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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

One of My Favorite Plants in the Garden

Is the Dwarf Red Powder Puff (Calliandra emarginata minima), I have the dwarf version which I keep potted on my patio. I keep it watered and fertilized frequently; it rewards me with hundreds of Red powderpuff blooms. It is a great attractant to hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. In South Florida our Hummingbird season is opposite of the rest of the country. Our hummingbirds migrate here in the winter which is from October until May. I so look forward to the hummingbirds returning. This is one of their favorite plants. Since this is on my patio they are very trusting because they will come right up to these powderpuff flowers to sip nectar. You can almost see the nectar and pollen on the tip of each one of the flowers.



I also have this tree in Pink (Calliandra surinamensis). It is a much larger version of the dwarf variety. I have it planted in my yard and it is about 20 feet high, with beautiful pink powderpuff flowers, which the hummingbirds and hummingbird moths love. One evening I was outside watching my yard and enjoying all the different wild life and I looked up at the pink powderpuff to see if I saw any hummingbirds in the yard. To my surprise there were many small little hummingbirds helping themselves to the nectar of this lovely pink powderpuff. I was so excited that I called my son to come out and see what a wonderful site. We discovered that they were in fact not hummingbirds but a moth that looks very much likes a hummingbird. Although I have many hummingbirds in the garden these moths look very much like them and at first glance are very easy to mistake for a hummingbird. It is so amazing because the wings of these moths imitate the motion of the wings of the hummingbird. The reason I mention these little incognito moths is that it is the first National Moth Week from July 23-29th. I remember being so excited seeing so many hummingbirds all at the same time, then completely disappointed because they were moths. I have to admit these were amazing looking moths. Happy Moth Week everyone!

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