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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Garden Friends and an Award

The rare and unusual bloom of an aloe plant on Mom's back patio (see side bar for a photo of her sago palm).

It's difficult to describe the delight I experience at sharing a gardening passion with another lover of all things growing --- whether blooms or fauna. It isn't often, but once in a while I am privileged to visit with a friend or family member in their garden.

Sharing the Love of the Garden with Mom
Last week I visited with my mom to discuss some areas of her garden. We talked of plants and flowers. We walked around her patio where she has numerous container gardens of tropicalesque combinations discussing where each one came from. Some were passalongs --others moved with her from the home she previously lived in for over 40 years. Mom doesn't have as much garden to take care of these days since moving from the house I grew up in to a bigger house/smaller lot. It works out perfectly for her and her husband and they have done a lovely job of creating a gardens in smaller, sun-filled landscaped beds.
We made a jaunt to a nearby nursery which we both happen to frequent - usually at different times and not together. We were there to pick out a few plants to make some changes in her entry way beds. She purchased two beautiful blue glazed pots and variegated draecena to fill them.
My plans were to refrain from purchases since I am way over-budget this spring and really didn't "need" anything. It was not to be so. Afterall my veggie garden was crying out for one more container arrangement and that mexican sage I've had on my mental wish list was calling my name. It's just too much to expect... I just can't walk into a nursery and come out empty handed...
Thanks, mom, for a very fun afternoon. It is a blessing to share this love of gardening with you and to know I come by it quite honestly.
Sharing the creation of a garden with a life-long friend.

Much to my delight, a life-long friend of mine who hasn't much time outside of her non-profit business asked me to come have a peek at her garden to discuss making a few improvements in one of her back garden beds.

She would tell you she is a weekend gardener with a simple love of surrounding her home with beautiful foliage and blooms. She doesn't claim to have an abundance of knowledge or necessarily a green thumb. I will tell you she has done a remarkable job of making her gardens very inviting and pleasing to the soul. She has created several seating areas undergirded by brick-paved walkways and patios shaded by ligustrum in the front and a large patio umbrella and palms in the back. We managed to occupy every one of those seats I think at some point before the days' end.
You've been enjoying photos from her garden displaying the pleasing way in which she has cultivated her suburban city plot. This orchid is tucked underneathe a ligustrum tree which is also adorned with various lanterns hanging from the limbs providing candlelight to sit by in the evenings.
It isn't a secret I drool over her waterfall/fishpond which is surrounded by vibrantly colored annuals she knows just how to change out according to the season.

After a leisurely lunch outdoors, we took a trip to one of her favorite garden centers (above photo). I fell in love with it instantly with its two story covered patio. The easy, warm breezes drew me in and made we wish I could purchase so many more plants. This time I managed to get away with only one. Who could defy the need to own one more tri-colored cordyline to go with the bright pink varieties waiting for company in my garden? My friend found some vibrantly colored varieties of coleus to blend into her poolside landscape.
It was an extremely relaxing and peaceful day which ended with coffee in her front garden adirondack chairs and easy conversation and a re-cap of our day.
Now to the award:

I am honored and confess to blushing a little that Katarina at Roses & Stuff and Leslie at Growing a Garden in Davis have each --almost simultaneously --passed along the Excellent Blog Award to Hoe & Shovel. When I started blogging in June, 2007 I never would have imagined there was a whole world of bloggers out there in cyber space ---much less hundreds maybe thousands of gardening blogs all over the world. There are many wonderful garden blogs I visit when I am not actually in the garden.

There are rules for passing along the E award:
By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you
find Excellent Blog Award worthy.
For the record, I would have picked Katarina and Leslie had they not picked me first. To narrow it down to another 10 was a bit of a challenge. Some of the blogs I would have awarded have already received this award so that helps too. Still it was challenging... so here goes...
Susan at Simply Susan because she is a pioneer in the blogging and plant world in Florida and she encouraged me from the beginning by adding me to her I Love Plants website. Even though she doesn't have a lot of time for publishing posts she is very knowledgeable about how things grow in Florida and I appreciate and admire her.
Sophiemae at Florida Cracker Crumbs isn't a garden blogger per se but she is the guru of identifying birds and butterflies and probably knows the names of more plants than I do. Thanks Sophie, for always helping me out and for inspiring me to do more than just observe the wildlife but to photograph them and research their names.

The next eight fall in the category of newfound blogging friends. All of you an inspiration in your own way. Most of you new to blogging like me within the last year. I always enjoy visiting your funny, informative and/or beautifully written/photographed/reflective posts and truly enjoy getting to know you through your gardeners' eyes. Each of you deserving of the Excellent Blog Award and more.
Linda at Garden Girl in Illinois
Mary Beth at Cultivating Paradise in Texas
Amy at High and Dry in Cariboo
Shirl at Shirl's Gardenwatch in the UK
Gail at Clay and Limestone in TN
Nancy at Soliloquy in Nova Scotia
Melanie at Old Country Gardens in Long Island
This might also get the award for the longest post ever... sigh.


  1. Oh wow, thanks so much - my very first blog award ever :)

    My parents live just a hop and a skip down the street from us and we share the same interests in gardening and attracting birds to the yard. My father is an avid photographer so I get a lot of good tips from him too. I often joke with my neighbors when they see me walking down with my little red wagon that I'm visiting my favourite garden centre. I don't even know how many plants my parents have given me over the years (and just my luck, when we moved from our first house it was in the dead of winter so I had to leave all of those ones behind!)

  2. Meems, yours is a well deserved award. Your blog is a treasure.

    Your garden is too. I have enjoyed this post so much. I miss my Mom a lot and seeing that you are enjoying your Mom brings back such good memories for me.

    How lucky to have a great friend that also likes to garden. You are mightly blessed.

    Thanks so much for the glimpses into your friend's garden. I love seeing the lizard acting like part of a statue.

  3. Meems, thanks so much for the award - my first ever blog award too! I'm humbled and grateful.

    Very nice post, and as always, great pictures! I know what you mean about trying to escape a garden center without buying something. I'm back to work as of last week, and I'm already making mental notes of what's coming home with me! It's easy to spend my entire paycheck on plants!

  4. Meems,

    Thank you for honoring me with this amy said, my first ever!

    What a lovely way to spend time with your mother...and who can walk into a nursery and leave empty handed!

    You said it beautifully when you described your fiend's garden as "inviting and pleasing to the soul"...that is exactly what I hope to be doing in my garden.

    oh, just a technical question from a newbie ;) how do I attach the award banner?


  5. Meems,
    You have honored me greatly by considering my little gardens worthy of a post on the hoe and shovel!! What a blessing to know that my desire to make my home a nice place to visit was successful with you. Thank you for the day!

  6. Meems - Wow, I am truly humbled that you thought of me, and equally delighted to have received my first award. Thanks so much.

    I enjoyed your visit with your mom, and am fortunate enough to still have my mom (who is also a gardener) with us. I can see we come by it honestly.

    I have to tell you that I am designing a new shady bed (with colors of cream, pinks/burgundys), green)and am stealing lots of wonderful ideas from your beautiful photos. Your garden is a true inspiration. Keep those pictures coming! Thanks again, Meems.

  7. Hi meems, wow, I'm totally thrilled over this! It's my first blog award. Thanks for making my day!

    I loved your post with the photos from your friends garden. It makes me wish I lived in Florida.

  8. Meems - Hoe & Shovel is both beautiful and informative (and innovative, too!) - when you linked to my blog, I was so flattered. And now, wow - thanks so much for this lovely award! That it comes from you makes it even more special for me!

  9. amy, you are so very welcome. I am so glad to have found your blog recently and really look forward to seeing what you do with all your "garden center" plants this summer. So nice your parents have passed along their interest and their plants.

    Nancy, Your photography is over the moon, too. I really enjoy your reflections both in writing and in photo captures.

    Lisa, I thought of you when capturing the lizard photo. :-) That one was just for you... glad you noticed. I am a blessed girl- and so thankful to have days with my mom-- you are right.

    Linda, You are very welcome. It never occurred to me prior to blogging that garden centers in the north close for the winter. Makes sense I suppose ... but so odd for me to imagine. Hope you like your new job.

    Gail, Lord knows I sincerely went into both of those garden centers and left my bag in the car hoping that might deter my wandering eyes. I guess the car wasn't parked far enough away and the plants were just calling out too loudly. Sometimes I feel like I should be confessing to a support group, "hello, my name is meems and I have a plant addiction."

    Anyway- to your technical question. You should be able to right click on the award and then choose 'save as'... that should allow you to save the image to wherever you normally save your photos as a jpg file. Let me know if that doesn't work.

    Pat, Well deserving. Let's do it again before it becomes too distant a memory.. okay?

    Susan, Steal away... how very flattering. If you are ever over this way you are most welcome to visit in person. I would love it.

    Melanie, Thanks to you for your ever-enjoyable blog!I don't know how you do it with all your other obligations but I certainly enjoy hearing about your involvement and your gardening. Gee, I don't know why everyone wouldn't want to live here... but then again it's all I know and I would be lost without the privilege to garden all year long.

    Mary Beth, Now you have me blushing all over again. You are most welcome. I am really enjoying your garden that has similar traits as mine... and many of the same plants too. It isn't easy to garden in our heat so my hat is off to you and anyone else who gets the job done in our climate.

  10. I'd really heartily agree with you - nothing nicer than going to a garden or a nursery with your Mum - I have the same love of plants shared with my Mum too - both as bad as each other when it comes to going to nurserys...I had a wonderful time with her when we were over in Cornwall... Keep enjoying... Miranda

  11. Well, shucks! I'm so honoured and tickled pink that you thought of me when choosing the award recipients. You also passed along the blush. 8-]

    When you visit your DS, you NEED to check out Esposito's on NE Capital Circle. If you have time to wander a bit, drive down to Wakulla County. You'll love this place:

  12. Miranda, It is a blessing to spend valuable time with our moms. And a double blessing to share the love of gardening. So glad to hear you were able to be with your mom in Cornwall.

    Aunt Debbi: Thanks... and thanks for stopping by.

    Sophie: It is a well deserved award for your site.

    Hey, thanks so much for the link to the nursery. It looks wonderful and like so many of their offerings should be planted in my garden. Now how to fit a trip to Crawfordville into our full schedule? I LOVE Esposito's... My DIL and I have wandered through there for hours together.

  13. meems,

    I am working on the awards post right now! Again, thank you for thinking of me.


  14. I kinda thought you might have already discovered Esposito's. If you do find the time for Just Fruits, it'll be well worth the detour.

    I'll be passsing on The Big E this evening. 8-]

    Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

  15. gail, You are so welcome- I only wish I could have gone to the fling and met you in person. sigh. Look forward to reading you post and your picks for passing along the E award.

    Sophie, Passing the Big E along to other bloggers is all the fun of it.I will be looking for your list later.

    I'm already working on a plan to get to the Just Fruits Nursery... in my mind it is a must visit now that you've enlightened me. :-) Thanks again.

  16. Very nice post, I am also blessed to be able to share my love of gardening with my 94 year old father. Congratulations on your award

  17. Rusty: I remember reading about your father on your blog... what a blessing indeed.

  18. Congrats on the award and well deserved too. Your post are so informative and beautiful. You have worked hard and I think the award well chosen. It was years in the making Big hugs to ya!!

  19. Hi there Meems, Congrats on your well deserved award :-D

    Sorry, I did pop by before but I hadn't realised I hadn't made a comment. Thanks so much for awarding shirls garednwatch this award too. It is great to receive these personally nominated awards isn't it? Thank-you :-D

    Yes, I agree its great to enjoy gardening afternoons with friends and family. Glad you had a good time with your Mum. I especially like when I am able to help out with the work in the garden too :-D

  20. Anna- gee, thanks, very kind words... I'm glad you stop by once in a while. You have certainly livened up the blogging world yourself.

    Shirl, I've loved your blog from the first I visited.You strike me as open and inviting and caring about your birds and garden.I checked your blog before doing my post and somehow I didn't see that you had already received the award from Jodi. Just goes to show how much you're loved. You are well deserving of it and I'm glad you have it.

  21. Meems,
    It took me too long - but I finally have passed on the Excellent Blog Award. My excuse is that I was without internet for over a week - but really, I just didn't want to have to choose 10 blogs! There are SO many great ones that I hardly have time to garden!


Have a blessed day,

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