a lift  home. I was on my way back when I decided to take the long way home. I came across Laura's Studio and shop in Connell Town. I slowed down and reversed to the front of the building and  out peeped a familiar face. A smile lit up my face and said "I have found you at last".  I found a place to park and entered the the shop. Laura the owner and artist,  whom I had met several years earlier,  greeted me.  I met her in the mid 90's while managing some shops at a large resort. She had some very interesting and colourful art products that we were selling. I later visited her studios which was located at the Animal Flower Cave in St. Lucy. From time to time we will meet and I would enquire about her business. We lost touch and the last time we spoke she told me that she had moved  to another location and was still in St. Lucy.    She gave me a tour of her studio and shop and we chatted for a while. She said that things were very slow for the past few months and that she had just returned form a trade show in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. I asked her what was the response to her products. She said that the buyers loved her work but though that they were a bit pricey and had the gall to compare her goods with those that came from China. How tacky can these buyers be! Laura's work is hand made art and produced in limited quantities. We discussed at length the challenges of working and living on a small island that depends wholly on the Tourist Industry. My love of marketing started buzzing in my head. I remembered the struggles and the challenges I had with my own children's clothing line. She has an outreach program where she trains the youth to work with her but it has been very difficult she explained. The young people on this island are not too interested and the work ethic has deteriorated over the years. As a former manager I can identify with what she was saying. She sees the Tourist market declining  and wants to capture the local market. I told her as a gardener we  can collaborate on things she can create for the garden and I can market them through my garden  rambles and plant sales and possibly the internet. She plans on stopping by my house soon.  I am glad that I took the long way home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy days and Mondays

We had some heavy showers on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. I had managed to cut half of the lawn on Saturday evening (it was a blistering hot day).  So on Sunday morning when my two helpers came to work and I was in a bit of a quandary whether to take them back home or not. I decided to let them work in between showers to plant out several trees that I had planned on doing the past few weeks ago. Well the sun came out and the day turned out to be a very good one. I was hoping to get some more showers last night (Sunday)  so that the newly planted trees will feel a bit more at home. It didn't,  so today I will have to give them some water (and it will be another blistering day  too). I also managed to capture some shots of dragon flies around the garden. While taking these photos I was thinking of Kanak and Sunita. I was thinking that they must have lots of patience and it must not be very hot, weather wise in their country India, to be able to take such beautiful shots of their insect life. Or they must be doing something to have these creatures stand still for their kodak moments. Please let me in on your secrets Sunita and Kanak!

Friday, September 18, 2009

another bloomin' Friday

this hibiscus sometimes bloom an all red flower along with this one on the same plant. It is a beautiful hybrid.
bedroom window view

from my bedroom window

It has been an uneventful week for me. I will be busy this weekend cutting the grass and planting out some trees. Next week Tuesday is Arbor Day in Barbados. For more blooming Friday please take a stroll over to Katarina's garden at Roses and stuff.