Seeking Sunshine

The frustration level rose again…cold temperatures, super soggy soil, ugly forecast and few signs of life in the gardens.  The only cure was a trip south, where warm temperatures abound and there are actually leaves on trees, blooming flowers, and SUNSHINE!  Course flowers  I’m fortunate that D loves golf as much as I love basketball.  He also recognizes after all these married decades that a dose of sunshine about this time of year radically reverses my downward spiral and makes living with me much more pleasant.  So, with a dear gardening friend willing to tend my baby plants in exchange for the use of my pick-up truck while we traveled, we were off to Palm Harbor, Florida (THE Sunshine State!) for the Valspar Golf Tournament.   This is just a sample of the many plantings throughout the course.Valspar flowers I can’t tell you how much the sight of blooming red roses and bright yellow marigolds, green grass, shaggy Spanish moss, and leafy trees lifted my spirits.  This tournament raises millions of dollars for local charities, and is sponsored by the Valspar Paint people.  You’ve probably seen their commercials where the talking chameleon changes color as he walks on various paint samples.   One of the centerpieces of the tournament is this huge sand sculpture of their “spokesperson.”  Chameleon  This has to be the most colorful golf tournament on the circuit, from the comfortable seating overlooking the 3rd green Valspar chairs and elsewhere throughout the course, to the stacked birdhouses shown below.Valspar birdhouses.  There was also a display of “TINY” houses, painted inside and out with luscious colors.  Here’s the tiny Beach House….decoratedTiny farmhouse inside in a breezy, seaside decor with lots of ambient light.  And the tiny farmhouse, which was my favorite,Tiny beach house painted in this year’s “Color of the Year,” a pretty shade of light green.  I especially enjoyed the landscaping around this cozy dwelling.  There was so much to see that I didn’t mind at all being there for four days of our trip because I walked and walked and walked!  Admittedly, the first day was a medium walk through only a small portion of the course, but some of it was uphill and that night, my whole body ached.  That did not bode well for the upcoming gardening season, so I was determined to get some muscles back in shape.   Fortunately, the colorful contrast to our landscape back home continually lured me ahead.  It was a joy to be in 70 plus degree weather and not bundled in bulky clothes for a change.Course water  The skies were so blue, the birds so full of song and there were birds we just don’t see in Indiana.    Florida birds  Whatever birds these were, they were fun to watch as they poked through the leaves and pine needles.Trumpet tree  This brilliant tree was breathtaking.  I was told it is a Trumpet Tree.  I wish it would grow in Indiana, but it won’t without more protection (like a giant greenhouse heated all winter!) than I’m willing to provide.  Florida 2019 020  The 16th green is called the “Patriots’ Outpost” and is sponsored by Chick Fil-A, who not only provides funding for the shaded pavilions, but free food and drink for veterans and military personnel.  A wonderful shuttle service makes it feasible for veterans to get there easily.  impatiens compressed  Each day’s walk was longer, providing new vistas and more flowers.  By the last day, I was able to walk the entire course without stopping, and came home feeling refreshed, relaxed, renewed and eager to see what changes were wrought in my gardens while I was away.  It’s amazing what a few days of sunshine can do!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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14 Responses to Seeking Sunshine

  1. JOY journal says:

    Love the Adirondack chairs!


  2. bcparkison says:

    Bless your heart. I would have enjoyed that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kathyscrafts1 says:

    The birds in the picture under the tree look like ibis. They like eating earthworms and small bugs. We have them here in North Carolina, too, here they are reddish colored. Your pictures are SUPER NICE!!!!!!!


    • carolee says:

      These were pure white with long, curved orange beaks. Great fun to watch them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • kathyscrafts1 says:

        There is a white form of the ibis that lives down in Florida and along the southern part of the east coast. Our ones also have the long orange curved beaks, and their feathers turn pinkish to redish in the Spring, the rest of the year they are white. HAVE A SUPER DAY!!!!


    • Rena Shannon says:

      They are definitely white ibises. They go “grubbing” through my yard with the Sandhill cranes on the regular. It’s kind of fun how both birds have adapted to living on and around golf courses down here (I live near one, and we have to drive very carefully).

      I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to my state! The weather was perfect for it, and you were here while we have all the avian migration traffic. Sometimes, the mornings are nothing but birdsong that you only get to hear for a few short days before they continue on again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like a lovely break from the cold! It’s great you can find time to get away & find someone to take care of the seedlings back home!!


  5. That is SO amazing! Thanks for sharing the photos. I hear you about needing to seek sunshine…. we live in Texas and our winter wasn’t really severe, but February was so gloomy we were temped to make a run for Arizona.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary says:

    Glad you have found a bit of sunshine. It has been hard to find here in Northern California. Everytime I think I can spend the weekend weeding, we have another rain. Love your articles. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A cheering trip with all that color! I am fascinated by tiny houses, even though I wouldn’t want to live in one. Repeat after me: “Spring is coming, spring is coming.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a wonderful trip for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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