May 28, 2016

Gardens Attract The Best Visitors

Gardens bring rewards in addition to beautiful  blooms, fresh food, and a healthier body.  As we provide shelter and nourishment for birds and butterflies, we receive the joy of viewing some of nature's loveliest creations close up.  The garden is never more alive and enchanting than when you step into it and see butterflies dancing across the top of blooms.  My Pagoda Flowers have been luring Zebra Longwing butterflies in for weeks.

Pagoda Flowers also entice our smallest feathered friends...a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

My bed of Zinnias is where the butterflies are always cavorting.  I can see about half this border from my kitchen window and it's lovely to watch them fluttering from flower to flower.  A Gulf Fritillary...

This Buckeye butterfly is one of the first I've seen this season...

And these little guys, I don't know that I've ever seen them before.  A pair of tiny Fiery Skippers.

This next photo is also a Skipper, Horace's Duskywing.

There have been a lot of Spicebush Swallowtails in the garden also, but they are probably the most nervous butterflies I've ever seen.  This one finally sat for half a second...

Male, Ruby-throated Hummingbird on magenta  'Wendy's Wish' Salvia.

A 'mama' Eastern Bluebird nesting for the second time this season.

Another female Ruby-throated Hummingbird dining on a Hardy Red Gloxinia.  I've been spreading this plant around my shade gardens as it just has the look of  what a hummingbird would want.

Everything is still blooming with wild abandon, although our full sun, rainless days are rushing the blooms toward decline quicker than I would like.  Daylilies, agapanthus, and roses...

Gaura doesn't mind the heat, it sheds it's blooms at the end of each day and begins anew each morning.

Sunny in the morning...

The only shady spot in my front gardens in the afternoon.

I hope you're all having a great weekend...happy gardening.

May 22, 2016

Late Spring Garden ~ Central Florida

Hell-o to all!  Spring has been altogether lovely this year in Central Florida.  We've had a mix of true spring-like weather, along with some typical, sultry Florida days.  My plan today was to do a post about all my different hydrangeas, but I got side tracked.  I started a new flower bed last fall, which consisted mainly of moving a lot of pots out of one area.  My goal was to have an orange and blue bed, with Pagoda Flowers, Mexican Firebush, and Hydrangeas.  Looking from my new bed to my older Hydrangeas...this is the effect I'm looking for.

Pagoda flowers and hydrangeas...

I'm starting to achieve it on a very small scale with Mexican Firebush and hydrangeas.

The hydrangeas are not quite a year old,  they're the ones I started from cuttings last June.

The 'mother' plants.

The new bed has a long way to go, but I'm a patient gardener.

Anyway, I started following around a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly this morning, and realized I have better things to post about than Hydrangeas in shade on to something new.  Shade gardens will keep, but right now spring has presented me with a lavish display of beautiful blooms to share, and they won't last forever.  Agapanthus could only get better by being adorned by a lovely visitor.

One of the two 'Red Leaf Plum' trees we planted last fall.  My front gardens were lacking in plants with height after we lost our Dogwoods, so these will serve that purpose without getting too large. 

A look at a slice of the garden behind the front fence.  Notice the height of the Agapanthus in the foreground...they're amazing this year.

I don't know if you can see it, but my white Crinum is blooming.

Trapped behind rose canes.

Another visitor to the garden, a Great Crested Flycatcher, who is nesting in a birdhouse out back.

Red 'Challenger', and yellow 'Lemon' daylilies.  Oranges to follow soon.


Looking back toward the house, to the rose garden...

Zinnias, by the front walkway, with Coneflowers grown from seed.  Waiting (patiently) for the Purple Coneflowers to bloom.

Thryallis is just beginning to bloom, and anything yellow is most welcome now.

Thank you all for visiting my garden.  Please come again.

May 18, 2016

A Few Of My Favorite Things...

The gardens were completely refreshed by the beautiful deluge from the skies yesterday.  I took this photo of a Hyacinth Bean flower with storm clouds as a background.  I planted the inside of my vegetable garden with a variety of summer vines this spring and some are just beginning to show color...

Besides a quite pretty bloom, this vine will produce attractive purple beans later on.

Morning Glory vines are in the mix, and this is the first bloom.  I'm still waiting on Cardinal Climber and Moonflower vines to bloom.

It was a great day to get a photo of the 'Iceberg' rose out front as white  pops when it's nearly dark outside.

'Louis Philippe' rose in the background.

Gaura lindheimeri,  daylilies and three favorite plants for my full sun gardens.

Other daylilies earlier in the day...

This 'Red Hot' Hibiscus, which is grown more for the foliage than the flower, is blooming.

Another first bloom for this season, a wild hibiscus...

Just some pretty out front, then I've got a couple things to share in the shade garden.

My 3 favorite plants for my full sun garden...daylilies, agapanthus, and gaura lindheimeri.

The agapanthus are providing a lot of blue for the garden, even though very few of the flowers have actually opened completely.  They have a long way to go, so I'll just enjoy.

Back in the shade gardens my 'Gold Dust' ginger is blooming...without leaves, but that's not unusual for some gingers.

The other surprise is 'Silver Diamonds' Ginger is doing the same thing...probably the closest I'll get to having an orchid.

Shade garden...

I have 3 Tibouchinas...they all came off the clearance rack at Lowe's the same day, a couple years ago.  One gets full sun, the other half day sun, and this one gets only a whisper of sun, but they all bloom.  You can't complain about a shrub that performs like that.

Thanks for visiting...have a great day.