In A Vase on Monday – Gardening with Armadillos


Sunday got off to a bit of a rough start, about 3 a.m. one of my greyhounds started to run around and whine. I got up, thinking he needed to go out and opened the door – only to hear a strange sound crashing around in the garden. Decided to turn on the security lights and low and behold, I spied an Armadillo. The shelled rodent (IMO) digging beside the metal screen enclosure on our porch, bashing his shell against the metal. Driving my poor dog mad and depriving both of us our beauty sleep.

As the dog ran out the door the foolish Armadillo ran into the fenced part of our yard – who knew an Armadillo could out run a greyhound?

Cartoon time 3 a.m. My backyard. Starring Alan the Greyhound. Shown below in his usual state. Alan is the brown dog, the other one has no interest in getting up at 3 a.m.


A few hours and cups of coffee later, I went to look for vase components in the garden the Armadillo had been digging in. Sure enough, he or she had been overturning Bromeliads, a favorite pastime for some reason made better by overturning burgundy or spotted Bromeliads. By trial and error, I eventually found out cardboard and mulch will keep the armadillos away, needs another application. Sigh.

20170806_100322 Seeking the components of a vase, I noted the Spathoglottis is flowering again. I know this really sounds like a disease, but is actually a lovely little Ground Orchid called Caberet. This is the second round of flowering since I planted it in January. It is the purple flower in the vase. The blue flowers are Porterweed, the jury is still out on which one and today it is really shedding for some reason. The yellow flowers are Lantana, Silvermound would be my guess for variety. The purple spotted foliage is from a Bromeliad the Armadillo overturned ‘Hallelujah’ Billbergia. A sprig of fern finishes the vase.

The Armadillo’s work last night:


Blueberry Madness


The height of blueberry season is upon us here in the US. My husband is famous for his pies, see photo above for reason. I was tasked with blueberry procurement for pie production. Five cups were ordered, five pints were purchased. Oops. I was faced with an extreme overabundance of blueberries.

The pie was baked, tasted and deemed delicious. We still had a lot of blueberries, having recently read a blueberry feature in Better Homes and Garden, I decided to try Blueberry Corn Salad:


An interesting idea, corn with a garlic lemon vinaigrette and spices. A bit weird, but good. Still, blueberries speak of baked goods to me and I still had some left. I thought Blueberry Pecan bread sounded like a good idea and freezable. Found a recipe for just the thing with a pecan crust on top. Baked it up, this is good and freezes well, so I will have some for later:


Then, the horrible truth revealed. I still had some of the blue things left. And didn’t want to eat anymore at the moment. Realizing dogs could eat blueberries and they are actually good for them, I whipped up some Oatmeal Peanut Butter Blueberry Dog Treats:


The overabundance of blueberries, finally conquered. I walked the dogs and gave them a treat. Everyone was happy.

In A Vase on Monday – Brown Greyhounds


I had a brown greyhound vase long before I had a brown greyhound. The vase came from my great grandmother, Miss Emma. I am fairly certain my gardening interest can be traced back to Miss Emma. She was a famous gardener in the small South Georgia town my mother grew up in.


The vase is marked ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ and is made of some sort of plaster that won’t hold water. I had a pair but the other vase was squashed as I didn’t realize about the plaster. My grandmother kept winter wheat in these and there was still some sand in the bottom from wheat days. When I poured it out the first thing that popped into my head was “Oh no, Great Grandpa’s ashes”. Then I remembered seeing his headstone. Whew.

There is another vase inside with water. Plants in this vase include in orange, Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria), in yellow, Beach Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis), White flowers are Gaura, the Bellezza variety, pink is Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus), the purple is Purple Hearts (Setcreasea pallida) a bit of Asparagus Fern adds some fine green texture.


The real greyhound is Fuzzy’s Alan Alda (racing name) we call him Alan. His color is actually called Blue Fawn, the most wonderful and apt description of his coloring I have heard is it looks as if he has been painted with deep gray watercolors. He retired from racing at an early age because he lost nearly every race. I am deeply suspicious Alan is smarter than the people who were trying to race him as he is still extraordinarily quick and can easily outwit me! Alan and his toys, the “lawn” is a bit worse for wear.



Charles for President


On the campaign trail

Given the Republican primary results coming into the State of Florida today. I would like to nominate Charles the Greyhound for consideration as a candidate for president.

An elder stateshound with a spotted record, Charles has always sported a red collar indicating his support of the GOP.

At the ripe old age of 9 and a half, he is perfect in human years (65) to lead our country. Here he is reaching across the aisle to work with his blue colleagues from the Democratic party. Note the size of his paws, evidence of no problem in that department.


Reaching across the aisle

And in case of an international emergency,

Greyhounds always know what to do.


Solving World Problems

In A Vase on Monday -The Bovine Micro Meadow


Here is another member of my cow family. A real cow vase. I have a matching hand soap dispenser. I bought the set in a store that sells samples. My suspicion is the vendor figured the market for a matching set of cow vase and soap dispenser was limited and stopped with the samples. I have enjoyed these, although the vase is oddly constructed and difficult to arrange flowers in – mostly it sits on the shelf and exudes bovine loveliness.


The idea for this was based on cows grazing in a meadow. The micro meadow is a tiny representation of what grows in my meadow. The “lawn” in my back yard is truly appalling, so I have many meadow plants. I am not terribly bothered by this as lawn beauty in South Florida is difficult to attain without loads of water and chemicals. Meadow it is. Mown intractable weeds could be another term used to describe the “lawn” My younger greyhound has beaten a perfect racing track into part of it. Flowering meadow plants and sand are for the greyhounds, my gardens are kept away from thundering paws.


Here is a close up of the plants. There is some Florida friendly Chartruese Sedum at each end (friendly is propaganda from our Extension Service – the plant grows great in a pot with potting soil, if put in the garden a very different story), Sweet Begonia and Spanish Needles in white, the purple and red plants are pretty ( a weed I am not sure I want to identify) but I have been trying to eradicate them and they are frighteningly prolific. Boston Fern and the Wandering Jew (Transcandentia zebrina) just pop up in the meadow. Strange but true.

And my favorite cow family member:


My cow dog, Charles the Greyhound, racing name GLO Cornjacker, a dear friend and companion for the past six years; he retired from racing in 2010 and is nearly ten years old.

He hangs out in the meadow frequently and sometimes snacks on it.
























My Girl

My Girl

This morning about 5 a.m. my ancient Greyhound, My Girl, woke me. I got up to let her out as this has been going on for a while. Life with a 14 year old dog. I turned on the light and looked at her and was horrified to see her face swollen nearly twice its normal size. Quickly gave her a Benadryl and some pain medication and waited to see if it helped. It didn’t.

About this time my husband got up and I asked him to put her in the car while I took Charles out (our other Greyhound) We bundled her into my Jeep and took her to the Emergency Vet. I had been feeling this was coming as she had been declining for the past 6 months or so. I woke up the other morning from a dream about my other Greyhounds waiting for her at the end of a bridge on a beautiful Zoysia lawn. So, I knew this was coming. You are just never ready.

The Vet, a gracious lady, asked us to think about things she enjoyed doing and if she could still do them. The answer was truthfully no. She didn’t know why her face had swollen up, but it didn’t really matter because it was time to let her go. So, we sat with her for a bit and then the vet put her down (very gently, she seemed to just drift away) while we petted her and talked to her. I am sure my other dogs were waiting for her at the end of the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful lawn.

My Girl was a part of our lives for 10 years, Farewell, Dear Friend. My heart is truly broken.

My Girl, at the beach in Summer

My Girl, at the beach in Summer

Holiday Hounds

For many years I have held a dream of taking an oh so cute picture of my Greyhounds with Christmas antlers and using it as a Holiday card. Here is the result of my latest attempt.

Charles not enjoying headgear

Charles not enjoying headgear

The cat was asleep so I tried it on her:

Cat not even wearing headgear

Cat not even wearing headgear

A few years ago I tried with two dogs, Bullitt and My Girl:


And they got bored:

Is there a treat in the house?

Is there a treat in the house?

I finally got one good picture of Bullitt:

Bullitt as Reindog

Bullitt as Reindog

Then realized the antlers should have been behind his ears. After thinking it over, perhaps this is the best solution:

The most cooperative Greyhound

The most cooperative Greyhound

Buy some cards and put the antlers on the concrete Greyhound.