Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Fruits of our Labor

Labor Day is the perfect time for all of us to put down the trowels and shovels, grab an ultra-cold glass of iced tea, take a comfy seat on our porches and patios, and just admire the fruits of our labor -- our beautiful gardens. 

In the Bay-Friendly Landscape, the lushness of summer is still evident. Our yard has grown dramatically this year, thanks to abundant rain. We have not provided any supplemental water in at least two months. My primary chore this summer has been pruning, and pruning, and pruning again. 

Butterflies and moths continue to visit, although their numbers are now tapering off. Sulphurs are the most abundant now, and their caterpillars are keeping the cassias nicely in check.

Sulphur caterpillar munching cassia
Recently, we have been serenaded in the evenings by an extremely loud cicada orchestra. I was lucky enough to see one of these gigantic, pop-eyed insects on the ground, presumably right after emerging as an adult in its winged state. But not lucky enough to have my camera with me, unfortunately. 

Can anyone identify this moth -- perhaps a duskywing? It was feeding on the native mistflowers.

The lovely carefree caladiums are still going strong, their happy faces lining our front walkway by the funny antique sink that we use as a bird bath. 

Fall is showing its colors already, in the festive purple beads draping the beautyberries, in the first feathery pink plumes on the muhly grass, and in the berries popping out on the East Palatka hollies. 

As if they are running out of time,the chaste tree is sending up a furious shower of violet blossoms, and the majestic beauty hawthorne is putting out an unexpected second bloom. 

Everywhere, things are happening, growing, changing. 

But I'm just going to sit here for a while, quietly, and do nothing. It is Labor Day, after all.


  1. Your garden looks fantastic! Enjoy your day off!

  2. I enjoy looking at your grassless landscape. I'm especially fond of the white gravel...look very nice and cool. Great shot of that moth!

  3. Hi Nanette,
    I DO love the way you two spend your weekends. This type of gardening is perfect for your busy lifestyles and the amazing thing is how little maintenance it takes. It is so true the summer growth seems to take me by surprise every year and yet I should be used to it by now.

    I admit I characteristically use labor day as an excuse to "get to" work in my garden all day. LOL

    Your garden has really matured nicley since you first put it in... it is fantastic!

  4. Ladies, thanks for your comments. I did indeed take Labor Day weekend off from all gardening duties. In fact, I actually went out of town and I swear the plants grew another 3 inches while I was gone! It is very breezy today, making me think of Fall. Soon, we will all be able to sit outside in the evening and enjoy the beautiful Fall bloomers in our gardens. It is so much fun to see how the garden changes with each season.

  5. Your Florida (and gardener) friendly landscaping has really become the perfect complement for your home. Love those pathways!

  6. That is one beautiful landscape you've made. Congratulations for making this so beautiful. It would be more stunning at night if you add a couple of spotlight that will highlight your plants at night.

  7. Thanks for the compliments, rain water harvesting. We have intentionally not added any spotlights on the plants because we live in a very urban neighborhood with so much light pollution now that we don't want to add to it.