Monthly Archives: December 2015

Crazy Weather, Gorgeous Flowers

Along with much of the eastern United States, central Florida has set record high temperatures lately. While we don’t want cold weather, some cooler temps would be appreciated. The local weather guy says it will cool down to normal temps of high 60s and low 70s this weekend, and that soon, we should see some cold weather. So I thought I would share some of the local beauty before Jack Frost hits, such as these azaleas, courtesy of our weird weather:

Snow Single - mlm c@

Pale Pink - mlm c@

Many of the azaleas around here are the Encore azaleas. These two are not. We had a slight cool spell in November — had to wear a sweater — now they seem to think it’s spring again.

These hibiscus seem to think it’s still summer:

Yellow Hibiscus - mlm c@

Orange Hibiscus - mlm c@

Even my impatiens haven’t missed a beat:

Impatien - mlm c@

Day lilies are blooming right along:


Yellow with Bud - mlm c@

Even the petunias will bloom all winter, assuming no hard freeze comes our way as it did last winter.


Petunias - Red-White mlm c@

There are other flowers, vines, and shrubs blooming, such as firecracker plant, mandevilla, bougainvillea, and lobelia. We are looking forward to some sweater weather, but not coat, hat, & glove weather. Wish us luck, and Happy New Year!

Shared Blog Post From Designs by Lolabelle

Bugs in My Garden

We went away for 3 days. When we left, my little herb and vegetable garden looked great, like this leaf lettuce plant. When we returned, well, not so much. It had been invaded by grubs. I find it odd that they munched only on the lettuce plants.

Healthy Leaf Lettuce - mlm c@

The first thing I do when returning from a trip is to wander through my garden checking on plants, deadheading flowers, watering anything that needs a cooling drink. I’m usually impressed with how things have grown while we were away. This time, however, I was dismayed at part of what I saw. The critters had invaded while we were away! This is one of the only three Red Sails lettuce plants left and it is tiny.

Lone Lettuce mlm c@

Below is what is left of 8 small but beautiful leaf-lettuce plants. Along with those three Red Sails is one Bibb lettuce plant — still there, but looking pitiful.

Here’s my once-pretty lettuce bed:

Lettuce MissingWhen we left for a get-away weekend, there were 4 rows of lettuce plants, Red Sails, Butter and Crunch, Bibb, etc., planted along both sides of each of the soaker hoses. Grubs had eaten the roots of all the lettuce plants. The 2 in the foreground of this photo are the only ones that may survive. There are others, barely visible in the photo, that probably won’t make it. The nice green plants at the top of this photo are Brussels sprouts. Fortunately, the grubs didn’t seem to find them appetizing.

My Once-Beautiful Parsley, Before and After:

The leaves of the parsley were eaten by a black worm with yellow stripes. I had a photo of him, but it seems to have vanished. Will the parsley  come back again? Only time will tell.


Flat Parsley - mlm c@

Parsley - bug bitten - mlm c@


Insecticidal Soap

I have sprayed the parsley with my favorite organic insecticidal soap. It is safe for use on vegetables, fruit trees, and flowers.





I have now moved some of the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower plants that were too crowded into part of the lettuce space. Next thing to do is sow some seeds of Mesclun Mix, and hope that I soon have some greens for salads. Wish me luck.