Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pollinator’s favorite flowers

The Cuban yellow buttercup flowers are one the pollinators favorite flowers in my garden.  These beautiful yellow flowers are consider invasive weeds by many gardeners.  They are not native to Florida, but come from the West Indies.  Some botanists believe that their seeds were carried to Florida by hurricane winds.  In my garden they arrived by way of birds or the wind and now I have volunteers everywhere. 
Bees, moths and butterflies love these flowers; they open in the morning and are done by early evening.  The sharp green leaves make it an attractive plant for the garden.  In some Caribbean countries the leaves are used for medicinal purposes, I also read that the buttercup plant is use as a companion plant by papaya farmers to avoid the sting of the fruit flies on the fruits.

This week at the DragonFly garden:

I mail ordered several packs of seeds for the vegetable garden this week and planted tomatoes, kale and Swiss chard seedlings.  The nursery where I get my seedlings is having issues with their distributor; apparently the weather is not cooperating.   

Blooms from the garden this week.

Day moon over Miami 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Time for planting

 This week I finished clearing the vegetable garden and adding compost to the soil.  Now comes the time to decide what to grow this season.  Last year was a bust overall and some of my choices did poorly like eggplant, broccoli and peppers. This year I’m giving these plants a break.

On the list of possible plants, I have spinach, kale, Swiss chard, green onions, lettuce, arugula and tomatoes.  Not all will end up in the garden; it’ll depend on what my local nursery will have for sale.  I also will try my luck with seeds, but my past success rate with seeds is not promising.  I will also plant herbs like basil, chives, dill, oregano and parsley.

This week at the DragonFly Garden.

Not much happened   in the garden this week, we had a wet week and much of the rain fell in the late afternoon, usually around the time when I was home after work.  The first hummingbird of the season visited the garden this week; I’m looking forward to take pictures of these little guys around the firebush tree.

This is a Long-tailed Skipper butterfly. These butterflies are not easy to photograph, they are fast and move around a lot, this one was in the mood yesterday and stay long enough for me to take some pictures.

New flower from the Elephant ears plant.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Pollinator habitat

Over the years I have added many plants in my garden that are pollinator friendly. I believe that we gardeners have a role to play in saving these very important contributors to our planet.  We all know the stories, bees are in trouble because of diseases and butterflies are on the decline because of the loss of habitat.  It is time for all us, no matter have small our gardens are, to take this very important cause on behalf of these defenseless creatures.
Today I am declaring that from now on, my garden will be a pollinator habitat.  This will mean no chemicals (I don’t use any), all new plants will be pollinator friendly, more native plants and less grass.  I will also be talking about pollinator friendly plants on all my blog postings.

This week at the DragonFly Garden.

There is always a plant in need of a haircut in my garden.  This week it was the Fire Dragon bush, it had taken over my side garden and it didn’t look good from inside the house.  In keeping with my new pollinator friendly policy, noticed the new purple salvia container next to the bench.

For more information on how to turn your garden into a pollinator habitat, check The Xerces Society website.