Back Again!

26 03 2011

Getting sick of me yet? Maybe it’s the gorgeous weather, maybe my massive procrastination is coming to a head as I put off a dozen critical tasks in favor of taking pictures and writing about the yard. Whatever the reason for my creative spurt, it has inspired this post, at least three more to follow, and a recipe for the long neglected recipe section of this blog.

Let’s start off with a smile:


Former park visitors gave AJ this “No Pooping” sign, because he raved about it so much. My focus is on the cactus, but the squatting dog does upstage the subject. Do try to remember the cactus; as it will feature in a future post.

If plants could talk (and surf the internet) some of mine might have been miffed for being left out of the garden showcase post. If they could express emotions like pride and motivation, Oregano would win the prize. This plant is a real over-achiever, and is competing with the Mint for who can take over theirs and all neighboring containers.


Purslane strives to shed its reputation as a weed, by being packed full of nutrition and by displaying plump, fleshy leaves and dainty, colorful flowers. This is my secret weapon should the Zombie Apocalypse happen in my lifetime. A person would be hard-pressed to starve with as much Purslane as we have around here.


AJ is the tree enthusiast. He is cultivating Avocados, Papayas, Mangoes, and this Ponytail Palm that his mom has been growing for us.


When she and Mark visited in January, they went to Rock City Gardens in Vero Beach and found this mature Ponytail Palm. We look forward to the day we can lounge in the shade of our own grown-up, primordial-looking tree that isn’t really a palm and stores water in its foot.


This Pigeon Pea is also supposed to be a tree. It is stunted after surviving the winter. I won’t plant it in the ground, because it is an heirloom, of sorts, and I don’t want it to pick up the dreaded nematodes. All of the potted plants are going with us when we move, and we hope to leave unwanted stowaways behind.


Amaranth or Callaloo is everywhere. The volunteers have popped up from seeds left by the one and only batch of these that I planted. Welcome weeds, they are, though. I call them “Secret Super Lettuce”, because they grow in the worst conditions, laugh at nematodes and have tasty leaves, great for salad or on a sandwich when real lettuce has long since gone bitter. They are also great as cooked greens.


Chives limped through winter. They seem overjoyed with the warm weather and are preparing some lovely, fuzzy, lavender flowers for a future post.


The Back 40 was getting primed for a feature. That was until AJ got rambunctious with the lawnmower! I told him to check with me before doing yard work back there. I had some great clumps of Gaillardia and Seaside Oxeye Daisies, which were doing nicely, and promising to bloom soon. I also had a little watermelon plant, that was thinking about growing up soon. So much for that. I came home, yesterday, to find that he chopped them down, as well as the Spiderworts I was harboring.

At least he left the Crookneck Squash. I would have been pretty crabby to find that mowed down!



With everything blooming, I had begun to wonder when the insects would show up. Activity is beginning to pick up. I’m starting to see my favorite beneficial insects, some that are more popular with me than most gardeners, and signs of the more rotten little critters who think I have been working on their own private buffet all winter!

Stick around to find out who they are.