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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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A December Day's Harvest

The lima beans are still not ready to come off the vine. But we are watching them with great anticipation. Our first try for these at Hoe & Shovel, they are sure to be a hit with the Mister. Mr. Meems is a big fan of this vegetable. I'm hoping to please his easy soul when once they decide to mature.

My small garden is very green this autumn. The tomato plants are way bigger than I expected. All but one of these started from seed in August. I've had the chance to be in the garden quite a bit the last two weeks. The weather this far south has just been so gloriously perfect I am having the worst case of Gardener's Attention Deficit Disorder... or some such. Take yesterday for instance.
We Interrupt the Regularly Scheduled Christmas Decorating
It was mid-morning. The tree was standing in the middle of the living room and I had strung all the lights. Now for the ribbons. There I was midway into ribbon tucking ... minding my own Christmas decorating agenda:
  • Finish decorating Christmas tree
  • Put empty boxes of decorations away
  • Do some housecleaning.. Do some housecleaning. Do some housecleaning...

After saying over and over in my own head - I wish I could be in the garden right now and not stuck inside decorating this silly lovely tree... at one moment I'm following the plan for the day and the next thing I know I'm outside taking a peek at the garden.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, now all is right with the world. Okay. We'll just mind the veggie garden and do a few other little things. Just forrrrrr .... let's see, we'll go right back inside in an hour... or maybe an hour and a half. But no more than that. Now that my 'gardening me' is in agreement with the 'resistant to decorating today me' we can both relax. Let's simply breathe in the goodness of this perfectly beautiful fresh air, blue skies and autumnal angled sunshine. Yes, those are birds you hear singing; cheering me along at my decisions.

Picking a couple of handsful of pole beans and green beans is a good place to start. A little to my surprise, I just kept finding more dangling beauties under the big green leaves that nurture them so nicely.
The veggie garden has been a bit stunted in producing fruit due to the colder weather. But oh, my, has it been easier to tend than the summer garden! With no humidity and temps favorable to humans and plants alike there haven't been any bugs. A few grasshoppers, yes, but no worms either. I'm so glad I planted for this season although I must admit I forget to water occasionally. Since I'm not in the garden each day and it is a hyper-busy time of year it is easy to let a morning pass without getting to the north side for a perusal. No worries. Unlike the summer garden this milder climate for growth isn't requiring as much water.

No tomatoes have turned red yet. I've crowded way too many plants in my small garden again. I thought I did better at that this time but it is not the case. It's been a couple of seasons of trial and error for this novice vegetable gardener. I'm holding out for a few more beds for the spring planting. Maybe that will solve my over planting tendencies. hmmmm.

Well, that hour and a half I alotted my 'gardening self'' turned into 4 hours yesterday. I was up very late last night finishing up the tree. But you know what? When it's dark outside I don't mind so much being shut indoors.

I sure hope my dear readers are doing better than I am at focusing on Christmas tasks and lists. If anyone has any good advice for keeping me out of the garden for the next 16 days, I am all ears. There is certainly a lot that still needs to be accomplished to make that day successful. :-)

Happy December, Meems


  1. Meems,

    YOU have beans, carrots and radishes. YOU can get out in the garden. :-) We'll just have to garden vicariously through your stories and photos!

    What a lovely harvest for December! I'd be outside if I had veggies to pick or flowers to tend.


  2. Meems, I haven't done much for Christmas...not sure what is going on...the only thing different from last blogging! Hmm! It's not just blogging...I am also finding more things to do in the garden (all those ideas from other blogs!) ...In TN we can garden a little longer. So the dafs and crocus I got on sale when I went to Lowes to get a tree need my attention, too! Oh my!

    Your vegetable garden looks delicious...if we manage to scare the dear deer away and I see little evidence of bunnies...I might put a small raised bed garden in.

    Have a wonderful day dear meems! I will be breathing in the sixty degree weather we are having today!


  3. If at this time of year my garden was as delightful as yours I wouldn't ever decorate for christmas. Ha... I think you have your priorities straight.

  4. I have no advice for you Meems on how to stay out of the garden. As a matter of fact I'm encouraging you to get out in it. Up here we don't have much choice so we have to enjoy gardening thru you! What's that? Christmas decorations? Oh, that's for nighttime as you said. Enjoy!!!

  5. I am with you all the way. The only way to stay out of the garden is for it to FREEZE! Lovely post and your veggie look wonderful, hope Mr. Meems get his beans soon.

  6. It's a hard thing to resist isn't it Meems, lol! I always save my housework/other stuff for nighttime too. :) Great harvest you got there, nice that we can live vicariously through your gardens right now. Mine is hibernating for the winter at the moment.

  7. Hi Meems~

    Your veggie garden looks so nice and healthy! And carrots? I didn't know we could grow carrots in Florida, next year I'll have to give it a try, hopefully they'll make it down here too. I find myself often drawn out to the garden or my craft room when I have a million other things that I "should" be doing.

    Have a beautiful day ( in the garden... I hope)~

  8. The only good reason for makes it easier to decorate the tree and house for Christmas. So cool to see that you're harvesting veggies - that you started in August! Do you have a special recipe for Lima Beans - the ones we get here are the frozen variety and they taste like a combination of stiff paste and chalk.

  9. are you kidding i will not give you advice to get out of the garden, i am living vicariously thru you being able to be there in the green stuff. i say spend as much time as you can in that beautiful piece of God's green earth. the rest of christmas will come together. besides you have no little ones beckoning you to get it all done so they can enjoy it for a moment.
    your veggies look so healthy and delicious. yummy, hope mr. m enjoys the limas, i know i would. next year i will grow lima beans.
    i made a list yesterday of things to do and got a few important things done. i made my recipe for sending, now i have to get copies.
    also started working on christmas cards, they may be handmade this year!?
    tree is still not here to be put up, i am thinking of just having dh put up fake one and leave it at that, would that be terrible? there is just not enough time in these days just before christmas.
    i say garden until your heart is content!

  10. I envy you. How wonderful to step outside and pick beans in December;) I'll trade. I guarantee, in northern Illinois you will not be tempted to go outside. You will look at the snowstorm outside and be glad you don't HAVE to go out in it.

  11. What a beautiful December garden! O.K. are you happy now? You have us all full of envy. LOL! It seems like every comment I want to post to you these days have to do with envy. Oh to be a snowbird!

    Enjoy this blessing of sunshine and warmth, Meems. Thank you for sharing, even if it does make me green!

  12. Meems, if I had wonderful stuff in the garden, I would definitely be out there. It is sleeting here, so I'm able to stay inside.~~Dee

  13. I agree with Lisa - and everybody else too. Do you have different seasons for planting? Or can you just plant anytime at all? Your vegs do look delicious.
    Here is a poem I made up and posted back in June, I think:

    There are socks on the stairs
    And shirts on the chairs
    And underwear under the bed
    But I'm beggin' you pardon
    I'm off to the garden
    It's cleaning and housework I dread!

    I had a lot of fun with that - then people posted their poems in my Comments part.

  14. Can't offer any advice about keeping out the garden, dear Meems, 'cause if I had your weather, I would NOT be inside decorating during daylight hours either. I'm most impressed with your late autumn harvest ~ a job well done! Enjoy the blessing ... nighttime waits ... inside.

  15. Oh brother, you need rescuing I can see! I feel badly for you collecting veges in December. I know it must be warm down there cause it is warm up here in NC. Happy for you though and the carrots looks delicious.

  16. Ooooohh! Ohmy!

    Lima beabns? Love 'em. As ususal, a stop by yore place jes' cheers me enormously!

    We will put up tress today--that ain't the same as decorate 'em...jes' git 'em UP.

    But we does have tomatoes--an as ya say, they's ripenin' slowly...anxious to see the little yello pear tomatoes what is growin' so vigorously.

    The one thang I wil lsay about growin' veggies this tiem of a Florida year is that we have many fewer bugs! Does ya have a never-fail recipe fer keepin leaf miner out of yore vegetable patch?

    I visited Marmee too--oh gracious, but you ladies is a TREASURE!

  17. Cameron, Definitely one of the better times of year to be outside way down south... having vegetables to tend is a blessing.

    Gail, What a wonderful thing to imagine for spring... YOU with a raised bed or two. You will love the challenge.
    I'm so tickled to hear you have been out in the garden, too... Incorporating all the great ideas from other bloggers. We don't grow dafs or crocus but I surely remember last spring seeing them on so many garden blogs. Yours will be lovely in a few short months!

    Lisa, I'll take your comment as permission to stay in the garden. :-)

    Susie, Thanks for the encouragement... I was just about to get down to business cleaning the house when I got your comment. Now I'm just going ahead and staying in the garden... :-)

  18. Darla, Oh dear, if we had a freeze it would be super-abnormal... Mr. Meems is still waiting on his limas... soon though.

    Racquel, I am so tempted to spend my days entirely outside. By the nighttime rolls around I don't want to clean house then either... oh, the troubles of a gardener (and blogger!).

    Karrita, I didn't know about carrots either -- I learned it from another Florida gardener. I am growing Burpee- Sweet Treat... they are small - only growing 5 inches... but they are yummy. I can very much see why you would be in your craft room more than doing other things!!!!

  19. Barbara, It would be so romantic to decorate the Christmas tree with falling snow outside the windows and a fire blazing in the fireplace. But when I was all done --- I'd want to go outside to garden.

    I abhor those frozen limas. I've not ever grown fresh before so I'll be checking my resources on how to prepare fresh limas. If I did it like my Grandma used to--- they would be cooked in a little fried salt pork (she called it fat-back), covered with water until tender.... mmm, mmm, yummy good.

    Marmee, thanks for permission to be! I might not have any little ones... but my big ones expect traditions to be preserved. It's okay, like you say, it will all get done.

    I give you permission to put up the boxed tree and forego the 2 hour trek to the woods at this point.

    You are so good! You've already made your recipe page. I did start on mine yesterday... but a long way from complete. Gee, how did it get to be Dec. 10 already?

    Marnie, I'm sure you are right. But I wonder... does that mean you get so much more done inside during the winter?

    Robin, Oh, I know it must be difficult for you having come from the south. You are going to get special blessings for living so far north. You are welcome to visit here anytime you like for a little shot of green... foliage that is.

    Dee, sleet falling would be a good reason to stay inside. Hope you are staying cozy.

  20. Wendy, we do have seasons for planting. Our summers are just too wickedly hot for veggies. I'll plant for the spring at the end of February/first of March and it will be finished for the most part end of June/beginning of July. Then I let the soil rest until end of august/beginning of September.thank you for sharing your poem.

    Joey, I'm so happy I've gotten full permission from all my gardening friends. I am feeling so much better about spending all the time I deem necessary to just hang out in the garden. :-)

    Anna, I can tell you feel sorry for me :-) It warmed up to 76 today but another cool front moving through tomorrow... so they say. I'm hoping for some rain from it. We need rain badly.

    Aunty, yep, we get the tree up one day, then decorate when we can. For some reason getting it up seems very accomplished. haven't grown the yellow pears... I actually haven't experimented too much with more than the usual. Next spring I plan to have an entire bed dedicated to "just tomatoes". Maybe then I won't crowd them in so badly.

    I don't have a never-fail for much of anything, Aunty. But I'm thanking the good Lord I haven't had a problem with leaf miners. This fall garden is 10,000 times easier than in the spring as far as bugs are concerned anyway.

    I'm so happy you have enjoyed Marmee's blog, too. It's no secret she and I are very different in personality but we share many, many of the same interests. She is a generously gifted lady!

  21. Hi Meems, what a lovely post, warm and colourful, lucky girl to have a great looking harvest in mid December.
    I'm not at all jealous....
    LOL Tyra
    ps. If you want to see some 'black and white' welcome to my world.:-)
    I New Post from Tyra - Leufstabruk


Have a blessed day,

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