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Photos Are Back!

After a really long hiatus, Photos of the (Every Third) Day are finally back! I hope you enjoy them.

— posted by Judi · Comment · #

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It's been six years...

In three days it will be the sixth anniversary of our first butterfly emergence and release (you can read about it here). As many of you know, it is my goal to raise and release 1300 butterflies each year: One hundred to celebrate each year that we had our precious and brave beagle Sunni (the inspiration for the gardens) in our lives. Last year was the first year we did not reach that goal, but we’ve worked very hard and have made up for last years shortfall, and two days ago we reached this year’s goal. Two Gold Rim Swallowtails emerged and flew away, bring the total since 2008 to 7,801 butterflies. Every butterfly release is a celebration of our precious beagle Sunni and the joy she brought to us.

— posted by Judi · Comment · #

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Open House: Success!

It was another great Open House! We had 87 guests. Click on any picture to see a larger size…

The banner is up...

The signs are ready...

The plants are ready...

The porch is ready for relaxing and cooling off...

The refreshments are laid out...

The cake is baked and decorated...

Face painting!

A butterfly on the cheek

Relaxing on the porch

In Butterfly House

Back on the porch again

Day 2:  The refreshments are reset

There's another cake

In the Gardens

Visiting the butterflies in Butterfly House

Showing off a Buckeye in Butterfly House

Beauties in Butterfly House

A family in Butterfly House

On the porch (with Nancy!)

Flowers on her face

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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If you missed the last one, it's another Open House!

Late breaking news regarding the Open House this weekend: We will have face painting for the children again! This was a big hit at last year’s Open House. We will have the same artist that we had last year, and she does beautiful butterflies and, for those who want something a little more manly, caterpillars :).

The previous Open House was just a few weeks ago, but June 6th is Butterfly Education and Awareness Day! And June 6th is also the birthday of Judi’s little, late beagle, Princess Sunni, who inspired Judi’s Butterflies. Join us for a celebration, an Open House in the Gardens on June 7th and 8th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. We should have many species of flying butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Tours will include visits inside Butterfly House, where you’ll be able to see butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs up close and personal. (Hint: Bring your camera! And your children.)

Refreshments and Raffles

First, the winners of the raffles from the last Open House were Don from Huntsville, Alabama (coasters), Michelle from Cocoa (earrings), and Olga (DVD).

On to this Open House: There will also be complimentary refreshments, including two awesome cakes baked especially for Butterfly Education and Awareness Day (what they look like), and terrific lemonade for a hot day. There will also be small gifts for children ten and younger (so don’t accidentally forget your children :), and free raffles! You can win this DVD on butterfly gardening, produced by Edith Smith at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm:

Gardening For Butterflies, by Edith Smith

…or a set of two butterfly-themed votive candle holders:

Or a set of Jabebo butterfly earrings! See more about Jabebo and a picture of one of their designs below. (The earrings you win may not be the same as the ones pictured).

Tours, plants for sale, and take pictures!

We will also have limited supplies of butterfly plants — both host and nectar — for sale, and a limited number of eggs or caterpillars for some species for those who buy host plants, or already have a host plant at home! Plants, eggs, and caterpillars are all products of Judi’s Gardens.

Jabebo Earrings

We are proud to be a retailer for Jabebo Earrings. Jabebo makes highly detailed earrings using butterfly and other nature-themed subjects. We will have a wide selection available for purchase:

Jabebo Monarch Earrings

But you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you.

We’ll be on hand to talk about the amazing butterfly life cycle, butterfly plants, what you can do if you want butterflies in your yard, how good a glass of lemonade is on a hot day, and whatever else you might want to talk about.

Remember, you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures.

And did I mention refreshments?

Where and When

Remember, Saturday and Sunday, June 7th and 8th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

A Sign

Judi’s Gardens are in Northeast Palm Bay, but west of the Interstate (that’s I-95). If you’re familiar with the area, we will have signs out on Emerson Dr between the Tillman Canal and Americana Blvd, directing you to the Gardens. For more detailed directions, you can:

- Put “Emerson and Bellevue, 32907” in your turn-by-turn mapping program on your smart phone or GPS, or

- Click here for a Google map where you can get driving directions, or

- Click the Contact Me tab above and ask Judi any questions you might have, or

- Follow one of these sets of directions:

Directions from anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay.

Directions from anywhere south of Malabar Road in Palm Bay, or anywhere south of Palm Bay at all, for that matter.

From anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay

If coming from the north, make your way down to Palm Bay Road. Just barely to the west of the I-95 interchange on Palm Bay Road, take Culver Drive south. Culver is a short connector road that will take you to Emerson Drive. Turn left (east) on Emerson…

…or, if you’re coming from West Palm Bay…

Get on Emerson heading east from Minton Road.

Either way, from the north or the west, you’re now heading east on Emerson into the Lockmar subdivision.

Drive through Lockmar on Emerson until you pass Fred Lee Park and cross the Tillman Canal. Start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to Americana Blvd (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

From South Palm Bay, or south of Palm Bay

Make your way to Malabar Road in Palm Bay. From Malabar Road, turn north on Emerson. (If you’re coming up I-95, go west on Malabar Road after you exit the Interstate, to get to Emerson.)

Heading north on Emerson, *as soon as you pass Americana Blvd (there’s a little convenience store on the corner), start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to the bridge over the Tillman Canal (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

Thanks!

Thanks to Brent and Sharon at Maple Street Natives, and Sandy and Dave at Sun Harbor Nursery, for publicizing the event by handing out our leaflets; and especially Teresa at Rockledge Gardens for mentioning us in her E-Leaflet newsletter. And thank you to Busy Bee Lawn and Garden for carrying our leaflets in the Vero Beach area. Please patronize these nurseries — we do!

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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Too Successful?

Just the other day I, jokingly, asked my mother if I could be too successful at this… this meaning raising butterflies. I answered the question myself, “No, of course not.” After all, I have to meet my goal. Most of you know I have set a goal of 1,300 butterflies to release each year, to honor my beloved beagle Sunni and the nearly 13 years I had with her. So, no, I can never have too many eggs and caterpillars at any given time so that I can meet that goal.

The very next day that answer changed. OMG yes we can! You see, in just a matter of hours, Randy and Greg found more than 80 Gold Rim caterpillars (40 of which were on a single leaf), doubling the number of Gold Rims Greg was already caring for. I, thankfully, am nearing the end of the latest generation of Great Southern Whites, as they are all beginning to pupate. I say thankfully because the caterpillars have devoured all my cleome (200 caterpillars can do that). I have some nasturtium and cabbage, but the caterpillars are refusing to eat them. Then, that morning, we had to move another passion into Butterfly House to feed all the Zebra Longwing and Julia caterpillars, as they have stripped their plants clean. Just one hour after moving the passion vine in to, supposedly, feed the existing caterpillars…

Too successful: Zebra Longwing eggs

…both tips had been COVERED with eggs! To top all of this off, the Black Swallowtails are back and laying. We found nearly 4 dozen hatchling caterpillars and about as many eggs. We feel truly blessed, but a bit overworked :).

Too successful: Zebra Longwing eggs

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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The Best Open House Ever

It was the best Open House ever! Here are pictures! Narrative text will follow soon, but even without descriptions, these pictures capture how magical it was. As usual, you can click on any picture for a larger version, and if you want a fill-sized photo-quality version of any picture, let us know:

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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It's Spring! Let's Have an Open House!

We are throwing an Open House in the Gardens on Saturday, May 17th, and Sunday, May 18th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm each day. We are off to a great Spring, so we can guarantee that there will be many species of flying butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Tours will include visits inside Butterfly House, where you’ll be able to see butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs up close and personal. (Hint: Bring your camera! And your children! They will be enchanted. You might be, too.)

Refreshments and Raffles

There will also be complimentary refreshments (including terrific lemonade), small gifts for children ten and younger (so don’t accidentally forget your children :), and free raffles! You can win this DVD on butterfly gardening, produced by Edith Smith at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm:

Gardening For Butterflies, by Edith Smith

Or a set of four sandstone coasters with this beautiful butterfly pattern:

Butterfly Coasters Raffle Prize

Or a set of Jabebo butterfly earrings! See more about Jabebo and a picture of the earrings below.

Tours, plants for sale, and take pictures!

We will also have limited supplies of butterfly plants — both host and nectar — for sale, and a limited number of eggs or caterpillars for some species for those who buy host plants, or already have a host plant at home! Plants, eggs, and caterpillars are all products of Judi’s Gardens.

Jabebo Earrings

We are proud to be a retailer for Jabebo Earrings. Jabebo makes highly detailed earrings using butterfly and other nature-themed subjects. We will have a wide selection available for purchase:

Jabebo Monarch Earrings

But you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We just want to meet you.

We’ll be on hand to talk about the amazing butterfly life cycle, butterfly plants, what you can do if you want butterflies in your yard, how good a glass of lemonade is on a hot day, and whatever else you might want to talk about.

Remember, you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you. Bring your camera and take pictures.

And did I mention refreshments?

A Sign

Where and When

Remember, Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Judi’s Gardens are are in Northeast Palm Bay, but west of the Interstate (that’s I-95). If you’re familiar with the area, we will have signs out on Emerson Dr between the Tillman Canal and Americana Blvd, directing you to the Gardens. For more detailed directions, choose one of the links below, or you can click the Contact Me tab above and ask Judi any questions you might have:

Directions from anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay.

Directions from anywhere south of Malabar Road in Palm Bay, or anywhere south of Palm Bay at all, for that matter.

Link to map at Yahoo Maps

From anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay

If coming from the north, make your way down to Palm Bay Road. Just barely to the west of the I-95 interchange on Palm Bay Road, take Culver Drive south. Culver is a short connector road that will take you to Emerson Drive. Turn left (east) on Emerson…

…or, if you’re coming from West Palm Bay…

Get on Emerson heading east from Minton Road.

Either way, from the north or the west, you’re now heading east on Emerson into the Lockmar subdivision.

Drive through Lockmar on Emerson until you pass Fred Lee Park and cross the Tillman Canal. Start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to Americana Blvd (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

Here’s a link to an interactive map at Yahoo Maps, where you can get driving directions

From South Palm Bay, or south of Palm Bay

Make your way to Malabar Road in Palm Bay. From Malabar Road, turn north on Emerson. (If you’re coming up I-95, go west on Malabar Road after you exit the Interstate, to get to Emerson.)

Heading north on Emerson, *as soon as you pass Americana Blvd (there’s a little convenience store on the corner), start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to the bridge over the Tillman Canal (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

Here’s a link to an interactive map at Yahoo Maps, where you can get driving directions

— posted by Judi · Comment · #

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Host and Nectar Plant List From the Eua Gallie Arts District Flower Festival Presentation

For those of you who heard my presentation at the Eau Gallie Arts District Flower Festival today, I promised to post my list of host and nectar plants, both native and non-native, categorized by growth pattern. And now it’s up! It’s on my Butterfly FAQ page (link in the tab bar above), but you can get to it more quickly by just clicking here.

— posted by Judi · Comment · #

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A Week in the Gardens: Thursday

On Monday (I think) there was a picture of the tunnel that the Cassia tree has created over the pathway. That picture was looking from the pond toward the middle of the Gardens; this is looking the other way, toward the pond, at sunrise:

Cassia Tunnel at Sunrise

Nectar brings lots of bees, too:

Bee

Salmon-colored Porterweed:

Salmon Porterweed

White Peacock nectaring:

White Peacock

A frustrated predator :)

A Frustrated Predator

A Dwarf Powderpuff flower, showing its pollen tips:

Powderpuff Flower

Faithfully guarding against destructive squirrels:

Guarding Against Squirrels

Gulf Fritillaries courting in late afternoon:

Courting Gulf Fritillaries

Tips of Porterweed illuminated by the setting sun:

Tips of Porterweed in the setting sun

— posted by Greg · Comment · #

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A Week in the Gardens: Wednesday

Today started out foggy again, and to be honest, I was very busy and didn’t get a lot of pictures taken.

But here’s a strange sight: This (since emerged) Monarch caterpillar decided to pupate on the bottom of a faucet in the anteroom of Butterfly House:

Monarch Chrysalis on Faucet

I was evicting a lizard from the anteroom when I noticed the previous sight.

This passion vine has been growing along the west fence of the Butterfly Gardens for a few years, but has never flowered until now. The flower is small (for a tropical passion vine) but packs a lot into it’s little footprint. I think it’s passiflora vespertilio:

Passion Vine P. Vespertilio Flower

Here’s vespertilio from the side:

Side View of Passion Vine P. Vespertilio Flower

Finally, for today, here’s a cute but very delicate pink zinnia:

Delicate Pink Zinnia

— posted by Greg · Comment · #

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