Sunday, September 30, 2007

Snails, my garden’s #1 enemy-combatant

The last couple of weeks as I take back my garden, my number one task has been to round up and kill hundreds of snails. They have overtaken every inch of my garden, eating plants, even those they never touched before, like my bougainvilleas.
As I collect and kill all these snails a very troubling question comes to mind. What if these snails are a highly developed civilization and they see me as this all-powerful giant that has come to their home and is out to destroy their way of life? Oh my God, I could be committing genocide! After a few seconds of pondering this very troubling question, I decided that this is a much too complex question for my human brain to process. Snails
“are evil and they must be destroyed.” I must seek them out from their hiding places and kill every one of them. Their aim is to destroy my garden and I will not let them. I will stop at nothing until I kill every last one of them first.
As I extract this enemy combatant from my garden and become their judge, jury, and executioner, a second question comes to mind. What is the most humane way to kill them, since I don’t have a Guantanamo to ship them too? After all, these are God’s creatures. I can smash them with a hammer as I used to do but that seems a cruel and unusual punishment (and very messy) for a humanist like me to inflict on one of God’s creations. A bucket full of water is definitely a more humane solution to my snail problem.
As I write this posting tonight the third, most troubling, question comes to mind. What if in this vast universe of ours we are the snails in someone else’s garden?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

After the rain come the Rain Lilies

We had three days of constant rain and this morning I found the Rain Lilies in full bloom. The drought this year has not been kind to the Rain Lilies so far this summer this is the second time they bloomed.

Rain Lilies are great plants for lazy gardeners all you need to do is cut it back once a year and that’s it. It multiplies fast by forming offset bulbs so they are great to give as gift to friends, they also do very well in pots

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Look out the Sheriff is back in town

We are back in our home after two and half months of renovations. Last week we moved back and we been very busy putting our home back together again. My wife is a collector of many things, I told her people who collect should never move.

This weekend I dedicated a couple of hours early in the morning to the garden. Where do I begin?
While the gardener is away plants like the bougainvillea, the porter blue flower and many others take over the garden, the snails roam freely and eat at will and the weak plants die of starvation or lack of sun from the bullies in the garden.

The idea is to take back one section of the garden at a time. Step one prune and prune some more

Front of the house a total Bougainvillea take over

Surprise, surprise my bromeliads have flowers.

The side patio took a beating this is where the workers came in and out of the house. I I need to replace the pebbles and restore the fountain.
Plants running wild

My work area needs to be organize.


Next section the herbs and tomato garden.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Lizards are Army Strong

I have an Army of lizards in my garden working 24 – 7 keeping the garden free of bugs.
Over the years that I been gardening in Florida, I have come to the conclusion that my best friends in the garden are the hundreds of lizards I have thru out.

Lizards are very territorial, and they will eat any bugs that dare to come into their territory. They will fight or chase any other lizard that would intrude in their spot.
In my garden their only enemy are stray cats. Lately our city has been capturing all strays in our neighborhood (they are taken for adoption to the animal service department) I can definite notice an increase in the population of this wonderful reptile.

Lizards seem to know that I am very appreciative of the job they do, when I am working in the flowerbeds turning over the dirt they are not shy to be around me waiting to see what comes out of the ground.
What is so great about gardening is that not only are we part of growing beautiful plants we are also creating an ecosystem friendly to all, birds, lizards and even bugs.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Curb appeal for under $100

This weekend I worked on transforming the front of the house we are temporally living in, and making it more appealing to potential buyers. In previous posting I told you that my family and I moved to the house next door, while our home is been renovated. I promised the current owner that I would make the front of the house more buyer friendly(The House if for sale).
The idea was to use as much of the current plants as I could, and keep the work under $100 dollars.
First, I took out the large white bird of paradise blocking part of the view in the front of the house, and transplanted it to the back yard.
Second I cut back the Tricolor Ti and Trinette bushes. The Trinette is not a plant I care for but there were so many planted that it was a crime to take them all out.
Third I planted some Lantanas and Mexican Heather for color, these plants are great for Florida gardens they are drought resistant and do well in full sun. I also added Sage Grass and a Palm in a container from my garden.
Most of the cost was for pebbles, mulch and plastic border, the three full grown Lantanas were a little expensive, ordinarily I would buy smaller plants for my garden but we don’t have the time the realtor wants to do an open house next week