Monthly Archives: July 2011

Cicadas and Blacksnakes and Hawks…oh my!

I swear sometimes it’s like I’ve got an episode of Wild Kingdom happening in my garden.  This week’s episode was the birthing of a cicada…not real pretty btw; one of my resident blacksnakes climbing the fence to get his lizard lunch; and gorgeous hawks just hangin out.

Cicadas are everywhere in my garden.  I hear their nightly serenade from the trees, see their funky little empty shells hanging out on the shed and on the fences, and watch the birds chasing and catching them for dinner.  But have never seen one doing its birthing/molting thing.  Have to say it’s kinda gross.  Pretty much like some ugly-ass alien baby being born.  Yuck.  Seeing this vision of loveliness (not) started when I was hand watering the Souvenir de la Malmaisons in the Driveway Bed with the hose.  I’m standing there just a watering away when I see a cicada shell on the picket fence.  And it looks like it’s got something attached to it.  So I spray it trying to get it off the fence.  The thing kinda wiggles a bit but doesn’t fall off.  Hmmmm.  That’s weird.  I walk over to take a closer look and this is what I see:

Cicada Molting

What the hell???  That’s just plain gross looking.  At first I thought it was something eating the shell.  After looking at it from different angles I finally figured out it looked like a full grown cicada.  That’s when the light bulb came on over my head…dumbass, that’s part of the cicada life cycle!  One of the reasons it looks so gross…other than it really is gross…is this pic shows its tummy so poor little guy is molting upside down.  Don’t know if that’s normal or not.   I’m just glad I didn’t drown the poor thing trying to spray him off the fence!   This is the empty shells they leave behind after molting:

Empty Cicada Shell

Ahhhhh blacksnakes.  Do you know how beneficial BSs (that’s “blacksnakes” not “bullshitzers”) are to our gardens?  They eat rats and bugs and lizards, and frogs, and other snakes, and birds.  Well, maybe not so much good that they eat birds, but the rest of their diet is very good.  These guys are non-venomous and will only strike when cornered.  Most of the time they turn and hightail it out of there when we come face to face.  I got two that live in my backyard:  Peri and Peri’s Pa.  When I first bought the house Peri had a burrow under the southside pool decking.  He got his name cause he’d lift just his head and neck out of his burrow to see what was happening outside his home and the way he’d turn his head around he looked just like the periscopes you see in old-time submarine movies.  Cracked me right on up.  So I dubbed him Peri.  He was about two feet long at that time.  Then I saw the four foot BS and I knew it wasn’t Peri! They hung out in the same area so I decided he was Peri’s Pa.  Could be Peri’s Ma, but I ain’t gettin close enough to find out if it’s a boy or a girl.  Anyway.  Saturday Gibbs and I are lounging about the pool patio when I hear this noise to the left by the fence.  I glance over there and see this lizard hauling ass up the fence post.  And hauling ass right behind him is Peri!  Man, I never seen a lizard run so fast.  Seeing Peri slither up that fence post that quickly with no hands was just awesome to watch.  Peri never did catch Lizzy though cause Lizzy jumped to the safety of the big oak tree.  Guess Peri wasn’t that hungry cause he didn’t give chase anymore.



Peri going into the ferns


Peri's tummy

 That is just so cool!! Now I don’t want to be hearing that any of y’all kill the BSs in your yard.  If that’s what you do, just keep it to yourself.

Are hawks gorgeous or what??  All birds are cool but there’s just something about the power of the predatory birds that’s awesome to me.  I’m lucky enough to have a couple of hawks that hang around my neighborhood.  One’s HUGE and one’s a bit smaller.  Their fav places to hang out in my yard are the arbor, shed, and fence.  Unfortunately every time they came around this weekend my camera wasn’t handy…so this old pic of the smaller hawk will have to do.  Oh, and I took this from inside the house so it’s a bit grainy…  oh well.


 Well, did lots in the garden this week:  made a border out of busted up concrete, dealt with canker on the rose canes, picked up two loads of horse poopy, did the weekly fungicide / fish emulsion spray, weeded, and put out pinestraw in one of the beds.  whew.  Makes me tired just thinking of all that work.  My two favs though were the concrete border and the horse poopy.

I like having a border of some type around the beds.  Informal, non-fussy type borders.  Really, really like the look of uneven sizes of fieldstone stacked two courses high.  But being that I’m on a tight budget and haven’t won the lottery yet and have 1/3 of an acre that will eventually be almost all beds, well, that all adds up to Jeanni ain’t getting fieldstone borders any time soon…if ever.  A few weeks ago I noticed my neighbors had a bunch of busted up concrete just lying around.  I got to looking at the concrete, then looking at my beds, and damn if another light bulb didn’t go off!  They said they didn’t want the concrete so it came home with me to become the first of my busted up concrete bed borders! woo hoo! luv me some free stuff!


Other side of west fence bed


Part of West Fence Bed

Didn’t have enough to tuck the pieces as close together as I like.  BUT! I found a place that’s got a whole bunch of this just sitting around waiting for me to go get it so soon I’ll have all I need to tuck the pieces close and do the rest of the beds.  So…tell me what you think about my busted up concrete bed border idea!

Horse poopy!  Luv me some horse poopy for my garden beds.  Thanks to Paula and Roya from West Volusia Saddle Club for hooking me up with two local stables that give away their horse poopy.  Friday after work I rode over to a stable at Ormond Beach to get the first load.  Unloaded it Saturday morning bright and early, then went to a stable at New Smyrna Beach  (can you tell I live close to the beaches!!) to get my second load.  Here’s my poopy piles:


Poopy and Crazy Dog


Halfway done



Got poop spread around the roses before the rains came.  Gonna finish spreading the rest of it this coming weekend.  My flower and roses are gonna luv, luv, luv me!
I’ve got so much more that I want to share with you, but I’m tired and this post is long enough already.  So I’ll leave you with some pics of a rose I haven’t shown you yet.  This is Bow Bells.  She’s a David Austin English rose.

Bow Bell's Bud 07-20-11


Bow Bells 07-24-11


Bow Bells 07-24-11


Bow Bells 07-24-11

This week I’m hanging out with these awesome blogs.  Be sure to check them out!
Well, that’s all for now. Cheers to an awesome rest of the day!

Filters…or lack thereof

Howdy.  How the heck are ya on this lovely day?  I’m pretty much fine as frog’s hair (does anyone know where or who or why someone would be inspired to first utter the ridiculous words “I’m fine as frog’s hair”???  wth??  sounds like something google could tell me).  Me and Gibbs just got back from a short truck ride round the block to drop off the water bill payment and to get four bales of pine straw from my little local nursery.  Love my little town, but they really need to move it up to the 21st century…the water bill is the only bill I have to write a check for.  And every quarter when I write the check I have to mentally think about how to write out the dollar amount.  Seriously.  It sucks.  Step it up, Lake Helen!  Put Pay Pal on your website!!!!

Anyway.  I had a blog epiphany today.  Yep, sure did.  My epiphany (luv that word) is that I’m trying waaaaayyyy too hard to fit into the blogland niche of the perfect-garden-nothing-out-of-place-my-life-is-heaven-on-earth blogs. Yeah right.  First off, if someone tells me they’ve got the perfect garden with nothing out of place and their life is heaven on earth all the friggin time…well, I’m gonna tell them they’re a liar, liar pants on fire.  Then I’m gonna stick my tongue out at them.  That’ll tell em.  ha.  So this is the deal:  I’m gonna start being more me when I write.  After all…Roses and Gargoyles is MY blog about MY imperfect garden/house/life and how I deal with all that imperfectness (that might be a Jeanni word…).  If you want to follow along for the journey, then I say Hell yeah!  But what you’re gonna get on that journey is talk from someone who (as I’ve been told many, MANY times by my friends and family) really has no filters.  Things pretty much roll round my pretty little head then just kinda pop out my mouth.  Think Pez dispenser…  Sometimes I can hear a few brain cells whispering “whoa!  let’s think about that before we…oh, too late.”  Man, those brain cells need to learn to yell if they want me to listen to them…  Do I intentionally say things to hurt people?  No.  That is oh so not what I’m talking about.  What I do, though, is speak my mind.  If I think you’re being an idiot, well, sweetness, I’ll find some Southern lady-like way to tell your little pea pickin heart, God bless ya, that you’re an idiot!  And I LUV me some swear words.  Yeah bubba.  So you’re gonna see “wth’ and “wtf” and some other choice words bantered about.  You’ll know I’m REALLY pissed about something if I’m spelling those choice words out instead of abbreviating them.  Sorta like when Momma calls you by your first, middle, AND last name.  You know there’s some deep shiz going on then.

Yeah R and G is about me creating my new garden and renovating my house.  You’re gonna see garden pics that have weeds in the beds or shrubs with yellow leaves or a pool with leaves floating in it (thank goodness I got rid of that green water though…it’s back to sparkly blue again! damn algae).  And you’ll see house pics with dirt on the floor or a cobweb or two in the ceiling corners.  I’m pretty darn sure if you zoom in you might even see a spider in those cobwebs waving at you.  I’m also gonna talk about Gibbs, and my horrible day at work (or my good day…good days are known to happen at work sometimes), and my relationship with my Handsome Man, and so on, and so on.  But it’s gonna be real talk, not some make-believe oh-blogland-will-like-me-better-if-i’m-perfect fake crap.

My deal is this:  Don’t visit R and G if you expect perfection or if what I say offends you.  Consider yourself warned.

Phew.  Boy do I feel better now that that’s out of my system.

Ok.  Raise your hand if you want to see roses!!!  Some of these are ones in my garden now and some are from my previous gardens.  If the name is in burgundy and underlined that means it’s linked to its description page in “My Roses….”  Click the name and, viola!, you’ll see more stuff about it.

Souvenir de la Malmaison




Perfume Delight (previous garden)


Maman Cochet


Madame Berkeley




La France (previous garden)


K.A. Viktoria (close-up)


Baronne Henriette de Snoy


Kordes Perfecta


Kronprincessin Viktoria 01-10-2011


Madame Isaac Pereire


Antoine Rivoire


Don Juan

Don Juan

Double Delight

Double Delight

Ducher - 03/2011


Isabella Sprunt

Isabella Sprunt

Just Joey

Just Joey

Marchessa Bochella

Marchessa Bochella

The Dark Lady

The Dark Lady
Well, if we got roses then we need gargoyles…

Awwww...he's sucking his thumb.


Reading his book...

Well, I’m off to have drinks and dinner with my Handsome Man, so that’s all for now.  Cheers to an awesome rest of the day!
This week I’m linking up with these most awesome blogs.  Be sure to check em out!

And the real name of “Unknown Daylily” is…

Daylily 'Autumn Red'

‘Autumn Red’!  Yep, Rhonda and I were correct in our thoughts that my Unknown-Daylily-that-is-not-a-Black-Eyed-Stella daylily was an ‘Autumn Red’ daylily.

I bought the batch of daylilies that Autumn Red was in from Gilbert H. Wild’s nursery the beginning of this year.  I tell you what…everytime I deal with everyone at that nursery, the happier I am with them.  I’ve bought from them for about ten years now and this was the first time any type of mistake was made.  I sent them an email late Saturday night asking which daylily my unknown was.  Well, by early Monday morning I had a response from them sittin in my email in-box!  AND they were so apologetic about the mistake and wanted to credit my account.  Gracious, it was only one mistaken daylily out of the 35 I ordered that time.  So I told them nope, didn’t need any credit…I was perfectly happy with everything.  Don’t you just love dealing with companies that have great customer service?

Well, now that I know which one she is I’ve updated Autumn’s description page if you’d like to get more info on her.

Speaking of her description page…see all those titles at the very top of my home page?  All of those titles will eventually have a boat load of information in them.  I’m trying to take an hour or two every night to add pics, descriptions, etc. to them.  Basically I’m taking my hand-written garden journals of the past twenty-some-odd years and putting them into this blog.  So, yea, I’m thinking it might take me a little while to get everything in.  But take a gander at them every once in awhile…maybe you’ll find something new and exciting about gardening or Florida or me that you didn’t know.

Anyway.  This post is gonna be short and sweet tonight.  I’m tired and bout ready for the bed.  So I reckon that’s all for now.  Cheers to an awesome rest of the day!


Weed and Wine Weekend

Ok.  Hmmmmm.  Tell me the truth now.  Which definition of “weed” popped into your pretty little head when you read that title??  lol.  It actually pertains to the gardening type of weed…as in sitting on my butt in the garden beds pulling and cutting and digging  the little buggers out.  Pulled so many of them I filled up my big weed can:

Barrel o' Weeds

Those weeds weren’t just tossed in the can willy nilly…no, those were packed down as tight as I could possibly get them to make way for more weeds.  Have to make my confession for the day:  Because of our very-hot-and-no-rain weather this Spring, I have been the worst kind of Garden Mom.  Meaning…I’d stand in the garden room looking out the sliding glass doors and just wave at the plants cause it was too dang hot out there for me! And I LOVE hot weather, so if I be sayin it’s too hot for me to go out, you can bet your bippy it’s blazin outside.  But thankfully Mother Nature’s taken pity on us Floridians and dropped the temps to normal hot and even gave us rain.  So I spent pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday in my garden.  And, man, did I have a ball.  Weeding to me is pretty much therapy.  You get instant gratification at doing something that makes the garden look prettier, and it’s one of the few times in life you’re actually allowed to kill something you hate!  ha!  The only time I left my house all weekend was to go…wait for it…to the nursery to buy plants to replace the dug up weeds!!  Woo hoo!  I’m so lucky cause there’s a great little nursery about two or so miles from me called A Place in The Son.  Yeah, I know…it’s quite dangerous having a nursery that close.  I’d link to their website but I don’t think they even have one.  Anyway.  Went there with the intention of replacing a Night Blooming Jasmine that didn’t make it through our cold winter.  Not only did I get the Night Blooming, I also got a Variegated Shell Ginger

Variegated Shell Ginger 07-11-11

Heliotrope 07-11-11

AND in the Bargain Barn area I swooped up two replacement heliotrope for $1.00 apiece.  Well alrighty then!

On top of the wonderful weeding adventure, I also transplanted a Muhly grass to a better location and put the new Night Blooming Jasmine in its old home.  Have you ever smelled a Night Blooming Jasmine in bloom?  Oh my Lord…it’s one of the most beautiful smelly plants out there.  And I grow roses, so that’s sayin a whole lotta lot. It blooms in these clusters off and on all year round till it gets cold.  Very old-time Southern pass-along plant. 

Night Blooming Jasmine 2010

Oh!  Check this out!  Even though I’ve been lamenting bout how bad the weather’s been, look what I found in my garden this weekend:


Agapanthus 07-11-11

I planted two white-flowering Agapanthus in April 2010, but they didn’t bloom at all last year.   So I’m pretty excited that one of them is blooming this year!   Yeah, I know she’s got some brown leaves.  Heck, I’m happy she even has leaves at this point. 

Agapanthus 07-11-11

 All of my roses took a pretty bad hit this year from the cold then the heat/no rain.  They’re just now starting to show new leaf growth, but definitely weren’t blooming like they usually do.  So seeing this little baby rose on one of the Duchers just made me smile.

Ducher 07-11-11

See all those red leaves?  That’s new growth.  And that perfect, tiny rose bud is just awesome.  Nature always amazes me.
Oh, back to the “wine” definition…it’s exactly what you think it is.  Trust me, after all that work this weekend I needed a good glass or two. 

Wine Time!

Yeah, I know it’s the cheap stuff.  What the heck…I haven’t won the lottery yet, so gotta keep buying cheap wine so I can keep buying new plants for the garden!
I’m linking up this week with the following very cool blogs…be sure to check them out:
A Beach Cottage – Good Life Wednesdays
Well, that’s all for now.  Cheers to an awesome rest of the day!

Unknown Daylily

Hi all!  And how was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was absolutely fabulous.  Had a long four-day weekend that I put to good use by working in the garden like crazy, hung out with part of the gang on Sunday, and had another part of the gang over on Monday for dinner, drinks, and fireworks watching.  Was tough hearing that alarm ringing by my head this morning…

While I was working like crazy in the garden I noticed one of my Black-Eyed Stella daylilies had buds that looked darker than normal.  I passed it off to the weird weather we’ve been having.  Well, the next day two of the buds had opened and I saw that, no, the dark buds were not due to weird weather.  They were due to the fact that instead of looking like this when they opened:

Black-Eyed Stella Daylily

they looked like this:

Unknown Daylily
Is that beautiful or what???  Definitely not complaining that it’s not Black-Eyed but it was just very unexpected.  So my mission now is to figure out who she is.  Thankfully I remember the nursery I bought that group of bulbs from so I’ll just peruse their catalog to find the match.  Or if any of you out there know, fill me in on the secret!  She’s in a border of Black-Eyeds, so she’ll look a bit out of place once they all start reblooming.  How cool is it though that the colors are the same, just reversed.  Very neat.  But I think I’ll leave her there till cooler weather rolls around.  That’ll give me plenty of time to figure out where to plant her.
I took a ton of pics of her and they all turned out so well I had a really hard time narrowing down which ones to post.  Obviously I didn’t do a very good job cause there are lots of pics for you to look at.
Click here to get more info on her.
Unknown Daylily 3

Unknown Daylily 4
Unknown Daylily 5
Unknown Daylily 6
Unknown Daylily 7
 Oh good Lord.  I have GOT to get a newer, faster computer if I’m gonna keep uploading this many pics.  This is taking forever…
Unknown Daylily 13
Unknown Daylily 16

I ended up deleting alot of the pics cause they were just way too much alike.  I still really do need to get a faster computer though.  Actually I’m jonesing for a laptop so I can sit outside while working on this.  That would be great.

Hey, I’m trying to figure out the best way to link my posts to my plant descriptions pages.  So there’s prob gonna be a few changes here and there while I figure that out.  Let me know if you’re having problems finding anything.

I’m linking up this week with:

Good Life Wednesdays at A Beach Cottage – Life by the Sea

and Cottage Flora Thursday #26 at Fishtail Cottage

and Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers at Tootsie Time

Y’all need to check out Good Life Wednesdays, Cottage Flora Thursdays, and Fertilizer Friday …they’ve got links to a ton of really cool blogs.  I’m so digging them every week.  Thanks to Sarah, Tracie, and Glenda for hosting them!

Well, that’s all for now.  Cheers to an awesome rest of the day!


Call the Popo cause a crime’s been committed!!

Well it seems some shenanigans of the worst kind took place in my very own home today.  About 10:00 I mosey one block down the road to watch Lake Helen’s 4th of July parade.  About 10:30 I mosey back that one block to my house.  Upon walking into the fireplace room I notice that something’s very amiss…  Hmmmmm.  What is wrong with this picture??  Well, for starters normally I don’t have a half-eaten loaf of bread just laying around the house! 

Where the crime took place

I wonder who may have put it there?  I’m thinking this boy, who goes by the name of Gibbs, looks pretty guilty.  What do you think?

The suspect

After investigating a bit more, I find actual CRUMBS on the rug of the aforementioned suspect.  It’s starting to look pretty bad for him about now…

The very convincing evidence

 About this time the suspect decides he better start sucking up to a not-very-happy momma cause he’s starting to feel like he’s in some pretty deep doo-doo.  He’s beginning to get the idea that maybe getting that loaf of bread that mom just brought home from the store YESTERDAY off of the countertop and eating half of it wasn’t such a good idea after all!

Half eaten loaf

So he proceeds to put on his I’m-so-sorry face and rubs against me and gives me little nose kisses.  But of course I can’t let him off that easy.  Oh no.  He’s got to learn his lesson that that behavior is just not accepted in this house.  And this is the face he gives me as I’m trying my darndest to yell at him…

Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful

Really?? Could you yell or be mad at that face?? I tell you what, it took everything I had not to laugh at him.  Had to just walk away.  Of course he followed me.  And of course I couldn’t even remotely stay mad very long.  Besides…it was just a loaf of bread.

Moral of the story:  Don’t leave bread on the countertop if you don’t want your dog to eat it.  Simple as that.