Sustainable gift wrap

This idea isn’t new but it sure is cute!

Instead of gift wrap this year I let The Go choose feastive fabrics and I made these drawstring bags.

My hope is to, over the years, make gift wrap obsolete in our family exchanges. 

Happy Holidays!


The blueberries are um… not dead. At least not all of them. We’re moving them to a raised bed that Jhonny is working on building. img_1755

The Seminole pumpkin is my absolute favorite to grow because it’s beautiful and tough. These are two of four that are planted around the house.

A few years ago I got 5-6 HUGE medicine ball sized pumpkins after completely neglecting the vines I had planted.

I also like that they tend to take over and cover the grass so I get to mow less.

Pumpkins and not having to mow? Yes, please.


Most celebrate the Fourth of July with barbecue and fireworks. Here, at the cul de sac, we celebrate with a surprise knock at the front door and the delivery of four tons of free mulch. ‘Merica!


Most of it is in our yard. Some we shared with out lovely neighbor who suffers from a drive way that is a mine field of shattered glass.

This is our second mulch mountain. The first we allowed to age for about a year, then we used it up pretty quickly.

I forsee us using this one up pretty quickly because we have a surprise in the works.




Lots of exciting growth since we first planted the bananas, lemon, and lime!

There seems to be a nutrient vein running along a section of this patch because the false roselle and that one lemon grass in front of it are going nuts. Also, there is some clover that springs up right next to that particular lemon grass that gets chopped and dropped.

We run our compostables through a blender (think compost smoothie) because we have a young pup who likes to dig. The smoothie gets dumped in to the center there and now we have some volunteer spaghetti squash. I think I’ll dig them up and transplant them for winter harvest.

The blue java doesn’t seem to be making much progress. It doesn’t look like its dying, but it isn’t sending up new growth like the other banana. I’m just going to let it chill there until it finds its groove – I hope it does. I appreciate any tips on how to make this blue java happy.

I originally planned to plant the bananas behind the house where the washing machine lets out but only had two pups and heard they should be planted in pairs.

We went to the Barberville farm swap this past Saturday and they had these sweeties for $5 so I went for it! My mom got some spiny chayote that I hope gives her fruit before the frost.

Also pictured is a lovely peach tree, and olive tree and some true roselle from Quality Green in DeLand. One of our neighbors has a few peach trees that are heavy with fruit right now so, we are hoping this little one will follow suit.

Most exciting of all are these limes!

Just look at them!

When you walk out the front door in the morning the fragrance from those little white flowers is heavenly.

We were not expecting fruit so soon! Even one lime will make me giddy. 


Earlier I talked about planting an avocado. My mother in law has had great success with her avo so she gave me a sapling and it is thriving in our front yard. I decided to go ahead and espalier it. Except for I am cheap and lazy and so I just pruned it and will just weigh the branches down instead of setting up some elaborate wire system.

The plan is similar with the lime and lemon. We were originally only going to get lemons but I saw this lime and though it looked perfect for espalier. Its growing a little funky so this may need more support than just weights.


I’ve been visiting Survival Gardening  a great deal lately and David mentions mulberries all the time. So, I have been on the hunt for them in my neighborhood.

Not sure if this is one or not…

I think this bottom one may be a paper mulberry am not sure.


We added a lemon and a lime up against the house to take advantage of the microclimate.

As they grow we will be training the branches.

Also in there is a plumbago, a firebush, and Jhonny.

A permie we know gave us banana pups and so we planted those with some lemon grass and there is a roselle that I added later. Its tiny.


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