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April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!



I've not posted in a while...just been too darn busy.  Today seems like an appropriate day to share some of the beautiful visitors to my garden.  This cutie, a Flycatcher, has chosen a different birdhouse this year.  She usually nests in a box out front with the Bluebird population.



 "Close enough", she says.



Bluebirds are always welcome visitors.





A frequent guest for dinner!



Checking out an abandoned Wood Duck box...





A lovely Cardinal enjoying a shower in the vegetable garden.  We've been terribly dry so many birds are attracted by the sprinklers any time they're on.





This shy Ground-Dove has found itself a quiet, shady spot to get a drink of water.



Sandhill Cranes are also welcome in our yard.  He can have all the grubs he can hold, with my blessing.




My Mexican Flame Vine hasn't slowed down for two years.  I originally put it behind the vegetable garden to cover a pile of firewood, but, oh my, it's taken over!  I hope it continues as it draws in so many butterflies!  We often just hang out in the veggie garden to see what's visiting  our vine.



Monarchs


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


Gulf Fritillary

  

The Gulf Fritillaries love this Passion Vine that is also planted by the veggie garden, so I expect to see it being consumed by caterpillars any day.



I'm going to close with just a couple photos around the garden.  Then...I'm going to catch up on some of my favorite Florida garden bloggers!  

















Happy Earth Day...Happy Gardening!



December 20, 2016


December has been a lovely, warm month in Florida.  Flowers are still in bloom and butterflies are everywhere!  Although some annual flowers are gone, the pollinators are visiting whatever's available.  I've been noticing Gulf  Fritillaries hanging around the Turk's Cap and wondered how they were able to get to the nectar.

  

If you look closely, you can see its proboscis - long flexible tongue - sliding between the petals.



They're after this...sweet nectar, that I also sipped from Turk's Cap as a child.    



The Mexican Flame Vine is attracting many pollinators, including Woodland Skippers.



Gulf Fritillary



Another pollinator magnet still blooming is my Tractor Seat plant.  Polka Dot Wasp Moths are beautifully colored.



Skippers



Zebra Longwings



One of my favorite plants for the shade garden.



The first Japonica Camellia to bloom is my variegated 'Laura Walker'.



A late blooming Sasanqua Camellia, 'Hima Jiman'.



A few pictures of my 'girls'.







I'll say good-bye for now...Merry Christmas to all my gardening friends and visitors.














November 23, 2016

Fabulous Fall


If you're looking for a cool, autumnal place to celebrate Thanksgiving, don't come to Florida.  Sunshine and eighty degree days are what we're looking forward to for the next few weeks, and I couldn't be happier.  Oh yes, it's quite dry - but the continued warmth is a beautiful thing!  Camellias are blooming, while summer flowers are still holding on, much like last year when winter was almost nonexistent.  This Sasanqua Camellia, Stephanie Golden', is in a mixed Camellia border that's just three years old.  They were purchased as tiny, single stemmed plants.



"Stephanie Golden'



A lighter shade of pink, 'Cotton Candy'.



'Snow-on-the-Mountain'.



Across the yard, another young Sasanqua, 'Alabama Beauty'.



This large, tree sized Sasanqua is nearing the end of its' bloom, but most have just begun to show off. Japonica Camellias will probably begin blooming next month.  So much to look forward to!



Out front, Thryallis shrubs look as cheerful as they have since spring.  They've been pruned hard twice this year as they have a tendency to get leggy, but always return with bountiful blooms.



Roses by the porch...



 My Blackberry Lily has gone to seed.  I was hoping to see some birds feasting on them, but they are too busy devouring the berries from the Firebush plants in the same area.



Flowering earlier this year...

'

Around back, in the shade gardens, 'Tractor Seat' plant is brightening up an area...





It's been a tad warm for a fall vegetable garden, but the cooler nights seem to be bringing it on.  We've enjoyed radishes daily.



I always look forward to the tiny head forming in the center of the cabbage.  At that point, I feel like they're going to make it.  I've also got broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, and greens planted.  My chickens are thrilled each time I thin my veggie rows.


Until next time...

Happy Thanksgiving!