Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Taming The Swamp - Again

Were it not for the constant efforts of people weedwacking, mowing or shearing their yards, Mother Nature and her consort Father Time would no doubt re-install the dense vegetation and swamp that once covered most of Southeast Florida. 

Indeed, it would seem that just recently they made a hostile take-over bid for my yard........

Tropical Storm Isaac Flooding - looking toward street from driveway
Let's Play "Pin the Tail Light On Where The Street Used to Be?"
Another View Of The Street
One Soggy Yard
Isaac was only a Tropical Storm when he huffed and puffed his way through here, and thank goodness we have well maintained canals and swales to take the deluge of water away from our yards and homesites. In addition, the numerous, mature pine trees that populate our yards certainly take up most of the ground water within a day or two.

Looking south on Pathway
The yard got blown about a bit though. The Sky Vine felt very sorry for itself after the gusting winds and drooped sadly to the ground thereby blocking our patio doorway, and the pathway on the left.

During the last few weeks of intense rain, combined with temperatures in the high 90s, the foliage simply exploded with growth.

And so, despite the heat, the bugs and the afternoon thunderstorms, I headed out there for some badly needed yard maintenance.

Before - Looking South. Vine Cut Back.
Photo on right taken at 11am. Photo below 3pm.
Landscape fabric installed. Mulch will follow.

Afterwards - Looking South at 3pm

Below left: 11am from opposite direction. What a jungle! I joked with my son that if the yard got any wilder I'd need a guide, a canoe, and a rifle to venture out there! Below right: 3pm. Bird bath resited.

Before - Looking North, same pathway

 Afterwards - Looking North - 3pm

Below a close-up of the bird bath, which sits in a pot with a "running" bamboo. The photo on the right shows the base of the pot sitting on a large concrete stone. If it were not contained in this way, the running bamboo would take off across my yard, dashing hither and thither via its running (invasive) rhizome root system and pretty soon they'd be nothing in the yard except the bamboo (and the neighbors would just love me). 

The horse's head is a remnant of a once great lamp base. I really enjoy this recycled "art" in my garden.

Below a little tree frog took shelter from the gales under the folded patio umbrella, along with its whole family it seemed.

And, as if I didn't have enough raucous frog chorus in the flooded yard, the little guy below decided to sit right outside our bedroom and serenade us.....all night.

And I could really do without a skink in the bathtub thank you very much...

Below - a Southeastern Five-Lined Skink.

Naturally, the abundance of frogs and toads, leaping around in the flooded yard captured the attention of another visitor....a very large Hawk.


  1. And here I thought my yard was a swamp. . . . rained all day Sunday, half of Monday and a little yesterday too!

    I love the before and after photos. We've had some issues with critters too, but nothing as sweet as frogs or skinks - we've had huge rats chewing holes in our patio screen looking for food. I think they may be coming from the over-grown cow field next to us. Regardless, they really freak me out. So my better half is in charge of getting rid of them.

    Happy Gardening - may we have a little more sunshine headed our way.


    1. eli, thanks for your comment on before and after, I have a long way to go yet and have to tackle the other side of path...sigh..Rats are a real problem, we were visited by them a few years back. Our solution was to get a Victor Electronic Trap. Place it in the inside of the patio right where they have chewed a hole in screen. The traps are pricey - just south of $50 - but are well worth the money. Good luck!


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