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.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Raised Bed Kitchen Gardening Class

I took a very good class at the Healing Garden of Miami.
The garden was beautiful.  I learned a lot about how important the soil is when you garden.  Several years ago when I did some heavy yard work I put 3 yards of soil around the flower beds.  I do not think it was the proper soil.  This time I got some very nice composting soil from a local nursery center.  Their compost is very good.  I also got a 50 lb bag of organic chicken fertilizer.  I mixed it all together and spread it around the backyard.  I hope that in the Fall I will eventually put in a garden on the west side of the property.  Right now I have Cat Palms in place.  They are clean and low maintenance.  I plan on moving them if possible to the backyard and start working the soil on the west side of the house for a garden with vegetable and herbs in the Fall.  It is a perfect location for a garden as it gets sun most of the day.  Brent’s garden was beautiful and what made it so special was his energy, and how he mixed Miami flowers and trees and palms in between all the vegetables.  Take time to visit his website.  

Monday, February 6, 2012


Update on my beekeeping. The hives are doing well, growing and producing many bars of brood. Was feeling confident and went in to show my sister and nephew a bar with bees and honeycomb.  I didn't use my smoker or my suit. The girls are usually sweet and only get agitated if I do something they don't like. I am learning to listen to them while I work the hive.  When I went in without my suit, out came a little cluster of bees and I got stung twice.  I forgot that I had my black dress on.  Bees perceive black as a bear.  No wonder they stung me.  I also learned how important it is to announce that I am going to enter the hive.  I don’t use a lot of smoke but I usually smoke the entrance and under the lid to let them know that I am entering.  They say the "honey doesn't taste as sweet without the stings." Well these stings hurt and are swollen.  My honey is going to taste really good!   I won't be making that mistake again.

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