Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Creating a Wildlife Habitat

This is a great series on creating a wildlife habitat from one of the Florida blog’s that I love to follow…

Creating a Wildlife Habitat – Step #1: Food Sources

Creating a Wildlife Habitat – Step #2: Providing Water Sources

Creating a Wildlife Habitat – Step #3: Places for Cover

Creating a Wildlife Habitat – Step #4: Provide Places for Raising Young

 

Remember to garden for the wildlife that help all our gardens grow!

Tent Camping with the Little Gardeners

Each year we go tent camping at different Florida state parks. Last weekend we camped at Little Talbot State Park in coastal Jacksonville, Florida.

Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. The park offered some gorgeous beaches!

The shells were MUCH bigger than our Ponce Inlet beaches.

Shell pie?

The little gardeners running to see what dad caught…

The campsites were arranged too closer together, but we made do and had a fun trip!

We did a little hiking…

The sunsets were beautiful (and the mosquitoes thought we were beautiful too)!



Jacksonville Beach was having an air show in the distance and the girls enjoyed the sky writing…


We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and are looking forward to another camping adventure already!

October’s Seed Swap Results

We had a great time at our Daytona Beach Seed Swap Event earlier this month.  I was so excited to take part, and the weather was beautiful that morning.

Here’s a video clip of our Seed Freedom efforts…

Daytona Beach Seed Freedom Seed Swap by SFGGardens

 

 

And here’s a list of the seeds I came home with…so cool!

Spaghetti Squash

Sunflower (large)

Wild Florida Sunflower (small)

Yarrow

Horsemint

loofah

cantaloupe

bell peppers

Siberian Kale

Bouquet Dill

Champion Radish

Lemon Balm

Moringa

and onion bulbs from one of our sponsors Green Winters Nursery!

They are already sprouting in the beds…

I have a renewed excitement for seed saving this fall and I am looking forward to the next swap in January. The next one will be held on National Seed Swap Day, which is held on the last Saturday in January every year.

 

Sign up to be notified of future Daytona area seed swaps!

 

Happy Gardening, Bee

 

bug catching and yard work

Florida summer’s make landscaping and yard work a tough task.  Most summers my husband and I let everything grow wild and then we spend a few weekends in September trimming, clearing, and taking back our property.


While cleaning up the backyard, I gave the little gardeners some free time to do whatever the liked, as long as they stayed out of the way.

My littlest gardener, who is three years old, loves to catch frogs! So, she and her sister built little habitats in some of their beach buckets and spent hours chasing after frogs and lizards. They were so pleased with their efforts! ;)

…and mom was so pleased to get the yard work done! :)

Fall Garden Update

Vegetable gardening offers many benefits, including sun, fresh air, exercise, mental therapy, nutritious fresh vegetables, and economic savings. Vegetables can be grown year-round in Florida if you pay attention to the appropriate planting dates.”  Check out UF’s IFAS Extension for more gardening info.

Here’s what we’ve been doing in our garden for the last month…

 In September we started seeds for the vegetable beds… beans, collards, radishes, carrots, onions, and lettuce.

 My oldest wanted to start the seeds in the playhouse and pretend it was her greenhouse. I think the protection of the playhouse was great for the seedlings.

We have been getting lot of rain here in the past month. The preserve behind our home is turning into a swamp and the mosquitos have been fierce.  However, there are beautiful mushrooms everywhere.

 

Monarch butterflies are back in the garden.

 

The aphids are back too…

Our pineapple crop survived the transplant and is looking healthy!

Our avocado tree we started from a seed, survived the fungus it got and is looking good and healthy again!

 

Fall is a great time for bulking up your compost.  We’re feature on EcoEtsy discussing tips for fall composting! Check it out.

Happy Gardening, Bee

 

Fall is here!

“But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.”
- Robert Finch

In Florida, the temperatures are just starting to drop below the 90 degree mark!  Fall brings a wonderful season for gardening and nature exploring here in our sunny state. 

The only color change we have is the  falling yellow blooms of our raintree, but my little gardeners love it (and so do a few insects).

Surprise Swallowtails

Last year we started milkweed from seeds hoping they would be ready for the monarchs this summer. We were thrilled when the six plants attracted tons of beautiful monarchs throughout the summer months.  However, we were pleasantly surprised to have swallowtail butterflies join in the fun!

I had harvested more fennel then I could make my family eat, so I decided to let some bolt and seed.  Little did I know the fennel would attract a handful of unique butterflies.

Florida is home to several species of swallowtail. I was never able to get a clear photo of the adults, since it was the larvae that surprised us.  I would have to guess that they were the Palamedes Swallowtail from studying them while they were drinking the zinnia.

Just like the monarchs we found the tiniest swallowtail caterpillars eating the blooms.

Then they would eat and grow, eat and grow.

Then unlike the monarchs, the swallowtail would build their chrysalis on the host plant, or just a few feet away.  This made it easy for the little gardeners to find them and witness their metamorphosis. 

Here’s two hanging in their “J” formation.

They were quick to metaphorize, and we often found the empty chryralises.  One wasp ate a swallowtail that was emerging.

 The little gardeners were amazed with TWO different types of butterflies in our backyard showing us their life cycles.  What a great summer with nature!

It doesn’t take much to excite a Florida gardener about Fall gardening!  Temperature cools off to the lower 90s, a few tiny green acorns on the oaks start to appear, and the raintree blooms yellow in the backyard… AND I have the fall gardening seeds purchased and the fall garden planned. :)   This week we’re sowing seeds and working hard, so our next post I will have photos of all our gardening fun.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Have a great weekend!

Bee

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