In a Vase on Monday – Happy Anniversary

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In a Vase on Monday is celebrating its sixth anniversary this Monday. Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden blog, created and hosts this meme weekly and challenged us to create a miniature vase (6″x6″) in honor of the anniversary. This  ‘vase’ is just under that and I added a crystal for Cathy as I know she likes crystals.

I decided to use shells and a tiny glass pot as my containers and then determined that they wouldn’t hold water. An additional challenge, waterless vase. The shells are a Tortoiseshell Cowrie in the glass pot and a Lightning Whelk. These shells are common to the east coast of Florida and were found on this beach near the Fort Pierce Inlet about 20 miles north of my house.

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The  Lightning Whelk holds one of our native Bromeliads (Tillandsia utriculata). These are commonly known as Air Plants and it is actually illegal to collect them in Florida.  Most are grown in South America and shipped to Florida, this one came up on its own in a nearby Oak and I moved it to a booted Sabal Palm.

The brown pods are from a Senna ligustrina, another native I planted as a larval host for  Sulphur Butterflies.

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Here are the Tillandsias in the booted Sabal Palm,  I am planning to add Burgundy Bromeliads and some Cattleya Orchids to the Palm. The boots are the bases of old fronds, many palms are cleaned up with a chain saw for a smooth trunk.

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The  Tortoiseshell Cowrie holds the dried stems of a seedhead from an Adonidia Palm (Veitchii merrilli). The stems are white until the berries ripen and then turn brown. The white stems are from a younger seedhead.

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A heartfelt thank you to Cathy for hosting IAVOM, it is an addictive pleasure to share a weekly vase with gardeners from all over the world – and to see theirs! To see more miniature sixth-anniversary celebrations follow this link More Vases.

Happy Anniversary and Happy Gardening!

A Seashell Driveway

The driveway is in and it is a beauty. I am so excited after all those months of living with the weed pit as my front yard. The existing driveway was pea gravel overrun with weeds. The entire thing had to be scraped away and hauled to the dump.Image After the scraping and removal of the foul pea gravel a gigantic pile of shell and base material appeared. The driveway is constructed by scraping off enough material to have 4-6″ depth to backfill. The base area is graded for water to drain off properly then a base material is placed. The base is crushed shell about 2″ thick followed by 2-3″ layer of the shell for the driving surface. The crushed shell base looks like coarse sand and the shell topping looks like thousands of tiny shells. Because that is what it is. Theoretically,the crushed shell base course tamps down over time and forms a permeable stable layer for the driving surface.

Pile of Shell

Pile of Shell

Shell used for driveways is quarried for the most part on the West Coast of Florida. I believe the shell in my front yard comes from the South side of Lake Okeechobee. This is to a certain extent a word of mouth bit of info. The shell is from a broker who bought it from somebody who bought it from somebody else. Interestingly enough the shell is cheaper than pea gravel because it doesn’t have to be shipped as far from its source. Shell is not supposed to sink into the ground as gravel does, I am going to be interested to see how it holds up… TA DA, the driveway:

The Shell Driveway

The Shell Driveway

Now, onto the green part, Landscaping. Note the repulsive grass/weed groundcover..Ugly. Soon to be gone.