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!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Autumn Garden

I, for one, am so GLAD that autumn days are here again!

A sure sign of autumn in my garden is when the Beautyberry plants are draped with their gorgeous purple-pearly berries. A Cardinal couple is always hanging out on this side of the house devouring these berries.

You will find numerous Beautyberries in my garden - all were originally growing here when I built my home. 

Two of my favorite plants - Thryallis and Cestrum have been keeping lock-step all summer with their yellow blooms. And, it doesn't look like they're slowing down a bit, as autumn arrives.

This collection of colorful foliage can be found on the left side of the front yard. 

Berries on the Firebush are another sign of autumn in my garden. The Cardinals also love these berries, while the butterflies and hummers love the nectar. It's a must-have plant in Florida. In fact, everyone should have several of these plants in the yard.

The Nandina is looking a bit fallish, too!

Another fall favorite - camellias! This is Sparkling Burgundy which I can count on to begin blooming in late September. Not one of the fanciest one, but she is the ultimate in reliability.

You knew I wouldn't do a post, without including a pic or two of my red heirloom pentas. I swear the butterflies would go on strike if I deleted this plant from my garden.  

 I have seen more Gulf Fritillary butterflies this fall than I did all summer. So glad they finally decided to come for an extended visit.

And, my final new exciting discovery in the garden - butterfly eggs. What's so exciting about this particular discovery is that these were laid by a Pipevine Swallowtail on my Pipevine. I saw a Swallowtail hovering on the vine, but had to leave the house quickly to pick up my daughter from school. When I got home, I immediately went outside and with a little searching found these eggs. I was tickled pink that the Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies have found my garden. 

That old saying - "Build it (or for gardeners - "Plant it"), and they will come" is so TRUE! It might take a while, but they will find it. I hope you make some wonderful new discoveries in your own garden this month.

6 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I always love reading about your gardens!!! Yours are so packed with beauty and color, and now you are expecting more Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies in your gardens. Yay for you. That is so exciting.

Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

Leslie Kimel said...

The eggs are such a neat discovery, Susan. You always inspire me to do more wildlife-watching in my yard. I love all your colorful berries and flowers and your gorgeous butterfly photos. I have to admit I'm jealous. My yard looks terrible--we haven't had any rain in six weeks!

Janice said...


Hi Susan! Your gardens are still lovely heading into November. You and I are on the same page with our Firebush berries - I just took a photo of a Mockingbird dining on mine a couple days ago. It's great to have food sources for the wildlife and nothing beats those gorgeous Beautyberry plants you have. Good for you on the Pipevine Swallowtail eggs! Do the cats eat the Pipevine as they do Passion Vine? -Janice

Susan said...

Hi Lorraine - thank you for your kind comment. I have created a jungle but I love it.

Hi Janice - it's wonderful to sit and watch the birds hopping around from bush to bush, and the butterflies floating all around the garden. I see small holes in the pipevine leaves, but they don't devour the vine. I only hope the birds aren't picking the cats off.

Hi Leslie - we haven't had much rain either since the hurricane. The beautyberries turn into monster plants if they get supplemental water. They would do great in your yard. I'm always on the lookout for new discoveries. We saw a brown thrasher the other day which is a first for us. Unfortunately we didn't get a good pic. Maybe next time. Hope we both get some rain soon.

Elizabeth Hart said...

The egg discovery was Mother Nature's way of saying "thank you". :-)

It always tickles me how we can have the same plants, but different wildlife experiences. I have never seen a cardinal (which I have the most of) eat from the beautyberry shrubs or firebush. They do like to munch on the Barbados cherries though. And this is the first year, after many years, that I actually saw a mockingbird eat berries from my wild coffee trees (Psychotria nervosa). I think for me it's just a matter of being in the garden at the right time.

Your garden looks just beautiful . . . I'm on the look out for the yellow cestrum now.

Have a great week.

eli

Lynn McIntosh said...

Hi Susan! I just adore that cute little acorn birdhouse! Your garden is looking lovely and I love all the purple in it. How fun to find eggs...your garden is a wonderful haven for all the wildlife in the area! I'm sure glad autumn has arrived - we've had a few breezes and it is finally cooler down here. This is a beautiful post! :)

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