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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

caterpillars, butterflies and flowers

lately i have behaved a bit like a school kid... daily notating the progress of one monarch caterpillar's progression. there were actually two the first day i discovered them on dec. 2nd and now, without a trace of the other, only one lives. you might remember the post when i first mentioned planting the monarch host plant, scarlet milkweed, with the hope of attracting monarchs. who knew it would happen so quickly?

you know i am hoping to see the formation of a chrysallis any day now...

Scarlet Milkweed- host plant for the munching caterpillar

like everyone else these days, i am busily shopping, crafting, cooking and decorating for Christmas but i wanted to take a few minutes to share some sights from the garden i've managed to capture over the past few days.

the drought conditions in florida remain. no rain along with our near record-high temps lately translates to, at the very least, extensive hand-watering demanding my attention regularly. this can actually be a rewarding & fulfilling experience. positioned over my beds and potted containers gives me the perfect opportunity to examine the foliage & flowers with scrutiny i might pass up if not for this chore. of course i always have pruning shears handy in my back pocket for random dead heading and manicuring as the needs arise and they most often do.

long-tailed skipper posing nicely for my lens

then there are the butterflies that flit about freely through the air-- alluding to a life without a care in the world. i get a kick out of watching them and if i can keep from dropping the hose and running to get my camera, my plants actually get the water they deserve. the birds seem to come fearlessly closer when there’s water flowing. hearing them singing in the breeze is most assuredly a peaceful, calming factor.

could this be the queen that lay the eggs i'm now watching as a caterpillar???

i pulled this nightblooming plant out of a hanging pot recently and semi-discarded because it had gotten unruly and unkempt.
to my surprise i walked out early one recent morning to find this amazing burst of white from a plant i thought for certain had fallen asleep.


  1. I like the burst of white...don't care at ALL for the caterpillar. It's weird, since I love butterflies and that's where they come from...yet I'd gladly do without all caterpillars, since I don't ever equate them with butterflies. Yet I wouldn't want to do without all the butterflies...hmm, I'm sure there's some sort of spiritual lesson in all of this...

  2. wow, you have an absolutely gorgeous garden. Your collection of plants and flowers is absolutely breathtaking.

  3. Great pics meems. I am amazed at how lush your garden looks this late into the year. You don't seem that much further south than us and we have lost almost everything but the green stuff after two hard freezes earlier in the year. We were able to salvage some containered flowers. Can't wait to walk in your garden when we visit "home" in a couple weeks.

  4. Your garden looks warm and beautiful, as we are buried in several inches of snow here in Idaho!

  5. mlm: This caterpillar is actually quite beautiful with its clearly marked yellow, white and black stripes and have a look at its little suction cup looking feet- at least that's the way I see it.

    i'm sure you are right about the lesson...something like transformation and metamorphosis maybe...???

  6. nt: it's kind of odd how we are far enough south that we rarely freeze while the counties just to north of us do. that makes for year round gardening the winter months are active growing seasons for me. i take my chances and hope we won't have a random freeze.

    connie: it is a contrast for certain. i've lived here all my life so green and warm is something i am quite accustomed to.

  7. I learned some thing new today, I didn’t know those caterpillars were monarchs. Your blog looks so festive you did a great job. The pictures are amazing as ways

  8. I LOVE night-bloomers! Is it a cereus? It's GORGEOUS!

    I'm bull-dozing my closets this week, so have a lot of catching up to do on here.

    Hope you're having a blessed Christmas season along with all that gardening. 8-]

  9. Some friends of mine think I should install a sprinkling system because I have had to water so much this past summer. I don't want to and it is difficult to explain to them or anyone why I like to water. You said it perfectly. I also like to slowly be watering and looking around the flower beds. It makes you appreciate them so much more I think. Of course if I worked more outside the home or had other obligations I might have a change of mind regarding the hose watering but until then I will water and wander the garden.

  10. lisa- in florida we would not manage without an irrigation system. it is too dry and hot most of the year. however, we are on very strict regulations for using irrigation due to drought conditions so hand-watering is a must. like you said... i thoroughly enjoy the peacefulness of it... when i have the time.


Have a blessed day,

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