How I Got Started

I started Butterfly gardening many years ago. My yard has been a progression over the years, and has made many transformations. Twenty years ago I experienced Hurricane Andrew. My yard and house were destroyed. We decided not to replace the pool screening and open up the backyard and put in some landscaping. That was the official beginning of my love for gardening in South Florida. I added a beautiful water garden years ago, and have been adding host and larvae plants for pollinators, mostly for the butterfly, for as many years as I can remember. I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat, through the National Wildlife Foundation. To have a natural habitat you need to provide and meet certain requirements: 1. Provide a food source, 2. Provide a water source, 3. Cover, 4. A place to raise young. I try not to use any pesticides in my yard. I vermicompost and recycle as many of my food scraps as possible. If I had more land I would have a huge compost bin to recycle all my yard cuttings. Basically, I try to lessen my carbon footprint on this earth. In my own little world or backyard I try to provide an ecosystem in my water garden, provide birdbaths, birdfeeders, hummingbird nectar sources, feeders, puddling areas, host plants and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. I am hoping to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of saving our Butterflies, Blooms & Bees. Without them our world and food source will be in trouble. I hope you all enjoy my journey. I am not a Master Gardener, or Master Beekeeper, an Entomologist, or Journalists. I am simply a Backyard Gardener who is trying to lessen her Carbon Footprint of this Earth.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down!

Well today isn’t exactly Monday, but I use to love that song by the “The Carpenters.” With all the rain we’ve had I couldn’t help but sing that song. The phrase isn’t exactly true for me. As a gardener I welcome the rain, but we’ve had so many rainy days here in Miami since May 1st, that I am really over the rain. Mondays, on the other hand, are always difficult! With tropical storm Debbie spinning around in the Gulf of Mexico we have had an excess of rain over the past few days. Luckily the storm headed north, and many parts of northern Florida that were drought ridden have now had an overabundance of rain as the storm was very slow moving. I went out into the garden to check how everything was handling all the wind and rain from the tropical storm. Yesterday was very windy, and today we are still getting the feeder bands from the storm. Everything in the garden was soggy and weeping downward from the rain. Several of the Mexican Sunflowers were leaning over and I had to stake them up. The Popcorn Senna (Senna Alata), which is a host plant for most Sulphur Butterflies, is totally leaning

over. It is just big enough that I am not able to lift it myself. On the east side of the house there is another species of Senna, Cassia Senna (Senna Mexicana), that went through hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. At that time it was uprooted from the ground. My yardman helped me get it up right, but it always has had a little lean to it. I haven’t taken it out because it is a great host plant for the Yellow Cloudless Sulphurs, all the Senna family are. I have noticed the last few days that the branches of the tree are almost touching the ground. When I was walking around the yard this morning I noticed that the trunk has split in half. Unfortunately, I think it’s time for that tree to come down.

I don’t know what it is about my yard, but I swear that somehow the wind just swirls around my house. The west side is always very susceptible to wind damage. Many years ago we added an addition on our house. I think it is the way the addition sits on the property that makes the wind circulate around the addition and creates a little wind tunnel. It is so frustrating though because it just kills me when one of my plants breaks or is falling over. I think it is called Murphy’s Law! Most of my neighbors are not into gardening. I am not really sure it would be fair to say that they wouldn’t care if a tree or plant would be damaged, but it seems like they never have any damage to their yards. Mine, the wind blows, and down go the plants. WHY??

I think when these things happen to my yard I need to take a step back, and realize that I have no control over Mother Nature. My yard has changed so many times over the years due to storms. I need to just accept this change and move on. That is very difficult as a gardener. Actually I think change is one of the hardest things to accept for most people!

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