It can be a jungle out there…

Or at least it became one in the summer of 2014. My patio faces north and you wouldn’t think that tropical plants would do well but that summer I tried and they really took off. Most of these plants have not been at the Fred Meyer Garden Center since then…I know, I tried last year. I’ll share some of their lushness with you in this post.

As you know I’ve had a bit of a hiccup in my life so the patio is not nearly so extravagant this summer. In fact it was totally bare till last weekend due to power washing and painting of the apartment complex. They finally finished with my place and my kind friends who had been housing my plants and furniture brought them back.  But here are a few favorites from the summer of 2014.


Just on the off chance it might actually grow I bought a little eucalyptus plant. Well, it likes it here and is now about four feet tall (two years later).


Had to rearrange the furniture so the screen doesn’t blow over but it makes a lovely private sanctuary for sitting and reading outside. This was just the beginning.


The plants with the pink in the leaves are called “irisine” and they are the ones I haven’t been able to find…at least not last summer. Haven’t been able to search this year.


Yes, as my aunt said at the time, begonias love me. Here with more irisine.



He likes his nose in the flowers.






The landscaping reflected in my window

The landscaping reflected in my that lovely yellow flower….when it stopped blooming it started again….in a different color.


Yes, yellow became orange.



I’m watching for a new mandevilla…they should have them at Trader Joe’s pretty soon.

And by September it had become a real jungle out there.





As most of you know I had about a five week break from chemo but I’m back to finish off the job. I have another three treatments and if all goes well I’ll be finished by the end of this month. Believe me, I’m ready to be done with this. Especially since it all started way back in January with the DVT. I want my life back. And with that in mind I cheered myself up by booking an apartment in Venice for the month of March 2017. The price was too good to pass up. It is not where I have stayed before because that one was way to expensive. This one is in the Molino Stucky complex next to the Hilton Hotel on the island of Giudecca. This is an area I have yet to explore. Friends are coming from all over to help me celebrate life. Including a friend from Seattle (you know who you are). Most of the others are in Europe…especially Italy. And I’m looking forward to meeting some of the new blog friends I’ve made in Venice herself. So for now I’m still dealing with the peripheral neuropathy which is extremely annoying and affects my walking (and typing) but I have an appointment to meet with an acupuncturist this afternoon who has had some success in relieving the symptoms. I’ll let you know how it goes.

My dear Diavolo is doing just fine and sends his purrs to all of his friends.

Diavolo patrolling the perimeter

Diavolo patrolling the perimeter




About mvaden1948

I love to travel to Venice (and probably other parts of Italy and beyond) and my camera leads me where she wants without any consideration as to whatever plans I may have. I enjoy photographing nature, my cat and anything that strikes my fancy. I have a "thing" for interesting doors and architectural details.
This entry was posted in Chemo, Diavolo, flowers, fotografia, Gardens, Home, Photography, Travel, Venezia, Venice and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to It can be a jungle out there…

  1. foguth says:

    Wish my plants looked half as good as yours! BTW, Diavolo looks very picturesque on that railing. If you like reading books about cats, would you be interested in doing an honest review in exchange for a free ebook?

    • mvaden1948 says:

      I love reading cat books and looked you up on Barnes and Noble a while back and read one of yours. Unfortunately chemo brain won’t let me remember which one. I think a short Purrsiedon (?sp) adventure. Loved it and even recommended you to my sister who loves cat books but buys real books.
      I appreciate your offer but right now I’m just not up to writing any reviews. But again, Jeanne, thank you for the offer.

      • foguth says:

        No problem! If you change your mind – or your sister is interested – let me know… Do hope that chemo will soon be history!

      • mvaden1948 says:

        My sister doesn’t own a computer. I keep telling her if she would just get a Nook and set up an account with the help of the Barnes and Noble staff we could share books. Nope, not interested.

      • foguth says:

        If rumors are true, B&N will be out of business in the next few years.
        I provide review copies through Smashwords because they offer a variety of download choices, including PDF, for those who don’t have readers or apps. BTW, if you’ve downloaded any of my titles through B&N, you’ve actually gotten the epub version from Smashwords 😉
        Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      • mvaden1948 says:

        That Barnes and Noble rumor has been around for at least 10 years that I know of. So far the store near me and their online presence seem to be doing okay.
        You have a wonderful weekend too. Hot here….high 80’s is a scorcher in Seattle.

      • foguth says:

        Our days tend to be low 90s with high humidity in the summer. Time will tell if the B&N rumors are true.


    • mvaden1948 says:

      Those just actually took over and grew themselves. They survived on benign neglect. I do use that water retaining potting soil from MiracleGro.
      Get that green thumb from my Dad….although he always refused to grow anything he couldn’t eat….except roses. He grew those for my Mom. Little did he know that you can eat roses.

  3. Glad plans are moving along positively. Very pleasant patio. I like the pine tree.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Thank you, Greg. That pine tree was just given to the friend who housed it for the month and a half it was gone. It really needed to be planted in the ground and he has a yard and I don’t. Actually he has a fabulous garden.

  4. Marilyn Richardson says:

    Wonderful that you are returning to Venice in March. I almost rented an apartment at Molino Stucky, so I would be very interested to know how that location works for you. Should be an easy trip across the canal to Zattare or San Marco area.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      I’m excited about it, Marilyn as I’ve never made it over to Giudecca and I’m looking forward to the new area to explore. I also love the location where you will be staying next month. Not long for you now!

  5. GoodDayRome says:

    Your results make me want to garden again! So excited for your March plans! We will, by then, be settled in a new house somewhere in the PNW and planning a trip to Europe in the fall. Sorry we’ll miss you, but maybe someday in Seattle. Good luck with the last bit of treatment. Your attitude is terrific!

  6. That patio is all kinds of wonderful! And Im hoping the acupuncture will work (saved my friend from terrible migraine, so Im keeping fingers crossed for you).

  7. mvaden1948 says:

    And for all my friends taking time to comment….I still don’t have the ability to “like” your posts but please consider them not just liked but loved.

  8. Shelley says:

    Wow ~ you’re nearly through it ~ awesome !! 🙂 Your balcony is a beautiful riot of colour and good cheer, and I especially love your very gorgeous Diavolo ornament. I’m so glad he’s feeling good and his little off patch was just one of those mysterious ‘cat things’. Fingers crossed you can feel your fingers better after the acupuncture. It’s a wonderful thing ~ my mum’s kitty has had acupuncture several times to sort out a dodgy hip/leg thing and it was quite miraculous. Baci ed abbracci from Ella and me!! x0

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Ciao bella and Ella,
      Yes, the chemo is nearly over if I don’t have to stop again. My hair is just beginning to grow back. I don’t know if it is a result of the acupuncture but I had more energy yesterday than I usually do on a Friday and since my laundry has been piling up I managed to get four loads done. Luckily the laundry room here is just across the hall. I have two acupuncture appointments this coming week. We’ll try twice a week for a while to see if I get relief.
      Pretty good for the woman who hates needles and doesn’t have any “real” tattoos….even in hidden areas. Unlike many of my generation.

  9. furbiziahs says:

    Your patio looks so beautiful!!! All these plants love the Venetian climate too, irisines and eucalyptus grow especially lush. Every spring, the Serra dei Giardini nursery looks and smells like paradise, especially in late March and April ☺

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie, Iris. It doesn’t look like that this year as you know I haven’t been up to caring for it. And wasn’t able to get to the garden center for plants. There is always next year.
      We are almost on the same latitude so it’s not wonder that similar plants thrive. We probably get more rain and less humidity in the summer.
      Looking forward to the beginning of spring in Venice next year.

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