07 April 2011

The Good, Bad, and Downright Ugly

It's Thursday, folks! Can you believe it? Even though I couldn't be more relieved that tomorrow is the last day of the work week I'm still blown away that it all happened so fast. Every week engages me in a "shock and awe." By Friday night I'm sitting on the couch like a zombie, the previous days having blown my week to bits, leaving me sitting there with cookie crumbs on my chest, staring at the wall saying "what in the heck happened this week?"

Usually I try to spend time in my garden after getting home each day. This slows me down, helps me relax and brings my blood pressure to a managable level before I go into the kitchen to cook dinner. If I don't relax I make a mess, burn stuff, and snap at my husband. It's awful really.

This week I've had no time to be out there. John has been watering them all week, but yesterday I had just enough time before heading out of the house again to give things a quick water and snap these shots. Guys, my garden is looking good in a lot of ways, and like utter crap in others. Let's celebrate the good first....

Gerbera Daisies

Aren't they pretty? These grow without me having to do anything at all. I water them, sometimes sing them a song and leave it at that. They definitely aren't florist quality, but I like their imperfections and the little family of them that has sprouted up. They are so cute because, opposite of sunflowers, they bow down to the sun when it gets to hot. I used to think they were wilting, but they are sturdy as can be. They just turn their little heads down to protect their faces from sunburn. :)

 My orchid is also doing well. All the buds have opened up and they are quite happy anywhere I put them. It's so much fun to watch the buds open up. As soon as one starts to break open you are guaranteed a new flower by the end of the day. I wish I had a little video camera set up to see it all happen. This plant is one of my favorites, and I love how long each flower is lasting. Thanks for the awesome plant, Mom!

Now, let's talk about the runts of the litter. The ones that are really getting my goat. The orchid above looks perfectly healthy, does it not? Well, let's take a closer look...

Ahh! An unhealthy leaf! I don't even know what this means. I have my suspicion on John, who while trying to do good in watering them allowed the water to go into the leaves. I mean, he had no way of knowing that doing so could result in rot. Bless his little cotton socks. What do you guys think? Are there any orchid experts out there? Is the plant rotting, or is it just getting too much sun?

Yucky-looking bibb lettuce

Here's my other "bad apple." It is really my fault. We had a week of awful storms here in Florida last week. We saw winds coming in at 70 mph. That's almost hurricane force! I pulled them under the hangover, but neglected to bring them inside where they would be completely unbothered by the wind. All the leaves are soggy and droopy, even after a week in the sun. I'm not sure there is any salvaging it. What do you think? I'm so bummed because it was just about ready for eating.

I like to garden, but how do you cool down after a long day?


  1. Hannah, I don't know the slightest bit about gardening but the other photographs of your flowers are gorgeous so I have no doubt you'll get to the root (ha) of this problem in no time. Good luck!

  2. I wish I gardened... No green fingers whatsoever!
    I unwind by reading, and I cannot wait for this week to be over so I can do just that.

  3. To your first paragraph I say, "Amen, sista!"

    I'm sorry I don't have any advice to give you about your lettuce & orchids... but I have absolutely no experience with that stuff :) I'm interested to hear what you find out, as I'd love to get into gardening, and I have a feeling that I'll have quite a few 'bring 'em back from the brink' experiences...

    I totally agree with you about the necessity of a "cool down/ decompress" period between work & home life. I'm not sure I have 1 fool-proof tradition... I've tried a lot of stuff. The best (so far) seems to be yoga or picking up the house, haha ;)

  4. Confession: I hate gardening. I know there are others like me, but I know so few of them! This probably all stems from the fact that I tend to kill plants (unintentionally I might add) but I do have a lot of respect for people who manage to have gorgeous gardens because it's damn hard work! Also, it's such a good idea to wind down before cooking, I don't do it enough (burnt onions is a common smell in our house).

  5. I love your orchids! So beautiful :) Are they really hard to grow?

  6. Christine- they're actually not hard to grow at all. They require little attention and thrive in tropical environments (I live in Florida). So I guess really it depends on where you're at. But if it's warm they are easy breezy.

  7. My wind down time is making dinner with my husband, Joey. :)

    You're lucky that your thumb is (pretty) green! Joey and I went to the Walmart plant nursery on Sunday. We were thinking about getting some flowers for a porch rail basket. However, we're having a dinner party on April 22 and had to honestly ask ourselves if we could keep them alive that long. We answered no, and decided to wait until about a week out to make our purchase. :)

  8. hahaha this is such a cute post! I wish I had some advice to give you but I really have no clue...

    I am still laughing that you sing your little flowers a song :)

  9. I wish I could have plants and know for certain they were not going to die by my hand. But alas, no plants for me.

  10. Hannah- I love your blog! Thank you for the comment on my Paris post. I just have one thing to say, GO TO FRANCE! take your cute hubby and just do it! You will be so inspired and I can see by your blog that you can appreciate all the beautiful things in life. I must admit that its hard to complete with the fashionable french but heck who cares! Just rock you're own style!
    Keep it touch, lets follow each other!

    P.s. I LOVE orchids!

  11. I'm not an orchid expert but I do have a degree in horticulture so maybe a couple of things might help you: the roots of the orchid will tell more about the health. if the looks look healthy (succulent and green or fuzzy grey) and the leaves of your orchid are green and stiff/succulent the plant should be in good shape. Wilted leaves or chlorotic leaves could mean you are overwatering. Keep in filtered light/shaded area and make sure you fertilize with an orchid fertilizer. Orchids can actually be overwatered more easily than they dry out so only water when the soil mix becomes dry. xo

    Hope that helps! Great post! :)

  12. Your flowers are looking good...I just bought some rose bulbs. I'm planning on planting them tomorrow. wish me luck.

  13. Hey Hannah, thanks for the visit. Loved reading this. I'm trying to get my little garden growing. Just got the seedling kit started a few days ago. I have an orchid as well, but the flowers on mine just fell of this week. I went out and bought orchid food at lowes today, and am hoping that will bring the flowers back. It could be dormant though. I'm so glad i just read carolina of salsa pie's comment! I checked, and the roots, and leaves look great so hopefully the fertilizer will do the trick.

    P.S. the burning food comment made me smile-my husband is always wondering what is burning...


    Cheers to Friday

  14. P.S.S. (sorry, forgot about this as I was about to click away. That is so neat that you work with the international students. My husband's best friend lives in Oklahoma, and his wife worked with the international students. She LOVED it, but had some crazy stories. Like telling the girls from certain cultures how to use the bathroom, and helping them learn the ropes of certain cultural differences. She stopped working after her first child, but I know she loved her time with those students.

  15. Your plants are so beautiful! I'd love to have a little garden to tend to every day, but I've no place for one. For me, cooking and baking help me unwind. And I can't wait for tomorrow! I'm playing hookey from school for the day and heading up to LA to play with some friends. It's just what I need.

    (And it's so lovely meeting you. You have a great blog.)

  16. Oh I wish I live in Florida. It's too cold in Toronto!

  17. thanks for the comment!
    cute blog,
    & pretty pictures of the flowers!


  18. i wish i could actually garden. my aloe plant seems to be living but i had an echeveria plant that lasted about 1 month. i don't know what i did!