Friday, September 16, 2011

Garden Update

Since I have not been feeling well this summer, I did not send out any pictures of my garden as it grew. I will now summarize its progress. To begin with, all but one of the plants was resurrected this spring, after a winter of 20 degree temperatures - and Al and I did not cover any of them during the freezes! Thank you God! You resurrected my plants just like you resurrected my body!

Al and I set up the flower beds the way we wanted them by the end of April, while the weather was still cool. It's a good thing we did, because the weather has been too hot to work in the yard all summer long. I was wondering why some of the plants weren't growing as big as we expected, but then I read in the paper that the heat itself was stunting the growth of all plants in Northeast Florida. At least we kept them watered every other day, but we had to get up early in the morning to do so; it stayed in the high 80s and 90s up till 10:00 at night during the summer. We planted zinnias, gerber daisies, impaciens, coleus, and crown-of-thorn plants. In June my sisters visited and brought me 2 knockout roses, a new fuchsia salvia called Wendy's Wish, and black and blue salvia. We put the salvias in the flower beds, bought 2 large blue planters for the roses and put them at the entrance to the deck and the pergola. Meanwhile, the Mexican petunias were growing over the gerber daisies. Al got tired of cutting them back, so we bought 3 more blue planters, dug up the gerber daisies, and put them in the blue planters on white marble rock by the house. Now the Mexican petunias can take over the entire flower bed! After all, their blooms represent my faith and belief in God's truth.

And they have been blooming abundantly! Every time my sisters visit, my garden has a growth spurt, probably in honor of their extremely green thumbs. I used to love to wake up in the morning, run out to the back yard, and count their blooms. After my sisters left, they produced 180 blooms each day for a week and now they are producing between 200 and 250 blooms daily!! Each bloom reinforces my faith. And I have seen an adult hummingbird hovering around them, along with various yellow and Monarch butterflies and an occasional dragonfly. I don't see the hummingbird every day but I have decided it represents my guardian angel. We don't always see angels, but we know they are always around us. I have also seen a 1-inch baby hummingbird in the side yard drinking from the lantanas. My elephant ear plant has grown huge and had seven baby plants, which are growing well also.

Now I count the hibiscus blooms instead of the Mexican petunias. With my last posting I included pictures of the red and white variegated one and the lavendar Rose-of-Sharon. Last year the lavendar one only had 2-3 blooms per day and didn't bloom every day. Now that it is in the flower bed with nutrient-rich soil, it blooms prolifically! It usually has 6-7 blooms, frequently 10-12, and yesterday it broke its record with 19 blooms!! The red and white one has about 8-11 blooms every day. It has grown so tall that I can see its blooms from the deck in the back yard!

So God gets the glory for resurrecting my garden as well as my body. Speaking of my body, when I gave the medical update from the doctor's visit on September 6, I neglected to mention that he could hear a tiny bit of air exchange in the top of the left lung!! This is a small but significant improvement, since no doctor has heard any air exchange in that lung at all since April!! Never give up!!! Always have faith and believe!!

Pictures show black and blue salvia; knockout roses in front of the pergola; close up of roses; gerber daisies in planters; and fuchsia salvia.

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