Check Out These Pages, Too!

"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.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye to November Already

I don't grow orchids. I just happen to have a couple of plants that either someone gave me or that I purchased for indoors. When they finish blooming I put them outside mostly because I can't bear to throw them away. The white orchid has another stalk of white and a purple friend this week. I posted a photo of the white orchid (I just looked back to find the link) on September 1st. My, oh my, the bloom is lasting a long time. They are a bright spot on the back patio.

It's hard to believe November is almost gone. Thanksgiving is almost here. That means Christmas is almost here. AND 2009 is almost here. Wasn't I just in Tennessee ushering in this beautiful autumnal month?

This particular November has been, without a doubt, one of the prettiest Novembers in a long, long time. I'm speaking in terms of weather ----well, my part of Florida anyway--- I can hear the northerners way up yonder in the panhandle groaning because of the cold. When the cold from Canada pushes its way south it doesn't usually push hard enough to affect us this early. It hardly happens in December. But this November it has. And that means it has been unseasonably cool (cold, to some even) all the way down here.

What that 'prettiest November description' translates to is day after pretty day with crystal clear blue skies, low humidity (saying Yippee!), afternoons with plenty of delicious softly-angled sunshine, brilliant sunsets and calm evenings.

With the early cold snap my neighbor's maple tree has actually turned colors at the tippy top this week. There are some years the leaves never change. Very fun to see from my back porch and family room.

Buzz of Bees Makes Me Smile

This beautiful Sunday afternoon was so perfect I spent most of it puttering in the garden. No heavy duty gardening. Just watering, adding soil to some containers, dead heading a few things, moving a few containers around ... the easy stuff that makes for a really relaxing time.

The sound of buzzing bees was a quick reminder of the mild climate we are blessed with here. Today in the mid 60's. They are still daily scurrying about from flower to flower. The lantana seems to be the central gathering place for so many flying critters these days. Probably because it is in a sunny corner. The cold has nipped the edges of the leaves just a bit but the flowers are still thriving.
It didn't take long and I was putting down the hose to pick up my camera. Skippers a-plenty basking in the sunshine along with the bees. There were monarchs and sulphurs today, too. They were playing back and forth from my yard to my neighbor's. Everytime I put the camera down to finish watering they showed up right next to me. Maybe next time my timing will be better.

And Birdies, Too

There were the usual little birdies congregating in the Ligustrum japonicum tree.Very rapidly the chickadees and titmice come to light on the feeder and take the one seed they've plucked out back up into the tree to eat it.

Much to my delight a new (to me and my garden) bird had joined the party in the dense cover of the Ligustrum tree. At least if this one has been here before I've never spotted it. I think it is a yellow-throated warbler. I apologize the photo isn't great. It didn't come out into the open to pose for me for some reason...very attractive little fellow and small like its playmates. It never did venture to the feeders. Maybe its new in town and just making friends, for now, with the regulars.

Flowers to go Along with the Soft Sun

Jatropha blooms caught my eye especially today. I'm particularly fond of the red blooms that attract the zebra longwing butterflies and the cassius blues by the swarms. These make great backdrop trees and I can't think of a month in the year when they don't have some blooms on them. This one is probably 15 feet tall now. It started out in a planting bed up close to the back porch. I had no idea when I moved it to the back forty how tall it would get. I'm glad. It's in a good place to grow.

At its feet the Scarlet Milkweed pods have begun to burst open. There are still blooms on the plant as well. But don't you just love the silky softness of the traveling seeds?

Birds from Last Week

This photo isn't from today. I took it last week. These shy grey titmice are so sweet looking with their big, perfectly round, brown eyes and their tufted heads so perky and bright.

Also taken last week and also new to me. I spotted this little guy from the back eating a worm in the veggie garden. I knew immediately that I had not ever seen one here before. It's a grey catbird. They are very common in north Florida. I don't really know about here. They forage on the ground mostly.

Vegetable Garden Update
Speaking of the veggie garden. We are eating green beans, pole beans, carrots and radishes from the fall garden so far. So very yummy. I'm thinking of the green beans and carrots I gathered yesterday and came straight into the house to sautee in garlic and olive oil with a hint of freshly grated ginger. Oh. So. Delightful.
I do hope everyone is being very thankful as we enter this week of Thanksgiving. I am feeling very grateful for all the blessings in my life. Feeling grateful is good for the soul.


  1. It is hard to believe that November is almost over and the wonderful weather we are having. This morning on my jog, I was trying to remember if the weather was this cool this early last year. Thanks for confirming the fact that this year has been different.

    And as always thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

  2. Meems, for not growing orchids, you sure do have some beautiful ones! It looks like you had a lovely day out. I too spent some time watering, pruning and just enjoying the beautiful fall Florida weather. There is definitely plenty to be thankful for. Thanks!

  3. What a beautiful journal you've written today!

    Time is going by so quickly, isn't it. Only 4 more months until spring (up here). :-)


  4. What a lovely post, Meems. This has been the most delightful November weather I can ever remember. I'm so excited to see the birds at the feeders, too, and hoping some of yours will be down here soon. We have had catbirds for years down here. They are very elusive, though. I hear them in the thickets more often than I see them. I love the warblers. The next six months are my favorite time of the year - pure pleasure. We are blessed.

  5. Meems,

    A very lovely and peaceful read! Thank you for taking me along with you as you shared your day and thoughts about the beautiful month you've had. We have had a wonderful fall!

    The photos are scrumptious! You know I have a very special place in my heart for the bees!

    Have a wonderful week~~

  6. As always a joy to visit, Meems, your descriptive script, a personal garden tour. I too love orchids and after blooming, set outside to enjoy summmer, hoping they will thank me when I bring them inside and bloom again (I have been blessed with a few hearty souls). A delightful November it must have been for you, including the visit with your sister; a lovely Thanksgiving story. Thanks for sharing. With warm thoughts ...

  7. Meems you didn't miss the deadline. You got in just under 6 minutes. So you have been entered. Good luck. Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!!!

  8. Sounds like November was a beautiful month for you -- it is impossible to believe it's almost over!

  9. Hi Meems what a wonderful and warm post. Great photos especially the bird photos, well done. Did you read my post with the Orchid Baby? if not here it is.

    Do you get baby plants from your Orchids? If yes how do you nurce them?...sorry that was a lot of questions. / LOL Tyra

  10. Orchids and birds , two of my passions!

    I love the pictures of the birds, its great to see species I have never seen before, sitting in garden bushes rather than an Avairy or Zoo.


  11. AAaaaahhhhh reading your post was good for my soul Meems. As I sit here listening to the cold rain pour down it is delightful to see your sunshine, flowers, and wildlife in the garden. Aren't you lucky to have two new yard birds. The Yellow-throated is one of my favorite warblers. We always know that spring is here to stay when the Grey Catbirds begin to show up. They nested in our garden one year. Now they nest near here but not actually here.

  12. It is so hard to believe how time slips by. Yesmam I, myself have a lot to be grateful for and give thanks everyday for the blessings and trials in my life. This was a good read. I am also grateful that a friend of mine got me into blogging where I have met an outstanding group of people I would have otherwise missed.

  13. I enjoyed seeing your birds. Our catbird will come to a platform feeder for fruit. Of all the birds I feed, the catbirds are probably the least shy.

  14. Thank you for my morning dose of green. Isn't it wonderful to find a new bird in the garden - what a handsome little creature. Glad to see we're both eating lots of Florida vegetables - although mine have a few more miles on them!

  15. Gosh Meems it feels like summer looking at that post......good to see all your wonderful native wildlife....especially for me the bees, the gentle buzz on a warm afternoon while you are gardening, there is nothing better.......

    Orchids are so exquisite.....I have grown them have them in the garden must be a dream......

  16. Had a warm beginning and ended the month on a note of utter fright...28 is ready for a cut back.....

  17. It's so good to see all the activity in your garden, Meems. I'm glad the butterflies and bumbles have a nice, warm place to spend the winter. Your blue skies and colorful maple look like the beginning of our November which was fantastic. Enjoy the cooler temperatures!

  18. Like you, Meems, I wonder where November went so quickly. We were just sighing in relief at the cooler temps when along came the cold! Your garden is so enjoyable to visit-all your lovely blooms and the bees and butterflies. Your garden will have to see us through a long cold winter here.

    Running around preparing for Thanksgiving doesn't give us much time to think about being thankful, but I have decided that should be a priority. So with the family all here to celebrate, I am going to ask each one(even the little ones) to tell us at least 2 things they are thankful for. I want this to be as much a tradition as the pumpkin pie.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  19. it's good to see so much lift going on in your beautiful november garden. this time of year always decides to take wings and fly away as fast as it can...hello are right around the corner.
    happy thanksgiving meems and happy bday too! hope they are both special for you.

  20. We've had a beautiful November too. Happy Thanksgiving, Meems!


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway