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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bees Sunbathing

This is a video of my bees discovering the water garden.  I had a tray of sunflower seeds that were germinating.  The tray had collected some rain water and it was right next to the pool.  The bees had discovered the tray and the corner of the pool and at any given time there were maybe 50 or more bees at the poolside. I know this is Miami but I really didn’t want them sunbathing around the pool and accidentally drowning.  So I moved the seeds and then a few days later discovered that they had found my water garden.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Working on My Butterfly Garden

I have needed to work on my garden for a while.  It was terribly overgrown, so I decided to make it a 4 day weekend around the holiday and work on my yard.  I bought 2 yards of composting soil and decided this was the year to work from the base up.  The soil is so important in giving the plant nutrients.  I am hoping I see a difference in my plants this year.  I also added some nice organic fertilizer made from chicken poop.  It was a lot of work but always a satisfying feeling of accomplishment when completed.  I need to mulch very badly but need to wait financially.  I do not use any pesticides in my yard, that includes Round Up, which by the way is one of the most effective products for killing weeds,  but it is a systemic product.  That means that it affects the plant for the life of the plant.  For a butterfly garden it is something you never want to use in your garden.  It gets into the plant, the leaves, the pollen, and any pollinator that visits that plant will get just a little bit of that systemic poison, so I always have a lot of weeds to pull.  I can’t wait to mulch to control the weeds and to help maintain moisture for the roots of the plants.  The other area I need to work on is the lawn.  As you can see in the pictures there isn’t much of it.  I have seeded several times.   This time I also opened up the Bougainvillea and cut back a few flowering trees to let more sunlight into the yard.  I really needed to open things up for the bee hives anyway.  The hives always do much better with sun.   

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