Thursday, July 23, 2009

Go Speed Racer!

There's a reason they call them Black "Racers".

She was so quick, I lost her. But then I spotted her about 8 feet away peeking over the "in need of mowing" backyard grass.

(I'll upload the other video when Blogger isn't acting up. I've tried twice now for about 45 minutes, and have yet to get it uploaded.)

She likes to hang out around my deck, and today I was out watering my potted plants when I turned around and spotted her moving right past me, within a foot of my foot. She really startled me, and I stepped backwards, bumped the rake, which proceeded to fall right at the snake (we'll call her Myrtle), and fell within inches of her. She spun around and I think may have striked at the rake handle, but it happened so fast I'm not sure whether or not she actually tried to strike. But then she continued on into the shade bed next the walkway next to the deck. I ran in and got my camera, and went looking for her. I found her at the far end of the lanai, where I got my video. Then she headed back towards the shed where I think she lives.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Critters in the Garden

I went out to water the potted plants the other day, and wound up scaring up a lubber (a giant grasshopper).

It tormented Shotsie.

I've had a rash of these things around my yard over the last month.

I've also seen the black snake around the screen door a few times now. Last time I saw it go under the bench on the deck. I got my camera and just got a couple of shots of it's tail.

The snake is about 2- 2 1/2 feet long. I love my black snake. Did I ever post the photos that Woodrow got of him/her behind the shed?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top 10 Bulbs for Florida

Here is a list of the top ten bulbs for our Florida environment, as outlined in Sunset's Florida Top 10 Garden Guide.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Blackberry Lily, Leopard Flower (Belamcanda chinensis)

Blood Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus katherinae)

Butterfly Ginger (Hedychium)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)-- not for zone 25, where I live

Elephant's Ear (Alocasia,Colocasia and Xanthosoma)

Fancy-leafed Caladium (Caladium bicolor)

Lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus)

Louisiana Iris (Iris)-- not for zone 25, where I live

Peruvian Daffodil (Hymenocallis narcissiflora)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Won!

I won the giveaway for heirloom seeds, which I blogged about earlier this month! I received the seed stash today, and can I just say WOW! Look at this haul:

Now just because I don't think that you can really appreciate from that image just how many packets there are, here they are.

There's pumpkin and eggplant and flowers...

...various kinds of peppers and some peas...

...okra, corn and tomato...

...all kinds of lettuce, including one called "Drunken Woman"...

...and tons of beans.

Is that an awesome haul, or what? I can't wait to try my hand at growing some of these puppies come fall/spring. Maybe I can try some beans this summer.

Thanks again to Tina of the Victory Garden!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Top 10 Annuals For Florida

Since I live in South Florida, I have a particular interest in which plants are well-suited to this special sub-tropic environment. Here is a list of the top 10 annuals for Florida, as outlined by Sunset's Florida Top 10 Garden Guide.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Win Free Heirloom Seeds

Go to The Victory Gardener for your chance to win a bunch of heirloom seeds. Enter for your chance to win a variety of at least 20 different types of seeds from My Victory Garden etsy shop. Lettuce, beans, tomatoes, flowers-- all sorts of heirloom seeds. The giveaway runs through May 16th.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ball Fresh Preserving Kit Giveaway

You know all of those mangoes that I have currently ripening on my tree? And those limes, berries, passion fruit, loquats, and all sorts of veggies that I hope to have in the future? What am I going to do with all of them?

Well THIS is what I've been wanting! I used to preserve when I was married, but I haven't done it since. I got rid of my canner and supplies when I lived in my condo, as I just didn't have room to store it.

So here I am now with a garden, and no way to preserve my harvests. I need this! I want this!

Head over to the giveaway if you need one, too!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Garden Update

First a few before and after shots:

Behind shed BEFORE
Gardening Area

Behind shed AFTER
Behind shed

Side yard BEFORE
Side lawn

Side yard AFTER
Side of house after mowing

Raised bed BEFORE

Raised bed AFTER
Raised bed

Southwest corner BEFORE
Southwest corner

Southwest corner AFTER
Jasmine and bird of paradise

Front yard BEFORE
Front weeds

Front yard AFTER
Yard after mowing

So we are slowly making progress.

While cleaning up the Bird of Paradise in the southwest corner, I turned up this bloom.
Bird of Paradise bloom 03-22-09

I also uncovered this scat on the deadpile currently in front of my shed.

You know, I'm always fascinated with animal scat, and trying to determine what left it behind. Since I have a privacy fence out back, I have to wonder what's getting in my yard at night, and possibly lives in my yard under the shed.

This swing is a new addition to the yard.

It was given to me by Mom's neighbor. We have it in a shady spot that faces the west, so we can sit out here and watch the sunset.

And Woodrow bought me a wheelbarrow for the yard work.

He got sick of hauling stuff out to the road for me using the little dinky cart that was given to me by my mother. :)

I also discovered these supports that were installed on the fence to support the bougainvilleas that grow against the fenceline.
Bougie supports

My passion vine is blooming like crazy. Every day it throws up a new bloom.
Passion flower

And it is supporting a new Gulf Frittilary caterpillar that is growing like gangbusters.
Gulf fritillary caterpillar

Caterpillar 03-27-09

I swear every couple of days I go out to find it substantially bigger than a few days before.

My mango continues to grow:
Mango 03-26-09

However the mango tree has dropped a lot of it's smaller fruit. But it does have a lot of new blooms and small fruits coming in. So I'm hoping that the fruit loss is normal.

The tomatoes look good. One is almost ready to harvest, and there is one other small one coming in.

However my eggplant is infested with aphids..

...and some have spread to the pepper plant.
Aphids on pepper

My jasmine is beginning to bloom. Yeah!

And I'm trying to figure out the deal with the cauliflower. This cauliflower was planted a few months ago from a tray of cauliflower bought at Lowe's. Both the cauliflower on the left and right came from the same batch, had the same soil and by all appearances the same conditions. They sit right next to one another.
Cauliflower differences

Yet one is obviously thriving while the other isn't. All I can figure is that the one on the left gets slightly less sun than the one on the right, and it likes it.

You see this guy?

This guy LOVES to chatter and sing! He actually seems to seek out people. He will land near me overhead, and sing like crazy, and sometimes mimic the whistles of me and Woodrow. I think that this might be the same guy who sings up a storm in the middle of the night. Woodrow often hears him between midnight and 2 AM. I even got audio of him recently, but the file is too large for Photobucket, so I have to find a different way to post.

The greatest miracle of all? I finally discovered the Guava tree!

The notes for the house mentioned a guava, but I could never find it. I finally discovered it, hidden away behind the wild bougainvillea next to the shed.

Now I just have to figure out how to move that bougie, so I can free the guava from its grasp!

So that's where we stand at this point. TONS of work to do yet, but it is slowly coming together.