Posts Tagged 'garden'

Xmas Knitting and Pottery

I started this rainbow scarf when I was in Salt Lake City this summer. My sister Jeaka flipped over it, and asked for it outright. This was supposed to be a lightweight scarf for my occasional Key West chilly days (like today…53 degrees!).

But how could I keep it for myself when she begged for it shamelessly?

All any knitter wants is a properly grateful and gushing person to wear and show off their time-consuming handiwork!

For my mom, I knitted something ghastly. I used a beautiful minty green, super bulky, nubbly, spun-cocoon-looking yarn. It made the most lopsided, lumpy, misshapen “purse” one could ever knit. I struggled with it for weeks before finally chucking it as a failure and buying her this lovely bowl instead.

It was made by my friends Adam and Kelly at Honest Works Pottery here in town. They are famous for their boisterous use of color and their rooster mugs are hugely popular. Roosters always make me think of my mom, who made the mistake of mentioning that she loves them and that they remind her of her own mother. I am not the only person always tempted to give her rooster gifts.

Roosters are Key West’s pests and icons; well photographed by tourists and hated by anyone with a bedroom window. I frequently photograph the prettiest ones when I’m out and about.

I’ve started making Key West christmas gingerbread roosters (becoming an annual tradition).

For knitters: the scarf used three balls of Koigu PPPM (no, I don’t have any clue as to the color numbers) and this Churchmouse linen stitch pattern. This was an excellent exercise in forcing myself to knit continental, because the constant switching between k, p, and yf, yb would have taken even longer if I had “thrown” my yarn the whole time.

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Handmade Presents for ME!

Months and months ago I participated in on of those Handmade Pay it Forward gift exchange dealies on Facebook. I sent Sunshine a baby chick hat for her tiny daughter.

This weekend I received some handmade goodness in the mail from her!! Check out these cute and super strong refrigerator magnets.

My favorite is cake.

Now I can retire the ugly bottle opener and ridiculous knife sharpener that I had been using to hold up the Boogedy’s artwork!

Also, she sent this adorable garland that says “Frosty”.

I wish I had had time to take it to the beach and model it there! But here I am in front of my neighbor’s house, with their garden composed of vegetation that is considered “houseplants” in most of the country!

Also, Sunshine was kind enough to send me a jar of Mentholatum, which must not be popular in the south, because no one here carries it. A few weeks ago I had the worst cold, and all I could find was nasty ol’ Vicks!

Sunshine, this was such an awesome box to receive. Thank you so much for making me these gorgeous presents!

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

A few weeks ago I met a nice gentleman, George Fernandez of the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, at a business guild mixer. He invited our family to come visit the Conservatory as his guests. Yesterday looked like the perfect day to do that, so we hopped on the bikes and headed over. I can’t believe we’ve lived here 9 months and not yet visited. It was WONDERFUL!

The gift shop had all things butterfly and floral, and I thought of my Aunt Susie the whole time, and of how much money she would have to part with if she ever stepped foot inside!

The blurriness of this next photo bothered me, until I looked at each photo I took inside the conservatory and saw all the butterflies blurring past my lens.

Zach and the Boogedy waited patiently, but the Boogedy ended up being very upset that we couldn’t force one to land on him.

I received a lecture on how, contrary to what dad says, butterflies do not bite you with their fangs and drink your blood. Umm. yeah. Then I found this article.

A photo montage:

1. Zach in the Gazebo 2. Resident Finches were all different colors

3. The gardener who told us that the garden is in a constant state of upgrade, or else the caterpillars would destroy EveryThing.

4. Pond with fish. 5. Resident Quail 6. Butterfly Bridge under glass.

And just as we were leaving, we spotted the Atlas Moth, asleep on a plant.  We had seen an atlas caterpillar in the front room of the conservatory, a smallish, nondescript whitish thing. But the moth itself was stunning, big as my spread hand.

I got up close to see the orange antenna and noticed that the “white” spots were actually translucent, like a frosted shower curtain.

I keep hoping that all these amazing sights will prompt my friends to come visit!

Nurturing a green thumb

My sister Jeaka wanted an update about how many orchids I’ve got now. Here is my latest acquisition, Dendrobium Angelica Mia, which reaches out over the walkway. To the right are basil and lemongrass, both of which I use often.

Here are the two phalenopses that are currently in bloom. I have two other very small phals that are not in bloom. Also in this photo is a showy bromeliad. I have to dump it out so that mosquitoes won’t breed in there and give me dengue fever.

This is the latest non-orchid specimen, the heart fern, which I love for its leggy black stalks.

I also have four non-blooming and unidentified orchids that are not phals…when you buy the $5 discount orchids, they don’t usually come with nametags. As soon as they bloom, I’ll feature them here!

Matchstick Garden

Last night we went to the MARC plant store and bought four empty little pots  and a small watering can (and another 5-dollar orchid, truth be told). Today we set about planting the Matchstick Garden, a present from “Alexis!”

Rocks for the empties:

Scoopin:

Rippin:

Plantin:

Waterin:

The Boogedy was so excited about dousing things that we filled up the watering can and went for a walk, sprinkling plants along the way. When we got to the Key West Cemetary, he spent a bunch of time climbing on the cement graves and tossing the watering can off for the hollow boing-bonk sound. The fog was rolling in, and we spotted these curled up poinsettia leaves that the Boogedy thought might be bugs.

Detour to West Martello Tower

We were walking from our house to Higgs Beach, and we noticed that the Key West Garden Club at West Martello Tower was open! We’ve been peering through the fenestrations for weeks, but always manage to have bad timing.

This was a civil war fort and now it’s a lush tropical garden that is free to the public. It’s the first place we’re taking friends who come to visit. Map boy will tell you where to go.

He will lead you to the hanging orchid “room”.

I love this one.

It is very important, when you live in a tropical climate, never to look up. No matter how large your computer monitor, I guarantee it cannot display this overhead web full size.

Here is the maker of this web, the Spiny Orb Weaver. This spider is the most common one I’ve seen in Key West. This is a super close-up, she’s no bigger than a pea. Again, I will say it: Never google Florida spiders if you live here…*shudder*

These guys are also everywhere, but they don’t give me the willies. We even find them inside our house, and once there was a gecko that only Zach saw.

There was even a funny assortment of pool noodle arrangements. My sisters will think this is as hilarious as I did.

This is a strangler fig or maybe a banyan growing over the archway.

and a lovely banana flower pendulum.

Out the archways and on to the beach!

I know this is my first blog post from Key West. It is absolutely amazing how quickly we have adapted to island time, and find the hours just whittled away each day and week.  I’ve resolved to post more about this great place we stumbled upon, and will get my camera out more often.

Family Weekend

On Wednesday, the Boogedy was babysat and we walked to our beach for a lovely sunset

And went to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, where they cook the food on the grill at your table. I did not photograph the chef, but will show you the fountain outside.

On Thursday, we found a listless frog on our porch. He allowed his head to be pet, and I picked him up and placed him under the bushes. He wasn’t there on Friday.

On Friday I took Zach a picnic lunch at work. It was pouring rain, so we asked permission to sit at one of the tables outside the coffee shop, under the eaves.

On Saturday, we rode our bikes hard for 8 miles, then stopped at Thomas’ Donut Shop across the street from the beach.

And tried something I’ve never seen in donut form, Red Velvet.

We bought an umbrella because the rain has started to be just a little chilly, and it looked like it wouldn’t stop.

While we were at the farmer’s market picking up raw milk, the Boogedy rolled down the grassy slope in the rain, getting completely soaked.

There was some puddle twirling and jumping.

And we grabbed Pizza at Brunos, which has the most wonderful garden/swamp in the back of the building.

To finish the day, the dog was wrapped in blankets and piled with pillows.

And dad was forced to take his own medicine: The Bravery Test.


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