Friday, January 29, 2010

Not My Jasmine Tree!

Once upon a time, in its most glorious full flower, it looked like this:

At the time I posted my last blog entry, my beloved jasmine tree was still very green and leafy, with only a few hints of brown here and there. In fact, it was in such splendid condition following the big freeze that I suspected it of being a weed doing a very convincing impersonation of a jasmine tree.

But my jasmine is--or was--quite real. Look at what's happened to it since:

A stark, reverse oasis amid the verdure of lush crabgrass and flourishing dollar weed!

Now, before anyone clubs me over the head and hollers, "Deciduous!" let me say we've had this tree for several years and it's never done this. In fact, the last time I saw a jasmine tree like this was several days after a certain beagle who shall remain nameless dug up the tree we had before this one. Mr. Lucky, knowing how much I love jasmine, drove all over the county before he finally found a nursery that had another jasmine tree.

When he planted this second one, I wanted him to dig a moat around it and stock it with gators to keep the dogs away. Instead he put some rocks and a decorative wire border around it until it took enough root to stand up to the dogs.

Whenever it bloomed, Mr. Lucky would break off small sprigs and bring them to me so I could have sweet smelling jasmine at my work space.

Now what? Say it ain't so! Say it will rally and come back.

And if not, just club me over the head.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Florida's Freeze Fells the Flowerbed

Behold the aftermath of Florida's recent weeklong freeze:

The hardy gardenia bushes that were planted by the home's builder remain unscathed, leading me to suspect them of really being weeds. But that sad thing at the far end, planted by Mr. Lucky, used to be two proud hibiscus bushes that bloomed bright red and yellow flowers. I loved how tall it grew. I still have hope for it, as the branches closest to the house remain green.

Meanwhile, the Mexican petunias went totally south. And then there's my beloved allamanda:

I loved it when Mr. Lucky planted it near the front door. It bloomed with hundreds of sunny yellow flowers all trumpeting good cheer anytime we came up the front walk.
Our once lush St. Augustine lawn, like all the lawns in our subdivision, has turned yellow.
On the upside, our jasmine tree in the backyard is doing just fine. It doesn't get as much sunlight as the front flowerbed and I wonder if that played a role. (Or if it, too, is really a very sophisticated weed of the world.)
I spent the week wearing old sweaters from the 1980's (haven't had much need to buy new ones since then), while the static electricity gave me the same big hair from that decade. I can't say as it made me feel as young as I was back then.
In the sixteen years we've lived in Florida, that week must have been the first time we ran the heat non-stop. Usually when the weather gets cold, we only have to run it in the mornings.
Since I'm originally from the north, I really don't mind the cold weather. I like wearing sweaters and there's something cozy about a house when the heat is on.
But I really mind what it did to my hibiscus and allamanda. Mr. Lucky, on the other hand, is always looking for ways to change around that flowerbed (the battle over the brick border continues to rage), so it's a certainty that while I've lost my golden flowers, he's gained a golden opportunity.