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)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Pretty Mess

Our yard backs up to this huge wildlife preserve that goes for miles down into the everglades.  

It's very active and I adore all the animal and bird friends that come out of it to visit the garden.

We have to get permission from our HOA to plant just about anything major in the yard or to add additional beds or change the layout in any way.  *sigh*

So we've just left what was here when we bought the property about five years ago.  As you can see, it is plantings of gigantic proportions! 

The rubber tree sits between two gargantuan Washingtonia palms and the rubber tree appears dwarfed  -  and it's certainly not little being at least 18 feet high.  I love the pretty red color the leaf shows before it unfolds.

Crotons surround the bottom bringing balance to the tall plantings.

The previous owners stuck some Sansevieria in there as well.  

Behind the palms and rubber tree, is a chain link fence that our community put up to help keep the wild boar from coming in our yards, digging up the gardens and scaring women and children...

But if you look closely in the middle, it didn't do anything to keep the bears out.  Their weight has dragged down the fencing as they climbed over it.  Figures, they'd pick our yard to climb into!  

I've got most of the fence grown over with bougainvillea and passionflower thinking the thorny branches will help deter the bears from climbing over.  

I've also found that when the boug is in bloom, it makes a pretty backdrop for bird photos.  I put my camp chair fairly close and it's not long before the birds have gotten used to me and come in so I can get a few shots.

Well, you get the idea.  

Opposite the preserve, looking toward the house is where the real crazy begins, lol!

This is my nemesis - I LOVE the jungle look, but it is a difficult area to keep up with.  I'm out there with a machete, saw and ladder on a regular basis.  That is until rainy season begins and it's too hot and wet and then it becomes insanely overgrown until it cools down a bit.  

Although, sometimes nature will help clear it out a little.  This is storm damage from an earlier summer.

Early morning light shines through the preserve lighting up the jasmine.

All in all, being out back or sitting in the house looking out at my backyard jungle - I find it to be a lush, green and incredibly calming sanctuary that I like to call a pretty mess.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's Mango Time!!!

If you're a south Floridian, you can just feel it in the air!  That build-up, that anticipation - as if waiting for a big party - it's that good!  Yes, it's that time of year.  It's Mango Time!!!!   (doing a little dance)

And that means Mango smoothies

And homemade Mango ice cream

Even Mango margaritas!

Unfortunately, we don't have a mango tree in our yard.  But the neighbors do!  And I've got my eye on it....oh, don't worry, I'm not going to do a midnight raid.

But I will ask them if they'll trade mangos for some of my fresh made basil pesto!  

And if not, no worries...it just gives me a great excuse to head on over to Pine Island where mangos are usually plentiful.  And to see all the other sights on this pretty island, like their palm tree farms as shown above.

The incredibly gorgeous blue water and blue skies.  Love the blues!

There's always fantastic bird watching and photography opportunities!

Look how picturesque this osprey nest is.  They chose such a charming site, I had to take a pic.

The happy couple.  (Although it kind of looks like she's giving him an earful! haha)

And a bonus to going to Pine Island is I get to pass through Matlacha, which is an old fishing village filled with artist shops and great little seafood places on the water.  Can't wait!

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Most Mismatched Post

It's bloom number six from my "basket-o-orchids" on the lanai!  It's been so much fun to see what color it will be when a new bloom spike shoots up. 

I had gotten a bunch of phals on markdown and just stuck them in the wire basket intending to relocate them to trees, but never got around to it.  They've been thriving and blooming like crazy from this location, so I've decided to leave them.  This is the first solid white orchid I've had...so lovely.

I've been getting quite a few beautiful blooms on my rosebushes lately.  But alas, the deer have found them and I'll be relocating them to the lanai soon.  I thought I'd better bring in this cute little miss before she gets munched on.

The neighbors are having their deer challenges as well.  They added new Schefflera  plants and they're being devoured.  I don't know how well those deer resist devices work.  A friend told me about an eggwhite wash that she's had success with - I may have to try that on my passiflora this year, as it's one of their favorites.

Eh - I think their protection angel is asleep on the job...

My $1 geraniums have come up red.  I didn't know what color they would be when I bought them.  (Never mind my weeds, please)

So pretty - it reminds me of a fancy dress.

More ruffly, fluffiness

Fallen beauty

No worries though, the Plumeria is doing just fine.

Let's see, what else is going on...   I had a new visitor to the garden yesterday.  A female Julia butterfly.  I didn't get very good pics of her, but I followed her around and did the best I could.  

I don't see a lot of Julias in the yard, but the ones I've seen have been male, and they are a darker orange with less markings.

Now, this guy is a regular.  He hangs out with his Ibis gang and they go from yard to yard looking for food.  I haven't taken a photo of him in a long time, so I thought I would get a few updates.  

Well, thanks kindly for reading through this rather mismatched post about what all's going on in the garden this week.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and are out and about enjoying your gardens!