Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Historic Florida Vacation Spots and Garden Bullbs!

I'm back and loving being with you dear friends once again.  I hope you've been busy referring your friends and family to follow my blog and enter the contest this month.  It is so easy to get 5 people to follow and win a prize!

I want to share with you some garden tips today on planting bulbs in your garden.  Here in Florida we have the pleasure of just leaving our bulbs in the ground and they do great all year long.  Just about any bulb will work here in Florida, but here are a few that are recommended by the experts.
* Aztec Lily  * Blood Lily   * Caladium    * Crinum    * Gloriosa Lily    * Clivia  * Walking Iris
* African Lily   * Spider Lily   *Day Lily
Preparing the beds for planting: Soil for a bulb bed should be tiled and amended by incorporating a 3 to 4 inch layer of organic matter such as peat, compost or well rotted manure, and one to 1.5 pounds of 12-4-8 or an equal amount of other complete fertilizers per 100 square feet. 
Even though you can leave them in the ground it is recommended to move them around so they do not become crowded and bloom poorly.  My bulb gardens do great and I never move them.  I just space them out about 12 inches apart and they grow like crazy and produce lovely flowers year after year. 
I have a pot of Amaryllis that are blooming and two stalks have come up ready to bloom some more beautiful red flowers.
 Here is what they look like today!

Being a native Floridian I've traveled all over the state in my short 48 years of living here.  I grew up in Orlando, Fl until I was 12 and then moved to the country life of Oviedo at the young age of 13.  Both are in Central Florida about 30 minutes from each other. 

My summer vacations were spent visiting relatives on my Mother's side of the family.  My Aunt Hazel lived in Stark, FL up near Jacksonville.  We mainly stayed at home just playing with our cousins.  I come from a very diverse family background. 

My Mother's step Mom raised her and she was always Grandma to me.  She lived in Tampa, FL which is on the west coast near the amusement park Busch Gardens. Actually, she lives right across the street.  So can you guess where I spent most of my days many a summer?
I know that park like the back of my hand so to speak.

Next, we would visit Mom's step Uncle and Aunt in Sarasota, FL on a farm.  It was grand. I loved playing outdoors.  I remember my Uncle made us breakfast which consisted of eggs and steak right off the farm.  It was the best tasting steak I've ever eaten. 

We also, went to Sanibelle Island one year and that was a real treat.  The water was shallow and calm and you could walk out about 100 yards to a sandbar.  We had a blast that summer.

In my senior year of high school our football team made it all the way to the state playoffs. My younger sister and I were in the class of Journalism and the teacher was in charge of selecting students who could go and cover the game.  We were also on the school newspaper and she ran that as well.  So, you guessed it we were excited to be able to go with the team up to North Florida to a little town not heard of called Milton.  Let me tell you, I know why it is not known very well.  It is right on the panhandle of the state and the gulf of Mexico. 

There were beautiful beaches at that time, some 30 years ago. Since then a number of hurricanes have destroyed the hotels, and amusement park and beach's to the point that only the locals go there much anymore.  I know they are making great efforts to clean it up and make it beautiful once again.

In my adult years I've been to Marco Island which is southern most part of the west coast.  You can visit the Everglade National Park and take a boat ride and see dolphins and other wonderful water life. Birds of all species and of course the famous Florida Alligator's.

On up the west coast there is a little town called Cedar Key.  The best time to visit there is when they have one of their food festivals.  The rest of the time it is deadsville.  We found that out the hard way.  But, just a short ride from there is a town called Chieftain.  They have a state park and a winery.  So, that made up for our disappointment with the other place.

And, of course I've been to St. Augustine the famous oldest city in the U.S. more times than I can remember.  It is a must see when you come to visit the Sunshine State.  Then, there's Miami, bring along your translator so you can speak Spanish.  I'm just kidding, all the sales clerks speak both English and Spanish at the major department stores. 

Since, my husband is Spanish it was no problem conversing with the folks that live there when we visit his family down south.  And, no trip to Florida is complete without seeing the Keys.

I remember visiting my first time in March when I was in my early 20's with my Mom, niece and dear friends from Maryland.  I couldn't understand why all the women had short haircuts or had it back in a ponytail until about our second day there.  Out of no where came these winds that wouldn't stop blowing day or night. 

I had long hair at the time and what a mess it was.  After brushing out all the tangles I quickly put it up and forgot about a hairdo for the rest of the trip. hehe!

I've been to all the beaches up and down the east coast and from Cedar Key down the west coast.  The inland parts of the state are my next adventures to see.  So, we are planning a trip in the fall to a little historic town called Micanopy.  It is the oldest inland city in the State.  I am so excited to go and am planning everything I'll need to bring to survive the 2 hour road trip.

I already have the B&B we'll stay at called Herlong Mansion prepared for my arrival.  They know all about my special needs and are more than willing to accommodate me.  Yippie!!!!  Talk about Southern hospitality!!!!  So, the next time you plan a trip to Florida don't just go to the beach or Disney World you have to make a trip to Micanopy as well and see the real Florida and enjoy some of our history!  

No comments: