Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hibiscus are finally blooming. Either it's the cooler weather, or I've finally won my battle with invisible pests that were causing my flowers to drop off before they could open.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The weather has turned delicously cool recently. It's so nice to have the windows open again. With the worst of the hot weather over, things that would not bloom all summer are finally showing their flowers again.

My Blue Sky Vine, which looked terrible all summer long has finally popped out some flowers. The neighbors get the best view of these, as they are twenty feet high, and I only get to see them from the back. Even my morning glories have started blooming--I thought they were dead.

Hopefully, I can start on the back garden soon. Right now it's ov
ergrown and jungle-like. With most of the shade gone, it's been hot as blazes out there, and the mosquitoes are everywhere. I swear, when the mosquito truck comes around we wind up with more. I'm starting to believe he's spraying out mosquitoes, instead of pesticide. My winter project will be clearing out the back yard. The bamboos are all doing well, and there are lots of good things that have survived. Mexican Petunias have taken over quite a bit of it. There are several vines that need to be dealt with--jasmine, carolina jasmine, wisteria, clerodendron, and pandora vine. I guess we will be building new trellises this winter.

Friday, October 06, 2006

We have the most amazing dragonflies around here. This guy was kind enough to stop and pose for me so I could take some pictures. My digital camera was worth the massive investment. It not only takes great pictures, but I never run out of film. Wish I could get a shot of the baby racoons I've been feeding, but I don't think they'd like the flash.

Cannas are those wonderful bullet-proof plants that survive our long hot summers here. It turns out they also survive hurricanes quite well. The canna shown here is one of my favo
rites--it almost looks like a bird-of-paradise.

Turk's caps are also pretty resilient and saltwater tolerant. It's interesting which plants can survive disasters. I have gingers and various vin
es that made it. It's sad, though, there are no more azaleas in our neigbhorhood. Mine were over six feet high. I'm not sure I can bring myself to planting new ones. Maybe I'll change my mind in the spring when they set them out at the garden centers again.

It's October, and it's still hot-hot-hot. They are predicting a wet winter due to El Nino. Someone also told the we are due a cold winter, but right now I have a hard time believing that. Wintertime here is when I get down to some serious weeding and clean-up.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An Ode to Bamboo

We love our bamboo. We have a few stands of clumping bamboo in the back yard. We dug it up from the wild, and trasnplanted it several years ago
, and amazingly, it survived.

In the front yard, we planted the rampant, agressive, running bamboo. The type everyone tells you never to plant. We planted that around five years ago. Just as they
say, it slept, crept, and finally leapt. We didn't mind--it provided the privacy we sought.

In September 2004 we discovered an added benefit--we're convinced it saved our lives. Running straight up to our house is a road that ends almost at the sea. When the waves from Hurrican Ivan came rolling in
, carrying the debris from all our neighbors' houses, the only thing to break them was the bamboo. We still wound up with docks, sofas and fridges on our front lawn, but I think without something to take the power out of the waves a lot of that stuff might have wound up inside the house. It probably wasn't a good idea that WE were inside the house that night, but that's another story.

So if some shoots come up in odd places, we can just cut them back. The bamboo has earned its place in my garden.

Anyhow, it also provides a handy hiding spot to overhear the comments of passers-by when they discuss the wild colors we painted our exterior.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm not really a writer--I just like taking pictures.

I ordered some awsome elephant ears from an online gardening site. I was expecting some roots and half-dead plants, but they were already five feet high when they arrived. This is a new baby leaf that has already appeared.

I'm planting a lot of tropicals right now. I'll have to figure out how to protect them if we suddenly get a cold winter again. I have a plan to create little plastic "tents" I can pop over the delicate ones.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This is my garden so far. My previous house and garden were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. We moved into our new house in June. Despite the persistant drought this year, we have managed to get a nice new garden started.

The weather seems to be getting warmer each winter, so I've decided this time around to go more tropical with my garden. What the heck? I can't stop global warming, so I might as well embrace it.

Officially, we are in Zone 8, but being surrounded by water, I've noticed a lot of plants can survive here that can't make it a few miles inland.