Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mom's old cactus

Last year my Mom was moving back to Ocala and in the move she decided to give us a cactus that she had actually had for many years. I remember it sitting in a pot on the deck since I was a little kid. Even with mom's black thumb, the cactus stayed alive. Well now it came to our house in the same little black pot it had always known for about 15 years or so.

As we got it home, it just seemed like it was begging to be transplanted. It needed more space, more nutrient rich dirt and just a good spot in the sun. So we did just that and waited... About a month or so ago, there was finally a bloom on the plant and it had shown significant growth. I could barely contain myself with getting to see the first bloom after so long. Sadly, the night it bloomed, I missed out.

Within the last week, Sam and I noticed the blooms coming in again! This morning he took Molly-dog (we just started to call her that instead of Marley) outside for her morning backyard stroll and came back in at about 10 minutes to 5 (yes... I was not happy....) telling me that I needed to get up to see something in the backyard.

Reluctantly, I dragged my half-asleep body out of bed. Sam told be to bring my phone... So I did. And just outside the slider from the Master Bedroom out by the pool, I understood all of sudden why it was so important!

These photos just don't do it justice! There were two large beautiful white blooms just soaking up the rays of the falling moon. The sky was clear and the air was still. The flowers were widely awake, even if I wasn't.

A quick glance around the yard and I also peeked the other backyard night bloomer: the goards.

The delicate vine has trellised nicely and has started to meander towards the rain barrell. Its delicate white flowers look like they are cut from the finest tissue paper and glued into place. Because of the night blooming, it's rare that I get to enjoy the flowers on this vine.

As I dragged myself back to the slider to crawl back in bed, the protector of the night gardens was enjoying his feast from thefloodlight buffet and poked his head out to let me know he had his eye on things.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Today Molly joined the family! A beautiful 7 month old puppy, still growing. She is so sweet and loving and already Sam and I have bonded with her. Can't wait for all the good times to come!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Attack of the Gulf Fritillaries!

With all of the rain we've had recently, it's such a pleasure to see the growth in the gardens.

In the backyard behind the pool, we have our three "color panels" starting to take shape! The two outside panels have different colors of bougainvilleas.

The smaller shrimp colored bougainvillea on the left panel.
A big bright magenta on the right.
The center panel was planted with a small purple passionflower vine. With all of the rain, it has grown in leaps in bounds! Yesterday, I was able to catch it's first bloom; however, it was mangled from falling on the ground in the torrential downpours.

So I trained the vine up onto the wood panels and hoped that the future blooms would open up in the next day or two and show beautiful blooms. I checked again when I got home...

Sadly, not mangled by the rain, but eaten by caterpillars. Upon closer examination, little caterpillars littered the passionflower.

I checked online and found they are gulf fritillaries. Gonna leave them for now and see if they stick around. Even though they ate the passionflower vine, it looks like it's going to be ok and continue growing,. Just decided that if they've already had their fill, perhaps they will be able to grace our backyard once they become beautiful butterflies!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Here comes the rain again!

After about a week of the hottest weather in ages, there was nothing nicer than to make it home, pull into the driveway and hear the claps of thunder rolling in. No sooner than I got inside the heavens opened up and poured out every little drop of water and quickly dropped the temperature from 100%  down to a balmy cool 80% with breeze.

As soon as it started, I pulled the plants out from the patio and let them soak up whatever they could. Sat on the patio and enjoyed the rumbles and splish splash of rain drop diving into the pool and breaking on the patio pavers.

In the video, you can also see the herb garden from the last blog entry just beyond the pool.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Herb Trough

One man's trash...

So our neighbor had this pipe... No use for it and Sam decided that he had an idea - and a grand idea it was!

Together we crafted and created a new herb garden. I have posted the video to share in the event you would like to make a similar one.

** track on this video is Hiromi Uehara...