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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Orchids

I had to slip a photo of the March orchids in before it was too late. We don't have too many blooming right now but a number of them are gearing up for April.

This Vanda originally bloomed in December and then put this second stalk out in March.

This cute little phaleonopsis is blooming between another orchid (sorry for the fuzzy photo) that offered up a second stalk of blooms.

This soft-colored phaleonopsis is a real beauty. One of my favorites.

This is a ground orchid that my mom gave me. Her stalk of flowers is about 5 1/2 feet tall but mine is a little shorter - probably around 4 feet tall.
Yes, this is not an orchid but this amaryllis flower just opened and I had to include it on my blog. My neighbor Nancy gave me an assortment of amaryllis bulbs given to her by someone who worked for a grower in Florida. The plants were doing well, and I couldn't wait to see what kind of flowers they would produce. This is the first one to open and it is a beauty. Another plant has a bud on it, so we'll be able to see what it looks like soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Speaks for Itself

Tabebuia Tree

Indian Hawthorne


Louis Phillipe Rose

Orange Blossoms

Spring Bouquet

Crinum Lily

African Iris

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh, How Sweet the Sound...

Finally, the soft sound of rain gently falling could be heard again in our backyard. It has been so long since we've had a rainshower, and our winter-damaged plants and thirsty yards were desperate for a good dose of it. It is a miracle-tonic for grass, as I could see our neighbor's parched, unwatered grass turn a soft shade of green by the end of the shower.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Along with spring comes a bumper crop of weeds. You would think that the cold weather would have damaged (or at least discouraged) them. The reason I tolerate them in my wildlife area (and a few in other areas of my yard) is because the butterflies and bees do relish them. They are good because they help attract a larger variety of these creatures to my yard.

They're bad because when left uncontrolled they multiple like crazy. Like this thistle shown below. It's popping up everywhere and it's real nasty to pull out because of prickly leaves. It can enforce its punishment even through garden gloves.

They're ugly because they do tend to make the area look somewhat unsightly. I struggle with my urge to obliterate them, reminding myself that they do provide a service in attracting more of the butterflies and bees that I want in my garden.

Sometimes I have to admit that some are more attractive than others. This lush weed looks as good to eat as parsley.
And this one is real lacy-looking with a delicate pale flower. As you can see, I'm trying hard to find the good in the bad and the ugly!

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