Florida Gardening in May

 

It’s soggy here. Very, very soggy. It’s been raining and raining and raining. I’m not going to complain too much about the rain, but with rain comes flooding and mosquitoes. And right now my house has both.

Hurricane season is supposed to begin in June, but Tropical Storm Alberto wanted to get this summer started off with raging waves. So here we are another cloudy day with rain. (Though on a completely non-gardening note: wicked waves equal good surfing – too much for me today as a beginner surfer, but it’s still fun to watch all the more talented surfers rolling with the waves.)

Living in Florida does mean at some point your chances of experiencing a hurricane are pretty good, so we’re going to talk about how to hurricane prepare your garden as the season kicks off.

Hurricane preparation in the garden/yard:

Most people are aware you need to prepare your home for a hurricane, but many people neglect their outdoor area. This is an area that could hold potential hazards in high winds. If winds are high enough you will experience downed trees. If you’re in a coastal are, like I am, you’re going to experience some heavy flooding, so first be prepared to lose some plants.

Other preparations, include:

  • moving potted plants in a more sheltered area (either inside your home or protected by a outdoor structure and fence)
  • move in outdoor furniture or garden decorations
  • move fountains in a sheltered area (I lost a ceramic bowl during Hurricane Irma.)
  • prune dead tree branches
  • tie down newly planted trees
  • be sure to clean drainage areas to allow water to flow

 

May Gardening:

Like I said, it’s been raining, so I’ve been playing inside with garden designs and reading on edible weeds. I’m also designing gardening workshops for my new business, Pineapple Acres. Pineapple Acres is a holistic healing center with educational workshops meant to connect my clients to the healing power of nature. At the moment, I’m also a traveling community garden designer. It works for now, though I’m looking into purchasing my own piece of land eventually. Lots of planning and paperwork this month, but it’s okay…the rain is keeping the gardens happy.

What to plant in the vegetable garden:

We are reaching that time of year when I begin to shut down my annual vegetable garden. It just gets too hot or too wet for most plants. There are still a few hot-weather survivors.

  • cherry tomatoes
  • peppers
  • okras
  • sweet potatoes
  • dasheens
  • yautias
  • calabazas
  • Chayote

What is flowering:

  • Jamaican strawberry tree (I’m getting so many cherries on this tree!)
  • plumeria
  • lantana
  • oleander
  • periwinkle
  • perennial peanut
  • jasmine
  • bouganvallia
  • desert rose
  • marigolds
  • African ginger
  • hibiscus
  • squashes
  • watermelon
  • milkweed

Resources:

http://www.southflorida.com/wsfl-home-9-16-hurricane-proof-yard-htmlstory.html

Maccubbin, Tom. Month-By-Month Gardening Florida: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year. Minneapolis, MN: Cool Springs Press, 2014.

Meet Jessica

33098920_1675253345923370_1749710843928379392_nI’d like to feature the lovely ladies working behind the scenes with me for the women’s soul retreat, The Sisterhood Within. As a co-creator, I am happy to be working with these women, who each bring their own perspective and gifts to this vision. My third feature is Jessica Jonovski. (If you missed Sydney or Lori’s feature click here.) Read Jessica’s story and then visit our event site for more details on this amazing retreat opportunity! I hope to welcome new women to my life in the fall!

Yoga instructor, novice herbalist, and permaculture nomad, Jessica Jonovski, has practiced yoga for over 10 years and started teaching in 2015. She was first inspired to teach while practicing with the Africa Yoga Project in Kenya, where she came to appreciate and embrace the deeper gifts of the practice: its universal teachings of mindfulness, presence, and love. Through her later adventures studying, teaching, and traveling in India and Southeast Asia, she eventually found herself immersed in the world of permaculture as well. As her connection to her natural surroundings grew, she came to understand that the teachings of yoga and the teachings of plants were undeniably intertwined – each containing a beautiful world of mysteries begging to be explored!

In addition to being a certified yoga instructor (Sampoorna Yoga, India), Jessica is also a Level II Reiki practitioner (Asian Healing Arts Center, Thailand) and has dabbled in herbalism studies (Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism, North Carolina), Thai Massage (Shivagakomarpaj, Thailand), and Vipassana meditation. And, along with the other facilitators, recently earned a Permaculture Design Certificate from Grow Permaculture. When in the US, she resides somewhere between the countryside of Old Florida, the mountains of North Carolina, and her homeland of southwest Ohio.

Jessica is guided by the ancient vedic mantra Soham, meaning “I am that”— a reminder that we are all connected to the same Divine source energy, that our souls are interwoven with one another and with all beings on this earth and beyond. It only makes sense for us to allow nothing but love to flow through them. May all beings everywhere be happy and free!

Meet Sydney

2016-05-05 02.24.01I’d like to feature the lovely ladies working behind the scenes with me for the women’s soul retreat, The Sisterhood Within. As a co-creator, I am happy to be working with these women, who each bring their own perspective and gifts to this vision. My second feature is Sydney Wilk. (If you missed Lori’s feature click here.) Read Sydney’s story and then visit our event site for more details on this amazing retreat opportunity! I hope to welcome new women to my life in the fall!

Sydney Wilk is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of Plant Love Wellness, a health coaching practice dedicated to helping women make lasting lifestyle shifts. During her sessions with clients she guides them to uncover the connections between food and overall well-being. Drawing on her expertise, she creates custom dietary plans based uniquely on the individual needs of each person. She believes that food is truly medicine, and that trusting your body’s intuition is essential for optimal health.

She is a plant-enthusiast, and is involved in a local community garden that provides food desert areas with access to fresh food, as well as small-scale projects around her home. When not surrounded by plants, you can most likely find her practicing yoga, hiking, reading, trying to interpret her dreams, swimming, making nice-cream or exploring new places with her five-pound fur ball, Louis.

Learning to Dance in the Rain

 

One of my male friends once told me that a woman is ten times sexier with her hair wet. And then there is the iconic love scene where one of the lovers appears at the door soaked through because whatever they had to confess couldn’t wait until the sun came out. Well, I call bull shit on appearing sexier with unwanted water dripping from my hair into my eyes. I feel like a drowned rat. And being rained on is actually really uncomfortable, especially if you are wearing jeans. I live in Florida, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a “warm” rain. So I’m cold right now. There is a reason for umbrellas and raincoats and boots – to keep us dry. Rain can also be accompanied by lightening. Do you know how dangerous that can be? Deadly.

And, yet, rain is necessary, peaceful, and truly beautiful. A night sky filled with jagged lightening is miraculous. The power behind a thunderstorm is just a part of nature’s divinity. Rain is growth.

Today I decided to accept that I was soaked to the bone, wearing those uncomfortable wet jeans, but instead of complaining, I decided to dance in the rain. I looked up into the gray clouds and let the raindrops fall down my face. I welcomed the wet grass beneath my bare feet. Sure I got a little muddy, but I also found peace in the  musical pitter patter. I thanked God for the rain because my orchids were getting a much needed drink of water. The rain saturated the soil and made all my gardens very happy.

I have seen some of the most stunning displays of rainbows in Florida. And during the soft rains I sit on my lanai and meditate to the raindrop orchestra.

 

Today wasn’t really about the rain or getting wet. It was about taking a chance to feel uncomfortable, so that I could appreciate being in a new moment. We all struggle with this. How many times are you planning your next meeting while someone is trying to share a story? Or you’re worrying about what a friend thought, when you could be taking in the flavors of a home-cooked cuisine? Or you ignore your emotions because all you hear is a television, radio or phone? The list could go on.

If we don’t slow down, we’ll burn out; we’ll lose ourselves; or we’ll forget why we’re living. Not every moment is adventurous or filled with pizazz. But it’s your moment, on your journey, and if you don’t truly experience it or the person sitting in front of you, it will disappear. You won’t get it back. So, let’s try to be present in this moment. And don’t be afraid to get a little uncomfortable dancing in the rain.

“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” -Anonymous

Meet Lori

Growing in Life

Moving to Florida has been a life change that has been difficult, surprising, and a chance for me to embrace the woman I was meant to be. God has a plan for all of us. I’ve discovered that He has bestowed beautiful gifts for me to make mine happen. And most importantly, He’s surrounded me with people who are meant to support and encourage me through this journey.

Learning to Deal with a ‘Marley and Me’ Moment

Learning Self-Love

Meet Kelli

Meet Stephanie

Meet Jessica

Meet Sydney

Learning to Dance in the Rain

Meet Lori

The Sisterhood Within- Women’s Soul Retreat

Learning to Let Go

Learning to Grow with a Puppy

Look to the sky for serenity

Music is Spiritual Poetry

Learning to Grow in Ireland

Growing in the UK

The water calls me, challenges me

Everything Gets a Little Dirty in the Garden – and in Life