Thursday, April 30, 2009

New visitors to the garden

This Checkered White butterfly came to the garden this week. Is rare to see this butterfly in my garden, their usual habitats are cultivated fields, roadsides, and weed lots.

This Rock Dove is common in city parks but this is the first time one comes to the DragonFly.

Update on the Owls: The Screech owl is gone, I didn’t get to see the baby fly out of the nest, mother and baby left in the middle of the night. I hope she'll come back next year.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

End of the vegetable growing season

This weekend I cleaned out my small vegetable patch and except for a cherry tomato plant that continues to produce and the white Vidalia onions, everything else ended up in the compost bin.

This was another disappointing year for my tomato plants. The fruits were small and few.

I tried onions for the first time and as you can see it was a bust. I planted the onions around Christmas and so far all I see is one onion. (My farming ancestors are probably turning in their graves!)
I am not giving up just yet. Tomorrow I am heading out to my local library to check out any book I can find on the "mysteries" of vegetable gardening in South Florida.

On the positive side, the herbs are doing well and probably will last for another couple of months.

Unless my wife cooks up a storm and uses them all!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth day at the DragonFly garden

To all my gardener-friends, "Happy Earth Day!" Here is my contribution to Earth Day. This weekend I purchased two 50-gallon rain barrels and a compost bin at BJ's Wholesale Club.

I will be connecting the rain barrels later this week.

My wife and I are serious about composting and NOTHING will be wasted from the garden or the kitchen!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Meet some of the new residents of the DragonFly garden

The Black Swallowtail caterpillars are back and this time they are feasting on my milkweed plant. I hope there are enough plants to maintain them all.
This red-bellied woodpecker has a nest somewhere in the garden and she is not happy that I am taking her picture. As you can see, she is making quite a ruckus.

Mr. Spider has constructed his house in this corner of the garden. Personally, I think spider webs are living art.

And finally, this Dragonfly has come "home" to roost at the Dragonfly Garden. Here she is, checking out the scenery from the top of one of my hollyhock plants. Perfect!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 15 GBBD and Tax Day

Here is what’s blooming at the DragonFly Garden on tax day.

These three kalanchoe plants are new, replacing older plants that didn’t make through the winter.

All my begonias are blooming this spring

The pinwheel jasmine flowers opened this week, in time for GBBD.

The ground orchids have been blooming all year.

Queen palm, a favorite of bees

The moss roses, a colorful summer ground covers around here.

The plumeria is beginning its summer blooms

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finally the garden project is finished

After four months working on the garden by the north side of the house, the job is done. When I started four months ago all I wanted to do was to get rid of the two bougainvillea bushes and replaced the rotting fence and gate. The project expanded and I end up adding pavers and a new fountain. I wanted a courtyard look, that would look nice from the inside of the house, I also added a garden shed.
I considered an iron gate and fence for this area, but after much consideration I decided to go with a wooden fence. It gives my urban garden more privacy and security. In the two containers by the door I planted Italian Cypresses, I am hoping they will grow nicely and anchor the entrance.

This is what this area looked before.
I relocated my entire collection of bromeliads to the front of the house, they are all sun loving and this area gets plenty of sun in the afternoon.

This is the view from inside the house, everyone in the family is happy with the new view

The red plant is the fire dragon; the leaves resemble a Japanese maple. The fire dragon is a sun loving plant, and now this area gets plenty of sun after removing the bougainvilleas bushes.

View of the garden from front to back.

Looking at the garden from the back of my property, the Mexican flame vine was in full bloom last week.

I am very excited about my new garden shed; you can’t call yourself a gardener without a shed.

My new potting area, now I can stand up while working on my pots.


Wishing you and your family the blessings of this Easter season

Sunday, April 05, 2009

This weekend at the DragonFly Garden

I didn't do much gardening this weekend since I decided to take the weekend off and work on my tax return. (For those of you outside the U.S., April 15 is the last date Americans have to file last year's federal income tax return.) Believe me, I'd rather be gardening!

Between breaks I managed to pull some weeds, potted a couple of orchids, and took some great pictures.
This butterfly was laying eggs on my milkweed plant; the little white eggs are all over the plant but too small for my camera to capture.

I found this young opossum asleep in an empty container in the back garden; unfortunately, this little guy had to go. I know that they are good critters for gardens but they also are carriers of rabies and my dog Rosie was going nuts when she discovered it. My daughter and I managed to cover the container and then relocated this little one to a wild sanctuary near my home. I left it there, container and all, realizing that I shouldn't disturb it.

My white hollyhock flowers have run the course but I have plenty of seeds. If anyone would like some free seeds, send me an email with your address and I will mail you some.