I’m so proud to present my first Reader’s Garden in September 2023: Rosalyn’s Garden!
Rosalyn lives in Central Florida and loves gardening with native plants to attract the pollinators, wildlife, and to provide host plants for the local caterpillars.
She lives on 13 acres of Florida’s sand ridge in the outskirts of Frostproof. Rosalyn has left about 12 acres as she found them some 30 plus years ago, which contains mostly scrub and forest, with numerous gopher tortoise burrows. Her gardening focuses on the planting area around her home.
She focuses on pollinator plants, and as you see by her beautiful signs her garden is a safe haven for them.
She enjoys collecting our native air plants, the Tillandsias, when she finds them on the ground after storms. I think she has them beautifully displayed. The larger ones in the flower pots are wonderful hiding places for small frogs and toads, and sometimes the frogs even lay eggs in the collected water if the leaves are large enough, and hold water long enough, for them to complete their life cycle.
Rosalyn shares her green space with her beloved goats so she has to use wire in some areas to keep them from eating her plants, but it doesn’t deter from the beauty of her wildflowers.
She enjoys admiring her beautiful garden and its wildlife, such as bees, songbirds, hummingbirds and butterflies, from her study window.
One of her favorite wildflowers for the pollinators is the giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea).
Her passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata) is great for nectar and also provides a host plant for the gulf fritillary and zebra longwing butterfly caterpillars. She uses the foliage to grow food for the caterpillars that she shares at the school where she volunteers.
A retired school teacher, Rosalyn now runs Miss Bee’s Bookshop where every child, from kindergarten to 5th grade, can shop for used books.
Rosalyn continues her classroom tradition by teaching kids from her shop where she displays butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and their host plants along with several butterfly books.
Go Miss Bee!
Rosalyn’s Garden is a place where pollinators, butterflies, and birds, are safe from pesticides and herbicides.
She grows many host plants for Florida butterflies including water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri) which is a host plant for white peacock butterflies.
She also grows passionvine (Passiflora incarnata) for the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies.
The hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees find safe haven in her beautiful patch of Florida green space.
Her beach sunflower provides nectar for the pollinators as well as seeds for the songbirds to eat.
Feast your eyes on, a small sample of, Rosalyn’s collection of our native air plants (Tillandsia sp).
She scatters them throughout her garden when she finds them fallen out of trees after a storm.
She loves to display them for herself and her garden wildlife to enjoy.
Thank you, Rosalyn, for sharing your beautiful garden with my readers and me. I know it will inspire.