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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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

For the Love of May

"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May."
Edwin Way Teale

In many ways there isn't another single month quite like the month of May. May brings all the glory of buds and blooms worked towards so diligently in the months of Feb/Mar/April. Flowers popping out everywhere... greenery and foliage filling out with each new day.

In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it. ~Frank McKinney Hubbard

For me, it is the month that will forever be marked as my first vegetable garden harvest and therefore, hopefully, many more to come.

The sun has gone down on this spectacular thirty-one days of Florida gardening bliss with our cool, clear mornings and breezy, sunny evenings.

Hoe & Shovel experienced several "firsts" this spring. One being the previously mentioned vegetable garden. Another being first time online bare root plant buying/planting.
Walking about the garden this evening doing the daily hand-watering I spotted the first open bloom of the Olive Bailey day lilies planted (bare root) in March. This is kind of a surprise as the plants aren't very tall like the many other day lilies I've had for years. For the past week or so I've noticed the buds popping out of the scant greenery. Admittedly --just the appearance of the buds was enough to get happy over.

It was a thrill to look down and see its deep purple petals completely unfurled. Yes, I gasped in delight and surprise all at once. I proceeded to run get my camera as if the flower was going to fly away (like those tiny little birds do) before I could get back to it.

Who's Looking at Who Here?

We have been without rain for so long it seems all the little birdies are desperate for water. Shortly after filling the bird baths tonight, there was much activity in the fresh waters. Usually when one of these tiny birds (above) flies around me my camera is nowhere near me. Walking around the corner after the day lily photos, I was able to capture a few bird bath scenes. Would love some help identifying the little fellow above. It has a yellow lower mandible, yellow legs and feet and is less that 5" long. The photo is not great- I was a little too far away.

Turning to my left, another bird bath was being used by a Tufted Tit-Mouse taking advantage of the cool, fresh water.

Lastly a short video of another Tit-Mouse flitting about in the water.

"Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on."
Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs


  1. Meems, It's been delightful following the progress of your first vegetable garden. I've shared your wonder and excitement. There's just nothing like the experience of growing your own produce, nothing like enjoying your first tomato still warm from the sun, and a sweet baby lettuce salad you've grown yourself. I can think of few things more satisfying or more delicious.

    That's a beautiful daylily. What a happy thing that it's blooming already.

    And I really enjoyed the bird shots and video. May in Florida looks like a truly wondrous time of year!

    It's hard to believe June is already upon us. It's been a cold May in Chicago, and I've been savoring the last couple of finally-warm and spring-like May days here.

  2. Hello Meems, I love the Titmouse, he is such a sweet bird, so pert and well groomed...nice to see him letting his feathers down and having some fun!

    So sorry about the no rain situation, I am hoping it isn't a big drought. Do the gorgeous sunsets help make up for the no rain? It is a beautiful photograph.

    Bare rooted plants look so odd and I wonder "is this really going to grow?" So glad yours did and into such a lovely Daylily!

    Also your vegetable success is marvelous and daily encourages me to stick my toe in the waters!

    Summer is here in Tennessee, hot and's June!


  3. I hate that you are in a drought Meems. Is this usual for your area? I kinda had the idea that FL got showers every day. Maybe that is more southern FL??

    Water is a big attraction to birds that are living in a drought area. After all you have to have water as well as food.

    They bird looking at the bird in the one photograph looks like a Northern Parula to me. Great pictrue.

    It is fun reading your posts about all your "firsts". Your veggie garden is wonderful. It has almost made me want to start my own veggie garden. Maybe next year.

  4. hey sis,
    what a treat to walk thru a truly spectacular garden! i could do without the heat, though.
    it is amazing how your garden has grown, over 22 years ago there was room for a wedding. now it would have to be a meandering, winding event. thank you so much for making a great memory with the fam sharing the bounty from all your hard work. getting tasty treats from the oven and your wonderful new veggie garden(who could ask for more).... more please! i have no shame when it comes to such things.
    love you!

  5. I hope you have gotten or are getting some of the rain that I drove through earlier. It doesn't look like a single drop fell on my side of town, but out where you are it was raining buckets. However, I also know that the slow, steady rain is the best, but with what we have had so far, you can't get to picky.

  6. Linda: Thank you for all the kind words and thanks for being with me all the way through the trials and successes of the veggie garden.

    May in Florida is beautiful... as a matter of fact Jan- May are beautiful with the exception of some summer like days here and there. It is soon coming to an end closing in on the days of summer... NOT looking forward to the next few... but I'll save my complaining for now.

    Gail: yes, nice to the see the tit-mouse relaxing... they are so fun to watch at the feeders... flying quickly on and quickly off with their seed finds. The sunset photo was actually the eastern sky being lit by the western sunset last night. It caught my eye as I looked outside to the west and saw orange all over the tree trunks- a reflection from the East. I got my camera... walked outside toward the West to look back over the rooftop to the East where I captured the reflection you see in this post.Hope that made sense... it was breathtaking for several minutes right around 8:00 p.m.

    My sister was here this weekend and remarked how she had forgotten how much more humid it is here than there... hard to believe I know.

    I hope you do stick your toe in the waters of veggie gardening if you have the least inkling... it is more rewarding than you can dream.

    Lisa: the drought conditions come and go over the years. You are on the right track thinking we get thunderstorms every day. Only they don't start typically until mid-June and last year (for the first time I can ever remember) they were not EVERY afternoon but sometimes days in between showers. Last summer the drought intensified and we were put on very strict water restrictions. We are in the county and have a well and still have to adhere... This makes for LOTS of manual watering ... I am hoping this June the thunderstorms will begin very soon and be consistent.

    I think you might be right on the Northern Parula... I don't believe I've ever heard of it (or seen it around here) before but looking it up the characteristics seem to match. Thanks a bunch... nothing like your Fork-tailed Flycatcher... what a BEAUTY!

    Marmee: Thanks...yes, the garden has taken on a life of its own over the last 6-10 years since I intensified my hours spent there... much different from that wedding planned for the grassy back yard. Now it would have to be a windy aisle to walk down... but the arbor could be used as the altar... know anyone who wants to pay me big bucks to use it?

    It was really fun to have "the girls" here and just be girls for a night... wish we could do it more often.

    Nancy: Thanks... The Titmouse is typically a shy little creature... you can see it is keeping one eye on me even with its back to me.

    Jane: I came through some heavy rain on the way home from church but sadly it dwindled to almost nothing by the time we got to my house. It did shower lightly for a few minutes but nothing like I was hoping. Every little bit helps at this point... even some rain on the tree leaves is appreciated by them I'm sure.

  7. Hi Meems, We feel your pain about the lack of rain, although we had an all day soak from the skies yesterday. Your sunset photo should be framed, what enchantment from those colors with the dark limbs outlined. Congrats on the veggie harvest and bare root daylily, it is a good dark one. I always wonder when those arrive in the box, how will this turn into the beautiful photo that inspired the order? Sometimes it does, sometimes not. The titmouse is a fave here too, not too shy around humans with cameras!
    Frances at Faire Garden

  8. Frances: We did get an all day soaking back in February... not since... but counting on our summer pattern of afternoon thunderstorms to start up in late June if all is normal (whatever that is anymore). The bare root experience has been an eye-opener for this gardener. I'm nursing a few others along... not the usual me... to take risks with the unknown but it has been fun to have some new flowers.

  9. Lovely post and a wildlife gardener was thrilled to watch your little video...delightful.

    Can't identify your other little bird as I am not familiar with your natives. But he is certainly beautiful.

    The daylily is a gorgeous colour...quite unusual...I have not seen that here yet.

    Delightful post as always Meems.

  10. Your photos are wonderful!
    Wish I could see your garden in person and hear the birds splashing in the birdbath, and watch the dragonflies.
    I have been so busy gardening I haven't been around to visit any blogs for weeks. Hope to have more time now that June is here!

  11. Ok, you've sold me on a birdbath. Anything to lure the little devils closer...the better to snap their pictures, of course!

  12. I'm kinda sorry to see May end. June brought the hest right in with it. Been over 100 here a couple days already. Thank God for pleasant nights - so far.

    I agree with the parula ID. They have a cheerful little song that always makes me smile. We had an unusually large number of them, apprently nesting in our 'tree island', this year.
    You can hear the song here:

  13. Cheryl: thank you... glad you liked the video... I can "stop and stare" at birds any time. I'm enjoying those day lilies as they continue to open up this week.

    Connie: I've wondered where you've been... it can be really hard to actually garden and blog about it. Thank you for all your kind comments... I wish you could be here in person too.

    stacy: Birdbaths are a blast to watch all the activity... your kids will like it too.

    Sophie: I'm really sorry to see May end because like you said... the heat is here. I honestly don't think I've ever noticed the Parula here before ... is it possible it hasn't been here or is it just that I didn't notice? Just 'listened' to their little song... thanks for the link.


Have a blessed day,

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