Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Trapping the Garden Nemesis
There is the big picture in a garden where a broad look speaks mostly of happily nurtured specimens and blissful Florida wintery days.
Days where the sun shines brightly and plants require tending by the gardener even in the busiest of seasons.
By the way, do you, dear reader, mind if I include a photo of the Giant Crinum Lily ~~this one in the back garden~~ in yet another post? To say it draws me in and requires my attention with its uber-long, broad, fleshy, magenta-hued foliage would be an understatement. AND it has turned darker in this location than when it was first planted ~~~ just as I'd dreamed. AND now that it keeps throwing out new spikes of fragrant blooms I love it even more ~~ if that is possible. Needless to say, it captures my attention whenever I'm in the garden ~~ I simply must take photos.
Where was I? Ahhh, yes (that Crinum ~~ so distracting)...
There is the broader view... then there is the macro view which by chance tells a more detailed story when one takes a closer look at any garden.
Hoe and Shovel happens to be home to some critters who do their damage in the nighttime hours. Nocturnal varmints who easily can tear up the roots of plants with their long claws and dig up bulbs by their curious habit of rooting around in the dirt with their long snout for grubs and worms.
Mr. Meems has been determined to help me rid or at least reduce the population of armadillos here at Hoe and Shovel once and for all. So he moves the trap around daily and checks it each morning hoping one (or two perhaps) will walk into it while they scavenge through every planted bed and pathway following their noses and wreaking havoc.
Trap and Release...
The day after Christmas a second one showed up in the trap. We rejoiced. It's easy to release them back into the woods a few miles north of our home but not near any other homes where they will be happy foraging and not causing damage. One more down... many more to go.
While my camera was at the ready in the garden for the first time in a few days, there were a couple of other plants that caught my attention while I was out and about.
Plectranthus argentatus 'Silver Shield' has been particularly interesting this year. It has been happy since spring making it through our long, hot summer and into the cooler season. Which is only one of the attributes making it worthy to be added to the list of must-have accent plants.
Rooting easily from cuttings it started out initially in container pots for a soft green contrast next to the deeply colored Pseuderanthemum 'Black Varnish'. The insignificant bloom is of little import. But its foliage, with an ever-so-slightly fuzzy nap of silver velvety-ness that adds a layer of even more texture and accentuates the darker veins, is what steals my heart.
Because it has worked so hard for me in containers more of it was rooted and placed in the ground and is doing well there, too. It's always nice to know with plants we try out for the first time just how far they'll go for you.
There aren't too many plants around here that transition through the stage of flowering prettily in one season and turning to seed-heads in another. The goldenrod has been left standing tall in replica of fuzzy weeds to remind us it really is winter in Florida. Gotta love the bark on the crepe myrtle in the background.
The armadillo trap is set and moved about each day for repeated attempts at trapping the critters that love to challenge my patience. We don't know how many there are lurking about in the woodlands and conservation areas around us but we would be happy if we convinced ourselves we are reducing the population and the damage done to the garden.
Here's hoping you are all enjoying the holidays and staying safe and joyful wherever you are.