"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Monday, August 8, 2011


I love butterflies, and grow quite some plants that butterflies love.  But for some reason, up to recent months, I hardly saw butterflies visiting my garden.  The most popular one I saw was white peacock butterfly.  Even when I occasionally spotted some butterflies visiting my garden, I either did not have camera in the hand, or just not fast enough to got some good shots of them.

Fortunately, this past weekend, I had luck to see two butterflies in my garden, and out of more than a couple dozen of blurred pictures, I indeed had some worth posting.  Finally!

I started from one milkweed plant over one year ago. It serves as Monarch butterfly’s host plant, and often seen being chewed to the bare sticks.  Now this one plant has so many volunteered seedlings popping up from here and there.  I kept another four in the ground to let them grow since they are in good locations, the rest of them will be pulled out or given away.  I was excited to see monarch caterpillars on them early this year, and even more excited to see the monarch butterflies finally visiting my garden!  (Update:  Floridagirl pointed out that the below two images  are indeed Queen Butterfly, not Monarch butterfly.  Thanks, Floridagirl!)


This gulf fritillary butterfly actually landed on lots of my giant Zinnia flowers, but none of those pictures were coming out clear!  I ended only have this one on the hibiscus leaves.  Yes, I am asking too much, not only a butterfly, but also on a beautiful flower with a perfect steady pose for me??  I should not be too greedy!


Some other things going on in my garden. 

This desert rose (Adenium obesum) is always one of my favorites that requires little attention from me.  I often wonder why I don’t see many Florida bloggers post this plant since for me it is such a easy and beautiful plant, blooming almost year around, with Spring being its peak time.  I only brought them against the house wall in those below 40 days in the past winters, otherwise they are in the full sun all year long.  They really did very well in the past two winters even they are considered tropical plant.
The other day, I spotted two long bean-like things growing from the branch.  Those are actually its seed pods!  I actually already started some from seeds my friend gave me, and wonder how long it will take for them to bloom from seedlings. I will try to collect these seeds by wrapping a plastic bag around it, so that the seeds will not fly away in the wind when the pod pops open.

First Canna lily flower.  It is late this year, maybe I need give them a little more sun.


Several Dendrobium orchids are blooming again in my garden.  I often think I should have fertilized my orchids more often, but they still surprise me with flowers from time to time.  Maybe they will reward me more flowers if I feed them a little bit more?

I hang this one on the tree in the front yard, and now I can see four flower scrapes from far away every day I come home.


The following one was started from a cutting two years ago, and this is first time it blooms.  The original color is light purple, and I surprised to see now the flowers are in white with some purple in the center.


The one is called “Blue Fox Tail”, in my favorite blue/purple color!


Don’t you think these purple/blue colors are so soothing cool to the eyes in this hot hot summer days?


  1. Ami,
    Oh such lovely photos - I love monarch butterflies, and you got some very good shots there. Your orchids are lovely too. It is so nice to follow blogs with seasons opposite to mine and I can have an idea of what I will be seeing once we get the heat and humidity... right now it is quite cool (for us) down to about 60*F at night!

  2. Congratulations, they seem to have posed for you. And those orchids have big spikes, they might be healthy.

  3. Ami ~ Wonderful shots of your lovely flowers and the butterflies as well. Everything looks healthy and lush in spite of the heat and humidity we are having.


  4. Wow, those dendrobiums are phenomenal! Wish mine had sprays like that....

    I know what you mean about catching those butterflies. It seems I see them most often when I don't have my camera as well. And even if you do have the camera, you really have to spend a loooong time out there playing paparazzi...in the worst, most humid, sunniest weather possible...till the sweat is pouring down your face. That's why I don't often get butterfly shots. Anyway, your captures are very nice. Congrats! Did you know that first one is a Queen Butterfly?

    Your desert rose is beautiful. I once grew it (way back in my 20's), but they are super cold-tender, as well as pricy, so eventually I stopped giving in to the temptation.

  5. Hi,
    Floridagirl is right that is a Queen a southern relative of the Monarch. Enjoyed the photos.

  6. Your orchids are gorgeous. I can see they're loving the humid Florida air. The butterflies were late to my garden this year, too. I wonder if the cold winter had something to do with it. It's always wonderful when the garden is full of the fluttering creatures.

  7. Lucky you, getting those butterfly shots. I had to laugh at you wanting them to pose on just the right flower. I have those same thoughts. Both butterflies and cannas have been late for me this year. But, forsythia sage, red firespike, and pinecone gingers have been early. Gardens have their secrets don't they?

  8. What gorgeous dendrobiums! I have a couple of the pendant types myself but they're still not at blooming size yet.

  9. Your butterflies are gorgeous! I also was able to get some butterfly photos this week, having not seen any for ages. I love the dendrobiums - such beautiful colors.

  10. Those are lovely flowers. The butterflies added beauty to the flowers. Good combination...

    Cassy from Beginner Free Guitar Lessons

  11. Ami, I love your purple-blue flowers as much as I love your zinnias from the previous post!
    Butterflies are always a pleasure to watch. I had more bees this summer than butterflies!


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