"I'm not really a career person.I'm a gardener,basically.".....George Harrison

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Taking Stock......

Labor Day Week-end.The official end to summer.But in Florida,it's still 90 degrees and humid.Summer won't end here for another few weeks,with the arrival of the first blessed cool front.
Which will drop the temperature a few degrees,but most importantly,it will drop the humidity!
And we can return to our Florida gardens,in earnest.

In the meantime,it's time to take stock of the highs and lows of this year's Springtime garden......

Let's get the lows out of the way first.

The fact that one fourth of our yard is fallow,due to Hillsborough County......Don't get me started!

The on going drought,here in Florida.The summer rains have just not materialized the way they should have.They have been very spotty .Sort of a hit or miss situation.

The damn Bufo toads!!!They have decimated the native toad and frog population.During the day,they bury themselves in the garden,the planters,the bromeliads,whatever they can find.And at night,they are everywhere!!!

The vegetable garden.
We did all right,but not as good as if it had been raised beds.We so look forward to next year's Spring garden.
For now,we are planting winter vegetables amongst the flower beds,which may turn out to be a good thing.We'll see....... Gardeners always have hope.....
The palms by the pool.Two years of freezes have really hurt them.Two of them have come back,but if the other two don't look any better next spring,they will be removed.
Half of our Cordylines just up and died.For the life of me,I cannot figure that one out.All were planted the same way,etc.No rhyme or reason.The frustration of gardening!
On to the highlights.......
Number one of my list,is getting to meet and know Meems.Seeing her garden was such a joy.The woman is a star!Her blog does not do her garden justice,I pinky swear!
After this past winter's freezes,I was filled with trepidation as to what we would be left with.But in all actuality,it would seem that the freezes may have helped alot of the plants.
The bromeliads are the best they have been in years,and are still blooming.
I found a new favorite plant.A mini Red Iris.It is just beautiful.I only wish I had had the foresight to buy more than one.But not knowing how it would do,I only bought the one,but was able to divide it into two plants.Both of which have already grown,and should be divisible again.
It is just beautiful against the Holly Ferns and palms,by the pool.
The orchids,this year,were absolutely stunning!We did baby them(some were in bloom)during the freezes,by turning one of our patios into a pseudo greenhouse,but they all have bloomed magnificently!And are getting ready to bloom again.Yowzer!
My plumeria grove.You all must know by now,how much I love these gems!They are such troopers.They all bounced right back,and are blooming(or in bud),their little hearts out.I just love them to death!
How could one not love these fragrant charmers?
The birds and butterflies.This year has been a banner year for both.Especially the cardinals.I have never seen so many cardinals at the feeders,as this year.
We have identified three different hawks that frequent the yard.We have DarthVader,just because he looks like DarthVader when he puffs up.We also have one that Jon calls the BitchyFemale,just because she screams all the time,until it sounds like she has laryngitis.Jon says he feels sorry for whoever her mate is.
And this one is my GardeningBuddy.We think it's a female,because she's smaller than DarthVader(who we think is her mate-just because he's always around when she is).She's quite curious as to what we do in the garden.She seems to like watching us silly humans.She will just sit on a branch of our oak tree and just watch with fascination.She also has a penchant for looking in our bedroom window,especially whenever Jon is getting dressed.Could she have a crush on him?We love it!
We have more Ibises,Egrets,Great Blue Herons and this Little Blue Heron this year,also.But no SandHill Cranes.We used to have a pair that came in the yard,but not this year.
And we both were lucky enough to capture a Hummingbird.Talk about doing the happy dance when I caught this shot!
But most of all,we have enjoyed the butterflies........
Every morning and late afternoon,the yard is filled with them.
We have been lucky enough to see two generations of Swallowtails come into this world.A most incredible experience,I must say.
Our Monarchs----not so good.Note to self-buy more Milkweed.
So what's in the future?
-Getting the rest of the garden done and finished,whenever the County decides to honor us with their presence.Which includes a proper vegetable garden.In raised beds.
-Only do major renovations to the garden in cool weather(yeah-right!),which includes expanding the shade garden that is down by the water.
-I need and want a proper garden/potting shed.A greenhouse would be nice,in case we have another winter like these past two,but I shall be reasonable.
-Introducing more native,or Florida friendly,plants into the garden.Including more Milkweed.
-Taking my 90 year old Dad to meet Meems.That should be a true meeting of the minds.
-Look forward to next Spring.
what's on your agenda?


Deborah said...

Beautiful photos of your beautiful yard, once again. LoVe all the butterflies. Temperature-wise, I win...99 degrees here. **wilts**

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are just wonderful and I admire your beautiful yard so much. I wish I could figure out orchids. I know you have the wisdom of Dad, but still, I feel hopeless. I just want my stuff to grow. Starting out with bare beds makes it frustrating when you are as impatient as I am. It's great that you got to see Meem's gardens. I would love that. It has been such a year of learning for me about so many things. It's been a whole new experience and I have loved every minute except for the heat. Yes, they still have the cheese and I bought lots of it. There is nothing like a good Canadian 5 year old cheddar.


Unknown said...

Deborah-you have dry heat.It's the humidity I can't take.That's what wilts me.

Sue-I envy you the cheese!! Can we work a deal?

compost in my shoe said...

Like hearing about the lows first, makes the highs that much more memorable at the end....congrats on seeing the garden through during your drought

jabblog said...

The butterflies are gorgeous but for me the stars are your hawk and the blue heron. We have been thinking what to grow - or not- next year. Our tomatoes were a real disappointment - at least 50 plants but very few tomatoes that survived blight. Courgettes (zucchini) - marvellous; potatoes - good considering we planted late and didn't water enough. Yes, we've had masses of rain but containers still need watering. Hey ho - onwards and upwards ;o)

Jake said...

I can't even think about ging outside until it cools down enough for me. That won't be until Novemeber, lol. I am growing some trophy weeds though.


Gayle said...

You have such an amazing variety of plants and flowers. I would love to try my hand at new things, but maybe when the little ones are older and I can really work at it. Such a short season here, not sure if it is worth it. Quite the array of animals visting your yard. It must be truly relaxing to sit out there enjoying a nice glass of merlot. Ya, I'm looking forward to Spring, too. lol

徵信社 said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.



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