Purple Lantana in a Very Special Container

We had the same neighbors for 40 years. When they recently moved to New York, they asked if I would like this ceramic plant pot for my garden. Our children all grew up together and this container was made by their oldest daughter in her high school ceramics class. It meant something to my neighbor, but was one of those things that had to be left behind, as often happens when people move. The plant pot was empty when I received it, and I  thought that my new purple lantana would go well in it. I really like the purple contrasted with the black and white.
After seeing my recent post, Lantana in a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden,  my old neighbor asked  me to peek over the fence and see if the lantana was still growing in their  yard. I did peek, and was happy to tell her it was. I hope she sees this post and knows I’m taking good care of this special gift.


Mystic Blue Salvia


In September I wrote about my mandevilla plant that had suffered terribly during an extreme heat wave that occured while we were away on vacation. I’d hoped to be able to return the previously beautiful plant to good health. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to save it, even after careful watering, and relocating it to a less sunny spot in the garden. The direct early morning sun was just too much for it. The plant had looked beautiful near our front door, but now the spot was vacant. I’d recently purchased a Mystic Blue Salvia to add to my hummingbird garden. It was doing well and growing nicely in a large container. I wondered how it would look by the front door in place of the mandevilla. As you can see in the photo above the Mystic Blue is doing very well in its new place and looks even prettier than the mandevilla. It is fuller and fills the area beautifully.
cropped-front-flower-2.jpgHere you see the mandevilla before our vacation. Both are lovely plants, but the salvia is a better choice for the spot. Most salvia prefer full sun, so will do better in our front garden, especially in the summer. I was very sorry to lose my beautiful pink mandevilla, but I’m very happy with the end result.

How a Hummingbird Changed My Plans

P1020143My plan for the morning was to spend time reading the manual that came with my new camera. I wanted to study the chapter on short focal length photography, because I use a lot of close up photos in my blog, and still have a lot to learn. When I finished my reading, I took a few practice photos in the house, and then planned to go outside and practice some more of what I’d just learned. How quickly plans can change!

On January 20 I posted, How to Make Hummingbird Food, and this morning, through our kitchen window, we spotted one of our little flock sitting on a nest. Suddenly, instead of taking close ups, I was taking long focal shots, so I wouldn’t disturb the little mother. I turned out the kitchen light and watched her as she flew back and forth between the feeder and her nest.

P1020123-1Here you can see her, head down in the nest feeding her babies. I felt a little guilty spying on her, but she was so amazing to watch.

P1020127-1Here she is a little later taking a nap after all of her hard work. I was very careful not to get too close, and I’m happy she chose a quiet side of the house, where she can be safe and protected, hidden away in the leaves of the Night Blooming Jasmine. My job is to keep the hummingbird feeder full, while my husband Martin, keeps the water fountains filled with fresh, clean water. Being able to observe this little hummingbird is a very special reward for our efforts.