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)

Friday, March 27, 2015

More Spring Things in the Garden

The Giant White-Bird-of-Paradise never fails to produce these interesting and exotic flowers.

I absolutely adore that shot of bright blue!

The blue Plumbago is starting to gear up for a bush full of beautiful blooms.

I'm very happy that my Dwarf Gardenias are blooming in the front gardens.  

And that I've got a new pink tea rose starting to open.

I'm also excited that the Bleeding Heart Vine that hasn't bloomed for several years has now starting blooming and is forming more buds.  

And I'm super duper excited that my Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily has a bloom!  This plant hasn't bloomed for four years either!  

The Allamandas are starting to be very showy against all that green.

I don't know how long the blue Lobelia will be able to handle the heat.  She's in mostly shade along with the impatiens, but she's starting to show some distress.  Maybe I can try putting her in the cabana bath and see how she does inside a bit. 

Here's my fifth bloom spike on my basket of orchids.  I know they're just common Phals, but I just love it when one of my orchids bloom - let alone, five at once!

The afore mentioned basket of orchids.

Hey - my little chives plant is making a comeback!  I almost threw this guy out and I'm so glad I didn't.  I keep reading that patience is one thing that gardeners must learn - and it's so very true.  

   This little brown anole hangs out in the herb garden.  

The Swallow Tailed Kite has returned to the area.  I just saw the first ones this week.  

The Catbird will be leaving soon.  He'll return again for the winter later in the year.  He really does sound like a cat.  

This is the last photo I took of Chirpy the Cardinal.  Look how plump and cute he is!  I truly am sad that Chirps got ousted from his territory by a new and younger male cardinal.  I can only hope he has found a new area and is alive and well.  My time with Chirpy (two years) was very special - I've never had such interaction with a bird that ate from my hand, brought his kids to the window with him when he chirped for food and was so calm and zen - I'll really miss him.  (I'm still holding out hope he will return after nesting season) 

And this, this is that new young buck of a cardinal that took over Chirpy's territory.  Wow, what a difference in behavior.  He is crazed, constantly flying into all the ground floor windows at his reflection.  A common behavior during nesting season - he thinks he's fighting off another cardinal when he sees his reflection.  It's driving me nuts!  I've seen a female around, I sure hope it isn't Chirpys wife - haha.  So, I hope they nest soon and he can settle down!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Things in the Garden

Something had been eating the leaves of this white geranium and it wasn't doing so great.  I don't like to spray chemicals in the yard, but I gave this a bit of a spray and it has recovered quite nicely.  

With the return of the hot weather, the Sambac Jasmine has increased its blooms.  Last night was humid and after walking the dogs, I took time to sit with them on the bench in the front walkway and get good whiffs of fragrance from the Jasmine surrounding one of the palms nearby.  (sorry about that run-on sentence)  It was wonderful!

I am equally delighted to find a ton of new buds on the Star Jasmine in the backyard.  

The last time it bloomed profusely was when I still had it on the lanai.  I moved it outside of the lanai to a bigger trellis and it has always bloomed, but not in great quantity.  It looks like it's going to be a good show this year!  

Last year, I don't know exactly how, but I think I over fertilized the Mandevilla.  I'm usually stingy with the fertilizer, just for that very fear of overdoing it.  Anyway, the Mandevilla became sickly, lost all of its leaves and I thought maybe that was that.  But, wonderfully, it is getting some beautiful new leaves and I hope it will be blooming again soon.

Like this!

It seems like all the Allamandas in the neighborhood are blooming, except mine.  I am happy to say I found buds on some of mine yesterday while out perusing the backyard.

I'm sure they're slower to form buds because mine are more shaded than they should be.  They're under the Giant-White-Birds-of-Paradise, and I need to trim a little so they get more sunshine.

 The Plumeria is blooming with only one leaf on the whole plant.  It looks so funny.  It should be leafing out any time now.  

I'm happy how the Impatiens I planted under the Date Palms have filled in and are so showy and colorful.  I hope they'll last awhile with all the sudden hot weather.

The purple Lantana has really taken off just this past week.  I chose to do a focused color on this shot because the birdbath water was a little green-looking and not so pretty.  I have to clean the birdbath every day during the hot and rainy season or it will get moldy and green overnight!

I found some chain and a basket and hoisted this Ivy Geranium into one of the trees in the front yard.  I thought it would give the mailman something bright and cheery to look at.  My husband went to get the mail last night and didn't even notice it...*sigh*

I'm so glad that the Painted Buntings are still hanging around.

They should be here through this month and hopefully into April as well.  Then we won't see them again until October.

This photo is so bad, but it shows what the male Indigo Buntings look like right now.  I'm not sure if they're molting or maturing, but they're at this stage before they burst into full blue!

Then they're this insane color of heavenly blue - absolutely gorgeous!  I really need to learn more about these beautiful birds!

This is the only photo I have of the male Indigo Bunting and the male Painted Bunting together.  This would be my "Holy Grail" shot, if only I could get a decent one!  :) 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I'm Cringing, I'm Cringing!

Good morning Zebra Longwing!  This beauty is just one of many creatures that enjoy the glorious lush blooms of the flowers in the yard.

The reason I'm cringing, is because to get this lush growth, I have to cut back some of my plants and well, it just about does me in, Haha!  

Which probably reveals that I am not a very seasoned gardener in that you'd think I'd get over that feeling after a few times of cutting back things around the yard.

But, no, it still bothers me to see that raw cut, those stark branches looking back at me - I know, it's for the plants own good.  I know it will come back bigger, stronger, better...but still, it hurts.

I, of course, absolutely LOVE it when the plant has regenerated, and all the backyard friends come to visit.

This guy was huge!  I think it's a carpenter bee, but I'm not sure and will be looking that up.  I'm also not sure if he's a beneficial sort of bee to have around, but I still think he's cute.  

Speaking of cute, look how adorable this little warbler is!  It's not a very sharp shot, but this little sweetie just begs to be painted or drawn or something.  He was all puffed up against the cold we had a few weeks ago.

Another contender for most adorable in the backyard is this little, tiny blue-grey gnatcatcher.  They're around 4 1/2 inches long and they dart around faster than a bullet.  I feel very lucky I caught a semi-clear shot.  

Yes, that's correct - this is a rat.  But isn't he charming?!  I think he belongs in a Beatrix Potter illustration.  This Cotton rat lives in the preserve that our yard backs up to and he has a little family and they're all as cute as he is.  IMHO, of course! 

And on to more cuteness that is probably a little more acceptable to most.  Although, I know people that think squirrels are just bigger rodents!   Well, I guess that technically they are (being in the Sciuridae family), but well, I think they are more highly regarded than the smaller rodents...mostly...probably...

Wow, I certainly got off track once again.  Back to the cutting and the trimming,  I dug up these two dwarf Gardenias and put them in containers since they weren't getting enough sun where they were.  

They were looking quite straggly and needed to be cut back and I honestly didn't give them a lot of hope at first.

But I'm happy that both plants have just put out new buds and I can't wait!

They are smaller blooms than my regular Gardenia, but they pack a beautiful fragrance.  I've got them next to the front door to enjoy every time I walk the dogs or get the mail, you get the idea! 

A couple of posts ago, I had mentioned that I had to cut my Bleeding Heart vine clear back to nothing, but that it had shot back up right away.

I'm happy to report that it now has some buds on it and I'm overjoyed as it hasn't bloomed for ages!

Well, I could go on and on about plants that I've cut back and they're now getting ready to bloom, but I'm quite sure that would get tiresome.  

So, I'll just switch it on over to how excited I am that the second bloom spike in my basket of orchids is now blooming.  

It's a darker purple than the other orchid that is still blooming.  I think they make a nice pair!