Author Archives

long time, no blog…

Hello! It’s Chel. I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. It’s been a … strange (?) summer. Long story, short(er): I haven’t been feeling well for a while (about two-and-a-half years, to be honest) and a blood test at my doctor’s office in September showed that my iron levels have gotten […]

Breaking Up is Hard to Do…

So this week I made a sort of agonizing decision for my garden… I decided to get rid of my hibiscus plants. (Well… not “get rid of”, but relocate to the general landscape around our house, as opposed to being inside in my garden on the lanai…) This was, like I said, agonizing. I have […]

Back in the Garden…

Long time, no blog! Not only have I been away from the blog, I was also sort of away from the garden- for most of May and early June, I was sidelined by illness. I was able to go outside and poke around a bit, but my husband Tom took over the big duties like […]

passiflora canopy

About two years ago, I relocated one of my passiflora plants to the back of my screened-in lanai. After winding around the trellis that Tom (my husband) built for it, it began clinging to the screen and I decided to let it go ahead and do that, and see what happened. Flash forward to now: […]

air plant weirdness

Every so often, my air plant does this: Technically, it’s blooming. And that purple *thing* (there’s actually two of them this time) with the yellow pods and white center-thingee (these are very scientific and technical terms, as you might have guessed)  is the “flower”. It doesn’t open up or anything- it just shoots out and […]

orchids, orchids, orchids…

This has been a banner year for my orchids. I now have seven of them- I had four, and in the last few months, Gracie and Tom added three more to the collection. They usually bloom in spring/early summer, but this year every single one of them came into bloom at the same time. It’s […]

in Chel’s garden : March, 2015

Because the sun is direct and the weather is warm, the garden is very, very happy. The plants love the direct, hot sun and the ocassional rain. For some reason a good spring shower makes the plants happier than hose water. It’s like they haven’t been watered in 400 years, even though they get a […]


  Sprout is going on a small hiatus until later this fall. Misti’s getting ready for her baby’s arrival, and I (Chel) am riding out the summer. We’ll be back in a few months with some brand new adventures and ideas to share. Have a happy late summer and early fall!

soggy days…

(If you click the image, you can see it full size. Playing with the panorama setting on my phone a month or so ago…) I was going to go out and snap some photos of the garden on Tuesday, then on Wednesday, then on Thursday, and then on Friday, and then this morning, but it’s […]


When I started gardening a few years ago, it was sort of like a mad scientist’s lab. I pretty much planted anything and everything, despite zone issues, soil and hydration requirements, sun vs. shade, etc. I had no idea what I was doing, so I did whatever I wanted. That first summer was a doozy. Most […]

summertime blahs

Despite the blue skies in the photo above, the weather here in Southwest Florida has been DREADFUL this week. I always tell people that “summer” is our version of “winter” because it’s a whole lot of extreme temperatures (very hot, as opposed to cold, but some of the plants are just as sensitive to it), dark […]

gardening and creativity

  After a very slow week in the garden in which I basically spent all my time poking around, yanking mushrooms, repotting plants with drenched soil, and pruning away dead leaves (oh, summer- you can be brutal on the poor plants!) I read this and it reminded me again why I garden: “Gardening is a […]

snapshots from around the garden – June, 2014

We had a huge thunderstorm yesterday afternoon and so I didn’t have to water the plants this morning. I used the time to walk around the lanai and take some photos of the garden. View from the far side of the lanai…   Canna about to bloom. Love love love the blossoms on these plants. […]

Panaeolus Foenisecii, Toxicodendron Radicans, and Rosa Madame A. Meilland

It appears as if my main role in the garden this summer will be removing mushrooms from the containers. This week I removed about 200 mushrooms (and I’m actually not exaggerating) from my various planters/pots/containers. Some of them pop up just after the rain, but sometimes I’ll just go out there when it’s been dry […]

summer seed order

This past week Park Seed was wrapping up its annual “Spring into Summer” sale, and since quantities were dwindling, and I have a few holes in my garden (ie empty pots and extra potting soil), I went ahead and placed a small seed order. Here’s what I got (images courtesy of Park Seed): The one […]

new in my garden: succulents and plumeria

My birthday succulents arrived (ordered from here) and there was a nice variety, and they were all healthy  despite very rough handling of the box. Of course, they arrived RIGHT before a few days of endless rain, so thank goodness I kept them under the roof line and didn’t water them much. The last time […]

from seed to bloom – Disco Belle Hibiscus

Sometime in the winter I planted yet another hibiscus seed (Disco Belle from Park). I wasn’t expecting it to grow, because I had tried growing hibiscus from seed before and the seeds never sprouted- there were only ten or so in the packet and every time I planted one something would happen (rain, cold snap, […]

pre-summer cleanup

All month I have been getting ready for summer in the garden. The plants are putting out a HUGE show, but the issue is that if I don’t prune them way back now, they won’t survive the summer. It’s better to cut them back quite a bit and allow the new, young greenery to hog […]

Purple Spotted Phalaenopsis (yay for new orchids!)

For Mother’s Day, Tom got me a new orchid – I think it’s a Purple Splotched Phalaenopsis. I’ve been wanting one of these for a while- the coloring on the petals remind me of watercolor- just *so* beautiful. Hopefully, this guy will do well with us.

here comes the sun…

  It’s SUMMER here in Southwest Florida- no “if”s, “and”s, or “but”s about it. The sun is blazing and bright, the plants need water at least once a day, and the heat-sensitive plants are beginning to shut down. I’ve been doing a ton of repotting- basically removing the plants before they get too dead (I’ve learned […]