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Southern Rural Route • Living, creating and gardening on a rural route

Down here in the Deep South, some of us have been spending the last month digging out from Hurricane Irma. The Mayor of Jacksonville has asked us to allow the City until November 8 (I think that was the date) to complete debris pickup with the “claw” trucks that are here from neighboring states. Debris is piled up in front of almost every yard. We are on our second pile from a … Read More

Calliandra haematocephala is commonly called Red Powder Puff. A member of the mimosa family, it has 140 different species with red, pink, white, and a pink/white bloom. From Borneo, it is considered an evergreen shrub that is winter hardy in USDA Zones 9-11. It prefers moist, fertile soil but can tolerate poor soil. Plant it in full sun. In cold climates, it can be grown in … Read More

A large number of plants mentioned in gardening books and magazines won’t grow in Florida’s Zone 9a. In north Florida, temperatures range from the mid-20’s in the winter to high heat and humidity in the summer. Finding plants that can handle both extremes is a challenge. Adding to the gardener’s torment are big box garden centers with offerings that are not intended for Zone … Read More

Also in Momma’s Wildflower Bed:   You can see an older planting of caladiums I purchased in bulk from a South Florida caladium farm at Home Ownership and Family Compounds. Update: In the comments, a question was raised about digging up caladiums at the end of the growing season. I have never done this. Too lazy, I guess. I leave them in the ground and a scattering … Read More

Momma’s Wildflower Bed sat unloved for several years because Poppie passed two years after Momma. A double whammy. This is the first year I have done anything with Momma’s Wildflower Bed. Momma named it the Wildflower Bed but nowadays it has very few wildflowers. This spring I did a lot of work in the front of the Wildflower Bed including copying Meta’s idea of a path bordered … Read More

As I approach my 65th birthday, there seems to be a conspiracy afoot to make me feel OLD. I went into a big box store for a broom. What I wanted wasn’t on the broom racks. I consulted two clerks who were nearby. When I asked for a “regular” broom I got blank looks as though I had asked them for a manual typewriter and really, just what was a typewriter? See what I mean? It was … Read More

My brother and his wife found this slithery critter on the chain link gate when they came home late one night. There is just no end to the number of critters who hang out with us humans on the Southern Rural Route. Not too long ago, I accidentally locked myself out of the house at 8:30 p.m. Still daylight, I walked over to Mr. Beekeeper’s to use his phone to call my brother. … Read More