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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, May 19, 2010

Scenes that Sing of Spring

Oh joyful month of May that is bringing the garden back to life in leaps and bounds. Our deep-south sunshine has lovingly warmed the soil giving all growing things a nice spurt of fullness they lacked even a couple weeks ago.

And NOW ... a quick mini-tour with some glimpses from the May garden.

Gaillardia pulchella, Indian Blanket from seed in the veggie garden... and so many other places as well.

From the circle garden looking southeast.

It's finally feeling like the post-winter garden has arrived and we are on our way to maturity once again. Thank you, spring, for your always faithful urging.

Butterflies are everywhere once again. It didn't take them long to find an early-spring-planted butterfly garden as the result of more sod-removal in the back.
Daylilies are blooming in the morning sun and happy with the filtered light under one of the Natchez Crapes in the back garden.

Low-lying container plants have filled out located in the front border that surrounds one of the oak tree 'islands'.

Stokes' Aster is blooming in the native garden.

And for all my Florida friends.

Every spring also brings the Eastern Lubber grasshoppers that endeavor to chew every living morsel before it has a chance to enjoy life. Caught this guy (so innocent looking) morphing to his larger, and even more destructive stage.
This one will never eat again, mind you. Just had to get the photo first.

The entrance to the tropical garden with a view of the butterfly garden across the pathway in the center background. As of spring 2010, almost the entirety of the southeast side of the back garden is lawn-less.

The backside of the wildflower garden with the tropical pathway in the background.

It is so good to have the Queen Emma crinums back with their ginormous leaves of deep magenta next to the tropical pathway.

Container plants in the back garden so pleased with the steady warmth.

And lastly ... a portion of the circle garden and the perennial border to the East of it.

It is unmistakably one of the busiest seasons in our gardens. Please know how much I appreciate you taking time from your busy gardening to visit.

Happy May and happy spring! Meems


  1. I've been wondering how your cycads are faring? I'm finally seeing new growth just starting to rise.

  2. Meems, your garden is truly paradise! I so wish I had that much land to play with. Your shot of that lubber is amazing! I do hate those things. Crush them daily. I too have noticed the giant leap the garden has taken this last couple of weeks. I can hardly organize my many thoughts into blogposts, things are changing so quickly.

  3. Incredible! those grasshoppers are proof that nature will prevail over all. Nasty boogers. They procreate all over the garden with no mind to others in the garden.

  4. Meems,
    Everything is looking lovely, and I like the way that you have named your garden into sections - makes it so much easier to visualize it all. Looks like you have have some wonderful paths to wander down, and so many flowers!

  5. Meems: I too envy you have so many land to play with, and lots of trees to provide some reliefs for the plants under them from the heat. Your garden is always a spot I love to visit, long before I became a blogger myself! And it always give me the new things to admire for everytime!

  6. That is one wicked looking insect in your beautiful garden.

  7. Hi Meems...It's amazing how quickly the garden recovers from a nasty winter. Looks like your garden didn't suffer too much irreparable damage. Those lubbers are nasty! It seems like I've squished tons of them, too. Yuck!

  8. Meems, You do know how to make a beautiful garden~I love the pop of red that you've shown, and the circle garden is perfect, and the Queen Emma crinums are beautiful~I could go on! gail

  9. hello meems,
    i like your little quote at the end of your post.
    i have been reading hoe and shovel every chance i get just not so much on the commenting with our busy spring here on the farm.
    i love them all...everything is looking so full and luscious in every part of your gardens. don't you just love the whole thing gardening brings...such satisfaction. so wish i was seeing it in person and we were hanging out in the pool garden~side.
    hugs and love dear sister.

  10. Hi Meems. Your yard is what we all aspire ours to look like. It's lovely and shows all the sweat equity you put into it. A labor of love, I am sure. It makes you just want to sit and stay awhile to look and listen to Nature. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  11. Your circle garden looks like it is really doing well and providing a nice spot to enjoy the views throughout the gardens. Eliminating lawn is a lot of work initially but how lovely the results are in your garden.

    What a great capture of a molting Lubber. And how great that you destroyed that destructive beast. I hate, hate, hate them! I'm am so hoping that all my squishing of the babies will keep those ugly yellow bugs to a minimum.

    You have gorgeous foliage, beautiful flowers, and interesting birds, bees, and butterflies. Altogether lovely spaces with great plant combinations.

  12. Haven't seen any Lubbers so far,this year.But I'm expecting them to show up any day.It's the armadillos that are tearing everything up!

  13. Your gardens are beautiful no matter the season Meems. I HATE those grasshoppers, have some that will never eat again myself....

  14. Hi Meems~~ Dang. I've been away from your blog for too long. I always enjoy seeing your burgeoning garden but I daresay that evil looking creature would send me indoors interminably. Florida really has some interesting fauna doesn't it?

  15. Beautiful. I have a Stokes Aster 'Mary Gregory' that is in bud now. I am anxious to see the bloom & it's color as that was my mothers name. When I saw that plant I just had to have one. Ordered of course.

  16. NellJean,
    The only cycads (as far as I know) growing here are the Coontie Palms and they are very frost resistant. Not only did they do well this winter but I have added several more this spring. Glad yours are returning.

    Having nearly to acre to play with has its benefits for a plant addict most assuredly. Never have I seen the lubber molting... it was hanging dead still off of some gama grass. May has been kind to the garden... I can hardly find time to blog even when my thoughts are organized.

    It's a good thing they are clumsy and slow when they get to be adults ~~~ otherwise if they had their way I might not have a garden in summer.

    I've tried to name sections so I can keep more detailed journals and remember what I meant when I go back and read it. :-) Whenever I plan a new planting bed consider for how I will navigate mature foliage is always thought out... thus the pathways.

    The trees are definitely a life-saver for Florida gardening. For the gardener and the garden! Losing that Drake Elm was a big blow to the back garden. But we are adjusting... sort-of.

    I'm so happy you started a blog... your garden journey is an inspiration to me!

    And it isn't even half the size it will end up molting to for its summer feasting. Grrrrr!!!

  17. Susan,
    Well... I don't know about "quickly" but all along I knew if patience was inlisted it definitely would recover... Working all spring on adding even more frost resistant plantings readying for future winters. I have squished so many of those lubbers daily it makes one wonder that there could be any left. And yet, there are so many places for them to be it is daunting.


    Red seems to be my go-to color in the garden... that and chartreuse (can't get enough of chartreuse) but have also added more yellow this year even though it is not a favorite... it definitely makes a nice accent. Have to say white is still my fav accent!

    You understand my blogging dilemma perfectly. So little time for it. Every spare hour the garden calls and it is where I'd rather be so ... no problem... except the housecleaning suffers! It's getting quite warm here already. Humid actually... warm is good... humid is harder on the gardener.

    I know Dash Home Farm is gearing up in big ways... plants and animals being added. Enjoy every moment, dear sister. We'll not get to hang by the pool but Buffalo is coming and we will make the most of it!

    One of these days I'm going to learn to just sit... I DO love how the garden draws nature and believe me I drink in their presence even while I work. But I am most satisfied when my grandkids run and play through the pathways and get excited about pointing out the butterflies or they notice the birds and name them on sight. It is worth all the sweat for them to appreciate and see them learning about the goodness of God's creation as they play.

    You words warm my heart~~thank you.

    The circle garden is probably my biggest surprise. It is doing better than I would have expected by now. Still a long way to go but that's okay... part of the joy of gardening... watching a plan come to fruition. Lawn elimination has been brutal at times but so fun designing what will replace it! I'd take out more if I could get away with it. Already the kiddos have had to curtail their golf and baseball ranges. :-) Golfballs litter the planting beds. Makes me smile each time I find one after they've gone home.

    Oh, those lubbers... they are EVERYWHERE this year. On plants I'd never guess. Now I have too many places for them to eat and feel I cannot keep up with them. Early morning and late evening they seem a bit more sluggish... easier for smashing.

    Thank you for your kind words. My obsession for creating motivates me to power through the humid conditions. A definite advantage in Florida.

    How is it possible you haven't seen any lubbers? Maybe you have more of what eats them in your neighborhood? Wish we knew what that was if it is the case. They have been here with vengeance. Smashing and smashing... hopefully getting most of them in the nymph stage. It is wishful thinking for certain.

  18. Susan,
    That would be enlisted. Nevermind... there are too many typos to correct. Grrrr. I do not like it when I proofread after I publish my comment. You'd think I'd learn...

    We were all hoping it got cold enough this year to kill them. Turns out the cold doesn't stop them. If it did you would certainly see a decrease up there in the "north".

    Oh, Grace,
    It is the snakes that would send you indoors. The lubbers are visible... the snakes surprise. I've been smashing those grasshoppers barehanded when caught without my gloves. I am WOMAN ~~ hear me roar. :-)

    Aw, I do hope it thrives for you. What a nice thing it has your mother's name. I've never seen them for sale around here. Bought mine last year from the native nursery 4 counties north of here. I wish I had more... (note to self) need to figure that out.

  19. Breathtaking as always Meems, your gardens are thoughtfully executed and inspiringly beautiful.

  20. I believe my aster will have a yellow bloom. will let you know. I really like the asters, would like to purchase more. Will have to see if they are available near here. Ordering is nice but can get expensive.
    I really like that blue. To me it's a soothing color.

  21. Oh my goodness..I just found your blog last night & i have spent about 4-5 hours just going through every page, its pathetic. I am a local here in St. Petersburg & a new homeowner, so I have the gardening bug right now. Your site is an inspiration & seeing all of the caladiums(which i have always loved & wanted) in your photos has me thinking of new plans for my house. I just love your page & your beautiful pictures. I will be going back through the blog again this weekend to learn everything that I possibly can & i'll be a new fan who visits frequently...thanks for doing what you do and sharing with all of us :)

  22. Hi Meems, i specifically love that bird it is very beautiful. Is it a kind of woodpecker? I like the plants too, but because the bird is there, i chose the bird, hehe.

  23. Garden Girl,
    There's still so much that needs doing... projects... weed pulling... more pruning... one of these days we're going to feel caught up. :-) In the meantime thank you for stopping by and your kind thoughts.

    Yellow... hmmmm I wonder if that is considered a native too? Sounds pretty regardless.

    Hi Kelly,
    This is a good time to have the gardening bug... so many pretty things in the garden centers to choose from. I wish you all the best in making it happen in your new home. Very fun... a new pallette to work with! Caladiums are easy (and relatively cheap)fun for the garden with good impact. Let me know if I can be of any help.

    I don't blame you, the red-bellied woodpecker is fascinating to me too. I just love the sounds it makes and watching them fly from tree to tree is a real treat. They frequent the feeders, too, so we get to see them more close-up.

  24. Oh my it is so lovely in your beautiful garden this time of year Meems. Everything looks so lush and full. I've never seen the lubber grasshoppers until today when you and Jean both showed them. Ugh. I'm glad I don't have to contend with those too. Awful fellows.~~Dee

  25. Meems, Your garden is looking beautiful. I hope to visit it over the summer. Janis

  26. As usual, I love your photos. The flowers are wonderful but so is your attention to the birds, butterflies, and even the miserable lubbers.

  27. You know you could probably charge admission to your garden! :-) So lovely!

    (got home from France at 1:00 am this morning)


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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Tropical Pathway