Florida Gardening Tips Month by Month This Book is Just What I Need

florida gardening book
Tom MacCubbin has a lot of gardening books.

I’m learning to garden in Florida and reading this informational book by Tom MacCubbin. The month by month gardening tips are a great help for someone just starting out gardening in this tropical climate. Even though I haven’t moved into my new home yet, I’m getting prepared and beginning to learn what I will be able to grow in a Florida winter.

I used to cut articles written by this author from the newspaper years ago. I ended up with a stack of little papers to sift through whenever I needed to find some information on growing plants in my Florida yard. He always had such good advice, and he appeared on television occasionally too, as I recall. That was many years ago, when I first lived in Florida in the early 1980’s. So moving back to the south meant I had to re-learn southern ways of gardening.

It was thrilling to find a book written by someone I trust for gardening information. So far, I’ve only read a bit, but once I plan the planting space, I will have a good idea of what will grow in the winter months. I’d also like to start a compost heap, or buy a compost bin since the soil will need amending constantly. Gardens in Florida don’t get to rest really.

I have read about hydrangeas, and the only fact I must remember here is that they tend to dry out quickly and will need lots of water.  They will bloom in July, like in the north, and then can be deadheaded.  I like to watch the flowers dry on the stem, but I wonder if the humidity here means that won’t work so well?  I’ll have to see what happens.

Other than a few quick mentions, the Month by Month book doesn’t mention much about hydrangeas.

Here’s to You, the Woman Gardener

woman gardenerHere’s to you, the woman gardener, but only if you do it ALL on your own.  It doesn’t count if you have a hubby who builds the raised beds for you, or lugs the soil to refurbish the beds.  It doesn’t count if he lifts the heavy stuff or does the weeding.  This post is for the women like me, who do everything, from the planning,  buying and planting, to bug control, watering, picking, cooking and preserving on their own.

I wonder how many of us there are out there.  I’ve read, and followed, plenty of blogs written about gardening.  Men and women both like to write and share photos of their gardening endeavors, but I can’t remember ever reading a blog by a single woman who does it all.  Maybe that is because single women don’t ordinarily like to advertise their aloneness on the internet.  And I am not alone, just when it comes to gardening! Continue reading Here’s to You, the Woman Gardener

Changing the Site Theme For Better Viewing

Hydrangea and lily bouquetI was happy with my old theme here on the hydrangea gardening blog, but I noticed that it was not compatible with hand-held devices.     Finding a new theme for this blog wasn’t difficult because I had recently update two of my other WordPress blogs with a theme I liked.  It’s called Twenty Thirteen.

I need simple. I once purchased a $79 theme with high hopes of creating a beautiful site. It looked easy enough, but I had trouble. WordPress offers a refund if you are not happy, so I got my money back and found a free theme instead. I’m sure there was nothing wrong with the theme I bought, but my knowledge of computer technology is next to nothing. I can figure some things out myself, but I have no desire to get into the coding and css stuff needed to configure a nice site. Free themes are also nice. And this free theme can be updated with custom fonts if I so desire.

After test driving a number of free themes, I decided to use Twenty Thirteen for many reasons. It has a nice clean look that is easy to read. I like that it offers rotating header pictures too. I am all about the pictures! (Haven’t loaded any to this site yet, but you can see them on my Seashells Blog. The header changes with each page / post click.)

If you’ve been using the same theme to blog for a long time now, it may not be compatible with iPhones and such. That means your readers won’t see the whole page when viewing your blog on a mobile device. They will bounce off your site and go someplace else. You can find out if your site is good for hand-held devices in your appearance section, under customize, or in the preview of a blog post.

My hope is that with this new theme for my gardening blog, I can find more readers. Of course I also have to have some gardens to write about, and that may not be as easy to fix.

The Pitfalls of House Hunting

When I bought my home in New Hampshire, I had bad credit (thanks to my ex-husband) and had to settle for the least horrible house I could afford. So when I began house-hunting in Florida I was looking forward to being able to choose a nice home. I pictured house-hunting as a fun opportunity. It didn’t really turn out that way.

Here are the problems I’ve run into.

Without a knowledgable friend or partner to lend advice, I am still on my own when it comes to discerning a good house from one that should be passed by. As is the case always, I am alone in my decisions. But not quite. My son and I are buying this house together so his thoughts had to be taken into consideration. He knows nothing about home buying and ownership, whereas I do. He is not looking at the possible problems, just the parts of the house he likes.

One house seemed really great, or should I say the land the house sat on was great. The house itself was not impressive. In fact it seemed a bit neglected. I didn’t want a house with problems, and I could foresee work. We went and looked at the place twice, and we loved the land, and location, but by the second visit, I knew I did not want to live in that house. And it was overpriced. Continue reading The Pitfalls of House Hunting