Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The cutting edge

A few months back, I read on Stephanie's blog that she had cut back her desert roses  severely because they had become long and lanky. Last Month,  I took the plunge and cut a few of mine back as well. Hubby complained that  I had cut too much off. Well  here it is now and flowering nicely too.

Two weeks ago, I had this Ficus tree at the front entrance trimmed after it was left ragged by Hurricane Tomas at the end of October.  I rented a cherry picker lift and hired two men with a truck to do the rest. It was not cheap but it had to be done.
On December 22nd  2010,  I was mowing the grass, it was wet and the chute was blocking up every now and again. I decided to give a helping hand. I disengaged the blade, raised the deck of the drive mower and got off to remove some grass. I lifted the cover and flicked some grass that was stuck on the corner of the deck with my finger. The blade had not come to a complete stop and it nearly took my finger off. I stared down at my bloody hand in disbelief, I said oh Sh!&%#. I turned off the mower and ran to the house where I shouted to Chuck that I had cut my finger with the mower and that I had to go to the emergency room. I rinsed my hand in cold water and wrapped it in some paper towels. I then went back to where I had left the mower( across the field) started it up and took it back into the shed where it was housed.  It was around  5.30pm when hubby drove me to the ER , it was the longest drive I had ever taken. Under normal circumstances it would have taken 15-20 minutes. Being Christmas the roads were jammed or there was some accident along the way. We had to take a detour and finally arrived at the ER around 6.30 pm.  The nail remains were removed after getting two stabs (between the middle finger) with a long needle  filled with  anesthetic to numb the area . It was awful to look at. Luckily the blade shaved the finger tip bone and missed the joint.  X-rays were taken and I got a few stitches. I was told to see the orthopedic surgeon the next day. He told me that it was an open fracture and that it will heal in about a month to six weeks. He said that the nail may grow back but it will not  be a smooth one because the nail bed was badly damaged. He said that I was very lucky. 
The dressing has to be changed every two days and luckily for me, my neighbour is a retired nurse and she has been doing that for me. I was told by a friend not use a lawn mower blade to cut my nails anymore. 
I am having an infestation of the frangipani moth caterpillars. They are devouring all the leaves of my frangipani trees and my allamandas. Many of my plants looks like they have been trimmed bare.

We have been having very heavy rain, very unusual since this is the start of our dry season. I had to cancel my Boxing day brunch due to heavy rainfall (and my finger). The day after my injury I was back on the mower finishing the job. This was a very painful lesson for me, I got too friendly with my mower, it is neither a friend nor a pet. I will respect it and fear it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasons Greetings to All

Wishing all my friends and visitors from around the globe, a Happy and Joyous Christmas and a very Peaceful and Healthy 2011

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Exotic Gardens of the Eastern Caribbean

About two years ago I was asked by  a local Horticulturist John Webster,  if I were interested in having my garden photographed by Canada based author and photographer Derek Galon and Margaret Gajek for their up coming book Exotic Gardens of the Eastern Caribbean. I agreed, and Derek and Margaret came and spent some time with me in the garden. Today their beautiful book is now out and  being sold by many 
retailers including
The photography is amazing and  my garden is featured on pages 42 to 47. 

This book features gardens many of us hope to  visit some day,  many of them scattered throughout the Caribbean islands like Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada.   Small  gardens as well as large ones are featured in this publication. This is a must for tropical garden enthusiasts and a great coffee table read. Included in the book is a delightful  CD of nature calls of  birds and crickets from the islands. For those of you living on the island you can contact me to purchase this book . 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GBBD December 2010

This beautiful butterfly topiary photo was taken at Busch Gardens in Tampa Fl. The flowers are dwarf  pink and white begonias.

Hello to all my gardening friends around the globe and a BIG welcome to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day where gardeners post what is blooming in their gardens. Today I decided to post what was blooming on my trip to Orlando earlier this month. My daughter and I visited some of the theme parks and of course I was more interested in their gardens than their roller coasters. I was able to visit Meems from Hoe and Shovel, we had a great time with her and in her garden with much laughter and smiles.  I also met her mom Iris who was also a bundle of fun. Nice to meet you Iris!

While in Tampa we visited Busch Gardens where some of the photos I have posted were taken. To see more of  GBBD please take a stroll over to May dreams garden to see what is happening around the globe.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Northern exposure

The tree lined streets gave a me sense of serenity  as I strolled.
  The view from my cousin's kitchen window made doing the dishes a treat!
 The colour of tree leaves was truly an amazing sight to behold this time of year.
 White camellias I spotted in someone's garden and couldn't resist shooting.
 Bright red berries just lit up the surroundings. I don't know the name but perhaps someone can help me.
Roses bloomed effortlessly

Lauren (right) with some of the cousins, Arlene,Judy and Mia left

I have been away the last two and a half  weeks visiting Florida and South Carolina. My daughter Lauren and I spent Thanksgiving with cousins in South Carolina. We drove up from South Florida on Tuesday Nov 23 with a layover in Jacksonville and arrived in SC on November 24th. We had a grand time catching up with everyone and meeting new friends. The weather was chilly but that was a welcome change from the island's heat we have been experiencing. With camera in hand I was out and about snapping shots of flowers and trees not minding the cool weather at all.  Stay tuned there is more to come.
To be continued............

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloomday November 2010

This field pond is blooming with water lilies. With the recent rains we have been getting, water lilies are popping up every where.

A sign that Christmas is near, these Christmas candles (cassia alata) are lighting up the garden.

Dendrobiums are planted in this large boulder

Hello and welcome to Garden Bloggers bloomday where gardeners from around the world show what is blooming in their gardens. 
 After experiencing my first hurricane and the aftermath, it brought home how fragile life is and how dependent we have become. Without electricity and water in some cases, we were totally helpless. Life is slowly returning to normal as normal can ever be.  Many were not as fortunate. The island of St. Lucia, the Helen of the West Indies, was devastated in many areas. Many of us assisted with food and water for our St. Lucian brothers and sisters. This was done through the local Red Cross. They are the light in the dead of night. Kudos to them! 
 To see more of what is blooming around the globe please visit maydreams garden. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Almost there

 This cassia javanica will be righted soon, we trimmed off the top and hope that it will regenerate quickly.
This Jamaican rain (brya ebenus) tree didn't waste any time blooming even though Tomas had blown it sideways.
This yellow flamboyant will be straightened and staked
The Mc arthur and foxtail palms seem to have weathered the storm and floods very well.
my faithful vanda
Rusty here enjoying the freshly cut grass

It has been ten days since Hurricane Tomas had passed  and the clean up is almost completed. Just a few more trees to be straightened and staked and a few fallen ones to be cut up around the back garden.  It is blistering hot as well so I am working early mornings and late evenings.  To my fellow bloggers and followers, Flowerlady, Kris, Lotusleaf, Andrea, P3Chandan, Stephanie, Glenda and Gail, thank you all for checking in on me and for your kind comments.
Happy Diwali to all my blogging friends who are celebrating this festival of lights.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tomas' wrath

fallen  Banana trees
pink cassia 
Royal palm fronds
another fallen pink cassia
 Irwin mango tree lost its middle, I do hope it will produce next year.
plumeria pudica (a victim in many gardens)  in my back garden
 The back garden  with the fallen electrical lines
The huge clammy cherry tree on the neighbouring lot that brought down the electrical line in my back garden

The side path to the back is totally blocked, we are trying to clear it bit by bit and avoiding the  fallen electrical lines.  I do hope the power company comes soon to help clear this mess.

 Clean up is almost completed and my phone line has been restored. The ground is still too soft to mow the grass.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stormy weather

uploading is extremely slow at the moment so I will be adding photos whenever I am able to
this was the scene early Saturday morning

this amount of water is the most I have ever seen in the fourteen years I have lived here.

the tree that downed the telephone line

Last week Friday and Saturday, tropical storm Tomas passed to the south of Barbados. We were given warning just as the storm started to affect the island on Friday around 2.00pm. As a daughter of a  former Meteorologist, I find it hard to believe that our Met office missed this one. They claimed that it developed very quickly. Many of us were watching this system days ahead and thought that it looked enormous and was well defined. Well as it turned out Tomas' path was a destructive one.  We were affected by the outer bands of Tomas. Luckily for us we were out of power for 10 hours even though a tree had fallen on the power lines and my line is very close to the ground at the back of the house. The phone line was broken by another tree. The garden suffered very little damage,with two down trees (all pink cassias) and some broken branches. Surprisingly the shade house is still standing with very little damage to the netting. I had reordered a replacement last month and it is here waiting to be installed whenever the clean up is completed. I am using the computer of a friend, who has kindly loaned me her laptop with a wireless connection.  The storm was scary for me, we had some rain coming through broken panes that were there before. The sound of the wind was eerie, you should have seen Lauren, (my daughter) and myself trying to secure her bedroom when a shutter blew off.

Looking back it was hilarious but during the time it was frightening. My 250+ year old house passed with flying colours. Many homes around the island suffered damages, many roofs were blown off and some houses totally collapsed. Luckily there were no loss of life here but it was very damaging to the  neighbouring islands of St. Vincent and  St. Lucia.