Archive for June, 2010

Our butterfly garden has finally born fruit—well caterpillars anyway.  Overnights the milkweed leaves are disappearing.  Victims to hundreds (ok maybe 30 or so) fat wiggly stripey caterpillars.  Never thought I’d be so happy to see bugs in my garden.  My handy dandy butterfly reference tells me that soon the fat invaders will turn into lovely monarch butterflies.  I love gardening.  I also love that my kids are as invested in the whole gardening thing as I am.  Tyler actually put down his dsi long enough to join me in the caterpillar count.

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Every year when the weather takes a turn for the warm (no, it’s not always warm in florida) this girls heart heart begins to think about planting.  Every year I say I’ll just buy an herb or two and every year it turns into an obsession.  this year I decided to plant my usually herbs (in pots) but I also got a wild hair up the wazoo to plant a butterfly garden.  I started it in a sunny corner of our yard and filled it with all kinds of blooming butterfly attracting goodness.  Now that we are finally in the rainy season it is growing like gang busters.  Of course, I’ve only seen one or two buttterflies but I’m still hopeful.  We do have a ton of dragonflies.  I just need the dragonflies to pass the word on to their butterfly buddies.

Being me, I couldn’t leave it at that.  I also had to buy a new orange and banana tree.  The banana went in a giant pot I inferited from the inlaws.

See, here’s the thing, our yard is cursed.  With the exception of one corner, nothing grows in the ground.  I put in this lemon tree 4 years ago.  It’s grown about an inch.  This year I turned to the experts at Lukas nursery about our toxic yard.  They suggested adding gypsum to our clay soil and lots of fertilizing for existing trees.  I took their advice and my sad little lemon tree has some new sprouts and even a few lemons.

I planted this avocado tree at the same time as the lemon.  You can see it’s doing just a little better.  I’m convinced that there’s a dead body planted in this corner  of the yard providing fertilizer.  Last year we even had avocados (just five but it’s a start).

The incredible super tree

With my new knowledge and a bag of expensive soil to amend our nasty clay I decided to try a few plants in the ground.  To that end I planted an orange tree, blueberries and a raspberry bush.  Stay tuned to see if my amendments bear fruit (pun intended).