Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It is getting dull looking outside now so it is time to give the place that winter time "boost" with a large shot of annual rye grass seed. There is nothing like the bright, primary green color that this grass gives to a yard in the deep south. Even the Highway department uses it on the sides of the state highways and interstates. Much safer than dry grass which can catch fire from a cars passengers throwing lit cigarettes out their car windows.

Yesterday, right before the rain started, I went out and began spreading the first 100 lbs. Of annual rye grass seed around the pond and driveway. I also sow it in all my pots that aren't already filled with colorful pansies. We will be sowing four hundred more pounds before we are finished. It's cheap and the bang you get for your buck on this stuff is well worth it. Winter flies by when you have a green lawn and colorful flowers blooming throughout. One year we skipped sowing the annual rye grass and pansies due to other issues that were more important at the time and winter seemed to never end. NEVER AGAIN!

If you live below the Mason-Dixon line...Give annual rye grass a try. It's very inexpensive and well worth the short time it takes to sow and germinate. (must faster germination than perennial grass seed) 3-5 days and you're on your way to a beautiful lawn. You can keep it cut if you like, but we just let it grow till it falls over on itself. It is like walking on satin and you have that wonderful "new mown grass" scent all winter.

Some more reasons for planting annual rye grass is it is a wonderful cover crop and will decompose as soon as the hot weather begins, adding tilth and nutrients to your soils. Great to use in fallow raised or flat beds, flower pots and baskets that you don't intend to plant over the winter. Give it a try! Later gator...

Garden Junk Art

This is a pic of 'The Bomb' that Db has been working on for months and is finally placed in the antique WW2 bomb carrier that was given to him from one of his long time customers.

Db has decided to make this a memorial to my father, a WW2 vet with many honors as well as all the other WW2 vets that served. It sits in a jungle of five different species of bamboo and is being allowed to grow up and through the piece.

We have finally found a special marker in white for writing on this art piece and will send another pic when it is complete.

I hope that others will take a lesson from this and use their own imaginations to produce other art pieces for the other wars this country has been involved with. We need to honor all the soldiers who fight for this country as well as other countries freedoms. Use your imagination and run with it. Db did.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall In The Deep South

Now that the weather has cooled down to the 80's it is once again pleasant to work outside. I have been moving some of the Agave americana into the greenhouse and also started a compost bin in there to help with the heat needs at night. Sure can't afford to heat it anymore!

The leaves are still on the trees here. It is always a hit or miss as to whether we will have a pretty fall or they will just turn brown and fall off. Too far south.

Chad-E's friends came over on Monday to do some fishing in the pond and caught enough catfish for a nice meal. I love to watch these young men sit on the dock, patiently waiting for a "bite" and then to reel the monsters in. Sometimes if it's an extra large "cat" or bass it will actually take their poles right out of their hands and they are seldom seen again!

The Great Blue Heron is back. He stayed at the pond all day yesterday and I watched him out the kitchen window from time to time. He and the King Fisher apparently have a few ponds they visit. When the Heron is here I can always tell as the African Gray Geese will swim in strange patterns in the center of the pond over and over again. They share the pond with the wild birds, grudgingly, I think.

I am hoping to buy some flats of Pansies this weekend for the winter garden. Just doesn't seem right not to have their smiling faces all over the place along with the emerald green annual rye grass we sow by the hundreds of pounds each late fall. It makes for a beautiful and quick winter. I make sure I have pots of pansies visible through every window in our home.

The picture is looking through a grove of my bamboo towards Db's latest "yard art". An authentic WW2 bomb carrier with a "faux" bomb loaded. (made from an old, non-working compressor he had laying around) I will be doing a blog on that with more pictures, soon.

That's it for this go-round...later gator!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Brugmansia-Angel Trumpets Are In Bloom

I have been putting off taking pictures of the gardens since my cameras battery compartment door is broken and taping it up is a hassle and a royal pain in the neck! I broke down and accomplished the feat this morning since some terrific storms went through last night and everything was glistening with rain drops at sunrise. Just too beautiful to pass up! This Brug was started from a cutting over the winter and placed out this spring. Sat there forever during the drought since I was busy with a full house and couldn't remember to water as I should have...after the drought ended it took off like a rocket and you see the results.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Bamboo Jungle: Mosaic And Garden Junk Art

One Sunday while Db and I were walking around Lowes, we came upon this Styrofoam planter. Hmmmmm, we both thought, this would make a great lamp for over our picnic table in our kitchen.

Once we arrived home I immediately began the painting of the raised areas on the planter. I was really exhausted after walking around the store that morning so I set everything up on my bed on a tray and worked for the next two hours carefully painting the bamboo design as well as the bottom and top and inside of the pot. Db drilled the holes in the pot and I glued violet cellophane squares over the holes on the inside to give it a different look. I love the southeast Asian "feel" in my gardens and thought this would fit right in. On to the next project!

What a Summer!

What a spring and summer this has been! Daughter's husband lost his business after months of trying to hang on to it and I ended up with my daughter and young grands living here from mid May till almost the middle of August! We managed to keep from killing each other and actually had a lot of fun over the weeks that ensued. You learn a lot about your child when you live with them after adulthood has set in. I could see parts of me in her as well as parts of her father...Those were NOT the good parts! Ha! Ha!

This mingling of age groups allowed me to get to know my grands better and to let them get to know me past the twice a year, three day visits. I taught them how to start seeds and cuttings and how to transplant them to larger and larger pots. How important the right amount of sun and water were to each individual species and to see the joy on their faces when their Zinnias bloomed.

Art is also a big part of mine as well as my daughters life. We are both selling artists so paint and clay came into the picture on almost a daily basis. My daughter made comical heads of each of us as a keepsake that were surprisingly life-like and very colorful. I am going to make cloth bodies for these heads and turn them into dolls over the winter.

The drought ended shortly before my daughter moved back to N.E. Georgia where she was starting college to finish up her RN degree and the kids to a new school year. We had many a good time sitting out on the back porch with either coffee, an herbal iced tea, or an ice cold Corona talking about gardening, cooking, and life in general. We came to know each other on a new level and I think this time together taught us a lot about each other and our rolls as mother/daughter. I learned to keep my mouth shut on things that she needed to find out for herself and she learned that others could reprimand her children with the same love that she did in her own home.

I think every mother and grown daughter should live together for a few months once in their lives. It teaches you so much about each other and forms a bond that will last forever. It's one of those cases of "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger" type deals....Later gator!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Drought In Alabama

The pond is down a foot and I've stopped feeding the fish so they will stay deep. There is always plenty to eat this time of year in the form of insects and vegetation. Once we get some decent rains and the pond goes back up I will begin their feeding schedule.

Speaking of which, I sure wish we had gotten the rain the East coast did with Alberto. Db is buying more hay for me use on the plants and raised beds so I don't have to water as often as I am. The heat is eating up the mulch material at an alarming rate. I am going to lay down old magazines and newspapers before I put the hay down to help conserve moisture even more after I give everything a good, long, drink.

The Agave pups I planted are doing great. They, being succulents do not mind the drought at all and in fact are relishing the hot sun. Too bad my tropical plants are not that happy. Even the banana plants are not happy that are planted out in open sun. The ozone layer has been so destroyed that even sun-loving plants can be burned by afternoon sun so I am setting up temporary shade structures on the south/west sides of the most vulnerable. This winter I will move them all to semi-shade.

The paper wasps are happily building nests in every nook and crany on the back porch but they leave me alone and I leave them alone. They are good for catching bugs as well as pollination of certain plants so we have learned to live together quite happily over the years. It astounds people that I live so closely with all of nature, but that is the Native American in me, I guess.

I had the grandkids plant some Zinnia's in pots before they left for FL to visit their grandfather and they will be so excited to see them up and growing. They love gardening as does their mama and that makes me very happy. They will all be coming back in on Monday for another week here before they move into their new home in N.GA and my daughter starts college to finish up her nursing degree.

Well, db and I are going grocery shopping tonight and he should be home from the shop any minute so I will stop here for now...later gator!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Bamboo Jungle

The Bamboo Jungle This week is almost behind us. Really don't know where it went. Planted the Agave Americana after they arrived. The person I bought them from on ebay advertised 10 babies but instead sent me 26! How wonderful and generous is that??

The heat is on again and TheWeatherChannel.com doesn't seem to be able to get the next five day forecast correct for anything! Yesterday morning they said the temps would be in the 90's then a couple hours later they changed it to the 80's and now this morning they are back to the 90's !!! And we are supposed to take their word for our forecasts??? Flipping a coin would be just as accurate!

Speaking of TheWeatherChannel.com, what's with these girls (women) with the stick bodies? Don't they eat? Some of the gentlemen forecasters don't look like they are starving to death, but the women look like they are at deaths door! Also, did you ever here of brunettes??? Yes, the African American ladies have dark hair, but all the white ladies are either blonde or quickly turning blonde on that network. Me thinks a producer there is into blondies! ;-)

Back to gardening talk. One thing you need to watch out for at this time of year in the deep south, especially, is underground bee and wasp nests as well as those in the trees and tall shrubs. We have some kind of nest on our property up by the highway and these critters swarm every vehicle as soon as they turn in to go down the long, winding driveway to our home. Yesterday my son was attacked and it was like something out of a horror film! Luckily, whatever we have doesn't sting, but they can swarm all over you with-in seconds and that is what happened to him as he pulled his little Carmaro into the home stretch. He was banging on the front door (locked) and screaming to get in but my visiting daughter and I were back in my room on the computer and watching tv with lot's of fans going and didn't here him. He finally used his key and came in to tell us of his horrendous adventure with the "killer" bees. NOT! Being the commedian that he is, he had us rolling on the floor in tears before his story was even half over. Hmmmmm, I must remember to roll up my window the next time Db and I venture out to the store....Later gator!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Where Am I ???

Sunday: I went out at 6AM to feed the barnyard fowl and found a nip in the air. So unusual for south Alabama in June. I am not going to complain as the 90's are hard to take and these 80's since the storms pushed through has been very nice. It's just not normal for we here in the deep south.

I won some Agave on Ebay from a seller in Florida that I have been wanting to try. Agave Americana or The Century Plant as it is also known. I've never tried growing it here but since I seem to grow other succulents and cactus with no problem when I place them in an amended bed, I am sure it will be a success. There is a house about a mile from here with a huge Agave Americana in their front yard and it is quite impressive. You can't stop but crane your neck to look at it when you pass by. Thank God I don't drive anymore!

I always love adding to the jungle. It changes from season to season and year to year and I think that is what a good garden should do. Some plants will fair well and others you know just aren't meant to be in your situation. You keep what you can and say goodbye to the others, who have usually passed away by then.

Since today is Sunday, it will be spent gardening by Db and I and the day is a wasting at 8 AM so....Later gator!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Heat is ON!

The heat and humidity arrived about a week ago. Way late for southern Alabama. Now it is like walking out into a sauna...how well I remember the feeling.

There is one or two good things about the southern climate. The first is the humidity doesn't age one's skin and keeps one's hair from drying out and the other is the lowland tropical plants LOVE growing here for a good 9-10 months of the year.

The Colocasia around the pond and out front are huge already and some have to be watered daily where they get hit by some afternoon sun. I have planted some castor beans around them so soon they will have some protection.

The Ozone layer is so destroyed that even sun loving plants now have a difficult time with full sun. I have found that I need to plant all the Musa and Ensete bananas in partial shade now so that they don't get direct sun from 11:00 on. Otherwise their leaves scortch.

My latest aquistions in the plant kingdom are one of Brians Petasites (purple) which is a new hybrid. He and I are both hybridizers although this one I believe he got from China some years ago. I highly recommend Brians Botanicals on Ebay for those who love the tropical and 'tropical look' plants.

One of my favorite plants to hybridize is Ricinus (Castor Bean) I have some seeds left of my latest hybridization that I call, 'Blue Lightening'. The new leaves come out a metallic Blue later turning to a lime green with red veins. The trunks and branches are a metallic violet. Since there are always new leaves coming out at the top it is a real stunner in the garden. If interested you can email me at: bamboochik@msn.com or TheBambooJungle@msn.com Seeds are 10 for 4.99 and plants are 1 quart for 8.99

Will write more later on the gardens latest additions and successes. Later gator!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This has to be the coldest May I can remember...And I have lived in Alabama for many decades. Low 70's during the day and low 50's at night? Crazy!

Yesterday I spent fertilizing all the bamboo groves. I usually do not use chemicals, but I didn't have enough of my Bunny-Worm compost to do the job this time. It sells out faster than they (my bunnies and worms) can make it! LOL! It really does the job and is so good for Mother Earth. I was saddened to use the 13-13-13, but the groves were not fertilized in February so I had to get something down. Their shooting season was very disappointing this spring.

I'm starting more Lotus seeds for containers and getting more Castor Bean plants out in the ground or large containers. I am growing the New Zealand Purple along with all my others this year and am very excited by their coloring and vigor. I think they will end up being fantastic for my hybridiation program. I have been hybridizing Ricinus for many years. Some I use cross pollinization and some I nuke the seeds with my microwave. To do this I tape seeds all over the front of my microwaves door and leave them there for about a month or more. By doing this, I get some crazy hybrids that you can find nowhere else on earth! Some experiments have produced Metallic Blue new leaves which change to lime green with red veins that are absolutely stunning. The stalk and branches were a metallic bright pink! No one could figure out what these plants were. I sold out in a heart beat once people saw pictures of the plants or saw them in my gardens.

I have also gotten some pretty strange variegations of the leaves. Blue splotches mixed in with green or red was another stunner. Each season is always a new surprise for both me and my new and loyal customers alike!

My grown son and hubby surprised me on Mothers Day with mushy cards filled with what every wife and mother loves....$$$ Db said, "Well, Miss Debbi, where do you want to go spend your loot, Lowes?" (he knows me so well!)

I am not thrilled with our Lowes store here in Prattville, AL. The buyer has no imagination and there is seldom anything new or exciting in the garden section but I did find a gallon Japanese Painted Holly Fern and a gallon Old Fashioned Holly Hock before I left so it wasn't a total waste. I also bought a light fixture for over my kitchen sink which I have wanted for awhile. Now you will think we are running a whore house since I didn't realize that the red shade would be quite as "red" as it is. LOL! Changing to a frosted bulb may help so I will try that.

Today will be spent working on the mosaic I am doing on the floor in the third bedroom before my grands get here for the summer break. I'm almost done and will be able to start the grouting soon. If I have the energy, the rest of the day will be spent working outside getting more things planted out. Later gator!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


It is raining outside. Well, you didn't expect it to rain inside, did you??? (smile)
We need this rain so you will not see me complaining about it here even though we need to go to the grocery store. Big deal, you say? Yes, it is for us. I am in my late 50's and Db is in his early 60's so the long walk from the Jeep to the five or six steps up to our front door is tiring with a lot of grocery bags. WoW! I'm exhausted just writing about it! ;-)

Today I was going to work on the third bedrooms floor, but I doubt getting to it till tomorrow. My grandkids are coming for a month and I need to finish laying the ceramic tile mosaic I started some months ago. Db and I don't always think ahead as to time and energy on our projects. Actually, I am almost finished so one more day will not hurt.

Yesterday I watered and fertilized pots and baskets with manure tea; that took about an hour or more. I hang a lot of baskets in trees so I have to walk all over the place with watering can in hand. My hose wand gave out last year and I have yet to replace it. Watering a couple of acres filled with flowers and vines is beautiful to look at but is also a lot of work. I won't complain about it too much until the temperature reaches 95 with equal humidity come next month.

I managed to work on my blog a bit this morning around 5 AM so my readers can sign up for changes. Pretty good idea. I am signed up to a few myself and find it a great way to start my day by reading of other gardeners joys and woes.
We're all in this together...trying to make a little piece of paradise here on earth that we can take pleasure in.

I was watching a program on Tokyo last night before I went to sleep. I had recorded it and just had not the time to watch it until then. How crowded that city is. Supposedly, the most crowded on earth, yet little crime. Strange. I couldn't live in a big city but I guess if you are born and live in one all your life you adjust. Me, I need open spaces, fresh air and wildlife around me. I grew up around farms and have lived the majority of my life on homesteads of my own. I would not cope well in a city or even a town. Thank God for my little place here.

Guess I will get off since I hear thunder coming closer and closer. Don't need to lose my modem again.

God bless and keep you and yours till next time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I really could not believe how cool this morning was. I don't call waking up to 50 degrees on May 7th in southern Alabama "normal" in the least!

Is it just me, or does it seem as if the weather is going topsy-turvy everywhere? Climatic changes are a normal occurance in nature, but this fast? Boy, Revelations is certainly showing it's truth!

I have planted some Lotus, both seeds and rhizomes from last years water gardens and they seem happy enough. Maybe I will even get some flowers this year, who knows!

The bamboo shooting on the cold hardies was not a good one this spring. The weird winter/spring temperatures really did a number on them. The hot then cold was not condusive to a good shooting season. A shame!

This morning I planted up three Colocasia species that I ordered from a tried and true supplier of water plants. You really get what you pay for with http://www.tricker.com/ .

Monday, April 24, 2006

Spring? Try SUMMER!!!

Sunday, the only day that Db and I have to work on our place together. We work awhile, rest awhile...at our ages you have to take it slow and easy like the famous tortoise. What does it matter as long as you get the work done?

Spring in the deep south starts in February some time and by April it looks and feels like summer. I know that the next few months are spring for most of the country, but we are way past that. My Daffs are blooming in January for heavens sake!

The Lotus is up in the pots and now I have decided to see if I can find someone to trade for some Sacred Lotus seed or rhizomes. I have some young of the native species Lotus (Nelumbo) which I started from seeds this spring that are growing by leaps and bounds in the heat and humidity, and I have another cultivar that I got on a trade for an Ensete banana plant, but I will be danged if I can remember the cultivars name. Thanks to the hurricanes that came through here last year I was not able to get a bloom, but I think it is a pink variety. Before I end this article I will describe how to start Lotus from seed so anyone can have success.

I really hope that the hurricane season is a very slow and dull one. We really can't take three more clean-ups. I do thank the dear Lord for sparing our home, but the damage to plants and trees was devastating and took a long time to clean up. God bless us one and all.

The new chicks are getting bigger day by day. Soon I will be able to let them out to to free-range. I have mostly Polish with the crazy feathers on their heads. They are a small breed and look more like exotic birds than homestead type chickens. I do have some of the normal types, too.

The two pairs of geese are laying eggs on a continual basis. I took one and made a lovely jewely "box" for my son's girlfriend's birthday last week. It turned out lovely and I even made the base which most egg artists do not do. I had to use my imagination as I needed something to sit the egg on so I took an empty roll from paper towels and cut it to about two and a half inches and then covered it in my own paper mache mash. After that was dry I covered the whole thing in ceramic tile mastic inside and out and allowed that to thoroughly dry for about three days in the sun. Next I took some pink/white stained glass and broke it into tiny shards and used more mastic to mosaic the base. I didn't grout the piece as I liked the way it turned out as is. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished "jewel". I have five more eggs to blow and decorate so will take some then.

Last but not least; as promised, here are the directions for germinating and growing Lotus from seed:

1- File one side of the Lotus seed till you just start to see pale yellow to white. Do not go too deep. It only has to be a small dot of white in order for the Lotus seed to take in water.

2- Soak seed in hot water, changing daily, till a sprout appears.

3- Carefully move seed to a yogurt or similar container 1/3 filled with garden loam, heavy in clay and fill to top with warm water. The seeds will reach down and root themselves into the loam/clay mixture so don't worry about covering the seed.

4- At first the small leaves will float on the water like a water Lilly pad, but as it grows and you move it up to larger containers, it will begin to get leaves that stand above the water.

5- I start my seeds in April and move to their permanent home outside in a 30 gallon Tupperware or some other attractive pot as soon as they sprout and the weathers heat has settled in for the season.

6- Feed with some good fertilizer tabs made especially for water plants as directed on the package and you should have lot's of leaves and by next year flowers. Place your pot/pots in direct sun. Lotus require heat and bright light to do well.

Till next time...Later gator!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mosaic And Garden Junk Art

My S.O. and I are considered "out there" by most people who know us. We are both artists, seniors, and happy doing our own thing. If that means building a facsimile bomb on an authentic WW2 bomb carrier out of an old air compressor, or mosaicing our home inside and out with ceramic tile, stained glass, stones, shells, broken dishes and whatever else seems to "fit" into the theme, then so-be-it! We are who we are and we don't apologize for it.

Most folks that know us for any length of time think that we are "neat" and proud to call themselves our friends. We are fun to be around, good conversationalist, and well-read. We can speak to anyone on almost any subject with intelligence and are always willing to learn something new.

After 21 years together we know each other well and can relate to the others moods and whims. No matter what kind of project we are working on next, whether it is a collaboration or an individual work of art, it's bound to be unique and interesting. I only wish everyone could have the kind of relationship that we have. The world would be a far better place for sure. Blessings!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Is there anything worse than a computer going down when you are a blogger? Well, that is what happened to me the past few weeks. Glad to be back among the "nerds" once again. Only one comment on this subject...MSN and DELL techs don't have a clue!

Yesterday was the first day outside in the fresh spring air for the newest additions to our family; twenty baby chicks about a month old. Mostly Polish and Houdans with half of unknown lineage at this time. They were extras the hatchery sent to help keep the others warm on their journey over from Texas.

They must have had a rough time of it with the postal workers as half the rare breeds died with-in two days of arriving, much to my great sadness. After seeing that they must have been over-stressed I started adding Colloidal Silver and the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy to their drinking water and lost no more. I will continue this practice to keep them healthy and stress free here on the homestead.

I will attempt to take some pics and send post them if I remember to buy a new battery charger for my camera...Either that or a docking station caught on sale. I used to take many, many, pictures here at The Bamboo Jungle so will include some of those for now.

What is blooming here? Willows, Iris, many wildflowers. Caladiums are popping up out of their recently watered pots. (I over-winter in their pots in a frost free place keeping quite dry) The Bluetes have been blooming for ages all over the grounds and I consider them a sure sign of spring.

The Dogwoods are in bloom as are many flowering trees, but things here start blooming in January so it's hard to keep up. This years start was actually a slow one compared to a normal year.

I am so hoping that we don't get any hurricanes this year. Last year we had to do clean-up from three and it will take years before it looks back to normal again. We had to cut down three willow trees but they are coming back with ease. Now they look like fountains which we can't complain is un-attractive. They are even pulling themselves back into the ponds edge from where they were pushed over from the relentless winds. Db, my dh gave them a helping hand by nailing two by fours onto their trunks and into the ground. They now are floating in the air and will have to be re-adjusted. We have decided to keep them supported by these two by fours and just let flowering vines climb up and around the wood to hide it.

Well, it is 6:47 AM and I need to get out and take care of all the fowl we have here. I can hear the African Grey Geese honking outside this window wanting their cracked corn treat. Later gator!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Breezy March Day

March is a strange time of year no matter where you live. The weather is always up and down and just when you think winter has waved it's last goodbye, it comes into focus again and backtracks.

I was in hopes I could move my house plants out to the back porch this past weekend, but after this last cold front, I see I will have to wait a few more days. Maybe this up-coming weekend...who knows.

I spent part of yesterday planting flats of seeds for the nursery sales, but wish now that I had gotten an earlier start. It is really difficult after these rising electrical costs have hit. I can't heat the greenhouse as we can barely afford the cost of heating our home! Something needs to give before we all go broke!

At only mid 60's today and very breezy, I am not much in the mood to plant. We received a torrential rain in the middle of the night and our wetlands are just soaked. I had to go out early and un-plug the over-flow pipe on the pond so that the excess water could drain off into the woods. There are so many ponds in the woods now that it looks like a swamp in some horror movie. The frogs seem happy, though. They sing all night and into the morning.

I need to get some paint for my latest tire planters. I'm going with Caribbean colors. Will include some pics when I finish up.

later gator....

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What a glorious Sunday here in the deep south! 89F. was kind of hot to be working in today, but my hubby and I wanted to get some things done around here so we got an early start.

While Db was beating down the wild blackberries that were taking over the bamboo grove of five different species of Phyllostachys out front, I was planting Moonflowers on either side of the wrought iron trellis that a friend made for us some years ago. There is much already growing there like wild Morning Glories and Japanese Honeysuckle that takes over everything. I don't care. I love almost every plant God gave us. That is until you hear me cussing after a run in with the Devils Claw vine or Devils Walking Stick trees that abound on our wetlands.

After I planted the Moonflower seeds I brought up all the garden troughs I made many years ago and placed them on the huge, steel, truck bumper Db brought home to use for displaying them. I dumped out all the old soil and will be planting them with cactus and succulents as a nice change from my wild, tropical jungle.

Storms expected tomorrow, but I hope to have enough time to get the back porch cleaned up. I made a lot of pocket planters out of large tin cans that I painted after Db crunched the bottoms for me very neatly down at his shop. I will be nailing them all over this place and filling with Impatiens and any kind of vine that happens to catch my fancy at the moment...that and whichever one I seem to have in abundance.

It's late so I will say; later gator!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

How Did You Get That Nic-Name?

People often ask me how I got the nic-name, "Bamboochik". I have had it for so long that sometimes it's hard for me to even remember. Let me start at the beginning then.

I fist fell in love with bamboo on a trip to south central Florida back in the 70's. My fist husband and I had taken our children to Disney World and were just driving around looking for other sites we might come across on the back roads. All of a sudden, out of the clear blue sky we came up on a smallish billboard advertising REPTILE WORLD....hmmmmmm, now where is this place we wondered. All we could see was a small concrete block home in the middle of nowhere off this two lane highway we were on. This must be the place, we both agreed.

Taking kids in hands we walked up to the front door and were greeted by a person who took our money and told us to go through the kitchen and out the back door....Well, we did and all I can say is I was totally awe-struck! We had walked into a veritable jungle of tropical plants and birds with narrow winding paths going every which way.

It seems to me that I remember some "exotica" type music in the background, but can't be sure since this was so very long ago. All I can really remember is the wonderful bamboo, palms, and other exotic plants on either side of us as we leisurely walked through this man-made jungle. There were small ponds filled with alligators, a snake and reptile house, and I seem to recall a tropical bird show with Toucans, Parrots, and Macaws. I know that it was situated on five acres but I don't think it actually took up more than a couple acres at the time. Very hard to say since the winding paths and thick foliage gave the impression of "never ending".

I believe this is the place of which I speak. It may have changed in all these years but I hope not. http://www.theotherorlando.com/contents/chapters/15/reptile.html

After I came back from my vacation to south central Florida and all of it's tropical beauty that abounds, I was completely smitten with the "Tropical Look" and decided I would make my own place as beautiful as the places I had seen. My first plant purchase was bamboo and I have been surrounded by it ever since along with cold hardy palms, Alocasia, Colocasia, Gingers, and many, many more plants. One of our friends gave me the nic-name, "Bamboochik", and I named my plant nursery and our homestead, The Bamboo Jungle N Gardens or for short, The Bamboo Jungle.

I will be writing some articles on the great things bamboo can do for home owners who are interested in protection from natural disasters such as strong winds, floods and mudslides as well as earthquakes. It is truly an amazing plant!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jesus Mosaic

I decided to do a mosaic on the side of my home about three years ago. It is mostly a religiously inspired piece 2' wide by 20' long at this time. This photograph is part of the mosaic and is the face of Jesus done in river stones and stained glass. I will be showing other parts of the mosaic in the future. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another Rainy Day

It's been raining for days now with no hint of the sun. The skies are all overcast and fog rose from the farm pond this morning like something out of a horror film. It's warm and misty. Good for the complexion but hard to walk when the grass is so slippery and the ground so soft.

I ordered ten top hat chicks and two penguin ducks yesterday from the hatchery I use in Texas that has no real minimum orders. Most hatcheries want you to order at least 25 chicks or eight ducks and I just don't need that many. Really don't know why I ordered the ducks. Have had a few before and they always wonder out into the woods and get eaten by coyotes before the year is up. This time I ordered a pair. One male and one female so hopefully they will stay around the homestead instead of searching for a mate like the others who were not paired.

There is much I need to do before they arrive next week. Clean out the large tupperware container I raise the babes in, buy a new lamp reflector to keep them warm, find my waterer and feeder and buy more liter. Next week is supposed to be nice. Sunny and mid to upper 60's. Wonderful weather for their arrival.

The Ensete seeds are bursting forth so will be re-potting those soon for the spring sales. They are a lovely banana, though uneatable. Their tall leaves that reach for the sky with the red midrib and red coloring in the stalk (pseudonum) give a distinct tropical feel to any place they are grown.

I guess I best get to work so later gator!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


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The Bamboo Jungle

The Bamboo Jungle It is a cool, rainy, day in south Alabama. Lousy Saturday for sure when you would like to be out working in the gardens.

I have been getting seeds started the past few weeks, but with electricity costs so high this year it is very difficult to keep heating mats going with any concience. I cannot even imagine what this is going to do to the cost of plants coming in from the northeast this spring.

I made some nice, comforting, chicken and dumplings for supper tonight when Db gets in from his shop. I know it will be a very welcome meal after being chilled all day. At our ages you have to be more careful about your health. Your immune system is not as strong as it was when you were younger and you can easily catch anything that is going around.

Chad-e is home with some kind of bug. Forgot to take his homeopathic Nosode for the flu two weeks in a row so I am assuming that is what he has. I started giving it to him and he is much better, but I still took him to the doctor on Thursday just to make sure it wasn't something really serious since his fever was spiking. He has a heart murmer so we take no chances. Strep and Flu both came out negative, but that could have been from the Colloidal Silver I was giving him every two hours. It was already probably knocking it out of him. Good to know, at least.

Well, I think I will go take a hot bath with my new book; Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson. It is light hearted, funny, and just what I need for a nice long soak. Later gator!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I am a nutritionist/horticulturist so my passions in life center around food and plants. One that I am seriously getting into at this time is the making of my own Kefir. What, you may well ask is 'Kefir'? Well, it is many things to many people, but basically it is a fermented milk drink with wonderful health giving properties. About five different friendly bacteria and two friendly yeasts live and thrive in Kefir. It is not difficult to learn how to make your own Kefir but first you must obtain what is called, "Kefir Grains" from a friend or commercial source.

When you receive your Kefir Grains they will come either dehydrated or in about a cup of whole milk. In order to re-hydrate the dried type you will need to put the grains into a cup of milk after rinsing them of any dry milk powder that may still be on them from shipping. Let sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature and another 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Strain the Kefir Grains and then add these to another cup of milk (1 t. Grains to one cup milk each time) You can store the excess grains in a qt. of milk in the fridge or give away to friends or family.

If your Kefir Grains arrived in a cup of milk, strain and rinse the grains, place in a cup of whole milk and continue as described above.

Always use a glass jar and a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band. The Kefir will produce a gas than can cause a sealed glass jar to explode. Only very experience Kefir makers can use the lid process and is not suggested for those just learning.

Eventually, you will have enough grains to make 1/4 cup Kefir Grains to one quart of milk. With any and all of the Kefir you have made, you can make delicious smoothies or other recipes. You will be helping to keep your digestive tract healthy and your whole body in a state of good health. There are many forums and websites where you can discuss Kefir and get some wonderful recipes. Do yourself a favor and consider this ancient healing drink for you and your whole family.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Water Gardening

Water gardening is one of my favorite forms of gardening just like it is for many folks today. It is one of those pastimes that is very relaxing and not riddled with too many bugs to contend with.

In the future I will be sending in some photos of my water gardens and of course this one of my big sport fishing pond.

The Bamboo Jungle N Gardens

The Bamboo Jungle N Gardens is a ten acre paradise in southern Alabama. This is where I live and work with my husband, Db-stb-63 and our son, Chad-stb-20. I just turned 57 on Groundhogs Day! I will be adding to this blog, hopefully on a daily or at least weekly basis. I will be discussing my business which is growing rare plants for collectors, making funky art for gardens and interiors, our many projects around our place, etc. I hope you find it fun and interesting. Y'all come!~