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, April 14, 2012

Palm Beach County Beekeeping Conference

I attended the all day conference at the Palm Beach County Beekeeping Association. 

I met some very nice beekeepers and listened to some very informative lectures.  Sam Comfort was there, so I got to ask him questions and show him pictures of my hives.  Kim Flottum who wrote the “The Backyard Beekeeper” was the key note speaker. I took a class on raising good queens, which was very informative because I am in the process of requeening my two original hives.  From what I saw when I went into my hives several weeks ago the queen cells looked good, and hopefully when I go into the hives this weekend I will have a very healthy laying queen.  I also took a class on Solitary bees.  I am in the process of putting up some Solitary bee houses in the yard.   Did you know that there are more solitary bees that are native to this country and are better pollinators than honeybees?  Honeybees are not native to this country.  They actually came over in the 1600’s with the first settlers from Europe.   We also got some hands on experience in hives.  There were several classes on recognizing pests and integrated pest management.  Most of these classes were geared to the Langstroth hives.  As a new beekeeping there is so much to learn and this was a great opportunity to increase my knowledge.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finally Mulched my Butterfly Garden!!

I am so excited because I am finally mulching my garden.  Like I said before, this was long overdue.  I have had such an issue with weeds but refuse to use any Roundup in the yard.  The mulch should control the weeds.  I think it looks so beautiful!  It is funny how excited and happy just mulching the yard makes me feel.  Here are some pictures of my yard.  You can see that everything is growing well and the grass is actually starting to come in.  I may have to reseed a couple of times, but I am hoping to finally have some grass back this summer. 

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