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.


I was checking out the new sprouts coming in on my Plumeria the other day.

Plumeria new growth 03-22-09

I leaned in to get a better look at the single leaf that has made an appearance...

Plumeria leaf

...and then glanced left at the Plumeria tips next to my face. Surprise!

Spider on plumeria

To give you a little perspective on the size of the body on this thing, those branches are about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick.

Spider on plumeria

I hate surprises like that!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've Made History

Well, I've made history in my house at least. Yesterday I mowed my first lawn. Actually I didn't even do the whole lawn. I just did a few strips of it.

My mother's friend gave me his old lawn mower. It is about 19 years old, and still running fine. He takes good care of his equipment. So yesterday he brought it over, showed me how to start it and how to use it. He did most of the lawn (I told him he didn't need to-- my boyfriend was going to do it), but he had me do a few strips to get the hang of it.

I've always told people that I've never mowed a lawn in my life. I don't know whether that is a big deal everywhere or not, but it is pretty unusual down here in Florida, where in the rainy season you have to mow about three times per week. However I had a brother and mother who mowed when I was growing up (I was the baby and got away with murder), and as an adult I've always lived in apartments.

So I made history yesterday. I mowed for the first time!

Garden Resident

A couple of months ago, I spotted a black snake in my backyard. He quickly disappeared before I could get a picture of him, and I hoped he would come back.

Well, the other day Woodrow went out behind the shed for some reason, and there he was...
Black Snake

Such a good-looking guy...
Black snake

Woodrow says that after a minute the snake disappeared under the shed. So I'm thinking that may be its home. Yeah! I'm so happy. I do so love snakes!

My only problem is, I have a corner of screening in my porch that is loose. So I worry about a snake coming into the porch, and getting my lovebird Odie. Need to get that fixed soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Edibles Update

A brief update on my edibles. My mangoes continue to grow.



Mango 02-28-09

Mango 03-06-09

Mango 03-12-09

Mango 03-15-09

And there's a lot more of them coming in...
Little Mango 03-15-09


Mangos 03-15-09

I have yellow peppers.
Pepper 03-15-09

I have a tomato nearing ripeness...
Tomato 03-11-09

...and a bunch of tomato blooms.
Tomato bloom

The other day I spotted an eggplant bloom about to open...
Eggplant 03-14-09

...and today found this.
Eggplant bloom 03-15-09

I counted 18 passion flowers the other day about to open on my passion vine.
Passion Flower blooms

And I have this tiny little squash plant that has 8 blooms coming in on it.
Squash blooms 03-11-09

I was hoping to finish up with the raised garden bed this weekend, but didn't get to it. Oh well. Maybe next weekend.

Hibsicus in Bloom

I recently planted my hibiscus shrub, and the other day I spotted a bloom about to open.

Hibiscus flower 03-12-09

Today I found this.


Hibiscus bloom

Pretty, huh? Another landmark. First I planted my first plant in my yard. Now my first planted shrub has bloomed.