Sunday, July 03, 2016

My garden on steroids

Is that time of the year when the South Florida weather makes our gardens look like they are on steroids.  If you seat outside long enough you can see the grass grow.  This is when the garden needs us the must, but sadly all we can do is sit inside our comfortable air condition homes and watch. I tried to give my garden a couple of hours every week, early on Saturday mornings, but by 9:00 am I am done and the AC is calling me home. 

While I wait for cooler months, I spend the time inside my home planning future projects for the garden like:

A new potting bench for my working area.

 I want to move my cactus and succulent collection to the front of the house and turn this area into a kitchen garden, all in containers.  (I am not totally convinced if I will go through with this project)

In this corner in the front of the house, I want to take out the grass and expand the cactus garden.

I have not decided what to do with my old vegetable garden.  It has been clear for some time that vegetable and herbs are not suited for this area of the garden during the winter months.   
 Stay tune.


I harvested my bananas.

I continue to experiment with my macro lens.

A new visitor to the garden this week, the tiny Cassius Blue butterfly. 


Ps - I am taking a few weeks off from the blog, I will see you soon.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hundreds of bees

The bees returned to the Firebush, this morning I was standing next to the tree and I could hear the buzzing of hundreds of bees flying from flower to flower.   Our summer bees are our year around residents; during the winter we get many professional bee keepers bringing in many hives from up north to pollinate the winter vegetables.   By this time of the year they are all gone and we depend on our local bees to do the job.  For the last couple of months, I was concerned with the lack of bees in the garden, but today it looked like normal times.  

The Zebra and Julia butterflies are also plentiful and enjoying the Firebush.

FYI the Firebush is the perfect pollinator tree, popular with bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  I noticed that our local highway department (MDX) is planting many of these trees in the medium and on the side of the road.  Kudos to MDX for bringing more color to our highways while helping our pollinators.

The container and the dog was a gift for father’s day.  Today I headed to my local nursery to find a plant, I found this pineapple lily or aloha lily.  This is the first time I see this plant around here and it had to come home with me.

I also got a Micro lens for my Nikon camera for my birthday (I had a busy week, birthday this week and father’s day tomorrow.   I am practicing my close-up photos. 


Monday, June 06, 2016

Summer replacement.

Every year as summer approaches, must of my annuals died of heat stroke.  Over the years I found that the best summer substitute for full sun areas are the moss rose and the purslane.  These colorful plants are also great ground cover; they bloom all summer long and don’t mind our harsh summer weather.  

I love Elephant Ears plants and the Black Magic Elephant Ears are my favorite.  I been looking for this plant for a while and last week I found one in my local Home Depot store.  

This Orange Geiger tree was a gift from my local government (their efforts to promote native trees).  I like the combination of the olive leaves and the orange flowers, it is one the most attractive flowering tree in my collection. The Geiger tree has two negatives; first it drops all the leaves in the fall creating a mess, and second the white golf ball size fruits drop during the summer.  The ripen fruits do not have a pleasant odor.  

Tomato Hornworms attacked my Angel’s Trumpet plant.  Last week this plant was full of flowers (see my last post) Sunday I discovered this terrorist eating away at my plant.  I did not know that Hornworms found Angels Trumpets appetizing.     

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A peaceful and safe Memorial Day weekend to all

I am taking the weekend off from my gardening duties, the weatherman is forecasting rain the entire weekend.   The Angel's Trumpet are in bloom, a sign that the the forecast is going to be on target.  This morning the rain stayed away and the light was perfect for some photos.  This afternoon tropical storm Bonnie is bringing some storms our way.

I hope you all have a happy, safe and peaceful Memorial Day weekend and remember to thank the veterans for whom we celebrate this holiday.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Dragonflies are back

Summer is here and so are the Dragonflies.  I love to watch these creatures fly around the garden, they are usually found near wetlands, but I like to believe that they know, that this is their garden.  Dragonflies are fast fliers and like a good predator they pose in high places and wait for the right moment to strike. They feed on small flying insects like mosquitoes, this year they are especially welcome.  Florida has declared a war on mosquitoes, so the more Dragonflies the better.    

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The new gate to heaven.

Two weeks ago, the old gate in the front of the house came down after many years of service.  It was not totally unexpected, since the old gate dated back to 1992. I contracted my son in law, an independent fine carpenter and I asked him to surprise me.   The design blew me away, the new gate totally changed the look of the front garden and now I have a new gate for the next fifty years.   

This week at the DragonFly Garden

The summer blooms are coming in fast as the weather turns hotter and humid.  This is the time when the cactus, orchids and bougainvilleas bloom regularly.

You know the summer has arrived, when the Rangoon Creeper is in full bloom.

 I never get tired of taking pictures of butterflies in the garden, this one is a Julia