Sunday, July 29, 2007

A New Garden Bed

A couple of weeks ago, Beth from Morning Glories was sweet enough to tag me for the "Seven Random Things About Me" meme. Being the slacker that I am, I never go to it. I intended to, but you know how things get. If I did this list, one of the items on it would have been, "All of my plants and gardens are in the backyard. I have virtually nothing in the front." (Others would have been "Motorized garden tools scare me and I try not to use them." and "My first houseplant was named Edie and I had her for 12 years.") The biggest reason is that I simply do not spend much time in the front yard. My pool is in the back, with the fire pit and bar, and my daughter's play house. Lots of reasons to be in the back, none to be in the front. Well, that has now changed. Since my neighbor has insisted that we interact more socially, I've decided to create a garden bed in the front yard:
My reasons for this are two-fold: 1. I am a moron. This is the absolutely worst time of the year to plant anything, much less a whole garden bed. 2. If I didn't plant the oleander soon, it would die. I don't do well with potted things. Note dead camellia I bought at the convention under the window in the first picture. If Mother Nature doesn't help me, a plant's days are numbered. So I started digging sod last weekend. Today I planted the oleander. I also planted a few vincia cuttings in the front of the bed. I'll add elephant ears, caladiums and white irises. It is definitely a work in process, but should be up and going by next may.

Helpful Hint: Don't use rocks as mulch. It will make the future owners of your home hate you when they want to change the garden bed.

Green Thumb Sunday

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

A new bloom

Remember my Butterfly Ginger bud? It is a bud no more! Isn't it pretty? This plant didn't bloom last year, so this has been two years in the waiting. My Monster said it smelled "very sweet." I tried hard to smell it, but alas, nothing. It looks like it smells good, huh? I looovveess it .

More info on Gingers

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ahhhh, That is Not a Butterfly.

A very funky looking spider on a pink Guara plant in the butterfly garden.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Garden Update: Shed Garden

Something is eating one of the banana leaves in front of the shed. I should be upset, but instead I was fascinated by the pattern of the holes. Exclamation points above sitting Buddhas? This is either the Rorshach test of the plant world or this plant's attempt at a Warhol.

Garden Updates: Corner Garden

The corner garden has filled in nicely. Does anyone want some sweet potato vine? Drive by my house, I'll throw you a bag of cuttings. I've been doing it to total strangers for a week now.

Garden Update: Pool Garden

I am probably most disapointed by the pool garden. The purple heart is taking over and getting leggy. My bananas are still turning yellow and my cannas are starting to have a yellow tinge, too. The cannas are blooming however, as well the hybiscus, which you can just barely see in the middle of the picture. The above plant is very dependable to look beautiful on even the hottest days. I thought it was called portaluce, but I must be spelling it wrong because I can't find anything on the Internet.

GARDEN UPDATES: Butterfly Garden

The butterfly garden is looking a bit parched and definitely overgrown, but the butterflies seem to love it as there were ton of them there today. Unfortunately, they were all cracked out on Lantana juice and not interested in posing for my picture. A butterfly flew right in front of me when I tried to take this picture of this Mexican Petunia. All my pictures of the butterflies are just orange sploches.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


After lots of rain, a rainbow formed over my pool garden this evening.

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable
as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment
of the rainbow which I have clutched. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rainy Day Report

It is currently pouring in my garden - yay! I don't have to water tonight! In celebration, I offer you some pics I took over the weekend of some garden blooms.
My canna are finally blooming! Since I planted a big bag-o-canna, the colors were a mystery until now. I was hoping this one would be more pink, but it came up coral. Not too bad - I'll keep it. I really like the yellow one. Note that my beautiful crinum lilies are still blooming away in the background. I've restrained myself from posting a bunch more pictures of them.
Passion Flower. I LOVE this flower. Nice and weird, just how I like everything in my life. I just wish these crazy flowers were more plentiful.
Another Stargazer Lily. Do you like my daughter's found art installation? It is tentatively called 'Fire in the Sky, Grounded.'

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Love Thy Neighbor

We live next to old man who lives by himself with his dogs and will talk your ear off any chance he gets. It makes a trip to the mailbox an hour an hour journey. But he has always been nice enough and the only neighbor who has made any effort to be friendly with us, so we try to chat with him, especially my husband. The Old Man (unfortunately, we’ve never caught his name, and this point we are too embarrassed to ask) tries to garden. His heart is just not in it. He gardens because he has a yard, and feels a yard should have plants. He’s got bushes and ornamental trees lined up on his lawn like you would find in a nursery. He tries, but you often hear him cursing the gardening gods while raking or digging another hole. Anyway, some of his trees are beautiful pink oleanders, and after some Internet research told me they were easy to root from cuttings, I went over there and asked the Old Man him for some. He generously allowed me to take whatever cuttings I wanted. I was looking for a time where I could get out early in the morning to take them and I was planning on today. My husband comes into the house asking “Were did the oleander come from?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t cut any yet, did he cut some for me?”
“No, come see this . . ,”

It was a whole tree!! The Old Man said he didn’t plant this one initially because it had caterpillars. He nursed it back to health (a.k.a., doused it in pesticides) but decided he liked the three trees in his yard and didn’t feel he needed another one. I believe his exact words were “I’m not planting any more damn trees! I’m done! Hope you like it.” I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but I’m so excited and touched at how nice he was. My hon said it was a not so subtle hint to not cut his trees. I think he’ll be getting a pot of sweet potato vine, whether he wants it or not!

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

New Buds in the Garden

This is a Stargazer Oriental Lily growing in the butterfly garden. It is beautiful and I plan to add many more of these in this garden next year. I really like the fly in the picture. But like a bad parent, I've been neglecting the pretty lily for other plants that just a little more interesting to me.

Now this is exciting! Totally made my day. See, my butterfly ginger appears to have a bud. This is first I've seen and I'm so happy. More pictures to come, I promise!

This the first canna to bud in the corner garden. Since I bought the bulbs in a big Bag o' Canna, I'm not sure what color it is. Could be orange or pink. Since this plant is very close to the Crinum lilies, I'm hoping for pink.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Butterflies at the Butterfly Rainforest

We went to the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History today. My husband and daughter may have been there for the butterflies, but I was all about the plants. The have successfully created a beautiful, inviting garden to contain literally a gazillion butterflies. I'll be studing these photos carefully.

I really like the plant in the foreground that looks like giant nasturium leaves.

I don't know what kind of plant this but I really love it.

Oh yeah, there butterflies there too. Lots. We had to avoid stepping on them.
Wait a minute. They are doing the nasty! In broad daylight! In front of children!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Happy 4th of July!!!

While we weren’t able to have the big blowout we were hoping to have for the 4th, we were able have some family over, mostly because they were kind enough to bring over most of the food!! And of course, after months of drought, we woke up to RAIN!!

A big bummer, but it cleared up by about 7pm, just in time for the fireworks. Now, in Florida, fireworks are illegal for private displays unless you are using them to scare away birds for “agricultural purposes.” Now, I have noticed a lot of birds in the garden lately. It must be a huge problem because they were selling fireworks on every street corner. On the 4th the problem must have totally got out of control because the entire neighborhood decided to scare away the birds that night. First we'll smoke 'em out:
Actually it was very cool. My monster would set off a firework and then the neighbor then another neighbor. Everyone at each party would drunkenly cheer and it would become a competition to see who could shoot off the best fireworks and who could cheer the loudest. Add to that that we were only a few miles from the cities display so we can see and hear those through the trees and the countless other yards setting off their own shows. The result is near constant explosions for several hours. If you closed your eyes, you really could imagine some Revolutionary war battles going on.
My husband lit all of the fireworks in front of the butterfly garden. I'll be picking out debris for weeks. These are some he lit:

Here is a glipse of the big, city fireworks behind the trees.

The kids enjoyed the sparklers.

Interestingly, I don’t think this picture is blurry. It is exactly how it looked to me that night. What was in that punch, anyway?
The pool garden (that big blue spot is the pool) looks amazing lit up at night. I'll have to work on taking sober pictures in the evening.

Let just say the birds were scared shitless.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Which is Scarier?

Which one of these guys is scarier?

I can't decide. They were both found near the butterfly garden, just a few feet away from each other.

After seeing how quickly this slug munched on these leaves, I'm leaning heavily to the side of slug being scarier. I didn't even know that slugs could climb plants like that!

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