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Tag Archives: butterflies

Knuckle Island


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan I sort-of kind-of touched on this subject a while back, and it’s a real complicated problem – practically epidemic – and it’s something I deal with every single day in the shop. The process of making a nice diamond ring sale can be a challenge, as you may have gathered if you read my last column. It’s what happens after the sale that the fun begins, and that magical feat can range from impossible to miraculous. Now the diamond ring has to fit the finger. That may seem to many of you a simple cut-and-dried ... Read More »

Gardens Summer Survivors

Plumbago (Leadwort).

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy Summer is here and it came quickly! One of the most frequently asked questions I get is what will grow and flower here in Naples and South Florida during the summer months? Summer in Florida is one of the most trying times, not just for us human beings who are bombarded with constant panic weather forecasts about fires turning the State of Florida into a large charcoal briquette, and upcoming storms which are going to sweep our children and pets into another world, but for our flowers and shrubs as well. It’s a wonder we go ... Read More »

Unique Florida Butterflies

Julia HR

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy The butterfly season here in Florida is a long one, actually all year. June begins an all-out attract of all types of Florida butterflies on the host plants (plants butterflies lay their eggs on and sustain their caterpillars on their way to butterfly hood). In the butterfly gardens all over south Florida people are calling, emailing and texting do you have milkweed, dill, and parsley and passion vines on and on? The summer season is off with a bang, not only are people looking for host plants to feed these hungry little critters but in the ... Read More »

Great Southern Whites

Zebra longwing, Florida state butterfly.

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy No, this is not another article on sharks on the west coast of Florida, which seems to have dominated the news since the summer started. Funny, “Jaws” was one of my favorite movies. Anyway, it’s about a couple of South Florida’s beautiful butterflies. Well this is another great year butterfly gardening in South Florida. It seems every year has a new surprise. This year the white butterflies in South Florida are more abundant then I have seen. Actually, I have seen more great southern whites, Florida whites and cabbage whites this year then I have seen ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida


PLANT TALK Mike Malloy We are lucky here in South Florida. Our butterfly population flourishes during the summer months due to our hot, tropical weather. And because it stays relatively warm, even during the winter months, we have a healthy year-round butterfly population. There are, however, a few butterflies that still migrate during the winter season. The Monarch is one of them. This is the first article in a six-part series featuring the butterflies of Florida. I’m going to begin with the Monarch, of course, which is probably the most recognized butterfly in the world. Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers are members ... Read More »



By Mike Malloy Along with the yellow Tabebuia trees that are blooming all around town in early spring, the gardenias begin blooming. My gardenia facing east started blooming two months ago, and is still going strong. Remember when people ask when gardenias are supposed to bloom to tell them spring to early summer is usually the time, but I always say, plants bloom whenever they feel like it. That is probably the best answer because you can only give an estimate of when things bloom because so much can change with the weather here in South Florida. But when ... Read More »

The Angels Have Arrived


Plant Talk Mike Malloy One of late spring and summer show stopping plants that is showing its face all around South Florida is the Angels Trumpet or (Brugmansia spp.) Also blooms in the fall. You would have to be blind folded driving around Naples and Marco not to see these landscape gems. This plant is in the Solanaceae family, native to tropical South America and has been naturalized her in North America. Large flowers are fragrant but more intense at night to attract moths for pollinating. Angels Trumpet is the common name referring to the large pendulous flowers it ... Read More »

Small Trees but Big Show

Jatropha Peregrina

Plant Talk By Mike Malloy For all of us who want to have one of the showiest trees in town in our gardens (Royal Poinciana) and just don’t have the room because of their size, here are some of my favorite small trees that can be grown in courtyards, containers and small yards here in southwest Florida that can also be as special as the big boys. Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinina pulcherrima) is the little brother to the Royal Poinciana but a much smaller size. This evergreen shrub that can be pruned and trained into a specimen small tree, usually about ... Read More »

Bromeliads in the South Florida Landscape


PLANT TALK Mike Malloy Bromeliads are finally getting the attention they deserve. Until recently, they were only popular with a small segment of house-plant enthusiasts. Today, bromeliads are prized tropical treasures in many Southwest Florida landscapes and public and private gardens. Featuring a wide range of color, leaf shapes and textures, bromeliads are as beautiful as they are hardy. If you’re looking for beautiful, exotic-looking tropical plants that are easy to care for and drought tolerant, look no further than bromeliads. Bromeliads are in the Bromeliaceae family, which is native to the tropical Americas. The pineapple plant is the most ... Read More »

“Discover Tigertail” – Delightful and Educational FOT Event

Dan Orfan - Egg Casings

Submitted Susan Kubat and Fran Huxley, co-chairs of “Discover Tigertail”, organized and executed a delightful and successful Friends of Tigertail Beach event on Saturday, February 21, 2015. “Discovery Tigertail” is a free family program that addresses the marine life and other wildlife that inhabit the Tigertail Beach lagoon. Specialists were from Rookery Bay, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Marco Shell Club. Two hundred participants enjoyed the weather and the expertise of the naturalists manning the nine information stations: shells, egg casings, turtles, butterflies, plants, sharks, birds, seining and wildlife rehabilitation. Both adults and children participated in the scavenger ... Read More »

Gardening for Bees

Sweet Almond

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy Honeybees are more important than most people realize. Hundreds of crops that we have come to love and also dislike rely on the honey bee for pollination. It’s estimated that the sum of approximately fifteen billion dollars annually, is the value of the honey bees work in the United States agriculture industry. About one third of all food consumed in the United States is pollinated by bees. Inadequate pollination will reduce the size and quality of crops. The demise of the honey bee is a complex issue. Since 2006 bee keepers have lost about one third ... Read More »

Join Us for “Discover Tigertail”


Submitted Friends of Tigertail Beach is hosting “Discover Tigertail”, February 21, 2015 from 9AM to noon. This is a free family program that addresses the marine life and other wildlife that inhabit the Tigertail Beach lagoon. There will be nine “information stations” spotted around the lagoon. Take part in seining for creatures from the lagoon or enjoy hands-on activities about loggerhead sea turtles, shore birds, sharks, butterflies, plants, seashells and more. Our specialists are from Rookery Bay, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Marco Shell Club. Featured again this year, will be the very popular scavenger hunt, “Question Quest”, enjoyed ... Read More »

Walking Collier

Eagle Lakes Community Park provides excellent habitat  for birds that live on or near water, as well as easy access trails for birders. Egrets, herons, anhinga, and cormorants feed in close proximity to a large alligator. photo by carl kelly

By Carl and Joan Kelly Eagle Lakes Community Park is located on US 41 where Eagle Lakes Drive becomes Barefoot William Road (1 ½ miles west of SR 951 and US 41) there is an animal sanctuary that is part of a community park. The sanctuary is very busy with birds. It has multiple trails encircling three lakes and marshlands. Each trail connects back to the car park. There are also a children’s park, baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic tables, and restrooms. To reach the trails walk past the baseball fields north of the parking lot. At the ... Read More »

More Holiday Ornaments in the Winter Garden

Christmas Flower (Euphorbia leucocephala)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy Last time I gave you names of some plants that become beautiful holiday ornaments in our gardens during the holiday season here in South Florida. Now that Thanksgiving is over, I think! And Christmas is coming, or is it the over? Or are they all on the same day? This year they seemed to be celebrated at the same time! I would like to continue with others that will bring joy to our hearts and souls during this festive time of the year. Creating joy and happiness in the eyes of any gardener, beginner or old ... Read More »

Cutting the Ribbon on Xcel Fitness

The ribbon cutting marked the official grand opening of Xcel Fitness Spa, one of the newer businesses on the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce membership rolls.

By Don Manley It’s a case of so far, so good for Xcel Fitness Spa, Marco Island’s newest, large-scale exercise center. Located in a 6,300-square-foot space in the Shops of Marco, off San Marco Road, Xcel has attracted a loyal following since opening last Feburary, said the business’ owner, Eddy Hoyo. “Here we are 11 months later and business is great,” he said recently. “We had a great summer sign-up from residents and season’s starting now, and we’re getting a great response from our out-of-towners. So we’re looking forward to a great season and growing Xcel in the best it ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Splendes (Glory Bower)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy Clerodendrum is a beautiful, flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using them ... Read More »

Fall Color in the Florida Landscape

Alata cassia Candlelabra Cassia

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy Summer heat is beginning to subside. and we actually have temperatures in the mornings in the 50s and 60s. The first thing to do is open all the windows and doors. The next step is to start enjoying all the cassias, or sennas, that begin to bloom this time of the year. Cassias are generally known for their fast growth. Let me get this over with now before we all get confused: Cassias and sennas are the same group of plants, but some people with too much time on their hands decided to change the name ... Read More »

More Notable South Florida Butterflies

Buckeye Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy There are other notable butterflies we have here in South Florida, and I would like to tell you about one of my favorites — the Buckeye butterfly. A medium-size Florida butterfly, the Buckeye has several eye spots on both fore and hind wings of this very colorful butterfly. These are usually large round spots on the wings that make the butterfly seem much larger than it really is to scare away predators. The Buckeye has a tendency to stay low to the ground and perch in the sun for hours on end, watching for any ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida: The Heliconia Trio

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy This is the second installment in my 10-part series on Butterfly Gardening in Florida. This time we’re going to focus on the Heliconia genus of butterflies, which includes the Zebra Longwing (Zebra), Florida’s state butterfly; the Julia; and the Gulf Fritillary. Let’s begin with the Zebra butterfly, also known as the social butterfly. It travels great distances during the day for néctar, but always returns to the same place at night to roost. Zebras commonly roost together in large numbers, which is why they’re nicknamed social butterflies. While hanging motionless, they are vulnerable. To discourage ... Read More »

Hummingbirds Return in the Winter

Firebush – number two nectar plant. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy Years ago when I began my quest to attract butterflies to my garden, little did I know that butterfly gardening came with a bonus? After years of removing turf grass from my yard and replacing it with colorful flowering plants to attract wildlife— particularly butterflies — I no longer have any grass left to mow. During the past couple of fall seasons, I’ve been seeing numerous hummingbirds competing for nectar with our year-round friends, the butterflies. This is such a great thrill! It started a few years ago, with one or two hummingbirds arriving every ... Read More »