We have been busy bees this month. Online we are excited to have a new cover photo for our social networks.
The new cover photo was designed by creative Courtney from Strong MOD. Strong MOD is Florida blog about healthy eating. Courtney offers up some delicious recipes. In fact I can’t wait to try her Pear Squares!
In the Garden…
The bugs are starting to swarm and I know our easy days of gardening are coming to a slow end.
The beets were destroyed by what looks like pickleworms, and they moved right onto the cucumbers! We must have a healthy population of pickleworm moths in our preserve! Their pupa are hard to organically control!
Speaking of moths, I discovered this banded sphinx moth while doing a little yard work today.
It was almost four inches long. I would love to see it’s colorful pupa. They usually live in burrows and feed on plants in the Ludwigia family (water purslane, water -primrose, etc), so the garden is safe!
When we removed our winter tomato crop this spring, a volunteer celery was growing underneath! We should have some to eat soon!
The little gardeners asked for yard beans this spring. They are hoping to see some soon!
I hope all my gardening friends have a special Mother’s Day weekend!
Simple Bird Feeder from Toilet Paper Rolls
What you need:
Toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, bird seed, and string or ribbon.
What to do:
Spread the peanut butter on the toilet paper rolls.
Roll the toilet paper rolls in bird seed.
Tie together with string or ribbon (We used jute).
We hung our bird feeder on the magnolia tree in the back yard. We are planning on bird watching in the morning before breakfast.
Even the dog liked our recycled feeder!
Spring is in full swing here in Florida. We’ve been enjoying the flowers in our yard and wanted to share…
We’re not the only ones enjoying them, can you see the little caterpillar eating one?!
April is an awesome time to garden in Florida. The weather is great… warm and sunny with a breeze. April is typically before rainy season begins here so the bugs and humidity are at a minimal. The only advice I can think to give this month would be since the weather is so nice, dry, and breezy… keep an eye on your watering. I have to had to lightly water almost every other day this month.
The saliva is blooming in the garden right now! Salivas also known as sages have a long flower blooming period. They attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to our garden.
The little gardeners have really enjoyed picking cherry tomatoes in the garden.
Lots of onions have been ready for harvest this month. The girls think they take too long to grow.
The rest of the month we are working on a new butterfly garden in the front yard! We started native milkweed from seeds a few months ago, but they are slow to grow this season. We purchased scarlet milkweed, native lantana (below), and a purple variety of lantana this week. We have several other native wildflowers and plants to add to our new butterfly santuary… once it is dug up! There is a lot of St. Augustine grass to be removed first, so we’re pulling Dad in on this spring project!
I will take before and after pictures!
Hope you all are enjoying April, whatever your weather may be like!
We took a break from gardening (and the cyber world) and went camping for a week in St. Mary’s, GA. We went by ferryboat to the beautiful Cumberland Island National Seashore, where we saw wild horses and mansion ruins. We camped at Crooked River State Park in St. Mary’s and the family enjoyed hiking, birding, food on the open fire, and a trip to a local nature center where the little gardeners were able to see a lot of creatures, including a cute little flying squirrel.
We feel blessed to have spent a week together in the nature. This month we are back digging in the garden and working on a new butterfly project! More pictures soon!
I would like to teach my children (3 & 6 years of age) to be able to identify plants. They can remember brands and logos, they should be able to remember the shapes of leaves and plants. We spent an hour in the backyard practicing this week.
I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate identification into backyard play. I saw an idea on Pinterest to make prints with leaves. We took it a step further and labeled the prints when they were dry.
First we went on a leaf hunt and gathered leaves of different shapes and sizes. Then we got out some finger paint and paper.
I grabbed some wipes for afterwards and let the kids get messy.
When both the paper and the leaves were dry, the kids matched them up and labeled the paper.
Here are some more ideas:
Learn to Identify Poisonous Plants in Florida
FloridianNature.com has 3 pages with photos of common poisonous Florida plants.
The Tree Identification Guide at arborday.org is a great site!!!
Off to pick some tomatoes in the garden!
We love upcycling materials around the house. One weekend while playing in the backyard, the little gardeners gathers up a bunch of sticks from our rain tree. We decided to glue them to a washed tin can to make a little backyard vase.
tin can, or other recycled container
We left the sticks different lengths to help arrange and hold the flowers.
We doubled up the stick layers to cover the aluminum. You could also paint the tin can for a little extra color to show through.
We’ve been enjoying flowers in our eco-friendly little vase all week!