Sunday, May 17, 2015

Growing Roses in South Florida? Of Course You Can!

Many years ago when I lived in southern England, our next door neighbor grew numerous prize roses. The heavenly scent from the multitude of various roses  stayed with me throughout my adult years.

Like most people, I love roses but grew increasingly disappointed with their lack of scent.

Since I have an aromatherapy background I knew that real, Damascan roses, the oil of which is called rose otto, or rose absolute, has an incredible aroma. A delightful and powerful fragrance which is both uplifting and yet calming to the modern frazzled working person.

While living in the USA I tried to grow roses with no success at all. That was until I found the Chrysler Imperial Rose, which has a vibrant, upbeat and delicious fragrance from it's 5" crimson, velvety, blossoms. It will bloom all year long. This rose bush likes full morning sun, aeration and good drainage. I feed ours with coffee grounds and fish emulsion and it repeat its blooms very well as a result. I have noticed that a fresh rainfall seems to invigorate the production of buds more than the garden hose could ever accomplish. Roses also like banana peels and most preferably horse compost. My rose has a half sunken pot right next to its ball root where I pour the cooled, left over water from boiling vegetables.

This is not a rose bush for folks that have children. The bush can get very large and the thorns on the canes are quite wicked.

I had noticed a few years back that the leaves got a little spotted and I added a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil to the sunken pot alongside the rose bush which appears to have taken care of that problem.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day Project or Gift: Creating A Table Top Garden Using Succulents

Now that the Florida heat is beginning to kick into high gear, sitting outside on the patio looking at our beautiful garden is great in the morning and late evening but exhausting at noon. It's time to bring some plant color into the house to enjoy!

This is such an easy project to create and all for under $40!

Succulent care is easy, and succulent gardens and terrariums will brighten any indoor space. Learn about the best types of succulents to grow in the home at

First of all find an attractive container to put your indoor garden into, I really love this oversize pottery shell! Just perfect as our family collects shells and display them in enormous jars.

Get some quality potting soil, the Nature's Care brand retains water. Don't forget succulents do not need very much watering at all.

Choose attractive succulents that vary in texture and color, don't plan on putting too many in one container.

Fill the container half way, so the plants sit in the soil and you still have enough room to top up.

Put your plants in, top up with soil, I used blue aquarium rocks to keep the soil in place and create additional visual texture and color.

Add a little whimsy. A Fairy house would also be really pretty.

....and voila! 

Note the huge jar of shells in the background, we love the beach!

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