Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Best Things about Summer - June

Even though a Florida summer is long and never short on heat and humidity, there are lots of good things about our summer and here are a few of them ~ ~

Eastern Black Swallowtail on heirloom red pentas

Monarch on heirloom red pentas 

You can't beat the old fashioned red pentas as a nectar source in the garden. Plus, it seems to LOVE the heat!!

Zebra Longwings on Passion vine.

I believe this is Horace's Duskywing on the native Tropical Salvia. This is an exciting discovery because I don't think I've ever seen this butterfly in my yard before. Love new discoveries like this!

 The  little mosquito-eating machines are back in full force these days. Dragonflies are one of the best insects in a Florida garden, especially if you have bromeliads in the garden.  

Sometimes when I catch a dragonfly in a certain position such as this one, it looks like a little fairy. Perhaps that is how stories of fairies in the garden originated.  

I do not know the names of these dashing fellows, but I love the color variations and their paper thin wings. I can't imagine that the wind doesn't obliterate those fragile-looking, cellophane wings.

Now that I've photographed a few dragonflies and noticed how beautiful they are, I'm really smitten with them. I always thought a dragonfly was a dragonfly, but these little guys are just stunning! I had no idea that I had so many different species of dragonflies in the garden. How awesome is that! This one looks like another fairy, although I have to say they also look like stained-glass helicopters hovering in the air.

A young Red Cardinal hanging out in the trees. His parents must have shown him where the feeder is because I catch him there many times during the day. 

Plenty of pollinators taking advantage of all the wonderful summer blooms - like this purple pentas (my second favorite pentas) - in my garden.

Bees are lovin' the Agastache

Here's a close up of the chubby little bugger!

This little guy is loaded down with pollen on his feet and underbelly

And, I am thankful for Swallowtail butterflies in the making as they devour my parsley.

Now, this little guy - - definitely not thankful for him!!! He is probably one of the worst things about summer, with the exception of a devastating hurricane or having your house struck by lightning! He creates his own kind of devastation.

Don Juan roses still in bloom are a definite plus, especially when they're mingled with palm fronds.

The 'Kwanso' daylily is one from my late aunt and a real beauty on its super tall and super beefy stalks.

Love, love an abundance of blooms in the June garden.

And, last but not least, is the return of the crape myrtle. This one is 'Dynamite' and I would agree that that is the perfect name for it. What would a Florida summer be like without crape myrtles? I, for one, can't even imagine!


Leslie Kimel said...

This was an awesome post, Susan! Loved the photos and the writing. You've really inspired me to get out in the garden this weekend and enjoy the special beauty of the summer. Your dragonfly pictures are great (they really do look like fairies), and I love all your gorgeous red flowers!

Susan said...

Thanks Leslie, you're such a kind person! I do enjoy walking my pathway in search of new blooms and wildlife. Someday I hope I can capture the hummingbird that I catch glimpses of out of the Windows. I look forward to seeing what discoveries you find in your beautiful garden. Thanks for being a regular visitor. 😊😊

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a great post! I enjoyed seeing all of your gorgeous blooms and those wonderful dragonflies. I've seen a LOT of them here too and am always grateful since they do eat some of the masses of mosquitoes that abound. I love the color of your crepe myrtle.

Happy Gardening dear Susan in your lovely gardens. You've done a great job in such a short period of time. ~ FlowerLady

Janice said...

I enjoyed this post so much! I love seeing all the inhabitants of your lovely garden - it's what makes a garden for me. Oh, except for the evil lubber! Beautiful blooms, as always. _Janice

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness - look at all that activity in your garden! And your photos are beautiful. Last night, while riding my bike through a field, I spotted a vibrant red dragonfly. First time I'd ever seen one with such a deep, red color. It was beautiful. They are beautiful as you so captured in your pictures.

That sitting area looks like it is situated in paradise. I'm thinking a glass of wine at the end of the day listening to the birds and the cicadas . . . we'll ignore the heat and mosquitoes ~ it's FL and those are just a given. :-)

Susan - you have created something very special with the new garden. Love it!

Susan said...

Hi Lorraine, We do seem to get a lot more dragonflies in summer, but I guess that's because there is a lot more food. Enjoy your weekend.

Susan said...

Hi Janice, So true about wildlife in the garden. They're part of the fun, except for the nasty lubbers. I've only found about 8 so far but I keep an eye out for them. My mom has tons of them in her garden. I hope you don't have many on all your pretty plants.

Susan said...

Hi Eli, I'll have to keep my eyes open for a red dragonfly. I would love to see one of them. Hey, you bring the wine and I'll provide the food and we'll talk plants for hours I'm sure. LOL

Lynn McIntosh said...

Hi Susan! Gosh, I just love this post! All of your photos are so wonderful. I love the caterpillars and all the dragonflies! I've spent a good hour trying to figure out what kind they are. I'm not sure, but I think the third one is a Great Pondhawk and the fourth one is a Blue Dasher. I'm determined to find out for sure though. :) Love those pentas - you've captured so many great visitors and your garden looks so inviting! Going back online now to study dragonflies - there's also damselflies...so exciting!

Susan said...

Hi Lynn, please let me know the names if you find them. I looked but was unable to I.D. I like knowing what they are. Thanks.

Linda said...

Lovely post, and gorgeous photos! :)

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