Friday, December 27, 2019

The DragonFly Garden 2019, a year in review

January -  New glass art, all over the garden.  All these colorful battles came from my Dad's collection.  

February -  The mango trees were in full of blooms

March - My bromeliad collection continues to grow.

April - Angels Trumpets were in full bloom.

May -  More butterflies were all around in the springtime. I added many butterfly-friendly plants.

June -  The first mangos of the season were harvested in June

July - Another change to the garden this year was the addition of many orchid plants, all added to trees all over the garden.  Most of the plants came from my Dad's garden.

August -  A disappointing Dragon fruit harvest this year.

September -  The first-ever Avocados were picked at the DragonFly garden. 

October - The snowbirds arrived in the garden this month.

November - I added more colorful croton plants.

December - Starfruits were ready to harvest this month.

From the DragonFly garden, I hope you all have a healthy and happy NEW YEAR

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The best Christmas gift, a meditation garden

This past year, my youngest and single daughter purchased a ground floor condominium that came with a neglected outside patio.  She turned the inside of the condo into a beautiful home, the outside was always my responsibility.  The decision for a Christmas gift was an easy one this year, do the garden I promised her when she got the condominium.  She wanted a low maintenance garden, a place to meditate, to sit and relax with a cup of coffee.      

This is the before picture.  Taking the white rocks out was the hardest part of the job.  I wanted to paint the walls but the condo association would not give me permission.

The birdbath, containers and some of the plants came from my dad's old garden.  This garden is surrounded by large trees that provide lots of shade, so bromeliads from my garden were the best choice.

A garden statue will go in this corner of the garden, unfortunate it did not make it on time for the holidays.

I found these stepping stones in my dad's garden, he had painted flowers on all the stone.  The color of the flowers had faded, so with a little paint, they came back alive again.  It makes me happy to see that part of my father's garden continues in my daughter's new place.

From my family to yours Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The different colors of Croton plants

I was never a fan of Croton plants but lately, I have come to love them.   Five years ago my daughter purchased a townhouse with a garden full of croton, she was not a fan of the plants like me and pulled most of them out.  I took a few home and planted them around the garden.  The colors these plants bring to the garden in full sun is magnificent, I am now a collector.  Who needs flowers with colors like this? 

Flowers in the garden this week

The star fruits are ready for harvesting. It is interesting how this tree has full-grown fruits in the bottom and flowers on top. 

Future projects:  This corner of the garden is overgrown, it has been nearly a year since I did this area ( see what it looked like last January )

Today was time to clean the water fountain

I would like to wish you and your families a happy, safe and healthy Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 03, 2019

The birds are back in town

Is that time of the year when the garden and the birdfeeder gets busy with our feather friends flying in for the winter season.

This Mucking bird is a year-round resident, one of his favorite treats are the seeds from the bird of paradise tree.

Cardinals are also year-round residents of Florida, but for some reason, we don't see too many during the summer months.  This male has a girlfriend hanging around.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Blue Jays don't like sharing the water fountain or the birdfeeder

The Painted Buntings are the stars of the winter season, this is the fourth year they have been regulars in my garden.  Last year we had several males and females.  So far this year these two are the only ones.  These birds are a bit skittish, so all the photos are taken from inside the house and the quality is not that good.

This picture of a Cat Bird was taken with my new iPhone, I was surprised it let get so close.

With the arrival of more birds, we also get more preditors.  No worries we subscribe to the Blue Jay's alarm system.
There are many other birds visiting the garden, but with the thick vegetation is hard to get their pictures.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Forty-six years of living

This is the Florida home where my parents lived for the last 46 years.  My mother passed away a month ago and my father eighteen months before.  They both lived long lives, my dad to the age of 104 and my mom to 96 years of age.  They were both very lucky to have lived and died in the home they loved so much.  This is the only house my parents owned in this country & I lived there for the first five years before I got married.  This is the home my girls grew up visiting their grandparents when they were kids.  This is also the home where I first discovered that gardening was a thing and I really enjoyed it.
I am now in the process of undoing 46 years of living. I always knew that this moment was going to be difficult.  Going through my parents' possessions and deciding what to do with them is very hard.  This week I had a realtor friend come to evaluate the property and to give me some selling pointers.  One of the things he suggested was to spruce up the garden.  I can do that; one last time for my parents since they loved the garden as much as the house.
 This house was built in 1957 & during all this time it has had only two owners, the original owners, and my parents.  Not much has changed to the outside of the house since 1957. The inside and the neighborhood has seen many changes.  I hope the new owners will take good care of her.    

 There used to be a big avocado tree there before a hurricane took care of it.
 The big tree is a Sapodilla tree (Nispero in Spanish) This tree was my parents' pride and joy.  They loved the fruits and the shade from this tree.
I helped my Dad build this gazebo when we first moved in.  After living for 10 years in New England he loved the idea of having a gazebo in the garden.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

October is here, changes are in the air

October brings changes to South Florida, the mornings are cooler and the days have less humidity.  Perfect weather for gardening.  

Pictures from the garden
One of my favorite bromeliad flowers,

I have orchids planted on all my trees, sometimes the flowers are a surprise.

A sign of autumn in my garden, the leaves on the ground from my Plumeria tree.

My star fruit tree is full of flowers, you can see the little fruits growing

My garden cat on the prowl, looking for lizards. 

Dinner time at the DragonFly garden

The first Painted Bunting arrived for the winter season.  This is a female, last year we had three males and four females at the feeder all winter long.