Thursday, August 12, 2010


August in Florida is like February in Michigan. In other words, it's the time of year you put your outdoor hobbies on hold, hurry from your car into the nearest climate-controlled building, assume your clothes will be inadequate for keeping you comfortable outside (I don't care if it's North Face gear - it's still not gonna help), and just generally hunker down inside. Our neighbors even "warm up" their cars before leaving for work, only it's the AC instead of the heat that's blasting. We did, however, manage to get some plants in the garden before Tallahassee turned into Hades and we've been enjoying the benefits since.

We've harvested two eggplants already and have a few small ones (like this) coming along.

We've only gotten a handful
of green beans so far, but they seem to like this god-forsaken weather so I think there are many more on the way.

We can't eat the okra fast enough (and it doesn't help our waistlines that the only way we like to eat it is fried).

You can see
here how much our banana tree has grown since last fall. It struggled with our hard winter - we chalked it up for dead when it was still a brown husk in April. I don't even like bananas but I was pretty bummed thinking it had died. I think I just like the idea of a banana tree in my yard.

You'll see these hot peppers drying in our kitchen window in the next post. Last Christmas my Uncle Bill gave us dried hot pepper flakes in a shaker jar (the peppers were from grandpa's garden). We blew through that in no time, so we're planning on making more with our own peppers.

This is the first bloom on our mandevilla. It's a pretty, tropical-looking vine; we have it growing up the metal stand for our herb garden.

Finally, this is our butterfly garden. Black swallowtails are the most common, though we've had a few monarchs and a giant swallowtail, too. Earlier this year we had around 30 swallowtail caterpillars on our fennel. This is one of them:

A couple days after this picture was taken, all the caterpillars were gone. We think a bird ate them. You may think it's sad, but just think how happy those birdies were when mama or dadda brought back these juicy guys.

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