Re: [gardeners] Friday in the garden

George Shirley (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 16:35:27 -0500 wrote:

> In a message dated 6/6/99 9:17:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > We have two patio doors, one set in the family room, looking directly out
> to
> > the
> >  patio and the gardens, and the other in the master bedroom just looking
> out
> > on
> >  the plant benches on the patio. Those two doors and floor to ceiling
> windows
> >  bring the outdoors in on those days that are cool enough to open the
> drapes.
> >  Reckon living in southern FL you know whereof I speak. ;-)
> We have only one patio door that looks out onto our screened porch and the
> pool decking.  Since this is on the North side of the house there is little
> light coming in through this window, the only one in the family room.  White
> was a good choice to lighten up the room 5 years ago and the colors will stay
> on the lighter side for the same reason.  We plan to glass in that screened
> porch for a sun room and put skylights out there.  That should bring a little
> more light into the family room.  Even in daylight we have at least one lamp
> on at all times.  Twilight is a good way to describe the ambience of the room
> with out lights.  Decorating with bird houses and silk vines brings a little
> of the outdoors in.
> Now our front windows that face south are very large.  One is 72 in. across
> and the other 94 in.  Both are about 84 inches tall, almost floor to ceiling.
>  In this room the curtains stay closed most of the summer, at least the
> sheers do.  That way we can see some color from the front flower bed.  This
> room could be done in dark cool colors with ease.  At this time with the
> white walls it is bright even on the cloudiest days.
> >  Old houses are a lot of work but often provide more house for the money
> than
> > a new one.
> This is true in most places.  Here you can get about the same size home for
> the same price as a new one (resale prices are high), but the lot is much,
> much smaller on the newer homes.  We went for an older home to get room for a
> garden and pool and play area.  In newer homes there is room for only one of
> those things, unless your home is out in the country.  Even then there is no
> guarantee it will be any cheaper for the land.  People are willing to commute
> much farther than ever before.  We moved here from NC and spent almost 50%
> more for 2/3 the square footage and much less lot (we had an acre, now about
> 1/3).  Since moving here my DH works mostly in TX., but he would rather
> commute than move again.  He travels alot and it would not matter where our
> base is, so we choose to stay here, close to family and old friends.
> Anne in FL
> zone 9b

The windows on the west wall of our house stay closed and with the shades,
drapes, and sheers drawn all the time. You can still feel the heat of the
afternoon sun in the kitchen, dining room, and formal living room (now an art
studio). The family room, the one with the patio door facing south, stays pretty
dark in the summer without lights and brightly light by the low-lying sun in the
winter. It's our preferred room to be in in both seasons.

This house is moderate sized for the area with about 1985 square feet of
heated/cooled living area. The lot used to be bigger until we moved in, now it's
mostly flower and veggie beds with paths through them plus the greenhouse and
several fruit trees. If Miz Anne would let me the front yard would become a
wildflower meadow. We stay here due to good friends, nice neighbors and cheap
living costs. Both of us do things for a living that can be done about anywhere.
Newer homes down the street from us are twice as big on smaller lots and are
being built for $250,000.00 plus. Land that doesn't flood is pretty valuable
hereabouts. We can grow about anything as long as we can keep the bugs off of it.