Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One Fine Day

I awoke this morning with a feeling of anticipation. The weather forecast had promised that temperatures and humidity would drop overnight, providing us with our first truly pleasant day since early June. Promise kept! When I opened the back door, I was greeted with a cool breeze and soft warmth from the sun.

I'd planned ahead - I set aside the whole day for cleaning up the jungle that my yard had become, and for setting in some new plants to welcome the fall weather. The very air felt energizing, and within a few hours, I had restored the side and back yards to a place worthy of My Florida Backyard.

On the south-facing side of the house, I had some liriope grass that refused to thrive after two full growing seasons. I figured I'd been patient enough, so I pulled it out. I found some end-of-season Angelonia (right) on sale at the nursery, and planted them along with some pink pentas along the side of the house.

Angelonia is a very heat-tolerant plant that is a perennial here in Zone 9. It can take the heat, but should be able to withstand a light frost or two when January's chill drops down from the north. The plants are about 6 inches tall now, and may double in size if they get enough rain this fall.

I also pulled out some overgrown lantana along the front of the house and planted these lovely little dianthus (some people call them "pinks" because of the pattern of the petal edge).
When the work was done, I just sat on the bench in the backyard and enjoyed the sun - and the native swamp sunflower that has finally decided to bloom (left). The butterfly garden had many visitors, including a Zebra Longwing who refused to hold still long enough to have his picture taken. The belted kingfisher has returned to our pond, and I listened to his raucous call and watched his swooping flight.

As afternoon turned to evening, the day became even more pleasant. The sky was shaded with pink and purple, the water birds flew over the lake in flocks headed for their roosts, and finally the moon shone softly in the sky. From start to finish, it was a day to take joy in here in My Florida Backyard - and so I did.

The best way to pay for a lovely
moment is to enjoy it.
- Richard Bach

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