Thursday, December 25, 2008


I hope that everyone is having a good Christmas day. I am thankful for much on this day and most of all that our Lord and Savior was "born" on this day. Yes, I know it is not the true date of his birth, but I really don't think he cares when we celebrate it, do you? He loves us all the same.

Although the economy is effecting us as well as many, many, people around the world, I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and that soon Db will be moving his in-town shop out here to our homestead. The electric company surprised us with a hookup two days ago; we really didn't think they would get to us until after the New Year! Such a blessing!

The weather today is plenty warm, though overcast. It is near 80 and still. We have been getting plenty of rain of late and the pond is back up to it's normal level. I bet the fish are happy as fish can be. (big smile)

One of our good friends was out here this morning fishing off the dock-gazebo with our son, Chad while I was inside baking up a bunch of my world famous sugar cookies. Db was watching a movie with our daughter-in-law. I went outside to the dock to give Roger a Christmas container filled with my fresh baked cookies for he and his wife when all of a sudden we heard Chad yell out, or should we just say, "scream" and almost drop his fishing pole in the pond. One of our geese.........Mr. Goose Lee bit him on his butt!!!! LOL! We all got a good laugh out of that one watching him try and pull his baggie "grunge" jeans up and watch his pole while watching his back so that he didn't get bit again. Needless to say, he didn't last fishing much longer!

Well, it is 2:30 now and the kids went over to my daughter in laws families home for Christmas dinner and I am going to go take a hot bath with a good book before I have to take the Lasagna out of the oven and make the garlic bread with the homemade French bread I also made this morning.

Merry Christmas one and all! deb in Alabama

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I need to plant a hedge on the other side of our driveway across from Db's new shop. There is a chain link fence there and a neighbors house. There are way too many tree roots to dig holes for the plants but I found out a long time ago a different way to get plants started in inhospitable areas. Yes, it was an accident, but a happy accident.

What is this secret? Simple; just set the plants on top of the ground in their pots with the bottoms cut out.

I am going to do a combination of Leyland Cypress and other fast growing evergreen shrubs such as Thuja Green Giant for this stretch of about 200'. To plant all of one plant species or cultivar in an area is inviting problems with disease and insects hoards. I will be sprinkling some good compost and root stimulator in the area where the pots will sit in order to make the roots want to grow into the compost and down into the ground. The area is quite fertile as it is after decades of leaf drop so the bushes should be quite happy there.

Once the shrubs are rooted well into the ground in a couple of years I will cut off the pots and surround the root ball that is above the ground with a bunch of straw and leaves. Eventually, it will settle down into the surrounding ground and continue to grow on far past my lifetime.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost There...

I was quite surprised when the crew came out with-in two days to finish the construction of the shop. They built the paint booth and put the gutters on, finishing up with everything we had contracted for.

Now it is time to get the water run inside the shop and the electric and lights as well as a small deck for the compressors to sit on outside in the back of the shop. Db is thrilled so far.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Common Question

People often ask me why we decided to place our manufactured home in the position we did. Actually, we didn't have any choice!
Our ten acre plot is mostly wetland woods. The county engineer told us where we could put the raised septic system and the home. In order to hook up the homes plumbing to the raised septic system, it had to be placed in the manner in which you see it.
Because our driveway is so long; (500') we decided to put in a circular turn-a-round out front. Did I want it this close to our home? NO! Does it have any good qulalities? YES, it is not as far to carry groceries.
In the center of the turn-a-round is a grove of five different species of Phyllostachys bamboo. P. nigra 'Henon', P. vivax, P. nigra 'Punctata', P. vivax , P. vivax 'Aureocaulis', P. aureosulcata.
Across the drivway bordering our neighbors chainlink fence is P. Aurea. I could not understand why the bamboo was not flourising as it is well known to do until I realized the electric company was sneaking in and spraying it right under the electric lines. Of course when I found out I was engraged and promised all kinds of retribution which have never come to fruition. They not only have kept the boo from flourising with this poison, they also totally killed a mixed shrub border that grew there. I have found that whatever they used must have been on the order of AGENT ORANGE because NOTHING will grow there now...not even weeds.
Mankind, in it's complete stupidity, will be the one to destroy it's own future as well as all animal and plant life here on earth. You can take THAT to the bank!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This is one of the groves of bamboo that protects our home as well as our small guest cottage. It is Semiarundinaria fastuosa and is about 25' tall.

I have watched this boo literally bend to the ground and snap right back in hurricanes and tornadoes, breaking up the winds and protecting like the loving arms of a mother. It is a Godsend to mankind and needs to be used more for other than it's beauty.


Finally, at least the outside of the shop is done; well, almost. Still needs gutters which will be put on in a few more weeks. The inside is still needing the paint booth finished, electricity and lights. Db figures he can fit six cars inside but will not be doing as much as he used to since he is going into semi-retirement. Can any middle class in the US afford to totally retire anymore?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shop Is Moving Along

It's a shame the way Americans have no ambition to work at manual labor in this day and age. I imagine much of it comes from the terrible drug problems we have in this country. Too many young people have nothing on their minds but getting high or stoned on the many available illegal drugs out there. What a waste of a life!

It has been taking us forever to get our shop built because the contractor cannot get enough qualified help. Because of this almost ten days went by since this pic was taken and today when they finally started working on it again. Soon the rains will be here and then it will be difficult to get trucks in here with gravel for the parking and driveways. I hope they get a move on as it is supposed to start raining the next three days.
As far as gardening goes, I have planted one flat of pansies but need to buy more as it was not nearly enough. I usually plant hundreds of pansies every fall to give us a splash of color throughout the chiller months of the year . It brings such a lift to the spirits to walk out side in the morning and see the pansies smiling faces to greet you. Db, definitely appreciates them and compliments me on them every year.
I have been potting up tons of Agave's for the spring nursery sales. I only grow to sell that which I love myself. I see no reason to grow plants I'm not totally passionate about.
Well, I am pooped out and a nice, relaxing bath is calling me so later gator!...
PS: Ignore dates on my pics as I forget to change the camera's calendar setting when I remove the batteries for charging. OOOOOOOOOOOP's!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


WASPS! The very name brings fear and shivers to some who are afraid of these small, soldiers of the garden. Such a shame!

I have a large back porch on the back of our home of about 30' X 18'. It has a high railing and lattice all around so that when our grands were little we didn't have to worry about them tumbling off on visits. Now the youngest is 8 and that is not a worry anymore, but I still love the look of it.

The roof of the porch is white coated aluminum and paper wasps love to use the corners as nesting spots from spring through fall and even beyond. (these wasps will hatch throughout winter during our frequent warm spells) I guess this season I have close to twenty nests all over the porch not counting what is under the porch. "ARE YOU NUTS?" you say? Naw! Just smart!

I grow many, many, plants on my porch every year as part of my nursery operation and for my own gardens and pots/baskets. The railing is a perfect place to place large flats of seedlings or cuttings as well as the floor itself. Because of all these young plants, insect damage would normally be a big problem, but not for me. Why? Because I allow the paper wasps to live in peace on my porch and their favorite diet is BUGS!

While other people are ordering Lady Bugs and every other insect eating bug out there at $$$, I am sitting back and letting the paper wasps take care of my plants. They do a better job of keeping my plants bug free than any insecticide could ever do and for free!

People ask me, "Well, aren't you afraid of getting stung?" NOPE! Those wasps are just busy taking care of business and have no interest in messing with me. I sit out there and talk with my daughter in GA once a week with nary a problem. I had my grands all summer and they would do crafts out there without the wasps bothering them in the slightest. I have taught the kids that if they don't bother the wasps then the wasps won't bother them. It's true! All they want to do is live in peace and do their thing. Too bad humans couldn't be so easy to get along with, eh? Later gator!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Fall may be here but the heat is still on here in southern Alabama. Hot and humid days in the mid to upper 80's but is still better than our usual mid to upper 90's. I just can't take the heat anymore due to health problems.

Db's shop is finally going up but it is a slow and frustrating process due to the contractors labor issues. Just like Db, he can't find any good help anymore. No one wants to do any physical labor in this day and age. Of course part of the problem is out there in the news every day and I won't go there in this blog. I do have another blog where I share my own personal political opinions, but not here.
I am in the process of moving tropicals inside now as once in awhile the temps drop to the mid 50's. Some of my tropicals are so tender that they would not be able to even take 50's, so I'm just doing the move now. It takes about a week to get them all situated inside for the winter. I basically do a "six months in-six months out" rotation even though many could stay out a couple more months.
I have started the fall/winter veges in pots that I grow outside. Leaf lettuce of all kinds, some root crops such as Turnips, radish, etc.. then other greens such as Mustard, Collards, Spinach, and of course Garlic.
My hot peppers are still producing and I am collecting them daily and putting them in a baggie in the freezer to use in my cooking throughout the fall/winter. There is nothing that will spice up a pot of soup, stew, or chili like a hot pepper of any kind. I grow Jalapenos, and Chili's, all in pots.
Db is getting the Annual Rye Grass seed today so that I can start sowing it as soon the rains come. It's useless to sow it before then as the birds will just eat it all before it gets a chance to germinate, (3-5 days) and at 25.00 for 50# bag... (usually around 500 lbs. total ) I do not want to see it used as bird food. I love the birds and grow many, many, plants here on our homestead for them as well as keep feeders filled with sunflowers so I don't feel guilty at all. :-)
I am going to try and write more in this blog from now on. I realized that I can use my MSN calendar to send myself a daily reminder to write about what's going on here at The Bamboo Jungle. Later gator!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Summer

This has been another strange summer with mostly droughty conditions and now Tropical Storm Fay on top of us. Hopefully, before it's all said and done we will get the pond filled back up to the normal level. It didn't take long at all for it to drop to last years lowest level this summer. My poor fish!!!

The bamboo groves have kept us from getting any damage from the winds and we are happy and thankful for that. It takes these storms in stride; bending, weaving, and whipping about with nary a leaf drop.

It is hard to believe how fast this summer seemed to fly by. The end of August already? Goodness! Everything did quite well despite the drought with all the mulch I used.

Having my two grand kids for two months probably helped to make it fly by but now they are back home and in school along with their mama who is studying to be an RN. God bless them!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Where has the time gone? I can't believe that I haven't kept up with this blog since January. I need a way to get reminders so that I can keep this up-to-date. If anyone knows of a reminder service for blog writers, please let me know.

We have gotten plenty of rain this spring so the jungle is growing by leaps and bounds. I need to get out there with my camera and start snapping some pics. If the darn battery door wasn't broken and required taping for each session, I would have hundreds by now. I need to buy a new camera but I am not financially able to do that right now.

My daughter, her best friend, and the grands are coming in tomorrow. I will be watching the grands for six weeks this summer while my daughter starts her nursing clinicals. She is making me very proud as a recently single mom with all her struggles, yet always staying forward looking and positive thinking. God bless her and the kids.

I sold some rare tropical plants this spring and am soon putting up some tropical fruit trees for sale. It has been a weird weather pattern causing me to actually move my plants back inside four times in late spring! Even last night, at nearly June, the outside temperature was only 58 at 4 A.M. !!! Unheard of in southern Alabama!!! It is saving us on the cost of air conditioning 24/7 so I shan't complain.

The Day lilies are starting to bloom. I think I grow more passionate about these easy to care for plants every year. The leaves stay nearly all winter long and they are no trouble at all. I wish I could say the same thing for my Bearded Iris that a friend in IL gave me some years ago. They bloomed wonderfully that first year that I had planted them in pots, but now that they are in the ground they just put out great leaves but no flowers. I think I am going to put them back into pots. There is no telling what is causing them not to bloom.

The bamboo of which I am famous and for which I was nic-named many years ago is going fantastic this year....well, all but the Moso which got hit by a late freeze and killed all the beautiful, fat, tall, culms in front of my kitchen window. Db and I have decided that a thick, mulch is in order this winter to keep it from shooting so early. It is in front of my kitchen window and faces East so it gets early morning sun every day and I think the ground warms up to quickly. It started shooting on March 3rd. which is way too early.

The Semiarundinaria Fastuosa which is planted on the side of our guest cottage has taken off like a rocket this year and is doing just what I hoped it would. It's here, there, and everywhere! I can't say enough good things about this bamboo as far as beauty, fast spreading, the ability to hedge out unwanted views or for privacy issues. The leaves will go from top to bottom but you can trim them to any height you choose. I have some that I leave alone and some that I trim up in order to walk through or under. Check it out if you are in the market for a bamboo for privacy cause this is the winner hands down in my book.

We put a screened gazebo up on the dock some months back and that is where the girls and I will be relaxing when they come in Saturday. I have a southeast Asian theme going inside with hanging plants, potted plants, and candles. There are metal Tikki torches that surround the pond and it is a site to behold. We also have an oscillating fan on a stand, music, (Exotica Cd's) and a round table with a tablecloth made from Sari's. It is very relaxing and a favorite spot for my hubby and I to enjoy on Sundays or Saturday evenings when he gets home from his shop. It was all done very cheaply, but looks grand.

Well, I have a million more things to get done before tomorrow so I will end here for now. Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day weekend from all of us here at The Bamboo Jungle N Gardens....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Messed Up My Blog

I just noticed that my blog is all screwed up so will have to get into the template and fix it soon.

Rainy day so just staying inside on the comp. Later gator!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Sowing

Now is a good time for me to start my winter sowing. The temps have finally dropped for awhile and I can get out there and begin to sow seeds under mulch or on top of the ground and my pots for winter sowing. I do this with only the seeds that are cold hardy like many different greens and lettuces, radishes, carrots...there are quite a few that you can do this with including tree and flower seeds.

I also like to begin taking hardwood cuttings about now for rooting. Some I will root right on the tree or shrub. I remove a ring of bark and place damp sphagnum moss around the wound then wrap with plastic wrap or foil. I leave this on till around mid March and then I remove and cut off the well-rooted branch which gets potted up in a quart container and set in a lightly shaded area outside away from winds. I especially like to do this with my blueberry plants. Can one ever have enough berries?

I will have to start publishing some of my favorite berry recipes here that are tried and true like my cobblers and muffins or my daughters killer blueberry/blackberry cheesecake that my husband actually has dreams about, it is sooooooo good!

Well, gotta run for now. Dr.'s appointment this morning. God bless all of you in the northern part of Alabama , Georgia and east who may be socked in this morning from the recent ice and snow. Later gator!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cold January Day

A cold week ahead. I hate the cold but at least it is sunny so that helps. My daughter in N.E. GA is supposed to get snow on Wed/Thursday so she may have to stay home from college those days even if they don't close the schools. Her professors said just call but don't try and come in if you live on the mountain back roads....which she does.

Here I am planting more lettuces and spinach in pots. My son and I really can eat up the home grown greens! YUM! I am also getting pots planted up with herb seeds and will plant them out in raised beds this spring. Fresh herbs from your own garden taste so much better than the tastelss dried herbs from the supermarket. There really is no comparison.

Went to Super Walmart on Sunday and bought some Caladiums to plant out in pots for the greenhouse. That is one plant that you never have to worry about and just gives you consisitant color and beauty all season till nearly frost. For we here in the deep south..that is a L O N G time!

I also bought a bread maker but was surprised that there was only one to choose from and only one on the shelves. Are breadmakers now passe'? Is the thrill gone? I use my other breadmaker that my daughter gave me for Chrismas many years ago almost every day till I wore it out! I hope this one lasts a long time. I guess I over-use them, but there is nothing like homemade bread as well as making your own pizza dough with it. I can't knead anymore and found my Kitchenaid mixer does not do doughs as well as they make you believe they do soooooooooooo, thus the breadmachine.

We have company coming in next month so I am trying to get some deep cleaning done around here. Guess I best get to it again. Later gator!