Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Who has been eating my yellow cherry tomatoes? Answer the Gray Catbird.
Apparently this cute little guy doesn’t like birdseeds; he prefers the delicacy of juicy cherry tomatoes (who can blame him) I don’t mind sharing as long as he doesn’t bring all his friends.

The catbird is a winter resident in Florida, around this time of the year they start heading north to their breeding grounds which covers most of the eastern and mid section of the US and Southern Canada. The catbird is best known for its ”mewing” cat like sounds usually heard when the bird is agitated. Getting pictures of these birds is difficult they usually stay hidden in heavy brush, last year I had several living in my Rangoon Creeper bush, it was a nice treat seen all them bathing in the bird bath late in the afternoons.
The pictures were taken from inside the house and are very good quality

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weeds are the cockroaches of the plant world

No matter what you do they keep on coming. My current approach to weeds is don’t use chemicals and pull them out one by one. As you can see that approach is not working very well, I only have two hands and not very much leisure time. The way I see it I have three options.
1-Live with it, this is Florida and weeds are part of the landscape. My problem is that I am a neat freak and this approach will eat at my insides,
2-Kill the bastards use every chemical known to man to take them out. I couldn’t live with myself; I would be killing every other good organism in the garden and polluting the aquifer.
3 – Continue to pull them one by one even if my arthritic hands are telling me to stop.
What do you do?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am back in the garden.

Today I was able to put in a full day of gardening. I took Benadril in the morning and with the help of gloves and a mask, it did the trick. I like to thank everyone that commented on my last blog entry and for all the good suggestions.

My main task today was to clean and upgrade all the flowerbeds in the backyard where the Easter party will be held next week (so far we have 25 RSVP and more are coming) Yesterday I stopped at Home Depot to restock on some of the plants I lost during the winter freeze and to buy plenty of mulch to slow down the weeds.

I replaced this Sword fern with a Mexican petunia and planted the fern in a container.

This area needed more mulch; the Impatiens on the bench will hold on for another couple of weeks, the afternoon sun is getting too strong for them.

This is my begonia corner; the giant white begonia in the back is beginning to bloom, I added a red begonia to replace one that I lost this winter. This area requires a lot of weeding; I am hoping that the extra mulch will hold them back.

My butterfly garden needed a major overhaul, I purchased 5 Milkweed plants, (A Monarchs butterfly was laying eggs as I was planting them) I also added Mexican heather, dwarf Ixora and Crown of Thorns, all butterfly and bee friendly.

A nice surprise, I found this orchid blooming behind the Staghorn fern.

Finally, to all the Jewish gardener in blog land, I hope you all have a Happy Passover..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Allergies and gardening don’t mix

Is that time of the year again; allergy time. For the last few days I had been having severe allergy attacks. Working in the garden is out of the question, I barely can go outside to water my plants, as soon as I spend a few minutes outdoors my eyes get all red and itchy, and I get a sneezing attack.
I am hoping to do some work outside this weekend. I have to prepare the garden for our annual family Easter party. I am hoping that an over the counter medicine can help. Do you have any suggestions?

Monday, March 15, 2010

GBBD for February 15

Color is coming back to the DragonFly, the garden is waking up after several weeks of continuous freezing weather.

This week the Mexican flame vine is in full bloom.

The roses are beginning their winter blooms, this year I’m putting some of my rose bushes in pots and keeping them out of the sunny spots. I am hoping to keep them blooming during the hot summer months.

Petunias are my favorite winter color; these plants take our cold weather with no problem, even the low temperatures this year. I have several pots and hanging baskets around the garden, they give the garden a happy look.

Finally the lobelia, this basket was a gift from friend. The flowers are small, the color is stunning, and the bees love them.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A weekend out on the town.

This weekend my wife and I decided to take some RR out on the town. The weather was excellent for outside activities. We had a perfect chamber of commerce weekend with temperatures from the low 40 at night to the mid sixties in the afternoon, and beautiful sunny days.

Yesterday we decided to bike over to our local U-pick farm located near our home. On the way we started with breakfast at Penera restaurant (my favorite coffee shop) later we stopped by the U-pick field. Unfortunate the selection was not very good; most of the crops were damaged by the last freeze. We picked strawberries and purchased tomatoes.

These strawberries should be ready to pick in a couple of weeks

This is the guardian of the fields.

That’s me looking at the bees in the flowers.

Today we drove to the town of Pinecrest located in the southern part of the county. The town was celebrating their annual festival “A taste of Pinecrest” at Pinecrest garden. This garden used to be the old Parrot Jungle tourist attraction. The city purchased the land a few years ago when the park moved to different location and opened the park to the public, keeping the old jungle atmosphere.
This is my first time in the garden, I was very impressed with the way the city has maintain the park, some of the trees on the property date back the 30’s when the Parrot Jungle tourist attraction was established.

The city holds a weekly farmers market on the property during the winter months.

There was lots of fun stuff for the kids and plenty of food from local restaurants for the adults.

There is very little activity at the DragonFly, I am waiting for the all clear from the weatherman before I start planting new plants in my garden. This year has been for the record books around here..

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I am back in the garden, and so is the oxalis weed.

After a two week Winter Olympic break I am back in my garden, unfortunate during my absent the oxalis weeds took over the entire garden.

There are two things I hate about gardening in South Florida, snails and oxalis weeds. I have come to the conclusion that the war on the oxalis weed is not winnable. They get into every corner of the garden, pulling it out becomes a full time job with very little results.

I don’t know about you, but when I see weeds in my garden it feels like the garden is dirty and it’s my responsibility to clean it out, (Now I understand my mother’s obsession with a clean house) and so the war goes on, winnable or not.