Monday, October 02, 2006

Scarecrow Stroll

We entered the Mount Dora Scarecrow Stroll this year. "Name That Tune" is this year's theme with scarecrows having to represent a song. We haven't done a scarecrow for the Stroll in the past, but we just couldn't resist doing Scarborough Fair (Are you going to Scarborough Fair?/Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme). Our scarecrow is an English gardener designed after Vita Sackville-West who used to garden in tweed jackets and pearls. Of course, she's got her green Wellies, along with packages of herb seeds, a copy of Herb Companion, a book on Rosemary (all laminated to withstand the weather) and the requisite pots of said herbs. Her name is Matilde.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Godspeed Atlantis!

The launch of the space shuttle Atlantis as seen from my back yard this morning.

UPDATE Thr, September 21: After listening to the news last night, I went to bed expecting to be awakened early this morning by the sonic booms of a returning Atlantis. But it came in from the south and all was quite this morning. Glad they made it back safely.

UPDATE: Apparently, others WAY south heard the sonic booms.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Stink Bug

This weekend in Mount Dora: an art car show featuring highly (and permanently) decorated cars. This afternoon I had a customer drive up in one of the entries. At first glance Goldenrod artist Carolyn Stapleton's VW Bug looks like it's been covered with light and dark pieces of bamboo in patterns that are similar to marquetry. But on closer inspection, it's not wood, it's CIGARETTE BUTTS!! Carolyn's car, named The Stink Bug, features thousands of brown and cream cigarette butts attached with silicone adhesive in patterns that include the phrase "stop in the name of lungs" on the top and "", her website , on the back.

I hadn't planned to go to the show, but now that I've seen Carolyn's car I really have to see the others. Since the show hours on Saturday and Sunday coincide with my store hours, I'll just have to open a bit late on Sunday. I'll take my camera and have more pictures Sunday night.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour Garden #6

I haven't posted for several days. My old monitor has been getting slowly darker and darker until it had reached a point where I could hardly read anything and trying to adjust the brightness and color on Photoshop had become impossible. It was one of those incremental things like gaining weight where you suddenly think to yourself "I think I've gained weight" only to weigh yourself and discover that you've gained 20 pounds little by little over months without realizing it. Anyway, it lasted a long time, that Gateway 2000 monitor that came with my first computer in 1994. In fact, I liked it so much that when I purchased a new computer several years ago, I kept the old monitor because I really loved the screen. So remembering that I had seen one just like it at the Bible School Thrift Shop down the street some time ago, I paid them a visit and ta-da I have my same monitor. It's not as pristine on the outside as my old one but it has the same great screen and best of all: $10. Obviously I'm not one of those people that needs the latest gadgets.

So now on to the last garden of the 2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour. The floppy disc gave up the first few pictures but then started making weird noises, so I only have a few pictures:

2005 Garden Tour Grdn6 no1
The front yard was nice and shady with a perfectly placed vintage iron garden bench...

2005 Garden Tour Grdn6 no2
which the painter had also found interesting.

2005 Garden Tour Grdn6 no3
The backyard of this downtown Mount Dora house was a tropical jungle

2005 Garden Tour Grdn6 no4
with a huge fish pond

2005 Garden Tour Grdn6 no5
and lots of fish.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour Garden #5

The fifth garden on the 2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour was very different from a lot of Florida gardens as it included an extensive vegetable garden. Having an herb farm, I run across a number of vegetable gardeners, but overall, vegetable gardening is not nearly as popular in Florida as it is in many other parts of the country.

Two views of the organic vegetable and herb garden.

An intriguing greenhouse which the program said was made from recycled materials.

Another sky vine. These vines work best on an overhang where the flowers can gracefully drop down.

An arbor filled with bottle gourds.

A cute birdbath with a smiling snail. Must have just eaten a big helping of vegetables.

This was my favorite element in this garden: pots of herbs on vintage classical pedestals edging the deck.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour Garden #3

I said earlier that garden #2 was my favorite, but I think maybe THIS is my favorite. I love the energy and creativeness of #2, but I think this garden (and cottage house) is the one I would love to live in day to day.

The perfect cottage entrance.

We were greeted by Betty Boop…

and a basket of flowers. I love the skyvine, seen frequently around Mount Dora.

Mosaic stepping stones…

with an herbal theme!

The writing was on the wall along with ivy and a window box.

We got to see not just the garden, but the house, too. Here's a wonderful blue and white porch. Such soft colors and the sunlight coming through the windows - sublime. Wouldn’t you just love to curl up here with a book?

Another artist had been painting across the street.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour Garden #4

Garden #4 (I’m out of order and will do #3 tomorrow) on the 2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour was a backyard in the downtown area with several nice sculptural pieces in a yard designed for kids.

One of the more striking plants was this luminous grass displayed in an old pot.

A nice fish pond with water lilies.

A big wooden emu tucked among the ferns holds a hanging pot of petunias.

Boy, and I thought my yard had some big lizards.

Two colorful funky sculptures.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour Garden #2

The second garden on last year’s garden tour was my favorite. I love collages made with found objects and that’s exactly what this garden is. Found objects, plants, and artwork that in most hands would just be a yard full of kitsch, but in the hands of the right person becomes a whimsical work of art.

An old stove surrounded by plants and glass becomes a gardening altar.

Another painter set up in this garden

A number of humorous vignettes including this convention of frogs seen through a veil of hanging glass discs.

An encouragement to just BE

More views of the garden. No grass to mow, just mulched pathways winding through nicely shaded areas of plants and art.

One last look back as we leave.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Garden Gloves and a Cat

A cute story about a cat who steals gardening gloves from around the neighborhood.

A Return to Blogging: 2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour Garden #1

Like a lot of bloggers, I got real excited when I first set up my blog but soon found it soaked up more precious time than I had expected and after only a handful of entries I stopped writing. I still like the idea, however, and am determined to give it another try.

Last November I took the Second Annual Mount Dora Garden Tour presented by the Lakes and Hills Garden Club. I took my big 2 megapixel floppy-disc-using first-generation-digital Sony Mavica camera and managed to take a few pictures at each of the 6 stops. Luckily I’ve since upgraded to a Fuji F-10 6.3 megapixel so I’m hoping pictures of subsequent trips and garden studies will be better. That’s my plan: to photograph and write about my own garden and about other nurseries, herb farms, herb shops, garden shops, herb fairs, butterfly farms, public and private gardens, herb society meetings and garden tours I visit/attend.

So to start, here was garden #1 on the 2005 Mount Dora Garden Tour:

This house and garden was on Sheridan Road in the Sylvan Shores area. First to greet us was a cheerful painted mailbox and you can see the Garden Club volunteers manning the ticket table in the background.

The house is named “Tudorville”. I like the idea of naming houses and they’ve made a cute sign.

Most of the gardens had an artist painting the gardens and homes. A great idea! Did they do that last year, too?

There were a number of paintings throughout the garden. This one blends right into the foliage.

Lots more paintings and a bench to sit on and contemplate.

A number of garden sculptures, too, from a traditional St Fiacre statue to funky modern flamingoes.

Stop number two tomorrow.