Archive for the ‘GARDENS’ Category

More changes!   1 comment

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From the first day I moved in here I was impressed by Mary Lou’s garden. Every holiday, whether it was a major one like Thanksgiving or a minor one like–well, is Halloween a minor holiday??–she would decorate the garden with different flowers and the same holiday, say like the 4th of July, she had different decorations and flowers every year.
And the orchids were all over her garden each prettier than the other.
Now? Look at the bottom picture–and the owners wonder why 200+ residents walk around with an attitude?

Posted July 3, 2019 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, GARDENS, HOME, Uncategorized

Will they ever get it right??   2 comments

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Over a decade ago I bought a small plant and was told it was a Christmas/Passover cactus and for 2 years in a row it did blossom around Christmas/Passover and then, in the third year, it was my Leap Year birthday and I saw a couple of buds in mid-February and, yes, they bloomed on the 29th!
A couple of years went by and the plant grew huge so I decided to cut off a few branches and re-pot them and within a year I had 6 ‘Christmas/Passover Cacti’ and as each year passed they bloomed on another holiday until now and this week they really blew my mind! With 12 days to go until Memorial Day both the parent plant and one of the ‘pups’ started to show buds getting ready to bloom.
They now have only one holiday they haven’t bloomed on and that is July 4th!!
After they bloom I am going to have to explain to them that they are Christmas/Passover plants and shouldn’t be blooming whenever they want or they will get a bad reputation–let alone drive me crazy(ier)!

Posted May 20, 2019 by greatmartin in GARDENS, MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized

The Last Garden of Gateway?   Leave a comment

Last garden collage

All the Hibiscus bushes, Lemon and Avocado trees have been taken away along with the Frangipani trees with their beautiful different colors and aromas, not to forget the showy 3 story white Bird of Paradise behind building C along with the Banana trees and Mary Lou’s flowering garden including Cuba plants and Orchids.

Now we look out and see green lawns and trees with brown spots and dead hanging branches.

Well, we have the Queen Myrtle trees, though quite a few were cut down after Hurricane Irma, to look forward to blooming in a couple of months.

Posted January 15, 2018 by greatmartin in GARDENS, Uncategorized

Does ‘being uniform’ mean boring? Being bland?   Leave a comment

Uniform before



A little over a year ago a new company took over the Gateway Terrace Apartments property and almost immediately an axiom ‘uniform’ entered the lexicon of the community.

With new owners there were changes to be expected and they started, it seems, the first day. Rules are rules and in many ways are good to have and live by but the rules being instituted seemed a little strange.

For years we had a competition of who could make the best Christmas displays and the property looked like a winter wonderland, even if it was 80 degrees outside. I took many pictures of the different displays and still have them. The first rule that affected all us was “No Holiday Decorations outside of the resident’s apartments including the doors and windows”. All was okay inside the apartment. As a Jew, raised in a Catholic neighborhood, I always looked forward to the Christmas holidays. At Gateway every December there was a large Cross and a Menorah in front of the house that spread a good feeling.

I could go on about the rules that were being invoked but two really hit me with the first being no plants, flowers, allowed on the walkways. Having lived in South Florida for a total of more than 50 years I am aware of hurricanes and all the destruction that could be caused with flying objects so I knew to take the plants in when warnings and watches were announced. I, also, knew the importance of having a clear way for medics when they had to take a patient from their apartment on a gurney. In no way did any of my pots interfere with that if it needed to be done. Okay I didn’t like it but I could live with it and brought the plants into my apartment.

The past two weeks another rule was being enforced and it was as if a hurricane hit. Without rhyme or reason beautiful plants and bushes, like varied colored Hibiscus or Frangipani trees, the latter just starting to bloom and send out their beautiful fragrance, along with stunning white and purple Bougainvillea plants, Roses in bloom and others were being torn out of the ground and just thrown away.

Ironically this happened the week leading up to Earth Day.

UNIFORM After collage


Yes the new company is making many improvements in our apartments but it seems as if they want the outside to look ‘uniform’ with those apartments having screen doors being told they must come down, just one of the many changes to take place.

We have no idea when or what will replace the many plants being taken out whether it will be uniform bushes or concrete but these little gardens, plants that residents brightened up their life and corner of the world has also taken away from their individuality. Being an optimist I am thinking they will come up with something spectacular to replace the spectacle that Mother Nature provided us with.

I will start my 19th year living here on June 1st and it is one of the best breaks I ever had in my life. We don’t have much say as to what the owners do but I hope they won’t put up a wall blocking off Karen Bay or make us all wear uniforms! Okay so those are rumors but where does ‘being uniform’ stop?

Hey this is Florida and I will not give up my shorts and short sleeved shirts nor will I wear pants in temperatures of 95 degrees!


Posted April 24, 2017 by greatmartin in GARDENS, LIFE, Uncategorized

BILL’S GARDEN AT GATEWAY   Leave a comment

There are many different gardens around Gateway and it really wouldn’t be fair to say one is the best but a resident, Bill, has spent a lot of time and years growing his garden in the courtyard of building T. I thought I had a picture of when it only had the fan palm tree against the back of the elevator but I don’t so you will have to imagine how it looked before he started to work on it. 

Among the plants, bushes and trees there is a bird bath and his neighbor John added a bird house along with some beautiful wood carvings. At any time of the day you will see butterflies, birds, resident cats (who leave the birds alone in the garden), lizards, squirrels among other of Mother Nature’s creatures.

Whether looking at the garden from the street, from either side or the back it is just a peaceful part of your day. And rest assured there will be additions and changes continuously!


Posted July 29, 2015 by greatmartin in GARDENS, MOTHER NATURE

GARDENS AT GATEWAY PART 1   Leave a comment

Most of the buildings here at the Gateway Terrace have a small plot of land in front and back of the ground floor apartments. Many residents will spend time planting their own little gardens to be shared by all while some just have the hedges that Gateway planted and the lawn maintenance crew takes care of.

My neighbor downstairs, Irene, takes care of both the front and back gardens and has planted some things around the trunk of the big tree in the back. Aside from all the Queen Crepe Myrtle trees and many varied colored Hibiscus plants it is always pleasant to walk around Gateway and see just what the neighbors have done to make their little part of the world relaxing.

In the photos 1 and 2 in the slideshow  are the rear garden that Irene has worked on to make our building a little bit different from the others. In the third picture is the front of our building that she has also added plants.

In the 4th to 9th pictures we see Mary Lou’s handiwork.  For each holiday she fixes up her garden with mementos of the holidays and is constantly adding different plants depending upon the season–yes, folks, Florida does have seasons!

In the remaining photos are what other neighbors have done some making patios of their area

Though I haven’t posted any of the pictures at Christmas time many neighbors spruce up their areas with seasonal decorations which I post every December and which Gateway holds a ‘best decorating’ contest.

Okay, I have to go pick some weeds!


Posted July 16, 2015 by greatmartin in GARDENS

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