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)

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Rose for my Nose

I am rather overjoyed at finding tea roses on markdown for only $3 each at the local garden center.

And the most exciting part is they smell DIVINE! 

A couple of years ago, I had a beautiful coral colored tropical rose, but it didn't have much of a fragrance.  I don't have any experience growing roses in the subtropics, so this was my first try.  Unfortunately, I didn't give it the best conditions and I lost it during the winter.

When we lived up north several years ago, I enjoyed a yard full of different color roses.  I selected them for their fragrance and their beauty was just an extra bonus as far as I was concerned.  I must have given them what they needed as they all flourished and I always hope the new owners appreciate the treasures they inherited.

Well, anyway, I have read up on roses in the subtopics and I hope I can keep these alive this time and they'll keep on producing beautiful perfumed blooms!

While I was at the garden center I had fun getting some other new flowers for the garden at $1 each.  Here are some of the African Daisies in White and Purple.  I also got several geraniums, but there wasn't any buds, so it will be a surprise what color they will be.

I must be getting a bit absent-minded as I found this pot full of pink Petunias that I had forgotten about sitting behind some of the plantings in one of the front flower beds.

They must have received water from the sprinkler system as it looks to be in pretty good shape and is blooming quite profusely.

I think I stuck it back there as I didn't think it was doing well and forgot about it.  Nice surprise and I'm so glad it has recovered!

And this is my goofy pink Plumeria.  It's lost all of its leaves during the winter, but lately it has had flower buds forming on several branches. This is its third year in the garden and each year it has acted differently.  

I won't complain as somebody else mentioned their Plumeria was doing the same thing.  I just go with the flow as long as they are looking healthy and thriving.

Here's a shot when the Plumeria is blooming and when it has leaves.  It might look a little silly if it blooms without foliage, but the weather has warmed up dramatically and maybe the leaves will fill out quite quickly.

I hope you are enjoying your garden.  No matter if it's just a few containers indoors or out, a garden is worth every effort being put into it.  And even when there's not a lot of effort put forth - it's still a joy and I hope you're experiencing the comfort and happiness of tending to our plant friends!  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Butterflies Please

Some days I can't get a decent butterfly shot no matter how hard I try.  And maybe that's just it, I'm trying too hard.  Either that or I'm not in "the zone".   That's usually the only things hindering a shot, but this winter I've had a hard time getting a photo because there just doesn't seem to be many butterflies around.

I've been seeing a few of the Zebra Longwings around lately, but not very many.

And I see a Gulf Fritillary once in awhile.

Here's a funky close-up shot I took.  I'm not really sure what I was going for with this...

Or with this, HA!

And sometimes I see something a little unusual for my backyard, like this Buckeye.

And lots of times I see different kinds of moths, of which I know little about - but I'm starting to learn!  

Well, I think it's about time to get to the point of this post.  Which is my attempt at a Butterfly Feeder in the backyard.  I'm new to this and I'm sure I've got some rearranging to do, like maybe getting a bigger plate and maybe putting it on a stake instead of hanging it from the Plumeria.  I'd hate for the butterflies to get caught up in the string or something. 

I have the plate surrounded by the orange/red lantana.  Which is a butterfly magnet.  Butterflies love red, yellow and orange.  Pink and purple too!

And I've a yellow milkweed and also a red milkweed growing below where the plate is hanging.

This is the red milkweed complete with Assassin Bugs, which are friends that help take out the aphids.  So, I feel this is a good start for a location to feed the butterflies.  I might get a red plate, that would be even more attraction.  And then to figure out a popular "recipe" to feed them is next.

I don't have any unpeeled banana photos, so I'll just post this closeup of the orangey/red lantana.  I do have my extremely ripe bananas in the freezer, waiting to bring out and serve up with a little touch of molasses and I think I read something about soy sauce.  I'll have to check that to be sure.  Apparently, butterflies like gooey, ripe fruit and sticky sweetness.  

I think I'll be waiting until after our very unusual cold snap that we're forecasted to get later this week.  It says lows in the 30's, which is CRAZY cold and of course means covering up plants and bringing in the orchids. (Ugh!)  BTW, this is a White Peacock and the poor thing is tattered.  

I think I'll probably just wait until March to get started feeding the butterflies, since then it should be quite warm again and hopefully will help bring our fluttering friends back to the yard!   I'll let you know if I have any success!  Oh, and if you have any helpful suggestions, please let me know, thanks!