Photo of the Month of December 2022

My Christmas cactus is in full bloom this year. Last year was my first year with it, and it bloomed around February instead of December, so I guess we’re all on the same month now. It hangs on my front porch in a macramé hanger. I haven’t had one of those since the 1970s!

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this is not a dry desert cactus, but a rainforest cactus. So, it’s a succulent that likes its humidity and grows in trees. Maybe I should move it? It seems to be happy where it is, and with me, the less I fuss with something, the less likely it is to die.

Photo of the Month of August 2020

My milkweed garden is filled with pretty blooms in yellow, orange and red. It is also filled with tiny aphids who seem to be enjoying eating everything on the plant.

While a good soaking for soap and water will rid the plants of the aphids, so will a happy Ladybug. She is moving along eating those aphids like Pacman and dots. All of this, and I don’t see one Monarch caterpillar. 

Photo of the Month of April 2020

I dropped the top of one of my pineapples in the ground a couple years ago, and this is the fruit that it is trying to produce for me now.

I had no idea that pineapples flowered, so I was very delighted to see these pretty purple blooms on the little spikes of the fruit. 

I read that it takes around three years to produce a pineapple, and then the plant creates offshoots that you can plant or runners that you and remove. Then the plant dies. I would never be a good pineapple farmer; I do not have that kind of patience.

Photo of the Month of November 2019

Here is a closeup of a flower cluster on the ixora bush that is planted in front of my office window. These brilliant orange bushes will explode with color and make a nice orange hedge along the front of the house. 

There are 562 species of the Rubiaceae family that the Ixora belongs to, and they consist of evergreen tropical leaves. They come from Tropical Asia, and they thrive well in Florida, so we use them for hedging and accent plants. 

Photo of the Month of October 2016

I took a day off and went to McKee Gardens, which is a tropical jungle and botanical garden  park with footpaths weaving throughout a lot of ponds and vegetation. They are particularly known for their amazing amount of lilypad species.

They also have an abundance of orchids and other tropical flowers that we typically find growing in Florida. At one time in their history (like 60 years or so), they were filled with parrots and wild monkeys that were still around in the 1980s. It is a fragile garden that is subject to storms and other things that are always threatening it.

Photo of the Month of September 2016

These are called beautyberries and are native to South America, but they grow wild all over our yard where  we have left some of the natural vegetation grow. They are quite edible and make a great jelly according to prominent gardening sites.

They are a favored treat of the mockingbird, but I have yet to see one come down and snatch the berries away. I usually just see them rot on the vine. We also have tons of Muscadine grapes that will overtake the yard if you let them. They also just stay on the vine.

I thought this gradient of ripening beautyberries were pretty cool, so I took the shot.

Photo of the Month of August 2016

I had a little bit of birthday money to spend this summer, and this plumeria is the one thing that I could think of that I have always wanted to plant in my yard. The nursery that I get a lot of my plants from had about a dozem of these plants in a large assortment of colors. I finally decided on the more traditional yellow and white. I did find out that when it produces seeds, the new plants are not necessarily the same as the old plants. I am looking forward growing some plumerias of a range of colors next spring.

Photo of the Month of March, 2016

You have to look really close, but in my azalea  flowers is a black swallowtail.He is busy gathering all the nectar he can from these fleeting
​flowers, so it was really hard to get a shot of him. The flowers are usually there less than a day or two at the most, so anyone who wants to have some of their sweetness needs to move fast!

Photo of the Month of April, 2015

Boy, you can tell I am back home because no more photos of snow mountains, but there are a lot of pretty photos of flowers.

This is a new lily bud from one of my lilies in the garden. I didn’t plant this one; it’s just kinda been around for many years, but it still offers us these beautiful blooms every year.

It has been blooming off and on for the last couple of weeks, and it will continue to bloom all summer long. Now, to get my planted lilies to bloom!