Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back in the Garden

It is my intention to make a blog entry every week, but it looks like time got away from me for a little while.  I will say I did get a lot of gardening done in the jungle that is my backyard since we had a lighter than usual rainfall the last couple of weeks.  Although, the rain is certainly back again with a vengeance this weekend!

There isn't anything new blooming in the yard right now.  The Ixora and Lantana are two of the most reliable bloomers at the moment.  I love the pink and orange together.  Reminds me of Indian Saris.  I took this shot before I got the trimmers out and reduced this area quite a bit.

The Magnolia is still perfuming the entire backyard.  I think the blossoms are beautiful even when they've started to fade.

And the Plumeria is still going strong.  She's been doing great this year.  This is sort of a funky experimental photo - not sure what I was going for, LOL!

Oh, let's see - what else.... Chirpy is following me around the yard when I'm gardening.  His family tags along too.  He is such a funny adorable bird.  I think he's got a bit of a mite problem around his eye, but I'm not sure.  I've been researching and asking other birder friends what they think.  He seems to be okay, so I hope it's nothing too serious.

This noisy bugger has reared a family in the backyard this year as well.  I didn't get pics of the kids and I really wanted to, but just didn't seem to have the camera when they were around.  The Red Bellied Woodpeckers are fun to watch and I love all the chatter they make.

The green anole isn't seen as much any more, but I'm always snapping a shot when I see one.  I love the aqua blue around his eye next to the lime green.  Gorgeous!

Our pretty friend the Red Rat snake comes around a lot too.  I think we see him almost as much as the black racer, of which I haven't got a decent photo of as he certainly races off before I can click away.

Happily, the butterflies are still in abundance and gracing the yard with their beauty.  I'm working on a butterfly watering station - I'll update when I figure out where to put it.  It probably isn't exactly needed during the rainy season...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Orchids Galore

I think I have an addiction to buying all the markdown orchids at the local Lowe's.

There's a nice lady there that finds a few to markdown for me, if I ask her.  How great is that?!

At 75% off, I'm not too fussy that they're all Phalaenopsis.  I'm new to keeping orchids and I think they're all gorgeous.

My absolute favorite orchids are Vandas like the ones I keep on the lanai.  I love their long root systems and huge blooms.  Now this may seem a little weird, but I name all my orchids, LOL!  The light purple in front is Antigone, the pink and rose one is Allesandra and the dark purple one is Agapantha.  I know, I know, strange, but they are kind of like pets - at least in my mind...

I usually put an entry in my nature log when I get a new Vanda.  I haven't had a new one for awhile.  I get these at the orchid house and naturally, I wait until there's a sale!

Well, this shot is a little fuzzy, but I wanted to show these cute little Phals that I got on markdown - of course!  When they're done blooming, I take them outside as they do better out there and now I'm in the process of finding trees to attach them to.  I've got to find  the right place in the shade, where I can water them easily if needed and we're able to see them from the house.  I'm finding it hard to decide!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Front Yard Blooms

Last year I planted two dwarf Firebush plants in one of the front flower beds.

They are definitely doing their job by attracting beautiful butterflies.

Now if only the neighbors Hummingbirds would notice them!  I plan to put out my Hummingbird feeders near by when the rainy season has slowed down a bit.  Maybe next month...

This gorgeous yellow with red center Hibiscus tree is next to the Firebush.  It blooms quite often and I have to pick up the spent flowers from the sidewalk several times a week.  But I don't mind - I need the exercise!

Purple Pentas live in the big stone pots on the sidewalk near the front door.  I know they're quite common, but they work well in the Florida heat and put on a bright show.  I'm learning to keep with the tried and true flower selections for summer, as my experiments with other types of blooms have usually withered in the hot temps.

I'm happy with how my two cent Marigolds from Lowe's have flourished.  One even magically showed up in the Penta pot and I've decided to leave it there as it's doing very well.

I have a few super pink Vincas hanging around in the back of the bed.  They're getting quite tall and will have to be replaced soon.  But I'm waiting until the last minute to keep enjoying their cheery color.

I can't take credit for this lush Crown of Thorns that the neighbors have planted on the property line.  It is so pretty I just thought I'd include it.  Next time I'll have to make sure the thorny stems are shown as they are most interesting.